Carrier Considering Leaving AT&T Unlimited Data for T-Mobile

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by welches409, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. welches409 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    #1
    Looking for help outlining the facts and ultimately making this decision. If this has been discussed/answered in the past I'd appreciate links to those threads in lieu of starting the conversation again.

    I currently have an AT&T grandfathered Unlimited Data plan with no tethering, no insurance, and no Next. I have a iPhone 5s with a contract expiring next week. I have never been impressed with AT&T's voice & data coverage and I know the risk that I could be less pleased with T-Mobile (southern California).

    Motivations for moving to T-Mobile below which I can get for roughly $10 more than my current AT&T plan:

    -Unlimited Call, Text & 4G Data with 7GB Tethering (No tethering with my AT&T plan but this is something I would use)
    -Unlimited international date & texting (not 4G but I travel enough to feel any unlimited global is a benefit)
    -JUMP! with included phone insurance

    Looks like iPhone 6s 128GB requires a $199.99 down payment with T-Mobile whereas AT&T Next does not require a down payment.

    Also, can someone summarize the difference between T-Mobile's JUMP! and JUMP on Demand! programs? It seems like they are currently or were recently special offers on the on Demand program.

    Thank you in advance for the help.
     
  2. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #2
    I may also do this move later this month when one of my three lines come off contract. If I do it, I"m going to pay ETF on the other two lines.

    I have one line, mine, with unlimited data too. I'm going to start out with the 3GB or 5GB plan since they give you the 10GB Data Stash to start, and then move up, perhaps to unlimited once I need to.

    It is hard for me to leave AT&T because the unlimited data is nice (especially as these new phones we tend to use more data and I haven't noticed much of any speed hit beyond 5GB), plus in my area, the network is amazing. I get 30Mbps+ inside my home and 50Mbps when outdoors in my area many times of the day.

    However, they took away the 2 year contracts from third parties like Apple.com and Best Buy. It's too inconvenient for me to always have to deal with AT&T directly to get a contract phone, plus they have restocking fees unlike Apple and Best Buy (I don't actually choose Best Buy but I know others do).

    I have some older plans so my rates are pretty good to be able to get 3 subsidized phones, but again, there are the negatives I mentioned.

    What I'm going to do: I ordered the 99 cent pay as you go T-Mobile 3 in 1 sim. Once I get it, I'm going to buy the $3 month plan (30 minutes) and 1GB of data for 7 day ($10), and go everywhere I can think of, testing signal strength and doing LTE speed tests. I'm going to see if I get the speeds or even the service in the places I need it. If all is well, I will order my post paid service and move to T-Mobile. If disappointed, I will find a way to stay with AT&T for now.

    The Jump plans look interesting, but I just ordered the phone outright since I'm going to be switching or not, that way I can just use the phone for wherever I end up.
     
  3. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #3
    It's all about coverage. If you can live with T-Mo's mediocre coverage in the US, then switch. If not, your plan with AT&T is fantastic and you'll never be able to get it again.

    I switched one of the lines off my family plan to T-Mobile because he wanted a better value... came running back to AT&T in 3 days because the coverage was terrible.
     
  4. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    U.S
    #4
    If I was you, I would go signup for a T-Mobile plan and try it out throughout your day for two weeks and then make that decision, everyone rants about Verizon and their coverage but they have garbage coverage in my building
     
  5. Epyon790 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #5
    Lulla01 is right. try out the service. AT&T has a lot of low band spectrum making it easier to cover a larger footprint, T mobile has been relying on high band which won't penetrate buildings nearly as well.
     
  6. CodeSpyder macrumors 6502a

    CodeSpyder

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #6
    I bought the AT&T GSM phone, paying full price. If it's not unlocked, I'll get it unlocked. No contract means I can go to T-Mobile if I want.
     
  7. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
    #7
    I did just this. They throttle you on AT&T at 5GB. This is equivalent to a reduced 5GB plan on TMObile. TMO are currently offering 10GB plans at their 5GB price, which includes unlimited data (throttling at 10GB but you get data rollover bytes like AT&Ts rollover minutes).

    In ADDITION:
    > Music streaming does not count towards your data (apple music, iTunes radio, pandora, etc).
    > New phones support TMobile 700MHz band
    > Tethering!
    > Wifi calling! (certainly not supported in my area.. are our unlimited plans going to support it?)
    > Way undercut AT&T in phone lease this year.
    > THEY WILL PAY FOR YOUR CONTRACT TERMINATION FEES. Just trade in a phone. Go to best buy and get a $10 flip phone from at&t they don't care. I traded in an old iPhone 3g
     
  8. jbame macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    #8
    I am doing this as well. Currently have GUD and can't wait to switch to TM in two weeks. So sick of being throttled after 5GB.
     
