Installing T-Mobile Firmware on Unlocked AT&T Lumia 640

jwinton

    Is it possible to install T-Mobile firmware on a Lumia 640 (in order to get Wi-Fi calling and LTE Band 12) on an unlocked AT&T version of the phone?

      All replies

      • gramps28

        I would visit the XDA forums and look for your answer there.

          • jwinton

            I was hoping to find a more official T-Mobile solution.  Since T-Mobile did sell a T-Mobile branded Lumia 640 (if only for a short time), I would assume that they already have the necessary firmware as well as some mechanism for installing it onto the phones. 

              • gramps28

                Sorry , it's not that easy.

                  • e2k

                    T-Mobile does not support the flashing of firmware between device variants. Since this is an official T-Mobile forum, we cannot discuss the matter here. As gramps28 indicated, XDA Developers in your best bet.

                     

                    Whatever you decide to do, I would be super careful, so as to not turn your phone into a paperweight.

                    • subsci

                      what do you mean it's not that easy?

                        • gramps28

                          First you would have to find the Tmobile rom then figure out how

                          to install it.

                            • subsci

                              I would use T-Mobile software to find the ROM and flash it--just like I use other vendor's software when flashing my router, my PC's BIOS, my Linux NAS, and so on.

                                • smplyunprdctble

                                  subsci wrote:

                                   

                                  I would use T-Mobile software to find the ROM and flash it--just like I use other vendor's software when flashing my router, my PC's BIOS, my Linux NAS, and so on.

                                  Yeah -- not that easy.

                                   

                                  T-Mobile doesn't provide software for flashing.

                                  Device manufacturers have safeguards to make sure provider X software isn't installed on provider Y's branded device.

                                   

                                  It's a huge process, which isn't supported by carriers, thus not in their forums, to do it.

                                    • subsci

                                      As I recall, my HTC Sensation (T-Mobile) had its firmware flashed once or twice.

                                       

                                      And if some security issue develops that requires flashing I would bet T-Mobile would correct the issue even on Bring Your Own Device from another vendor.

                                       

                                      Certainly my interest is piqued and I do have an urge to look at the technical documentation that is available to me.

                                        • smplyunprdctble

                                          subsci wrote:

                                           

                                          As I recall, my HTC Sensation (T-Mobile) had its firmware flashed once or twice.

                                          Could have.  It wasn't supported by a provider though.

                                          And if some security issue develops that requires flashing I would bet T-Mobile would correct the issue even on Bring Your Own Device from another vendor.

                                          Nope.  T-Mobile will send you to either the device manufacturer or the previous carrier.  They don't support phones that aren't branded theirs.

                                            • subsci

                                              T-Mobile supports and promotes Bring Your Own Device.  Software and firmware updates are part of the package that the consumer expects in this era of continual updates that bring us improvements in features and security.  I really don't expect T-Mobile to support me on how to use my Windows phone--there are plenty of other ways to get that support.  I do expect T-Mobile and partners involved in Bring Your Own Phone to ensure that consumers going down this route have access to security and features updates that are just as convenient for those who have the branded phones. Otherwise Bring Your Own Phones would be a promise without a fulfillment, notwithstanding obscure legalese.

                                                • tidbits

                                                  It's an AT&T phone it's their responsibility not T-Mobiles.  You have unrealistic expectations and even the FCC would see that.  Even EFF would see that as well and they are proconsumer.

                                                  • smplyunprdctble

                                                    subsci wrote:

                                                     

                                                    T-Mobile supports and promotes Bring Your Own Device.  Software and firmware updates are part of the package that the consumer expects in this era of continual updates that bring us improvements in features and security.  I really don't expect T-Mobile to support me on how to use my Windows phone--there are plenty of other ways to get that support.  I do expect T-Mobile and partners involved in Bring Your Own Phone to ensure that consumers going down this route have access to security and features updates that are just as convenient for those who have the branded phones. Otherwise Bring Your Own Phones would be a promise without a fulfillment, notwithstanding obscure legalese.

                                                    T-Mobile's BYOD program is whether or not a device is compatible.

                                                    There's no promise of support.

                                                    There's definitely no promise of firmware.

