How to Use iPhone 4S on T-Mobile

Jan 28, 2012 - 38 Comments

T-Mobile iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S might not be offered officially for T-Mobile use, but if you buy an unlocked device and set it up properly, you can use the iPhone 4S and Siri on the T-Mobile network without incident. In fact, over a million iPhones are already on the T-Mobile network, and the company is going to actively support unlocked iPhone devices on their USA network due to immense demand. If you want to use an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile, here is everything necessary to do that.

Requirements:

  • Unlocked iPhone 4S bought from an Apple Store without a contract, intended for AT&T use
  • A computer with iTunes
  • Wi-Fi with internet access
  • The original AT&T micro-SIM that came with the iPhone 4S
  • An activate T-Mobile Micro-SIM card

Assuming the requirements are met, read on to get started.

Activate the iPhone 4S for T-Mobile

The first set of things to do involves activating the phone, if you’ve done this before on another network it’s no different here.

  1. Turn the iPhone off
  2. Remove the default micro-sim card
  3. Insert the T-Mobile micro-SIM
  4. Turn the iPhone on with the T-Mobile sim inserted, ignore anything on the phone for now
  5. Connect the iPhone 4S by USB cable to a computer
  6. Launch iTunes
  7. iTunes will find the iPhone 4S and notify you the device is unlocked

Unlocked iPhone 4S Message in iTunes

Now that the iPhone 4S is unlocked, you will be able to make calls but you need to do a few more things to get full functionality.

Setting Up the iPhone 4S for T-Mobile

After the device has been activated on the T-Mobile network, you’ll be able to make calls but you may need to perform the following to get data and MMS working on the device itself, this isn’t always necessary so presumably it depends on the precise T-Mobile network:

Before beginning, disable Wi-Fi by tapping to Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi > OFF

  • On the iPhone 4S, tap on “Settings” , then tap on “General” and then “Network”
  • Tap on “Cellular Data Network”
  • Set the following configuration:
  • APN: epc.tmobile.com
    Username: Leave Blank
    Password: Leave Blank

  • Set the following configuration under MMS:
  • APN: epc.tmobile.com
    Username: Leave Blank
    Password: Leave Blank
    MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
    MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.50:8080
    MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

  • Tap on the Home button to save and exit out of Settings
  • Reboot the iPhone 4S
  • Launch Safari to test internet connectivity

Generally you’ll end up with EDGE for internet connectivity, but some areas including parts of Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington actually have full 3G access. For now the 3G accessibility is hit and miss, but T-Mobile is apparently slowly expanding their network to be compatible.

Here’s a video of an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile’s EDGE network using Siri:

Are you using an iPhone 4S on T-Mobile? Let us know how you’re liking it.

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Posted by: Matt Chan in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

38 Comments

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  1. Terry says:

    I plugged in a friends SIM and it found service and worked instantly without the setup. I didn’t try data or texts though.

  2. Gio says:

    I went to a t-mobile store in NYC and they set the network parameters for me in minutes and then suggested me which data plan to choose from. A breeze.

  3. Steve says:

    Yeap,
    since 2007 with the first iPhone, today with my 4S
    I’m from Switzerland and only T-Mobile had attractive prepaid plans. Also I was able to keep my number since then which is very convenient.
    Since 2010 I was able to use the web option, first for 2.99/day and now for 1.99 a day.
    2G, slow, but at least, for a foreigner, it’s better than nothing. Especially for GPS and live traffic info, google maps, etc.
    I won’t use this to send long email or download data, I do this at the hotel or in companies where they have wifi.
    But for daily basic usage “on the field” (streets, on the road) it’s exactly what I need.
    3G would be nice though. But still, flexible prepaid plans, better than being tight to a long term contract with anyboday else.

  4. Chris says:

    Is anyone really getting MMS to work with the above settings? I’ve tried manually putting in the settings multiple times but the I’m only able to send MMS. Not receive them unless its an imessage. The only way I’ve been able to get MMS to work is by jailbreaking and installing the MMS fix from the cydia.pushfix.info repo.

    I’d almost prefer not to have to rely on a jailbreak so I’m looking for a way around it. I can’t seem to figure out what the mms fix jailbreak does that allows it to work.

    Can anyone help?

  5. Eric says:

    Yes, this is actually overcomplicating things. In December, I did the following and it has worked fine:

    1.) Purchased 4S off contract from Apple Store (meaning that you will pay full price, since it will not be subsidized by ATT).

    2.) Did not turn on the phone, but went to T-Mobile store and removed AT&T SIM, replaced with T-Mobile SIM.

    3.) Turned on phone and went through the normal iOS 5.x setup process.

    4.) At some point doing this process, I received the above mentioned “Congratulations, you phone is unlocked” message.

    That’s it. I don’t recall if I used MMS, but voice and data was just fine. Being stuck on EDGE sucks, but it suited the requirement that I had at the time. Now I can take the phone to other countries and use prepaid SIMs as needed (with 3G by the way!)

  6. Joe Krepps says:

    So WHEN will T-Mobile officially support iPhones?

    I’ve been using a jailbroken and unlocked 3G for about a year on T-Mobile. Personally, I _HATE_ T-Mobile’s coverage! My crappy TracFone, running on AT&T’s network runs circles around the coverage I get on T-Mobile! (I keep my ancient TracFone in the car, in case T-Mobile doesn’t have signal in a medium sized town or on an interstate highway…that’s how bad it is!)

