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iPhone 5S: Unlock (maybe T-Mobileuse) + Sprint 800 LTE = Amazing?


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This is going to be a lot of questions put into one post because it would be annoying to make many. 

 

Backstory:

First off I'm really happy to be back on the Now Network after being on an AT&T 7 month hiatus with an S3. I've been back for 2ish months and what a difference it's been since I've left. No longer am I greeted to a 0.001-0.01 Mbps 3G connection weather 1-5 bars, 3 miles away, or right under the tower. Now I can actually stream Netflix in HD, use Google Drive, or just iMessage someone. It's super amazing! This amazingness isn't everywhere sadly but that's not entirely Sprint's fault. 800 LTE is coming and I will be the happiest person when it comes to this amazing/terrible island on the SF Bay called Alameda.  Anyway lets get to the point of this post.

 

Question #1: Unlocking my 5S

I'm pretty sure you have to wait 90 days to get your phone unlocked for international use right? Does Sprint eventually fully unlock your phone to be used on other US carriers?

 

Question #2: T-Mobile 700 mhz LTE

Today as some of you may know T-Mobile bought some 700 spectrum to use for their LTE network. If my 5S is unlocked would I be able to take my Sprint Sim out and pop in a T-Mobile Sim and use this network? On Apple's website for LTE bands the Sprint 5S model A1453 has the same bands as the A1533 (CDMA & GSM) plus bands 18 and 26.

 

Question #3: 800 mhz LTE

I know this is harder to answer but very roughly would 800 LTE be rolled out more towards the end of this year or more likely early next year for the East Bay (specifically Alameda because I live here)?

 

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This is going to be a lot of questions put into one post because it would be annoying to make many. 

 

Backstory:

First off I'm really happy to be back on the Now Network after being on an AT&T 7 month hiatus with an S3. I've been back for 2ish months and what a difference it's been since I've left. No longer am I greeted to a 0.001-0.01 Mbps 3G connection weather 1-5 bars, 3 miles away, or right under the tower. Now I can actually stream Netflix in HD, use Google Drive, or just iMessage someone. It's super amazing! This amazingness isn't everywhere sadly but that's not entirely Sprint's fault. 800 LTE is coming and I will be the happiest person when it comes to this amazing/terrible island on the SF Bay called Alameda.  Anyway lets get to the point of this post.

 

Question #1: Unlocking my 5S

I'm pretty sure you have to wait 90 days to get your phone unlocked for international use right? Does Sprint eventually fully unlock your phone to be used on other US carriers?

 

Question #2: T-Mobile 700 mhz LTE

Today as some of you may know T-Mobile bought some 700 spectrum to use for their LTE network. If my 5S is unlocked would I be able to take my Sprint Sim out and pop in a T-Mobile Sim and use this network? On Apple's website for LTE bands the Sprint 5S model A1453 has the same bands as the A1533 (CDMA & GSM) plus bands 18 and 26.

 

Question #3: 800 mhz LTE

I know this is harder to answer but very roughly would 800 LTE be rolled out more towards the end of this year or more likely early next year for the East Bay (specifically Alameda because I live here)?

I think T-Mobile and Sprint have different iPhone models with different LTE bands in them so no. No switching to T-Mobile to get 700Mhz at least, I have no idea about AWS. Sprint 800Mhz is more than likely to be in tour area before 700Mhz from T-Mobile anyway, so Sprint is likely your best bet. Unless cost is a huge problem for you, and you NEED to be on a T-Mobile plan.

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This is going to be a lot of questions put into one post because it would be annoying to make many.

 

Backstory:

First off I'm really happy to be back on the Now Network after being on an AT&T 7 month hiatus with an S3. I've been back for 2ish months and what a difference it's been since I've left. No longer am I greeted to a 0.001-0.01 Mbps 3G connection weather 1-5 bars, 3 miles away, or right under the tower. Now I can actually stream Netflix in HD, use Google Drive, or just iMessage someone. It's super amazing! This amazingness isn't everywhere sadly but that's not entirely Sprint's fault. 800 LTE is coming and I will be the happiest person when it comes to this amazing/terrible island on the SF Bay called Alameda. Anyway lets get to the point of this post.

 

Question #1: Unlocking my 5S

I'm pretty sure you have to wait 90 days to get your phone unlocked for international use right? Does Sprint eventually fully unlock your phone to be used on other US carriers?

 

Question #2: T-Mobile 700 mhz LTE

Today as some of you may know T-Mobile bought some 700 spectrum to use for their LTE network. If my 5S is unlocked would I be able to take my Sprint Sim out and pop in a T-Mobile Sim and use this network? On Apple's website for LTE bands the Sprint 5S model A1453 has the same bands as the A1533 (CDMA & GSM) plus bands 18 and 26.

 

Question #3: 800 mhz LTE

I know this is harder to answer but very roughly would 800 LTE be rolled out more towards the end of this year or more likely early next year for the East Bay (specifically Alameda because I live here)?

