AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Or.. in NYC?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thriii, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. thriii macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2007
    I currently have an iPhone 4 which I would like to upgrade to an iPhone 5s within the next couple of days but I'm having issues deciding on the carrier. Right now I'm with AT&T and my current plan is:

    Nation Unlimited - $69.99
    Messaging Unlimited with Mobile to Any Mobile Calling - $20.00
    Data Unlimited for iPhone - $30.00..........................................
    Total Monthly Plan Charges (after fees) - $140.28

    One of the main reasons I'm upgrading is because I'm a marketer so internet speed is very important to me. since I have an iPhone 4 I don't have LTE and I have no way to compare AT&T to Verizon or any of the others in NYC.

    I do have a couple questions that will make choosing a little easier for me:

    1. As far as internet speeds and also signal in NYC, Los Angeles, Texas, and Louisiana.. which carrier would be best to go with? I know this is a hard question for 1 person to answer, but is there a map or maybe a couple people can chime in?

    2. I heard the AT&T iphone 5s has 2 antennas and it's the only one out of all the carriers that allows for someone to be on the phone and the internet at the same time. Is this true?

    3. I heard that the verizon phone comes unlocked so the phone works outside of the country if the sim card is changed. Is this true and is this not possible with the AT&T phone?

    4. I don't know much about T-Mobile or the other carriers, is there anything I should consider other than ATT/Verizon?

    5. With the current plan that I have, would it make sense for me to switch to another carrier or another AT&T plan or do I have a good deal with this old plan that I have?

    Thanks! Hopefully I'm not asking too much :)
  2. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
  3. iPhonemaster5S macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2011

    Considering you have unlimited data it doesn't really make sense for you to ditch it. Unless you need the price savings of tmobile I wouldn't recommend it. The verizon version is technically the best because it supports Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile but not sprint. It also comes fully unlocked but you would have to buy it contract free for it to be unlocked. The Verizon version won't let you talk and surf the web on Verizon's network however on ATT and T-mobile you can. T-Mobile is a good solution if you mostly stay in big cities or suburbs. Also you can take advantage of their unlimited 2G data and texting in other countries for free, this helps a lot if you travel a lot.
  4. PsstGreek macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
  5. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    $140 for one line is insane.

    1. All 3 carriers should be good in those cities you mention. T-Mobile won't have 4G LTE in rural areas outside of them though. It will probably be 2G outside of cities.

    2. The AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile 5S are all the same model. Only AT&T and T-Mobile can talk and surf the internet at the same time because they're GSM networks.

    3. It's true that the Verizon iPhones are unlocked right out of the box. With AT&T and T-Mobile you will need to fulfill certain requirements and then they will also unlock your iPhone for you too.

    4. I would strongly consider T-Mobile. For around $90-97 after taxes you can get an iPhone 5S with unlimited talk/text and truly unlimited data. Your current plan with AT&T is a total ripoff in my opinion for 1 line. Plus I think they also have a promotion where the iPhone 5S is $0 upfront. If the T-Mobile coverage ends up not meeting your needs, then I would recommend just staying with AT&T since you still have grandfathered unlimited data. Whatever you do just stay away from Sprint.
  6. thriii thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2007
    Thanks! This was really helpful! While Verizon seems great I think not being able to multitask is a big issue for me

    What do you mean by the Verizon version supports Verizn/AT&T/T-Mobile? T-Mobile does seem great but I'm concerned how it will be when I'm not in either New York or Los Angeles

    It is! I'm a marketer so the plan was very useful at the time, but now everyone I know is on iphones so it doesn't need to be as expensive.. and after upgrading to ios7 by iphone4 is extremely slow.

    Right now I'm looking at AT&T and T-Mobile since talking and surfing is very important to me but I'm looking for more information to steer me in 1 of the 2 directions. My current AT&T plan is expensive, but would it be possible for the plan to be cheaper? Are you considering T-Mobile over AT&T over plan costs? I saw in the link posted above that T-Mobile is usually better as far as speed in NYC, but I am a little concerned with coverage comparing the two
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Agreed with these guys, $140 is heck of a lot of money.

    1. Stick to AT&T for those areas, all of which are strong markets [except LA; NYC has gotten way better with AT&T and isn't the dreadful service it once was].

    2. T-Mobile and AT&T allow simultaneous Talk + Data.

    3. AT&T iPhone can be unlocked given the fact that you pay full price for it. Otherwise, it'll be locked. I recommend paying full price any way as you'll get a nice $15 discount on AT&T.

    4. No, stick to AT&T.

    5. No, you will loose unlimited data which is no longer offered. You as a marketer that uses the internet, should realize that loosing that plan is going to be a hassle due to newer tiered data plans.

    That said, you can shave off the bill with a reduced plan (if you can manage less than 450 minutes to non-cellphones a month).
  8. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Jeez. How many of these NYC threads do we need?

