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Seems that it is most likely to be useful if you are reprogramming a handset after moving it to a new carrier.Have a look at this post (on pdaphonehome.com), and read the the details in the first responder's post... Also, this post on the Verizon forums eu1 Actually what it does is it updates roaming capabilities for vzw users.Since the merger with Altell, there have been a lot of updates that move customers over to the Verizon towers, or vice versa.
(That is, it may not need to be done more than once in the life of the phone, assuming you don't change carriers.) Anybody that knows of an online Verizon document that says that this should be done with any regularity, or even more than once - post up the link! The Verizon Rep scans your phone box to get the ESN number from your phone in order to associate that phone with your current number or new number that they have set up.I did it on my phone, (both menu option 1 and 2), and it appears to only affect the PRL.In your particular situation - traveling (and possibly in rural areas with Mom n' Pop cell systems), it might have some benefit periodically as Verizon adds or drops roaming partners.I don't know how often that actually occurs in any given region though.It might well be that if you see a new PRL # after an update, it means that something changed with one of Verizon's roaming partners in Idaho - but that has no practical significance if you are in any of the other 49 states.