  9. CoriG macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #9

    Can I use an unlocked art phone on TMobile? I bought a 6s on contract. But it is cheaper to pay the Etf and move over than to buy the phone out right. I was not sure TMobile has the best coverage in los Angeles and wanted to make sure it did before jumping ship.
     
  10. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
    #10
    Yes. Even something like an iPhone 5 can be used on tmo. I moved my whole family over and kids went from 2GB to 10GB unlimited! I believe at&t 6S phones also support the TMO 700 band. The only other model is the verizon one for CDMA.

    Check about the 700MHz band (LTE 12) in LA. This band makes an enormous difference.
     
  11. auero macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #11
    Coverage is the most important factor here. I tried an iPhone on T-Mobile when they were letting customers try the service for free. It was faster than AT&T, but the coverage was very poor in comparison. It's great in populated areas, but as soon as you get anywhere near suburban areas (at least for me) you start seeing edge. Your results will vary of course.

    As for unlimited data... I kept onto it for a long time and finally gave it up when AT&T was doubling MobileShare plans. I picked up the 15GB plan and never get close to 30GB. I even saved a little bit of money. I got tired of AT&T capping my speeds to a crawl. I even tether my iPad to my iPhone now and it saves me money monthly on a data plan + I can buy the wifi model of the ipad instead of the cellular.
     
  12. penajmz macrumors 68030

    penajmz

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #12
    Since the new iPhones have the new band 12 which will make Tmo perform better inside buildings and overall I will give them another try. I tried them before and as soon as I walked inside any structure signal was gone. Excited to see how they work and could potentially make the switch.
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13

    False.
    You keep posting the same bad info everywhere.
    Att does not throttle unlimited data plans at 5gb any longer.
    This has been reversed months ago since the fcc stepped in.
    Now they can only do it when connected to contested towers during peak times.
    Many including me haven't seen any throttling since and we been getting full speeds past 10-15gb of use.
    Get the facts straight.
     
  14. barkomatic, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015

    barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #14
    AT&T's policy on throttling changed a few months ago. They do not necessarily throttle you over 5GB anymore unless you are on a congested tower, and then only while its congested. Myself and most people here have not been throttled much at all since the policy change. In practice, they have essentially stopped throttling and it's awesome.

    Just wanted to make sure the OP knew this fact when making the decision. It might still be worth it for him to leave AT&T since he travels and would be able to take advantage of TMO's free international coverage.
     
  15. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
    #15
    That's good news. Doesn't match my experience unfortunately.
     
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #16
    in the past it matched mine too.
    Now it's different for everyone.
     
  17. CodeSpyder macrumors 6502a

    CodeSpyder

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #17
    AT&T's data plan has changed. They've upped the 10GB plan to 15GB at no extra charge. And it rolls over one month. You have to call them to have it enabled. They don't do it automatically.
     
  18. jaxbrah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    #18
    the 6s supports band 12 which is what tmobile spent billions on the last 2 years. its much better at penetrating buildings, so these new iphones should get much better service on tmobile. so now would be the time to jump to tmobile

    my current tmobile plan looks like this:

    2 lines
    2 iphone 6+'s
    unlimited absolutely everything including data
    7 gigs of tethering

    for a total of $180 a month after all taxes and fees (the phones are $30 a piece so substract or add that amount according tohow many phones u have)

    i use 50gb of data alone each month so ive priced what it would cost me to get the same with ATT and i would be looking at $320 month which includes my corporate discount. its asinine. yes, tmobile reception hasnt been great, but its not awful if you dont live in the boonies, and its only getting better with the band 12
     
  19. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #19
    Yup. I haven't been throttled in months...
     
  20. Steve686 macrumors 68020

    Steve686

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    #20
    Before ATT caught on and stopped it, several months ago you could call and reference Verizon's "Double your Data" promotion and ATT would match that program.

    I had a 10gb plan which they doubled to 20gb at no charge.
     
  21. Tekjams macrumors regular

    Tekjams

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    #21
    As someone who did this last year, I'd say don't do it. I left AT&T and gave up my unlimited plan because I was tired of the throttling and T-Mobile had some great plans. My contract was up anyway, so I figured "Why not?"

