Unlocked Iphone Doesn't Work With T-Mobile 3g/4g Network?

pauly1

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Sep 13, 2013
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I been looking at iphone 4 and 4s on ebay and deciding which one to buy. I saw one that is pretty expensive for a new iphone 4s 32gb... its 480 dollars new. Yes i know that is a lot and its better buy an iphone 5 instead but i dont like how the iphone 5 looks... it looks too big.


The person advertised this as unlocked... however they said it doesn't work with tmobiles 3g/4g plan and only work with t mobiles 2g plan.


Can someone explain this? Im confused because i thought an unlocked iphone worked with all carriers.


This is the iphone im talking about

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=281166627645&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123


Can someone explain why it doesnt work with tmobile 3g/4g? I emailed him and asked him and he said it only works for tmobile 2g and obviously i know 2g is very slow compared to 3g.
 

CEmajr

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Dec 18, 2012
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Charlotte, NC
I been looking at iphone 4 and 4s on ebay and deciding which one to buy. I saw one that is pretty expensive for a new iphone 4s 32gb... its 480 dollars new. Yes i know that is a lot and its better buy an iphone 5 instead but i dont like how the iphone 5 looks... it looks too big.


The person advertised this as unlocked... however they said it doesn't work with tmobiles 3g/4g plan and only work with t mobiles 2g plan.


Can someone explain this? Im confused because i thought an unlocked iphone worked with all carriers.


This is the iphone im talking about

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=281166627645&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123


Can someone explain why it doesnt work with tmobile 3g/4g? I emailed him and asked him and he said it only works for tmobile 2g and obviously i know 2g is very slow compared to 3g.
You'll only get 3G/4G on the old iPhones if you're in an area where Tmobile has refarmed their 3G to support those frequencies. Usually this means major metro areas.

There is an unofficial map of these markets on airportal.de
 

pauly1

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Sep 13, 2013
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Well i know iphone 4 and 4s doesn't have 4g and only have 3g. But the guy mentioned that this phone doesn't work with 3g or 4g. Well obviously 4g doesn't work because the iphone 4 doesn't have 4g. But it does have 3g.


So why does it not work on the tmobile 3g network? Because the way he phrased it... if i get the simple choice plan with tmobile for 50+tax a month in the usa... then i only get 2g data?
 

CEmajr

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Dec 18, 2012
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Charlotte, NC
Well i know iphone 4 and 4s doesn't have 4g and only have 3g. But the guy mentioned that this phone doesn't work with 3g or 4g. Well obviously 4g doesn't work because the iphone 4 doesn't have 4g. But it does have 3g.


So why does it not work on the tmobile 3g network? Because the way he phrased it... if i get the simple choice plan with tmobile for 50+tax a month in the usa... then i only get 2g data?
For the same reasons I stated. This applies to the 3G network as well. If you're in one of those markets you will get 3G, if not you will only get 2G. Tmobile's main frequency that they use for 3G wasn't added to the iPhone until the iPhone 5.
 

pauly1

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Sep 13, 2013
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For the same reasons I stated. This applies to the 3G network as well. If you're in one of those markets you will get 3G, if not you will only get 2G. Tmobile's main frequency that they use for 3G wasn't added to the iPhone until the iPhone 5.

Okay well im going to be in area where there is 3g. So is there a reason why that person says i wont be able to use it in the 3g network then?
 

pauly1

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Sep 13, 2013
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He probably doesn't know what he's talking about then.
Item:
iPhone 4S 32GB White




FACTORY UNLOCKED

No Contract, Works With Any GSM Carrier Worldwide

Condition:
Brand New Unused With Open Box, May Have Minor Scratches or Scuffs (Not on screen)
9.5/10 Condition

Includes Phone, Charging Plug, Headphones, USB Cable, All Manuals


Will Not Work With T-Mobile or Simple Mobile 3G/4G Speeds.


This is what he has on the link for the iphone...
 

Nermal

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Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
He'd probably just rather be safe than sorry. If you're in a "refarmed" area then you'll get 3G. If not, you'll only get 2G.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,403
1,134
Charlotte, NC
Item:
iPhone 4S 32GB White




FACTORY UNLOCKED

No Contract, Works With Any GSM Carrier Worldwide

Condition:
Brand New Unused With Open Box, May Have Minor Scratches or Scuffs (Not on screen)
9.5/10 Condition

Includes Phone, Charging Plug, Headphones, USB Cable, All Manuals


Will Not Work With T-Mobile or Simple Mobile 3G/4G Speeds.


This is what he has on the link for the iphone...
Yeah he probably wanted to be safe like the person said above. He doesn't know what market you're in so he likely doesn't want to risk someone who isn't in a refarmed area receiving it and then complaining. I still own an iPhone 3GS which has the same radios as the 4S/4 and I get 3G on it all over my metro area.
 

pauly1

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Sep 13, 2013
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He'd probably just rather be safe than sorry. If you're in a "refarmed" area then you'll get 3G. If not, you'll only get 2G.

What does refarmed area mean? You mean in one of those areas where they dont even have cable internet or dsl and only have 56k?
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,403
1,134
Charlotte, NC
What does refarmed area mean? You mean in one of those areas where they dont even have cable internet or dsl and only have 56k?
T-Mobile uses 1700/2100 AWS mhz frequency for 3G

A couple of years ago T-Mobile begin switching (refarming) their 3G network to the 1900mhz frequency in order to deploy LTE on the 1700/2100 mhz frequency. It is not entirely complete in all markets so there are some areas where 1900mhz phones like the iPhone 4/4S will still only receive 2G on T-Mobile.

iPhone 2G
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4
iPhone 4S

Only support 3G on the 1900mhz frequency for T-Mobile

iPhone 5
iPhone 5C/5S

Support 3G on the 1700/2100 mhz and 1900mhz frequencies for T-Mobile