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Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WiFi While Off-Network

I was talking to a colleague who's on VZ just the other day and telling him about Google Voice and an app called MobileVoIP. I suggested the latter might be a way to save money when he was travelling. He told me that when he was in Europe with his VZ smartphone (don't know what flavour), the phone wouldn't let him connect to WiFi systems because he had no data connection.

Do (some) Verizon smartphones prevent you from establishing WiFi connections if you're not connected to a wireless (phone) data network?

Jim

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Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was curious about your question so I tested it with an android phone I have that was not being used with any mobile network. I have a Verizon OG Droid that belonged to my daughter. She upgraded to a Droid 4 in February and her mobile account was moved to that cellphone. So the OG Droid was left in a "clean ESN - ready to be activated to Verizon" state. I just got it out of the closet and tried to use it with our house wifi (cable high speed internet access). It found the wifi network quickly and logged in fine when I put in the wifi password. The router assigned the OG Droid a proper IP address and I can get online with the normal browser and access google, amazon, etc on normal wifi speed. I also went into the cellphone settings and purposely disabled the "Data Enabled" selection of the "Mobile Network" option just to ensure that it would not even try to access the Verizon data stream even though it should really not be able to do so since there is no active Verizon account attached to this cellphone. The wifi worked flawlessly throughout. Then I tested out some apps that essentially require data access to operate properly, like Amazon Appstore and Youtube. They also loaded and ran absolutely fine. Now, the OG Droid is a 3G device only and not 4G capable. I don't know if the wifi connection of a 4G cellphone would work in the absence of connection to a mobile data network since I don't have a 4G cellphone to test with. I only mention this because 4G cellphones require a 4G simcard to work (at least the Verizon ones do) and I don't know if that may impact wifi connections when the mobile (Verizon) data stream is not accessible. But in my test, the 3G OG Droid definitely can establish a wifi connection in the absence of access to a mobile data network.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Interesting. Thanks for the info, SBMom93.

He was in Europe or Asia, on a non-world 3G phone. I'll have to ask him if he has a better recollection of the error message he was getting.

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Old September 3rd, 2012, 11:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My old HTC Droid Eris and my husband's Droid Pro both worked on wifi while we were traveling in Europe. And we kept them in airplane mode with wifi enabled to be sure they did not try to connect to a mobile network -- not that my Eris could have since it is CDMA.
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