You loved your Android phone back home, but what if it won’t work when you head to Europe for a two-week vacation? What if you’re in Japan for a business trip and your Android smartphones data plan isn’t working because your carrier’s coverage is nowhere to be found? Thankfully, it looks like more and more carriers are opening up their devices to be compatible with networks abroad.
GSM and CDMA are the two primary connectivity protocols used by today’s mobile devices. GSM is the dominant connectivity standard, and is very popular in Europe, Canada, and pretty much the rest of the world. LTE is based off the GSM standard.
For a device to earn ‘world phone’ status, it must be able to connect to spectrum that is both supported by your carrier, and the carrier you are roaming on. Truth of the matter is, is that carriers love roaming, as it’s one of their biggest cash cows. They work diligently and globally with other carriers to setup agreements to ensure they are handsomely compensated when international travelers connect to networks outside of their own. Through the use of a devices IMEI (a unique identifier for that particular device), and variety of other unique device identifiers, they are able to trace back where the device has originated, and see that it is billed accordingly. Thankfully, many carriers have fairly innovative payment for this, so you don’t come home to a $200,000 roaming bill, but I digress.
At CES 2012, Verizon said that 4G LTE devices like LG Spectrum and Motorola DROID 4 would eventually have global connectivity features. And, according to Droid Life’s sources, there could be more devices that could have this kind of feature.
In the photo above, you can see Verizon’s HTC Rezound’s info sheet, showing a new “global feature”, making it usable to additional 185 countries. Also, the Rezound isn’t the only device that will have that awesome feature. Devices like the DROID 4 and RAZR will have the same feature as stores have reportedly been told to print out new info sheets for these devices.
So if you have one of the devices written on this post and you’re that kind of traveler that would love to explore those additional 185 countries while enjoying the awesomeness of your Android smartphone, then, this good news is for you.
Of course, if you purchased your device unlocked, then this is something you already enjoy. Any thoughts?