Can I use AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile? 

This blog post will answer the question ” Can I use AT&T iphone on T-Mobile?. It covers the topics like eligibility criteria to unlock the AT&T iPhone and compatibility checking. It will also provide you with the most commonly used T-Mobile phone plans. 

Can I use AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile?

Yes, it is possible to use your AT&T iphone on T-Mobile. The device should be unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile. Most of the new iPhones are compatible with the T-Mobile network. But depending on your iPhone mobile, there may be some hardware restrictions. So you need to check whether your specific iPhone mobile is fully compatible with T-Mobile or not. 

A Brief introduction of 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 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.

Which carrier is used by  T-Mobile?

 Mainly, there are two carriers, namely GSM and CDMA. GSM stands for “Global System for mobile”. It is second-generation cellular technology. Another carrier is CDMA, and CDMA stands for “code division multiple access.” T-Mobile is a GSM network carrier, and it is used for mobile voice and data services.

What is 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. AT&T also makes use of the GSM technology. 

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.

What do you mean by unlocked iPhone? 

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 Mobile 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.

Types of unlocked iPhones 

Generally, there are three types of unlocked iPhones.

  • iCloud unlocked
  • Carrier unlocked
  • Factory unlocked

iCloud unlocked

In this case, the original user has not reported the iPhone as a lost or stolen device. So new users can easily use it.

Carrier unlocked

Here the iPhone was locked to some network carrier. But it was unlocked so the user can shift to another network carrier.

 Factory unlocked

The iPhone was purchased as an unlocked device, so users can use it easily on another carrier

Eligibility criteria to unlock AT&T iphone 

One can unlock AT&T iphone devices, provided that the following criteria are satisfied.

  • You must have purchased the cellular phone from AT&T. 
  • The cell phone should not be reported as blocked or lost.
  •  An account concerned with the device must be active for a minimum of 60 days. 
  • Any associated service agreement must be fulfilled. For example installation billing agreement, lease agreement. 
  •  Depending upon prepaid or postpaid plans, the Device should satisfy all necessary unlock requirements.
  • The device must have SIM unlock capability. 

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 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 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.

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 iPhone 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. 

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. 

Unlocking iPhone using iTunes 

Even after satisfying all eligibility criteria, it may happen that your iPhone is still not unlocked. In this case, use the following steps to unlock the iPhone using iTunes. 

  • First, complete the iTunes backup. 
  • Reset your iPhone. 
  • Once the welcome screen gets opened, reinstall the backup files by connecting the iPhone to iTunes. 
  • Try this using Unlock features. 

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. 

How to check IMEI? 

To check the IMEI number of your device following steps are used. 

  • From the Home screen, select Main Menu.
  • Scroll to and select Settings.
  • Scroll to and select Phone Settings.
  • Scroll to and select Phone info.
  • Scroll to and select Version info.
  • Scroll to and view the IMEI.

 You can find the number in your iPhone’s settings. 

Go to Settings > General, then About.


On the dial pad screen, press *#06#, and you will see the IMEI. Some phones require you to press the send key after the code.

Once you have the IMEI number you can directly go here to enter your IMEI number there and click on check.

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 iPhone is already unlocked?

For the iPhone, make use of the following steps to check whether your phone is unlocked or not. 

  • Go to the “settings” and click on the “connections” option. 
  • Select mobile network. 
  • Select “network operator”. 
  • Click on the “search now” option. 

Are all iPhones compatible with T-mobile?

Almost all iPhones are compatible with T-mobile. But depending upon the model of your iPhone, some features may not work. The following table shows a summary of some iPhone models.

iPhone modelNetworkBand
iPhone 7 and 7plus3G and 4G66,71
iPhone 8and 8plus3G and 4G71
iPhone X3G and 4G71
iPhone SE3G and 4G71
iPhone 113G and 4G66,71
iPhone 123G and 4G66,71

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.

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.

Below are other T-Mobile articles you may be interested in:

How to set up voicemail on a T-Mobile iPhone? 

Is T-Mobile service available in the Bay area?

T- mobile. Vs Verizon


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

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): Can I use AT&T iPhone on 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.

How to set up your iPhone with T-Mobile? 

  • Check out the compact ability of your phone. 
  • Check out whether your phone supports the frequency band of T-Mobile carrier. 
  • Use “online SIM is checker” to find out which SIM card is suitable for your device. 
  • Set up and configure your iPhone.

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, whereas T-Mobile does not have towers of their own. But they do not share hardware and signals.


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