It will probably work with T-Mobile's Band 4 LTE. Within the next year T-Mobile will also be using Bands 2 and 12, which the Icon will not support.
The reason you will be disappointed with the Icon on T-Mobile's network is the lack of WCDMA 1700, which means no 3G/4G AWS. T-Mobile's 1700/2100 AWS 4G (really 3G+) is faster than Verizon's LTE in certain parts of the country. You will miss that the most.
I should also add that the new Nokia Lumia 930 might not be coming to T-Mobile, or at least not in its present international form which will not support T-Mobile 4G LTE, or WCDMA 4G (called 3G+ in the rest of the world). The 930 is the global, GSM version of the Icon.
The Lumia 635 is in fact coming to T-Mobile. It should sell well, particularly if it has a price point under $200 as they talked about. It has LTE bands 2 and 4, but not 12.
Thank you for the quick response!
I've had friends who used the Lumia 1020 on T-Mobile and like it. Is that due to the LTE bands? In comparing the Lumia Icon to the 1020 and 1520 the only difference is the LTE bands. All GSM's are the same.
Icon: 4 & 14
1020: 2, 4, 5, 17
1520: 2, 4, 5, 7, 17
Would the lack of WCDMA 1700 and band 2 make a big difference in my call quality and download speeds? My home base is in Southern CA, but I travel all over the USA and Asia frequently.
Unfortuantely the 635 isn't quite the powerhouse Windows Phone I'm hoping for. If the Lumia Icon will be hampered that much then I suppose the 1520 and 1020 look like decent options... unless you have any additional details on those devices.
We have two Nokia Lumia 710s and would like to upgrade to a new premium Lumia as well. The 1020 is an incredible phone, but one again it doesn't work with T-Mobile's AWS network - if I am correct. I personally would wait to see if T-Mobile gets a version of the 930. I might add that AT&T's network will not work with the 930 that was just announced.
At this point my technical knowledge sort of runs out. I get confused with all the changes/simplification that T-Mobile is making to its network. But, this is where I understand T-Mobile will be with its network by the end of 2014:
1900 Mhz PCS network converted to 3G HSPA+ (HSPA+42?)
1900 Mhz GPRS/EDGE network converted to 4G LTE (band 2)
1700/2100 Mhz AWS network converted to 4G LTE (band 4)
700a spectrum purchased from Verizon used for 4G LTE (band 12)
This is just a guess, but I am wondering if T-Mobile is waiting for a version of the Nokia 930 that will support this new network that they are building out, mainly the new band 12 LTE. Right now T-Mobile doesn't even offer a phone that works in band 12 LTE.
The band 12, 700a frequency will be a game changer - penetrates buildings better in cities like New York, and offers much better range for the rural areas out West. I believe it is worth waiting for, which is what we decided to do.
Being a traveler, you might also find Wi-Fi calling to be well worth getting. As long as you can connect to the hotel's Wi-Fi, your "T-Mobile branded" Wi-Fi capable phone will work just as if you were sitting at home in SoCal.
So, for the reasons above, we have decided to wait it out for a new premium class, T-Mobile branded (wi-fi capable) Nokia phone. We will see --- I don't have a lot of hope.
One way or another, I think you will like T-Mobile. I had Verizon for years because I travel for a living. My wife had an unlimited plan with T-Mobile in NYC where the service is excellent. At some point I realized that her service with T-Mobile was as good as mine with Verizon. I decided to cut the AT&T landline (in Miami now), and combine our plans into the new unlimited everything T-Mobile plan. Haven't looked back. Better yet, the new free international roaming has been huge for me. I travel to Europe 4 times a month, and my wife has family in Brazil. I text for free from Zurich/Rome/Brussels to her T-Mobile phone, even when she is in Bahia, "come up on Skype". 2G roaming data speeds are good enough for Skype voice, not video, but most of Europe has converted to 3G anyway. Total cost to call the wife no matter where we are is $0.00. For the rest of my calls; making 20 cent phone calls while in Europe is a bargain. You will like the international roaming a lot.
Thank you again for the replies. Based on the recent release of the 625/930 it doesn't look like T-Mobile will be getting a flagship phone in the near future. I will make due with what I can likely try an unlocked 1520.
