NEW YORK — T-Mobile USA, the only “Big 4” phone company that doesn’t sell the iPhone, now wants to snag used ones from AT&T.
Starting Wednesday, when Apple is expected to reveal a new iPhone, T-Mobile will start advertising that AT&T iPhone owners who are out of contract can switch to T-Mobile.
“For every person waiting in line for the next model, a lot of them have to find a secondary market for that older device,” said Harry Thomas, T-Mobile’s marketing director.
Signing an iPhone up for T-Mobile service has been possible for years, but there is a big difference in data speeds, taking about 50 times longer to download files than on AT&T’s network.
T-Mobile is reshuffling the frequencies on its network, which will let it match or even exceed AT&T’s data speeds on iPhones. For now, that will be evident only in a few spots in such cities as New York, Seattle, Las Vegas and Washington.
Sprint and Verizon iPhones
of the “4’’ model won’t work on T-Mobile’s network. The later iPhone 4S will work if it’s been hacked, but that’s not something T-Mobile wants to get into. AT&T’s
iPhones have to be unlocked using codes that AT&T will supply after the customer’s contract is up.
T-Mobile’s pitch will center on its unlimited data plan, which it reintroduced last week. AT&T stopped signing up new customers to unlimited plans two years ago, and it now slows service drastically once those still on unlimited plans use a certain amount of data.