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Thread: Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

    I've got a Note 2 phone I originally purchased from AT&T, they gave me the unlock code for it so it's unlocked. Just this morning I activated it on T-mobiles 100 min/unlimited text/data prepaid package but am having trouble with getting 4g. In most places I am getting only Edge, while driving around once in while I'll get 4g but doing a speedtest even with 4g displayed I'm only getting about 90kpbs download speeds. Even then the 4g disappears a minute or 2 after I keep driving.

    I've read that the 1900mhz bands are somehow different for Tmobile than ATT and that Tmobile is in the process of refarming them to accept unlocked phones. Are there any specific APN settings I should use, or does anyone have any advice? I contacted T mobile and had me enter in a standard set of Tmobile APN settings, but it didn't make a difference and they forwarded it to their engineering department.

    So right now I'm not sure if the issue is my APN settings, or the lack of reframing in my area, or something else. What's interesting is one of the network techs at T mobile said that the only phones that had issues with non reframed areas were the iphones, but all other phones should get 4g in ANY T mobile area.

    As a side note, and this may be part of the problem, I cannot believe how awful T mobile reception is. I've been up and down North and Central NJ today and I was alarmed at how frequently I would have just 1 bar or no signal at all, even on some smaller highways. Plus with having Edge 99.5% of the time, and even when I had 4g it wasn't really downloading any faster than Edge. I'm hoping the reception is part of my problem and T mobile isnt as bad as it seems to me.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
    iPhone 5 !!

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    Re: Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

    AT&T phones don't have the 1700/2100 hspa+ (4g according to T-Mobile) frequencies so you will be stuck on edge until you get into an area where T-Mobile has refarm the 1900 band for hspa+.
    Low signal doesn't necessarily mean bad speeds. I am near 0 to 1 bar but I still get 3 to 7 mbps.

    Also the network tech is smoking something. I want some of what he is smoking.

    PS. I heard there is a way to flash a T-Mobile rom or modem into an AT&T note 2 that will unlock the 1700/2100 band. You might want to do a search on that.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by lusec View Post
    AT&T phones don't have the 1700/2100 hspa+ (4g according to T-Mobile) frequencies so you will be stuck on edge until you get into an area where T-Mobile has refarm the 1900 band for hspa+.
    Low signal doesn't necessarily mean bad speeds. I am near 0 to 1 bar but I still get 3 to 7 mbps.

    Also the network tech is smoking something. I want some of what he is smoking.

    PS. I heard there is a way to flash a T-Mobile rom or modem into an AT&T note 2 that will unlock the 1700/2100 band. You might want to do a search on that.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2
    This is mostly correct - except you'd flash new radio image if the phone supports the 1700/2100AWS frequency.

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    Thanks guys, so I'm stuck with Edge if I want to use T mobile. I had my phone on my windshield all day today and it was virtually always in Edge mode, so it's basically useless in NJ.

    Does the Note 2 have the capabilty to use the 1700/2100 bands? I'll do some searching tonight, but this is all like a foreign language to me. It's a shame, that $30 was so enticing.

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    The AT&T Note II has the capability for AWS (1700) HSPA. AT&T has had that band disabled to discourage people from buying a cheaper AT&T Note II and using it on T-Mobile. Ya, what you are doing

    It is pretty easily re-enabled, do a google search of something like "at&t note ii enable 1700".

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmarkson View Post
    The AT&T Note II has the capability for AWS (1700) HSPA. AT&T has had that band disabled to discourage people from buying a cheaper AT&T Note II and using it on T-Mobile. Ya, what you are doing

    It is pretty easily re-enabled, do a google search of something like "at&t note ii enable 1700".
    I flashed the file to enable AWS on my note 2, but I'm still getting edge at home, but I am in the boonies. I'll be in a city area later today and will check to see if I get 4g. Are there mobile areas where mobile customers still get edge and are they common?

