Interesting experience when crossing the border with an iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by awadeee, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #1
    I am Canadian and on the carrier Telus, I use an iPhone 3GS. When I crossed the border into the United States today, I noticed that my carrier became T-Mobile, which I thought was kind of neat considering they don't do iPhone? Then I hit a dead zone for half an hour and was put on USA Unicell for a bit, and then I had a dead zone for an hour and a half and was put on AT&T and have had five bars on that ever since. But it appears that through Settings > Carriers, I can choose between T-Mobile and AT&T at my whim?

    Not really sure how this works.
     
  2. JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    The iPhone only works on EDGE when on T-Mobile. You get EDGE or 3G on AT&T.
     
  3. xAnthony macrumors 65816

    xAnthony

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #3
    Yeah this happened to me also when I crossed the boarder. (I'm also a Canadian) Normally whenever I cross I get AT&T but when the signal is weak it sometimes switches. I was also able to go into the settings and choose which company I wanted to connect too. I don't really think it matters that the company doesn't have the iPhone because technically you are just connecting to the towers while you are abroad. It's not like you are using their service for two years as a normal contract would.
     
  4. awadeee thread starter macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #4
    Ha, my name's Anthony too. :D

    Yeah that makes sense. Actually I was on T-Mob until I went into Carriers and tried choosing another one (there was one with just a bunch of numbers; not sure what that is) and tried Unicell, that's when I started getting no service but I think it was just cause I went into a deadzone and couldn't get T-Mob back. But yeah. Neat stuff! I wonder if it would be the same if a US iPhone user came to Canada. Would they shift between Bell, Rogers, Telus, etc.
     
  5. cheme75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast US
    #5
    We're from Maine, my wife is from ON, I think she picks up Rogers, but I'll have to look at her phone next summer when we visit Hamilton and Waterloo. Do all CAN carriers offer GSM? I thought Bell was CDMA?

    btw - Unicel was a GSM provider, bought by VZW - they switched all Unicel customers to CDMA several years ago - it seems that they keep some GSM systems operating for roaming. Depends on where you cross into Maine, T-Mobile data mostly uses partners from Houlton down but they have some voice coverage all along 95 and a few coastal areas - pretty dead between Ellsworth and Rockland. ATT is far better especially in the downeast area along Rte's 1/3 above Ellsworth, below Ellsworth along the coast ATT also sucks since it is all roaming on those old Unicel systems until you get closer to Portland. In fact, they have no 3G coverage until you get near Portland - my wife and daughter both have ATT iphones... horrible service around our home but great in Portland and below. I think 3g kicks in just above Freeport.
     
  6. BlackViper macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #6
    Canada moving to HSPA

    The Canadian carriers that were previously on CDMA are transitioning to HSPA networks. Bell and Sasktel are not implementing earlier GSM technology so it's 3G or nothing. As for roaming, available carriers will depend on what roaming agreements are in place. Here in Saskatchewan, for example, Bell and SaskTel allow their customers to use each others network. Rogers, however does not have any agreements in place so Bell/Sasktel customers do not have access to the Rogers network and vice versa.
     
  7. awadeee thread starter macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #7
    That's very interesting! And yeah as far as I know all Canadian networks except Koodo and maybe Virgin are GSM.

    I entered the border at Maine and everything that cheme75 said held true. I'm now in Washington DC and I'm still on AT&T, I could probably switch to T-Mobile if I wanted to.
     
  8. awadeee thread starter macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #8
    Also when I was in Maine I had the carrier choice of just a bunch of numbers. I think it started with a 3. Anyone know what that is?
     

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