This blog post will give you an idea of whether AT&T phones work on  T-Mobile?  It also gives you information related to unlocking the phone, checking the compatibility of your phone, and steps to unlock your phone manually with the AT&T network. 

Can AT&T phone work on T-mobile?

Yes, unlocked AT&T phones work on T-Mobile. Both AT&T and T-mobile use the GSM technology, so it becomes easy to use AT&T phones 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.

What is a T-mobile?

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.

What is an AT&T?

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.

Steps to bring the  AT&T phones to T-Mobile 

Use the following steps to bring your phone from AT&T to T-Mobile. 

  • Unlock your phone. 
  • Check the compatibility of your phone using the IMEI number. 
  • Purchase a new T-Mobile SIM card. 
  • Select a T-Mobile phone plan. 
  • Insert the SIM card into your phone. 

Why are AT&T 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. 
  •  Depending upon prepaid or postpaid plans, the Device should satisfy all necessary unlock requirements.

Things to keep handy before unlocking the device

Before using the unlock steps, you should know the IMEI number of your phone and the PIN unlock key (PUK). 

What is International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)?

IMEI is a special identifier associated with  Global Mobile Communications System (GSM) phones IMEI is used to identify a device on a cellular network. GSM phones are assigned with 15–17-digit identifiers. It is your device’s social security number. It identifies the device uniquely and the network it is being used on.

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 does IMEI help service providers?

GSM uses subscriber identity module cards to store subscribers’ information. Customers can easily switch the SIM card from one device to another and start making calls without any problem. It helps operators identify valid customers and disable the devices from their end if reported lost or stolen.

IMEI is hardcoded by the manufacturer; it helps the carrier understand the capabilities of the device; it helps the provider to get the device to a nearby tower for connection.

If you lose your phone or if it gets stolen, IMEI will help you make sure the person who stole it won’t be able to use your device. The device can be denied service to any cellular network even if the SIM is changed.

What is PUK?

 PUK stands for personal unlocking key. suppose you are using the native security feature of the cell phone and accidentally you have locked your SIM card. In such cases make use of PUK to unlock the SIM card.

You need to call all the customer care support to get a PUK code. Once you will retrieve it, enter the code to unlock the SIM card.

You will have to enter this code correctly because if you enter it incorrectly many times, then the SIM may be permanently locked.

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”. 

How to check whether the cell phone is already unlocked?

Some network carriers provide cell phones which are already unlocked. To check whether your cell phone is already unlocked or not there are some simple methods.

  • Call your current network carrier and ask for the information, whether your cell phone is locked or unlocked.
  • If you have a GSM cell phone then the simplest technique is; to remove the original sim card, insert another SIM card and check whether you can make calls or send a text. if you are in a position to make a call or send a text then your phone is unlocked.

How to unlock AT&T phones?

You can unlock  AT&T devices by using any one of the following methods.

  •  Online unlocking.
  •  using a manual method.
  • Using mobile unlocking services

Steps to unlock AT&T phones online

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. 

How to use Mobile Unlock Service

  • Outside of carrier service to unlock your phone, there are different paid services to unlock it for you.
  • If you do not meet the carrier’s eligibility criteria, you can go for these paid unlock services. Though these services are legal gray area.
  • These services are hassle-free, you just need to provide them with your IMEI number(International mobile equipment identifier). 

How to check the compatibility of your phone? 

Even if you have an unlocked phone, you need to check the compatibility of your device on the T-Mobile network. Use the IMEI number to check whether your device is compatible with T-Mobile or not. 

Can you continue the current phone number and select the T-Mobile phone plan? 

Yes, you can keep your old phone number when you transfer to T-Mobile. The next step will be to select a suitable phone plan. 

T-Mobile phone plans

Under this category, we will consider the following significant plans

  • Unlimited plans
  • Family plans
  • Prepaid plans

Unlimited plans

It is a plan which gives unlimited text and voice for the entire month. It also includes unlimited data.  But after reaching a specific data limit, the data speed is affected, and it is reduced.  

Technically, these plans are unlimited, but the fact is that speed gets reduced as you go on using premium data.

What’s an unlimited plan?

It is a plan which gives unlimited text and voice for the entire month. It also includes unlimited data.  But after reaching a specific data limit, the data speed is affected, and it is reduced. 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.

What do you mean by premium data?

It is internet data that runs over 4G LTE and 5G networks. It provides data speed from 30 to 100 Mbps. 

T-Mobile provides three unlimited data plans: 

  • Essential unlimited plan
  • magenta unlimited plan
  • magenta plus unlimited plan.
PlanPrice per lineUnlimited text and talkPremium dataMobile hotspot dataUnlimited Video streaming
Essential$60Applicable50GBUnlimited at 3GB speedSd streaming
Magenta$70Applicable100GB5GB high-speed dataSd streaming
Magenta plus$85ApplicableUnlimited40GB high-speed dataUp to 4k UHD streaming

Family plans.

T-Mobile network providers give reasonable offers for family plans. If you add lines, then the cost per line will get reduced. For the magenta max family plan, if you add one line, the cost per line will be reduced by $15. If you add more lines, you can bring the cost down to $40 per line. It’s a perfect offer for totally unlimited and high-speed data. Speed up to 30 Mbps or even more can be obtained.

Prepaid plans

T-Mobile offers its prepaid plans. The range of prepaid plans is from $45 to $75 per month. You can avail 4GB of LTE data for  $45 and 10GB of data for $50. At the higher end, T-mobile offers unlimited data plans for $75.

How to activate SIM with T-Mobile? 

To activate your SIM card, use the following steps. 

  • Log in to your T-Mobile account. 
  • Provide the security verification details. 
  • Select the option either SIM or eSIM. 
  • Enter the EID number of your phone. It is the serial number of your device.

Conclusion:

This blog explains to you all the ways by which you use AT&T  phones on T-Mobile. This blog gives you details about unlocking the phone, checking compatibility with the T-Mobile network, and steps to activate your phone with the T-Mobile network. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): Can AT&T phones work 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, especially the places at which T-Mobile does not have towers of their own. But they do not share hardware and signals.

References:

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.

https://www.att.com/support/article/wireless/KM1008728/

How to Unlock Your AT&T Phone or Tablet

10 September 2020

By Lauren Hannula

WhistleOut

https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/how-to-unlock-your-att-phone-or-tablet?__cf_chl_captcha_tk__=UgeaCZnB_cxGc.QZh6mU8pauSBMSUQBcu2iSj8vHPTw-1642607218-0-gaNycGzNCr0

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 

https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-to-use-an-at-t-iphone-on-t-mobiles-no-contract-network/#:~:text=Yes%2C%20AT%26T%20and%20T%2DMo,different%20bands%20(like%20frequencies).&text=This%20T%2DMobile%20site%20can,been%20updated%20in%20your%20area.

Bring your device (BYOD) guide

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/devices/not-sold-by-t-mobile/bring-your-own-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.

https://www.reviews.org/mobile/att-wireless-vs-tmobile-cell-phone-plans/

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.