(Updated X2) Hacked T-Mobile Carrier Update Boosts Speed For iPhone 5 1900MHz Refarmed Users

pcsspeedtestbeforeandafter

1900MHz speed test before and after

Updated X2: The guide has been updated to fix some of the instructions. 

As the iPhone 5 launched on T-Mobile’s network, existing AT&T unlocked iPhone 5 customers received a carrier update to enable the LTE signal. As it turns out, in some cases the carrier update added something good with LTE, but negatively affected the signal and speeds achieved on the company’s refarmed PCS 1900MHz network.

Well, there’s some good news thanks to our friends @joe012594 and @cooldayr2 who have successfully  “hacked” the carrier update in the hopes of boosting those speeds. As it turns out, their efforts were not in vain and they achieved their goal by “increasing the amount of bandwidth allowing for better throughput of data and data connection.” There’s a “tech talk” section at the tail end of the instructions explaining what was done and why it was necessary. The bottom line is these two guys succeeded in aiding those customers who found their service worse off in a post-carrier update world. The good news is this update works on both the official T-Mobile variants of the iPhone 5 and the AT&T/unlocked model so all iPhone 5 owners on T-Mobile should see speed improvements. 

Follow the instructions below (carefully mind you) and keep in mind this file works for both jailbroken and non-jailbroken users. If you encounter any issues the official carrier update is available below and you can go right back as if nothing had ever happened.

As a quick note to go along with this as @joe012594 is the very some person who provided the list of instructions for jailbroken users to enable LTE on their jailbroken iPhone 5 smartphones at the end of March.

Be sure to send these guys some love on Twitter or in the comments below for their help and hard work in making sure this was something all AT&T unlocked iPhone 5 T-Mobile customers can enjoy.

 

Since many unlocked iPhone 5 users report weakened signal on the refarmed 4G HSPA+ and many iPhone users (unlocked or official T-Mobile versions) report slower data speeds, I have spent many hours for many days doing research on what could be done to fix the issue. After partnering with @cooldayr, we both have come up with the best possible solution to fix this issue. Below is a fix we have provided for all iPhone 5 users on the T-Mobile network. This will not take away any features added by the official carrier update nor does it require a jailbreak, however, we have made it user friendly for both jailbroken and non-jailbroken users. If you have any issues, please tell Joe at twitter.com/joe012594. Thanks!

Non-jailbroken users:
1.       Plug your iPhone 5 into iTunes and backup the device so you won’t lose anything, just in case. ;)
2.      In the device itself, tap the “Settings” app and navigate to “General >Reset  > Reset Network Settings”
3.      Once you have done that, the iPhone will auto reboot.
4.      Download the hacked carrier update here:http://www.4shared.com/file/WF0uqJL-/TMobile_US_iPhone_Hack.html
5.      Now you’ll to go ahead and enable iTunes to except custom carrier bundles, if it’s not already.
6.      Windows users, you will need to open command prompt and type the following and enter it in:
 
64 bit: cd “C:Program Files (x86)iTunes”  then type:  iTunes.exe/setPrefInt carrier-testing 1
 
32 bitcd “C:Program FilesiTunes”  then type:  iTunes.exe /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1
Mac users you will need to open terminal and type the following and enter it in:
 
