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CDMA Version

Currently there is no such version planned.
The reason is simple:
Openmoko is about free phones.
We are currently not aware of any carrier using CDMA and supplying R-UIM (smartcards, similar to SIM cards in GSM networks).
Every phone needs to be provisioned by the carrier itself.
Most CDMA phones do not even have a R-UIM slot it seems.
Thus a CDMA Version is currently not feasible.

Verizon Wireless recently announced their ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ option for their customers in 2008. With this announcement, a CDMA2K-EVDO-based Openmoko has become a distinct possibility.

If you notice and belive me that "LTE is a GSM technology," it does not seem like CDMA is going to be around for much longer. That is, unless you consider that the OFDMA based LTE has as much technical connection to TDMA (GSM) as to CDMA, so chips can be and are being developed to adapt it to both lines of development. Anyone with Verizon should probably just wait until the switch is made. Unless you consider that there will be both (CDMA) EV-DO based, and W-CDMA (UTMS/HSPA) based LTE phones on the market as seen here:

2009-02-17 update: I just inquired from Verizon customer service about using Openmoko on Verizon's network...

To learn more about ODI [Open Developer Initiative], please visit the following link:

I am sorry that I cannot confirm if the equipment you are looking into is compatible with the Verizon Wireless network. Other equipment can be activated, provided it is compatible with the Verizon Wireless Network. Verizon Wireless uses the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) digital network, and requires a GPS enabled device to ensure it meets E911 requirements. Future plans we offer will also be using the CDMA network as well.

Although a wireless device may be compatible with our network, we cannot guarantee the equipment's performance, nor can we honor the manufacturer's warranty on wireless devices not purchased through Verizon Wireless or one of our authorized agents.

So, contrary to the "CDMA is [not] not going to be around" statement above, it seems Verizon still plans to be using CDMA. For Openmoko to work on Verizon, it also seems this means someone needs to do the work to integrate CDMA support onto Openmoko and get it certified by Verizon (as described in their FAQ,


This page is to suggest the possibility of a CDMA version of the Openmoko and see if there would be any interest in accomplishing this:

Leave your nickname here if you are interested in a CDMA version.

