iPhone without AT&T's mandatory plan?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by CastilloC, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. CastilloC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #1
    Hi. I want an iphone, preferably 3gs, but I will take 3g, without the outrageous minimum of $70 monthly plan from AT&T. I would like unlimited texting and data, and Voice is optional. I know I need to buy an iPhone on ebay, craiglist, etc. And I know the only two options I have are T-mobile or a non iPhone AT&T plan.

    My questions are these:
    1. If I get a pure data plan and use skype for voice and text, will it work on T-mobile's EDGE network? And on AT&T's, is the call quality bearable?
    2. Is it still possible to buy a SIM card from AT&T? And if no, can I buy a phone that has one in it, so I can transfer it with the one in the iPhone? Does this also work for T-mobile?
    3. Is there a way to buy a SIM card from t-mobile without having to order the "$150 FamilyTime Unlimited with Flexpay"? (If you add a SIM card to your cart, http://u.nu/3tnk3 , then that is the only option for a plan)
    4. The only pure data plan for AT&T is 5GB for $35. If I would use Skype, plus Safari, download apps, etc. would I go over this limit? I know it depends, but how much bandwidth does skype use?

    To sum up what I'm looking at right now: either $20 unlimited data and text T-mobile plan ( http://u.nu/2wnk3 ), or the 5GB $30 a month AT&T plan, with possibly a voice addon if 5GB is not enough for skype (which I am thinking it won't be).

    Thanks for any answers or recommendations!
     
  2. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #2
    I got my iphone thru purchasing an ATT plan. I also had T-mobile, using the G1. ATT monthly bill was $120, for 900 anytime roll-over, unlimited text/data.

    Tmo was $99, with unlimited data/text and unlimited minutes.

    I unlocked my iphone after 3.0 was released and have been using that on Tmo for almost 4 months now. I have MMS, Internet/Email, I can use chat clients, stream radio.. Basically everything you can do on ATT's network with the iphone. App store works, iTunes all of it.

    I hated ATT when I was with them for the 4 months.. terrible coverage and for the monthly plan, not worth it.

    Tmo unlimited data/text (aka. G1) plan is $35, but you can find great plans with as many minutes as you need for cheap. Also this new "black" they're supposedly coming out with might be a great thing with $50 all you can eat data.

    idk if this answers your questions completely but just my two cents.
     
  3. Disarm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    #3
    You do know AT&T and TMO use the same towers right?
     
  4. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #4
    to be honest.. nope. I didn't know that..

    but why is that, with ATT, in my basement signal was spotty.

    yet on Tmo i can get full bars anywhere in the basement?

    same thing with Sprint ( tired their network) same results, ******/spotty signal but Tmo stayed strong.

    (NOT trying to start anything...btw)
     
  5. Disarm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    #5
    I know your not, but they use the same towers. I am not sure why it does that, but i know my gf has att and i have tmo and the majority of the time, the signal is the same. It seems if i use different phones it may change, but most of the time it stays the same. I remember on my razr i had a few years ago i could manually choose my network and att was an option, it still is actually. Tmo has a contract with att to use their towers, it is weird i know.
     
  6. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #6
    Well that would make sense I guess.. Idk but when i used sprint i had very poor service, same with att. but i have maybe lost signal once or twice with tmo.. and there's a tower like a block from my house. IDK this signal stuff is confusing haha.

    but i still prefer tmo over att anyday.
     
  7. Disarm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    #7
    Sprint was good when i had it, Tmo has had ok service for me, but it depends on where i am. I don't use my blackberry like i used to though, but i was thinking about getting an iPhone that is unlocked. Guess time will tell.
     
  8. CastilloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #8
    Could you test if skype works? Is that 3G or EDGE?
    And I know this is probably an obvious question, but did you swap SIM cards with the G1 to get T-mobile for your iPhone?

    Thanks. Is it possible to get the G1 plan without buying the G1?
     
  9. CastilloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #9
    Another problem I have had, and was wondering if it is possible, is that on either T-mobile's or AT&T's website, I haven't found a way to get a just data plan. I have to add a voice plan. Is it possible to add just the data plan on T-mobile?
     
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    One possibility is that while they are on the same towers they may have different frequencies in a given area. 850 penetrates walls/buildings and earth better than 1900, so that could result in a difference. Not sure if they may use different power for the transmitters, but that obviously could change things as well. Being on the same tower alone isn't going to result in the "same" coverage.
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #11
    In certain locations, multiple carriers may use the same tower to hang their equipment on, but since they don't necessarily hang the same models/quantity of antennas, pointed in the exact same directions, using the same frequencies and power settings, it's not like "using the same tower" necessarily means "identical service".