                                                     

                                                    Think about it -- there's thousands of devices out there that could work on T-Mobile's network.  A majority of them aren't even marketed in the US, but people go out of their way to buy them.  How could ANY cell provider work with EVERY manufacturer to make sure EVERY device has an image for them?  Not possible.

                                                     

                                                    That said, software updates are on the manufacturer, and then the carrier the device was made for on pushing them.  There's nothing that says you must continue to be a customer of that carrier to get the software updates.  I have a friend with an AT&T phone on T-Mobile -- he still gets his updates on his device.  But, it's the AT&T version of the update.  T-Mobile can't do anything to push or block the update.  And, AT&T isn't going to block the update because it's really coming from the manufacturer and they don't care who's SIM you have in.

                                    • tmo_lauren

                                      Greetings!

                                       

                                      There is not a native way to add our firmware to an unlocked device. It would need to be a rooting type situation that XDA would direct you towards.

                                       

                                      Our apologies there isn't a branded way to do so.

                                       

                                      -Lauren

                                        • magenta1921492

                                          I have an unlocked AT&T S7 and I am trying to use it on T-Mobile. It has Android 6.0.1 (marshmallow) and there is no way to get any upgrades on it. When I try to upgrade it looks for an AT&T server and being on T-Mobile it won't find one.

                                          There should be some service for us T-Mobile customers that have another branded (unlocked) phone and be able to load T-Mobile software on it. I called T-Mobile and talked with the tech there, I have called Samsung and talked with the tech there. Each telling me to call the other.

                                          I agree with others in here, there needs to be a way for T-mobile to upload their software to the phone, or at least help to make it a SM-G930U or SM-G930T.

                                          With the ability to move phones from carrier to carrier there needs to be better ways to make them work. My Note8 is SM-N950U. I bought it from Samsung.com and it was a branded T-Mobile phone from them.

                                          When Samsung sells an unlocked phone from them it is marked as a "U" and it can be used on CDMA or GSM from my understanding. With LTE there are the CDMA systems that are now using SIM cards and it is possible to unlock and use then on GSM networks. I had a Sprint Note4 a few years ago and it was unlocked and I used it in Viet Nam with a local SIM card.

                                          BUT back to this issue, T-Mobile should have a way to help get rid of the old carriers software to make it more compatible with the new carrier (T-Mobile) your customers are just starting with. (or old customers)

                                           

                                          Since you are answering, Lauren and you are a support person.............

                                          (by the way,I was using your Revvl and it was unlocked, in Viet Nam it wouldn't work. I tried 2 different SIM cards from different carriers and it won't work on the bands they use there. I bought the phone and it was supposed to work....the T-Mo rep told me.... overseas. It didn't!! BUT that is another story)

                                            • smplyunprdctble

                                              magenta1921492 wrote:

                                               

                                              I have an unlocked AT&T S7 and I am trying to use it on T-Mobile. It has Android 6.0.1 (marshmallow) and there is no way to get any upgrades on it. When I try to upgrade it looks for an AT&T server and being on T-Mobile it won't find one.

                                              You SHOULD still be getting updates from AT&T.  Folks who use WiFi as their primary network usage would get updates, and they're not behind any "ATT only" firewall to get them.  If you're not getting updates for your device, you'd have to contact AT&T, since it's an AT&T branded device.  Some folks have said removing the SIM and running updates via WiFi will do it. 

                                               

                                              According to AT&T's documentation, the current version is Android 8.0.  For whatever reason, you're SEVERAL versions behind in updates, and older releases may have been removed from the update servers.  There's probably ways to manually update via Samsung software, but that's outside my expertise.

                                               

                                              There should be some service for us T-Mobile customers that have another branded (unlocked) phone and be able to load T-Mobile software on it.

                                               

                                              Not really.  There's THOUSANDS of other-branded devices out there.  It's impossible to support all of them AND T-Mobile devices.  Even if the hardware is "virtually identical".  And, what if something goes awry in said software conversion?  Who do you contact?  T-Mobile?  They didn't sell the device, therefore won't warranty.  AT&T?  You're no longer a customer and they don't care anymore.  Samsung?  Oh, it's the carrier that did it.

                                               

                                              That said, newer Samsung devices ARE rebranding when inserting a new SIM and performing a factory reset (though, the post I learned this from claims one device didn't FR - I don't know the full details).  So, per the manufacturer, it's getting to be closer to what you want.  But, again, as identified in the aforementioned thread, the customer blamed T-Mobile for not pushing the T-Mo customizations when it had nothing to do with T-Mo.