Mac:  defaults write com.apple.iTunes carrier-testing -bool true
 
7.      After this has successfully been entered in restart iTunes
8.      Click on the tab for your iPhone 5 and click “Update” or “Check For Update” while holding down the Alt / Option key for Mac users and the Shift key for Windows users. Navigate to where you downloaded the hacked carrier update file named “TMobile_US_iPhone.ipcc,” and select it then click Open.
9.      The carrier update should now successfully be installed. Restart your iPhone 5 for any changes to take effect.
10.   If you encounter any problems or wish to revert back just download the file below and repeat the above steps only with the default file instead.
Jailbroken Users:
1.       Download the file to your device through iFile here:
2.      Unarchive the files and copy the file name “overrides_N41_N42.pri” then navigate to var/mobile/Library/Carrier Bundles/TMobile_US.bundle and paste it into the folder replacing the original .pri file.
3.      Reboot your device for changes to take effect.
4.      If you encounter any problems or wish to revert back just download the file below and repeat the above steps only with the default file instead.
Tech talk:
This hack enables Release 9 DC-HSPA+ on the iPhone 5. Though T-Mobile has not yet upgraded their network to support these speeds, the device itself becomes more open to an increased amount of bandwidth thus allowing for better throughput of data and data connection. The average increase has been 3mbps to as high as 8mbps on the downlink. This hack also includes a fix to any and all iPhone 5 users who have experienced degraded/weakened signal over the past couple of months on the PCS and/or AWS bands, though a lot of this could be due to the eminent release of LTE in many upcoming markets as this is normal. The issue was due in part to the carrier update. It set the band preference for HSPA+, even if your iPhone 5 doesn’t support it, to AWS which can cause conflictions and problems for the devices that don’t support that band. The setting has been set to the default “auto” setting and should help the 4G signal perform a bit better, whether you’re iPhone 5 is PCS only or dual PCS/AWS. For those with an iPhone 5 that supports AWS, this hack will also help you as well as it will connect to the strongest tower (PCS and AWS) rather than the preferred type of tower. Enjoy!
AWSspeedtestbeforeafter

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  • Ben

    Will this improve E signals on my previously AT&T iPhone 5 that have not been refarmed? Has anybody successfully installed this using a Mac/iTunes 11?

    • mgldan

      It doesn’t improve EDGE at all. It’s about letting your iPhone 5 pick whichever 4G band is better: AWS (1700/2100), or PCS (1900). As an AT&T iPhone 5 owner, it would only help you in areas where there is refarmed signal available.

      I installed it yesterday using OS X 10.8.3 and iTunes 11.0.2. No difference in signal strength or speed for me. I’m in NJ.

  • http://www.claudiorivera.info/ claudio rivera

    No difference in signal strength or download speed, for me. T-Mobile iPhone 5 in Minneapolis.

  • Brian

    I went up to the part where I type in the commands in command prompt. And then iTunes pops up, but when i press shift and then try to navigate to the file, it doesnt show but i have the file downloaded.

    • Smile

      I am getting the same scenario. I browse to the location where I have the .ipcc file and it doesnt show. Please advise.

      • Smile

        Forgot to add, the browser is looking for .ipsw file not .ipcc

        • Edgar Tecum

          The file you need to search is ipcc. On my windows 7 computer I changed the setting from ipsw to ipcc on the right corner slightly above the button that says “open”

        • Danny

          How do u changed the setting from Ipsw to ipcc. I can’t seem to change that pls help

      • http://www.facebook.com/andreacupcakesx Paola Andrea Chavez

        What I did was open the file as soon as I downloaded it from 4shared and moved it to my iTunes folder. This made it easier for me to locate it. Good luck

      • cyclepilot

        +1 Here!

        NOT showing the .ipcc file and the only choice on the dropdown is .ipsw for a baseband file

    • Edgar Tecum

      If you have done the command prompt steps, then when you click on the iPhone 5 tab, update+ alt/option(Mac users) or update + shift key.
      After that you need to change where it says ipsw files to ipcc files and locate the downloaded file and open and reboot device and you’ll be done

  • Marc

    I’m NOT experiencing increased speed or better reception after following the steps :(

    I am using a factory unlocked iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.4 (10B350) in southern CA. T-Mobile started re-farming my area a few months ago and I noticed I was getting much faster data speeds in certain areas even with the “3G” displayed. At my home, I typically observed 4 to 5 bars displayed for signal strength but after updating to the T-Mobile 14.1 OTA carrier update it now varies between “No Service” and 3 bars. And I am also experiencing higher rates of battery drain. (Is the phone using more power trying to lock onto the weaker signal?)

