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How to Use An Unlocked iPhone With T-Mobile USA


T-Mobile USA has a couple of affordable pay by the day prepaid plans that are a good choice for international visitors or anyone who only needs data occasionally.

The $2 a day plan includes unlimited domestic voice, messaging and data.  The data on that plan is throttled to 119 Kbps.

The $3/day plan also provides unlimited domestic talk and text plus 200 MB/day of full speed data. After you hit 200 MB data speed is throttled to 119 Kbps.

The $2 or $3 fee is charged only on days that you make or receive a text message or use data. If you aren't going to be using data or many minutes for a while you can switch between a day plan and T-Mobile pay as you go temporarily by calling 611 or at my.t-mobile.com.

Unfortunately, a lot of unlocked iPhone users have trouble getting T-Mobile's data to work on their phones. I don't own an iPhone but an anonymous Prepaid Phone News reader figured it out and shared the secret in a comment on my How to Get The Best Deal on Prepaid Mobile Data post. I felt this tip was too good to be buried in a comment and deserved a post of its own.

These instructions are for iOS 5.1.1 and 6.0. Hopefully other iOS versions have a similar menu structure.

  • From the main menu, scroll to and select Settings.
  • Select General.
  • Select Network (Cellular on iOS 6.0).
  • Verify the following settings:
  • Data Roaming is set to On.
  • 3G Enable is On
  • Note: The Apple iPhone is missing the WCDMA 1700 band, and cannot function on the T-Mobile 3G network except in areas where T-Mobile recently added 1900 Mhz 3G coverge .
  • Note: Changing the 3G Enable function while the device is on an active call may cause the call to disconnect.
  • Select Cellular Data Network.
  • In the Cellular Data section:
  • In the APN field, enter epc.tmobile.com (wap.voicestream.com also works)
  • Leave the Username and Password fields blank.
  • In the MMS sectiuon enter the following:
  • APN: epc.tmobile.com
  • Leave the Username and Password fields blank.
  • MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
  • MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.50:8080
  • MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
  • MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf
  • Press the Home button to save the APNs and exit to the main screen.
  • From the main menu, scroll to and select Settings.
  • Select Messages
  • On iOS 5 and lower, select MMS
  • Set MMS Messaging to On
  • Press the Home button to save and exit to the main screen.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select Wi-Fi.
  • Select off.
  • Press the Home button to save and exit to the main screen.
  • Turn the device off and on and test connectivity and picture messaging
Source:  T-Mobile Support

16 comments:

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  1. Hey, wanted to let you know that it worked for me. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Due to differences in Tmobile frequency use. Iphone can only access the EDGE network. which its very slow.

    I have been told that using the European Iphone or the ones available in Mexico cell companies work better on the Tmobile network. You just have to find which version works.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It doesn't matter what market the iPhone was sold in. No iPhones support T-Mobile's 3G frequencies so they will all use EDGE.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Apologies for a newbie question. I have an unlocked iPhone 4. For me to use T-Mobile's Day Pass, I would first have to get a T-Mobile SIM, cut it up to fit the micro slot, put it in the phone, right?

    ReplyDelete
  5. T-Mobile stores are supposed to have micro-SIMs in stock. Or you could cut down a regular SIM.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the info! This worked perfect on my unlocked Palm Pre 2. T-Mobile sure does a good job hiding the info on how to purchase a web day pass! >:( Of course, my phone burned up $3 of data trying to sync accounts before I was able to purchase it...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Does this work with the Tmobile 4g 30$ plan ulimited text/data 100min too?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, unlocked iPhones will work on the $30 unlimited data plan.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Does anyone have MMS settings that work for iOS 6.0.1? I cannot receive the picture attachments. I have tried two different settings from tmo spt forum and HoFo, but they don't work. I save them and restart the phone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've updated the post ti include the MMS settings. The instructions are for iOS 5 and 6. The labels and menus might be slightly different on 6.0.1 but the value should be the same.

      From the main menu, scroll to and select Settings.
      Select General.
      Select Network (Cellular on iOS 6.0).
      In the MMS sectiuon enter the following:
      APN: epc.tmobile.com
      Leave the Username and Password fields blank.
      MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
      MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.50:8080
      MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
      MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf
      Press the Home button to save and exit to the main screen.
      From the main menu, scroll to and select Settings.
      Select Messages
      Set MMS Messaging to On
      Press the Home button to save and exit to the main screen.
      Turn the device off and on and test picture messaging

      Delete
    2. Thanks: These work for me. I had forgotten to put http:// in the MMSC.

      Delete
  10. I currently have my family on verizon i phones and would like to switch these phones to prepaid plan. Which carriers will these phones work with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use Verizon's prepaid plan for $65.

      You can use Pageplus plans; any one. Activate through a dealer, or do not mention to the CS at Pageplus that you are using an iPhone. You will have to change the data and MMS settings yourself, with instructions from an online forum or the Pageplus website. If Pagplus determines that you are using an iPhone, they might kick you off. So do not put too much money on your line.

      Talk4Good will activate your iPhone. There should be no problems. You could use this experienced dealer: acrswireless.com

      Delete
    2. Correction: I should have listed $80 for the Verizon prepaid plan price.

      Delete
    3. Correction 2: Forget about Verizon for now. Not on current list of eligible smartphones to use $80 plan.

      Delete
  11. I like how you break down cost per day for version's $2 and $3 per day plans.

    ReplyDelete
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