    Of course, I’ve never seen “3G” speed on my 3G but I accept that. I don’t miss something I’ve never experienced.

    If it weren’t for an unresolved dispute with AT&T over my wife’s phone, I’d be on AT&T in a heartbeat. Please think twice before signing up with T-Mobile!

  7. MacJackson says:

    For those asking above re: MMS both sending and receiving, go to the Tmo forums and/or the macrumors forums. I followed the steps that include using ibackupbot and altering a file with it. It was actually fairly simple and this is coming from someone who knows zip about this kind of thing. So, yes, you can get everything working on the 4S on Tmo without jailbreaking it (except, I think, visual voice mail.) I use mine on wifi for the most part but EDGE isn’t really that slow when I have to go on it. I absolutely love that I can have the 4s with no contract and this is an acceptable tradeoff for me.

  8. Jaylon says:

    Will these same steps work on a factory unlocked iphone 4 from the apple store?

  9. Sarai says:

    Does it have to be bought directly from Apple? Because I was thinking about buying a new iPhone 4S from eBay…

    • Lisa says:

      You can buy an AT&T compatible iPhone 4S from eBay; buy a Gevey micro sim to unlock it ($34.99 but only buy it from applenberry, there’s too many fakes out there!); and jailbreak your phone. Or buy an AT&T compatible 4S that’s already jailbroken, whatever. That’s what I did and I’m up and running with my same Tmobile account I’ve had for years. Previously was on an iPhone 3gs. Sometimes I’ve even seen “T-Mobile 3G” display on my phone and other times it’s T-Mobile E”. Lovin’ it.

  10. […] and SMS, Personal Hotspot, APN settings, and other network-specific preferences. If you’ve used an iPhone on T-Mobile or even as a prepaid phone you may have experience with these files, but other than making network […]

  11. Mary says:

    I don’t understand. Do you have to buy an unlocked iPhone from the apple store, or a iPhone under AT&T and then unlock it?

  12. Joda says:

    Instructions worked great on my iphone4. Thanks for the details

  13. nicole says:

    I want to buy a iphone 4s unlocked from the apple store. If i get a sim card from tmobile and do the following steps can i use facetime? Does this really work? I’m in rhode island will it work around my area please help me!

  14. Juju says:

    Yes. Ur unlocked iPhone 4S on tmobile can use FaceTime, send mms and receive them.

  15. Diana says:

    My iphone 4s works with an $60 t mobile prepaid plan ???,,, please i need to know as fast as possible guys……thanks!

  16. Diana says:

    The iphone is unlocked ***

  17. Diana says:

    Thanksss!!!!

  18. Jacki Farhood says:

    I got an unlocked I-phone from Apple last November. I had an unlimited data plan for my MyTouch with t-mobile. The t-mobile sore gave me the sim card and set up the phone and it worked great for about 3 months. Somehow I lost the data settings and stopped being able to connect to the internet. I got them restored and it worked fine for a while but now I notice I have no internet except with wi-fi. SO WHY AM I PAYING FOR A DATA PLAN? So frustrated with T-mobile as they are not helpful, nor is apple, who simply wants to replace my phone. Anybody have any advice?

    • Tina says:

      Just curious what is happening with your phone this past month. Any better? Curious b/c I am in a similar situation.

  19. Diana says:

    So doesnt work in 60$ unlimited t mobile plann n. ?? ????? Ho god im so confuce :((((((((((???????

  20. karla ramirez says:

    Can i use an iphone 4s whith a prepaid account from t mobile?

    • ivan says:

      yes u can i have a iphone 3gs it work perfect with a prepaid t mobil. my iphone is factory unlock i can use any were in the word with diferent caries that suport gsm.

  21. Erin says:

    Any updates on t-mobile data speed updates for iPhone 4S? Mine is still running on Edge in Boston. I’d love at least 3G speeds.

  22. Bane Kiffin says:

    Purchased unlocked Iphone 4s from apple, plugged in mini sim from Tmobile store and the phone operates flawlessly. All the features work and the new maps are pretty cool in IOS6 – Also, I am on the 59.95 unlimited plan, with no issues. I called Tmobile and they said the phone was properly set up and was good to go when I thought i had mishandled the setup.

  23. Alexis says:

    Hi! I don’t get the notification that the iPhone has been unlocked after the plug in to iTunes! HELPPPP!

  24. Eddie says:

    Hi , i have a i phone4 is unlocked and i bought a t-mobile sim card. but until now i just have EDGE for my internet.
    by the way , my plan is prepaid $50/mo
    I use the step but still have EDGE. i want to use 3G lol.

  25. Chris says:

    Hello, I recently bought an unlocked IPhone 3gs, and I am on my parents’ family plan with TMobile. I did not have a smartphone data plan for my previous phone, but I did have a plan for non-smartphone internet which is like 20 bucks a month. The edge network is working on my Iphone, but will I get charged extra by TMobile for using it? I don’t want my parents to get a huge bill at the edge on the month. Thanks!

  26. katherine says:

    hi, i might get the iphone 4s this weekend but i want to use t-mobile cauyse my parents dont want to switch my company. ANY SUGGESTIONS? and is does the internet charge you more ?

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