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T-Mobile to offer official support for unlocked iPhones

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Despite not being able to sell the iPhone, a reportedly leaked employee memo reveals that T-Mobile will begin to offer official support for subscribers using unlocked versions of Apple's popular handset on its network.

The memo, which was published on T-Mobile blog TmoNews.com, notifies current T-Mobile employees that starting Jan. 30, it will be initiating a support program for the carrier's estimated one million customers who use an unlocked iPhone on the network.

Coverage under the new "iPhone Scope of Support" is not comprehensive, but does include help with common procedures, information regarding handset features and specifications and "other basic device questions."

Currently, iPhone information on T-Mobile's support page is sparse and mainly focused on getting unlocked handset users up and running on the carrier's network. For example, when running a search for "iPhone" on the company's website, the top hit is a page detailing internet and picture messaging settings for the Apple smartphone.

While T-Mobile is not an official Apple carrier partner and operates on a wireless spectrum not supported by the iPhone, a report in December noted that the Deutsche Telekom holding company had been "refarming" its AWS 3G spectrum in a move that granted compatibility for unlocked versions of the device.

As contract-free iPhones are unsubsidized, they cost significantly more than their AT&T, Sprint or Verizon counterparts, however it could be the only option for a customer who is loyal to their current carrier. An on-contract 16 GB iPhone 4S is priced at $199, while the unlocked version costs $649.


Reportedly leaked internal T-Mobile memo regarding new iPhone customer support | Source: TmoNews.com


Earlier this month, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said that the company's wireless operating frequency was the key reason as to why it doesn't yet sell the iPhone.

Most recently, U.S. number two mobile carrier AT&T filed for FCC approval to transfer wireless spectrum worth $1 billion to T-Mobile, a result of a failed $39 billion bid to takeover of the smaller company. AT&T must also pay the German-owned carrier $3 billion in cash to fulfill the deal's pre-negotiated terms.

Apple's smartphone is seen as a major boon for networks that support it, and carriers have even blamed poor customer sign-up rates on not having access to the device. When the iPhone 4S was launched in October 2011, it was reported that Sprint had struck a $20 billion deal with Apple for rights to sell the next-generation handset.
post #2 of 27
I had a 1st. generation & a iPhone 3G on T-Mobile for over 2 yrs., which t-mobile knew about based
on my conversations with support when I had a billing issue. They know what iphones are using there network, though its only via "edge", & they don't care. They even offered me a family $15 data package due to the non-use of their 3G/4G network. We'd still be using our iphones if we hadn't been offered an unlimited call/text/data via 4g for $49.00 per month & a great discount on the Galaxy S2. Must admit that I'm stoked over Android & 4G speeds.
post #3 of 27
Now if only AT&T would quit their "edge speeds after 1.5 gb" unlimited garbage and start supporting their own iPhones...
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Now if only AT&T would quit their "edge speeds after 1.5 gb" unlimited garbage and start supporting their own iPhones...

Can you back up this claim?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 27
I'll back up his claim. Last month I was warned & throttled around 5GB of use as being in the "5% of heavy data users."

This month, I received the same notice at the *2GB* mark. It could be that AjbDtc826 is 'further along' than me and was throttled at 1.5GB. At the very least there *is* proof on the twitters. You can search by me: @leoofborg, as well as look at the flames against @ATTCustomerCare and/or @ATT if you need "proof."
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by leoofborg View Post

I'll back up his claim. Last month I was warned & throttled around 5GB of use as being in the "5% of heavy data users."

This month, I received the same notice at the *2GB* mark. It could be that AjbDtc826 is 'further along' than me and was throttled at 1.5GB. At the very least there *is* proof on the twitters. You can search by me: @leoofborg, as well as look at the flames against @ATTCustomerCare and/or @ATT if you need "proof."

