What does T in T-mobile mean?

This blog post will tell you “What does T in T-mobile mean?.” It also explains to you how T mobile got this name ”. It covers topics like History of Voice stream wireless PCS, History of Cellular one and history of GSM.

What does ‘T’ in T-mobile mean?

The letter ‘T” in T-mobile stands for “Telekom”.It comes from the name “Deutsche Telekom”.The word Telekom is the German spelling of telecom. Earlier T-mobile was called “Voice stream wireless PCS”.  The company voice stream wireless PCS was purchased by Deutsche Telekom in 2001 and renamed T-mobile  USA, inc.in  July 2002.

History of Voice stream wireless PCS

Voice stream wireless PCS was established in the year 1994 as a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation.  Voice stream provided wireless personal communication services(PCS) in metropolitan areas using GSM  and for urban services areas marketed under the Cellular One brand.

IN 1999 western wireless spun off its voice stream wireless division into a new company called Voice Stream Wireless Corporation.

History of PCS

        In the early1990s  the existing advanced mobile phone service (AMPS) technology was running out of available bandwidth in the frequency spectrum. So personal communication Services (PCS ) technology was developed.

What is PCS?

PCS is a Personal communication service. It is a type of wireless mobile service having advanced coverage of the area and also provides service at a more personal level. It works similarly to the cellular networks in basic operation; but for the wider geographical areas, it requires more service provider infrastructure. Generally, PCS includes the following things

  • Wireless communication (data, voice, and video)
  • Mobile PBX
  • Paging and texting
  • Wireless radio
  • Personal communication networks
  • Satellite communication systems, etc 

Some common technologies used are  TDMA, CDMA, and GSM for  2G,3G, and 4G. Narrowband, broadband, and unlicensed are three broad categories of PCS

History of Cellular one

Smith Bagley founded a cellular one in 1977. Actual cellular services began in Baltimore/DC area in 1983 in America. Cellular one is the trademarked brand name used in the united states. It is sold to a trilogy partner by AT&T in 2008.

What is the T-Mobile network? 

T-Mobile is the 3rd-largest wireless network provider in the USA. 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.

What are the key features of T-mobile?

  •  Monthly installment plans are offered for T Mobile phones.
  •  More priority is always given to the T-Mobile subscribers on the network over Metro
  • pcs subscribers. This is a prime important factor in case of network congestion.
  •  T mobile offers some better additional options, for example, international talk and
  • data add-ons
  •  T mobile network providers have an excellent customer service record.
  •  Some extra perks are offered only for T-Mobile subscribers.

Is T-mobile GSM or CDMA?  

T-mobiles is a GSM network carrier and not a CDMA network carrier.  GSM stands for global system for mobile, and it is second-generation cellular technology. T-mobile is a GSM network carrier used for mobile voice and data services. The term  CDMA stands for code division multiple access.

History of GSM

GSM is second-generation digital cellular technology, initially developed by “European Technical Standards Institute” (ETSI). To create a common European mobile standard, a standardization group was established in 1982, named GMS.

Features of GSM

  • GSM makes use of SIM (Subscriber Identity Mobile). SIM is a storage device. It is available in the form of a smart card. It is portable and removable.
  • National and international roaming facilities are available.
  • Data privacy and security are maintained using encryption when the data is transmitted on-air.
  • Cryptographic keys are known to the cellular device only, which provides additional security.
  • GSM provides better frequency spectrum efficiency.
  • GSM can be made compatible with newer services.
  • Good speech quality is maintained using GSM.

GSM Services diagram 

What are the services offered with a GSM?

The primary services offered by GSM are data services and supplementary services. Some of the services, like emergency calls and videotext, are not integral to the GSM standard. But GSM supports these services. Using teleservices, the subscriber can use terminal equipment functions for communication with other subscribers.

Data services

These services are also called bearer services. The subscriber can transmit appropriate signals across user network interfaces using these services.

The data services can be transparent or non-transparent. GSM provides a standard channel coding method for user data for transparent mode. While for a non-transparent manner, depending on a particular data interface, GSM provides unique coding methods.

Supplementary services

Some of the services are offered with basic teleservices. Some examples of supplementary services are as follows:

  • SMS (Short Message Services)
  • Call waiting
  • Call barring
  • Call conferring
  • Call forwarding
  • Number identification 
  • Closed user groups.

The disadvantage of GSM

T-mobile is GSM because it has inherent advantages. However, there are a few disadvantages of GSM as follows:

  • GSM technology needs repeaters to increase the coverage area.
  • It has linked data rate capability. To improve the data rate, higher version devices are required.
  • Multiple users share a typical bandwidth, and it causes interference when the number of users is increased.
  • Signals of GSM can cause interference with specific electronic devices. Due to this, many hospitals prevent GSM mobiles.
  • GSM phones emit more radiation compared to CDMA phones.

Applications of GSM

Some of the applications of GSM technology are as follows:


  • GSM systems can be designed to give intimations for natural calamities like earthquakes. So necessary precautions can be taken.
  • Using GSM, doctors can track patients’ health and provide consultation during an emergency.