  1. NeoSpawn -- Being a current Verizon wireless user, they use a CDMA system, and so I would very much buy Openmoko if it is a phone that I have full access. This would be unheard of, and honestly I think this would take off like a wildfire
  2. dyous87 -- CDMA support for carriers such as Verizon wireless is all I would need to get this phone. If this comes out I would get it without having to think twice.
  3. SteveoSupremo -- I am willing and able to do hardware design. And if FIC wants it I will sign a NDA.
  4. Ryuch 06:48, 26 October 2007 (CEST)
  5. Andronov Philipp 27 October 2007 it would be greate to have CDMA smartphone
  6. brusstoc Nov 2007 - I am interested. (if this is an 'open' phone, then we should not eliminate carriers just because they are short-sighted, right?)
  7. artlex Nov 27th 2007 - Now that Verizon has decided to open up their CDMA network to all device makers in 2008 (for a 'small' fee), isn't this very desirable? In my area Verizon coverage is superior to all others. (
  8. aesiamun Mar 11th 2008 - Acutally Verizon is moving to a GSM network. They are building out a GSM-based network called LTE
  9. RyanT5000 05:20, 28 November 2007 (CET) - I'm currently locked into a Verizon plan, and this phone seems clearly superior to all the Verizon phones (except for slide-out keyboards, which some prefer). If I understand correctly, Sprint's selection is almost as bad. Openmoko could capture a huge segment of the CDMA high-end phone market, especially since there's no indication that a CDMA iPhone will be released any time soon.
  10. Endingexodus Feb, 9th 2008 - As I currently use Verizon, I would very much like to see a Verizon compatible phone, I am in agreement with brusstoc, in which if openmoko is truly open, it would be compatible with as many carriers as possible. A higher price for a more specialized phone would not be terrible.
  11. Swagger March 1st, 2008 - I'm currently a Sprint customer and I would LOVE a CDMA version of this phone. The current selection of smart phones is crap.
  12. derekv March 22nd, 08 - Verizon Customer, I get good service with Verizon but their selection of phones is terrible. At the moment they only have one linux based phone, which is their cdma/gsm "worldphone". I'm curious to see how this "any device" thing is going to pan out. It could change everything. Having not looked at the hardware design, would it be possible for a phone to be configurable for different networks by having hardware modules? Even if the phone had to be taken apart, it would allow you to switch networks and travel more easily, as well as upgrade, while not having to pay for networks you don't want -- ideally -- perhaps -- maybe --
  13. sarumont March 24th, 2008 - I'm currently a Sprint customer and I would LOVE a CDMA version of this phone. My HTC Touch is horrible, but the GSM carriers in the US are worse.
  14. heathhey April 14th 2008 - I would gladly pay $600 for a cdma freerunner. I am moving to a rural area that is only serviced by CDMA carriers (Verizon, Sprint, Alltel). I'm currently trying to decide which of verizon's terrible phones I want to be saddled with for the next two years, and I would much rather it be the FreeRunner.
  15. wldtazm4 April 20th 2008 - I would be so happy if they opened it up for cdma I love verizon, but they don't have any phones that I like. this phone is an awsome phone by the looks of runner all the way!
  16. 5m0k3 May 11th 2008 - Alltel
  17. Will June 3rd 2008 - Telus Mobility. Most of Canada is now using CDMA (EVDO) for it's phone networks and this functionality would be very beneficial for me. The area I live in only has CDMA networks.
  18. bakytn June 23rd 2008 - I would be very happy if there will be Openmoko for CDMA (EVDO). Can't find right phone for my needs. Openmoko is great! :D
  19. slick666 June 26th 2008 - I would definitely be interested in a CDMA phone. I'm currently on Verizon Wireless in the USA as well as many of my friends and family so to have an Openmoko on CDMA would be a definite sell for me.
  20. Mjpatey 23:39, 13 July 2008 (UTC) - Very interested! I think you'll find that, though Verizon is very closed and proprietary, they have a lot of customers. To ignore them on an ideological basis seems self-defeating.
  21. Bill McGonigle 2008-07-15 - In the US, with Verizon at least, if you want to change phones, you call a toll-free number and give the operator the ESN. That's it. I'm not sure that's such a terrible affront to freedom, despite being a minor inconvenience. The phone itself can do anything - both Windows Mobile and PalmOS phone are available that are completely unrestricted. Due to poor penetration of 3GPP in the US, not supporting CDMA probably reduces the addressable market by about 40%. LTE will start to ease this in perhaps four years. Until then, lots of folks won't be hacking on Openmoko who otherwise could be.
  22. clovis - 8/10/2008 - Where I live in the states T-Mobile is not available, and the only other (major) GSM carrier we have here is AT&T, and I can't in good conscience give my money to them, what with the constant invasion of privacy and all. So I'm stuck. Otherwise I'd buy a FreeRunner today. A CDMA Openmoko phone would be quite welcome.
  23. Radar - 8/29/2008 - On Verizon. It's time for me to update phones, and I'd love to have a CDMA OpenMoko phone.
  24. stozi - 9/15/2008 - In China CDMA service uses R-UIM cards. I think Korea too, where CDMA is dominant. In Canada CDMA service is superior to GSM. I've read Telus has hired a firm to develop R-UIM cards for them. CDMA emits lower radiation and drops calls less often. Who knows when 4G, LTE will see the light of day. It is called Long Term Evolution. GSM is based on TDMA, Most UMTS, including HSPA, is based on W-CDMA, and LTE is based on OFDA & SC-FDMA, so I don't think you can say that, while developed with UMTS in mind, LTE is better suited to GSM than it is to CDMA. It will not be a factor causing CDMA to die off any faster than GSM, since chips handling combinations of LTE with both are being developed.
  25. Carpy - 11/13/2008 - Sprint. Currently using an Instinct. Really wanting a Linux-based Sprint phone like the Instinct.
  26. Leptogenesis - 11/21/2008 - Currently using Verizon, and would very much like to use OpenMoko. Does anyone know what happened to the "Any apps, Any Device" deal that Verizon promised would happen in 2008? If Openmoko supported CDMA, would it actually be possible to use it on Verizon's network?
  27. pete With respect to CDMA and it's relevance in the market is un-important; since some consider it a dying / dead technology. Now for the record there are some of the largest carriers use CDMA and some are migrating to GSM. However, there are several smaller companies that offer cellular service at reduced cost using CDMA. Here is a short list of CDMA carriers: US Cellular, Cricket Communications, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile. Since these smaller carriers use CDMA they can under cut prices for cellular services. By reducing prices in the market for cellular service; GSM companies are forced to compete with price. These independent companies are putting price pressure on the larger companies; so in effect by supporting CDMA will put pressure on GSM companies to reduce prices. Just for reference purposes; please check out some of the pricing plans for the 3 CDMA carriers that I have listed. You will note that there are unlimited calling packages for $30 USD and up. The debate between causation verse correlation can be brought into the picture; however, I will leave this topic with the thought that there is a strong correlation; with the strong disclaimer: Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations notes that competition brings efficiencies and reduction in costs in the market place. In addition by supporting more carries we will in effect support competition in the cellular markets and reduce the effects of the monopolies and oligopoly. I can say one thing for certain. There is a major convergence of Cellular companies (Oligopolies); which will lead to less efficiencies and higher prices in the US. One final thought; OpenMoko will be able to sell more phone to more people for use on more networks. End result; you will be pushing the adoption of using unlocked, vendor & carrier independent phones in the market place. Here is one link to various providers with support for CDMA and other cellular technologies here in the US [1]

Open Cell phones (hardware and software), unlocked cell phone, carrier independences, etcetera can be consider to be a disruptive technology or at a minimum and evolutionary step. In my humble opinion this would give the complacent cellular world a much needed kick in the pants.

On a related note: The smaller CDMA carriers might be more open to selling unlocked phones to their perspective consumers. Just a thought; not sure about how realistic it would be to be able to change between CDMA carriers. Just a thought on potentially expanding the distribution of OpenMoko.

PS: For CDMA and their frequencies: CDMA 800, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz networks. Some of the carriers that I am looking at are at 2100 MHz; for what it's worth.

Sorry, about my long winded pseudo dissertation on market forces and economics.

  1. tlhonmey October 2012 - It's been four years since CDMA was called "dying" and there are still a number of carriers that don't support anything else. The settings having to be programmed by the service provider seems rather trivial on an open hardware phone where, worst-case, a user could replace the CDMA module entirely if a provider decided to be a jerk.
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