The part of the claim I'm questioning isn't the throttling, but throttling to EDGE speeds. I'd have assume it's just hyperbole except for that portion being quoted, hence my query. Remember, EDGE has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 236.8 Kbps or 29.6KBps.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #7 of 27
Since T-Mobile needs to find a way to attract and hold on to more iPhone users, let's hope this move is followed by some free or discounted iPhone-only services to make up for the current slow data speeds for those with iPhones. Free texting would be helpful, as would a modest amount of free EDGE data. Quite a few people don't need 3G or 4G data speeds. They just want a bit more to make the hassle of jail-breaking and unlocking justified.
post #8 of 27
Actually, if you don't do streaming ( that is audio or video ) you don't need 3G or 4G speeds iPhone. Most apps on the iPhone transmit only very little amount of data. And if you get emails with large attachments you can set up the iPhone automatically download at in the background while your phone is in your pocket where you don't care if it takes 10 seconds or five minutes to download. and if you buy the iPhone unsubsidized at Apple store for $650 you can get the value plan on T-Mobile and save yourself at least $10 a month versus subsidize classic plan. Compared to the very expensive AT&T and Verizon plans you can probably save more than $20 a month which amounts to $480 in the two-year contract basically equalizing the price of the subsidize phone. Finally with hotspots showing up for free at every corner you probably be surfing more on those Wi-Fi hotspot than on the wireless network.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

Actually, if you don't do streaming ( that is audio or video ) you don't need 3G or 4G speeds iPhone.

The benefit of newer cellular technologies isn't just bandwidth speeds, but latency being reduced. With small amounts of data you can still notice an apparently speed jump because of the lower latency between '2G', '3G' and '4G'.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #10 of 27
Only "little" problem with iPhone in T-Mobile (USA) network is that it works only as 2G (not 3G). That's the fact. Hence I resigned from "converting" one. I am loyal T-Mobile customer (due to more international spport and agreements than AT&T has which is required where you travel and call in GSM networks).

If iPhone worked in Wifi-only mode I could use my T-Mobile 4G Hotspot device just like for my Macbook Air and iPod Touch.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The benefit of newer cellular technologies isn't just bandwidth speeds, but latency being reduced. With small amounts of data you can still notice an apparently speed jump because of the lower latency between '2G', '3G' and '4G'.

It is bandwidth. Check better technical comparison reports of LTE vs. HSPA, HSPA+ e.t.c. If 4 times speeds of continouous transfer is not bandwidth improvement then I am not sure what you define as bandwidth.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

It is bandwidth. Check better technical comparison reports of LTE vs. HSPA, HSPA+ e.t.c. If 4 times speeds of continouous transfer is not bandwidth improvement then I am not sure what you define as bandwidth.

You need to reread my post or ask me to clarify something you are not understanding.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

Only "little" problem with iPhone in T-Mobile (USA) network is that it works only as 2G (not 3G). That's the fact. Hence I resigned from "converting" one. I am loyal T-Mobile customer (due to more international spport and agreements than AT&T has which is required where you travel and call in GSM networks).

If iPhone worked in Wifi-only mode I could use my T-Mobile 4G Hotspot device just like for my Macbook Air and iPod Touch.

You can run it in wifi only. Just switch of mobile data. But I prefer to use a 200mb plan for $10 a month when I don't have my t-mobile 42mbps hotspot with me or not in reach of a free wifi hotspot. Those 200mb cover all my needs and also probably 50% of all iPhone users out there
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

Those 200mb cover all my needs and also probably 50% of all iPhone users out there

I remember when AT&T announced they were dropping the Unlimited plans and people complained yet when they actually checked their data usage they found they could save money by going with a capped plan. I still use quite a bit over 200MB (without tethering) but I am under 2GB. That said, I probably would have kept the Unlimited plan had not AT&T dropped me after repeated warnings of breaking my contractual obligations from unatuthorized tethering.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I remember when AT&T announced they were dropping the Unlimited plans and people complained yet when they actually checked their data usage they found they could save money by going with a capped plan.

I don't go nutty with my iPhone use (I have an iPad for that which is on unlimited) and I recently looked at my usage. Since I got the phone in Oct I have sent some 50MB of data on 3g and received 180MB.

As for the whole T-Mobile thing, if folks want to pay full price or jailbreak and void their warranty to get EDGE speeds I say let them at it

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #16 of 27
Long Live T-mobile, I've had an iPhone with T-mobile since 2k7. Now I have an iPhone 4, I use on avg 100-120 MB each month with edge speed. No complaints from me. I find T-mobiles edge to be much faster than my friends on 3G with their iPhones on AT&T. Im never leaving T-mobile, Ive got unlimited talk, text and web. I saved 997 including a full price iPhone 4, by staying on T-mobile FUCK at&t and their overpriced shit

Official support is awesome!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Can you back up this claim?

