Carrier Switching from AT&T to T-Mobile

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TechGuy1530, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. TechGuy1530 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2015
    Good afternoon,

    I am really looking forward to making the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, however I have some questions hopefully someone can help answer so I go better prepared into the call with customer service for the transition.

    A.) AT&T recently decided to end contract pricing. Does this mean all on-contract phones can now be unlocked without having to pay the full premium? My iPhone 6S shows as 'Eligible for upgrade' on the AT&T website which is strange considering it's only been 10 months since the iPhone 6S came out in comparison to the usual 18 months before you can upgrade early on-contract.

    B.) How long does unlocking a phone usually take?

    C.) Should I call up AT&T with the idea to switch once more AFTER unlocking my phone to see what they can offer me before I make the switch to T-Mobile or should I just forget it (especially for those with previous experiences with customer service prior to a network switch).

    I would really appreciate some answers.

    Thank you!
  2. jdlindsey7 macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2010
    Unlocking your phone should only take 5-7 business days, if all goes well. I moved from AT&T to T-Mobile and I've been thrilled with the outcome. I now have better coverage (live in OKC), save 25% per month, and I have unlimited data.
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    A. You need to pay your final bill along with any etf fees you might have for AT&T to unlock your phone.
    Just because they stopped 2 year contracts it doesn't mean they let go everyone etf free or they unlock devices that haven't fulfilled their obligations.

    B. Once AT&T approves and processes the unlock it shouldn't take longer than a few days.

    C. You can try calling AT&T and give them the deal you're going for with tmobile. It's worth a shot but they cannot match neither data amount, tethering, international freedom perks or monthly price.
    I tried too but it was pointless and a waste of time.
  4. erayser macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2011
    San Diego
    I had the same question as B... but don't really care at this point. AT&T is pretty transparent on how they want to eliminate GFUDP. Went to the AT&T store last week to add my 13 year old before going to camp this week. Asked a question if I could change billing under my name... not problem, but it's a new account under a new name... I can hear them in my head, "we got your UDP" and I see their grin. I didn't react, but it just made me think we could continue with what we have, but sooner or later... they will find another way to get my UDP. Left a bad taste in my mouth and just wanted to be done with it. Not that happy about the move... but glad it's over.
  5. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014
    I have tmobile i cant complain, unlimited everything under 100 bucks
  6. Smtevo macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    love t-mobile, made the switch when they had the buy an iphone get one half off so I just waited for att to unlock my old phones then sold them.
  7. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I'm currently using T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon for the twelve smartphones in my family. Personally I have a minimum of one phone on each carrier. Variety of phones and carrier's is what I enjoy. Here's my ranking in order.

    1) Verizon
    2) AT&T
    3) T-Mobile

    I'll admit I like a deal... but service is far more important to me. T-Mobile isn't bad but you get what you pay for and unlimited but heavily throttled is the ugly truth behind T-Mobile. It's OK at the beginning of the billing cycle, but cross the threshold and it's a brick wall...useless to me.
  8. rigormortis, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    I hate these AT&T vs t-mobile arguments. They are roaming buddies. They are supposed to allow you on each others network.

    Fat wallet has a great deal for ' net talk connect ' I signed up for the $100 5 month plan. I get all the binge on features (video + streaming + data stash ) plus 10 gigs a month. You have to buy their SIM card for $10. Its not a t-mobile branded sim. Its plain white

    You have a 6s. So its possible you are in an area that has band 12. People who complain about coverage might not have band 12 phones.

    T-mobile isn't lending out phones anymore to try them out

    My $100 for 5 month plan ( and $45 each month afterwards ) gives me the Tuesday deals too. Like pizza and lyft and movie ticket. I just can't have stock.

    The only bad thing about Net talk connect is you can't check the balance of your stash.and what happens if they go out of business??. And thats about it. What I mean is I can call #932# to see how much data I used. I just cant find out how much I have in the bank

    You can also try porting to that t-mobole $30 5 gig 100 minute plan .and then port back to AT&T or cricket

    Cricket is an option. You get unlimited AT&T for $60 a month , but your speed is limited to 8 mbit

    Never call AT&T to cancel!!!!!! You must PORT the number to a different carrier to cancel. If you call AT&T to cancel your service you will lose your phone number.

    Make sure you have the phone number + account number and pin code ( password) for the port.

    The important thing to remember is you have a 6s. It is universal and will work with all 5 carriers. If it is unlocked. You wont have to trade it in if you ever want to try sprint. Oh sure you will want a new iphone when the 7 comes out, but you wont have to buy one just because you want to switch carriers

    Once you are out of contract !!! try a different carrier each month!
  9. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    Roaming agreements depend on the area. In LA I never am able to roam on AT&T.

