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[HOWTO] Droid 4 on GSM / UMTS

OP Lum_UK

11th July 2012, 09:50 PM   |  #1  
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The Droid 4, if running ICS or Jelly Bean, works fine on GSM/UMTS networks outside the USA. I have working voice, GPRS (2G), EDGE (2.5G), UMTS (3G), and HSPA (3.5G). 4G/LTE is unlikely to work at it appears this phone only supports 700MHz LTE wheras most countries are using higher frequencies.

This phone will not work on any GSM carriers in the USA, such as T-Mobile USA or AT&T. Verizon appear to have specifically blocked these carriers in the radio firmware. They only allow you to use your phone on GSM outside the USA. There is no unlock code to get around this. If you want to use this on a US GSM carrier then subscribe to this thread for the latest on efforts to unlock this. There are also reports of failures on B-Mobile in Japan. Post #3 contains a list of known working vs not-working carriers. Please update this thread, or PM me, with any results and I will keep it updated.

Back in 2012 the phone cost me 328 from a company called Devices Now, plus 35 in customs fees, bringing the total to 363, which really isn't bad compared to the prices that contract-free phones cost in the UK. It took just under a week to arrive, of which 4 days was stuck in UK customs!
Update: They're now selling it used for $99, which is probably about 60!

Devices Now offer this phone pre-flashed to ICS so you get GSM support out of the box! Some other suppliers appear to still be shipping Gingerbread based phones which will need to be upgraded as described a bit further down in this post.

Instructions for phones currently running ICS or JB
  1. If you do not currently have a MicroSIM, get a stanley knife or sciscors and cut your SIM to size.
  2. Insert your MicroSIM and Power the phone on.
  3. Go through the Verizon activation process, which will fail.
  4. Go to Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Network Mode.
  5. Set mode to GSM/UMTS.
  6. Go to Access Point Names and set up the APN for your carrier.
Congratulations your phone should now be working on GSM and you can stop reading at this point if you wish.

Upgrading or reinstalling ICS or JB (Required to support GSM) - also read this if you have bricked your phone!

>>> DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DOWNGRADE YOUR PHONE WITH THIS METHOD, UPGRADE OR SAME VERSION ONLY - BRICK RISK! <<<

Prerequisites: Windows PC, USB cable, at least 50% charge in the battery as the battery will not charge during this process!
If your phone is currently bricked to the point that it will not charge, you will need to flash using a factory cable. These can be bought on eBay etc. or you can make one. Read all about the factory cable here.
  1. Download the fastboot files for the version of the OS you want. 4.0.4 = ICS, 4.1.2 = JB.
  2. Download and install RSDLite 6.1.6.
  3. Download and install the Motorola USB Drivers.
  4. Power off your phone.
  5. Hold the volume up, volume down, and power buttons at the same time until you see the bootloader menu.
  6. Use the volume down button to navigate to "Recovery" then use the volume up button to select it.
  7. When you see the android/triangle, press both volume buttons together.
  8. Select "wipe data/factory reset" and on the next screen select "Yes -- delete all user data".
  9. Once it's finished, select "reboot system now" then immediately press both volume buttons until you see the bootloader menu.
  10. Connect your phone to your PC via USB.
  11. Use the volume down button to navigate to "AP Fastboot" then use the volume up button to select it.
  12. Open RSDLite, press the "..." button at the top, and select the fastboot image .zip file.
  13. Select "Decompress And Start Flashing" and wait for the process to finish (it will take around 20-30 minutes).
  14. Once the process is complete, reboot.
  15. Go through the Verizon activation process which will fail.
  16. Go to Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Network Mode..
  17. Set mode to GSM/UMTS.
  18. Go to Access Point Names and add the APN for your carrier
Upgrading to Jelly Bean from ICS using the OTA update

Prerequisites: Windows PC, USB cable, unmodified ICS installed.
  1. Download the OTA here and save it to the root of your SD card
  2. Power off your phone.
  3. Hold the volume up, volume down, and power buttons at the same time until you see the bootloader menu.
  4. Use the volume down button to navigate to "Recovery" then use the volume up button to select it.
  5. When you see the android/triangle, press both volume buttons together.
  6. Using the volume keys, navigate to "Apply update from external storage" and select it with the power button.
  7. Select the OTA you downloaded at step 1 and press the power button.
  8. After flashing, select "Reboot system now".
If the update failed, then use the fastboot method above instead.