Actually I can in fact with screenshots I've taken (reply to this with your email and I'll be glad to send u them). In December they throttled me at 2gb. January they started at just over 1.5 gb. I've tested my speed difference and I barely get over 100 kb DL but I get 600 kb upload.

I've called AT&T and they say they can in fact get away with this because te agreement is for unlimited data, not necessarily 3G- speeds. Which to me is a slap in the face as I've been a loyal customer for years with 4 lines.

But I also believe this is in retaliation to the Tmobile drop as they've been complaining data users like me need the extra bandwidth. I guess their plan was to instigate enough data users to make a stink for them to go to government with. Still, it's like using a child to shield yourself from a robbery.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

If iPhone worked in Wifi-only mode I could use my T-Mobile 4G Hotspot device just like for my Macbook Air and iPod Touch.

Are you talking wifi for data only, or wifi for calls and data? iPhones automatically prefer wifi over cellular for data, so if you're using a hotspot device, you should be covered for data.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot9201 View Post

I had a 1st. generation & a iPhone 3G on T-Mobile for over 2 yrs., which t-mobile knew about based
on my conversations with support when I had a billing issue. They know what iphones are using there network, though its only via "edge", & they don't care. They even offered me a family $15 data package due to the non-use of their 3G/4G network. We'd still be using our iphones if we hadn't been offered an unlimited call/text/data via 4g for $49.00 per month & a great discount on the Galaxy S2. Must admit that I'm stoked over Android & 4G speeds.

The plan is a good price. If it is a family plan though, you probably multiply that times the number of lines you have assuming they have data as well (I have been with T-Mobile four years).

The phone likely stinks though (based on my limited time playing with it). T-Mobile also offers the Nokia Lumia. If you didn't want to use the iPhones on T-Mobile, I would have went with that. The build quality in comparison to T-Mobile's Android offerings is probably the best. Further, unlike Android, Microsoft has implemented the same system as Apple in terms of updates. So updates will be pushed to all phones. A year from now you will not be left in the dark like Samsung, Motorola, and HTC have a habit of doing.

That is if your phone lasts that long. Samsung, Motorola, and HTC (to a lessor extent) make crappy phones. I haven't had one Motorola Phone last the contract term, yet I have an iPhone 3GS going on three years (in the family). My brother has the Samsung made Nexus. Plastic parts are cheap. It has the tacky Google, Samsung, and Verizon logos all over it.

As far as data on T-Mobile goes using the iPhone, I just added data to my T-Mobile value plan. Most people on T-Mobile are using 4G. Few are using Edge. That has benefits for the phones using Edge because the Edge network isn't as congested as it used to be a couple of years ago. Loading email and surfing the web are pretty quick now (compared to a couple of years ago). Moreover, I suspect for most people the cellular data connection speed isn't a huge issue because most people in cities will always be near a wifi connection, which is going to be faster than the cellular data speed anyway.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I don't go nutty with my iPhone use (I have an iPad for that which is on unlimited) and I recently looked at my usage. Since I got the phone in Oct I have sent some 50MB of data on 3g and received 180MB.

As for the whole T-Mobile thing, if folks want to pay full price or jailbreak and void their warranty to get EDGE speeds I say let them at it

Even if you buy your phone new unlocked from Apple, you pay significantly less over the life of the plan on T-Mobile. The price of a $649 iPhone (minus the upfront cost on a subsidized plan) would cost $18.75 cents over two years.

A basic two line family plan with texting and 3 GBs of data cost over a hundred and forty five dollars a month on AT&T. On T-Mobile the same family plan costs around eighty dollars a month. So if you spread the cost of two iPhones over the life of the plan on T-Mobile the cost would be about a hundred and fifteen a month. If you don't need a data plan, the cost drops even more on T-Moble. You can't use iPhones on AT&T without a data plan. On T-Mobile you can.

As far as Edge on T-Mobile goes, almost every where I go has wifi. My phone has maps stored on the phone, so I don't' need data for GPS functionality. Further, T-Mobile has greatly improved its Edge network over the last few months, and there aren't as many people on it, so for things like web surfing and email Edge is fast enough. I wouldn't want to stream video on it though.

Jailbreaking only voids the warranty if caught. If you fully restore the phone, there is no way to know it was jailbroken.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quash View Post

Long Live T-mobile, I've had an iPhone with T-mobile since 2k7. Now I have an iPhone 4, I use on avg 100-120 MB each month with edge speed. No complaints from me. I find T-mobiles edge to be much faster than my friends on 3G with their iPhones on AT&T. Im never leaving T-mobile, Ive got unlimited talk, text and web. I saved 997 including a full price iPhone 4, by staying on T-mobile FUCK at&t and their overpriced shit

Official support is awesome!