    Where am I going wrong? …

    Non-Jailbroken steps
    Step 1: Backed up to iCloud instead of to my Mac. Not sure if that makes any difference.
    Step 2: Followed this step exactly. It’s not clear what this does. I still see the T-Mobile 14.1 carrier profile in Settings>General>About following the auto reboot.
    Step 3: Yes, the phone rebooted.
    Step 4: Created an account with 4shared and downloaded the hacked ipcc file.
    Step 5: Not applicable. Like other members have mentioned, this step only occurs if you erased all data and settings in Step 2.
    Step 6: This step is missing. Maybe thats the problem? Is there a missing step?
    Step 7: Copied the text for Mac, opened Terminal and pressed Command-V to paste, then pressed enter. Then I closed Terminal.
    Step 8: Followed this step for Mac. After clicking Open, I did observe and small pop up progress window appear momentarily.
    Step 9: I restarted the phone by pressing and holding the power and home buttons simultaneously while the phone turned off and then let go once the Apple logo appeared.

  • cacao05

    from my apart in nyc
    4mbps increased http://t.co/6bDezg7I5i

  • Shan

    Couldn’t get this to work but I get speeds of 15mbps on 4g in manhattan New York already

  • A Kingsman

    Sweet! Took me a few tries, but getting 10mbps, up from 5mbps here in Boston.

  • gdbjr

    Any way to get these files without registering on 4shared? I refuse to sign up for some site when there are so many better ways to get files these days.

    • Mark

      I put in a fake email address like I do every time I comment on this site

  • jnt

    Is nobody else curious why this is the case? Is it possible there’s a good reason T-Mobile did it like this in the first place?

    • cooldayr

      Because they figured it was unneeded, android users mess with carrier defaults all the time.

  • Bud

    how do you know if you did it successfully?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jgpsound Joshua Paul

      I second this.

      • cooldayr

        The only way to know for certain is if you are jailbroken

        • Bud

          oh ok. ty

        • http://www.facebook.com/jgpsound Joshua Paul

          explain, cooldayr. since this “hack” is available for jb & non-jb, how would one know if it worked when the jb is applied?

        • cooldayr

          You could see the time the file was replaced to know if you did it

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.medina.585 Jeffrey Medina

    It really works thank you 1000x guys @joe012594 and @ cooldayr2 but the link didn’t work I was able to find it here
    http://www.mediafire.com/?dyym78vqkwmi3s3

  • Milad

    Got it on my Verizon iphone 5
    Not sure if it made any difference …
    Check out my Speedtest.net
    result: http://www.speedtest.net/iphone/541981895.png

    • Joe

      That’s pretty good for the refarmed network :)

  • http://twitter.com/chainsaw2004 Jerry Cutshaw

    would this update help network reception for voice and txt? How do I know if my area is affected by the refarmed spectram?

  • ax3ko74

    Very sorry to be the one who couldn’t experience that improvement after attempting the process 3 times unfortunately. Here in Brooklyn ny, 7mb is the best resault I got and avarage is between 4-5 which are exactly the same before I installed this update. Also, I still see 3bars only rarely see 4 bars and get edge signals very often.

    I apriciate the team work of this update anyway tho.

    • Myninja108

      Same here am from Brooklyn by and I get the same as u )=

  • COndarza

    Dramatic Improvement Thanks So Much

  • http://twitter.com/Badd_Blood Ryan

    Went from 8mbps to 13mbps using this. T-mobile iPhone 5 6.1.2 jailbroken. Very easy to patch if jailbroken.

    • nokianyc

      ryan. where do you live ? what part of usa ??

  • yeyee

    someone should make a video on how to do it. would like to do it but scared i would mess things up. instruction seem easy but just want to make sure i do it right

  • shawn

    so this only works if you have 3g or 4g not for useres who are on edge? because i am in a non reframaed area so i only have edge

    • mgldan

      It will not change anything for EDGE service areas. It only matters if your area is covered by a mixture of refarmed PCS (1900 MHz) and AWS (1700/2100).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jephrox Jeffrey Pueblos

    this hack is stupid. it doesn’t work! the instructions for non-jailbroken does not make sense, or maybe the wording is different, does this guy know how to speak English? instructions #5 says to “except” carrier bundles. do you mean “accept”?

    • Kulas

      or maybe you are the one thats stupid because you cant make it work! Lol rofimao!

      • Jose do

        No your the idiot. Leave this guy alone. The instructions don’t make sense.

