iphone 5 ATT -> Tmobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vivithemage, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. vivithemage macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    I assume my ATT is not unlocked, but if I were to unlock it, would it work on Tmobile's 4G yet? Or upcoming LTE?

    If I do that $30 per month unlimited data, can I cancel it after a month and picked it up in a few months if needed?
  2. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    You would have to have an unlocked iPhone. That seems pretty easy to do with various sellers on eBay offering to do it from $2-$20.

    The T-mobile 100minute, Unlimited Text, Unlimited (5GB at 4G speeds) Data plan for $30 per month would work at HSPA+ (T-mobile's 4G) speeds on the phone provided they have refarmed the spectrum in your area. Otherwise you will get Edge coverage.

    The only way to turn off the plan would be to not have enough prepaid credit for it to auto-renew at the end of the month. Then you have 60 days to pay again and reactivate. It would be possible to manage this. But if you have more than $30 in credit, it will auto renew and if you go over 60 days it will cancel and you'll lose your number.


    And from what I hear T-mo's LTE will also be compatible with the radio in an ATT iPhone.

    Just noticed you are in Minneapolis....so am I. I just made the switch last month on my iPhone 4 so I only get 3G speeds. I'm currently debating picking up an iPhone 5. But with the rumors of an official T-mobile offering in a few months I may wait until then.

    I'm quite happy with the service in Minneapolis....I have found a couple of ares I drive through regularly (394 through St Louis Park for example) where it drops to Edge, but otherwise coverage seems pretty wide spread. I don't leave the 694/494 ring that often so don't know limit of where it drops off completely.
  3. vivithemage thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    ATT is great if you are in an open area, same for Verizon ... but once I get into my condo complex, the coverage is horrible. So I have an m-cell, which is also spotty and stops working every other day it seems.

    When I had tmobile, it was 5 bars everywhere, but that was on my old 1st and 2nd gen iphones.

    I might have to get one of those sims, so I can try out service now, and see if it is any better.
  4. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    On their old EDGE network, yes. The cell site density for TMO's edge is good. 3G? Nope. Especially since their PCS 3G cell site density or coverage area will never ever rival AT&T. Let's not forget TMo folks are JUST getting 3G on their iPhones. AT&T folks have had 3G iphones for almost 4 years now and now can use LTE. Why would you go backwards?
  5. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    Same for me. I live in a condo near DT. With ATT I'd lose coverage in my parking garage and in the lobby. Often times I would just take my phone out of the building with the plan to call myself from the security system to let myself back in.....to find I had only 1 bar or no service in the entry way. I have much better coverage now. I had the ATT M-cell in my unit which worked great for me, but with T-mobile I don't even need it.

    T-mo does make it hard to get a nano sim....they only seem to give them out for contract plans. I just got a regular one from them online for $0.99 and bought a nano sim cutter online. My nano cutter came with an adapter to take it back to micro size for my 4, but I'm already ready for the 5 when I decide to make the move.
  6. vivithemage thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2008
    That would make sense, thanks...silly coverage, wish it would push through these old buildings a little better, but I can't expect magic!
  7. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    But since T-mo is refarming the 1900 spectrum for iPhone, wouldn't that match up with their old 2G sites? The PCS 1700 spectrum isn't what the iPhone is accessing...although this will eventually become their LTE coverage if I understand correctly.
  8. araje macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2012
    I just went back from AT&T to tmobile.
    One month back when I was using my friend's tmobile sim I found it to be better in Phoenix area. It used to latch 3G all the time.
    However now that I am on a tmobile sim myself I see that it's horrible. When the switch happens from 3G to E it goes down to no service and then resumes E. dropped calls and what not.

    It's like going 4-5 yrs back in life.
    I don't know how long they will take to stabilize this or is this what to expect kn their network which they call iPhone friendly.
    Right now I am concerned.
  9. upnorth85 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 2, 2011
    MN, USA
    In my experience, if you move from AT&T to T-mobile you will be disappointed. If you move from T-Mobile's AWS 4G you will be even more disappointed to see Edge on your iPhone 5 and frequently no service. However the most optimistic are those T-mobile customers who have for years toiled on Edge and a few sightings of 3G raise their spirits. I personally am not holding my breadth and it is not about patience. Even where there is strong 3G outside, on entering the building coverage goes back to Edge. I only see Edge near the window on the second floor in my gym in Elk river. Outside decent 9 Mbs speed. Their 1900 MHz frequency can not penetrate buildings. You need 700 MHz for best results and more number of towers.

    From the junction of I-494 and 694 in Maple Grove it is all the way edge coverage until St. Cloud. Their 3G coverage will be a very small component of their 4G network. Staying on AT&T is a better option. In any case there are no coverage maps for a customer to make an informed decision!


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