    In my experience AT&T and Verizon have Tier 1 service. T-Mobile is noticeably worse, especially without a 6S. With that said if you use a lot of data then T-Mobile is worth the cost savings.
  10. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    That's incorrect. I don't think I've EVER seen an AT&T customer roam on Tmobile. And T-Mobile only has super throttled roaming in select areas with a small data cap on AT&T's network.

    For example, you won't roam on AT&T in the middle of NYC or Boston. Not happening.
  11. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    If you're at all unsure, call AT&T and tell them you want to cancel. You'll get routed to the "Oh no, someone's canceling" department and these folks will do whatever it takes to keep you as a customer. They'll match whatever deal you're getting somewhere else. Anyone else in any department couldn't care less if you cancel and will offer nothing to keep you. This happened twice to us. *This was a business account.

    We switched to T-Mobile last September. Our coverage is as good or better where we live, we've got new iPhone 6s's for $19 a month, and we've got 10 gigs of data each for the same price AT&T was giving us 2 gigs, to share.
  12. pixel_junkie macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    We have 2 lines unlimited everything for $100 - you should complain.
  13. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009

    Please don't quote me, just google it

    AT&T used to roam on t-mobile back when they were Cingular/Pacific Bell.

    See what happened was AT&T and T-mobile entered into a roaming agreement in 2003. And then AT&T tried to buy T-mobile for 39 billion dollars in 2011. AT&T cancelled. And this gave T-mobile an Extension of their original agreements.

    Most recently they were fighting with the FCC to get their roaming rates lowed.

    So I am correct. If you are in a t-mobile area and you cant get servce. Blame AT&T , Blame Verizon, blame any of ATT's subsidiaries . They are the ones that are supposed to give you access
  14. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    No, you're still wrong... The reddit link YOU posted proves my point. I said select areas. You think it's everywhere.


  15. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009

    Blame AT&T for not agreeing to cover those areas then. Quit nitpicking.
  16. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Why should AT&T/Verizon let T-Mobile onto its network, especially when all Tmo does, is publicly attack them?

    This isn't welfare or charity. If T-Mobile wants to compete with the big boys, they need to stop relying on their SELECT roaming.

    Nitpicking? You were shown to be wrong, and now you're complaining that I'm nitpicking?

    What a joke. I'm done with this non-sense.
  17. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    Because the FCC ordered them to. It was better back in the 80s when we had to pay 2x for the call because we were roaming domestically. Now that its lllegal to charge customers for domestic roaming, its gone downhill

    Why does Verizon have 21 roaming agreements ? And then say they are superior to everyone else ? Why are those companies allowing Verizon customers on their network?

    I lived In Calaveras. We had Golden State Cellular. It was Verizon's roaming partner. The signal was pretty bad. They got mad at their Verizon customers using Fem to cells so they had them all shut down

    I tell people all the time. Verizon has the most coverage because they have the most roaming agreements. The towers you are connecting to are not even theirs.

    You know. Sprint and Verizon let their customers on each others network as well.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 7, 2016 ---
    Its called building out the GSM and CDMA networks
  18. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    You really don't know what you're talking about.

    Read up on the LTEiRA program. They're not really roaming agreements. It's more about shared resources and capital.

    For example, Pioneer in Oklahoma. Basically Verizon gives them spectrum and access to cheaper buildout costs (due to sheer volume). In exchange, their customers can roam across Verizon's native network for no extra cost.

    The program isn't even that big. ~2.6m POP. Verizon (and AT&T) are closer to 315m POPs natively.

    Well, that can be said about most cellular companies. All the carriers don't own the vast majority of their towers. They rent space from companies, like American Tower.
  19. geoff5093, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016

    geoff5093 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2014
    Dover, NH
    No, they are not. You get very specific roaming, generally in certain areas where the other carrier doesn't have native coverage and they want their customers to have coverage. You almost always will not roam onto the other carrier if that market is covered, even if the spot you are in inside that area is a dead zone. Likewise, just because you leave the city doesn't mean you will always roam on AT&T, only in select areas.

    No, the FCC does not "order" carriers to roam on other carriers EXCEPT for 911 calling. Roaming agreements for phone, text, and data are up to each carrier. When roaming, the carrier that you are roaming on bills your carrier for any use, which is why they limit it to certain areas.

    Verizon has their "LTE in rural america" program, which allows small regional carriers to share LTE roaming, which benefits both of them.

    Verizon has the most coverage because they have a larger native footprint. They actually have a relatively small roaming area since their native coverage is so expansive.

    You don't connect to towers. Towers are a physical structure which are generally owned by a tower company. Carriers have been getting away from owning their own towers for a while now.

    Sprint customers get 1x and 3G in many of Verizon's coverage areas, which is good for calls and texts, but pretty poor for data. In many areas, Sprint only has voice roaming and no data roaming. Verizon does not roam on Sprint. Verizon roams on US Cellular and a few other carriers.
  20. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014

    Why should i ? you dont know exactly how much i pay, jokes on you wise guy

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