                                               

                                              But, there's nothing that stops you from installing T-Mobile Tuesdays, T-Mobile My Account, and other T-Mobile apps on your device from the Play Store.  I have both on my Pixel 2 (not a T-Mobile phone) that I downloaded myself.

                                                • magenta1921492

                                                  I just tried a factory reset with my SIM card in it and it still is showing SM-G930A. I was really hoping it would..... as it was saying, "updating software", I was hoping it was going to download T-Mobile's.

                                                  There are a lot of phones out there, but here in the US I think people are going to stay with the bigger known phones. They aren't ready yet to try the Xiaomi or ZTE or Oppo or other brands that aren't well known here. The Samsung S7 is a well enough known phone that they could have software for it. They supply there phone for it. My Note8 is the N950U and is gets the updates from T-Mo. BUT with this being the G930A I will be stuck with Android 6.0.1 unless I can find somewhere to download software or root it. There are sites that has updates you can download, I don't think I can post them here so I won't try.

                                                  There is a Samsung Service Center inside Best Buy near where I live, I will go there this weekend and see if someone there can help. Best Buy isn't a T-Mo store, they do have AT&T there and a Samsung section (sometimes a Samsung rep) there.

                                                  If nothing else, I will have to buy an unlocked T-Mo phone then and sell this unlocked AT&T phone.

                                                    • smplyunprdctble

                                                      magenta1921492 wrote:

                                                       

                                                      I just tried a factory reset with my SIM card in it and it still is showing SM-G930A. I was really hoping it would..... as it was saying, "updating software", I was hoping it was going to download T-Mobile's.

                                                      And, it won't.  As discussed why earlier.

                                                      There are a lot of phones out there, but here in the US I think people are going to stay with the bigger known phones. They aren't ready yet to try the Xiaomi or ZTE or Oppo or other brands that aren't well known here. The Samsung S7 is a well enough known phone that they could have software for it.

                                                      It's a lot of cost/benefit.  If it costs $100k to get a T-Mo build that could be deployed and that for non-T-Mo phones, and only 100 people do it, that's a cost of $1000 per customer for what?  not a whole lot.  It's the same idea of you can go to stores in Atlanta and easily get things with Braves logos on it, but finding Red Sox things proves difficult.  I'm sure there's quite the number of Red Sox fans here (I see it when I go to Braves / Sox games), but it's not cost effective to carry Sox merchandise.

                                                      My Note8 is the N950U and is gets the updates from T-Mo.

                                                      I don't think it's because you have a U model (based on the other thread), I think this is how Samsung has started modeling their phones.  It's actually a method I'm somewhat a fan of, but it has it's flaws.  If I buy a "carrier-free" device (I do already - the Pixel 2 is my current device, with my previous three devices being Nexus devices), I don't want carrier branding.  This is a personal preference, which means if I bought the "U" version, I wouldn't want T-Mobile's or AT&T's customizations and brandings on it.  On the other hand, if I bought a device from AT&T, got it unlocked and brought it to T-Mobile (your example), I'd like the software to shift over to T-Mobile branding (this is what you're asking for.  The problem being the device you're asking for it for is before they started doing it).

                                                      BUT with this being the G930A I will be stuck with Android 6.0.1 unless I can find somewhere to download software or root it. There are sites that has updates you can download, I don't think I can post them here so I won't try.

                                                      There is a Samsung Service Center inside Best Buy near where I live, I will go there this weekend and see if someone there can help.

                                                      No carrier supports manually installing an OS on your device.  The UPDATES can be applied manually without any form of rooting, though it's not officially supported (the reasoning being if you do something manually and brick, it's not their fault).  But, the update path has to be available somewhere.  A full OS flash requires a lot more work (sometimes root, sometimes not).  I think SmartSwitch is the new software they use that should be able to flash from scratch.

                                                       

                                                      I do understand why you're leery of downloading from a random site.  The only thing I can say to make it "better" is the checksum calculation it looks for is something proprietary calculation (e.g. probably private key they only have, otherwise rooting would be easier), so the chances of getting something not for your device is slim to none.