Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Switching Your iPhone To T-Mobile? Think twice.

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press. iPhone™ Apple Inc. T-Mobile™ Deutsche Telekom AG
Thinking of brining your current or old iPhone to T-Mobile? I suggest you think again...

Normally I do not involve myself in such trivial musings, however T-Mobile has become rather aggressive with its slanderous media campaign primarily against AT&T. I'm not even going to go into detail about their bogus so-called "bandwidth" television commercials involving various zombies, icemen, and otherwise 'slow' or 'behind-the-times' characters. I mean seriously, does anyone actually believe that T-Mobile "4G" allegedly has 50% more bandwidth than AT&T? Did T-Mobile forget that they have only recently begun implementing HSPA+ increased backhaul? Perhaps they did.  They rolled HSPA+ increased backhaul much later than AT&T...and only in small and limited areas. T-Mobile has very limited 4G-LTE availability only in a few select markets and is hoping to launch additional markets in late May or June 2013. But I digress... Thanks to a variety of reasons, you probably won't want to bring your iPhone over to T-Mobile's network (even despite the discounted monthly rates).

The biggest issue with porting an AT&T iPhone 5 (and various other phones/makes/models of smartphones including the iPhone 4) to T-Mobile is compatibility with the T-Mobile network. They have been working very quickly to "upgrade" the network across the country to support the frequencies used by the AT&T iPhone. However, until that is completed, the phone you bring over to T-Mobile will be limited to the slower 2G EDGE (or HSPA+ if you are lucky) and won't work with T-Mobile's faster 42Mbps HSPA+ network. For example, if you currently have an AT&T iPhone 5 and cancel your service and have your iPhone 5 unlocked (preferably prior to terminating service with AT&T), your phone would only be compatible with T-Mobile's slower 21Mbps HSPA+ network in about 50 cities across the country and only a handful of cities that support T-Mobile's LTE coverage. If you are not in the handful of cities with T-Mobile LTE nor the aforementioned 50 cities with their slower 21Mbps HSPA+, you will be forced to skip 3G altogether and end up using T-Mobile's 2G EDGE service on the rest of their network footprint. Doesn't sound so good after all, does it?

Want to switch your Sprint of Verizon iPhone 5? You're in the same boat as the other customers that are limited to the 21Mbps HSPA+ network in those 50 cities... and you will also be out of luck in T-Mobile's LTE markets as well, as your Sprint or Verizon iPhone 5 just doesn't support T-Mobile's version of LTE. Have a Sprint of Verizon iPhone 3 or iPhone 4? Those won't work at all. The only solution? Buy an iPhone 5 from T-Mobile directly and you will have access to their 42Mbps HSPA+ network, the 21Mbps HSPA+ network, and the LTE network where available. According to Apple, they will not be upgrading current units to be fully compatible with T-Mobile's network... The upgrade will only apply to new iPhones sold after April 2013 for T-Mobile's network.

The reason for this rant? Truth in advertising... I do not wach much television but I become very upset when I see these advertisements from T-Mobile that are clearly manipulating some outdated study and are duping people out of their hard-earned money. If I honestly thought it was a good buy for consumers and that consumers would be happy after they "jumped ship" from AT&T, I wouldn't say a thing... I only write this because of the year and a half I spent in wireless sales... and no, I am not simply an AT&T loyalist: I just call it like I see it and let the facts speak for themselves. 

iPhone™is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. T-Mobile™ is a registered trademark of Deutsche Telekom AG


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  2. Hey,I was with Boost, Virizen, AT&T ,Sprint now I am with T-Mobile. I will not be going to anyone companies I like T-Mobile. the others ar ok at best all but AT&T I had them for 3 days and backed out of my contract. I will never have AT&T again. I would do without a cell phone before I would go back to AT&T. T-Mobile cares about making a profit and cares about their customers. AT&T just cares about making a profit at the expense of their customers.Thank you so much!!!