Sprint iPhone 5 on T Mobile - YES!!!


    I spoke to T Mobile last night on the phone and the rep told me that I can use my Sprint iPhone 5, that is out of contract with Sprint, on T Mobile with no problems at all.  I asked her about the need to unlock the phone and she reassured me several time that the phone is already unlocked and that I can use with no restrictions.  I would get full LTE support and that it was a myth that the Sprint iPhone 5 is locked.


    I was surprised that this was the case and thought before I jump ship and leave my unlimited sprint plan I would double check on these forums.  I've been told in the past that my Sprint iPhone 5 will work on the HSPA 21 and lower networks only and that I would not get any LTE or HSPA 42.


    Can a T Mobile rep confirm this for me?  I asked the rep on the phone multiple times if she was sure about the information she provided to me and she even checked with a supervisor and they came back and told me that I would not have any problems on Pre-Paid or Post-Paid plans.


    So what is the official T Mobile response to this?




      All replies

      • mansinha

        Re: Sprint iPhone 5 on T Mobile - YES!!!

        I can only give you my experience -


        What you were told is inaccurate

        Sprint iPhone 5 may not work on T-Mobile at all even if unlocked


        Legal / Regulatory & Consumer Resources


        "Not all Sprint devices have an MSL code or a locking function that can be unlocked by Sprint (e.g., Apple devices cannot be unlocked to accept another domestic carrier's SIM card). On certain devices, not all functionality may be unlocked (e.g., for some smartphone devices, Sprint may be able to unlock the CDMA/voice functionality of the device but unable to unlock the GSM/UMTS/LTE portion of the device). Even if unlocked, Sprint devices will not necessarily work on another carrier's network."


        They make special mention that Sprint's Apple devices will not work on another network. That is on Sprint's website itself. That is a copy and paste directly from their website - I have not altered it in any way


        You are more than welcome to try:


        1. Ask Sprint for the unlock code

        2. Back up your iPhone and restore through iTunes - see if you get "Your device is unlocked" message

        3. Then walk into a T-Mobile store and ask for a Nano SIM to trial into your iPhone 5


        If you can make a call and / or they can call you on the number attached to that SIM - you are good to go - if it stops you at "Cannot recognize foreign SIM" as it did me - then you are stuck


        Remember even with the Sprint "SIM" out you can still make and receive calls on your regular number since the CDMA technology is not dependent on the SIM being in there for calling.


        What Sprint iPhone 5 IS unlocked for is for use OUTSIDE the US like while traveling etc.


        Good luck and let us know what happens or if you have questions.


        (by the way if you search Sprint Forums there is ONE report of a person that supposedly unlocked their iPhone 5 to use on T-Mobile - but the vast majority will tell you it simply cannot be done)

        • johndeman

          Re: Sprint iPhone 5 on T Mobile - YES!!!

          Thanks for the reply.  I am going to take it to a T Mobile store and ask them to try on of their SIM's in it to see if it works.


          The problem I have is that I don't want to leave my current Sprint plan if I can't get the iPhone to work on T Mobile.  But I can't get the unlock unless I cancel Sprint service.  The industry in general makes this stuff so damn hard for the consumer.


          I like what I hear from Legere though!

            • mansinha

              Re: Sprint iPhone 5 on T Mobile - YES!!!

              johndeman wrote:


                But I can't get the unlock unless I cancel Sprint service. 


              Sorry Sir - that is incorrect -


              Please look at that link I sent you in the prior post - you do not have to cancel your service with Sprint to unlock your phone - as long as you are out of contract you should be fine


              I asked for the unlock code a month before my contract was up and they gave it to me


              You have to call their international department for that - or at least that was what one had to do three months ago

                • Can someone PLEASE confirm that they ACTUALLY used an unlocked Sprint iPhone 5s successfully to make domestic calls (DSU unlock) on T-Mobile.   I see in a lot of places that it can be done, but everyone who has tried seems to have failed. 


                  Is it possible to use an unlocked Sprint iPhone 5s domestically in the United States?

                    • e2k

                      Re: Sprint iPhone 5 on T Mobile - YES!!!

                      Technically, it should be possible. The reason people have failed is likely due to the fact that their phone was not unlocked (Sprint is known for selling devices which cannot be unlocked).

                      I have been told that my device is not DSU-capable. What can I do?


                      Many devices that have been manufactured for Sprint simply are not DSU-capable. This is because, prior to the development of the voluntary commitment contained in CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service ("Unlocking Commitment") carriers were not required to, and many carriers did not, develop their devices to be capable of being unlocked. Sprint strongly encourages owners of such devices to consider Sprint's Buyback Program, which may enable them to trade in their old devices to receive an in-store credit toward the purchase of a new device or to receive an account credit. For more information, visit sprint.com/buyback.


                      Source - http://support.sprint.com/support/article/FAQs_about_unlocking_your_Sprint_device/7a3bf815-cfcd-4a56-925a-7a187d1c6637#!/



                      From a verified Sprint employee:


                      >>>    It's February 2015! I wanted to take a moment to clarify the unlocking policy on Sprint devices, dispel some rumors and give some good news.


                          1. The CTIA agreement only applies to devices launched after February 1, 2015.


                          2. Devices produced before this date will not get a domestic SIM unlock (DSU), but will get normal MSL codes, which are not a SIM network unlock. This usually affords access to restricted programming menus.


                          3. Devices launched before this week will not get DSU, with the exception of the iPhone 5S, 5c, 6 and 6+. These devices are scheduled to get DSU after 2/19/2015.


                      Source - https://www.reddit.com/r/Sprint/comments/2ut91c/clarifying_ctia_and_sprints_unlock_policy/


                      In terms of frequencies, here are the frequencies that the Sprint iPhone 5 supports (T-Mobile frequencies are in bold).


                      LTE (4G)

                      band 1 / 2100 MHz   IMT (Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Brazil, India, Israel)

                      band 3 / 1800 MHz   DCS (Europe, Asia, Africa)

                      band 5 / 850 MHz   Cellular (Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel)

                      band 13 / 750 MHz   Upper 700 (USA (Verizon))

                      band 25 / 1900 MHz   PCS+G (USA (Sprint))


                      WCDMA (3G / 4G)

                      band 1 (I) / 2100 MHz   IMT (Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Brazil, India, Israel)

                      band 2 (II) / 1900 MHz   PCS (Americas)

                      band 5 (V) / 850 MHz   Cellular (Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel)

                      band 8 (VIII) / 900 MHz   (Europe, Asia, Africa)


                      CDMA (2G / 3G)

                      800 MHz / band 27 / BC10   ESMR (Americas (Sprint))

                      850 MHz / band 5 / BC0   Cellular (Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel)

                      1900 MHz / band 2 / BC1   PCS (Americas)

                      2100 MHz / band 1   IMT (Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Brazil, India, Israel)


                      GSM (2G)

                      850 MHz / band 5   Cellular (Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel)

                      900 MHz / band 8   (Europe, Asia, Africa)

                      1800 MHz / band 3   DCS (Europe, Asia, Africa)

                      1900 MHz / band 2   PCS (Americas)


                      So at best, you'll get band 2 on WCDMA & GSM (if you are in a refarmed area). At worst, you'll get band 2 on GSM only. Either way, your phone will only be marginally compatible with the network, as it lacks the ability to communicate bands 4 and 7.