T-Mobile - AT&T
I have been with T-Mobile some ten years now, but today I ported my number out for two major and one minor reasons.
- Breaches, breaches, breaches. I stayed after a couple of breaches, but it feels like it’s getting worse. It is a reflection of T-Mobile’s lax security stance and that doesn’t make me feel very comfortable.
- T-Mobile in a greedy move to grab more cash is planning to remove the $5/mo per line Auto-Pay discount for those paying with credit cards. Yes, it’s not horrible because the discount is still available for those paying with debit or direct bank accounts. It is also something Verizon does too – T-Mobile is quickly moving away from being the Uncarrier, to being just another big carrier. My issue with this move is that my credit card provides mobile phone protection when I pay my monthly bill using it, this move by T-Mobile would nullify that benefit. AT&T, for now, still lets customers auto-pay via credit card and still receive a discount.
- Coverage in my house. Yes, I get service in my house, it is really weak though.
Things I will miss about having a T-Mobile account.
- T-Mobile’s 5G-UC connections are fast as hell.
- Free Netflix. I don’t watch a lot of Netflix because their content is generally meh. I won’t pay for Netflix myself because of the same reason. But, it was nice to have Netflix for free so I had access to background noise if I wanted.
Things I won’t really miss about having a T-Mobile account.
- Paramount+ for a year – I already subscribe.
- Apple TV+ – I have it via the Apple One family plan.
- T-Mobile Tuesday – it was great years ago, nowadays not so much.
- Wi-Fi and texting on flights – this is actually a nice perk, but I don’t travel enough for it to make a difference.
I ported my number over to AT&T today to give it a try. Because I have AT&T Fiber at home, I get a 25% discount on my line, which is a nice discount. I am getting the same unlimited 5G access (no throttling), 4K video access and 50GB tethering for $20/mo less than the comparable T-Mobile Magenta Max plan that I had. The cost of the Netflix Basic access that T-Mobile gives for free is only $10/mo if subscribed directly with Netflix. If I did that (I won’t), I would still be saving $10/mo with AT&T.
The sign up process was simple on att.com and it walked me through a few steps to get things done. I have an iPhone 14 Pro with an eSIM, so that made the process even easier. After getting through the process, it took about 30 minutes before I got a message on my phone asking if I wanted to add the AT&T eSIM. Once that was done, my phone was working – and the number port was done at the same time.
So far, testing in my house, I am getting a stronger signal in my bedroom than with T-Mobile and also getting better speeds. In the living room where T-Mobile struggled to get 4G, I am getting AT&T’s 5G+ and a decent 100Mbps download speed.
I am going to spend the next few weeks doing speed tests at places that I am regularly at to see how AT&T performs.
- Be patient. I am super impatient, after waiting for a little after signing up, I called AT&T to see why I couldn’t set up my eSIM. While waiting on the call, I got the ping about setting up the eSIM.
- Be prepared. Understand what’s needed to port a number out from a carrier. The basic things you’ll need are social security number, account number and a PIN to authorize the port. You can get the PIN from your carrier – for T-Mobile it can be gotten from the app or website. Be sure you remove any account transfer protection you may have. I had account transfer protection setup my T-Mobile account and had to call in to get it removed.
- Account provisioning takes a few hours, so nothing will show up in the online account until the provisioning is done. For me, it took about three hours before I could look at my account online.
- A worry I had while researching was how exactly does this whole process work with an eSIM-only phone. I couldn’t find anything about it. The iPhone has two eSIM slots, so when the process is complete, the new carrier installs their new eSIM onto your phone. The eSIM of the carrier you’re leaving continues to be on the phone and if you’ve ported your number, that eSIM will be deactivated (but continue to be on your phone).