Q2: no, there are no apple devices currently available that work on the 700mhz A Block T-Mobile just bought. Its a damn shame too. US Cellular who also uses LTE in that band has had to deploy LTE in another band (850mhz) just to be able to carry the iphone. I suspect the next generation of iPhones will support it though.

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Question #1: Unlocking my 5S

I'm pretty sure you have to wait 90 days to get your phone unlocked for international use right? Does Sprint eventually fully unlock your phone to be used on other US carriers?

 

Sprint will unlock your phone for international use if your account is in good standing for a certain period of time (something like 90 days - not sure of exact timeframe). As far as domestic carrier unlocking, they will not unlock an iPhone for domestic use as of today, but they have agreed to abide by the direction of the FCC carrier unlocking - the timeframe that Sprint plans to change their unlocking policy however is unknown. This thread discusses this exact topic: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/5184-carrier-wide-unlocking-policy/&do=findComment&comment=252486

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I think T-Mobile and Sprint have different iPhone models with different LTE bands in them so no. No switching to T-Mobile to get 700Mhz at least, I have no idea about AWS. Sprint 800Mhz is more than likely to be in tour area before 700Mhz from T-Mobile anyway, so Sprint is likely your best bet. Unless cost is a huge problem for you, and you NEED to be on a T-Mobile plan.

I did a price comparison at the mall with 3 iPhone 5S's on a family plan and it came out to 40 bucks MORE than what I pay with sprint. But it was unlimited everything not that I need more than 1500 minutes. I'll stick with sprint. Once 800 rolls out, people with band 26 capability are going to be verrrry happy. And tri-band phones, well you guys just get the best of all. 

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Question #1: Unlocking my 5SI'm pretty sure you have to wait 90 days to get your phone unlocked for international use right? Does Sprint eventually fully unlock your phone to be used on other US carriers?
Yes, in 90 days of an account in good standing you can request your phone be unlocked for international use. Currently Sprint does not unlock for domestic use at all. But has committed to do so sometime in the future. It is not known yet when that will start.

 

Question #2: T-Mobile 700 mhz LTEToday as some of you may know T-Mobile bought some 700 spectrum to use for their LTE network. If my 5S is unlocked would I be able to take my Sprint Sim out and pop in a T-Mobile Sim and use this network? On Apple's website for LTE bands the Sprint 5S model A1453 has the same bands as the A1533 (CDMA & GSM) plus bands 18 and 26.
No. The Sprint 5S does not support the band that T-Mobile just purchased. Also, the purchase is not even approved by the FCC. Approval is not expected until Mid 2014. T-Mobile said yesterday that they will not begin to offer Band 12 devices until the end of 2014. So there is a chance that even the next iPhone won't support T-Mobile's new 700 band. Given that Tmo will not even begin deployment in this band for almost another year, this is not imminent.

 

Question #3: 800 mhz LTEI know this is harder to answer but very roughly would 800 LTE be rolled out more towards the end of this year or more likely early next year for the East Bay (specifically Alameda because I live here)?
Rolled out? Depends on your definition of rolled out. Samsung has already started deployment of Band 26 (LTE 800) in the SF Bay market. The East Bay is likely to be one of the first parts to be done, as these sites are ready. I doubt that every single site in all Contra Costa/Alameda counties will be done by the end of the year. But since 800 propagates way better than 1900, LTE 800 will probably have complete coverage in your area before summer.Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro
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Q2: no, there are no apple devices currently available that work on the 700mhz A Block T-Mobile just bought. Its a damn shame too. US Cellular who also uses LTE in that band has had to deploy LTE in another band (850mhz) just to be able to carry the iphone. I suspect the next generation of iPhones will support it though.

Thanks for the clarification because I bought Verizon sold T-Mobile the same 700 LTE spectrum they currently use. I only saw a headline saying T-Mobile bought some from Verizon but I didn't know the actual band.

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Sprint will unlock your phone for international use if your account is in good standing for a certain period of time (something like 90 days - not sure of exact timeframe). As far as domestic carrier unlocking, they will not unlock an iPhone for domestic use as of today, but they have agreed to abide by the direction of the FCC carrier unlocking - the timeframe that Sprint plans to change their unlocking policy however is unknown. This thread discusses this exact topic: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/5184-carrier-wide-unlocking-policy/&do=findComment&comment=252486

Thanks I only need the international unlock right now because I'm planning on going to the UK and France in the summer. I really want to try their new LTE networks that are rolling out now and should be more mature my mid year.

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I think T-Mobile and Sprint have different iPhone models with different LTE bands in them so no. No switching to T-Mobile to get 700Mhz at least, I have no idea about AWS. Sprint 800Mhz is more than likely to be in tour area before 700Mhz from T-Mobile anyway, so Sprint is likely your best bet. Unless cost is a huge problem for you, and you NEED to be on a T-Mobile plan.

Cost isn't the issue at all. I just wanted some possible sub MHz LTE love soon and a faster network where sprint doesn't have LTE currently because the tower spacing is quite terrible here for Sprint not so much the 2 giants mainly because of their lower band goodness.

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