AT&T vs T-Mobile which should I do

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Marcus72, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Marcus72 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Okay smart people, help me figure out which is best option. I'm having a hard time.

    Current Plan:
    A&TT grandfather unlimited 22% corporate discount mostly in the Cleveland, Ohio and NYC/New Jersey area. Often do 400 mile road trips between Cleveland & NYC, so I don't want broken down in the middle of Pennsylvania zero cell service. Haven't had coverage or drop call issue with AT&T.

    I average about 1.6 GB in Data usage a month, now because I work from home, but who know what will happen in the future if I change jobs.

    Nation 450 Rollover 39.99
    Unlimited Talk 20.00
    World Connect 3.99
    Data Unlimited 30.00
    Total after discount & taxes 87.26 /month

    Still using Iphone 4 want to upgrade to iphone 6 . I want to stay with GSM network cause I do travel out of the country often, so that leaves me comparing AT&T vs T-mobile. Unless I'm wrong CDMA now works too, I'm outta loop on improvements.

    22% corporate discount with At&T
    11% taxes

    Option 1 : AT&T with 2yr Contract Subsidy

    Nation 450 w rollover $ 39.99
    Data Unlimited Grandfathered $ 30.00
    World connect $ 3.99
    Unlimited Texting $ 20.00
    ATT Plan after Discount & taxes $ 87.23 a months

    Iphone 6 128GB $ 399.99
    Upgrade Fee $ 40.00

    Option 1: Today's Total $439.99 + $87.23 = $527.22

    Option 2 : AT&T with 12 Next Plan Plan

    Do I lose Grandfathered unlimited data? Don't thinks according to ATT website. If I do this before September 30, I might get little something for iphone 4 trade-in, but I'm not sure about this

    Nation 450 w rollover $ 39.99
    Data Unlimited Grandfathered $ 30.00
    World connect $ 3.99
    Unlimited Texting $ 20.00
    ATT Next Plan after Discount & taxes $ 87.23 a months

    Iphone 6 128GB $ 42.50 for 20 months

    Option 2: Today's Total $42.50 + $87.23 = $129.73 a month

    Option 3: T- Mobile

    Iphone 6 128GB
    Upfront fee $ 199.99

    Monthly Iphone cost $ 27.08
    1GB Data plan $ 50.0
    T-mobile Plan w Taxes $ 85.56

    Option 3: Today total $209.99 + $85.56 a month

    Which should I choose. People say T-mobile is cheaper, I don't see the different on monthly basis but if do the calculation based on 2 yrs.

    Option 1: Att
    Iphone $527.00 Subsidy cost
    Att Plan $2093.52 (24 months)
    Total $2620.74

    Option 2: Att Next Plan
    Iphone $850 (20 months)
    Att Plan $2093.52 (24 months)
    Total $2943.52

    Option 3. T-mobile
    Iphone 849.91 (24 months)
    T-Mobile Plan $1,200 (24 months)
    Total $2049.91

    Okay this is better, I see the big picture. AT&T Next plan cost too much, forget that.

    So it comes down to $2,620 AT&T vs $2,049 T-Mobile.

    The questions I'm asking myself now?

    Do I risk giving up AT&T Grandfather unlimited? Even though I don't use it now, but I might need it in the future.

    Will T-mobile really slow down my speed if I go over 1GB? Should I pay more for the 3GB at $60/month, which would make 2yr cost $2,289?

    If I went with T-mobile, is the $570 saving in cost really worth it, if I get poor coverage service. I don't anybody with Tmobile to ask if they have service issues in Cleveland & NYC/NJ.

