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I am buying an iPhone 5 in the US to use in Spain. Should I go for the AT&T's A1428 GSM model or the Verizon's A1429 CDMA one?

Spain does not currently have LTE band, so the only concern is whether the CDMA works in Spain's GSM and 3G networks.


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You might want to check out the technical specifications at – Daniel Oct 2 '12 at 17:54
Martin, Did you ever get a phone and use it in Spain? I am wondering because my cousin wants me to bring her one. What service did you end up using? and was there any modifications (rooting, unlocking etc) that had to be done? – user57626 Sep 20 '13 at 15:00
@RayCollazo welcome to Ask Different. You can see in the answers below that an answer was accepted. It's the answer with the green check mark on it. That was the answer that the person asking the question felt best answered it. – Ian C. Sep 20 '13 at 15:24
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Verizon ships its iPhone 5 unlocked, and it operates on the LTE bands that are typically used in Europe. The "GSM" model sold in North America is restricted to LTE bands that are currently only used in Canada and the US. Both models can operate fine on 3G GSM networks.

As far as I can tell, while there was an LTE spectrum auction in Spain last year, the precise bands to be used haven't been published yet, but the Verizon (CDMA) seems to be more useful currently, and may be more likely to work on future LTE networks in Spain (but this is far from guaranteed, unless someone can find the exact bands to be used).

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I am still confused. CDMA unlocked means it will work in the GSM bands used in Spain? – martin Oct 2 '12 at 20:38
Yes, the "CDMA" iPhone 5 (like the 4S) still has GSM technology built in, I should have made that clearer, sorry. – robmathers Oct 2 '12 at 20:42
Thanks! It so looks that the CDMA one is then a better option, since it will have the GSM capacities of the AT&T model plus support for European LTE bands (and maybe those in Spain too). – martin Oct 2 '12 at 20:46
Finally you got the Verizon one? We arent sure about the LTe bands that are going to be avialable in spain right?so the verizon one will work as long as in spain we have gsm 3g or 3.5g? – user31731 Oct 13 '12 at 17:42

This is what I found;

Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange have won Spain's LTE auction held last week by the Spanish Ministry of Industry. Operators paid €1.65bn between them for 800MHz and 2.6GHz licenses.

Vodafone Spain bid successfully for a total of 20 MHz (2x10 MHz) in the 800 MHz band and 40 MHz (2x20MHz) in 2.6 GHz band for a total consideration of €518 million (£454 million).

Telefonica won 5 blocks in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands. The total cost of the five blocks amounts to €668.3 million.

The 800 MHz ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available in 2014 after the switchover from analogue to all-digital TV broadcasting in Spain. The 2.6 GHz spectrum band is immediately available for use.

Orange has not disclosed the details yet.

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