Hacked AT&T carrier update could improve your device’s network performance

By , May 20, 2013

iphone-lte1

Last week, a hacked carrier update surfaced for T-Mobile subscribers that promises to increase the cellular data speeds of the iPhone 5. It claims to pull this off by increasing the handset’s bandwidth supply, allowing for “better throughput of data.”

This weekend, the same person behind the T-Mobile hack unveiled a similar workaround for AT&T customers. As before, the process installs a modded carrier file to your device that aims to improve its network performance with better band management…

Here’s a technical explanation of what the hacked carrier update does:

“This hack enables Release 9 DC-HSPA+ on the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, 4, and mini as well as enhancing LTE data and signal. Though AT&T is limited to HSPA+ 21, the device itself becomes more open to an increased amount of bandwidth thus allowing for better throughput of data and data connection. This is very convinient for users in areas that don’t yet have LTE coverage.”

Apparently, the file also includes a fix for iPhone 5 users who have experienced weakened signal over the past few months on the PCS 1900MHz and/or CLR 850MHz bands for HSPA+, as well as the APT 700MHz and (or) AWS 1700MHz band for LTE.

“The issue was due in part to the newer revised iPhone 5′s that came with the AWS band enabled for HSPA+, if you were to ever choose to leave AT&T for T-Mobile. It set the band preference for HSPA+ to CLR and LTE to APT which can cause conflictions and problems when you’re in an area with towers on different bands with stronger signal. The setting has been set back to the default “auto” setting and should help the 4G HSPA+/LTE signal perform a bit better, whether your iPhone 5 is the older edition or the revised edition.”

Those wanting to try out the AT&T hack can find step-by-step directions. The tutorial is entitled ‘AT&T iPhone 5 Hacked Carrier Update,’ but it appears it’s also compatible with the Cellular versions of the iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini as well.

We haven’t tried this ourselves yet, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness. I will say, though, that it didn’t seem like many of our readers had success with last week’s T-Mobile update. If you decide try it, be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments below.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ajgoodma Alex Jordan

    So much faster!!! Thanks for the tip, my speed bumped up from 12 Mbps to 38 Mbps!

    • http://twitter.com/ggeegino gino hakimi

      And was this on 4g or lTE or wifi? And where does everyone live btw?

      • http://www.facebook.com/ajgoodma Alex Jordan

        LTE in PA

  • http://twitter.com/andykan Andy Kan

    If only there’s a way of doing it universally regardless of telco or country..
    Or can I use it even though I’m not on AT&T?

    • http://twitter.com/_lemonhead94_ lemonhead

      u can’t but it sure would be great !

  • http://twitter.com/Rich_Inniss  Rich 

    It worked. It went fro m 9.8 down 3.5 up to 13.2 down 13.5 up

    • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

      over 4G or LTE?

  • bens sandaore

    Verizon next?

  • http://twitter.com/_lemonhead94_ lemonhead

    I wish someone would do this for some swiss carriers…

    Or explain how he made the hack so people could pull this off every where not only in the us :-/

  • Paul Dunahoo

    Wow, this is great. I hope they come out with a hack for the Verizon iPad/iPad mini soon.

  • http://twitter.com/yaclexx Yaclexx

    Can we do this on a Jbkn i5?
    Since this required to update in some way…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.dennery Jason Dennery

    Will this affect a jailbreak?

    Will doing it through iTunes force the phone to update to the latest version of iOS as well?

    Or am I misunderstanding how to do this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ajgoodma Alex Jordan

      I did this with my jailbroken iPhone 5 on 6.1.2 and it worked no problems at all! Just hit ignore to the warning that originally pops up asking you to update phone. Hold alt/option while clicking update and select the carrier update and whammy! Restart your device and your golden!

    • http://twitter.com/ggeegino gino hakimi

      No don’t click update just option clik it then find the file u dl’ed and pick that !

  • http://twitter.com/rnorthboy rnorthboy

    notice the difference right away. slow opening apps that use internet open fast on wifi and Lte. thank you!

  • Guest

    ss

  • didom

    will this ever be considered illegal or against the terms of usage?

    • Dan

      isn’t jailbreaking against the terms of usage? Just do a restore if you have to bring your device in.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fourinchworld Michael Scott Allen

        You don’t have to jailbreak for this to work.

      • Dan

        yeah but my point was, if he’s here, he has most likely jailbroken his phone so…

  • LookMaNoHands

    Why can’t I find the downloaded file when I try to update it?

  • pauleebe

    I’m slightly concerned this would somehow screw things up and force a restore and thus losing my jailbreak.

    Am I alone here?

    • Juraraw

      If you end up needing to restore you can semi-restore (which this site covered last week). And there are uninstall instructions on the site the article links to.

      • Darrick

        That’s only if you’re on the iPhone 3GS or 4

      • pauleebe

        Semi restore supports all devices. Full restore using iTunes and blobs is supported on iPhone 4 or lower.

