ATT iPhone 5 switch to TMobile

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mm1250, May 11, 2013.

  1. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007

    I have 2 AT&T iPhone 5 phones. After the release of the T-Mobile support for iPhone and the pricing, I calculated I would save $60/mo by switching to T-Mobile.

    My question is, if I move AT&T iPhone 5 to T-Mobile, will I have access to all the same HSPA+ and the LTE using the ATT mobile iPhone or will I have to buy brand new iPhone 5s?
  2. CandyRedNinja macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2013
    You will get LTE after the carrier update and when it's available, but won't have access to HSPA+ unless your in an area where the network has been refarmed.
  3. beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010
    Below is a link to a thread where a lot of the members have had success in getting their iPhone 5 replaced with ones that have the T-Mobile AWS 1700/2100 bands:
  4. mm1250 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    Thanks, I just checked the Apple support doc @

    Also, since I had my iPhone 5 replaced last week at the Apple store due to some hardware issues, I unknowingly got the newest model that supports all the T-Mobile networks (awesome!).

    So the good news is I can move my iPhone to T-Mobile and have all the benefits to each of their different network tiers.

    Last question, Since one of the IP5's is still locked under the contract, if I switch to TMobile, will I run into problems? I calculated and AT&T will hit me with a $250~ ETF. Once I switch and pay the EFT, they will unlock my IP5 no questions asked right??
  5. ross1998 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2013
    I believe they are suppose to unlock it but if not just pay for factory unlock 5-10 dollars
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
  7. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I think you'll get both 21 mbps HSPA+ and LTE, but not 42 mbps dc-hspa. I wonder how many areas even reach 41 mbps with dc-hspa, since it's theoretical.

    I would think it's not worth it to buy new iphones just for the 42 mbps theoretical speed, especially if you get LTE. But if you wait a few months, i guess they will exchange you with the latest and greatest.

    Good luck.
  8. RayMWu macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2013
    My experience/saga

    I have been long time Tmobile customer for 5 lines already so had dilemma when my company AT&T phone became available when I got jettisoned. Had lots of apprehension of moving into Tmobile but was assured by the Loyalty department, technical support, and company stores that I would love moving over to Tmobile for quality improvement, speed, and cost savings.
    After a week or so of additional asking around I pulled the trigger and with a rough switchover had cellular and data connectivity issues right from the get-go. Worked with Tmobile support who pushed carrier updates, reset to factory a few times and pushed more updates with no noticeable improvement. The tech actually brought up of the slight differences in phone and suggested while I was still under Applecare to go get the phone swapped out – something that he was made aware of when similar situations occurred.

    So after reading this thread and others I felt empowered to go to my Apple store armed with the info of the difference in phone/antennae and knowledge that other people had good experiences getting a phone swap.

    Since I was near Millburn, NJ went to the Hills mall and the genius there said he heard of similar issues and unfortunately couldn't help since they were "out of phones" and their system was down.
    Next day went to my local store (Bridgewater) a
    nd the woman genius said she never heard of the issue - that the AT&T and Tmobile ones were identical despite what I heard and quoted to her. She insisted on flashing and resetting to extra special factory mode. After doing all this and my persevering she went to the back to speak to her manager. She came back and said the manager reinforced her belief – that there were no physical differences. I showed her the posting on the apple site which she took back to her manager and after 5 minutes he came out and said he looked into some more and acquiesced that there were slight differences between the phone’s antennae. He also went to say there had been stores that have switched out the phones but it was probably a beta/test and it is NOT company policy to effect a switch. He went on to say if there was a hardware problem they would switch the phone but for another AT&T type phone so it would be for naught – essentially saying “It’s your problem that you switched carriers – not ours”.

    With no recourse I have called TMobile’s loyalty department and the CSR spotted that I was set up as a Blackberry and not as an Android which should make my data much better and wanted to” work with me” on the cellular problem. I told him that the problems I had were no service at all at home to which he said let’s work on it despite having worked it before.
    Oh well, going to do that after work and let’s see..
  9. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    If you want to get the best Tmobile service anywhere right now, unless all the towers have already been refarmed in your usage area you will want to go with the newest version of the iPhone5 currently sold which supports the additional 1700/2100 bands that the original iPhone5 does not. You can still get 4G and LTE depending on the upgrade status of the towers in your area with the original iPhone5 but you might also get lovely Edge service which will remind you of the 28.8Kbps baud modem days with noise on the line :)

  10. mikefla, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Good luck buddy! Tmobile is a mess, I wish they would spend less money on stupid Commercials and more money on people that have better Engineering knowledge. They have serious frequency/alignment issues right now. This is the second time this year I switch to Tmobile to test their service and it's not going any better than my first time. You will get better service in general if you buy the current iPhone5, if you look in the back of the retail box it will list the 1700/2100 band which the original iPhone5 does not support. In my experience various parts of NJ are a mess with Tmobile even with the new iPhone5. In some areas I manage to get on all these networks simply by moving a few feet outdoors (LTE, 4G, Edge). This sort of stuff never happens with AT&T, at least not in NJ. You will either have 4G service or LTE service and that's it. That's what I call a well aligned/configured network. I understand Tmobile is in the process of doing allot of work but it's already the middle of the year and allot of this work I had hoped would already be completed. A high end phone should not be switching between 3 different bands with the movement of a few feet. Makes me think that I am connecting to three different towers which further denotes serious configuration issue.

    Expect to resolve nothing with the folks you will be talking to, at best you might get lucky and get yourself your phone swapped to the new version of the iPhone5. I switched to Tmobile to save some money but for that we will suffer. The truth is their network right now is horrible, specially in NJ. And they are really lacking in many areas, I really want them to come up with an application like AT&T has called Mark the Spot which allows anybody to easily report service issues through their phone by sending the carrier useful information they can act upon. Calling Tmobile and reporting these issues is useless, they have no way of doing anything with the information you give them, might as well talk to a rock. I really want them to succeed as I am now sort of stuck with them but I really hope they get their act together.


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