    I live and work in a pretty good sized city and the T-Mobile service has been completely terrible. After many calls to their customer support and reaching out to them on Facebook, nothing changed. I'm thinking their network just can't handle the iPhone or something because they keep telling me I should have "excellent" service in my area. 1-2 bars is all I can get. I've regretted doing it for a long time now. However, this year I'm gonna give Verizon a try. But as for you, I'd say if you're going to switch, try Verizon, not T-Mobile.
     
  22. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #22
    Here is something to be aware of. I know other people have touched on this but I really want to drive it home.

    Carrier choice is a battle between Cost vs Coverage vs Safty. No one offers any customer service that is better than the other, its all pretty bad. Going down the list from best to worst in terms of coverage:

    1) Verizon - Best coverage but also the most expensive.
    2) AT&T - Second best coverage, but almost as expensive as Verizon. Honestly so close you're better off going with Verizon for the extended coverage.
    3) T-Mobile - Coverage is good in metropolitan areas but not good in rural areas. Cost is pretty good compared to other carries
    4) Sprint - Has slightly better coverage than T-Mobile, However the coverage is plagued with reception issues. Slightly more expensive than T-Mobile but sometimes its neck and neck.

    Now it all depends on what you need. If you are in the City 90+% of the time T-Mobile is probably your best choice as cost is good. If your going to be in the city a lot but also take occasional trips, you will probably want AT&T or Verizon. If you take a lot of trip or the occasional trip go's though very rural areas or you're like me in Arizona and have to drive long stretches of desert to get out of the greater phoenix area. Verizon is your best bet.

    It does come done to how much can you afford, but also does that cost equal your safety. For example I used to be on AT&T. In city it had perfect coverage but I take trips to Flagstaff often. That is a two hour drive with long stretches of desert. There were several points where I would loose service. I never thought much of it until one day I got a flat right in the middle of the longest stretch. I pulled out my iPhone 4s (with bumper lol) and held it to sky. Even when standing on the roof of my SUV it went from 1 bar to no service, back and fourth. I could not get the tire off for some reason and I could not call for help. However, I had my iPad 3 with me that I got Verizon on. Sure enough it had 2 bars of 3G. Shortly after I switched to Verizon.

    Now I'm not saying Verizon is the end all be all as everyone will have dead spots when others my not. But please take in to account Cost vs Coverage vs Safty.
     
  23. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #23
    This is actually changing, a LOT, and will change even more with the 6S/Plus Band 12 (expanded LTE) coverage support on T-Mobile.

    I moved to T-Mobile from AT&T last year, June 2014. My original plan: move to T-Mobile, stick it out for a month or two so they could buy out my AT&T contract, then port right back into AT&T to get the coverage back and save a few bucks on the rate plan and be off-contract.

    What actually happened: I have been on T-Mobile for a year now, first on a 5S, then the 6Plus, and now getting the 6S Plus.

    Why? Coverage is not bad. It wasn't great when I first started, but surprisingly better than I expected and has dramatically improved even more. I've been to most of the eastern seaboard, Indiana, and PA, and particularly recently, coverage has been great. So much so that there's even been some places where friends on AT&T have issues with data or placing calls, while my T-Mobile service is fine. Particularly at major events, AT&T and Verizon phones lock up with everyone using data, but T-Mobile manages to still have usable (if slower than normal) data.

    I already have friends of mine who are now planning on switching over. And every time I search for a reason to switch back to AT&T, I can't find any. I'm paying less, and still getting unlimited data for my iPhone and 5GB of data for my iPad, plus 7GB of tethering for my laptop or anything else I want to tether. And it works.

    Definitely give T-Mobile a shot. They have a coverage guarantee now, so all you're risking is the hassle of switching back if you're not happy.
     
  24. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #24
    I would probably pick T-Mobile over AT&T as well if I did that choice again. I don't think T-Mobiles coverage is bad, especially if you're calling in city. Its just when you start getting in rural areas its not quite as good as AT&T. T-Mobile prices are great :)
     
  25. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #25
    Just exactly what will pass as a trade in phone for the ETF reimbursement? Could it even be from another carrier?

    Also, what if I don't want to buy the iPhone from T-Mobile but a cheap one to qualify for the ETF offer? If you buy their cheap ($60 not that cheap) flip phone, does it come with the 3 in 1 sim, or would it only come with a full size sim?
     

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