Moreover, the official support is more likely T-Mobile laying the groundwork for the inevitable. Namely, the iPhone coming to T-Mobile. Apple and T-Mobile would know way in advance if it was going to happen. Deutsche Telekom is one of Apple's biggest carrier partners overseas. I don't see Apple snubbing T-Mobile here. It made sense when AT&T announced it was going to buy T-Mobile. No sense for Apple to invest money on a platform that was going to turn into AT&T.

It is funny, many people are as loyal to T-Mobile as they are to Apple. It sometimes makes it a bit of a challenge for us iPhone users, but I too wouldn't switch from T-Mobile provided they keep providing the same level of services.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Even if you buy your phone new unlocked from Apple, you pay significantly less over the life of the plan on T-Mobile. The price of a $649 iPhone (minus the upfront cost on a subsidized plan) would cost $18.75 cents over two years.

A basic two line family plan with texting and 3 GBs of data cost over a hundred and forty five dollars a month on AT&T. On T-Mobile the same family plan costs around eighty dollars a month. So if you spread the cost of two iPhones over the life of the plan on T-Mobile the cost would be about a hundred and fifteen a month. If you don't need a data plan, the cost drops even more on T-Moble. You can't use iPhones on AT&T without a data plan. On T-Mobile you can.

As far as Edge on T-Mobile goes, almost every where I go has wifi. My phone has maps stored on the phone, so I don't' need data for GPS functionality. Further, T-Mobile has greatly improved its Edge network over the last few months, and there aren't as many people on it, so for things like web surfing and email Edge is fast enough. I wouldn't want to stream video on it though.

Jailbreaking only voids the warranty if caught. If you fully restore the phone, there is no way to know it was jailbroken.

1) I don't get how you came to "$18.75 cents" or what it means.

2) What about if you don't care about talk time because the minimum plans for each is more than sufficient, and you don't care about SMS/MMS because you think it's a racket and can commicate fine with iMessage, email and IM on your phone? Also, I like my data fast and wouldn't put up with Verizon and Sprint's slow EV-DO so I certainly wouldn't put up with T-Mobile USA's EDGE just to save a couple dollars. I don't see the market for a $650 iPhone running only on EDGE to be very large in 2012.

3) My AT&T bill with 2GB data was under $80 last month. With a subsidized 16GB iPhone that is $199 + (24 x $8*) = $2,119** over two years or $88.29 per month on average.

PS: Due to the factory unlocked iPhone being of higher value in after market sales that difference between the factory locked or SW unlocked iPhones needs to be taken into account when looking at the total overall difference.


* Rounded up.
** Not including activation of phone or taking into account that I upgrade my phone less than every two years.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #23 of 27
Not hatin' just sayin' ... Isn't using an iPhone 4 or 4S on Edge kinda like trying to run a BMW on spit and moonshine?
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Not hatin' just sayin' ... Isn't using an iPhone 4 or 4S on Edge kinda like trying to run a BMW on spit and moonshine?

Unless you are around a lot of WiFi or mainly want the device for using apps that are dependent on the internet it does seem like a poor alternative. I'm sure fit the bill for that type of usage but those are surely fringe cases. While also fringe cases I bet there are most that just think they are better for not being on the big bad evil networks.

They are like the people in the Matrix that think they are free but they eventually find out they are still in the matrix, just a more unpleasant one. That's what happened in the 3rd movie, right? I could quite figure it out.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #25 of 27
What you DID NOT HEAR about T-Mobile through AT&T's eyes:

http://www.cringely.com/2011/03/att-...-for-its-wifi/

Hints to the iPhone future:
http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/article...d-wifi-calling
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Not hatin' just sayin' ... Isn't using an iPhone 4 or 4S on Edge kinda like trying to run a BMW on spit and moonshine?

I'd rather use it with data blocked to and from the device entirely. I'm not wasting my money on something I do not need, will never use, and therefore do not want at all.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

What you DID NOT HEAR about T-Mobile through AT&T's eyes:

http://www.cringely.com/2011/03/att-...-for-its-wifi/

Hints to the iPhone future:
http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/article...d-wifi-calling

Cringely is nuts.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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