Rooting and further modification

The first thing to do is go to Settings -> Developer Options -> Enable USB Debugging, then obtain root using Droid 4 Utility for ICS or the Razr Blade exploit for JB.

I strongly suggest installing Safestrap and dual-booting a custom ROM, even if it is just a debloated stock ROM, then removing the Verizon CDMA-related APK files as this fixes several annoyances with the phone such as the "This SIM is from an unknown source" message at every boot. You do not want to mess too much with the stock ROM as at best it will hamper your ability to get further updates at worst you could brick your phone.

Adding other languages to the stock ROM (or a stock-based ROM)

See this thread, or alternatively install Mentor's ROM for a stock-based ROM with all languages enabled.

Note that non-stock ROMs are typically based on CyanogenMod and will come with all languages already.

Installing a custom ROM.

At the time of writing there are several ICS and Jelly Bean based ROMs available. Unlike other phones these are loaded using Safestrap which interrupts the boot process shortly after the stock ROM's kernel is loaded and allows you to dual or multi-boot your phone.

Hashcode maintains ports of both AOKP and CyanogenMod 10, both of which use the same low level framework and come out of the box configured for CDMA use. Pick whichever of these ROMs you like best. Personally I'm an AOKP fangirl :3

Note that at the time of writing Hashcode's ROMs currently do not support HDMI, webtop or camera flash.

For all ROMs, use this GSM patch, unless the ROM specifies that it is a GSM ROM already.

Olegfusion has made a modified version of the stock ICS ROM. It is pre-configured for GSM use, including all the APNs, adds Russian language, and has most if not all of the bloatware removed.

MyFishBear has released a debloated stock ICS ROM. It is CDMA by default but there is an optional GSM patch by Olegfusion. It works fine, but you will need to manually remove the 5 VZW APKs.

Shameless plug, but I've made a debloated GSM-oriented version of the stock JB ROM.

There are lots of other ROMs available in the developer's forum. This list is almost certainly out of date as it's not feasible for me to keep this list up to date, I have only linked to ROMs I have personally tried. Note that stock-based ICS ROMs will not work if you have upgraded to JB. Kexec ROMs will work regardless of what your stock ROM is.

Prerequisites: Running ICS or JB.
  1. Obtain root as described above.
  2. Install Safestrap.
  3. Download your chosen ROM and any patches necessary.
  4. Download GApps 2012-04-29 for ICS roms and GApps 2012-07-29 for JB 4.1.
  5. Place both on your SD card. Internal or external should work, though I have only tested external.
  6. Run the Safestrap app and have it install it's bootloader.
  7. Reboot, press Menu when prompted to enter Safestrap.
  8. Select ROM Slot 1
  9. Choose Install
  10. Select your ROM, GApps and any other patches (GSM patch, cdrom patch etc.)
  11. Wipe data and cache and reboot.
    If you are using CDMA or the GSM patch above, stop here. For manually setting up GSM support in non-stock ROMs, read on:
  12. Go through the Verizon activation process, which will hang for 5 minutes then fail.
  13. Go through the rest of the usual setup process. You will need to connect to a wireless network.
  14. Install Build.prop editor.
  15. Use Build.prop editor to change the following and reboot:
    telephony.lteOnCdmaDevice=0
    persist.ril.modem.mode =2
    ro.telephony.default_network=3
    ro.mot.phonemode.vzwglobalphone=1
    persist.radio.vzw.cdma.mdn=deleted
    ro.telephony.gsm-routes-us-smsc = 0
    persist.radio.ap.phonetype=1
    ro.mot.phonemode.vzw4gphone=0
  16. You should now be able to access Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> More -> Mobile networks and set up the appropriate APNs for your carrier, if the phone does not already have them.
Fixing the "This SIM is from an unknown source" error in stock-based ROMs

If you're never intending to use the phone on Verizon, you can get rid of this error by opening terminal emulator and running:
su
mount -o remount,rw /system
cd /system/app
mv VzwPhoneService.apk VzwPhoneService.bak

You may as well do the same with VzwController.apk VzwDeviceSetup.apk and vzwapnpermission.apk, but leave VzwEntitlementService.apk as it's needed for mobile hotspot to work.

Credits:
Skylarmb for Droid4 utility.
Hashcode for Safestrap and for porting AOKP and CyanogenMod.
Olegfusion for his ROM, the cdrom patch and a lot of the info about GSM support and removing Verizon crud.
MyFishBear for the 217-based ROM and for hosting the JB OTA.
SGMD1 for the ICS flashing instructions.
Mentor.37 for the GSM patch, the build.prop settings and his multi-language ROM.

