Carrier T-Mobile vs AT&T

jcmoney10

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 1, 2009
59
31
Has anyone switched from one to the other? What has been your experience with T-Mobile service compared to ATT?

I’ve had ATT for 10 years, but after they have screwed me over on some “lost” trade in phones, I’m looking to switch. Is there any noticeable difference between the two services with average everyday use? I live in the suburbs just outside of a larger city, so In theory I shouldn’t have issues, but wanted others opinions and experience.

Thanks in advance!
 

msp3

macrumors regular
May 9, 2015
242
95
The most noticeable issue with T-mobile is they people running it are cheap as **** and won’t let anyone make any money except their own corp stores and dealers. This means you cannot find any T-Mobile iPhone deals anywhere and will always pay near MSRP or go on some ****** reverse contract bill credits scam T-Mobile is running

In terms of network, YMMV on your area but in general you get *exactly* what you pay for, VZW, ATT, sprint & t-mobile (soon to be one and the same) in that order
 

ImAnAgent

Suspended
Oct 11, 2018
273
209
My mind
For me, the biggest problem is coverage and neither carrier is perfect.

At Home, I have no AT&T service so I have to use Wifi calling. That's all good except for when I have a power outage, I just have no service at home them. At work, my AT&T data speeds are amazing. I often get 45-145Mbps after 5PM.

On T-Mobile, I get service at my house but it's gotten worse over the last few years due to congestion. They have clearly oversold the network. At home, I can get about 1-30Mbps during the day and 140-160Mbps overnight. At work my speeds go down to 1.5Mbps at night because I work during obvious peak usage so I use AT&T instead there now.

I wish I could live with just one carrier but NONE of them are perfect.

Even Verizon can't get me service at my house without having to use WiFi calling. It's been this way since the first iPhone in 2007 and neither AT&T or Verizon have done anything to get me service at my house here.

I bought three Verizon phones to use on T-Mobile due to T-Mobile being insanely expensive with the XS Max and the down payment. I got three XS Max on Verizon with zero down.
 

Reno Raines

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2015
1,271
553
It depends on where you live. In metro Atlanta t mobile is great and fast. Get in rural areas and not so much but they have put a lot into getting more spectrum to fix that.
 

Spoon!

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2018
256
368
I’ve left both for Verizon. Both have tried screwing me in many different ways. That and I’ve had more coverage with Verizon just about everywhere. Of the two, I preferred T-Mobile, but T-Mo is getting just as bad lately.
 

0970373

Suspended
Mar 15, 2008
2,726
1,406
I’ve left both for Verizon. Both have tried screwing me in many different ways. That and I’ve had more coverage with Verizon just about everywhere. Of the two, I preferred T-Mobile, but T-Mo is getting just as bad lately.
Ditto. Except the main reason I left was due to eSIM for post paid customers. I really needed it as I knew I was traveling so I made the switch. I initially left AT&T for TMO years ago and while I have been very happy with the updates TMO has made over the years, and I did enjoy using them, moving to Verizon really kind of put a spotlight on the coverage and speed issues and my bill is really only $5 more a month on the Verizon plans. TMO gives you some other perks but do you need it? I needed TMO previously due to the free roaming but I realized I was still using a local SIM and swapping SIM cards when I traveled overseas most of the time anyway because it was too slow for me. But now I don't need a 2nd phone with Dual SIM/eSIM, which means I get basically all the same benefits with less equipment.

But both are better than AT&T. If you have decent coverage in your area, I'd make the switch to TMO. And if you do have an eSIM phone, why not try out their service with pre-paid service? They have an app that lets you sign up (Verizon has this for new Post Paid accounts). If you like it, have TMO make a number change and port your number over. If not, you still have your AT&T service or could even give Verizon a try at that point on eSIM.
 

darksithpro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2016
582
4,491
I've been reading a lot of good things about T-Mobile recently. I'm on At&T since 2005. I've been considering switching to T-Mobile for a while. My phone has the new 71 band. So if I decide I'm good to go.
 

techiegirl

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2007
1,143
169
We tried T-Mobile most recently after we (too) got screwed by AT&T. T-Mobile charged about the same price as Verizon but with much less coverage. Verizon has coverage pretty much everywhere, while T-Mobile had no coverage up in the mountains.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,276
3,345
I switched to T-mobile a few months ago:

-coverage inside buildings is significantly worse on T-mobile but outdoors it has been pretty much the same

- T-mobile is much cheaper and you get way more for your money, I am saving almost half on my family plan (Note that I was able to get the 20% off hookup discount)

- free text, data overseas has been clutch! and free text, data, calls in Canada has been huge as I go to Toronto all the time

-Free netflix for family plans also really good. have to factor in that $10 savings a month which adds up

