T-Mobile’s free trial is a great way to test coverage, and while it works best with an iPhone, there is a solution for older models and Android users.

Apple users of devices that have a compatible iPhone model have the opportunity to test the T-Mobile cellular network for free. Those who own an iPhone 12 can even test T-Mobile’s 5G network before switching to make sure there is enough coverage. By offering this test drive, T-Mobile is eliminating the risk of a decision that would otherwise be based on coverage maps, which can be somewhat misleading.

Newer iPhone models have a technology known as eSIM. This is an electronic form of physical SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card that is inserted into an iPhone. While SIM cards are encrypted for a particular cellular network, an eSIM is compatible with several different carriers. Multiple eSIMs can be stored, but only one can be used at a time. Configuration can be done using a QR code, the operator app, or manually, depending on the network.

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From T-Mobile Free Trial includes 30 days of use or 30 gigabytes of data for anyone with a compatible device. Naturally, this promotional offer is not available to current T-Mobile subscribers; however, previous clients are eligible. This trial service can be used without disconnecting any existing cellular plans and the current iPhone phone number must remain active. The way this is possible is through the use of eSIM technology found in newer Apple phones. Even if an eSIM is already in use with the current service, T-Mobile’s free trial can also be used and comes with its own number and data plan. Compatible iPhone models can install the T-Mobile Network Test Drive app from the App store.

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Compatibility and other solutions

T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T 5G comparison map

Supported iPhone models include those released in 2018 and later. That means the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, and 12 all have eSIM capability that makes T-Mobile testing easy. Additional requirements are that the phone is unlocked, rather than locked for a specific carrier. Also, iOS 14.5 or later must be installed on the device. These are pretty common attributes for an iPhone in the US, so many will be able to participate. To do so, simply install the application and follow the instructions on the screen.

For those who own older iPhone models that don’t have eSIM capability (and for Android users), there is another solution. T-Mobile offers a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot option that allows multiple devices to connect and try the free trial. Calling in this case is only possible with the current operator or using Wi-Fi calling through the access point. After registration, T-Mobile will ship the mobile hotspot for free and provide instructions for setting up and connecting. Whether you use the Wi-Fi access point method or eSIM, service is limited to 30 days or 30 gigabytes of data, whichever threshold is crossed first. For reference, T-Mobile also notes that another test can be started after six months have passed.

Next: How T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Works and What You Need to Know

Fountain: T Mobile

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