This blog post will give you an idea of whether AT&T phones are compatible with T-Mobile? It also gives you information related to unlocking the phone on the T-Mobile network, checking the compatibility of your phone, and steps to unlock your phone manually with the AT&T network.
Are AT&T phones compatible with T-Mobile?
Yes, unlocked AT&T phones work on T-Mobile. Since the phone is unlocked, it is not tied to any network carrier, so it will work on T-Mobile. But the device must be compatible. You can visit the official website of T-Mobile and check the compatibility of your phone.
Network carrier used
There are two network carriers, namely GSM and CDMA.
Both T-mobiles and AT&T are GSM network carriers and not CDMA network carriers. GSM is second-generation cellular technology used for mobile voice and data services. CDMA is code division multiple access.
Basics of network providers
T-Mobile is the third-largest wireless network provider in the United States. T-Mobile is a German telecommunication industry, and it has some investments in other mobile communication industries in Europe and the United States.
T-Mobile USA has a network sharing agreement with Cingular Wireless, an American mobile operator. Due to this, T- mobile has access to some top markets in the USA.
AT&T is in the American Telephone and Telegraph industry. It is the second-largest telecom industry in the United States. It’s headquartered in Downtown Dallas, Texas. The technological invention of AT&T provided a base for the world’s telecommunication industry.
Effect of carriers on unlocked mobile:
- A locked GSM phone can be unlocked using a unique code, and the operator can be changed.
- AT&T uses GSM carriers, but Verizon and Sprint have CDMA carriers.
- Since AT&T and T-Mobile use the same carrier (GSM), you can use it with T-Mobile if you unlock a phone from AT&T.
- The CDMA carrier is more restrictive. So unlocked phones from Verizon cannot be used with sprint.
- Before unlocking the phone, one should check whether it is compatible with other carrier networks or not.
Why are cell phones locked?
The primary reason cell phones are locked is to keep users under contract. For example, if you are an AT&T Mobile user, you will contract with an AT&T wireless carrier. Under the contract, if you purchase a new i-phone, the cost of the i-phone will be broken up, and it will be added into a two or three-year contract.
This cost will be divided into EMIs, and it will be adjusted into the monthly bill. It will be in addition to service charges. Under such circumstances, the phone will be locked with AT&T Mobile wireless carrier.
If you wish to change the carrier, you should request unlocking your cell phone. You are generally unlocking the phone means you will have to pay extra to remain out of the contract.
Eligibility criteria to unlock AT&T phones
One can unlock AT&T phone devices, provided that the following criteria are satisfied.
● The cell phone must have been sold by AT&T.
● The cell phone should not be reported as blocked or lost.
● An account concerned with the Device must be active. For postpaid devices, the account should be active for at least 60 days, and the prepaid device should be active for at least 6 months.
● Your account should not have any past due balance.
How to unlock AT&T phones?
Before using the unlock steps, you should know the IMEI number of your phone and the PIN unlock key (PUK).
How to get the IMEI number of your AT&T phone?
The simplest way is, you will get an IMEI number on the label of the mobile battery. If it is not clear then use the following steps to retrieve the IMEI number of your AT&T phone.
- Dial *#06# on your phone device.
- Click on the “settings” and then click on “General”.
- Click on the “change device” link then select your device and enter “find IMEI number”.
- The article will be displayed for your device, follow the instructions.
How to retrieve PIN?
Open “My AT&T” and complete the signup process.
- Click on the “Forgot PIN” option
- First Enter your mobile number and then request a PIN.
- Click on the option “send PIN”.
- Select “continue”.
Steps to unlock AT&T phones
Use the following steps to unlock AT&T phones.
- Open the device unlock portal of AT&T and click on the “unlock device” option.
- Enter your phone number.
- Enter your name and email address and complete the form.
- Within 24 hours, and you will receive the confirmation email from AT&T, you will have to click the link in the email.
- AT&T will provide you with more information on how to unlock a specific device.
How to unlock devices manually?
You can also unlock different phones manually. Especially for LG devices, AT&T doesn’t allow you to unlock the phone. In such cases, a manual method is used.
Following are the steps to unlock different phone devices manually.
How to unlock iPhone devices?
You can use the back and erase method to unlock your iPhone device.
- Firstly, create a backup of your phone in iCloud.
- Erase the phone device.
- Restore the device using backup files.
How to unlock LG phones?
This method is not applicable if you have a SIM card from AT&T plans. It is applicable only if you have a new SIM card.
