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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
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    Default How do I know what frequency I need?

    I have sprint right now and decided to leave them and join T-Mobile.

    I saw the commercial for the unlimited everything plan for $69 and found out that I have to bring my own unlocked phone or buy a T-Mobile phone full price ( $600+) I was checking ebay and amazon and found a bunch of GSM phones like the GS3 and I realized that I need to find out what frequency T-Mobile uses. I did some research on google and the T-Mo site and found out that I need 1700/2100mhz. Can anyone provide more info so I can make sure I'm not shelling out big bucks for an unlocked phone that wont give me the full experience?

    How do I make sure the phone i get will work on T-Mo Voice, 2g, 3g, 4g, voice mail, text, picture and video messaging?
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmiekain View Post
    I have sprint right now and decided to leave them and join T-Mobile.

    I saw the commercial for the unlimited everything plan for $69 and found out that I have to bring my own unlocked phone or buy a T-Mobile phone full price ( $600+) I was checking ebay and amazon and found a bunch of GSM phones like the GS3 and I realized that I need to find out what frequency T-Mobile uses. I did some research on google and the T-Mo site and found out that I need 1700/2100mhz. Can anyone provide more info so I can make sure I'm not shelling out big bucks for an unlocked phone that wont give me the full experience?

    How do I make sure the phone i get will work on T-Mo Voice, 2g, 3g, 4g, voice mail, text, picture and video messaging?
    If you're looking at the S III, the SGH-T999 is the T-Mobile variant that's compatible with their 1700/2100 bands. They're not exactly cheap to buy off-contract, though.

    A great unlocked alternative would be the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+, $349 plus tax and shipping at the Play Store. It has a slightly smaller 720p screen (a 0.15" difference, not much) and Jelly Bean is already available for it. It's a stock Google phone, so it doesn't have 3rd-party UIs or software installed, nor does it have any carrier bloat. It's a pentaband device, so it works on any GSM carrier, including T-Mobile & AT&T in the US.

    I just got my unlocked Nexus last week on T-Mobile (I left Sprint like you did). I'm very happy with my decision. Just FYI though, their $69/month Value plan (unlimited everything) requires a 2-year service agreement. So if you're not comfortable with signing a contract, you can check out their prepaid for a bit, too, to see how your service is.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    I was thinking about the galaxy nexus but I think i prefer the gs3. I guess my real question is about the 1700/2100... what exactly does that mean? On all the sites I see umts / gsm / 3g with a whole bunch of numbers. In order to make sure the phone is 100% compatible do I need to see both 1700 and 2100 in all categories or just one or the other or what??
  4. #4  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    1700/2100 refers to the AWS band that T-Mobile uses for delivering HSPA+ and that's the band you're worried about for high-speed data on T-Mobile's network. The 1700MHz portion is used for upload and the 2100MHz for download. Hence, you need a phone that supports that band (typically referred to as AWS 1700, or Band IV) if you want high-speed data with T-Mo.

    Again, if you're looking at the S III, you need the SGH-T999 if you want high-speed data with T-Mo. 2G/EDGE would be the fastest speeds attainable with the other variants.


    I was in your same boat about a month ago when I was contemplating a new phone purchase. I originally wanted to get an S III, but off contract. But the sticker shock of $600+ to buy one outright was enough to sway me to the unlocked G-Nex. What I would suggest is to visit your Sprint Store because they should have both the CDMA/LTE G-Nex and the S III on display. Play with both of them and see what you prefer. Both are very snappy devices, but different (Stock Google vs. TouchWiz). I've always preferred plain, stock Android and I always rooted my past devices to make them that way. So the G-Nex was an easy decision for me. Very fast straight out of the box and no rooting required. :-) The 5MP camera and lack of microSD expansion are letdowns, but the steep price difference to get into an S III was a huge consideration for me.

    But in the end, buy what makes you happy. :-)
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    this came from: Huawei Ascend P1s - Full phone specifications

    In order for both 2g and 3g to work do I need it to say both 1700 and 2100 for both 2g and 3g or just one or the other?


    2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100

    I dont want this phone, I was just using it as an example.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Ignore reading all those specs and buy TMobile phones. US TMobile smartphones will guarantee you get a hspa+ compatible phone.
    Go to TMobile website to see what phone they are selling

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Again, the phone specifically needs to support the 1700MHz band for 3G and HSPA+. That Huawei you linked to appears to (1700 is listed under its 3G radio specs). 2G is different: T-Mobile uses the 1900MHz band for 2G (GSM). Practically all GSM phones support the 1900MHz band.

