Report: Microsoft sending Lumia flagships back to the FCC, others for CDMA certification

by jovan1984


REDMOND, Wash. — After much back and forth between Verizon, Microsoft and their supporters, customers and fans, a report surfaced on Reddit claiming that Microsoft has sent the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL back to the Federal Communications Commission for CDMA certification.

Per the post (NOTE: This is a very long post in the blockquote.):

Been talking to some Verizon customer service people and some people at MS after some tweets caught their attention.

Verizon has to authenticate the phone and they have no choice as long as it passes a certified third party inspection, but Microsoft has to foot the bill for the inspection. It sounds like MS may do that from the back and forth, but it has not been done yet because there are no manufactured models yet. All phones are technically prototypes and the manufacturing lines have not been fired up yet. Conjecture on my part based on what I’ve been told by VZW and Microsoft, but MS may submit the phone for CDMA certification to a third party. If that goes through, Verizon must list the IMEI numbers and allow activation or Microsoft can lodge a complaint with the FCC.

It sounds like Microsoft does not want to have anyone counting on these phones to work on Verizon upon announcement and it is possible that it will not ship with CDMA bands, but Microsoft may sell it unlocked CDMA at a later date after all the hurdles have been cleared, the phone is certified, and they can confirm VZW activation.

Again, I’m reading between the lines but have talked to people at both companies. Verizon is adamant that they will allow the phone if it passes the necessary hurdles that the FCC allows (and this third party verification is part of the LTE agreement VZW did with the FCC) and Microsoft insists that they have no problem selling the phone with CDMA bands unlocked if Verizon will activate it. But it sounds like it can’t be verified until factory models come out.

Moto X works now, but it took time for the factory phones to be verified before Verizon allowed them. This is something they are allowed to do according to the FCC. Now any Moto X Pure should work because the IMEI has been added.

We’ll see what happens. Verizon also promised me that they have other “exciting Windows 10 Mobile offerings” in the pipeline that will be revealed in the future near the Windows 10 Mobile launch. I keep hearing that HTC and LG are coming to the party and will offer Verizon phones. There’s also noise that Acer will sell the Jade Primo unlocked directly and in MS Stores and will get the CDMA bands verified independently of Verizon to force a listing.

I guess I would just say that we all need to stay tuned and keep out ears to the ground.

It goes beyond VZW customer service reps. I was contacted by Verizon directly after making a stink in a back and forth on Twitter. I was put in touch with a management level VZW person, not straight customer service. And I know they were management because I verified the name with my friend who works as a corporate sales executive for VZW. This was someone that would be in the know.

As for Paul, he has stated that he was told the 950 and 950XL would be universal unlocked phones that would work on Verizon. He was just told that Microsoft was done with Verizon as a sales partner. He has guessed that problems activating is why Microsoft has blocked the CDMA bands, but he said he was told in July by a fairly high up and reliable Microsoft source that the phones would be available universal unlocked. He also said that MS has no intention of letting anyone buy them FROM Verizon, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t sell it unlocked. I was told they want to ensure functionality on Verizon before ever selling them to work on the network. They need to be sure Verizon adds the IMEI first and they need manufactured phones to do it. That came from someone in the Lumia team itself.

I’ve listened to Paul quite a bit on this and he stated plainly that what he was originally told indicated the phones were built to work on CDMA. Other also informed him that the 808 and 810 have universal radios as it is, so it would have to be firmware blocked (this has been confirmed by ArsTechnica).

I was told by BOTH Verizon and Microsoft (and also told by someone at ArsTechnica) that Verizon has NO CHOICE but to activate an unlocked phone IF it has been certified by an approved third party tester. Microsoft does not want the CDMA bands unlocked UNTIL that certification happens and Verizon has no choice but to list the 950 and 950XL or face a FCC complaint and possible fine.

This fits the fact of the FCC deal on LTE Verizon is part of. It also fits as to why Microsoft would not initially roll out CDMA. I don’t think it will launch CDMA, but I could see them unlock those bands and sell the phone CDMA unlocked less than a month after launch. If they get it certified by a third party, Verizon has no choice. But why sell the phones and let customers have to wait until Verizon clears it instead of just getting the testing done and letting users know this is coming later.

I think we’ll hear more about this closer to the actual launch date in a month or so.

Indeed, we will hear more about this.

At least one Windows 10 flagship will be listed on Verizon (VZ, VZW), Sprint (S), and US Cellular, and that is the Acer Liquid Jade Primo. As mentioned, Acer has activated CDMA radios and they’re gonna force Verizon – as well as Sprint and US Cellular – to list it.

Windows Phone Reddit