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  1. #1

    vahdyx's Avatar
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    iPhone 5 T-Mobile?
    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about just getting an iPhone 5 unlocked and using it with T-Mobile sooner rather than waiting for it to 'officially' release for the carrier.

    Is it safe to assume that the current iPhone 5 (unlocked) will perform the same as the official iPhone 5 will on the network?
    MacBook Pro-R, iPad 4th Gen, iPhone 5

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    It will when T-Mobile has finally switched over to the new frequencies. An unlocked iPhone 5 right now can be used on their network as EDGE. My understanding is that in some cities T-Mobile has already switch over so it's possible that an unlocked phone with a T-Mobile SIM card will work 4G. You'll have to ask your local T-Mobile people. Here in the Dallas - Fort Worth metro area the changeover should be completed by late Spring.

  3. #3

    vahdyx's Avatar
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    Okay so in time it'll be a-okay but until then it'll be spotty. I called my local T-Mobile store and they basically 3G is ready in Denver and LTE will be ready around June. So I might as well just grab one.

    Thank you for the information.
    MacBook Pro-R, iPad 4th Gen, iPhone 5

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    That's the same as it is here in Dallas - Fort Worth. But I'm going to wait until
    T-Mobile starts selling the iPhone before I get one for myself and wife. I understand that T-Mobile will also be sharing some of the AT&T system but I have no idea how that's going to work with regard to their data plans. Have to wait and see how much they'll charge.

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    That's sort of what I'm waiting for - are they going to cripple the previous customers service (like AT&T has done), require an upgrade, and have a new (more expensive) rate plan comparable to AT&T / Verizon pricing after LTE goes online.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6

    vahdyx's Avatar
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    Well I made my purchase today and day one so far seems good on T-Mobile's 3G signal. The only gripe I've experienced so far is I only have 2-3 bars of 3G at my house's basement and photos or MMS can take up to 20 seconds to send. I had a few friends send me MMS's and one took as long as an hour to get to me, but the others were within a few minutes.

    Other than that it seems fine. I get nearly full 3G upstairs and on the first floor.

    Speeds in the basement with 2 bars are 2.75 down and .53 up and on the first floor with 4 bars I achieved 3.88 down and .83 up. I live in Wheat Ridge which is less than 10 miles from Denver and from what I gather, the 3G is most powerful in Denver.
    MacBook Pro-R, iPad 4th Gen, iPhone 5

  7. #7

    MYmacROX's Avatar
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    If you have a wireless router at home, it would faster if you use iMessage and send your MMS via wi-fi.
    64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

    Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.

  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    Considering the mountainous regions in and around Denver, that's pretty good. Here in our area where the terrain is fairly flat, the signal (3G and 4G) for T-Mobile is usually strong. That's not using an iPhone though.

  9. #9

    IvanLasston's Avatar
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    It'll be interesting to see what happens when T-Mobile officially switches over its band to support the iPhone. Please keep us posted. Note - at one point on AT&T the signal name changed from 3G to 4G (even though the actual signal didn't change) and I wonder if T-Mobile will do the same once they get the iPhone. Also note even when it says 4G - it will still be HSPA+ - your phone has to say LTE for you to be getting the 4G LTE speeds. (AT&T and Verizon have deployed LTE here in CO - there is even LTE up in Summit County for Verizon)
    Good article explaining 3G/4G confusion
    iPhone 5, meet Europe: Where 4G really means 3G, LTE is scarce | ZDNet

    Just for comparisons - I am getting 10.4Mbps down 7.89Mbps up on LTE with 4 bars on Verizon near Denver. Verizon 3G is .97Mbps and .82Mbps up - so your numbers are significantly faster than Verizon's 3G speeds (for download anyway)

    From what I read TMO is going to be selling unlocked phones only - so no subsidies - so I'm not sure what waiting for the official release really buys you?
    T-Mobile USA to soon sell iPhones, cut subsidies: CEO | Reuters

    Article I found on the 4G build out
    T-Mobile racing to convert its 4G network to support Apple's iPhone

  10. #10

    chscag's Avatar
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    From what I read TMO is going to be selling unlocked phones only - so no subsidies - so I'm not sure what waiting for the official release really buys you?
    I'll still wait for the official release. T-Mobile requires a two year contract on just about any of their data plans anyway. While they have phased out phone subsidies for most of their plans, they still do provide locked phones for customers. I recently extended my contract with them for two years and received a locked phone for free.