    T-Mobile is also starting to transition its 1900MHz band to handle 3G/HSPA+ to lure customers with devices like iPhones that don't support the 1700MHz band (right now, iPhone users on T-Mobile are limited to 2G/EDGE data speeds). But I wouldn't count on that transition completing any time soon. It's best to just buy a phone that's fully T-Mobile compatible.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Thanks for all of your help guys I get it now. I'm gonna go with your advice and just buy the phone from tmobile. I was kind of hoping I could import one from Europe with a quad core and because the European phones usually get updates first but I'm sure I will be happy with the dual core one.

    How is tmobile with updates do they take forever like sprint or are they pretty quickly done?

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmiekain View Post
    Thanks for all of your help guys I get it now. I'm gonna go with your advice and just buy the phone from tmobile. I was kind of hoping I could import one from Europe with a quad core and because the European phones usually get updates first but I'm sure I will be happy with the dual core one.

    How is tmobile with updates do they take forever like sprint or are they pretty quickly done?

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    We only know that the T-Mobile GSIII is getting Jelly Bean "soon", but no date has been confirmed. The trend has been for a carrier to push one major OS update to a device and then stop.

    Also, the US S III variants do get 2GB of RAM (the international version has 1GB) to sort of offset the processor difference. The S III is a very fast device, so no need to worry there. :-)
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatsitsname View Post
    Ignore reading all those specs and buy TMobile phones. US TMobile smartphones will guarantee you get a hspa+ compatible phone.
    Go to TMobile website to see what phone they are selling

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

    Update:
    I took this advice and got the galaxy s3 from tmo directly. Unfortunately even though the website map said I was in an area which would give me excellent 4G service I found quickly after activating the phone that the website is inaccurate all I got was edge and it was even slower than the sprint 3g so returned the phone and canceled the contract. I'm gonna try at&t and get the nexus 4.

    Thanks for all of your help guys. I'm really glad I tried it. Tmobile just isn't for me.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
  11. #11  

    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmiekain View Post
    Update:
    ... Unfortunately even though the website map said I was in an area which would give me excellent 4G service I found quickly after activating the phone that the website is inaccurate all I got was edge and it was even slower than the sprint 3g so returned the phone and canceled the contract. ...
    RIGHT ANSWER. Getting an unlocked phone like the Nexus 4 and a prepaid plane will save you money, and you'll get updates much sooner. Even if the SGS3 seemed like the best phone.

    The unlocked N4 will support Tmobile 's HSPA+ 42 but if their coverage in your area was crap, it will work fine on AT&T.
    Sent by accident, not using the Android Central app
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  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
    RIGHT ANSWER. Getting an unlocked phone like the Nexus 4 and a prepaid plane will save you money, and you'll get updates much sooner. Even if the SGS3 seemed like the best phone.

    The unlocked N4 will support Tmobile 's HSPA+ 42 but if their coverage in your area was crap, it will work fine on AT&T.
    Yeah, i have been reading about straight talk and a few other MVNO's that use AT&T but I was turned off from them when I learned that the unlimited data they offer isnt unlimited. They cancel you if you use too much data in one date. So, while there is no actual defined limit there is a invisable line which if/when you cross it, you can lose service. I read about a few people that lost their phone numbers after using too much data on red pocket and straight talk because they cancelled their service and there was no way to get the phone number back.

    I've been looking for a pre-paid carrier that will allow at least 3gb of data before cutting you off. If you know of one please let me know. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and pay $109 a month for AT&T when I get my nexus 4.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmiekain View Post
    Update:
    I took this advice and got the galaxy s3 from tmo directly. Unfortunately even though the website map said I was in an area which would give me excellent 4G service I found quickly after activating the phone that the website is inaccurate all I got was edge and it was even slower than the sprint 3g so returned the phone and canceled the contract. I'm gonna try at&t and get the nexus 4.

    Thanks for all of your help guys. I'm really glad I tried it. Tmobile just isn't for me.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
    May i ask what state you are in? I want to switch to tmobile when the nexus 4 comes out but it's stories like yours that make me wary... im in excellent coverage according to both the prepaid and postpaid maps
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  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  
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    Default Re: How do I know what frequency I need?

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyplayr View Post
    May i ask what state you are in? I want to switch to tmobile when the nexus 4 comes out but it's stories like yours that make me wary... im in excellent coverage according to both the prepaid and postpaid maps
    I'm in Ontario California. I had only 1 bar of voice coverage in my house and 2 bars outside in the middle of the street. I only had Edge data both inside and out. When I drove to work (in Orange County) the voice coverage was great but indoors I only had Edge data and outside I got 4g but it averaged about 2mb down and 400kb up. Also, the ping was always super high like over 1000.

    I plan on getting the nexus 4 too but I'm gonna go to straight talk and get the AT&T sim.

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