  • GSM technology is used in home automation systems. Using a GSM cell phone, a person can control electrical appliances. 
  •  Smoke detectors can be connected to the GSM network, and they can be monitored using a mobile.
  • CCTV Cameras installed in offices or banks can be connected to GSM mobile IP network.

Apart from these major applications, some other applications of GSM are as follows:

  • Telemetry system
  • A forest fire and rainfall defection
  • Weather monitoring 
  • Health monitoring
  • Telemetry systems, etc.

How good is T-mobile service?

The 4G LTE network coverage of T-mobile is 62% nationwide. It offers the fastest upload speed. The download speed is more than Verizon and Sprint. The phone plans are affordable compared to its competitors. T-Mobile network provides much faster 5G speeds compared to its major competitors. If you have a 5G mobile with a T mobile network, you can expect internet speeds of about 85 Mbps. 

T-Mobile phone plans

T-mobile offers both postpaid and prepaid mobile phone plans. 

T-Mobile 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.

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.

Comparison of T-mobile’s phone plans with its major competitors

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.

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. For a T mobile prepaid plan, you must 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.

Compared to Verizon, T-mobile offers better plans. It provides a good combination of extras and perks with each plan. 

Network coverage

For the 4G network, AT&T covers 68% of the country whereas T mobile covers.62%. AT&T provides good network convergence for rural areas. While T mobile provides a good coverage network in city areas and suburbs. Network coverage is one of the prime concerns when choosing a particular network provider.

There is not a significant difference as far as network coverage is concerned. But AT&T has more network coverage areas. If you are thinking of only coverage area and comparing the two network providers, then depending on your location, you need to take the decision.

 The 4G network of Verizon covers 70% of the country. T-mobile network carrier provides good coverage in city areas and suburbs. Whereas Verizon network carrier provides good coverage in rural areas.

4G and 5G speed

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 T mobile network average speed is only about 31 Mbps. Even if it is not a huge difference, if you are talking about 4G LTE speed, then AT&T should be preferred.

But if it is 5G, then the scenario is different. On average, the T-Mobile network provides much faster 5G speeds compared to AT&T. If you have a 5G mobile with a T mobile network, you can expect internet speeds of about 85 Mbps. While having 5G on AT&T network internet speed over just 52 Mbps. So, for 5G mobile phones, the T-Mobile network is much faster than AT&T mobile network.


Perks for T- mobile subscribers

T mobile offers the following parks for their subscribers.

  • On every Tuesday, Magenta and Magenta Plus subscribers are eligible for freebies. It may include movie tickets at discounted prices or free food.
  •  For family unlimited plans, if any one of the family members is not using the full data, then T-mobile offers an account credit.
  • T mobile offers a “digits program “, where you can use one number on multiple devices, and subscribers with two or more lines will get a free Netflix subscription. T-mobile plans
  • T- Mobile provides three unlimited data plans namely Essential plan, Magenta, and Magenta Plus plan.
  • You will get some premium data on the Essentials plan. Magenta Max plan is the best plan for those who need huge amounts of data. It is unlimited and there is no slow down problem.
  • For the magenta max family plan if you add one line then the cost per line will be reduced by $15. If you go on adding more lines, then you can bring the cost down to $40 per line. 
  • It’s a really good offer for totally unlimited and high-speed data. Speed up to 30 Mbps or even more can be obtained.
  • 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.

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

Is T-mobile unlimited data really unlimited?

Is T-mobile and Verizon the same company?

Is T-mobile cheaper than AT&T?


This article explained, “What does ‘T’ in T-mobile mean?”.The article explained GSM technology used by T-mobile. This article outlined the importance of various factors like Mobile phone plans, Network coverage, and Perks.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What does ‘T’ in T-mobile mean?

Will a CDMA phone work on T-mobile?

No, a CDMA phone will not work on T-mobile because T-mobile uses the GSM network. If a cell phone is locked, it can be unlocked on another network, but it should be compatible with the technology used by the phone.

Can I use T-mobile on a GSM unlocked phone?

Yes, you can use T-mobile on a GSM unlocked phone. An unlocked phone is working on the carrier. T-mobile makes use of GSM carriers. The SIM card is required from the GSM provider to get the services. 

Does T-Mobile have a free international calling?

T-Mobile does have free international unlimited calling to most of the countries including Canada and Mexico if you have added the  Stateside International Talk to your plan. You might be charged a small amount for other countries. You do get free data and texting with the same plan when you travel to Mexico and Canada.

What is T-Mobile’s Mobile Without Borders?

Mobile without borders by T-Mobile allows users to make calls and send texts to Mexico and Canada for free. You can also roam in Mexico and Canada by using the same T-Mobile plan without having to worry about Roaming charges. You can make calls, send texts and use data when traveling to Canada and Mexico without any additional charges.

What is the T-Mobile family app?

The Family Where app helps to track your family members, especially kids, to see their real-time location. The location history of the last 7 days can be accessed.

What does T-Mobile FamilyMode do?

T-Mobile FamilyMode

app lets you filter out unwanted apps, monitor the app, track internet usage, and set daily screen time limits.


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