iPhone 5 coming April 12 to T-Mobile

Yesterday, iDB reported that T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 is actually a factory tweaked version of the existing AT&T model A1428 device, with support for T-Mobile’s LTE AWS bandwidths. As a result, existing AT&T customers cannot use their iPhone 5 to take full advantage of T-Mobile’s LTE speeds until after the Deutsche Telekom-owned telco launches its iPhone 5 on April 12, at which point Apple will replace the existing A1428 hardware with this re-tooled version.

But a hack has come along claiming to make AT&T’s A1428 iPhone 5 – jailbroken and unlocked (officially or unofficially) – work on T-Mobile’s LTE on the 1700MHz band. It accomplishes this by using a custom carrier firmware that enables support for T-Mobile’s LTE AWS bandwidths. However, it won’t make your AT&T device compatible with T-Mobile’s speedy 3G DC-HSDPA on the 1700MHz band nor will your Verizon iPhone be fooled into accepting T-Mobile’s LTE bands…

LEI Mobile takes us through the process of enabling T-Mobile LTE support on your AT&T iPhone 5 hardware.

T-Mobile LTE hack

It involves adding a new repository to Cydia, editing some strings and loading a custom carrier file.

  1. Open Cydia
  2. Tap “Manage” and then tap “Sources”
  3. Tap “Edit” then tap “Add” and put the following URL into the text box: http://v.backspace.jp/repo
  4. Once the URL is entered in tap “Add Source” and allow for it to download all of the repo’s info and packages.
  5. After your iPhone has refreshed, tap the v.backspace.jp/repo field or go to the search bar and find the package CommCenter* patch…
  6. Once you have found it, install it and then reboot your iPhone once completed.
  7. After the iPhone has restarted, open Cydia once again.
  8. Search for iFile. The free version includes basic features. You will want to purchase it to take advantage of all of the features.
  9. Once you have found it, install it. No reboot is required, though you can do it just to be on the safe side.
  10. Once iFile has been installed, close Cydia
  11. Once you’re in iFile tap “Unarchiver” and 3 files will show up above T-Mobile LTE.zip
  12. At the top, tap “edit”and tap the dots with a check mark next to carrier.plist, carrier.pri, overrides_N41_N42.plist, and overrides_N41_N42.pri
  13. Tap the clipboard icon at the bottom and tap “cut”
  14. Now tap “done” at the top and tap the house icon at the bottom then tap Library, then tap Carrier Bundle.bundle (the one in blue), and then tap edit at the top again and tap the clipboard icon. Tap “paste” and it will auto inject the carrier files into the carrier folder overwriting the other files. (you may want to make a backup of these files in case anything goes wrong or we have a backup below.)
  15. After the files have been placed, exit iFile and restart iPhone. After the iPhone restarts, allow it to acquire signal and display the T-Mobile logo then go to where you edit the APN settings (Settings –>General–>Cellular) click reset network settings. Once that is done, enable the LTE toggle and you’re good to go.

Judging by the comments on the LEI Mobile post, the trick indeed works.

The method could save some money to AT&T users looking to jump ship come April 12 as they won’t necessarily have to purchase an iPhone 5 from T-Mobile to enjoy T-Mobile’s LTE.

Again, the trick won’t make your AT&T iPhone work on T-Mobile’s speedy 3G DC-HSDPA 42Mbps network.

Why’s that important?

Because with initially scarce availability of T-Mobile’s LTE (Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington DC), you’d want to be able to fall back to DC-HSDPA whenever you find yourself outside T-Mobile’s LTE coverage. T-Mobile plans to roll out LTE to a hundred million customers by mid-2013 and 200 million people nationwide by year’s end.

Moreover, the hack supports neither T-Mobile’s slower 21Mbps HSPA+ network nor the twice as fast 42Mbps DC-HSDPA one.

On the flip side, MacWorld was able to confirm with Apple that customers using a CDMA iPhone 5 (model A1429) from Verizon, Sprint and other regional CDMA carriers can use T-Mobile’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network, though not its DC-HSDPA or LTE networks.

If these shortcomings sound annoying, you should definitely employ a waiting tactics and buy your device from T-Mobile come April 12.

“If you want to purchase an unlocked iPhone 5 that can work fully on either AT&T or T-Mobile, your best bet is to wait a couple weeks until the newest iPhone 5 arrives,” MacWorld cautions.

