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Thread: How buy iphone for T-Mobile

  1. #1
    Default How buy iphone for T-Mobile
    Sorry if this is absurdly newbie, but I searched, really I did!

    I have the first 2G iPhone and its dying. Buying it was simple: got it online then performed software jailbreak and unlock, and worked fine with my TMo account (of around 10 years!). And I use the phone in Italy quite a bit and it works like a charm.

    Its time to get a new iPhone, but they closed the simple method I used. But even worse, the broadband (Edge won't cut it) of ATT phones is incompatible with TMo here in the US. (Not sure what they do in Europe, maybe Euro iPhones work here on TMo?)

    So what's the current stunt used to get a reasonably new iPhone running on TMo with greater than Edge speed, and be compatible with European/TMo GSM? I can wait 'til the rumored new iPhone is released if it would help.

    Thanks!

    -- Owen

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life
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    T-Mobile USA + 3G data speeds == DO NOT WORK / ARE NOT COMPATIBLE with all iDevices.
    Last edited by Mes; 2011-06-22 at 09:05 PM.

  3. #3
    I don't know if this site is accurate:
    Mobile Network Code - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I don't even see T-Mobile in Italy, but in many other European countries, TMO uses UMTS 2100 for 3G which would work with the iPhone.

    No iPhone will get 3G with TMO USA.

  4. #4
    Thanks guys .. just as I thought. I can't immagine why GSM in the US would deviate from the world standard. I wonder if the Euro iPhones work here on TMo!

    @GnatGoSplatA: Good point, I used TMo only when needing my US number and roaming would always put me on a good network, generally Telecom Italia or Vodafone. TMo is Deutsche Telekom so I guess thats why I got good connections.

    But I always have another phone or the iPhone 2G on a local SIM for voice and text, which is always good enough for local use. And Italy has a LOT of wifi now, in the cafe's.

    -- Owen

  5. #5
    No, I'm pretty sure Euro iPhones won't do 3G here on TMo. Our 1700MHz 3G frequency is unique to T-Mobile USA, I think. Only US TMO phones will work with 3G.

    Of course, things will change if/when the AT&T/TMO merger is approved.

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    +1. T-Mo USA uses different frequencies than what iPhones require to be able to have 3G speeds. I think it needs both 1900 and 2100, where T-Mo USA runs on 1700 and 2100 and something else :/

    Pardon me for my partial knowledge but the fact is T-Mo is missing 1900mHz so its 3G can't be utilized on the iPhone.

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    backspaces (2011-06-23)

  8. #7
    Holy cow! Is this true? .. That there is NOT a world wide standard for GSM broadband?

    This is nuts! I can understand a plethora of frequencies and up/down usage of them, but only for optimization much like there are multiple voice frequencies that adapt to signal strength and tower distances.

    But we're talking MOBILE phones here, right? You know, like airplanes?

    Does this mean even a TMo Android will fail to work world wide?

    If So, Its Dead, Jim.

    -- Owen

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by backspaces View Post
    ...Does this mean even a TMo Android will fail to work world wide?...
    It depends. It's not dependent upon the os (Android, iOS, Symbion, Win-Mobile), it's the hardware. Does the phone support the various frequencies? Note: Over the years, carriers have expand their voice coverage by adding frequencies hoping the manufacturers keep up (dual, tri, quad-band). Now we must also worry about data frequencies. This doesn't explain T-Mo USA 3G using a non-standard frequency. Maybe AT&T had all the standard spectrum locked-up and nothing else was available to purchase.
    Last edited by Mes; 2011-06-23 at 04:02 PM.

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    backspaces (2011-06-23)

  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by backspaces View Post
    Does this mean even a TMo Android will fail to work world wide?
    There are some overlap of standards between carriers, but yes, it's true that there is NOT a worldwide standard for GSM broadband!

    That's correct, most TMO Android phones will NOT connect at 3G worldwide. I believe Vodafone Europe uses the same 3G as TMO USA, so only when connected to Vodafone Europe would a TMO Android phone connect at 3G.

    There aren't really any EDGE/GPRS or voice standard frequencies worldwide either, just that there's only 4 bands used for that and apparently most manufacturers found it easy enough to make their phones quad band (although in the past I have come across dumbphones from Europe that were only 3-band and couldn't work with AT&T 850).

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mes View Post
    ...This doesn't explain T-Mo USA 3G using a non-standard frequency. Maybe AT&T had all the standard spectrum locked-up and nothing else was available to purchase.
    I was told that the FCC had allocated the Euro frequencies for Home Land Security or similar public service. FCC was in the midst of moving to clear these frequencies for standard GSM 3G usage but it would take 3 months.

    ATT reputedly would not stand for the delay thus chose odd usage of existing frequencies, thus created an incompatible Euro/US situation: 3G iPhone May Not Work on T-Mobile 3G Network

    I'm not sure how this leaves the future. It would seem to me better for the next iPhone to be "agile", being able to adapt to Euro/US differences, thus be fine for both ATT & TMo.

    Sigh.

    -- Owen

    Actually, I'd like to get back to the original question: how do you buy an iPhone that can then be used on European and TMo .. regardless of the incompatibilities with broadband?

    Sorry to have gotten off topic! The broadband question is interesting however.

    -- Owen
    Last edited by backspaces; 2011-06-23 at 05:34 PM.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by backspaces View Post
    Actually, I'd like to get back to the original question: how do you buy an iPhone that can then be used on European and TMo .. regardless of the incompatibilities with broadband?
    Well, if you don't care about 3G, then any iPhone can be MADE to work with varying degrees of annoying-ness. That is assuming you can't get a factory unlocked one, which would by far be the least annoying.

    But, if all you can source are regular locked iPhones from the USA, then the least annoying would be one that has an old baseband. 1.59.00 for iPhone 4, 5.13.04 or older for iPhone 3G/3GS. Then you will be able to do a software unlock similar to your original 2G iPhone. The annoying part is you have to be sure to NEVER EVER do a regular restore from iTunes as that will permanently kill the unlock. Anytime you wish to update, you always have to use a pwned custom firmware with baseband update removed. You can download them, or make them yourself with PwnageTool (Mac) or Sn0wBreeze (Windows).

    A locked iPhone 4 with newer baseband can be unlocked with a Gevey SIM or its various fakes. There are many different kinds that range in annoying-ness, some require dialing 112 and quickly hanging up and toggling airplane mode every time you reboot the phone or remove the SIM, some only require it once, and the latest one, Gevey Ultra, doesn't require it as it does it for you with a special program you install on the phone. I have a fake Gevey Pro that cost me $6. It works very well, but I have to go through the procedure every time I reboot or remove the SIM card... for that reason, I avoid needlessly rebooting or removing my sim and I check the battery level frequently. This method allows you to do factory restore without any worries, and the phone doesn't need to be jailbroken for it to work.

    A locked 3G/3GS on newer baseband can be updated to iPad baseband 6.15.00 which will kill the GPS function and this is irreversible, no going back. Some people have also reported reception, data, and Wifi problems. This also requires that the device always be updated using a custom pwned firmware.

    If you can find a phone with preserved baseband, that's probably the least annoying way to go, but they're real hard to find.

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    backspaces (2011-06-23)

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