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  1. #1
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    Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    I have an unlocked iPhone 4S, so it'll work on GSM or CDMA, so what are the best options for me if i need unlimited data? Of course since i'm bringing my own phone, i do NOT WANT A CONTRACT.

    I've done a bit of research thus far, and i can tell that Verizon is insanely expensive.
    - Verizon: Share Everything, starting at $59 but pay for each tier in data
    - AT&T: Nation 450 $59.99 plus 3gb for $30 more or 5gb for $50
    - T-Mobile: Unlimited High Speed Data Value - $69.99 unlimited data
    - Sprint: Everything Data 450 - $69.99 unlimited data (contract required??--no plans without contract)
    - Virgin: $35 for 300 minutes & unlimited text & data, $45 for 1200 minutes, $55 for unlimited minutes

    is it true that nobody will let you use the "pre-paid" monthly plans month-to-month with an iphone 4s?

    So that being said, it looks like T-Mobile is the cleaaaaaaaaaaaar cut winner, unless i'm missing something? Or Virgin, but their chat representative was adament that only a Virgin purchased iphone would work.

    i should specify, the iphone 4s i have is fully unlocked (from original purchase)

  2. #2
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    Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    I have an unlocked iPhone 4S, so it'll work on GSM or CDMA, so what are the best options for me if i need unlimited data? Of course since i'm bringing my own phone, i do NOT WANT A CONTRACT.

    I've done a bit of research thus far, and i can tell that Verizon is insanely expensive.
    - Verizon: Share Everything, starting at $59 but pay for each tier in data
    - AT&T: Nation 450 $59.99 plus 3gb for $30 more or 5gb for $50
    - T-Mobile: Unlimited High Speed Data Value - $69.99 unlimited data
    - Sprint: Everything Data 450 - $69.99 unlimited data (contract required??--no plans without contract)
    - Virgin: $35 for 300 minutes & unlimited text & data, $45 for 1200 minutes, $55 for unlimited minutes

    is it true that nobody will let you use the "pre-paid" monthly plans month-to-month with an iphone 4s?

    So that being said, it looks like T-Mobile is the cleaaaaaaaaaaaar cut winner, unless i'm missing something? Or Virgin, but their chat representative was adament that only a Virgin purchased iphone would work.

    i should specify, the iphone 4s i have is fully unlocked (from original purchase)
    No, I am pretty sure that it is up to the CDMA carrier if they will allow the phone to be activated on the carrier. That is pretty much the standard with Verizon or Sprint in the US, with which both have a policy of not activating iPhones not bought from them. I know US Cellular won't allow the CDMA iPhone at all.

    You would be able to use the iPhone 4S with a GSM carrier like AT&T, though not so sure about CDMA based MVNOs, if they will activate an unlocked iPhone 4S.

    The "unlocked" refers to GSM. CDMA phones don't traditionally work that way as your subscriber information is usually white listed with a carrier at the time of purchase. With GSM, the SIM (Subscriber Information Module) card carries that info.

    Now, as I understand it, Verizon or Sprint could very well activate the iPhone 4S by SIM card method, though they don't.
    Q: Would you patronize a streetwalker?

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    I have an unlocked iPhone 4S, so it'll work on GSM or CDMA, so what are the best options for me if i need unlimited data? Of course since i'm bringing my own phone, i do NOT WANT A CONTRACT.

    I've done a bit of research thus far, and i can tell that Verizon is insanely expensive.
    - Verizon: Share Everything, starting at $59 but pay for each tier in data
    - AT&T: Nation 450 $59.99 plus 3gb for $30 more or 5gb for $50
    - T-Mobile: Unlimited High Speed Data Value - $69.99 unlimited data
    - Sprint: Everything Data 450 - $69.99 unlimited data (contract required??--no plans without contract)
    - Virgin: $35 for 300 minutes & unlimited text & data, $45 for 1200 minutes, $55 for unlimited minutes

    is it true that nobody will let you use the "pre-paid" monthly plans month-to-month with an iphone 4s?

    So that being said, it looks like T-Mobile is the cleaaaaaaaaaaaar cut winner, unless i'm missing something? Or Virgin, but their chat representative was adament that only a Virgin purchased iphone would work.

    i should specify, the iphone 4s i have is fully unlocked (from original purchase)
    Even with a factory unlocked iPhone, any CDMA carrier is out of the question. Apple states that quite clearly and those carriers will not allow you to use it on their network. If you're looking for unlimited data then your best bet would be Tmobile or a MVNO like StraightTalk that has unlimited data. Some pre-paids frown on the iPhone but StraightTalk actually supports it. However there have been cases where their "unlimited" data actually has an unofficial cap of 2-5 GB but that's very widespread and not everyone gets warned/cut off.