    We need a sticky up top.
  9. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    T-Mobile covers NYC very well and they have unlimited data and 20 + 20 LTE coming very soon there, too. :D

    But beware, T-Mobile doesn't have very good in-building coverage, but most stores and building are adding small cells to combat that issue. :)
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    If you would have bothered to read the thread instead of posting a snarky comment, you would have realized that the NYC title is just that, a title, nothing that has NYC as a center.
  11. AutoUnion39, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

    AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    It is still far off. They don't have enough spectrum for it, as of right now.

    Remember when LTE first went up in NYC, it was 2x5. T-Mobile had to take spectrum from DC-HSPA (down to HSPA 21) AND use MetroPCS' AWS chunk to get up to 2x10 LTE.


    T-Mobile has never said that they are deploying small cells, especially the traditional HetNet systems being deployed by AT&T/VZW/Sprint. AT&T/VZW have been leveraging DAS a long time now. That's how they get coverage in stadiums/shopping centers, etc.

    Neville Ray made it clear that they are not interested in them. Instead, they are leveraging the already built MetroPCS DAS system in parts of the US, while decommissioning 90% of MetroPCS cell sites.

  12. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    But the article was erected when T-Mobile announced the purchase of MetroPCS and things can change by then. Also, small cells do fit nicely in LTE-Advanced and that's something that all carriers who are deploying LTE-Advanced features in the near future should look forward to.

    And as to the 20 + 20 LTE, T-Mobile can shrink DC-HSPA to 2x5 MHz and make LTE 2x20 MHz, with Metro's spectrum also and that could work, unless it is impossible to make DC-HSPA 10 MHz because 10 MHz gets you speeds of ~33 Mbps and DC-HSPA is 42 Mbps. (I don't know everything in the cellular world. :eek:)

    But anyway, T-Mobile will find spectrum and will make 2x20 LTE happen in 23 of their top markets, possibly even more. CTO Neville Ray knows what he is doing.
  13. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    Tmobile will be the cheapest option. You will have reliable 4G LTE/HSPA+ as long as you stay within major urban areas. Long roadtrips thru upstate new york will likely yield you EDGE/2G.

    According to rootmetrics, Verizon tops all. However, AT&T will have the fastest LTE. Both Verizon and Tmobile are implementing 20x20Mhz LTE soon, not sure about AT&T. So you should see upwards 60Mbps+ LTE speeds in ideal situations.

    Last time i was in Manhattan, i got about 20Mbps in manhattan on Tmobile. Don't worry about Tmobile, as long as you are in a MAJOR CITY, you will have at least HSPA+ 4G. I've gotten LTE in basically all major cities i've been in. The only thing that sucks about Tmobile is awful building penetration. But, since Tmobile has no contracts, you can always cancel without penalty if you don't like it.


    If you want the reliability of the AT&T Network but cheaper price, go for the StraightTalk option. $45/month with 2.5GB data and unlimited talk/text. GoPhone is about $60 for about the same amount of data.

    The new mobile share plans will net you about ~$110 for 4GB of data if you bring your own unlocked phone.

    As for multitasking, while you can talk/surf on AT&T, ATT throttles data speeds while you're talking on the phone. Tmobile does not.
  14. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    This is all wrong. ;)
    T-Mobile hasn't said a single thing about small-cells since the MetroPCS announcement. They made it clear that they will only leverage Metro's existing DAS system. Not build more.

    Small-cells are not a part of LTE-A. AT&T and VZW had small-cells in the pre-LTE days. Carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, eICIC/IC HetNets, etc are LTE-A features.


    DC-HSPA 42 uses 2x10 Mhz. They have since decreased it to HSPA 21 (2x5), which enabled the deployment of 2x10 LTE (with Metro's AWS slice also.)

    To get 2x20 LTE, they need an extra 20 Mhz. They could get rid of HSPA on AWS completely for 10 Mhz (not happening to the number of legacy 3G devices out there), or get rid of Metro's CDMA backup network, which will happen over the course of 2 years (since the merger.)

    Therefore, 2x20 is coming, but not everywhere (MetroPCS is regionally limited) and it can only come with the shutdown of Metro's CDMA network, which is not instant. It has to be done slowly, due to the number of users on it (10 million).

    Within 2 years is what was said.

    Also Cat. 3 devices, like the iPhone/GS4, etc, can't take advantage of 2x20 LTE or the benefits of LTE-A.

    Cat. 4 devices, like the Galaxy Note 3, support 2x20 LTE and support some aspects of LTE-A, such as Cell Aggregation.

    side note, I wish they would give us a market list of upcoming 2x20 markets (we know Dallas/LV for sure) and a timeline. Maybe we'll see that at CES?


    Old news. Not anymore.


    All from Galaxy S4 in my market (Boston)
  15. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2013
    I was in Manhattan a few weeks ago and had no issues with my 5S on Verizon. Though the LTE was considerably slower than it was in some other markets (probably due to congestion). It was still pretty reliable and I was able to perform data using tasks without issue. My gf has an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile and got LTE outside but EDGE in some of the buildings. Can't speak on AT&T.
  16. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2010
  17. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    You should have seen B4 AWS LTE in Manhattan. it is BLAZING fast.

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