Tmobile 3G Sim Card vs 2G Sim Card
Posted on May 10, 2011 by Paul White
A little over a year ago I ditched AT&T and moved to T-Mobile. AT&T had terrible network coverage, I constantly dropped calls and data coverage was very spotty. So I bought an HTC HD2
and moved to T-Mobile. Even though I had 3G data coverage over the past year, the connectivity was spotty, and inside my home I would still drop calls. So I decided that no matter what network I went with I was likely to experience these kinds of issues.
For me I use my data connection for 2 main purposes. The first is to check email while away from my office. The Second is to listen to Internet Radio via Winamp for Android while I am at the gym. And by the way yes my HTC HD2
is rooted and I am running Android 2.3 (Cyanogen 7 Variant) on NAND, and I highly recommend anyone with an HTC HD2
to do the same!
Anyone who frequents their gym, knows how important the right tunes are for keeping your motivation going. So when you doing cardio and the music stops, because your phone's 3G data connection failed you, it has a tendency to ruin your workout. For me I had some good days, and then for the past couple days My 3G data connection has been pretty much non existent.
So like many customers before me, I called T-Mobile's Customer Care ready to let them have it. First I was rather pissed off because when you call in they no longer have an automated selection to talk to customer care. Its like they want to make it hard for you to reach tech support. I had to contact sales first then they transferred me to customer care. When I finally got a hold of customer care, I explained to them that my 3G data has been dead for the past couple days. They suggested it could be my APN settings. So I double checked all my APN settings and still no 3G data. The phone would show the 3G / H symbol and act like it was trying to connect by would drop back to E ( 2G Edge ).
So I called back into T-Mobile's Customer care again. This time I got Annie, who quickly looked over my account, and notified me I was using a 2G Sim Card. This was news to me. I always though the Sim card just stored a DB reference you to subscription and a few phone number and recent texts. Apparently Sim Cards store much more than that. They also include software that tells the phone more about the carrier's network, and how to use it. Annie told me that most connectivity issues with dropped calls are solved by getting a 3G Sim Card. It sounded too good to be true, so I was not expecting a new Sim Card to solve anything. Annie instructed me to visit a T-Mobile store and they would give me a new Sim Card free of charge. So I visited a T-Mobile Store and they took my old Sim Card, plus a new 3G Sim Card, stuck it into a Calculator looking device, that copied all my data from the old card to the new one, then stuck the 3G Sim Card into my phone.
The phone loaded up and it appeared to have excellent signal. However this was while I was at the T-Mobile store, so go figure. The real test was going to be on my way home, and at my office. So on the way home I tried various things like checking email, listening to shoutcast streams, and so forth. Everything worked perfectly. When I got home I did some more testing. I was amazed, I had 3G / H coverage through my entire house. Even in places
where I would have weak signal ( 0 - 1 bars ) where normally it would drop to 2G edge, it still never left 3G / H. Since replacing my 2G Sim Card with a 3G Sim card my phone has not once used 2G Edge for anything.
So if you are having 3G data connection issues with T-Mobile make sure you have a 3G Sim card. If you bought your phone more than 1 year ago, the chances are you are using a 2G Sim card. You can call customer care and they will look up on your account to verify what Sim card you are using. Or if you take your Sim card out you can tell by the kind of connectors are on the back of the Sim card.
From the front both Sim Card look the same with the exception of the way the numbers are printed on them. I am not sure if this can be used to tell which is which. But in the photo Above the Sim Card on the left is the 2G Sim card, while the one of the right is the 3G Sim card.
Here it becomes much more obvious. The 2G sim card on the left has much larger connection surface. While the 3G Sim Card on the right has a smaller connection surface. This is how you can tell if your Card is a 2G Sim card vs a 3G Sim Card. If you have the 2G Sim Card just visit your T-Mobile store and they will swap it out with a 3G Sim card free of charge.
Now that I am running with a 3G Sim card I have nothing buy great things to say about T-mobile and their network.