-Customer service has been really great in my experience, they seem to be a little more lenient and accomodating than AT&T
 
  • Like
Reactions: crawfish963

CrzyP

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2012
307
98
The most noticeable issue with T-mobile is they people running it are cheap as **** and won’t let anyone make any money except their own corp stores and dealers. This means you cannot find any T-Mobile iPhone deals anywhere and will always pay near MSRP or go on some ****** reverse contract bill credits scam T-Mobile is running

In terms of network, YMMV on your area but in general you get *exactly* what you pay for, VZW, ATT, sprint & t-mobile (soon to be one and the same) in that order
Costco has been running decent iPhone deals. No bill credits since customers have to pay full upfront.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,276
3,345
Costco has been running decent iPhone deals. No bill credits since customers have to pay full upfront.
^^^This

what makes the costco deals so attractive is that you get the refund in one lump sump about a month after getting the phone... So for the deals that require you to open a new line you can cancel the line as soon as you get the refund..... Doing it through T-mobile would require you to keep the line open in order to get your refund via monthly credits.
 

nrvna76

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2010
979
917
Switched to T-Mobile earlier this year. Coverage in my area is similar. However, On AT&T we were capped at 3mbps, I have gotten up to 125 depending on the area. Was paying $140 on AT&T, now paying $120 with Netflix included. Also qualified for T-Mobile amplified through my employer, my FAN discount on AT&T became useless with unlimited plans.

Customer service on T-Mobile is so far ahead of AT&T it isn’t funny. I had to resort to chat for everything on AT&T just to have a record of the conversation after several lies. If you do chat with T-Mobile you will repeatedly get the same rep, who will have ready access to your old conversations.

I’d check your coverage with a prepaid sim. If your coverage is similar where you use your phone it’s a no brainer.
 

Zepher

Suspended
Dec 30, 2018
18
4
Has anyone switched from one to the other? What has been your experience with T-Mobile service compared to ATT?

I’ve had ATT for 10 years, but after they have screwed me over on some “lost” trade in phones, I’m looking to switch. Is there any noticeable difference between the two services with average everyday use? I live in the suburbs just outside of a larger city, so In theory I shouldn’t have issues, but wanted others opinions and experience.

Thanks in advance!
Yes, T-Mobile cheaper, but you get what you pay for. The coverage is terrible compared to AT&T.
 

Starship67

Suspended
Oct 28, 2017
959
1,273
LA
I switched from AT&T in 2014 after being with them from 1997 Pac-Bell Wireless. Through all the name changes etc... expensive not so stellar coverage. Moved to T-Mobile and have nothing but positive experience. For me coverage is excellent fast data. Exceptional customer service and considerably less expensive.
 
Last edited:

Lobwedgephil

macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
4,581
3,059
Have had both, At&t still has better coverage, but T Mobile is faster where they have coverage. This is my area of course and depends where you are.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,585
1,620
DE
I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile over two years ago. Quite frankly, I haven't looked back. My wife is still on AT&T via her family's plan and while there have been times where she has had better coverage than I. I still get very good coverage in my home area. Plus, you can't beat free roaming to Canada, Mexico and overseas.
 

OBirder

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2015
344
241
I have AT&T for 10+ years. Currently I moved my AT&T plan to eSIM and signed up for T-Mobile One plan in parallel. I getting a promotion through my corporation which does cover 60% of the cost for 3 months, so I am testing it in parallel and then decide if I keep AT&T or T-Mobile.

So far the results are as already listed:
- In city areas (at home and at work) I am getting great T-Mobile signal and in many cases the higher speed. However since I don't stream what does it matter if it is 30, 40 or 200 mbps.

- In rural areas T-Mobile is noticeable behind in coverage. On New Years day I had been in two areas, where I had signal with AT&T and no signal with T-Mobile.

- The T-Mobile plans are attractive (bottom line price with taxes and fees)


The comparison is only a week and not yet sufficient, but I am currently considering the following:

  • Keep the T-Mobile plan - all inclusive and great for travel
  • Keep a second prepaid AT&T SIM - I just activated one yesterday - Loaded $30 valid up to 90 days; use the Pay as you go plan: $0.25 for a call and $0.20 for a text
    Won't need it during the week, but if I am in a remote nature area on the weekend, I still can make a call or text. I won't have a high volume and the $30 fo 90 days will probably be enough. Meaning it adds $10.50 (with tax) to my monthly
  • With this I have more data volume with international feature T-Mobile plan, for remote areas a prepaid AT&T plan to make calls or text. If I need more I can change the plan for $2 a day unlimited talk/text and $1 for 100MB.
  • More data, better international plan, better coverage domestic (AT&T and T-Mobile) and still save $50 per month

  • This is possible due to the dual SIM. Now I just need T-Mobile to offer eSIM for postpaid customers to make it actually work. But test is not yet finalized and final verdict open.
 

kevink2

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2008
1,339
116
I've been reading a lot of good things about T-Mobile recently. I'm on At&T since 2005. I've been considering switching to T-Mobile for a while. My phone has the new 71 band. So if I decide I'm good to go.
T-Mobile has been expanding B71 in Oklahoma and eastern Kansas (I occasionally head to eastern Nebraska). So if I decided to try T-Mobile again, I would get a new phone.

