Last Updated on August 11, 2020 by Ian McEwan
People switch phone carriers for different reasons ranging from cost and network coverage to service plan structure (texts, data, allowed volume of voice, etc). For example, you may wish to switch from AT&T to T-Mobile due to its better coverage (second in the U.S. with 59%), low pricing, and affordable data plans.
For you to switch from AT&T to T-Mobile and get a new phone, however, there are several things to consider and steps to follow in order to ensure a seamless transfer process.
In most cases, AT&T phones are compatible with the T-Mobile network. So, you can make the T-Mobile switch from AT&T without ditching your old phone. Just make sure the phone is unlocked. If not, the cell phone won’t work on the T-Mobile network.
If your device is locked to the AT&T network, you have to request an unlock from the carrier.
In case you want a new phone (which is our concern here), you’ll need to trade in your old phone and make the T-Mobile switch from AT&T.
If you’re buying a GSM device within the country, it’s likely to be compatible with the network frequencies used by T-Mobile. But, there are no guarantees if you purchase from overseas.
Check the specifications carefully to ensure the frequency conforms to the T-Mobile network spectrum;
* 2G – 1900 MHz frequency on Band 2
* 3G – 1700 MHz & 2100 MHz frequencies on Band 4
* 4G (LTE) – 700 MHz frequency on Band 12, 1700 MHz & 2100 MHz frequencies on Band 4, 1900 MHz frequency on Band 2.
Other things to consider before transferring from AT&T to T-Mobile includes:
* Check Coverage –
As mentioned earlier, National Coverage Maps put T-Mobile as the 2nd-best in America in terms of coverage. Nevertheless, you still need to check if T-Mobile network, especially the new LTE, is available in your area. Generally, people living in metro areas are more likely to enjoy stable networks than those living outside the cities and frequent travelers.
Fortunately, T-Mobile offers its new customers a month of coverage guarantee. For instance, if you purchase a T-Mobile phone and service plan but not happy with the network, you’re free to return the phone within a month for a full refund including service costs.
* Calculate Costs –
The next move is to calculate the cost of switching from AT&T to T-Mobile carrier. If you’re on a contract, for example, you may need to factor in early termination fees paid to AT&T for canceling out the contract earlier than scheduled. However, if the 2-year contract is up already, then you don’t need to worry about termination fees.
Presently, T-Mobile covers up to &350 in early termination fees and $650 on each line you’re bringing over from AT&T, provided you purchase a new T-Mobile phone and also port your number to the carrier.
To do the porting, you’ll need to print and give T-Mobile the copies of your “Final Account Statement” obtained from AT&T. T-Mobile repays any eligible charge with a prepaid MasterCard.
* Check for Discounts –
It’s wise to also check that you’re eligible for discounts on T-Mobile. You’re entitled to discounts on the network if you have served in any of the armed forces, for example.
* Porting Your Number –
Also, check to see if your phone number could be ported to T-Mobile through the carrier’s web platform. Running the check will never affect your current service. So, don’t wait till you visit a T-Mobile store before finding out if you can port your number or not.
To make the T-Mobile switch from AT&T, check if T-Mobile service is available in the location where your old AT&T line originated from. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you have moved since then.
NOTE: Don’t cancel your AT&T plan until your new T-Mobile service plan is set up and running. Otherwise, it’ll be impossible to port your number.
To enjoy T-Mobile’s Early Termination Fee reimbursement offers, you’ll need to trade in your old phone at the nearest T-Mobile store and then receive a credit based on the value of your device.
Step 1 – Backup your old phone to save contents before switching over to T-Mobile.
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Step 2 – Unlock your AT&T account by removing any password from it for T-Mobile to take it over.
Step 3 – Visit the nearest T-Mobile store to request for a switch. Endeavor to bring along your current account PIN, current wireless bill, and old phone to smoothen the process.
Step 4 – A T-Mobile store rep will walk you through the entire process of activation, porting, trade-in, and the reimbursement submission requirements.
Just follow the instructions and provide the necessary details.
The store rep will port your number over to your new phone. All you’ve to do is to supply your account number. You won’t have to talk to AT&T at all.
Step 5 – After porting and activation of your new account, you’ll be given two forms to take home.
* A prepaid label to send your old AT&T phone back. Once you send it, you’ll receive a prepaid MasterCard worth its market value from T-Mobile.
NOTE: Your cancellation fee won’t be paid until you’ve sent the old phone back.
* A form to fill and confirm that you’ve sent the phone. Pay the early cancellation fee charged by AT&T and send the proof of payment and the forms to T-Mobile within a month to get your compensation.
Between 6 and 8 weeks, T-Mobile will send your MasterCard prepaid card containing the amount spent, up to $350.
You’re set to enjoy the best of T-Mobile pronto!
In case you want to trade in your old phone for a new T-Mobile device, you can easily do so at any of the company’s store or online. T-Mobile allows its customers to use their trade-in credits for purchasing a new activation or an upgrade.
– As a new customer, visit the nearest T-Mobile to trade-in your old device for a new phone as earlier explained.
– As an existing customer, trade in using My T-Mobile App and follow on-screen instructions.
– Check the status of your trade-in online, print the shipping label, and review your device value.
Is it possible that I can do something online before, during, or after the switch?
Yes, you can use T-Mobile’s online trade-in program to streamline the whole process, especially if you can’t easily get to a store. To do this, you’ll have to print the shipping label. Thereafter, you’ll pack and ship the old phone to T-Mobile.
Note: T-Mobile won’t be responsible for any damage during shipping.
As mentioned earlier, when you want to switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, you may wish to transfer those family photos, selfies, and other precious contents to the new phone from the old phone before sending it back. This is very easy to do and you have different options to fulfill your desire.
In the case of Android users, the special “T-Mobile Content Transfer” app can be used to transfer data files between Android phones of any type.
Also, iPhone users can use the iCloud feature to back up their old iPhone and then transfer files to new iPhone at any time.
For any type of phone, however, be it Android, iOS or Verizon, Switch Mobile Transfer can be used. Switch Mobile Transfer is a powerful third-party software used to transfer data files between different phones without any hassle. Among other things, Switch Mobile Transfer can be used to transfer or share photos, audio, video, texts, messages, apps, etc from your old AT&T to the new T-Mobile device.
What to do before switching from AT&T to T-Mobile:
For a new customer, go to “Device Trade-In” on T-Mobile’s website and follow the necessary instructions.
For existing customers, go to “My T-Mobile”. Log in to your account, shop for a new device, and follow on-screen instructions.
What to do during the T-mobile switch from AT&T:
As stated earlier, new customers can use T-Mobile’s web page to process and monitor the switch. As an old customer, use My T-Mobile to check the status of your trade-in, print the shipping label, and review assessed device value.
What to do after the switch to AT&T from T-Mobile:
In case of dissatisfaction, you can request your device to be returned immediately. Use the mentioned channels and follow displayed instructions.
The returned device will be shipped within five business days.
T-Mobile’s online channels are also available 24/7 for customer support and further inquiries.