Using Verizon Samsungs on T-Mobile - can it be improved?

emveelee

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Aug 6, 2018
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My husband and I recently switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. We are using Samsung phones (S7 and S6) that originated on Verizon that we brought with us to T-Mobile once our Verizon contracts were done.

So far, our experience has been...not great.

Service has been spotty if not downright awful, depending where we are. (We are traveling around CA this summer.) I expected a weak signal in places like Lake Tahoe, but not in more populated areas like Santa Barbara. While the phones often show a 4G connection, the connection frequently switches to others like E and H, often literally within the same block as we are driving down the street.

I am less concerned about this - at least it's a signal - but now we both frequently notice that we have no signal whatsoever in areas where it seems like there should be *something* - like the middle of a city.

Adding to the difficulty, we are unable to activate wifi calling even though it should be possible on both Samsung models, was an option when we were on Verizon, and is a T-Mobile feature. From what I understand, the loss of wifi calling (there is no option to enable it anywhere in the settings) is a result of using a phone originally configured for Verizon on T-Mobile.

What we've tried so farWe recently got a CellSpot which helps marginally wherever we are staying, but I'm not sure how to manage a weak or non-existent signal when we are out and about.

I also tweaked my APN settings yesterday to ensure that the APN protocol and roaming protocols are set to IPv4/IPv6 but haven't really noticed any improvement.

Bottom line, what - if anything - can we do to stay on T-Mobile and improve our service? The monthly cost + overseas service when we travel are really appealing, so we want to stay if at all possible.

Do we need to get new phones through T-Mobile?

Or can we install the T-Mobile's Android software, at least on the S7, and get better service + all the functions (wifi calling) that we are currently missing? (I have learned that flashing the ROM is not an option on the S6.)

If I do go this route with my S7, I have heard conflicting opinions on this option, from "do it! it's super easy and works great!" to "you risk bricking your phone" so I'm not sure what to believe.

BTW, neither of us are willing to root our phones - that's a little more risk than either of us want to take on at this point. We are also loathe to return to Verizon, so switching to another carrier would probably mean switching to Project Fi, which would mean new phones and near-Verizon-level monthly costs.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get unbiased opinions from others vs. relying on advice from T-Mobile. I realize that ultimately the answer may be to purchase new phones on T-Mobile, but I would be more willing to accept that as the solution if it didn't come from T-Mobile.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

ajbrad71

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May 28, 2011
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I moved my family over from Sprint and only my wife kept her iPhone 7plus. the biggest thing I see is the age of your phone. With the new radio bands that T Mobile have new phones will make it better. My wife is around WiFi most of the day so she doesn't complain about signal problems with her Sprint iPhone.
 

James Rogers2

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Feb 7, 2013
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The truth is that T-Mobile services is just not as good as Verizon's, at least not at the places I travel. I switched to Tmobile from Verizon and the service just wasn't as good. I traveled in a lot of rural areas and I couldn't get a signal. I had to switch back a few months later.
 

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