      • Darrick

        You’re right! I thought it said semi-tether

      • pauleebe

        Okay good point!

      • http://twitter.com/EdwardDraper Edward Draper

        Semi-Restore is not available to the public as of yet. It is beta.

    • Tony Laughlin

      This hack screwed up my i5. I had to pull the carrier bundles out of my wife’s i5 and then reset network settings in the settings app to fix it

      • pauleebe

        Thank you for reporting this. I don’t want to deal with any potential issues such as this so I think I’ll wait until this is more refined or at least backed up by a safe recovery method.

  • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

    is this only for at&t “4G” or LTE speed increase as well?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

    Anyone done this from Los Angeles AT&T yet? Would love to know…I’m tempted to try it.

    • http://twitter.com/Kevinfest Kevin

      Did it this morning. Went from 0.88kbps down / 1.11kbps up to 2.10kbps down / 1.19kbps up on 4G. Haven’t had a chance to try it on LTE yet.

    • Albert

      didnt work for me… : still get the same in LA.

    • Zachary Sloane

      I went ahead and tried it. Didn’t seem to make much of a difference for me either. AT&T just sucks in LA…that’s all. Soooo tempted to wait out my contract and move to T-Mobile and give them a shot.

  • http://twitter.com/victor7r Beak-Thor

    Already at 38 down and 13 up so I don’t know how much this will help

    • http://www.facebook.com/Gbunit85 Glenn DolFan Baptista

      Same here I’m already pulling in 30+ down 15+ up there’s no need.

    • MrM0N0P0LY

      Yeah, i get Around 50 down and 20 up on LTE

  • http://www.facebook.com/fourinchworld Michael Scott Allen

    It didn’t do too much for my download speeds on LTE which were already pretty good, but it did take my upload speeds and almost doubled them.

  • Milad Khahil

    Man , this @joe012594 guy is the man for sure , tweaked my wife Tmo and is very fast and improved my Verizon phone on Tmo network , waiting on Sprint and Verizon improvements wich my Verizon iphone 5 the max i get is 13Mbps here in Detroit suburb … Very nice guy , said he will see what he can do for both Sprint and Verizon … :)

  • Will Kareem Spenner

    I wish there were a hack to increase my speeds while I am taking a call!

  • Ryan

    Sadly it didn’t change my phone’s speed :(

    Still very slow.

  • Clive Roe

    Did this with my 1 week old i5 and it didn’t work. went into a searching mode and never found a network. ios 6.1.3 had to restore and upgrade to 6.1.4 to get my signal back.

  • jose samuel Rodriguez

    Perfect rose more than twice as fast in Puerto Rico. GREAT!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    I’m kinda worried about this. If it helps out so much why hasn’t it officially come out from AT&T or Apple? I think this was intentionally left out to help with battery or something else. I’m going to have to see some professional testing of this before I just go ahead and mess around with my cellular network. So far there are already two people in this comment section who say this messed up their iPhone. I’m not taking any chances yet.

  • czbird

    Is this a hacked binary or just some configuration modification? Is it possible to provide instructions for other OpCo’s as well? I’m particularly interested in Vodafone CZ :-)

  • http://www.computercrown.com ComputerMan

    The link does not work anymore…anyone have a mirrored site?

  • http://WorldstarHipHop.com/ Joshua Jones Makaveli

    Can I use this in holland my carrier is t-mobile?

  • QuarterSwede

    Definitely improves speed of download over HSPA+ even in terrible areas. My speed at home went from 0.4Mb/sec to 1.07Mb/sec. Awful for “4G” but a huge improvement nonetheless. Come on at&t, my city has 400,000 people. LTE please!

  • Guest

    Will i lose my jailbreak?

    • Joe

      You won’t if you follow the instructions correctly. Always be sure to backup any data you may lose as well as files in iFile and you should be good to go. :)

  • Clint Hinkle

    The ease of install was good and my coverage at work has doubled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.popoviciu Colin Popoviciu

    does it work to get 4G on Straight Talk?

  • frankrequiem

    Received “Could not activate cellular network message” on iPhone 5. Even though I have signal on 4G & LTE.

  • Jarrod Manwaring

    I installed this update this morning and have been getting ~60mbps on LTE in the Syracuse, NY area since. Topped out at 67. I’m thinking it works, haha

  • Luis Martinez

    I’m currently in Utah (god knows why) and my god… THIS IS INCREDIBLE!

  • http://twitter.com/the415giant F P

    I got almost 30mbps

  • Corey

    suburbs of detroit, started at 8 up and 3 down at best…now 20 up and 12 down. love this!!! and so far hasnt been a battery drainer but only day 1

  • DadEsquire

    Is there anything like this for iPhone 4?

  • William Melendez

    Joined the party late but I just tried this hack and it worked flawless for me ! I was barely was getting 12 Mbps now I’m getting 39 Mbps ! Running iOS 7 beta too !