All I have really done is gathered the information and software produced by these people and put it in one place. Go and donate to them if you are currently enjoying using this phone in a GSM country.
Last edited by Lum_UK; 6th August 2014 at 11:21 PM.
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12th July 2012, 09:50 AM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lum_UK

Ok, it's well documented that the ICS leaks work fine outside the US, but the info of how to install them is scattered around multiple threads. I have just imported a Droid 4 from the USA and decided to document every step I had to go through to get this phone working on T-Mobile UK. Hopefully it is useful to someone.

Almost the same story here in Russia, I got Droid 4 (about $580).
All steps which you described totally correct, but I was flashing 208 leak before, and then move to 213. (separate story and a little bit harder than just update from sd card)
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12th July 2012, 12:53 PM   |  #3  
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List of GSM carriers known to work

Austraila
- Vodafone

Canada
- Rogers Wireless
- Fido
- Chatr Wireless

Chile
- Virgin Mobile
- VTR

Czech Republic
- O2
- T-Mobile
- Vodafone

France
- Bouygues Telekom

Ireland
- 3
- Vodafone

Italy
- TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)

The Netherlands
- T-Mobile
- Vodafone (Warning: see note below)

Poland
- Orange

Russian Federation
- МегаФон (MegaFon)

Sweden
- Halebop
- Telia

Switzerland
- Orange
- Sunrise
- Swisscom

United Kingdom
- Giffgaff
- O2
- Orange
- T-Mobile
- Vodafone

List of carriers known to not work

The Netherlands
- Vodafone
"This doesn't work anymore for the new RED from vodafone. We will have to wait for a solution... Vodafone is working out something so Red users can have 2G/3G. "
"Internet is now working for RED subscription normaly. And for BEL-SMS-WEB you still need access to the office.apn."

Japan
- B-Mobile

United States of America
- AT&T
- T-Mobile
Note: Any other US GSM or CDMA carrier other than Verizon is also unlikely to work.
Last edited by Lum_UK; 15th January 2014 at 07:59 PM.
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12th July 2012, 01:44 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lum_UK

It should work for any GSM/3G country. I only made the thread because of how scattered the documentation is, and certain key information (such as the location of those Motorola USB drivers) is missing from some of the threads. Therefore I figured I'd document everything about the process to save others the hassle.

Moving to another build I'm sure will be more complicated, and one I figure that out, I'll do something similar in this thread, if nobody else does so first!

But first I need to figure out how to get rid of the spyware and Verizon bloat

Make sense and do not forget to enable stock hotspot (: Finally I was able to switch this on using SQLite (:
12th July 2012, 03:13 PM   |  #5  
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Edit: Moved the content of this post into the OP.
Last edited by Lum_UK; 25th July 2012 at 03:33 PM.
12th July 2012, 06:24 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lum_UK

Ok, it's well documented that the ICS leaks work fine outside the US, but the info of how to install them is scattered around multiple threads. I have just imported a Droid 4 from the USA and decided to document every step I had to go through to get this phone working on T-Mobile UK. Hopefully it is useful to someone.

I have working voice, GPRS and HSDPA (3.5G). I have not been able to test EDGE (2.5G) or UTMS (3G) but I see no reason why they won't work.

Prerequisites: Windows PC, USB Cable, SD Card, Wireless network

  1. Install Motorola USB drivers from http://www.theandroidsoul.com/motoro...-recovery-etc/ Do not download droid 4 utility from here!
  2. Download and unzip Droid 4 Utility from: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1522911
  3. Boot up your new phone. Skip the Verizon activation process by tapping in all 4 corners of the app (not whole screen, just the main black area), one after the other in a clockwise direction, starting from the top left. Keep going until the app force closes.
  4. You will get a whole bunch of nag screens, about backups and stuff, cancel them all. One of them will hang trying to connect to a server so hit the back button to get rid of it.
  5. Enable USB debugging: Apps -> Settings -> Applications -> Application development
  6. Plug the phone into your PC and use Droid 4 utility to root it (option 3)
  7. Install OTA Rootkeeper from the market (over wireless) and start it
  8. Choose Protect Root, Temp Unroot, Root
  9. Download the latest ICS leak from: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dro...ics-build-droi...
  10. extract the zip to get another zip and put that on the root of your SD Card. At the time of writing this will be called: Blur_Version.6.13.219.XT894.Verizon.en.US.zip. Copy this to your SD card and insert the SD card into your phone.
  11. Power down phone
  12. Hold both volume buttons, press power
  13. Press vol down then vol up to select recovery
  14. When the ! triangle appears, press both volume buttons
  15. Press vol down then power to select apply update from sdcard
  16. Select the zip file you extracted and copied over in step 10. It will take a long time to flash
  17. Select "reboot" using the power button. First boot will take a long time.
  18. Go through the google setup process if necessary
  19. Run OTA Rootkeeper, and restore root
  20. Power down the phone
  21. Insert your MicroSIM and power up the phone. If you do not currently have a MicroSIM, get a stanley knife and fix this.
  22. Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Network Mode: Set mode to GSM/UMTS