Thanks again. You've been a big big help.
I know you've been checking out some of Nokia's high end Lumia's that are sold for other carriers... Did you also look into the Nokia Lumia 925 for T-Mobile? You can get this one for 200 bucks at the moment through Home Shopping Network's web site. Newegg.com has also been running good pricing for it for a while, though it's a bit higher at the moment.
Anyway, something to consider... The 925 is also a "high end" phone in many ways, although I do understand there are some advantages to the Icon and obviously there is a nicer camera on the 1020.
I recently picked up the wireless charging shell and wireless charging pad from Amazon and it's working great for my 925. Plus I love the peek mode of the Glance View feature which I think is not available on the Icon or 930 due to the type of LCD being used.
Thanks for the feedback. The 925 does look quite nice, but seems more like a step up from my Lumia 900 and not the jump I was hoping for (yeah, I'm demanding...). Still making my decision, but I'll post back for sure when all is said and done. I appreciate all the feedback. Really, really helpful.
Ok, so just to update and close this thread out..
I purchased the Lumia 1520 from Microsoft, had ATT unlock it using their device unlock portal, and switched to T-Mobile. Phone works amazing. DL speeds of around 20-40mbs in SoCal just about everywhere. Only issue was getting the internet sharing to work. That had a simple fix posted in the on wpcentral based off the Lumia 920. Only cost me $4 on Amazon to buy a foreign SIM card. Super easy.
So thanks again for all the feedback. If anyone is thinking of using the 1520 on T-Mobile I can only say good things about it. Just have to unlock and apply a simple fix if you want to use internet sharing.
These may be asking too much to answer, but please try captainawesome;
did you buy the 1520 online or in the store? (the store wouldn't sell one to me w/o contract)
the unlock portal requires you either be a current or past ATT customer, how'd you get around that?
was the internet sharing fix an app or process?
what is the foreign sim card for?
Thanks for answering. I have an unlocked Lumia Icon which was great until I found that I can't connect to TMobile data at all, customer service spent the time and couldn't help. So I want to go back to my first choice, the 1520.
Hopefully the Captain will respond shortly, but in the mean time I believe that I can answer two of your questions.
At the time, he was an AT&T customer. He purchased the Lumia 1520 directly from Microsoft. The current price at the microsoft store for a no-contract Lumia 1520 for AT&T is $549.00.
The phone came locked, but because it was purchased no-contract from Microsoft, and he was an AT&T customer, all he had to do was ask for an unlock at AT&T's "device unlock portal".
You will probably have to read AT&T's unlock policy to see if you could purchase a no-contract phone, and have them unlock it without being a customer. I kind of doubt that they would since they have an agreement with Nokia that says the Lumia 1520 is their exclusive phone.
Actually, I am not sure that the 1520 is going to be an exclusive anymore. The company that I work for just bought a huge number of Lumia 1520s that will be used for point of sale. We presently use the Lumia 820, whose screen has proven to be too small for the purpose. They will not be used with AT&T's cellular service - using them with Wi-Fi only.
Thanks for the reply. I paid $550 for the Icon, and I really like it, but I didn't know I was only connecting via wifi. So I guess I'll have to let it go on Ebay, pick up a 1520 and find a present/past ATT customer to unlock it for me.
We'll see what happens.
kbmaverick answered a good portion of the questions and all were accurate. I was able to pick up the phone for $449 direct from the MS store. They had a promotion at that time, so the phone was $100 discounted. Not bad.
I was an ATT customer at the time, so unlocking took maybe 2 days... You can also buy unlocked phones from ebay and negrielectronics. Just make sure to get the US version. The overseas 1520 has the wireless charging built in, but does not have all the bands the US version has. You may not have great reception.
Regarding the internet sharing fix, this was an app and a process. if you go to the link shown it will provide all the details needed. Very easy and take about 10 minutes (including the cutting of the SIM card to make it fit the 1520). Every now and then I have to toggle airplane mode to reset the connection and get tethering working again, but with WP8.1 you can use the action center pull-down menu to do it quickly.