        • lagwag0n

          You’re the idiot for not know the difference between your and you’re.

        • lagwag0n

          knowing* – I type too fast.

  • Edgar Tecum

    So I update and restore my iPhone 5 to iOS 6.1.4 losing my jailbreak from iOS 6.1.2 and the hacked carrier ippc file made my data speeds SLOWER. I was getting .47 Mbps for Download speed and .09 for upload speed and this is at my own house.

    • Jose do

      Same thing happens at my home when I did this.its because It sets the preferred connection from AWS 4G to Auto and i think searches for the strongest signal regardless of the band it’s connection too and this case it’s EDGE

  • Adam

    I cannot get the second command line to work on 64 bit Widndows

  • danielcampo

    Any word on if this affects battery life at all?

    I’d rather take a small hit in bandwidth speed than have it lower the phone’s battery life.

  • Rick Rudge

    Hey @joe012594 and @cooldayr2, thanks a lot for sharing your hack with your fellow iPhone5 users on T-Mobile. Good work. It’s very much appreciated.

  • Jonathan Walter Quesada

    how do i enable itunes to let me use the bundle anyone??

    • http://twitter.com/Know_Worldwide ⛄

      i wish i knew bud

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Jones/37504690 Greg Jones

    FYI it seems like the IPAD mini doesn’t require the update to pull in an LTE signal on Tmobile as mine switched over to LTE in Seattle (Bellevue) today. I managed 27Mbps down & 12Mbps upload FWIW. I was very close to the TMobile US HQ at the time so I wouldn’t expect those speeds nationwide but rather ideal conditions based upon location.

  • joes

    when i type the command in terminal on mac i says ( command not found)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andres.valderrama.773 Andres Valderrama

    Can this be done with Windows 8

    • Jose do

      No only iPhone

    • http://www.facebook.com/blake.dunn2 Blake Dunn

      jose is an idiot yes this can be done with widows 8 OS.

  • Ikarusnet

    I did it no problem. Noticed a little improvement on my phone’s signal.. I’ll try speedtesting when I have full bars

  • Richard

    Did the update and now I’m having some troubles with iMessage…any one else experiencing similar problems?

  • Arram

    I was getting 8-10mbp on 4g and 27 on lte. After I did this tweak, my speeds dropped to 19 for lte and 4 for 4g. So I went back to stock

    • Arram

      I re did the tweak and now my 4g speeds I get 14 down but 0.6 down. My lte down is fast as well but down is only 4mbp compared to 8-10

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Younki-Lee/1851194801 Justin Younki Lee

      what area do you live to get the LTE signal?

  • Oscar Montañez Cruz

    FOR NON JAILBREAK DEVICES

    Close iTunes.

    From the command-line, run:

    “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1

    or, for 64-bit Windows systems:

    “C:Program Files (x86)iTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1

    Nothing will appear to happen.
    OPEN iTunes.

    To update the carrier settings:

    Attach the iPhone and open iTunes. Wait for synching, backup etc to complete.

    Click on the device in the left-hand pane.

    Under Summary, hold down Shift and click Check for Update.

    By default, this prompts for an iOS image (*.ipsw) to install.

    Change the file type to iPhone/iPad Carrier Configuration File (*.ipcc).

    Choose the desired file.

    Shut down the device when completed.

    • Dan

      Great instructions

    • dave

      It doesn’t give me the option to change the file type to .ippc only .ipsw is a option.

      • alex

        type “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1 ALL AT ONCE NOT IN 2 PARTS again copy and paste ——> “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1 <<<<<—– the whole thing semi colon incuded do not separate it!

  • Jose do

    I wonder if this would work with the 2013 Cellular iPad

  • dAVID

    HELP ASAP …..I CANT GET THE FIEL TO APPIER WHEN I CLICK CHECK FOR UPDATES WAT CAN I DO

  • Bob

    What is terminal and how do you enter the code in iTunes on mac?

    • Eric

      Nono…Terminal is its own application. Look it up in Finder.

