Moving from Verizon to Tmobile

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mattwolfmatt, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #1
    Is it possible to move from Verizon to t-mobile? I'm on a family plan with 5 iPhones: 6s, 5S, 5S, 5, and 5. All are either paid in full (the 6s) or are out of contract (beyond 24 months). I mean, according to the verizon website, they are all "available for upgrade".

    T-mobile says they have to be unlocked. I think they are, right? They also say they need to be GSM compatible. I read different arguments about this, too. Is there any easy way to check if they are GSM compatible?

    Thank you!
     
  2. rjcchan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #2
    the t-mobile website has a tool that supposedly tells you. you can find specs on the apple website. the phones will have to be unlocked.
     
  3. ecschwarz, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016

    ecschwarz macrumors 6502a

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #3
    Verizon iPhones come SIM-unlocked for GSM use, so you should be able to just get some T-Mobile SIMs and go to town. Getting the SIM cards from T-Mobile's web site sometimes has better deals (free or 99¢) than the $15/SIM they charge at most stores. You'll get them in the mail with a generic number and then you can port your number with a phone call - it's easy as long as you have all your Verizon billing info handy.

    Here's Verizon's unlock info: http://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/product/device-unlocking-policy

    "We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier."​

    The only other issue to think about is LTE band support. For the iPhone 6s, it will support all the T-Mobile LTE bands. For the 6 and 5s, the Verizon model is the same as the AT&T/T-Mobile model. The 5 may be the trouble spot, as the Verizon model (A1429) only supports bands 1,3,5,13,25 and the AT&T/T-Mobile version supports 2,4,5,17. T-Mobile tends to operate on bands 2 and 4, with 12 being rolled out in some areas. For that, your 5 may only get you HSPA+ "3G/4G" speeds and you might want to look at selling/trading them for something with better T-Mobile support.

    You can read more about LTE bands here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    Band 12 seems to be the "big" upgrade for T-Mobile, as it penetrates further in rural areas and buildings (it's 700MHz and branded as "Extended Range LTE"). It's not available in all areas, but does make a difference where it is - when I was with T-Mobile on an iPhone 6, saw maybe a dot of service in some basement areas at work, while a colleague with a 6s saw 4 dots. Unlike T-Mobile, the older iPhones supported AT&T's (17) and Verizon's (13) 700MHz bands, as they had been rolled out for some time. Thus, if you want to use an iPhone on T-Mobile and get the best results everywhere, something like a 6s or SE has the ability to pick up more towers than the older models. Still, my experience with T-Mobile on a 5s/6 was pretty good, especially with Wi-Fi calling as a fallback. If you're not in a market that supports band 12, it really doesn't matter: http://www.tmonews.com/700mhz-lte-map/

    By the way, in terms of iPhones, anything with a SIM slot is GSM-compatible.
     
  4. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #4
    I think you should do 1 month (or the 1 data week) pre-paid plan to give T-Mobile a spin and see if you like it.
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #5
    All lte capable iPhones from Verizon are GSM unlocked.
    It will work without a prob.
    Don't let any tmobile rep tell you it won't work in order to get you to buy from them or start a payment plan for a tmobile specific iPhone.
    They pulled that with one of my friends last month.
     
  6. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #6
    The folks in this forum seriosuly rock. You guys/gals are amazing.
     
  7. mattwolfmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #7
    I agree with Will - Thanks to all for your help!!

     
  8. HickDead macrumors 6502a

    HickDead

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    #8
    Moving to T-Mobile from Verizon is like going to bed with Jennifer Lawrence and waking up next to Hillary Clinton.
     
  9. Ticocg59 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Location:
    Fresno,Ca.
    #9
    That does not sound good at all!!!
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Consider which LTE bands each handset is using. The 6S is likely to be by far the best performer in a band 12 area. My memory doesn't go as far back as the iPhone 5, but it's not a phone that TMOBILE officially ever had, and I do believe it is even more limited in those regards.

    When we tried TMO about 3 years ago with our unlocked 5 we had 4G at best, Edge, and no service rather often in and around Boston. A lot has changed in terms of network since then too, but I suspect a 5 would still have some of the same struggles it did a few years back for us.
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    More like thinking you're going to bed with Jennifer lawrence but realizing you're just payed too much for a man in drag that looks like Jennifer lawrence when staying with Verizon:D
    Overpaying for hype, get nickeled and dimed because "its the network" :D
     
  12. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #12
    o_OI've seen this one before, can we please not watch it again? o_O
     

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