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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:22 PM   #1
onthecouchagain
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T-Mobile iPhone

Does anyone know or can wager an educated guess whether or not the "T-Mobile iPhone" will be just an unlocked iPhone 5, or will it be a specially produced T-Mobile phone.

No, right? It'll just be the unlocked GSM version since Tmobile is refarming to match the iPhone antennas, and not Apple to match Tmobile's air waves, right?

Sorry if I got that all wrong.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 11:22 PM   #2
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If it's not it really should be since it will be retail price and not subsidized from what I have read. The one I run on tmobile was apple/factory unlocked and so were all my friends that switched over. I wonder if there will be some lock on the people who buy it with the installment plan.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 03:53 AM   #3
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It will most likely be locked to T-Mobile like the other carriers. T-Mobile has no incentive to sell the phone unlocked out of the box.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 04:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CEmajr View Post
It will most likely be locked to T-Mobile like the other carriers. T-Mobile has no incentive to sell the phone unlocked out of the box.
Meaning that it would have to be tailored to T-Mobile's frequencies
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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Not necessarily. With their refarmed network their frequencies will be identical to AT&T. Apple isn't making an AWS iPhone for Tmobile. So it will pretty much be exactly the same as the AT&T iPhone 5 but carrier locked to Tmobile instead of AT&T. It works kind of the same way that the CDMA carriers have identical iPhones but they are carrier locked to each carrier. The only exception is Verizon because they are required to sell the iPhone 5 unlocked.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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However, if TMobile goes through with their plans to sell smart phones unsubsidized, then they don't have the argument of making up the subsidy as part of it.

However, I could see them selling it locked, and unlocking once it is fully paid for. So, if they do a deal where you buy the phone on $25/month payments (like Walmart is doing with the ST iPhone), it would be locked until it is paid for. But if you went ahead and used a credit card, as far as TMobile is concerned, it is paid for. Even if you stretch the credit card payments for the phone for 10 years (and thousands of dollars in interest
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 07:57 AM   #7
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Interesting stuff, all. Thanks. I just picked up an unlocked iPh5 from Apple and activated it with Tmo. Was just wondering if I might "miss out" on anything.

If being locked to Tmo is all I'll be missing out on, then it's all fine.

Will the Apple unlocked iPh5 ever run HSPA+ or 4G on Tmobile, then?
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 08:02 AM   #8
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Unlocked iPhones already get HSPA+ on Tmobile in the areas where they have refarmed their network. You'll be able to get LTE once Apple issues the carrier update that allows it to connect to their LTE network.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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Unlocked iPhones already get HSPA+ on Tmobile in the areas where they have refarmed their network. You'll be able to get LTE once Apple issues the carrier update that allows it to connect to their LTE network.

:O

I hope that is true. Great to hear. Any timeframe on that?
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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Tmobile says April for the iPhone so the carrier update has to be out around the same time.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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Tmobile says April for the iPhone so the carrier update has to be out around the same time.
Do you know if the update will be from Apple themselves or Tmobile? And will it undo jailbreak?
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Do you know if the update will be from Apple themselves or Tmobile? And will it undo jailbreak?
It will most likely just be a carrier settings update file or inclouded in an iOS 6.x.x update. If the latter, then yes, the jailbreak will be rendered useless.

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Old Mar 17, 2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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It will most likely just be a carrier settings update file or inclouded in an iOS 6.x.x update. If the latter, then yes, the jailbreak will be rendered useless.

Kevin
I see. Thank you. I guess we'll see in April...
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Old Mar 17, 2013, 11:38 AM   #14
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It will most likely be locked to T-Mobile like the other carriers. T-Mobile has no incentive to sell the phone unlocked out of the box.
Actually, I see no reason why they would care if a phone is unlocked. I got a Nexus 4 with a two year contract on T-Mobile and that phone is unlocked and is no different than if I had bought it straight from Google. So yes, T-Mobile does sell at least one unlocked phone currently.

I did cancel my two year contract after paying my first bill and went on a prepaid T-Mobile account. I just bought itfrom T-Mobile to get the phone for free and after the cancellation fee, was still cheaper than buying from Google.
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 02:08 PM   #15
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So, this is really good news, right? http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/18/41...ote-ii-to-take

I have a GSM unlocked iPhone 5 running on Tmobile. If this article is all correct, that means by the end of the month, I should be seeing HSPA+ and/or 4G on my iPhone, yes?

So far, it's only been Edge or 3G, and sadly, mostly Edge. :T
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 03:53 PM   #16
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About three weeks ago after getting my Nexus 4 activated on T-mobile, I tried using that sim in my iPhone 4S and only got 3G a few minutes before it changed back to edge.

Today I decided to try again and this time, my 4S has stayed on 3G for the past twelve hours and my speeds range anywhere from 1.5Mbps to 12Mbps. I live in a dead area for most providers. there is about a mile range where data just stops depending on where you are in that one mile area. There is a radio station tower a few miles west if here and I think it is so string that it wipes out cell phone reception. I kind of confirmed that more or less by using an XM radio that had a built in FM transmitter. Certain areas near that tower would wipe out the signal and this happened nowhere else in the city.

