Roaming in the US with a UK 5S - 4G frequencies?

kmpowell

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2003
88
12
On Monday I'm traveling from the UK to Orlando. I'm on the 3UK network which has the US in their complimentary "feel at home" package, meaning I can use my bundle minutes, texts and also my unlimited data allowance, without incurring any roaming charges. I've been told by 3UK that for it to stay FOC I have to roam on AT&T or T-Mobile US.

With that in mind I was wondering if the UK 5S will work on US 4G frequencies for those two Telco's, or will I be restricted to 3G?

Thanks in advance :)
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
You should check what kind of 5S you have with the model number.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

You need bands 4 and 17 for LTE on AT&T and 4 for T-Mobile.
If your specific model has those band(s) you should be fine.

As for LTE / 4G speeds, I don't know if they will be throttled or something because you are roaming.

By the way, in the US the network indicator on the phone is shown by LTE (which is.. LTE) and 4G (which is HSPA+). HSPA+ "4G" speeds are still very good for the most part, but not as fast as LTE.
 

ManWhoCan

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2003
17
0
Last time I checked Three didn't have any LTE roaming agreements, I would expect 3G only.
 

kmpowell

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2003
88
12
You should check what kind of 5S you have with the model number.
http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
Thanks for that - the 5S I have a the UKGSM A1457, which supports the following bands:
1 (2100 MHz)
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
5 (850 MHz)
7 (2600 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
20 (800 DD)

Interesting re the naming convention. So, in the US you're saying "3G+" is called "4G", and "4G" is called "LTE"?

Judging by what you've said then I doesn't look like I will be able to get LTE whilst I'm out there as the UK 5S's don't support bands 4 or 17 which is what you say T-MobUS and AT&T LTE runs on?

Cheers
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
Interesting re the naming convention. So, in the US you're saying "3G+" is called "4G", and "4G" is called "LTE"?
It's a matter of perspective, I suppose, but basically, yes.
Normal 3G was HSPA but when HSPA+ started coming out (a variation of HSPA), it was faster and they wanted to call that 4G. You pretty much won't find your iPhone on AT&T or T-Mobile displaying 3G anymore. They probably have some HSPA sites not yet upgraded to HSPA+, but it'll show 4G anyways.


Judging by what you've said then I doesn't look like I will be able to get LTE whilst I'm out there as the UK 5S's don't support bands 4 or 17 which is what you say T-MobUS and AT&T LTE runs on?
Doesn't appear to me that it will work either :(
HSPA+ is still pretty fast though, so I wouldn't worry about it. You're better off roaming with AT&T because T-Mobile's network is much smaller and has a good part of its HSPA+ on AWS, which I'm not sure your phone has.
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,599
596
i am also facing the same situation as i am shifting to USA this summers and i also have iPhone 5s Model A1457. i am hoping that i will be able to get 4G on my iphone 5s.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
i am also facing the same situation as i am shifting to USA this summers and i also have iPhone 5s Model A1457. i am hoping that i will be able to get 4G on my iphone 5s.
Unfortunately, you won't get 4G/LTE. :(
You can still get 3G/4G/HSPA+ which is pretty fast though.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,973
3,413
Boston, MA
This is a stellar deal. OP, how much are you paying? Getting unlimited roaming EVEN IF it is restricted to HSPA+ is freaking STELLAR. AND UNLIMITED data? Damn...
 

kmpowell

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2003
88
12
Thanks guys. HSDPA+ it is then. I'll let you know what the speeds are like when I'm out there :)

This is a stellar deal. OP, how much are you paying? Getting unlimited roaming EVEN IF it is restricted to HSPA+ is freaking STELLAR. AND UNLIMITED data? Damn...
£12.90 a month. 30day rolling contract. 200mins, 5000texts and Unlimited Data. The unlimited data is true unlimited data, no fair usage policy or caps.

The "Feel at home" details are here: http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Phones/Feel_At_Home

On a side note, LTE Speeds are good on 3, so for £12.90 a month without a contract I can't complain...

image.jpg

:cool:
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,599
596
Unfortunately, you won't get 4G/LTE. :(
You can still get 3G/4G/HSPA+ which is pretty fast though.
okay. but i dont get it. you said i wont get 4G/LTE. and then you said i can stil get the 4G. i know i wont be able to get the LTE but i think i will be able to get 4G. right?


looks like i have to get rid of my iPhone 5s and get the USA model of iPhone 6 then.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
okay. but i dont get it. you said i wont get 4G/LTE. and then you said i can stil get the 4G. i know i wont be able to get the LTE but i think i will be able to get 4G. right?
Right, what I was trying to mention earlier were the different naming conventions in the US vs UK.

What you consider "4G" would show up as "LTE" on the iPhone in the US.


You won't get that.
Your phone will show 4G though, but that's what is considered 3G in the UK. That 4G is not to be confused with LTE or 4G in the UK.
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,599
596
Right, what I was trying to mention earlier were the different naming conventions in the US vs UK.

What you consider "4G" would show up as "LTE" on the iPhone in the US.
Image

You won't get that.
Your phone will show 4G though, but that's what is considered 3G in the UK. That 4G is not to be confused with LTE or 4G in the UK.
ohk i know that for sure. can you tell me the download speed of this 4G in USA? thanks