Verizon has confirmed to PhoneNews.com that their activation process on LTE will be far different than MetroPCS’s existing LTE activation process, and will mirror traditional GSM carriers.
Today, MetroPCS activates LTE phones in nearly an identical manner to how they activate CDMA phones. By dialing *228 the phone’s MEID and UICC (SIM) serial numbers are registered over the network, and the phone is programmed. Most of the people that dislike *228 are unaware that it packs a powerful feature, the ability to swap to a backup phone when you leave yours at the office or at home.
Verizon earlier this year implemented *228 “in the field” device swapping. A customer can simply pull a backup phone out of their glovebox, and activate a spare phone on their account in seconds. Even GSM-biased users are known to refer to the feature as “cool”. Unfortunately, the stigma regarding *228 is a key reason that Verizon noted to PhoneNews.com in wanting to move to a GSM-based activation system. The best workaround for a user leaving a phone at the office, according to Verizon representatives, was to go to a Verizon Wireless store and purchase a replacement LTE SIM/UICC card.
The good news is that Verizon LTE devices will, according to Verizon, have the same benefits as GSM devices, namely contact transferring between SIM cards (on supported devices, which all but alludes to the lack of support on devices from manufacturers like Apple). In addition, Verizon UICC cards will likely support SIM calling profiles, allowing for Bluetooth-enabled cars to communicate with a standard rSAP implementation. In English, this means that LTE devices on Verizon will have better in-car support that CDMA phones (and most Android devices) have lacked.