I tried it, even though I am in a 3G area. The screen was dark the first time I turned it on and I could not adjust it brighter. The second time the screen came up normally. As to the problem with the white bars and the reported signal coming and going. I have had that issue for the last three days (in 3G). I think the network has something to do with it too, since I am suggesting it often occurs in 3G.
As to the SIM card, unless they are miss using it, the card only have ID information on it. At least that is what Verizon is publishing.
4G SIM Information