    Is there something else I'm missing, that makes T-mobile better. or another GSM carrier.
  2. Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    I'm still going through you post but noticed a few inconsistencies so far:
    - you will lose your AT&T unlimited data if you go with a NEXT payment plan (I believe you are forced to use a family share plan for NEXT)
    - neither Tmobile or AT&T use CDMA at all (only GSM)

    I'll continue reading to try and help, just wanted to point these out before I forgot.

    p.s. have you done tmobiles 'test drive' program to see if you have good coverage in your area/place of work? might want to do that before switching (if you do).
  3. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    I just made the switch to AT&T but more because of how TMobile handled their iPhone 6 pre sale, however, for me on Long Island, their coverage was spotty. (It didn't seem to make much sense)

    I think they're much better in city areas as compared to more suburb or rural areas - it's hard to say for your specific route but def. check their coverage map and maybe even try out a test drive with them and actually do a test drive to see if you have service where you'll need it.
  4. Wayfarer macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2007
    What should you do? Start your own phone company (Marcus Mobile), compete with AT&T and T-mobile (and win), become CEO and get free unlimited service for life. :D
  5. Marcus72 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    :):) ha ha Even if I did have billions of $$, Marcus Mobile doesn't sound like fun. I rather do something to fix the dying music industry.


    Okay, I eliminated NEXT Plan, it cost too much & thanks so I will lose my Unlimited with NEXT

    I'll go read about T-mobile Test drive plan now.
  6. Trek2100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Sevierville, TN
    I've had AT&T for approx. 22 years (AT&T, Cingular and back to AT&T). They have always had the best coverage. Verizon reps said "they" had the best coverage. I have found that to be NOT true when compared side by side with an iPhone 5 (AT&T and Verizon) in a suburbs (2 different locations) outside of Baltimore. T-Mobile has always been number 4. I don't know if that has changed. Anyway, you can have the upgrade fee ($40.00) waived if you call AT&T customer service. I did. In the end it's your choice. Just make sure you check the LTE coverage for the locations you will be using. I prefer to keep my unlimited (grandfathered) data plan.:cool:
  7. Marcus72, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    Marcus72 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009

    Thank Trek. I haven't kept up to date on improvements with the other carriers. Sprint & T-mobile always been at the bottom. But i'm keeping an open mind and ask the question has T-mobile caught up with AT&T. Is there something else better that I'm missing. Is it worth switching for $500 saving in a 2yr period. ??? I'm reading in other thread here about T-mobile, that they don't slow down your speed if you go over data plan. I'm not even sure if At&T does it to the grandfathered unlimited folks too. Are we really getting unlimited after 1GB with At&T? I haven't push them to find out. You're probably right stay with the grandfathered unlimited data plan until AT&T cancels it.
  8. rvancil macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    If you really want to save, buy the phone outright, or finance it through Apples barclay card, and sign up for Cricket wireless. I have 2 lines, 2.5gb LTE each, unlimited everything else and its $90 including taxes and fees per month. That's $2160 for 2 LINES over 24 months! Cricket uses AT&T's towers, so no problem with coverage...I have no idea why everyone isn't using them, the cost difference is crazy.
  9. Marcus72, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    Marcus72 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    I called AT&T, if keep my voice plan "as is" I will not lose the Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan with the NEXT payment plan. If I changed the voice plan to something else like family share plan etc etc etc that's when you lose the Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan.

    Okay I added Cricket to 2yr Cost Comparison with Iphone 6 (128G)

    AT&T 2yr Contract -----$2,620
    AT&T NEXT 12 --------$2,943
    T-Mobile 1GB ----------$2,049
    T-Mobile 3GB-----------$2,289
    Cricket 1GB------------$1,690 ($850 Iphone + $35/month for 2yrs)

    It's owned by AT&T but is the service identical?

    Does AT&T give priority to AT&T customers first before cricket Customers.

    Can you surf & talk on Crickets

    EDIT: Reading reviews about Crickets, looks like what you pay for is what you get. Review are saying horrible customer service, reps are in India. I'm not seeing a major advantage leaving AT&T Grandfathered Unlimited Data plan for something except saving $500 bucks. I stay with it until AT&T kicks us out of it.
  10. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010

    AT&T post paid get the full priority. Then GoPhone. Then it's Cricket

    Yes, you can talk and surf on Cricket.

    And I'm picking any phone that works on AT&T's network. I like my phone to actually work when I need it
  11. rvancil macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    I've had AIO and now cricket for the past year or so, I've had zero service or speed issues. The coverage is great(I'm in the Atlanta area). My sister has full ATT service and we can not tell a difference, same LTE speeds sitting right next to each other in multiple locations.
  12. rvancil macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Here is a speedtest I just did...⅔ bars of service. CS has worked fine the two times I've needed to contact them, they have a chat feature in their app that works great. Most complaints are coming from people in guessing with far below average intelligence, if you can insert a sim you should be good to go.

