AT&T and unlocked devices have access to T-Mobile 4G in 5 new markets (CA being a big one)


Excuse me while I do my happy dance for a second (queue Flashdance dance sequence). Great news for those who love T-Mobile’s low monthly rates, but wish unlocked phones from AT&T or other parts of the world worked on their network. Tonight, T-Mobile has officially flipped the 4G switch on for their 1900MHz network in 5 new markets around the US — my home area of southern California being one of them. Here’s the other 4 markets lit up as well:

  • Chicago, including the surrounding areas of: Aurora, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Naperville, Oak Park, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Sacramento, Calif., including the surrounding areas of: Antelope, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Loomis, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rocklin, Roseville, Vacaville and West Sacramento.
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Southern Calif., including: Alhambra, Anaheim, Claremont, Culver City, El Monte, Encino, Garden Grove, Granada Hills, Inglewood, Irvine, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Newport Beach, North Hills, North Hollywood, Paramount, Pasadena, Redlands, Reseda, Rosemead, Santa Ana, San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, South El Monte, Temple City, Torrance, Upland, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Westminster and Wilmington.

What does this mean to you? Well, where normally AT&T and unlocked devices from other parts of the world would only get 2G speeds on T-Mobile, suddenly find themselves capable of 4G speeds. Found a good deal on an unlocked quad-core Samsung Galaxy S3? Activate it on T-Mobile. Have an HTC One X+ but hate paying up the wazoo for AT&T service? Activate it on T-Mobile.

And for those keeping count, T-Mobile now covers 100 million people in the US with their enhanced 4G HSPA+ network, making the #4 largest carrier in the US a viable option for those feeling like they’re paying too much on AT&T. As for me, I’ll be picking up Verizon’s HTC Droid DNA and loading it up with my T-Mobile SIM for super quick HSPA+ data speeds at half the monthly rate. Woot!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Wow, 5 new markets. That’s almost as many as Verizon’s 450 markets!

    1. Verizon’s 3G can’t even hold a candle to T-Mo’s or AT&T’s HSPA+.

      1. Does that matter there’s 4g everywhere for verizon especially here in ny even with prepaid

        1. Yes, but is there LTE on suburbs?

          1. Yes almost every where I go In the suburbs

          2. Yes, there’s lte in the suburbs

        2. Of course it matters what are you high? If verizon data speeds on LTE are slow and 3g as well then so what if your “4G” network is everywhere if you don’t see even 3G speeds?

        3. And you can keep paying twice as much for their amazing coverage. A year from now you’ll think a bit different as T-Mobile shakes up the market and has amazing coverage.

          1. When tmobile even gets 4g hspa+ to my area I’ll listen. As it stands, I’m only an hr from NYC and wouldn’t even be able to stream video on tmobile or sprint. Only AT&T and Verizon ensure good coverage here, and Verizon still has a lot of work to do, though they should be done in about 6 months.

      2. Dude, I barely get 1Mbps out here with Verizon’s LTE. With T-Mobile, I can easily pull in 3Mbps :)

    2. I think you’re reading that wrong. Where normally you’d only get 2G speeds with an unlocked phone on AT&T (HTC One X) or global Verizon phone (HTC Droid DNA), you now have 4G speeds. More devices to choose from. Something not even Verizon can match.

      1. Verizon totally BLOWS in the Riverside area. I could be on one side of the base and get full bars, take 3 steps and go to 3G. So annoying. Glad I’m on ST now.

  2. They just showed LA area tons of Love

    1. Yeah, LA was time around. So glad it’s reaching out to the rest of southern Cali :D

      1. I didn’t miss a San Diego announcement yet did I?

        1. Is that where you’re at? I could have sworn you guys have had it. Here’s all of T-Mobile’s refarming announcements

          It’s funny cuz we’ve actually had the enhanced 2G/4G for sometime where I live, it just wasn’t announced :p

          1. Yeah. I don’t currently have T-Mo but a few people I work with run Nexus 4s on T-Mo and absolutely love it. Considering the switch when my contract runs out. Although can’t complain running a One X on AT&T.

  3. The title of this article is a bit misleading as TMO has had 4G available in these areas for a long time. It’s just available to iPhones and other unlocked devices now.

    1. I don’t get it. They CONVERTED their 2G to 4G. Hmmm… I thought that was clear.

      Let me see if I can re-word that title even more.

      1. Sounds clear enough to me. If I had no contract I would switch over at tmobiles prices

      2. Thank you!

          1. Much:)

  4. As usual, my poor Antelope Valley (Lancaster/Palmdale) is left out of SoCal. Living in the desert away from everything really kinda sucks sometimes.

    1. Yeah, that area is tough. Smaller population makes it less of a priority to carriers. Come to Rancho! :p

    2. Technically….all of the Los Angeles area is a desert…..just sayin’……

  5. So if I live in one of these areas, does this mean that I should be able to set my phone to WCDMA only and save a little battery life, while not sacrificing any coverage (since all the 2G towers should now be sporting WCDMA as well)?

