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Thread: 200MB for Life Free Plans Purged by T-Mobile

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    I am pretty sure it was advertised as 4G when I bought it off of the T-Mobile website. Also I am sure the tablet use to say 4G on the top display where it now says 2G so I guess it was lying to me. Also on the back of the box it has an orange 4G icon.

    So if I understand correctly you are saying the table is never going to work again other than wi-fi or possibly 2G.
    Yeah, T-Mobile leaned heavily on the "4G" marketing/branding for their HSPA+-capable devices (just like the myTouch 4G and some others). Unless it explicitly says "4G LTE" or LTE on any packaging, it most likely is for the enhanced 3G network that's in the process of being shut down. The specs also seem to match that it's only GSM (2G) and HSPA (3G/"4G"), with no LTE: https://www.gsmarena.com/alcatel_pop_7-5939.php

    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    But if I move the SIM into a new working 4G device (tablet or phone) and I'm on the new billing then I might be able to get the 200 mb free data for life plan working again. However, the 200 mb free for life plan was only for the life of the device so I would think they would detect the device being different and not allow it to work if put in another device.
    This used to be one of the few plans T-Mobile would tie to an IMEI, but at some point in the last year when it was moved to the new billing system, that went away. I'm running 3 of these SIMs, one in a 2020 iPhone SE, one in a 6th-gen iPad mini, and one in a Franklin T9 hotspot - two were set up years ago on an original iPad mini and iPad Pro (the third was recently set up to replace one that got canceled - presumably due to no payment activity for a really long time).

    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    I guess the tablet is mostly worthless because it can only be used on wi-fi.

    I guess the 2G service might actually be working but just not good enough to pull up a web page. I tried to pull up example.com which takes very little data and it would not come up; however, I might try it again and see if it works in the future. It says the webpage is not available but I tested and the example.com webpage comes up on my laptop.
    Yeah, it's a mostly Wi-Fi device at this point. 2G won't be around much longer and T-Mobile is running such a small slice in some places that there's virtually no bandwidth for data (even compared with when 2G was the primary technology of the day). Even making calls on the 2G network sometimes can't hand off between towers (basically, it's there, but T-Mobile would rather you not use it.)

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecs0013 View Post
    Yeah, T-Mobile leaned heavily on the "4G" marketing/branding for their HSPA+-capable devices (just like the myTouch 4G and some others). Unless it explicitly says "4G LTE" or LTE on any packaging, it most likely is for the enhanced 3G network that's in the process of being shut down. The specs also seem to match that it's only GSM (2G) and HSPA (3G/"4G"), with no LTE: https://www.gsmarena.com/alcatel_pop_7-5939.php

    This used to be one of the few plans T-Mobile would tie to an IMEI, but at some point in the last year when it was moved to the new billing system, that went away. I'm running 3 of these SIMs, one in a 2020 iPhone SE, one in a 6th-gen iPad mini, and one in a Franklin T9 hotspot - two were set up years ago on an original iPad mini and iPad Pro (the third was recently set up to replace one that got canceled - presumably due to no payment activity for a really long time).

    Yeah, it's a mostly Wi-Fi device at this point. 2G won't be around much longer and T-Mobile is running such a small slice in some places that there's virtually no bandwidth for data (even compared with when 2G was the primary technology of the day). Even making calls on the 2G network sometimes can't hand off between towers (basically, it's there, but T-Mobile would rather you not use it.)
    I always thought my tablet was 4G so it would not have a problem with the 3G shutdown.

    However, now I am wondering if T-mobile would replace the tablet for free.

    On my legacy gold rewards plan with 3G bar phone T-mobile replaced my 3G phone with the OnePlus nord n200 5G for free. I might be able to put the SIM in it to test it.

    I guess the main difference is the legacy gold rewards plan was not free and the 200 mb for life plan is free.

    On my legacy gold rewards phone I got a text for the free phone but on my tablet I don't think it has text because it is not a phone but I think it has a hidden phone number. I guess I should check if it has an email on the account.