The phone cost me 328 from an eBay seller, plus 35 in customs fees, bringing the total to 363, which really isn't bad compared to the prices that contract-free phones cost in the UK. It took just under a week to arrive.

Hopefully this is useful to someone.

Quick unrelated question. I am travelling to London in October for a week. Which network do you recommend for prepaid? Was thinking of giffgaff.
12th July 2012, 11:29 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanGuy

Quick unrelated question. I am travelling to London in October for a week. Which network do you recommend for prepaid? Was thinking of giffgaff.

Giffgaff only do SIMs in the post and they are sometimes quite slow to arrive. It will be ok if you know in advance where you are staying (e.g. with friends of family)

It's also worth noting the reward scheme they do where if another member provides a SIM then both you and the new member get 5 credit. It makes a lot of people on the Giffgaff forum very keen to praise the network and help you get a SIM. I had one guy who has a stockpile of them offer to send me one in first class post when I posted complaining about delivery times.

I mention this because if you post up where you are staying, and ask if anyone is nearby who could pop a SIM around, you might get a few bites.


As for other pre-pay carriers, no idea sorry, I've always gone with contract until now. The big 3 networks (O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere*) all have high street shops where you can probably buy a SIM**. There are other networks you can try too. 3 are the independent one, but they're a bit crappy (almost certainly fine in London though) and any other mobile network you find will be piggybacking on one of the big 3 e.g. Giffgaff are really O2.

I'd probably go with one of the O2 based networks myself, but London will be well covered by all of them, so go with the cheapest!


*Created after the merger of T-Mobile and Orange.

**I really have no idea if this is possible, probably best to check in advance.
Last edited by Lum_UK; 13th July 2012 at 04:48 AM.
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13th July 2012, 04:59 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lum_UK

Giffgaff only do SIMs in the post and they are sometimes quite slow to arrive. It will be ok if you know in advance where you are staying (e.g. with friends of family)

It's also worth noting the reward scheme they do where if another member provides a SIM then both you and the new member get 5 credit. It makes a lot of people on the Giffgaff forum very keen to praise the network and help you get a SIM. I had one guy who has a stockpile of them offer to send me one in first class post when I posted complaining about delivery times.

I mention this because if you post up where you are staying, and ask if anyone is nearby who could pop a SIM around, you might get a few bites.


As for other pre-pay carriers, no idea sorry, I've always gone with contract until now. The big 3 networks (O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere*) all have high street shops where you can probably buy a SIM**. There are other networks you can try too. 3 are the independent one, but they're a bit crappy (almost certainly fine in London though) and any other mobile network you find will be piggybacking on one of the big 3 e.g. Giffgaff are really O2.

I'd probably go with one of the O2 based networks myself, but London will be well covered by all of them, so go with the cheapest!


*Created after the merger of T-Mobile and Orange.

**I really have no idea if this is possible, probably best to check in advance.

Yes, you can buy SIMs in the store without issue. I bought Talkmobile ones from CarfoneWarehouse, which were the cheapest at the time (for calls to the US). At Heathrow, you can also buy SIMs from vending machines.
13th July 2012, 07:25 PM   |  #9  
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Hey guys you might wanted to check out the link in my signature. It's the original tool with some additions to jump from one leak to another, root ics and some other goodies.

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
14th July 2012, 02:58 PM   |  #10  
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On both the ICS leak AOKP and CM9 builds (tried 20120709 and 200120713), I get com.android.phone force closing if I try to make a call after setting that build.prop setting, and without that setting I don't get data. Earlier this morning I just got a call with no audio in either direction.

This is weird as it was working fine yesterday. Stock ROM also works fine.
Last edited by Lum_UK; 25th July 2012 at 03:35 PM.

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