  4. #4
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    An iPhone 4S sold unlocked directly by Apple cannot be used with a CDMA carrier, because of IMEI/MEID restrictions. Only iPhone 4S originally sold by a CDMA carrier can be used for CDMA service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tabla View Post
    Y'know, I'm used to hysterical 14-year-old ******** on the internet, but this is exceptional. Never before in human history have so many nerds hyperventilated so publicly over so little.

  5. #5
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    hrmm...so i'm confused. Let me explain my situation a bit more and hopefully you awesome folks can shed some light.

    - Received my iphone 4S 15 months ago via my work IT team, and activated and been using it on VERIZON
    - Now, my work is allowing me to change carriers/go on my own, and since Verizon is expensive, i'm obviously looking to find something else. The phone is mine to keep.
    - Speaking to my IT team, they said that the iPhone was absolutely UNLOCKED and that I could use it with Verizon still, OR Switch to T-Mobile or AT&T since the iPhone 4S includes both GSM & CDMA antennas.

    Is this not accurate?

  6. #6
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    Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    hrmm...so i'm confused. Let me explain my situation a bit more and hopefully you awesome folks can shed some light.

    - Received my iphone 4S 15 months ago via my work IT team, and activated and been using it on VERIZON
    - Now, my work is allowing me to change carriers/go on my own, and since Verizon is expensive, i'm obviously looking to find something else. The phone is mine to keep.
    - Speaking to my IT team, they said that the iPhone was absolutely UNLOCKED and that I could use it with Verizon still, OR Switch to T-Mobile or AT&T since the iPhone 4S includes both GSM & CDMA antennas.

    Is this not accurate?
    Verizon would have to unlock it for domestic GSM use. Verizon may have unlocked it for international GSM use. You can always take it to an AT&T store and try an AT&T SIM or if you know someone on AT&T with a Micro SIM, try it out and see if you have service.

  7. #7
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    Yes, if your phone was originally sold through VZW and is unlocked then it can be used with either a CDMA or GSM carrier. Technically at least. Aside from the technical restriction that regular unlocked iPhones (sold by Apple) can only be used with a GSM carrier, there is also a policy restriction that most CDMA carriers refuse to activate phones not originally sold through them. So while your phone is technically capable to be used with any CDMA or GSM carrier, some CDMA carriers (like Sprint or USCC) may still refuse to activate it, not for any technical reason, but because it's their policy.

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    my IT guy was dead set (and he's usually pretty smart/correct) that they bought them unlocked so it could be used for AT&T and/or Verizon.

    So assuming that's true, then does that mean i can use it with ANY US carrier?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    my IT guy was dead set (and he's usually pretty smart/correct) that they bought them unlocked so it could be used for AT&T and/or Verizon.

    So assuming that's true, then does that mean i can use it with ANY US carrier?
    Read post #7 again. If it was sold through VZW and unlocked (both domestically and internationally) by VZW, then you can use it with any GSM carrier, including AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. and some CDMA carriers (like VZW, PPC, Cricket), but not some other CDMA carriers (like Sprint, Virgin, USCC).

  10. #10
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    how do you know which CDMA it will or won't work? just test it out & see if that carrier blocks it?

    and so then...back to the original question :-) Seems like T-Mobile or Walmart's SmartTalk is going to be the most affordable option?

  11. #11
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    Re: Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    Go with T-Mobile, its $70 for its prepaid 100% unlimited everything plan.

    Sprint MVNOs throttle and Straight talk bumps you off if you use too much data

    Sent from my DROID RAZR

  12. #12
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    good to know, i was leaning that way.

    one question, i thought i read somewhere that iPhone's are limited to EDGE speeds via T-Mobile, but it could have been an old post?

  13. #13
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    Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    one question, i thought i read somewhere that iPhone's are limited to EDGE speeds via T-Mobile, but it could have been an old post?
    In areas where T-Mobile hasn't yet "refarmed" their 1900Mhz band, this is true. They've already upgraded many major metropolitan areas and indicate they'll finish the entire network by the end of this year. On these upgraded areas their network works GREAT with iPhones.

    For the time being, in rural areas where T-Mobile has coverage you'll still be stuck on Edge, but it's usable.

    John L.



    Sent from an iPhone 5 using Tapatalk!

  14. #14
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    Unlocked iPhone 4S - Best plan for unlimited data?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadymg View Post
    how do you know which CDMA it will or won't work? just test it out & see if that carrier blocks it?

    and so then...back to the original question :-) Seems like T-Mobile or Walmart's SmartTalk is going to be the most affordable option?
    How would you propose testing out one iPhone on various CDMA carriers?

  15. #15
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    It's well known which CDMA operators will activate any device (PPC, Cricket) and which ones will only activate devices they sold (VZW, Sprint, Virgin, USCC). Not sure where metroPCS falls, but that just about covers it, shy of a few micro-regional carriers.

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