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297 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 207987 22-Jan-2017 13:52
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Going to USA later this year for family holiday so am in middle of planning things. Kids want to take and use their Samsung Galaxy S5 mini mobiles and I've seen a USA TMobile tourist pack for $30US that gives them 21 days of data and txt etc.  

 

Kids have android phones - about 20 months old and they are on 2 degrees network. I've followed the online instructions for unlocking ( apparently free if after 9 months since purchase ) and get a message back saying " We don't recognise that IMEI number OR your phone is not locked to the 2 degree network ".

 

I've since popped my telecom SIM into their phones and can make calls etc using it so I'm presuming the phones are already unlocked. 

 

I also called up their customer care who were helpful and said the phones were automatically unlocked after 9 months - which isn't quite what their website states but he was confident it was the case.

 

Prior to ending up stateside with 3 phones that turn out to be locked and the grief of 3 teenagers, I'm assuming from the above information + the fact they working with a Telecom SIM - that all is well.

 

Just need to check to see how the T Mobile USA bands align to the phones. 

 

WOuld appreciate if those in the know can confirm or tick off the above should be fine :)

 

 

 

Thanks again


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  Reply # 1707434 22-Jan-2017 13:58
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If they work with a Telecom/Spark SIM to make calls then they are unlocked.

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  Reply # 1707435 22-Jan-2017 13:58
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They're not locked; the Spark SIM wouldn't work if they were. I don't know about bands (I know that historically T-Mobile used "weird" ones but I don't know whether that's still the case).


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  Reply # 1707443 22-Jan-2017 14:26
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was looking at this yesterday actually (t-mobile frequencies)

 

Here's the T-Mobile bands:

 

 

 

 

LTE Frequencies:

 

1700 MHz & 2100 MHz AWS band 4

 

1900 MHz PCS band 2 (in refarmed areas)

 

Lower 700 MHz band 12 (in development) / in service in selected areas

 

 

 

3G/4G Frequencies (WCDMA):

 

1700 MHz & 2100 MHz AWS band 4

 

1900 MHz PCS band 2 (in refarmed areas)

 

 

 

2G Frequencies (GSM/GPRS/EDGE):

 

1900 MHz PCS band 2

 


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  Reply # 1707450 22-Jan-2017 14:42
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Looks like 1900 band2 (might get some 3G), 17/2100 band4 (phasing out - but not that phone), 4G 700 Band 12 which would be a showstopper.

 

So you should get some voice, might get some 3G :)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobile_US#Radio_frequency_spectrum_chart

 

 

 

  •  

     

    2G GSM

     

     

    GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900

     

     

     

  •  

     

    3G UMTS

     

     

    B1(2100), B2(1900), B5(850), B8(900)

     

     

     

  •  

     

    4G FDD LTE

     

     

    B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B28(700)

     

     

     




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1707476 22-Jan-2017 15:52
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I've had a look at both the above pages and assume I'm looking for some common bands or frequencies between T Mobile and the phone.  It would appear I get that one on 2G, 3G and 4G  generations or am I looking at something incorrectly? 

 

Any other plans out there that people have had success with whilst travelling the states. We are in main centres on east and west coast.

 

 

 

Thanks again for your help so far


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  Reply # 1707481 22-Jan-2017 16:10
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i would be interested to see how you get on, im due there in May June, but im going to hawaii Seattle and Vancouver Island in Canada


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  Reply # 1707482 22-Jan-2017 16:12
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gedc:

 

I've had a look at both the above pages and assume I'm looking for some common bands or frequencies between T Mobile and the phone.  It would appear I get that one on 2G, 3G and 4G  generations or am I looking at something incorrectly? 

 

Any other plans out there that people have had success with whilst travelling the states. We are in main centres on east and west coast.

 

 

 

Thanks again for your help so far

 

 

Its not the plans as much as the hardware required. Only true 'global mode' LTE/4G devices will usually have the right frequency and bands for most the continental US (think iPhone with its ~20 LTE bands). The rest is find a provider that has the back end the same as your devices capabilities. 

 

2G 1900 B2
3G 1900 B2
3G 1700/2100 B4 (reduced coverage)
4G 1700/2100 B4
4G 700 B12

 

Compared with the S5 mini in NZ which is configured with: (bolded the apparent T-mobile bands)

 

2G GSM
GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900

3G UMTS
B1(2100), B2(1900), B5(850), B8(900)

4G FDD LTE
B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B28(700)


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  Reply # 1707491 22-Jan-2017 16:28
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It *should* be OK. We just have to be aware taking our own handsets from here that if its used for data more than voice, the speed and coverage won't be guaranteed 

 

Compare that to your standard full blown NZ S5 with does cover one of the LTE bands... (and then other providers use B2/5 for 3G and wider range for LTE)

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1771986 28-Apr-2017 15:47
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Just providing an update for those folks that may be going out to the USA in the future.  Purchased the T Mobile Tourist Sims from a mall in Orlando and plugged them into the kids S5 minis. Didn't work.  Folks in the shop were as helpful as they could be but it was obvious they just generally plug and played and if they didn't they copied a few settings over and if it still didn't work then sorry - $30 USD please. The cards are non refundable. If you insert them, then you pay. We spent about 45 minutes in the shop trying out lots of different things but it became obvious the S5 minis weren't playing nicely.  Then walked it out of the shop and got a signal, which spent it's time dropping and re-establishing. Then tried the sim in my S5 ( not the mini ) and same issues.  Finally plugged the SIM into the daughters latest Iphone and it came online almost immediately so I'm guessing its and S5 / S5 mini tech or band issue. Interesting to note when the 4G data pack ran out and she then got unlimited downloads at 3G speeds the phone / maps / updates etc became pretty slow and useless.  Given I had 2 spare sims we just swapped them out as the data was used up. 

 

Other interesting thing to note is all the kids started receiving missed calls on their phones from a USA number(s). Early morning to late evening. Further googling indicated these numbers were aligned with known spam entities. Then they started getting random texts as well so I'm still awaiting a respone from T Mobile as to how their numbers became live or were made public.  Since stopped when the card was removed and replaced with the NZ sims.

 

Finally, a thumbs up for Telecom. Their overseas roaming package - texts, calls and data worked a treat. It did require some careful and judicious management of the mobile data connection as maps etc just sucked it up but I made the 500Mb pack last for the full 3 weeks - just. 

 

Most places have wifi from what we saw - even bog standard restaurants etc

 

 


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