Can someone explain using an unlocked iPhone (ATT) on T-Mobile's network

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by theuserjohnny, May 7, 2013.

  1. theuserjohnny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #1
    So right now I'm using a Nexus 4 but I'm in line to grab an iPhone 5 from a relative once they upgrade this year. I'm planning to get that ATT iPhone 5 unlocked so I can use it on my carrier.

    My carrier is called Solavei and they use T-Mobile for their network.

    I've been doing just some quick reading and I'm getting confused with this AWS talk? From what I'm getting only the T-Mobile iPhone 5's support this AWS?

    So does this mean an unlocked iPhone 5 from ATT won't work with T-Mobile?

    And if it does work what speeds will I get? Will I still be able to get 4gLTE? Or will I just be stuck with the HSPA+ that my Nexus 4 is currently using?

    A main reason why I'm interested in getting the iPhone from them is so that I can have 4gLTE.

    Please go easy on me I'm not really caught up in how cell phone towers work. I'm trying to do research on it but I'm just getting confused!
     
  2. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    An unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 will work with T-Mobile. You will get 4G in areas refarmed to 1900Mhz. Since the AT&T version does not support AWS you will get Edge in areas that are not 1900Mhz.

    In areas with T-Mobile's LTE you will be fine. Able to access their LTE. The problem will be when you're not in an LTE or refarmed 1900Mhz 4G area you will be on very slow Edge.
     
  3. theuserjohnny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #3
    Is there a way for me to get it exchanged at the apple store for a new one that supports the aws? I mean they'll still be under warranty.
     
  4. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Some people have done it, but others have been unsuccessful. I would rather sell it on CL for about 450-500 and buy the T-Mobile version. I did that and the phone was sold within 2 hours and I had the T-Mobile version in the next 20 minutes :)
     
  5. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Yes, it's possible but it's a crap shoot to find an Apple Genius who is willing to do it. I was in the same situation as you and made up problems with my iPhone to get Apple to replace it with the an unlocked version that supports AWS.

    It took me 3 tries at 3 different Apple stores. At the 3rd store the Apple genius said "Oh, I'm on T-Mobile as well. You're not going to get 4G every where unless you change it to the new version that supports T-Mobile." Then he swapped my phone for free to the new unlocked version with AWS support.

    Here is the thread where people are swapping them out:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1572942
     
  6. theuserjohnny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    #6
    That's what I'm planning to say. I have a friend with the T-Mobile version so I'll just complain about my reception service and explain that and show how she has 4g and I'm on edge. Hopefully it won't be a pain when I used the iPhone 4 I rarely had 3G unless I was outside. My Nexus is always on haspa+.
     
  7. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    If you use edge as a reason they may not replace your phone. They will say T-Mobile was not supported in the model you have and blame T-Mobiles signal. That is what the first two stores said to me.
     

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