    Attached Files:

  13. GIZBUG macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I would go T-Mobile. Root for the little guys, to keep them doing good, to add more competition with the big 2 (VZW and ATT).
  14. JoeTomasone macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2014
    If T-Mo is in the countries you travel to, you will likely get MUCH better International rates for calling and data. AT&T rapes you hard on data, and calls and texts are pricey too. #btdt
  15. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    No T-Mobile is still quite a bit behind AT&T in terms of overall coverage. However they are usually as good as AT&T in most metro areas or even better in some instances. The big question is how their coverage is on the corridor that you said you'll be traveling on often.

    If at all possible I would strongly recommend you do their Test Drive program to get a real world feel for how the service would perform where you travel. If you can't, then take a look at the coverage maps. They're usually sufficient for being able to tell where you'll have service vs. absolutely no service at all.

    Keep in mind too that T-Mobile offers free international text and data roaming. So you could just keep your T-Mobile sim card in your phone when traveling and use Wi-Fi Calling for free calls.

    $500+ is a significant amount of savings. Almost the cost of a brand new iPhone so I'd certainly look into switching.

    If you decide to stay with AT&T then I would just keep the grandfathered unlimited plan.
  16. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    It is better than that for international. T-Mobile gives you free unlimited data and texting in many countries. I used it this year in France for about a month, it was amazing.

    To the OP, if T-Mobile works well were you live and where you go the most it is a no-brainer. With that said, expect to have limited coverage sometimes. I did a road-trip about a month ago and there were many times where I had no service (especially the northern California coast), even though others did with the big guys. But honestly, I found it refreshing to not be connected.
  17. jocamero macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I was in a similar position as you with a grandfathered unlimited data plan on AT&T. I switched to T-Mobile for the following reasons:

    -Personal Hotspot is enabled (AT&T blocks this on our unlimited plans. ****ers.)
    -WiFi calling on iOS 8 (supposedly not coming to VZW or AT&T for another year)
    -simultaneous voice and data outside of VoLTE areas (AT&T has this too, but this eliminated VZW)
    -better coverage & faster data in my area (check out to see how the coverage is in your area)
    -AT&T throttles your unlimited data after 3-5GB; T-Mobile doesn't
    -Free data/txt in hundreds of other countries
    -T-Mobile bought my 5s for $352 and paid my ETF
  18. Marcus72 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Thanks for everybody input, I will do 2 test :

    1. Sign up for T-mobile Test & Drive on my next road trip between Ohio & New York

    2. I have another At&T iphone 4 not being use, since Cricket contract-free, sign-up a for month and test out their service. Just gotta figure out how to unlock this at&t IP4.

    This will cause me to wait longer to get the Iphone 6, but that's okay.
  19. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    I had read here in the forums that AT&T locked phones would actually work on Cricket without unlocking because it's the same network.

    Can anyone confirm?
  20. Marcus72 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Go to Cricket Wireless website and ask them in their chat box with a rep
  21. mdlooker macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2011
    The same plan can be used on the next so long as it's an individual plan. You just make payments on the phone instead of getting the subsidized pricing and no $40 upgrade fee.
  22. Vertigo50 macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Try submitting an unlock request for it. If it was an AT&T phone and you're still a customer, I'm pretty sure it would work.
  23. z28black98 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007

    You will not lose your unlimited data plan when using next. Upgraded to 6 plus 128gb today at AT&T. I didn't lose unlimited data plan. Only way you lose unlimited data plan is if you use next AND you switch to mobile share plan. Again, you will not lose unlimited data just by switching to next.
  24. Paulshaqz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2009
    for 7 years i stayed with att and for the first time i've considered to switch to t mobile for all the features they include with the unlimited plan plus it's cheaper my concern with them is coverage... i'm willing to risk it because of wifi calling and lte signal booster options they provide. with att i still get 1 and 2 bars in my home and still get dropped calls not as bad as it used to be but they had all this time to improve my area and still haven't.

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