- On your device, open the “Settings”.
- Then open the menu “network and internet”.
- Click on “mobile network”.
- Click on the “network unlock”.
- Finally, restart your phone.
How to unlock Samsung phones?
If your Samsung phone doesn’t have a current AT&T phone plan then the following steps are used to manually unlock your phone.
- On your device, open the “Settings”.
- Click on “connections”.
- Click on “connection settings”.
- Select “network unlock”.
- Restart your phone.
Is it worth switching from AT&T to T-Mobile?
We will prefer T-Mobile for its unlimited plans and good data speeds. AT&T provides better coverage, but its plans will cost you more. Even though we might prefer T-Mobile over AT&T because of its cost, you may prefer AT&T for superior performance. Comparing unlimited plans of both the network providers, T- mobile has an edge. Some unlimited plans from T mobile are cheap, and you get more premium data.
As far as unlimited data plans are concerned, T mobile Magenta and Magenta Plus plans are cheaper than corresponding AT&T plans. You can save $5 per month by choosing any of these plans compared to corresponding AT&T plans. If you are concerned only about family plans, then almost all family plans of T mobile are cheaper and more flexible than corresponding AT&T plans.
For a T mobile prepaid plan, you have to pay $40 per month for 10 GB of data. While for the similar plan in AT&T, you need to pay $40 per month for 8 GB of data. Presently, AT&T has significantly improved its coverage area. For the 4G network, AT&T covers 68% of the country, whereas T mobile covers 62%.
AT&T provides a good network for rural areas. While T mobile provides a good coverage network in city areas and suburbs. If you think of 4G LTE speed, AT&T has an edge compared to the T mobile. For 4G phones, having an AT&T network, average speeds around 35 Mbps can be expected. But the average speed of the T mobile network is only about 31 Mbps. T-Mobile offers better deals for data plans, But AT&T’s unlimited data plans are a genuine cost saver.
This blog explains to you all the ways by which you can use an unlocked AT&T phone on the T-Mobile network. This blog gives you details about unlocking AT&T phones. It also gives you an idea of whether it is worth switching from AT&T to T-Mobile.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS): Are AT&T phones compatible with T-Mobile?
Are all cell phones locked?
All cell phones are not locked. The cell phone purchased from a carrier under contract is locked. However, if you purchase a phone directly from the manufacturers, it is unlocked. In this case, you can easily switch from one carrier to another.
What do you mean by a locked phone?
A locked phone is a mobile device tied up with a particular mobile carrier network. If you purchase a new cell phone under some contract, it is locked.
Can you check the network carrier with IMEI?
IMEI provides only device-related information and not any personal information of the owner. But it does provide the location and some network-related information.
What are Factors affecting the choice between T mobile and AT&T?
- Basics of network providers
- Mobile phone plans
- Network coverage
- 4G and 5G speed
- Availability of 5G
- Data plans
Is T-Mobile’s phone plans better than AT&T?
As far as unlimited data plans are concerned, T mobile Magenta and Magenta Plus plans are cheaper than corresponding AT&T plans. You can save $5 per month by choosing any of these plans compared to corresponding AT&T plans.
Both network providers give reasonable offers on family plans. If you add lines, then the cost per line will get reduced. All family plans from T mobile are cheaper than AT&T family plans.
In the case of both service providers, AT&T and T-Mobile, you will get prepaid plans which are less expensive than the corresponding postpaid plans.
Is it worth switching from AT&T to T-Mobile?
Yes, T- mobile is better than AT&T. Because it offers cheaper data plans and superior data speeds. On average, the T-Mobile network provides much faster 5G speeds compared to AT&T.
Does T-Mobile use Verizon or AT&T towers?
Both T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM, that’s why in some areas T-Mobile does use AT&T towers, where T-Mobile does not have towers of their own. But they do not share hardware and signals.
Unlock your AT&T phone or device
Learn how to unlock your AT&T phone, Android tablet, or mobile hotspot. iPads and wearables are already unlocked.
How to Unlock Your AT&T Phone or Tablet
10 September 2020
By Lauren Hannula
Can I use an AT&T phone on T-Mobile? Complete Guide by Kevin Wood.
How to use an AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile’s no-contract network
Sharon Profis headshot
March 28, 2013
Bring your device (BYOD) guide
AT&T Wireless vs. T-Mobile Review 2021
See which cell phone company is victorious and which one’s down for the count as AT&T and T-Mobile go head-to-head.