    Also, T-Mobile sells their smart phones on a two year or one year interest free time plan. In other words, you pay for your phone each month along with paying the connection bill.

    However, if it turns out they'll only sell an unlocked iPhone 5 or whatever, I'll pass since I don't believe an unlocked iPhone is worth the asking price.

  11. #11

    IvanLasston's Avatar
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    However, if it turns out they'll only sell an unlocked iPhone 5 or whatever, I'll pass since I don't believe an unlocked iPhone is worth the asking price.
    Agreed - it is basically the cost of an iPad for the same memory size. That is pretty steep. You can get an $850 iPhone 5 64GB or an $830 iPad with Cellular ($700 with just WiFi) Heck I would almost get the iPad Mini for $659 - call it the Apple Universe Jott 1 -> stick a bluetooth on it and use it with some VOIP app.

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    I purchased a 32gb unlocked at the Apple Store ($749) and activated it on the $30 T-Mobile prepaid plan, it is a Walmart or Web exclusive. I called customer service when porting and they let me use that plan without having to go to walmart and find an activation kit, not to be confused with their $30 1500 minutes or Texts plan.


    100 minutes
    Unlimited Messaging
    Unlimited Data (throttled when you hit 5GB, it's throttled at 100mb if you go on the $50/month plan)


    The minutes don't affect me because I use Talkatone with my GoogleVoice number. The 3G in my area is good enough to route the call as data and I am near wifi a majority of the time. So 90% of the time I am never using the minutes included, I believe I used 9 out of my last month. The EDGE speeds are reasonable for light web browsing when I am not in 3g areas.


    My friend pays over $70+ easily so in less than 10 months the phone pays for itself compared to going with a subsidized phone ( $299) and 2 year contract/extension.



    Quote Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
    Agreed - it is basically the cost of an iPad for the same memory size. That is pretty steep. You can get an $850 iPhone 5 64GB or an $830 iPad with Cellular ($700 with just WiFi) Heck I would almost get the iPad Mini for $659 - call it the Apple Universe Jott 1 -> stick a bluetooth on it and use it with some VOIP app.
    Yeah, it is a small punch in the gut when you first get it. Your idea is great and one that crossed my mind while at the store but the iPad mini just didn't fit completely in my pocket or I would have gone that route. My idea was iPad mini + iPod touch 5th gen but just broke down and got the phone and am now happy.

  13. #13

    vahdyx's Avatar
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    Here's my speeds in a district closer to Denver than where I live. Speeds are even better.

    For those that know what Cherry Creek is, that's where this was.
    MacBook Pro-R, iPad 4th Gen, iPhone 5

  14. #14

    IvanLasston's Avatar
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    Report: T-Mobile's HSPA+ almost as fast as AT&T's LTE - FierceWireless
    Looks like that is average for HSPA+ 42 on T-Mobile. So don't be surprised - when the iPhone officially releases, your 3G indicator switches to 4G. It is a ruse - as it is the same network - and speed - just the indicator changes. (AT&T and T-Mobile both have decided to call their HSPA+ networks 4G) It muddies the water and to the average consumer it is faster than the 3G they are used to so you won't hear complaints. The problem is that HSPA+ tops out at 42Mbps - so you are at the upper limit whereas LTE's bottom end is 12-13Mbps. So there is a crossover in speed where LTE matches HSPA+. It is confusing but as discussed before - the big carriers are using the confusion to make claims that basically are true - but confusing.
    -Largest 4G network vs Largest 4G LTE network (Will the average consumer understand the subtlety? 4G is actually HSPA+ not LTE.)
    -Fastest 4G LTE network (AT&T is faster than Verizon but doesn't have the coverage)

    I'd like to know coverage. I bet all around the Metro area, down 25, the Springs and FoCo are all going to be in that speed range. My question is the 70 and up in the mountains. (I work in the Mountain office a lot)

  15. #15

    vahdyx's Avatar
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    iOS 6.1 has T-Mobile Carrier Information which I am currently downloading now. That's pretty cool!

    ***Edit***

    Disregard this, I didn't read the information correctly... I think
    MacBook Pro-R, iPad 4th Gen, iPhone 5

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