Verizon and AT&T may both be going with LTE as their 4G flavor of choice, but don't think that just because they've selected the same network technology means that you'll be able to unlock a handset and use it on either carrier. Speaking with the folks at PCMag, Verizon confirmed today that its LTE handsets won't "be compatible on other LTE networks in the U.S." due to the fact that they'll be on different frequencies. Both Verizon and AT&T will be using the 700MHz band for LTE connectivity, but Verizon's network will mostly use the 746-787MHz portion of that band while AT&T's will be in the 704-746MHz range. It would be physically possible for a manufacturer to craft an LTE device that works on both Verizon and AT&T, but it's unclear when or if that'll ever happen since the handsets could be made to not work on certain frequencies. AT&T executives were unsure whether or not their carrier would ever release LTE phones that could roam on to Verizon's 4G network.
As awesome as it would be to have an LTE phone that could be used on either AT&T or Verizon, I can't say that I'm entirely surprised by Big Red's decision, especially considering that the two carriers use different technologies for their 2G/3G networks. Here's to hoping that at some point in the future, perhaps when both Verizon and AT&T's coverage is fleshed out more, we'll finally get some devices that can be used on either carrier. What do you all make of Verizon's decision? Do you think it would ever allow its phones to be built with frequencies compatible with other LTE networks?