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

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pauly1, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. pauly1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #1
    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.
     
  2. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    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
     
  3. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #3
    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?
     
  4. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    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.
     
  5. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #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?
     
  6. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    He probably doesn't know what he's talking about then.
     
  7. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #7
    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...
     
  8. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    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.
     
  9. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    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.
     
  10. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    #10

    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?
     
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #11
    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
     
  12. pauly1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2013
    #12

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