Carrier Have TMo sim starter kit + unlocked iPhone 5. Can I check coverage without activatng?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by anthonymoody, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    #1
    Thread title says it all. Mostly. I'm currently with ATT and have an unlocked iPhone 5. I'm thinking of switching to TMo but want to check the coverage first hand before doing so.

    I got a TMo sim starter kit for free on their recent promotion. But when I pop it into the phone it says activation required. Is there any way to use it just to check signal strength, without activating it?

    If not, what's the cheapest, 1x way to activate it to check?

    TIA.
     
  2. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #2
    the only way to do it is sign up for one of their cheap $30 plans unfortunately. That's what i did before i committed to Tmobile. I'd go with the $30gb 5GB data/unlimited text 100min talk plan. That'll give you plenty of data to run speed tests and stuff.
     
  3. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #3
    Thanks. Kind of a bummer. Wish I could just get a signal check with the sim. I think I'll sign up for the $3/day plan so I can try both voice and LTE. If it works well, I can port my current number to a full blown plan. If not, I can cancel the $3/day plan.
     
  4. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #4
    UPDATE: what an absolute cluster****. As an ATT customer contemplating a switch, TMo did not do themselves any favors this morning. In fact they just lost the opportunity to snag me (and our four person household)

    Things started off well enough. I confirmed with the TMo csr that I could try the $3/day plan for a day, for $3 (only), and that if I never used it again I'd never be charged again. She takes down the info for the sim, imei and activation code, then transfers me to make the payment. That's where things got fun.

    Payments tells me they cannot take a payment smaller than $10. I told her what I was told by the activation csr and she got defensive and told me she would transfer me back to them so I could ask them why they told me something that wasn't true (!) I told her that instead I'd prefer to speak to her supervisor.

    I explained everything to the supervisor, who confirmed that their systems cannot take less than $10, but that she would have a csr simply add a $3 credit to my account so that I could try the service (she was bright and understood my goal here). I asked her to stay on the line as she transferred me. She did, explained things to the csr, and dropped off the call.

    Then the csr tells me that she cannot issue any credit on the account until at least one payment (of at least $10...) is made. She failed to mention that while the supervisor was on the line. I asked her if she would stay on the line, get billing back on the line, charge me $10 and credit me back the $10 (or even $7) and she said no, because the supervisor had discussed only a $3 credit.

    Talk about the office of circumlocution!!

    Cutting up the TMo sim as I type.
     
  5. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #5
    I ordered a SIM activation kit with no contract from T-Mobile and just put it in my 5S and was able to pick up signal, LTE as a matter of fact. I couldn't make any calls or anything but it definitely picked up signal. Not sure why you couldn't just pop it in and check?
     
  6. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #6
    I'm not sure why either. When I pop it in a message comes up saying Activation Required. I swipe and it takes me to my iCloud login page but before I can finish typing in my email and password the screen goes black, then up pops the Apple, then my home screen again with the Activation Required message. It does that on loop whenever I try to type the iCloud stuff. I figured this meant that the sim needed to be activated first (which is what the csr also told me).
     
  7. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #7
    That just means your PHONE needs to be activated, with Apple. You should be able to join a wifi network and activate.
     
  8. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #8
    Right but I can't get that far. I'm at home, on my home wifi which is a known network obviously, but when I'm prompted for my iCloud login I can't type everything in before it goes through this weird cycle.
     
  9. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #9
    Sounds like the phone isn't even unlocked...when an Iphone isn't unlocked and you put in another carrier's sim, it'll prompt you to activate.
     
  10. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #10
    It's definitely unlocked. Confirmed in the imei database as well as via the message I got when it was unlocked during the restore process.
     
  11. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    NYC
    #11
    Where did you purchase the phone? Did you buy it device only from Apple?
     
  12. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Aug 8, 2002
    #12
    Yes. Ordered it the second they went on sale, from Apple.com.
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    That's false.
    On unlocked iphones when you pop in another carriers gsm sim it will bring you back to the activation screen.
    Then it will finish activating with the different carriers sim and pick up signal.
     
  14. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #14
    It only does that the very first time when the phone isn't unlocked yet. So it prompts you to do the activation. It it's unlocked it boots you back to homescreen, if it's not unlocked it tells you your sim is invalid...
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #15
    Every time I stick a Tmobile sim to my AT&T IMEI unlocked iphone it brings me to that screen to activate and then connects.
     
  16. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #16
    All the iPhones I had unlocked only prompted me once and once only.
     
  17. sillywabbit macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 10, 2012
    #17
    The iphone 5 is unlocked, but it won't pick up tmobile LTE, just HSPA or whatever it is called.
     
  18. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #18
    False...if he has an iPhone 5 made after April 2013 then he can pick up Tmobile LTE
     
  19. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    That's not true. It depends if you have the model that supports ASW or not. My iPhone 5 was unlocked and supported both AT&T and T-Mobile LTE.
     
  20. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #20
    If you do a restore or erase all I think it will bring you to that screen again.
     
  21. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2008
    #21
    lol. basically every prepaid service has a minimum refill requirement. You can't just add whatever amount you want. This isn't exclusive to Tmobile.
     

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