T-Mobile’s tweaked A1428 iPhone 5 supports both its 4G LTE and 3G DC-HSPA+ on AWS bandwidths, allowing the handset to fallback fast when you detach from LTE in a T-Mobile market where both networks are available.

Apple officially confirmed to Engadget that it will be phasing out the existing A1428 model iPhone to replace it with the tweaked A1428 model which supports both AT&T and T-Mobile.

An Apple spokesperson told the publication that the company cannot just roll out a software update to existing A1428 iPhone owners because the necessary firmware tweak has to be applied at the factory.

“Apple affirmed to us that it’s not something that can be enabled via a simple software update for A1428 iPhone units already in circulation,” per Engadget.

So, what do you make of all this?

  • When I heard that the AT&T iPhone 5 didn’t work as well with T-Mobile’s LTE network, I didn’t want to switch anymore. Now that it is just a simple hack, T-Mobile here I come!

  • Wow

  • What about the unlock verizon iphone 5 ?

    • I don’t believe this works as its a CDMA model which has different LTE band. It won’t work on AT&T LTE either

    • Read the post and it will answer your question

  • What will happen with iphone 3GS? It will run on 3G 21 or 42 Mbps.

    • Hunter Vaughan

      I too wonder if you can do this on a 3GS.

    • No. iPhone 3GS cellular radios aren’t capable of that

  • Ratoo

    This article has some problems.

    The enabling of T-Mobile LTE was rather solving software limitation. A1428 already support LTE band 4, which both AT&T and T-Mobile use. It’s just apple need to certificate them before officially support their LTE service, like they added more LTE carriers in iOS 6.1, which a jailbreak tweak can fool.

    But DC-HSDPA/old AWS HSDPA are on different bands, and these are not solved yet.

    The biggest problem, is still your old A1428 will fallback to EDGE, in most areas, where T-Mobile don’t have LTE, DC-HSDPA and HSPA+.

    • I believe this was addressed in these paragraphs……

      Again, the trick won’t make your AT&T iPhone work on T-Mobile’s speedy 3G DC-HSDPA 42Mbps network.

      Why’s that important?

      Because with initially scarce availability of T-Mobile’s LTE
      (Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and
      Washington DC), you’d want to be able to fall back to DC-HSDPA whenever
      you find yourself outside T-Mobile’s LTE coverage. T-Mobile plans to roll out LTE to a hundred million customers by mid-2013 and 200 million people nationwide by year’s end.

      • Ratoo

        “Moreover, the hack supports neither T-Mobile’s slower 21Mbps HSPA+ network nor the twice as fast 42Mbps DC-HSDPA one.”
        Perhaps not very accuate……
        Actually, 4S had already been able to use T-Mobile’s HSPA+ at 14.4Mbps speed several months ago, not very fast, way beeeetter than EDGE.

      • In ifile I don’t see unarchiver

      • So can I get 4G on my Verizon iPhone 5 with this hack and fall back to 3G?

  • Can this also work for German carrieres like o2? Because in Germany just T-Mobile is able to provide iPhone 5 users with LTE. They are the only one allowed to use this spefic frequency. Any comments on this?

  • Just tried it doesn’t work. Got as far as line 10 could not find the file in order to finish the process.

    • Joe

      Hi Eric, this is Joe from LEiMobile. The reason you weren’t able to get it working was because iDownloadBlog didn’t provide the download link after they copy and pasted the tutorial. Please vist this site URL down below and finish the process there. Thanks 🙂

  • mr432

    Will it support MMS and visual voice mail?

  • Can this make an iPhone 4S run on either T-mobile’s DC-HSDPA or LTE network?

  • ummm…. my AT&T iPhone 5 works super fast on LTE now why do i need to care about this????

  • T.LIN

    10.Once iFile has been installed, close Cydia and click on this “””file””” from your iPhone and click “Open in iFile”

    What “””File””” should i click???

  • Joe

    @Sebastien Thanks for putting the link in. Now everyone enjoy LTE and if you have any problems please visit leimobile’s tutorial page and post a comment. Thanks! 🙂

    • No worries, man. Good job!

      • Joe

        Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Jacob61916

    So the hack will allow AT&T iPhone 5’s to use T-Mobiles LTE band but drop to EDGE in non-LTE areas but will it still allow to use AT&T bands (EDGE,3G,4G,LTE) on the iPhone 5? Also, can’t we just undo all the steps to go back to T-Mobile’s 3G?