  • Guest

    This jacked up my PING. I just reverted back. I think this may be good for people who don’t have the official iPhone. The 1700Mhz works better w/out the hack. It may be best for the people who don’t have the official iPhone and are in the 1900Mhz areas. SoCal area

  • yeyee

    hey do we put APN FOR LTE SETUP i have FAsttmobile on Cellular APN DO we change all apn to EPC? im on a att iphone for tmobile

    • Joe

      Yes, change all APNs to epc.tmobile.com, even the LTE APN. This will prevent the soft throttle on HSPA+ and retain LTE data for your iPhone. It may even help LTE speeds if fast has a soft throttle for LTE as well.

  • Chill Will

    so after successfully performing the this easy task. my iohone went from 4g to 3g and i also lost the capability of using visual voicemail. i have t-mobile using an at&t iphone has anyone else experienced this? i gained tethering feature back which i love, but i would to know if i can reenable my visual voicemail and get my 4g and LTE switcher back

  • Kenshin

    this doesn’t work anymore — when i install this the internet just stops working? Maybe they’ve prevented this hack from working on their end?

    • Joe

      It’s possible.

  • Guest

    for some reason my LTE isnt working I get “Network Communication issues” anyone getting that when doing a speed test?

    • risingkazuya05

      Go cellular connection in your settings and hit reset settings NOT reset network settings

  • Rahul Batra

    Should i do this. I have a tmobile iphone 5. is it worth it? will it jack up my phone thanks

  • Bigleman

    This messed up my data connection. Reverted back to the “factory” file listed and it is NOT what was originally on my phone. Now I can only connect via WiFi.

    • risingkazuya05

      Restore ur iPhone 5

  • Evil Lair

    This greatly helped my 4G connection, but LTE stopped working after applying it and hasn’t worked since. Going back to the stock settings.

    • risingkazuya05

      Have u tried going to your cellular connection settings (where u enter the APN settings), hit reset network settings>then turn back on LTE toggle then reboot?

      • Evil Lair

        Cool thanks that worked. Been too lazy to go back to stock until today, thought I would check back here right before restoring.

        • risingkazuya05

          Good to hear!

  • mgldan

    Like the others, I regret to say that this update was not happy with TMo’s recently deployed LTE in New Jersey. I restored to the “factory” file too, but now my phone has intermittent problems connecting to all data networks–I’m pretty sure I’m getting the slower 1900 MHz 4G in areas where I know they have 1700/2100 4G, and Edge by my house has intermittent trouble connecting too. I’m going to restore my iPhone 5.

    I’ve reset network settings many times, toggled LTE on and off, etc.

  • zoolvr

    what program should this hack be opened with. my computer converted it to adobe and it won’t work

  • vr

    getting an error message along the lines of “iPhone could not be updated. An unknown error occurred. (-27).. what is causing this error?

  • Robert

    Thanks for the tweak, I just switched to T-Mo and installed it right away. I’m not sure how well it’s going to work for me in my area as my CDMA iPhone 5 is getting two bars and says 4G. (I don’t LTE is scarce on the outskirts of Tucson, AZ).

    Anyways, I did this and ended up with a little side effect, it no longer says my carrier name in the menu bar. Any suggestions for how I can get that back without a phone restore or faking it with a jailbreak tweak? The reason it bugs me, is that I want to know if I’m roaming, or which carrier I am on if I travel internationally. It shows my signal bars and then 4G, no “T-Mobile.”

    Thanks in advance for your help and thanks for creating this carrier setting.

  • David

    Is anyone else concerned that the first speed test is hosted by softlayer and the second is hosted by *t-mobile* !?

    Can we get a updated speed test from the author with both tests hosted by 3rd party providers and not directly from t-mobile for phones that are using tmobile towers!!!

  • josh

    does this work for iphone 5s? my data speed is terrible…

  • Navjeet Gill

    I just did this for the iPhone 5s and fucked it up I use to get 4g 1 bar or more it uses to be fast but now it’s at 3G all the time can someone help I did this with Ifile and when I did what he said with the default it didn’t work I tried to delete the files but I can’t seem to find it any where can someone help me please

  • PopRockRoll

    Jesus christ people are morons