    It is probably a long shot that they would replace my tablet for free but I never thought they would replace my legacy gold rewards plan 3G phone for free either.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecs0013 View Post
    Unfortunately, it looks like your tablet doesn't support LTE, so the 4G it was marketed as is HSPA+, which is under the 3G umbrella (AT&T and T-Mobile both marketed their HSPA+ 3G service as "4G" on a lot of devices because it was able to get speeds similar to LTE). As T-Mobile has shut down their 3G network (UTMS and HSPA+), the only remaining tech your tablet can connect to is 2G.

    Once these plans have been migrated to the current billing system, they will work in any device you put the SIM in, including phones, other tables, hotspots, etc. As yours is still connecting to a tower, I'd venture to guess it's still active (as opposed to "No Service"). You probably aren't getting much in terms of data because the remaining 2G service is running on a small sliver of spectrum in the guard band, mostly intended for emergency calls and texts on remaining older devices.

    My mom's iPad Air is having a similar problem. She said when she used the T-Mobile 200 MB free data plan in the past, the iPad said "4G", but recently it's been saying "E". She can no longer access any web pages. I assumed it was related to the shutdown of the 3G network.

    She doesn't have a new device yet and said she might get a new one next year. If she waits that long, will she still be on the plan? Will she have to do anything to migrate it to the new billing system or will that happen automatically?

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by interdigital View Post
    My mom's iPad Air is having a similar problem. She said when she used the T-Mobile 200 MB free data plan in the past, the iPad said "4G", but recently it's been saying "E". She can no longer access any web pages. I assumed it was related to the shutdown of the 3G network.

    She doesn't have a new device yet and said she might get a new one next year. If she waits that long, will she still be on the plan? Will she have to do anything to migrate it to the new billing system or will that happen automatically?
    If all you got before was "4G", it was definitely the HSPA+ network that has been shut off.

    What iPad Air model is it? They should all have LTE, but the original one was lacking LTE Band 12 and LTE Band 71, two of T-Mobile's "extended coverage" LTE bands. I'm guessing in your case, there's no LTE Band 2 or 4 to fall back to and it's using EDGE (2G).

    Just about everyone should be on the new billing system - if you or her can log in, it should look like the image below. If you've never signed up/attached it to a T-Mobile ID, you may need to pop it in a phone to get its phone number (it will also work on a phone if you have a newer one with the appropriate LTE bands). Personally, it seems the billing system will cancel a $0 plan after a year if there's no payment activity, so I've found adding $1 extends it another year. It seems that it might be a system that will automatically clean up "inactive" lines.

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  5. #80
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    I'm confused, when I try to login to my FD4L account it takes name and password, emails me a 6-digit code, and after I enter that, asks to confirm TMo phone #. But this tablet has no phone #, so do I need to power it up and find the "fake" phone # that may have been assigned? Or something else? Next step is it will send me a confirmation message, which suggests I can't do it until I'm in US again. [That's if "send a code" isn't through an SMS message. I assume it's actually SMS and of course the tablet can't receive on this plan.]

    Thanks.

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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by awebber View Post
    I'm confused, when I try to login to my FD4L account it takes name and password, emails me a 6-digit code, and after I enter that, asks to confirm TMo phone #. But this tablet has no phone #, so do I need to power it up and find the "fake" phone # that may have been assigned? Or something else? Next step is it will send me a confirmation message, which suggests I can't do it until I'm in US again. [That's if "send a code" isn't through an SMS message. I assume it's actually SMS and of course the tablet can't receive on this plan.
    Yes, the SIM has a phone number associated with it - typically they're provisioned with most texts blocked (service texts can come through) and calling to anything other than 611 blocked. If you throw it in a phone, #NUM# works to see the number, too. During the sign up process, they verify the email address and send an SMS, so you'll have to wait until you're back in the US.

