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Switch to T-Mobile and BYO Phone

t-mobile Logo When you switch to T-Mobile you'll be getting a carrier with the second best nationwide coverage in the country, along with great wireless plans to choose from. This guide will help you bring your own phone and switch to T-Mobile.


T-Mobile is doing all they can to get you over to them. They have benefits like T-Mobile Tuesdays where you get special perks and free products each week. Plus, they make it super easy to switch by paying off bills from your current carrier, so now is the time to switch if you’re looking to make the jump.

Check Your Phone’s Compatibility Unlock Your Phone Compare T-Mobile Coverage
T-Mobile Pros and Cons T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans Transfer Your Number

Steps to Switch to T-Mobile

  1. Make sure your phone can be used on T-Mobiles network by checking your phone’s IMEI.
  2. Check your current plan and see if there are stipulations that would keep you from moving to T-Mobile.
  3. Make sure your phone is paid off, then call your carrier to unlock it.
  4. Check T-Mobile coverage in your area.
  5. Research and compare the best T-Mobile Plans for you using the Let’s Talk search engine.
  6. Get a SIM card from T-Mobile.
  7. Activate your plan and port your number.
  8. T-Mobile will cancel your current plan for you.

Is My Phone Compatible With T-Mobile?

The first thing to do before resolving to take your phone to T-Mobile for service is to check it’s compatibility on the carrier’s network. AT&T and T-Mobile phones tend to transfer without issue because they make use of similar network technology. Verizon and Sprint, however, operate on a different type of network, making switching to T-Mobile a bit more problematic for older devices.

Newer phones have the capability to work on both types of networks

To see if your phone is compatible check out the T-Mobile website. When you type your IMEI into T-Mobile’s website, it will tell you right away if it’s possible to bring your own phone to their network.

Make Sure Your Phone is Unlocked 

Another problem you could run into is having your phone locked by your current carrier.

Let’s Talk Tip: T-Mobile will pay off your remaining phone balance BUT you have to buy another phone from them to use for your T-Mobile plan.

Your phone will likely be locked if you bought it from a carrier, and haven’t paid it off all the way. In this case, you won’t be able to take it to a new carrier.
It is necessary to get your phone unlocked so it can function on other networks.

T-Mobile Coverage Map

When it comes to nationwide coverage, T-Mobile beats out AT&T but not by much. Overall they are in second place to Verizon who has 11% more coast-to-coast coverage. Even though T-Mobile does cover a large portion of the country, you should compare their coverage map. To do that, look at the map below to see if T-Mobile covers the areas you frequent.

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600 MHz Frequency

T-Mobile is launching and advertising its new 600 MHz internet access. With the added 600 MHz coverage, T-Mobile coverage area is broader than AT&T’s, and behind only Verizon in terms of U.S. coverage superiority. Keep in mind, though, that only a handful of phones are compatible with the 600 MHz spectrum.

T-Mobile Pros and Cons

Let’s Talk Pros

  • Strong unlimited plan offerings
  • Military discounts
  • AT&T phones generally compatible

Let’s Talk Cons

  • Plans tend to be a little pricey
  • Verizon and Sprint phones may not be compatible

T-Mobile Plans

T-Mobile has tons of great cell phone plans—especially when it comes to unlimited. You can sort through all of them by using the Let’s Talk search engine. Under the “Select Phone” tab, click “Bring Your Own Phone”. In the dropdown menu under “Network”, select “T-Mobile.” You can see some of their most popular plans below.

There are 16 other carriers that run on the T-Mobile network (known as MVNOs). If you’re having a hard time finding the best T-Mobile plan for you, but still want to be on their network, look at MVNO plans. They have the exact same coverage, but often with cheaper prices.

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Popular MVNO Plans

Port Your Number to T-Mobile

If you want to take your current number with you for service on T-Mobile, you will have to port it. Sometimes porting your number can be complicated, but carriers have made the process fairly straightforward. T-Mobile will ask you to enter your phone number to make sure it is portable. If it is, they will direct you to order a SIM card and prompt you for information from your current account. They will use this information to cancel your current plan.

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