Switching from AT&T to T-Mobile

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wolve, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. wolve macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    So think I will finally switch to T-Mobile. I currently have a family plan with 2 lines on AT&T. The only thing holding me back is my mom's line which will be out of contract this month, and she wants to get an iPhone after years of using flip phones.

    My main concern is that I upgraded my line to an iPhone 6. I'm thinking I just need to pay the ETF and ask AT&T to unlock. However I had some issues unlocking my old iPhone 5.

    I also wonder what is the cheapest plan with T-mobile for 2 lines. I barely use data and currently pay $15 for 200 MB with AT&T. I see T-mobile has the Simple Starter 2GB plan for $45, but can you add another line to that?

    Any advice on switching carriers would be appreciated. :)
  2. Mac7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
    It's $10 per line. I've been with T-Mobile for some years now. Their coverage is decent here in the Twin Cities, not so great once you leave the cities, T-Mobile wifi calling definitely helps here.

    If you do decide to switch, you can use me as a referral and we both get unlimited LTE for 12 months.
  3. keitarou macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2012
    The referral program to get unlimited for 12 month ends today. Who knows what they have coming up.


    $80 for both lines getting 1GB each. Simple choice plan is what you need to get. The starter is a single line plan.
  4. wolve thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    Unlimited data is meaningless to me... Like I said before, I don't use much data at all. Thanks for the clarification on the plans. Looks like $80 is cheapest for 2 lines afterall.
  5. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Be sure to check the network in your area before committing to switch. T-Mobile is notorious for having a spotty network, especially in the populated suburbs of most major cities.
  6. wolve thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    Well I live in Los Angeles, and was thinking of trying their Test Drive service first.
  7. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    I recently switched from att to T-Mobile in Atlanta. Coverage in my particular area is definitely not as good as att, even in the city. I guess it doesn't help my part of town is hilly. Also, the other day I had one of the worst calls in my house ever. I guess wifi calling doesn't necessarily fix things of wifi connection is also an issue. I'm glad I switched because I like T-Mobile as a company, but the experience hasn't been as good sadly.
  8. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    Definitely do the test drive. Better to try for yourself than reading a bunch of anonymous posts with varying levels of bias and honesty. Signal quality is always location specific, no matter what anyone says about national averages. In addition to the network quality, you can also use the test drive to try wi-fi calling.

    I've had no issues whatsoever using T-Mobile whenever I'm in LA and Orange counties (and because T-Mobile exempts speed testing apps from monthly data caps, I run a lot of network tests whenever I travel). At my parents' house, the T-Mobile signal is actually stronger than both AT&T and Verizon. The only hiccup I've encountered was at the Rose Bowl, where the LTE signal was strong but the data rate was slow (likely from too many people using the network at the same time). If you're okay with their network gaps in the outlying areas, then T-Mobile is a viable option.
  9. azhava macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    Arizona, USA
    I get the feeling that T-Mobile's coverage is mostly centered in large metropolitan areas. I know it's not a viable option where I live - everything out here for them is 2G/EDGE, with the closest LTE coverage being about 150 miles away (at least according to their coverage maps). AT&T and Verizon both have very good coverage in the area, with Sprint a ways behind them, but T-Mobile isn't even in the running.
  10. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

    Jun 16, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    You should not have problems in LA or California.

    I live in SOCal (Orange County) and wherever I go in Cali no problems with service, Even with Delta you could fly and text for free.
  11. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    Check the crowdsourced maps from RootMetrics. Those give you a better idea of what people have actually pulled in from different locations.

    Yeah, T-Mobile does focus on the metro areas, because that's where most people live and where most of the usage at any given time occurs. Their network improvements over the past year have focused on building out the LTE network in the metro areas, and now implementing wideband LTE. At my office, the network speed more than doubled in the past month (tested 61.2 Mbps).

    However, T-Mobile's rural coverage won't improve much until they start broad deployment of the 700 MHz band, which is still in the test phase and currently works only on a handful of newer devices.
  12. MGTR420 macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2011
    Wouldn't tmobile pay your ETF? You could trade in your moms flip phone to them and sell the iPhone 6. Still paying out of your pocket to switch though.
  13. wolve thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    Mom's phone will be out of contract right before Christmas, and I want to keep my current iPhone 6. Could I trade in my mom's phone to get T-mobile to pay the ETF on my contract? I think I've read other people something similar.
  14. keitarou macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2012
    It needs to be a smart phone to get $350. Any smartphone will do though.
  15. wolve thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    Well my sister has an old Blackberry Bold lying around. Would that work? :p
  16. MGTR420 macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2011
    Are you sure about that? I read another user in this forum traded in a flip phone that was out of battery and that qualified.
  17. Ashtar macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2014
    I know they will pay $350 for ETF, but can/will they do anything to help with Next? I got my iPhone 6 on Next, so there would be an ETF and the $600 payoff. Does T Mobile help with that?
  18. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    They'll only pay up to $350. You have to cover the rest if it's more than that.
  19. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012

    They have a etf and u have to pay the phone off too? Normally it's one or the other.
  20. Halamire macrumors regular


    Dec 31, 2009
    There is no etf with next. You just pay off your phone
  21. la79 macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2011
    It doesn't need to be a smartphone to get the ETF. It can be pretty much any old phone from the carrier you are switching from.
  22. wolve thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
  23. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
  24. keitarou macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2012
    That's great. It must be recent policy as it used to be less for feature phone. If not, then I stand corrected.


    Why? By the time band 12 is available widely, you could save a lot of money using T-Mobile and buy another new phone with band 12 support.
  25. floats macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2008
    I recently upgraded to an iPhone 6 on contract with AT&T and then switched to T-Mobile. I picked up the cheapest pre-paid phone I could from Target, a $15 AT&T GoPhone flip phone. Traded that in (got $1 trade in) and had to buy the cheapest T-Mobile phone I could ($30) and pay $10 for the SIM card. No issues trading in the cheapie flip phone and AT&T actually unlocked my iPhone 6 before I even paid the ETF. The unlock request is done through their website.

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