Moto X XT1093 for T-Mobile?

rite11ken

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Dec 1, 2014
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Hi All,

I was thinking whether I could use the US Cellular version of the Moto X, XT1093 with my T Mobile connection. I have posted the bands below with the bands used by T-Mobile in bold. The reason I'm thinking of XT1093 is because it covers band 12 for LTE which T-Mobile will be using a lot in the future for their 700MHz spectrum. The 700MHz spectrum would help connectivity inside buildings which currently is a big problem for me in my house in Philadelphia, PA. It also covers the general bands used in GSM. Though, it should be noted that the 1700(AWS) band isn't included in XT1093. So in all, considering that this phone is designed for a CDMA network(US Cellular), would I be able to unlock it and use for T Mobile?

USC (XT1093):

GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
CDMA (800, 850, 1900 MHz)
4G LTE (2, 4, 5, 12, 17, 25)

Thanks!
 

raptir

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Sep 4, 2010
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I'm not sure that you could unlock it, but I wouldn't recommend it anyway. T-Mobile's LTE coverage is getting there, but it's still good to have the HSPA fallback. The 2100MHz you've bolded is actually not part of T-Mobile's network, T-Mobile runs AWS which runs on 1700/2100MHz but is referred to as 1700 if you're just looking at frequencies. Also, T-Mobile doesn't run any 850MHz network, that's only through roaming agreements. Even though T-Mobile has pretty good HSPA coverage on PCS (1900MHz), the AWS is still much faster in most non-LTE areas.

The lack of AWS HSPA is not a total deal breaker, since T-Mobile does have LTE in most areas, but Band 12 LTE is not worth the sacrifice. I live outside Philadelphia and I don't think they have any Band 12 coverage up and running yet. I was on the Note 4 for two weeks and did not see LTE signal anywhere I was lacking it previously. T-Mobile doesn't have much Band 12 spectrum, and while they are working to build out a network I don't see it becoming a primary band.

If you're looking to keep the phone for >2 years, Band 12 would be a consideration. If not, I would not even think of it as a factor.
 

rite11ken

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Thanks for your response. The following link had suggested that T Mobile had bought a lot of Band 12 spectrum around Philadelphia : https://sites.google.com/site/cellularbinder/t-mobile-700a-spectrum
T Mobile has said that they would finish deploying by early 2015 so I'm guessing that's the reason you haven't seen it yet :
T-Mobile closes 700MHz A-block deal, announces plans for expansion » TmoNews

Also, they plan to use Band 12 and Band 4 in a MIMO setup to increase coverage: https://forums.motorola.com/posts/668bfbb739
https://gigaom.com/2013/06/04/t-mobiles-plan-to-supercharge-lte-a-whole-lot-of-antennas/

Since I feel all these things will be running next April at the latest and since I plan to keep my phone for 2 years, is it a good idea to go for a phone that will leave me under-equiped for the new scenario?

Thanks!
 

raptir

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The first article you linked says they plan to start rolling out at the end of this year (customers will begin reaping the benefits), it doesn't give a timeline for when it will be complete.

Band 12 and Band 4 together would be carrier aggregation, and would not increase coverage so much as it would speed. The 4x2 MIMO setup is separate from that and again is more on getting better speed where you already have signal. It also doesn't require Band 12 + Band 4 together.

If you currently have coverage issues in your house and don't want to ask them to give you a signal booster, then yeah, get a band 12 device and hope that they actually stick to their plan to roll out band 12. Go for something like the Nexus 6 that supports all of T-Mobile's bands. But I wouldn't give up T-Mobile's primary 3G band on the "promise" of low frequency LTE signal that may or may not come by next year.
 

Curtis McDonald

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I don't see the lack of AWS support for HSPA network being a major problem. Most of their network on the AWS spectrum has been updated/converted to LTE (Band 4) and any portion that hasn't soon will be. And with their expansion of LTE on Band 2 alongside the main home now for HSPA, its clear that AWS is being bred as the primary home for LTE.

If its HSPA on AWS, then their is likely LTE Band 4 as well, meaning that AWS HSPA is not necessary. This is from what I've experienced.

The Band 12 is very important and I've seen sightings of it in my area of Detroit. It has officially launched in a few markets already as well. I expect to see it covering most areas by end of next year with it being deployed first to the areas that have dead zones or major areas of office building to get better building penetration.
 

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