A couple years ago I tried T-Mobile and had issues with them as my only cell phone at the time.

I tried T-Mobile recently on a backup phone on a MVNO, and some of the local areas I had issues with them a few years ago are better now. Even without B71.

If I go back to postpaid, I would consider them. Cheaper than ATT postpaid, and I can always have an inexpensive Verizon MVNO as a backup for travel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: darksithpro

George Knighton

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2010
1,303
287
Has anyone switched from one to the other? What has been your experience with T-Mobile service compared to ATT?

I’ve had ATT for 10 years, but after they have screwed me over on some “lost” trade in phones, I’m looking to switch. Is there any noticeable difference between the two services with average everyday use? I live in the suburbs just outside of a larger city, so In theory I shouldn’t have issues, but wanted others opinions and experience.

Thanks in advance!
There's no substitute for a real world trial. I had an unlocked iPhone anyway, so I was able to talk T-Mobile into giving me a "trial" cellular plan that I put in my unlocked iPhone, and I ran around my usual places of living, working and traveling.

Do that, if you can.

Now that I am using T-Mobile, I will say that the biggest differences are (1)how little I pay compared to AT&T, and (2)how much better the human services are at T-Mobile.

I don't know if they'll be able to keep it up forever, but T-Mobile people sound like and act like they really want to do what they're doing, and they act like they really want you there and want to do what you need.

That applies to the chat people at T-Mobile Support, the people on the phone, and the people in the store.

It makes a difference. :)
 

Plutowillreturn

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2018
61
8
I think you have to test it out and see which works better for you. I have had every carrier and found that Verizon is the best, although you pay for it.

T-mobile’s data speeds are second to none, but coverage may be an issue. ATT seems subpar, almost in line with Sprint, performance wise.
 

techiegirl

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2007
1,143
169
I think you have to test it out and see which works better for you. I have had every carrier and found that Verizon is the best, although you pay for it.

T-mobile’s data speeds are second to none, but coverage may be an issue. ATT seems subpar, almost in line with Sprint, performance wise.
We tried them all and decided to stick with Verizon. For our family of 4, T-Mobile and Verizon were both $200/month. (Beyond Unlimited at Verizon and T-Mobile One Plus). For $200, T-Mobile wasn’t worth it.
 

ImAnAgent

Suspended
Oct 11, 2018
273
209
My mind
We tried them all and decided to stick with Verizon. For our family of 4, T-Mobile and Verizon were both $200/month. (Beyond Unlimited at Verizon and T-Mobile One Plus). For $200, T-Mobile wasn’t worth it.
I tried all three carriers during December. Verizon seemed to be the fastest but I live in a void where Verizon and AT&T can't get me service at my house without having to use WiFi calling. That doesn't help if there's a power failure, I would have no phone to use.

In the end, I am sticking with T-Mobile and AT&T. AT&T is excellent where I work and at night, I get at least 40Mbps during peak hours and with T-Mobile, I am lucky to get 1Mbps. T-Mobile service has really gone downhill lately. I just keep a line open because I can get their service at my house here in the middle of Denver unlike AT&T and Verizon.
 

BigPictureGuy

macrumors member
Mar 7, 2018
34
82
T-Mobile is one of the few that continues to invest in their network spectrum buildout spending with more than $8 billion recently deployed for their 600mhz expanded LTE coverage. No problems (urban or rural) on any newer phone (iPhone or even the One Plus 6t) that contains these new radio chipsets. Times are changing and the big companies aren’t able to provide the same data speeds as their networks have become more congested and they aren’t investing like they used to before. Just look at AT&T and their botched 5G rollout limited to only few areas within a set number of cities. Current Tmobile speeds I get in the suburbs in the mid west.

136263E9-71A6-4786-9ADC-A0C143511989.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: darksithpro

nostresshere

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2010
2,639
239
The Costco deals have been great. Current one ends on Jan 7th I think. Slickdeals has long threads about it.

Give them a 6s - buy a new phone full price - get rebate/credit of $750. Just switched 2 of 3 lines to TM and so far, so good. Prices include taxes/fees.