Taking a Device to T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network Might Not Be so Easy

| March 26, 2013 | 9 Replies

t-mobile-4G-LTE-2013

T-Mobile has certainly been on the hype wagon lately. Between the CEO calling out competing mobile carriers, and the launch of their new ad-smearing campaign, they’ve been pretty busy.

I’m sure they will catch some slack for their new ‘Uncarrier’ prices, but that’s beside the point. According to new reports, it might not be so easy for customers to bring their existing device over to T-Mo’s shiny new 4G LTE network. That’s a bummer, because I’m willing to bet that a lot of their business would be from parties trickling off their main carrier- moving away from contract-only service.

T-Mobile is building a new 4G LTE network, that’s for sure. They are restructuring the existing 3.5G data service from the AWS band (at 1700MHz) to a 1900MHz band service. At first glance it would seem like they making a move closer to AT&T’s service frequencies, but that’s actually not the case.

According to an Engadget report, even though the T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 5 models are identical, AT&T’s model is locked down which means no T-Mobile 4G LTE signal support through the AWS band. Long story short, you can’t use an iPhone 5 from AT&T on T-Mo’s 4G network.

Okay, so what, that just applies to the iPhone, right? Sorry Android brethren, it holds true for more than just Apple’s devices it seems. For example, an unlocked version of the HTC One won’t even work on T-Mobile’s LTE network. Unless the device in question specifically supports LTE class 4 (AWS) frequencies, you will not be able to use the 4G speeds- instead, you’ll be stuck on the standard 3G speeds. Luckily, T-Mobile says “most” unlocked phones with 4G LTE support in the AWS band will be compatible with their network.

That being said, you can still use T-Mobile’s network for the most part if you don’t have a compatible 4G device, you just won’t be able to take advantage of the new speeds.

For now, the best option might be to pick up a device directly from T-Mobile. After all, how could you walk away from those amazing prices, especially when there are no contracts involved.

Hopefully you were able to detect my sarcasm at the end there.

Category: Android News

About Briley Kenney ()

Briley is a modern tech/gaming journalist, and electronic gadget enthusiast. All you need to know is that he's a self-proclaimed wordsmith climbing his way to the top. Briley writes for several online publications including Android Headlines, Dottech, The Tech Labs and more. Recently he served as a content writer for the game Tales of Illyria, and he also designed the web portal for the game.
  • Richard Yarrell

    Perfect plans great handsets and a wonderful network which is definitely building as we speak. I am happy to had dumped Verizon last year it’s been a great run on tmobile.

    • Nathan Harbin

      Yes, one thing that Richard and I totally agree on. Coming from the Verizon Gnex, Tmo es teh r0x0r!

    • http://www.androidheadlines.com/ Alexander Maxham

      Coming from Sprint back in November, I’m loving T-mobile’s hspa+ 42mbps network. I can’t wait to see T-Mobile rise to be one of the big dogs!

      • Briley Kenney

        Verizon FTW! Wait… wrong place, isn’t it?

  • Pingback: AllPhoneNews Taking a Device to T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network Might Not Be so Easy | AllPhoneNews

  • Jose Hernandez

    This article is a joke, most devices should work just fine on the hspa+ network refarmed spectrum. I have download speeds of 18 to 20mbps on hspa+. T-Mobile had been clear and up front about this issue. I they also said they would help customers unlock their phones so they can get the best service possible. God, just can’t help yourself?

    • http://www.androidheadlines.com/ Alexander Maxham

      Yes HSPA+ will work, but LTE won’t, well not as easily. Since T-Mobile is using LTE band 4 AWS for LTE, which Verizon and AT&T are not. While most devices should work, not all.

      Now who’s the joke?

      • Justin

        This is incorrect. AT&T does use AWS LTE in some parts of the country, and most if not all of their phones support AWS LTE. The article even says that T-Mobile says that most devices should be able to come over and use their LTE. Verizon as well is going to start using band 4 for their network, and their model of the Galaxy S 4 has been confirmed to support it. So it is possible that through unlocking that both the AT&T and Verizon GS4 can connect to T-Mobile’s LTE network.

        “Unless the device in question specifically supports LTE class 4 (AWS) frequencies, you will not be able to use the 4G speeds- instead, you’ll be stuck on the standard 3G speeds. Luckily, T-Mobile says “most” unlocked phones with 4G LTE support in the AWS band will be compatible with their network.”

    • Briley Kenney

      You mean “joke” like T-Mobile’s CEO calling two-year contract models ‘bullshit,’ while still offering relatively expensive service plans? That kind of joke?