How to Use an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile Right Now
Many of us were disappointed to learn T-Mobile didn’t officially pick up the iPhone 5, but it hardly matters when T-Mobile is making it easier than ever to use the newest iPhone on their network anyway. Not only that, but with the T-Mobile HSPA+ network rollout the reported data speeds in many regions are impressively fast. If you’re looking to save a bunch of money every month or you just hate contracts, this is probably the way to go.
Using iPhone 5 on T-Mobile is now this simple:
- Buy an unlocked iPhone 5 at full price ($650) – or get a Verizon iPhone 5 with unlocked SIM, or pay full price for an off-contract iPhone 5 from AT&T and restore the device through iTunes to unlock it
- Get an iPhone 5 compatible nano-SIM from T-Mobile – shave a micro-SIM yourself, visit a local store, or contact TMO support at 1-800-866-2453
- Sign up for a T-Mobile plan – $30/month for 5GB of 4G data and unlimited SMS is their best web-only deal by far
- Pop the T-Mobile nano SIM into the iPhone 5
We’ve received several confirmations from readers on how easy it is to get iPhone 5 working with T-Mobile in the USA, and also how helpful their reps are to get everything functioning. The web-only $30/month offering is such a ridiculously good deal – as long as you don’t spend much time talking – that you could easily pay off the full priced unsubsidized iPhone 5 in under a year when compared to paying for the expensive 4G data plans offered by AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Plus there’s no contract.
One 9to5mac user provided the following screenshot from Speed Test, showing an iPhone 5 downloading at a super-fast 13.45 Mbps with a speedy 3.38 Mbps upload speed.
For what it’s worth, those data speeds are significantly faster than standard 3G and 4G speeds on competing networks, though they aren’t as fast as an unencumbered LTE network. The only potential downside is when you leave a HPSA+ coverage area your data speeds will be dropped down to the 2G Edge network, and for that reason going the unofficial route to T-Mobile won’t be a viable solution for everyone.