Strangely enough, after putting up with 0.00 - 50Kbps on AT&T for all these years that I had an iPhone, I realized that it is the iPhones configuration that was never allowing me to get better 3G speeds. I put the iPhone AT&T sim into my Nexus 4 and configured the APN to one that I found on a website and surprisingly would get on average 1.5-3Mbps on average on up to just under 10Mbps.

T-Mobile is the only network that works perfectly in my house to where I average 17-21Mbps on my Nexus 4. Wish I could get those speeds on the iPhone using that same sim.
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 06:28 PM   #17
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About three weeks ago after getting my Nexus 4 activated on T-mobile, I tried using that sim in my iPhone 4S and only got 3G a few minutes before it changed back to edge.

Today I decided to try again and this time, my 4S has stayed on 3G for the past twelve hours and my speeds range anywhere from 1.5Mbps to 12Mbps. I live in a dead area for most providers. there is about a mile range where data just stops depending on where you are in that one mile area. There is a radio station tower a few miles west if here and I think it is so string that it wipes out cell phone reception. I kind of confirmed that more or less by using an XM radio that had a built in FM transmitter. Certain areas near that tower would wipe out the signal and this happened nowhere else in the city.

Strangely enough, after putting up with 0.00 - 50Kbps on AT&T for all these years that I had an iPhone, I realized that it is the iPhones configuration that was never allowing me to get better 3G speeds. I put the iPhone AT&T sim into my Nexus 4 and configured the APN to one that I found on a website and surprisingly would get on average 1.5-3Mbps on average on up to just under 10Mbps.

T-Mobile is the only network that works perfectly in my house to where I average 17-21Mbps on my Nexus 4. Wish I could get those speeds on the iPhone using that same sim.
It's not the SIM's fault. It's more so the network. The 3G/4G (whatever you want to call it) that the iPhone is compatible with is different from the 3G/4G your nexus is connecting to.

Long story short, Your nexus is connecting to the 1700/2100 MHz 3G (which is more widely availiable; I should mention the nexus has the radio chip to support 1900 MHz 3G too) while your iPhone connects to the 1900 MHz 3G (which is currently very scarce and is still rolling out; should mention the iPhone has no radio chip to support 1700/2100 MHz 3G)

I hope I didn't get my info wrong
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 11:40 PM   #18
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Still not seeing my unlocked iPhone 5 get HSPA+ or anything beyond 3G as of yet in NYC.

And honestly, mostly I see "E". :T

Call quality is great though.
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 02:15 AM   #19
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Tmobile's refarmed network shows up as 3G on the iphone 5 from what I can tell. I believe only AT&T carrier files are programmed to have it say "4G" when its on HSPA+ and LTE when its on LTE.

So if your phone says "3g" when you have a tmobile sim in, you're already connecting to HSPA+ 21. You must be in an area that isn't completely refarmed or has the typical weak tmobile inside building problem if you're still seeing "E"
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 02:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by onthecouchagain View Post
Still not seeing my unlocked iPhone 5 get HSPA+ or anything beyond 3G as of yet in NYC.

And honestly, mostly I see "E". :T

Call quality is great though.
It is all about the carrier bundle brah! Even if you get 4G aka HSPA+ it will still show 3G on tmobile!

Unless Apple and tmobile working together to get the carrier bundle update like AT&T did.
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 08:10 AM   #21
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Tmobile's refarmed network shows up as 3G on the iphone 5 from what I can tell. I believe only AT&T carrier files are programmed to have it say "4G" when its on HSPA+ and LTE when its on LTE.

So if your phone says "3g" when you have a tmobile sim in, you're already connecting to HSPA+ 21. You must be in an area that isn't completely refarmed or has the typical weak tmobile inside building problem if you're still seeing "E"
Really? That's very interesting. So when I see 3G it is really hspa? So will the speeds ever get better? Will 3G ever mean lte? And if so when would that be?

Thanks for the info.
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 08:30 AM   #22
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I'm in NYC I'm getting HSPA+ average 10Mbs in Manhattan, 13.5Mbs in queens. Keep in mind HSPA+ is 3G, you will not see a 4G icon.
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 09:01 AM   #23
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I'm in NYC I'm getting HSPA+ average 10Mbs in Manhattan, 13.5Mbs in queens. Keep in mind HSPA+ is 3G, you will not see a 4G icon.
By golly you guys are right. I just did a speed test and I got over 8mbs. Wish it was even higher but that's certainly not 3G. I just wish it would maintain signal better. I often see it switch to edge. Unless E means 3G?

So my question is: when tmobile rolls put lte will we get even faster speeds?
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 09:07 AM   #24
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So my question is: when tmobile rolls put lte will we get even faster speeds?
LTE is suppose to be faster, but it all depends on a number of factors. Implementation, area, capacity, etc.

I've been in areas where you're better off using Edge instead of 3G, even though 3G is suppose to be better.

Granted, LTE would be pretty useless if it didn't work properly - so yes, it should be faster.
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 09:10 AM   #25
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My guess is there won't be an official T-Mobile iPhone 5, but rather the 5S. And it'll use a different chipset that can accommodate more global frequencies on the same model, including T-Mobile US's spectrum.
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