    Edit: started typing this before Le Big Mac's post, but forgot to send it. Sorry it's redundant.
     
  12. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #12

    I only have EDGE out in my area, no 3G, besides unlocked iphone won't have 3G capablitily beacuse of the "freqency".

    I can try skype and get back to you.

    I restored my iphone with my att sim, jailbroke it with att sim inside, ran redsnow and unlocked after reboot put Tmo sim in and it worked.

    Data plan.. i haven't looked much into it, from what i have seen is that either the blackberry data or G1 should work? i am pretty sure you have to get a data plan with the g1 because you have to activate the phone over the data network.

    correct me if im wrong.
     
  13. CastilloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #13
    Ugh, so no 3G on T-mobile for iPhone? Please do check if skype works, I've heard that it needs 3G speeds to function, that EDGE is too slow.

    And my question is not if it is possible to get a data plan, but if I can get a just data, no voice. Otherwise, it's not much cheaper than AT&T ($60 at its cheapest, compared to $30 without voice).

    And I guess I have to buy a G1 to use a T-mobile SIM card in the iPhone? I can't just buy a SIM card and add a plan to it?

    I know the data plan does work for the iPhone. What I don't know if I can get that and a SIM card, nothing more.

    To reword what I want, I would like to get an unlocked iPhone (if not I can unlock it myself), swap the SIM card with a T-mobile one, which has a pure data plan, and use skype to call and text, therefore avoiding the minimum of $70 a month AT&T plan, and instead have $30 monthly.
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    From what I've seen, all carriers sell data-only plans for a higher monthly fee (although AT&T doesn't allow it with the iPhone).

    Looks like unlimited data-only on TMO is $39.99/month (for PDAs). Here's a link to their data-only plans:
    http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/...InternetEmail_PlanFirstTile5&WT.mc_t=OnsiteAd

    No texts are included in that plan. It's $4.99 for 300, $9.99 for 1000, or $14.99 for unlimited.
     
  15. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #15


    that should be all he needs..

    if nothing else. call Tmo, customer service is pretty informative and will help you out. I can't see why you couldn't buy a Tmo sim, add data to it and use it.

    You don't need a G1 for the data package. but I believe you do need a data phone/3G.

    "No 3G for iphone?" NO, only edge. It has to do with the frequency the iphone supports and Tmo's own 3G signal. so sorry, no 3G just EDGE.
     
  16. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #16
    This is not exactly true. While in some areas carriers may lease space on the same tower, in the vast majority of areas I use my phone each has dedicated towers. Moreover, they do not use the same transmitters, frequency or backhaul. You can look on the web and find info about the towers near you.

    As I type this, I can see a T-Mobile tower about 1/2 mile away, but my signal comes from an AT&T tower (which was formerly a Cellular One tower) about 3 miles away in a neighboring town.
     
  17. CastilloC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    #17
    Okay, well since there is definitely no 3G, please do check if skype works, and if it does, the quality of the call, as soon as is convenient. Thanks.
     
  18. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #18
    Just downloaded and installed Skype, installed fine, logged in but you can't make calls over EDGE. 3G you can't make calls either, according to skype it's a "nonstructural restriction".

    Seems kinda slow too.. But works on WIFI
     
  19. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #19
    I think that if you Jailbreak your phone, there's a hack you can install that tricks programs into thinking they're on WiFi when they're really on EDGE/3G.
     
  20. beaumk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    #20
    so im on the regular individual plan with tmo
    is how can i get the data plan?
    i just checked it on the tmo's website it was something like $39.99 for emails...thats more then what att bills you for 3g network($30)....so
    i guess i have to just stick with wifi only :mad:
     
  21. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #21
    It's called 3G Unrestricter (or?).
     
  22. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #22
    $39.99 is only when you don't have a voice plan.

    If you do have a voice plan, I think it's $24.99 for unlimited data, or $34.99 for unlimited data + unlimited texts.

    Logon to your T-Mobile account and see.
     
  23. presence06 macrumors member

    presence06

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    H-Town
    #23

    yea, that's what i have. Unlimited data +text for $35.. not that bad actually when you consider att charges $20(maybe $30) for iPhone plan, plus $20 or so for unlimited text..
     
  24. spick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    #24
    Why bother with a pure data service for $39.99 when you can get flex pay for $49.99 with 300 whenever minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data. It's only $10 more.
     

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