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    Re: Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

    Quote Originally Posted by SpineDoc View Post
    I flashed the file to enable AWS on my note 2, but I'm still getting edge at home, but I am in the boonies. I'll be in a city area later today and will check to see if I get 4g. Are there mobile areas where mobile customers still get edge and are they common?
    Did u follow the guide on XDA forums? They have the original guide for unlocking AWS bandwidth for ATT note 2 so that it could work on T-Mobile 4G.
    If you flashed it correctly your phone should virtually pick up tmobile 4g any where you go.
    Unless you live in a rural area that is.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssibaroma View Post
    Did u follow the guide on XDA forums? They have the original guide for unlocking AWS bandwidth for ATT note 2 so that it could work on T-Mobile 4G.
    If you flashed it correctly your phone should virtually pick up tmobile 4g any where you go.
    Unless you live in a rural area that is.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums
    Yeah I'm kind of in the boonies, but when I get on the highway about 2 miles away 4g all the way until my work. The only issue is that T mobiles building penetration is pitiful, 5 bars and 4g and as soon as I walk inside my work 1 bar and EDGE.

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    Re: Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

    Quote Originally Posted by SpineDoc View Post
    Yeah I'm kind of in the boonies, but when I get on the highway about 2 miles away 4g all the way until my work. The only issue is that T mobiles building penetration is pitiful, 5 bars and 4g and as soon as I walk inside my work 1 bar and EDGE.
    I see that's how my reception is like when I walk into certain buildings in town. So I use wifi calling feauture. But did you know that you could also flash T-mobile based ROM with Tmobile wifi calling feauture?

    This means you can still send and receive sms, mms and calls on you ATT note 2 over the wifi network inside the hospital. If your work place offer wifi for its employees that is.

    Tmobiles own Nexus can't do that but yours can.

    Edit: make sure youcall tmobile to enable or add the wifi feauture and hey will do it for free. Just explain nicely u can't get good reception at work and u hough about switching until u heard about the wifi calling.
    Of coarse ita free and contract extension is never required.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssibaroma View Post
    I see that's how my reception is like when I walk into certain buildings in town. So I use wifi calling feauture. But did you know that you could also flash T-mobile based ROM with Tmobile wifi calling feauture?

    This means you can still send and receive sms, mms and calls on you ATT note 2 over the wifi network inside the hospital. If your work place offer wifi for its employees that is.



    Tmobiles own Nexus can't do that but yours can.

    Edit: make sure youcall tmobile to enable or add the wifi feauture and hey will do it for free. Just explain nicely u can't get good reception at work and u hough about switching until u heard about the wifi calling.
    Of coarse ita free and contract extension is never required.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using HowardForums
    Well calling isn't my issue, I get enough bars for calls but I am on the $30 100 min/unlimited data plan and use this particular phone for data only. If I had wifi available to me at work it wouldn't be a big deal, but I have no wifi at work that I can use.

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    Re: Can't get 3g/4g on unlocked AT&T phone on T-mobile prepaid, help

    Building penetration can be hit or miss, probably due to TMO using higher freqs. It's also a matter of what the building is made of or how it's designed that can attenuate your signal. I sit right next to a window which would make one think I get better signal. But t not really. I actually have to put my phone up on the top of my cubicle to get a good strong signal. But if go 30 feet deeper into the building I get a steady 3-4 bars no problem.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using HowardForums

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    Hit or miss for sure. To penetrate some types of structures, the cell site would have to be bearing down on you pretty closely. That's the nature of radio signals. Low power radio (which wireless communications is) was intended for use clear of buildings. People who have decided to make their mobiles their primary phone have obviously found out the limitations. Other than having larger transmitters, receivers and the batteries to power them, you'll have to rely on closeness to tower site and carriers' choice of 850 vs. 1900 MHz band (and when LTE becomes more popular it'll be different frequencies to consider -- some companies will be in the 700 MHz range and other will be above 2100 MHz). It makes a difference. T-Mobile's LTE will be using their AWS bands (1700 & 2100 MHz).

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