Considering switching to T-Mobile

graysonk95

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Current Sprint customer here.
Sprint sucks in all aspects but one: data. I currently have unlimited data and have used as much as 48GB of network data in one month on my Galaxy S4 without being throttled. Excellent.
T-Mobile is the only other major carrier offering unlimited data, so that's why I am considering them, unlimited is a must for me.
Otherwise, Sprint's service is absolutely dreadful.
LTE was supposed to be here over a year ago but is still miles away. Dead spots are everywhere (even in the city). Sprint lacks service at the local Sprint store, yet hasn't done anything about it for over three years.
Customer service is pathetic at best and complaints aren't taken seriously.

T-Mobile's ability to BYOD (bring your own device) is appealing. I'm big into being able to switch phones on the fly, which I can't do with Sprint even though my current phone uses a SIM card!
I also dislike Sprint dictating which handsets I can use on the network. I am interested in a Google Play edition phone at some point in the future, so BYOD would be great (especially if you break your phone, there's no need to get penalized by the carrier for it since YOU own it).

I'd appreciate any feedback on what I have said; is it true? False? Partially correct?
No "T-Mobile sucks". Please tell me why you're satisfied/dissatisfied with your service.

Again, I'm looking at T-Mobile for BYOD, unlimited data, and better coverage than Sprint (which appears to be the case in my town).
I'm located in rural central Maryland if that helps.

Thanks!

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zedorda

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T-Moblie rarely has better coverage outside cities than Sprint. So make sure you are in a coverage area before buying. Otherwise your right T-Mobile imo is a great wireless solution. I was a Verizon client first with my Galaxy Nexus then I added a Mifi with 5gb. I switched to T-Mobile because I didn't want a contract and bring my own Moto X and my wife's Moto G. The bill is lower than Verizon and that with tethering so I also canceled the Mifi. In my area the signal isn't classified as the best but I get better speeds than I was with my Verizon service.
 

dpham00

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Use root metrics and sensorly app to see what signal data speeds people are getting where you need it. A carrier might get good coverage in most of the city but if it doesn't get it where you need it then it doesn't do much good.

You can also buy a prepaid sim and use the $3/day plan(i believe $10 minimum

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hal3146

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I made the switch from Sprint to Tmobile 2 months ago. I live in Cary NC. In the Raleigh/Cary area Sprint LTE was spotty. On my commute I would puck up LTE the last little bit. This was not out towards the country but in the middle of the town. I could not even stream music consistently. Sprint for me had some big dead spots or network issues in the area.

Switched to tmobile and I get great data speeds around town eveywhere. I think one of the advantages is HSPA. If I turn off LTE and run a speed test I still get ar least 10mbs down around town. With Sprint when there was no LTE I dropped th EVDO which never gave me fire than 1.5mbps on a good day.

Now here is the issue. The second I drive out of a populated area I drop to Edge real quick which means slow data. Think like 0.1mbs. Enough for google maps and email but that is it.

Before switching you need to see how service is in yoyr area. If you are still on edge you will hate it. If you drive a lot on road trips you will hate it. Tmobile has announced that my mid 2015 they will convert all edge to LTE so that will help tremendously.



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graysonk95

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I checked out sensorly but there are no T-Mobile speed tests in my town. T-Mobile's coverage map indicates Satisfactory "4GLTE, 4G, or 3G".
I'm getting about 0.6Mbps up, 0.7Mbps down currently with Sprint 3G, but dead spots are everywhere. I live on a large hill, so I'm one of the lucky ones.
Compared to you guys 0.6/0.7 is probably terrible, but if T-mobile's 3G/4G/4GLTE is comparable it will make the switch worth it.

The "city" does have T-Mobile sensorly speed test data and it's about 300% faster than Sprint (where Sprint actually works), so that has me a bit more optimistic too.

If someone would explain what exactly "2G" and "Edge" are with T-Mobile and what you can do on that service, I would appreciate it. I'm in the T-Mobile 3G/4G/4GLTE zone but about 1/4 mile further into the boonies is T-Mobile 2G only.
With Sprint, all I have is "3G" that barely works "4GLTE" that doesn't work and "you have no service".

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zedorda

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T-Mobile 2G/EDGE is like 200k and u can do simple things on it without huge buffering issues. Things like MMS, Google Maps, Music streaming, Facebook, etc. But I wouldn't bother trying HD Video streaming or Video chat.
 

dpham00

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Streaming music is probably pushing it pandora maybe but Google music streaming probably not.

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IAmSixNine

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I think everybody has hit it on the head. Buy a TMO Phone, then test out coverage for the 14 days.
If your not happy return it and pay the 50 restocking fee.
i was with Sprint for 11 years and January of 2013 i left them for TMO and i have not looked back.
I am an extremely satisfied customer. I also dont travel much and live in a major metro area.. so those are factors that make TMO great for me.
 

graysonk95

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Thanks for the info guys!
I'm having a hard time convincing the rest of my family (we have a Sprint family plan) that switching is a good idea... (They hate Sprint, but refuse to leave).
I like the $3/day test option, so I might give that a shot just to show them service works in the area.