    • Joe

      I think there is a bit of confusion here. Your unlocked A1428 iPhone 5 will be able to access 2g EDGE, 4G HSPA+ 21mbps, and LTE.

  • Damn I purchased the unlocked A1428 model in December:/. This sucks that they are releasing a tweaked one…

    Got anyway I can get them to give me the new hardware version?

    Like do you think if my phone has a “problem” and requires replacement they would give me the new hardware version. I am saying that like after it gets released.

  • Joey

    It took me about 3 minutes to do this on my JB unlocked iPhone 5 6.1.2 and now I see 4G instead of 3G on T-Mobile. I now have the ‘Enable LTE’ switch. I’m in the Metro NYC area.

    • I don’t see unarchiver

      • Joey

        In iFile it shows up when you select he zipped file.

      • And where do I find that at?

      • Joey

        You have to download iFile from Cydia

        You use iFile to unzip and copy & paste the files

        It’s easy.


      • I did already I don’t know what to do after

      • Joey

        I will post easy instructions in the morning fe my PC.

      • Thank u I really appreciate it

      • Joey

        Once you add the backspace repo and install the CommCenter patch go back to Cydia. Tap Search on the bottom, put in iFile in the top and pick iFile. Install iFile. I downloaded the T-mobile carrier update in Step 10 above to my desktop PC and used iFile’s WiFi transfer mode to import it, but you can just tap on the link from your iPhone to download the carrier bundle. Once you download the carrier bundle open iFile, press the home key on the bottom, press documents folder above and you should see the t-mobile LTE package release zip file. Tap the file and iFile menu comes up. Choose Unarchiver. Open the directory that was just created, hit edit on top, select 4 files, choose copy, Navigate to Var/mobile/library/Carrier Bundle.bundle, press edit, then paste.
        That’s it

      • Anthony

        You can go to iClarified, there has pictures and words instructions.

  • Carrier Bundle.bundle suddenly disappeared on my iPhone 5. Now I cannot connect to internet on 3G network (even it shows 3G icon). The Carrier information in the About is Not Available. My iPhone is factory unlocked iPhone 5. Can you copy your Carrier Bundle.bundle and send to my email: qvt8888@gmail.com. Thank you!

    • Joe

      Try deleting the files located var/mobile/Library/Carrier Bundles/overlay and then restart your iPhone 2 times. On the first reboot it will search for signal and take awhile. Once it’s aquired signal then do the 2nd reboot. After it boots up it should aquire signal and say T-Mobile 4G.

  • Adrian12369

    Will this improve my speed on my 4s? I currently get 3G from tmobile.

    • Joe

      Please do not do this on your iPhone 4S as this is meant for the iPhone 5 only.

  • Still waiting for LTE in my country… (In 2017)

  • This trick indeed works.

    • Any idea why I never see the LTE on the status bar? I do see 4G and LTE enable switch. Am I simply far from the LTE tower or they will start the LTE service on 12?

  • I don’t see unarchiver

  • mmeqbil1@gmail.com

    The iphone 5 on verizon gives you 4g under AT&T, i wonder why it won’t give you 4g under t-mobile with this hack

  • how do you reverse the hack

  • This work on simple mobile

    • Anthony

      Does it work with Simple Mobile SIM card?

  • Phillip Esho

    How do i remove this entire thing.. it worked but 4g kept cutting off and i wouldnt get 3g.. so i deleted the ifile program and the file for lte now my internet doesnt work at all anymore

  • ifile isnt unzipping files help

  • jjluv86

    Could this work on att iPhone 4 factory unlocked to get faster speeds maybe.

  • TJ Q

    I have a Verizon iPhone 5 and I bought a Straight Talk(tmobile compatible sim) and at first all I had was EDGE speeds until I did this hack, thank you!! now I am getting faster data(probably 3g could be 4g) but obviously way better than edge.. can stream, youtube, etc!! thanks!

    • can I use a CDMA iPhone 5 with Straight Talk? how is that possible? do you have a link describing? thanks

  • So I will be able to use my Verizon iPhone 5 with T-mobile’s 4G and 3G? And if I install this I will be able to use a Verizon Sim if I still want to right?

  • I did the whole thing but the enable LTE still doesn’t show up. What do I do?

  • How Do i remove this i need to remove this cause i have no data now… OMG

  • Candice

    I’m still getting edge. I did everything the article said, perfectly, what went wrong?