    There used to be a way to associate it with a T-Mobile ID without SMSes and such (at least on the old billing system), but I think that's one of those things that T-Mobile broke when they moved to the new prepaid billing system around 2018. It seems now the only data-only plans that get assigned to a T-Mobile ID at sign-up are the ones done through the iPad Settings app and even that can be hit or miss.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by awebber View Post
    I'm confused, when I try to login to my FD4L account it takes name and password, emails me a 6-digit code, and after I enter that, asks to confirm TMo phone #. But this tablet has no phone #, so do I need to power it up and find the "fake" phone # that may have been assigned? Or something else? Next step is it will send me a confirmation message, which suggests I can't do it until I'm in US again. [That's if "send a code" isn't through an SMS message. I assume it's actually SMS and of course the tablet can't receive on this plan.]

    Thanks.

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    It is a real phone number. I used to put my SIM in a phone and I could receive confirmation texts.

    I log in with my phone number and password. T-Mobile sometimes sends me a confirmation email with a code.

    Maybe call T-Mobile to get the phone number if you cannot locate it. There can probably find it with the 15 digit SIM card number.

  8. #83
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    Thank you both. I'll probably wait until I'm in US (either a day trip over the border now there's a Harbor Freight nearby or when I go on vacation). Guess there's a chance after all this, that the FD4L won't work anyway?

    Not likely to be able to receive texts while in Canada anyway, right?

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by awebber View Post
    Thank you both. I'll probably wait until I'm in US (either a day trip over the border now there's a Harbor Freight nearby or when I go on vacation). Guess there's a chance after all this, that the FD4L won't work anyway?

    Not likely to be able to receive texts while in Canada anyway, right?
    It does work in Canada. However, when they moved the accounts to the new billing system, they turned off roaming. You need to call them to ask them to turn roaming back on.

    The other thing is that you won't be able to receive a text as it won't work on another device like a phone. My account wasn't tied to a specific IMEI previously. However when the moved to the new billing system, my account got associated with one IMEI and that is the only device this account will work.

    Does your data still work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by batcave View Post
    It does work in Canada. However, when they moved the accounts to the new billing system, they turned off roaming. You need to call them to ask them to turn roaming back on.

    The other thing is that you won't be able to receive a text as it won't work on another device like a phone. My account wasn't tied to a specific IMEI previously. However when the moved to the new billing system, my account got associated with one IMEI and that is the only device this account will work.

    Does your data still work?
    Good to know about calling and getting roaming added. I noticed the opposite - when these plans migrated to the new billing system, any that were tied to an IMEI of a specific device started working on anything (phones, other tablets, etc.) They always could receive texts on any device, but data wouldn't flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecs0013 View Post
    Good to know about calling and getting roaming added. I noticed the opposite - when these plans migrated to the new billing system, any that were tied to an IMEI of a specific device started working on anything (phones, other tablets, etc.) They always could receive texts on any device, but data wouldn't flow.
    Cool. I just tried my SIM in another device and it works again! Maybe they flipped another switch somewhere!

    I can receive confirmation texts and Wi-Fi calling even works - for texts only, I assume! Lol

  12. #87
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    FD4L can roam in Canada? I didn't know that (I think my Legacy $10/yr plan could receive in Canada at 49c/min or 49c/text or something).

    Also sounds good if SIM will work on FD4L in other devices, I have phones and even a 10" tablet, the latter dead slow and bigger than I like, but if the 7" tablet with FD4L SIM fails completely (charging has been wonky for a while), that might work.

    Is it safe/wise to try and chase all this down here, or wait until in US?

    Thanks.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by awebber View Post
    FD4L can roam in Canada? I didn't know that (I think my Legacy $10/yr plan could receive in Canada at 49c/min or 49c/text or something).

    Also sounds good if SIM will work on FD4L in other devices, I have phones and even a 10" tablet, the latter dead slow and bigger than I like, but if the 7" tablet with FD4L SIM fails completely (charging has been wonky for a while), that might work.

    Is it safe/wise to try and chase all this down here, or wait until in US?

    Thanks.
    FDFL was good in North America. The new product is called, "Tablet Freedom - Domestic On-Network Data" - which is US only. You can call in or find them on Twitter to get them to turn roaming back on. If you don't mind spending $5 or $10, sign up for a temporary North American data pass. It won't work initially outside of the US, but they will have to turn roaming on for this to work properly. You can do this from anywhere.

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