If you are the owner of the iPhone from AT&T and you would like to join T-Mobile and their no contract plans then you can and here is how to do it.
T-Mobile have abandoned their contract plans and instead are offering single line monthly plans starting from $50 per month with unlimited talk. Of course the T-Mobile iPhone 5 is right around the corner but if you already have an AT&T iPhone then why bother?
The news is good for everyone, and if you own the iPhone from AT&T and you wish to move to T-Mobile, you could get a bargain plan.
$50 for a no-contract plan does seem to be too good to be true. However the formula of the carrier is a simple one. Instead of offering a device with subsidies and then putting the costs onto the monthly plan fee, they are allowing customers to pay for the full cost of the handset upfront or slightly discounted in some cases, and then make use of lower monthly payments.
If you have the AT&T version of the iPhone and you are not stuck in a contract with them you can take the phone over to T-Mobile. It is a very simple process and there is very little set-up involved.
Before you rush into things you make wish to check the fine print and be aware that the AT&T version of the iPhone with T-Mobile may not provide a positive experience. Both the carriers use GSM, which does mean that they are a good match, however there is an issue with the network.
Different networks run on different bands. T-Mobile use 3G and 3.5G on the AWS 1700 bands. Meanwhile the AT&T version uses he AWS 1900 band and T-Mobile do not support this entirely. Their site says that the company are working towards support for AWS 1900 band, however you do have to get in touch with T-Mobile to make sure that the network has received the update in the area in which you live.
If it doesn’t then you can still go ahead and use the iPhone with T-Mobile, however it will only work on the very slow 2G EDGE speeds. This means you may wish to pay the premium of AT&T until T-Mobile adds in support for your particular region.
T-Mobile is the only carrier right now in the US that doesn’t have LTE. However today this should change when they make an announcement at the Uncarrier event. However, even if the carrier does launch support for LTE, the AT&T version of the handset may not work on the network thanks to the band being incompatible.
Following the small print you then have to unlock your device, otherwise the AT&T handset will reject the SIM card of T-Mobile.
AT&T will unlock iPhones for eligible customers in good standing, this means:
You own the phone, or can identify the person who owned it.
The phone hasn’t been reported as lost or stolen.
You are no longer tied to a contract (either because of expiry, or you’ve paid the early-termination fee to cancel it).
Your account is in good standing, and you have no unpaid balances.
Finally, AT&T will grant no more than five unlocks per customer.
If you meet these requirements, you’re eligible to request a phone unlock. Before you do, though, be sure to back up your iPhone in iTunes — your phone will be completely erased during the unlocking process.
When the backup is complete, fill out the form to request the unlock.
Once approval has been made you will then have to wait and this can be up to seven days. The waiting period can be much shorter in some cases, however if you don’t want to take that risk then you could give AT&T a call and speak to someone and they could unlock your device straightaway.
If you have a subscription with AT&T then do not cancel the contract as this will lead to you losing your number. Waiting until your device is running on T-Mobile before cancelling.
While you are waiting you can head over to T-Mobile and sign up with them for your no contract plan. You will have to ask for a SIM card for your iPhone. You will then need to ask AT&T to transfer your phone number to the SIM card.
Once the period of waiting is over and you have your SIM card in your hand from T-Mobile, you will then have to complete the process for unlocking. You should have instructions on how to do this, either on the phone or through the website.
When the unlock has gone ahead you can then use iTunes to restore your device from the back up you made and cancel your service plan with AT&T.
All that is left for you to do is set up the MMS and web on your handset to get them working. Once you have done this you are good to go. However bear in mind that if you do travel into a region that doesn’t have support for the T-Mobile iPhone thanks to it not having rolled out, you will then run into slow data connections.