Switching to Tmo: need new iPhone for 1900 MHz support?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Retired Cat, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    #1
    I have an unlocked iPhone 5, model A1428.

    Apple says it supports LTE bands 2, 4, 5, and 17: https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    I saw that Tmo has a new coverage map and that there's growing 1900 MHz LTE coverage in previously EDGE only routes. It's probably going to be enough coverage that I could leave AT&T for Tmo.

    I though my iPhone 5 would support the 1900 MHz Tmo LTE, since Band 2 is 1900 MHz, but the people on Howard Forums say that Tmo's 1900 MHz is actually Band 25:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1855857

    Tmo's website says the CDMA iPhone 5 w' Band 25 works on their 1900 MHz LTE. It doesn't have Band 4(AWS) though so it doesn't work on most of their 1700/2100 LTE.

    Is Tmo's 1900 MHz really only Band 25?

    Anyone know if there's any possibility my iPhone 5 works on 1900 MHz Tmo? I can buy a new phone if necessary but I'd rather keep my existing phone if possible.
     
  2. IrishVixen, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

    IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #2
    Can't answer your question precisely, but had a similar situation when I brought my unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 to T-Mobile. Mine was not one of the ones from later in the model year that had the additional bands to support TM, and I was told by several sources that I wouldn't be able to get LTE speeds on it.

    I figured it was worth a try, at least. Instead of doing TM's test drive with their phone, I opted to pick up a SIM during one of their sales and activated it on their pay as you go setup. And I found myself pulling down LTE at literally four times the speed I had on AT&T. I was also able to test what kind of coverage I got with my existing phone over the areas I typically go, and found it was excellent.

    Moral of the story: you might be better off experimenting on your own than listening to the Internet on this one. I switched a week later, and the 5 ran very well even without those extra bands until I replaced it with the 6 so I could benefit from wifi calling.
     
  3. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    #3
    Problem is that the iPhone 5 introduced a midcycle production change when Apple added T-Mobile as an official carrier. The early production GSM models do not support T-Mobile's main LTE band, while the later production models do. Anything designated as a T-Mobile iPhone will support that band. Other GSM models (particularly those designated for AT&T) are more of a crap shoot.
     
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    Sell it and get one that fully supports your carrier.
     
  5. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #5
    It depends on when you got your iPhone 5.

    If you got one before Spring of 2012 when Apple released the AWS compatible A1428, then you'll be missing AWS HSPA+. It can still get Band 2 and 4 LTE (both of their LTE bands).

    If you got the one that released after Spring 2012 then it will support AWS HSPA+ as well as Band 2 and Band 4 LTE.

    So depending on which one you have, the only thing you might be missing is AWS HSPA+. The iPhone 5 has both of T-Mobile's LTE bands.
     
  6. Retired Cat thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2013
    #6

    I bought mine in late May 2013. I'm not so concerned about HSPA+ on AWS as the new Tmo rollout appears to skip HSPA+ and goes right to 1900 MHz LTE.

    The problem is I don't know which 1900 MHz band Tmo uses: 2 or 25. If it's 2, I'm good to go, but Tmo's website doesn't say.
     
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    It's Band 2. So that means your iPhone 5 will work.
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #8
    You should be concerned about hspa + coverage or else when you're away from tmobiles spotty LTE coverage you'd be stuck on 2G turtle speeds.
     
  9. Retired Cat thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2013
    #9

    Thanks! I think you're correct on that.

    After reading some more on Howard Forums, I found a thread with lots of screen shots of network field test app showing T-Mobile LTE band 2: http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1848873
     
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    If you still have the box, it says explicitly which bands it supports.
     
  11. geoff5093 macrumors 68000

    geoff5093

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #11
    That wasn't his question. He thought initially it was a different band other than band 2.
     

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