My last question is: can any phones be transferred over to T-Mobile from Sprint?
For example, my S4 takes a standard SIM card, I read somewhere that I could have Sprint unlock it so I don't have to sell mine and buy another to use on T-Mobile.
Other devices on our plan are two wireless landlines, two iPhone 4Ss, an S3, an S2-E4GT (no sim card, Sprint branded), and a mobile hotspot.
Obviously the wireless landline and hotspot are proprietary Sprint hardware, but would any of the phones be able to be used on T-Mobile?

Thanks!

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dpham00

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If you meet Sprints criteria for unlock (fulfilled service contract or paid etf) then Sprint should give you an unlock code if the device is gsm capable

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IAmSixNine

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Thanks for the info guys!
I'm having a hard time convincing the rest of my family (we have a Sprint family plan) that switching is a good idea... (They hate Sprint, but refuse to leave).
I like the $3/day test option, so I might give that a shot just to show them service works in the area.

My last question is: can any phones be transferred over to T-Mobile from Sprint?
For example, my S4 takes a standard SIM card, I read somewhere that I could have Sprint unlock it so I don't have to sell mine and buy another to use on T-Mobile.
Other devices on our plan are two wireless landlines, two iPhone 4Ss, an S3, an S2-E4GT (no sim card, Sprint branded), and a mobile hotspot.
Obviously the wireless landline and hotspot are proprietary Sprint hardware, but would any of the phones be able to be used on T-Mobile?

Thanks!

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NO. Sprints devices use SIM for the LTE stuff. Otherwise its still a CDMA based device. T-Mobile is GSM based and LTE. Also TMO uses 1700mhz aws stuff and Sprints equipment is not in that band.
So you will need to get new equipment when you go to T-Mo.
Any T-Mobile branded device will work, and the Nexus 5 will also work.
 

graysonk95

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NO. Sprints devices use SIM for the LTE stuff. Otherwise its still a CDMA based device. T-Mobile is GSM based and LTE. Also TMO uses 1700mhz aws stuff and Sprints equipment is not in that band.
So you will need to get new equipment when you go to T-Mo.
Any T-Mobile branded device will work, and the Nexus 5 will also work.

Thank you. So essentially a Sprint phone could theoretically only work on Verizon (CDMA also I believe?).
I'm looking at getting the Google Play Edition of my current phone, so I'm completely fine with needing new hardware.

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dpham00

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Correct. Verizon would only allow cdma devices that are Verizon certified to be on their network

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IAmSixNine

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OOH just another heads up.
T-Mobile uses AWS band 4 1700mhz spectrum for the majority of its HSDPA+ and LTE. Only a few years ago did they add 1900mhz spectrum and some of that too is now LTE.
The GPe HTC One (not sure about GPe GS4) does NOT support the AWS band. ONLY the T-Mobile branded version supports that band. I know this because it was brought up many times, i also own a HTC One that is T-Mobile branded and converted it to GPe for a month or so before going back to stock.
My personal favorites are Nexus 5, HTC one and Note 3. For me all of these have performed very well on the T-Mobile network.
If your on a tight budget the HTC One S was also a good phone. I used that initially for testing. Although not LTE, i find TMos HSDPA+ network to be top notch. Coming from sprint the speed difference was mind blowing. 3 months later and LTE was switched on and again awesomeness.
 

graysonk95

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OOH just another heads up.
T-Mobile uses AWS band 4 1700mhz spectrum for the majority of its HSDPA+ and LTE. Only a few years ago did they add 1900mhz spectrum and some of that too is now LTE.
The GPe HTC One (not sure about GPe GS4) does NOT support the AWS band. ONLY the T-Mobile branded version supports that band. I know this because it was brought up many times, i also own a HTC One that is T-Mobile branded and converted it to GPe for a month or so before going back to stock.
My personal favorites are Nexus 5, HTC one and Note 3. For me all of these have performed very well on the T-Mobile network.
If your on a tight budget the HTC One S was also a good phone. I used that initially for testing. Although not LTE, i find TMos HSDPA+ network to be top notch. Coming from sprint the speed difference was mind blowing. 3 months later and LTE was switched on and again awesomeness.
Thanks for the heads up, I have done a bit of research on hardware and was interested in a GS4GPE most likely (compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile).
Stock Android paired with the S4 hardware sounds like a winning combination to me.
 

IAmSixNine

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There lies the issue. The GPe HTC One is "compatible" because it has the 1900mhz re-farmed spectrum that tmo started to use a few years ago, but not the primary 1700mhz aws stuff.
So with out knowing the exact specs of the GPe GS4 it might fall in the same boat.. Unfortunately i never had an S4 as i didnt hear many good things about them so i skipped it and got a Note 3. Much better device.
 

dpham00

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T-Mobile recently acquired access to the 700mhz LTE band from Verizon also.

Probably not much of a consideration at this time since tmobile won't release b12 phones until q4.

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