    1. I’m not sure how it works with current T-Mobile devices. I only receive Edge at my house and tested it out and….. still getting Edge. Was really hoping it would show at least 3G now :/

  6. I really like where T-Mobile is going. They are the anti Verizon.

    1. This new TMobile customer who still owes Verizon $740 in ETF fees is happy as a pig in sh…lop.

  7. It sounds good but when I check my work address in San Jose the coverage is very poor. My cousin had Galaxy S2 and got dial up speeds and just a block away about 2 mbps so I don’t see the point of getting T Mobile. Virgin picks up 4-5 mbps for $35 a month and that works like a charm and even at home i get 5-8 mbps with Virgin and Wifi as back up..

    1. Holy cow, that’s really good for Virgin Mobile. I’d love to see those speeds out here where I live :O

  8. Glendale is slowly turning around too. We have 4G and 3G in many areas.

  9. Yeah, it was weird how I found that an unlocked iphone I was reselling suddenly found 3G. And this was about 2 months ago!

    1. Yeah, it’s been around for awhile now. Just wasn’t announced until today :p

  10. Fantastic! I love T-Mobile! I would love an HTC OneX+.

    1. Yeah, strongly considering getting the One X+ only because of it’s insane amount of storage. Arrrgh. Sometimes I hate Android — too many choices ;D

      1. A lot of choices. Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, and now the One X+. These are my top 3 picks but I haven’t even really looked at the other phones from AT&T.

      2. I am a real phone nut, have the SGS3 with 32gb of int storage with the 64gb sd card, also have the Note 2 with the 64gb sd card. Wish the Note 2 came with more int storage. I also would like to grab that One X+, great specs with plenty of int storage. I just hate a great phone with killer hardware and they forget int storage, it just ruins the phone IMO. My Note 2, I tried everywhere to get one with 64gb of int storage, the only place is Korea and the radios just won’t work. Still hoping the larger int storage models come to the US.
        PS, Always read your articles and watch your videos.

    2. Don’t forget hTC Droid DNA has unlocked GSM, which will work with T-Mobile now too!

  11. *yawns* both sprint and t-mobile suck in my area verizon has good coverage tho but I do not feel like paying their stupid fees. Currently paying $40 a month but its going down to $35 starting next month and with verizon I would be paying triple or more and I have complete unlimited service. This is suppose to be a coveted area but yeah speeds and coverage sucks.

    In the Michiana area if anyone is interested. You know the area that is northern Indiana and south western Michigan.

  12. Does this mean there is also a new 3G network?
    I mean, I have an European phone that does not support T-Mobile’s AWG (1700MHz) and every time I visited USA, I got T-Mobile’s SIM card (because of their low prices) and could only get 2G internet speeds. Now I know they are in a process of switching from AWS to bands that are supported by European phones as well.
    Is this it too?

    1. Yes, this means Euro phones (unlocked) will work out here on T-Mobile if you’re in one of their upgraded areas :)

      1. Excellent news, thanks! :)

  13. If you’ll be paying 35$ Soon, stop crying cause it’s almost 100$ 4 a cell with unlimited here in new York T-Mobile.

    1. I may be paying $35 a month now but I rarely see 3g and my phone constantly loses connection and I never see higher then 1 bar around here. So my coverage sucks big time.

      Sprints IDEN network has great coverage around here to bad I am stuck on CDMA and that they are getting rid of the IDEN network as well. Hopefully when they do it gets refarmed into proper 3g/4g and I can get proper coverage around here.

  14. Chris what do you think about riverside should it work I was telling a friend yesterday not to buy an unlocked att phone for the reason it would just connect to 2g

  15. Looks like Tmobile is finally gearing up for war. It’s always a plus when service providers use common sense to attract customers. I’m glad I stood by tmobile for so many years things are really brightening up. A strong customer focus can topple the big guys.

    1. Glad I stuck with tmobile too, I’m thoroughly enjoying my data feast.. It may have been a long time coming but it’s sooner than any1 else…

  16. I like seeing that support around Chicago for me (Des Plaines). I cant wati to try out my Nexus4 on a prepaid T-Mobile plan after my 2 year ATT contract is up.

  17. They tease the inland Empire with upland and Redlands? When will they refarm in riverside? Most populated area of the IE come on tmo! I hope this means soon cuz riverside and area always seem to get ignored :/

  18. Heh I wonder if I’d get better coverage on TMO with an unlocked AT&T phone than I do with my T-Mobile phone?

  19. Seattle and a couple of other cities just went live recently too. The 1900MHz network is the HSPA+21, still fast enough for me though.

  20. If only people knew what they were missing, they would flock to T-Mobile. I get pissed off when I hear some of these so called journalists from other websites call T-Mobile the 4th carrier in the US that doesn’t have LTE and so on. They plug these other Carriers and list Sprint as the better choice with their unlimited data. What a freaken joke, wake the f— up people, T-Mobile has real unlimited HSPA+ data with kick ass speeds. If they would just try it they would kick themselves in the ass for waiting so long. If you are in T-Mobile coverage area give them a try, you won’t be sorry. They get better every day.

  21. El Monte


    I tested it TODAY, with the help of T-Mumble technician (person on the towers), and the very best we could get, with LIMITED RANGE FROM THE CELL OR TOWER (approx. 1/2 mi. from the cell) was 11.5 Mbps down, 4.0 Mbps up. That’s to T-Mumble hosted servers….

    Sorry the rest of you humble iPhone users… Magenta is STILL a joke.

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