Travelling to USA - which plan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by virginblue4, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. virginblue4 macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Travelling to New York tomorrow for 10 days. I already have a T-mobile sim and am just activating it now.

    It says this on the activation page when choosing between the $2 / $3 a day plan.

    "Both rate plans give you you unlimited incoming calls, unlimited calls to US mobile and US landline phones, unlimited text messages to US mobile phones and unlimited data; however the $3/day plan will give you faster internet access.

    The $2/day Pay By The Day plan gives you unlimited data at EDGE speed on T-Mobile's 2G network.

    The $3/day Pay By The Day plan gives you 200MB data at 3G speed (where available), and after you have used 200MB your internet access will slow down to EDGE speed."

    Pretty sure my unlocked UK iPhone 5 does not have the correct frequency to use 3G, only EDGE in the USA. Is this correct? So shall I just go with the $2 plan or will the $3 benefit me?
  2. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I think I recall reading a day or so ago that what we refer to as 3G over here in the U.S. is called something entirely different in the U.K.

    3G is what most U.S. carriers operate at. It's slower than 4G or LTE (which is 4G). So, based on what you put out there I would pay the $3. That would put you on the average speed for T-Mobile. It's my understanding that 2G or EDGE on T-Mobile is dreadfully slow.

    Your iPhone 5 based on a U.S. understanding of the iPhone 5 would actually be falling back down in speed as all U.S. sold iPhone 5's are LTE (4G) capable. I understand that to also be the case in the UK, but that it has to be provided to you via a carrier update if your carrier supports it.

    Hope that makes sense.
  4. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Nov 16, 2011
    Go with the $3/day plan you will get 3G/4G on the 1900MHz band which is supported by your iPhone! T-Mobile I heard has really good refarmed 1900MHz coverage in NY anyway so your good!
  5. Mind The Mac, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

    Mind The Mac macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Firstly, in the US anything running HSPA is badged 4G (unlike the UK that preserves 4G for LTE). LTE is shown as LTE.

    Access to 3G/4G depends on several things. If your phone is new since about April 2013, it might have the AWS chipset feature that will access TMo's 3G/4G AWS network - I think this is on the 1700 frequency. If not, then it depends whether your location in the USA has been "refarmed" by TMo as part of their recent acquisition of spectrum. This will allow your iPhone to connect on the 1900 frequency and offer 3G/4G service. If none of the above apply, then welcome to Edge!

    It is unlikely your iPhone (being the global GSM model 1429) will access the TMo LTE band as these differ country to country and most phones have limited bands.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your visit!

    EDIT: Just checked Apple tech specs and the GSM 1429 model did not get the AWS feature - so you have to hope the "refarming" on 1900 is working!
  6. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2013
    T-Mobile is refarmed in NYC so I guess you'll be good. Building penetration on that 1900mhz sucks though.

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