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Thread: Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    I bought an unlocked Google Pixel 6 a week a little over a week ago. I have an eSIM for the AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan ($300 per year). I am getting AT&T LTE, but no 5G. The AT&T map shows that I am in a 5G area. I am simply trying to determine why I am not getting 5G; is it the plan or the phone? Does AT&T limit some, or all, prepaid plans to LTE?

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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    Good to know. Thank you for the reply.

    In doing further research, I am still not so convinced 5G is all that, yet. I think it will be, but I am reading that some people are intentionally disabling it to conserve battery life.

    Of course, maybe at some point AT&T will allow everybody to access 5G.

    But, then again, maybe they won't!

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    I can’t believe that not all AT&T Prepaid plans are 5G. I believe all of the Cricket plans provide 5G. Even my grandfathered Cricket 5/$100 plan has 5G.

    Having said that, for me, 5G is not a great miracle. On LTE I can get 40Mbps down. On 5G, it’s 70Mbps. Since I work from home, I’m on Wi-Fi most of the time but don’t need to use my phone that much and when I’m out I don’t download mega files or stream movies.

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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    I can’t believe that not all AT&T Prepaid plans are 5G. I believe all of the Cricket plans provide 5G. Even my grandfathered Cricket 5/$100 plan has 5G.

    Having said that, for me, 5G is not a great miracle. On LTE I can get 40Mbps down. On 5G, it’s 70Mbps. Since I work from home, I’m on Wi-Fi most of the time but don’t need to use my phone that much and when I’m out I don’t download mega files or stream movies.
    For the most part, people seeing 5G are only getting n2 or n5 which doesn’t have a lot of spectrum to utilize since it is relying on DSS or 5Mhz of dedicated spectrum in some areas. It is more efficient than LTE, which is why you are seeing 70Mbps on 5G NR NSA vs. 40 on LTE.

    When you get into the C-band certified devices (there’s only the iPhone 12/13 series and Galaxy S21/S22/Z series for now, with Pixel 6 series certified in the next few weeks), and the mmWave certified devices, where in areas that spectrum is deployed shows notably higher download speeds. I suspect this is why some prepaid plans, namely the non-unlimited plans, have limited 5G access to deter people using up allotments quickly. AT&T is not being like Verizon and restricting high capacity bands, it’s either you get 5G or not. Also, 5G is using a different PLMN (310-280, as discovered in newest SIM ICCIDs) and different APNs, which AT&T can restrict to certain plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    In doing further research, I am still not so convinced 5G is all that, yet. I think it will be, but I am reading that some people are intentionally disabling it to conserve battery life.
    As for power use, AT&T still isn’t doing NR Standalone yet. That deployment will eventually drive device battery use down, as the device won’t always need LTE as an anchor for voice and upstream data (similar to the time LTE needed 3G Voice before VoLTE). The only carriers that have NR Standalone currently are T-Mobile and Dish/ProjectGenesis (starting testing across various metros).


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    Last edited by Haas_Dave; 03-28-2022 at 01:50 AM.
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    Yeah, I don't care one way or the other about 5G, as long as LTE remains fully supported on all towers.

    My wife uses a Pixel 3a on the AT&T Prepaid $300 plan, and has absolutely no problem with LTE speeds.

    I use a T-Mobile Postpaid data only SIM card in a Pixel 3a XL, which DOES include 5G, but I have absolutely no problem with the LTE speeds that my phone supports.

    So, the bottom line is, neither of us are planning to switch plans (wife) or phones (me) just to get 5G. Someday, one of our phones will break, or one of us will get a hankering for a new phone, and we'll reevaluate at that time, but as it is now, 5G is not important.

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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    Now I am trying to recall if AT&T, or other carriers, did that when we went from 3G to 4G.

    It is possible that AT&T Prepaid only allowed 3G when post paid users were able to get LTE.

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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    Now I am trying to recall if AT&T, or other carriers, did that when we went from 3G to 4G.

    It is possible that AT&T Prepaid only allowed 3G when post paid users were able to get LTE.
    Yes, this did happen before. I remember old Pick Your Plan users having a hard time upgrading to LTE devices because of similar changes (new SIM, APN changes, etc). AT&T was previously notorious for having data plans and APNs for specific devices (namely iPhones and old Windows Mobile devices), which made buying a device outright or activating from a third party a hassle.


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    Unlocked Google Pixel 6 On AT&T Prepaid 8GB 12-Month Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Haas_Dave View Post
    Yes, this did happen before. I remember old Pick Your Plan users having a hard time upgrading to LTE devices because of similar changes (new SIM, APN changes, etc)...
    Thank you for the reply.

    Is that way of doing business an "AT&T exclusive" or has T-Mobile and Verizon done that, too?

    UPDATE: It looks like others do, or have done, that, too.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-...ireless-plans/

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