A couple of weeks ago a modder was shocked to discover that Verizon’s HTC Rezound worked on international GSM networks with a SIM card and a little tweaking. It looks like the Rezound isn’t the only Verizon LTE device hiding a surprise: the latest update to the Motorola DROID XYBOARD tablets turns on the feature as well. Download the update from Verizon’s servers by checking for it in the settings menu on either the XYBOARD 10.1 or 8.2, and your tablet should be able to roam on nearly any cellular network in the world. Previously the FCC published the GSM capability, but it was disabled at the time.
Other minor improvements include refinements to the 10.1’s included stylus, faster browser performance, better switching between WiFi and cellular networks, and a complete lack of Ice Cream Sandwich. But the worldwide roaming is the interesting part, since that technically makes the XYBOARD tablets Verizon’s first official international LTE devices. (The Rezound doesn’t really count, since it requires some fairly extensive modifications to work fully.) That certainly implies that more are on the way, or perhaps waiting to be unlocked with a similar update.
This begs the question: why isn’t Verizon advertising the fact that three of its high-profile Android devices can work internationally? It was a big deal a couple of years ago – the DROID 2 got a complete re-release as the DROID 2 Global with only the radio changed. It could be that Verizon simply doesn’t have the marketing materials ready to start advertising international LTE devices. If that’s the case, it’s reasonable to expect a push in the late spring or early summer.