While Apple confirmed that purchasing a new AWS-enabled variant of the iPhone 5 was necessary to get on T-Mobile’s network, a new jaibreak hack claims to enable LTE at 1700mhz by loading a custom carrier firmware on an existing, unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 (A1428). Leimobile.com posted the full instructions:
Now that you have an unlocked AT&T model A1428 or an officially unlocked model A1428 you can proceed to follow the instructions below to load a custom carrier file onto your iPhone and enable LTE. This will only work on A1428 model iPhone 5′s.
To be clear, this enables LTE AWS support for T-Mobile. It won’t allow you to access HSPA+ 42Mbps on 1700mhz like Apple’s new A1428 variant…
T-Mobile officially unveiled on Tuesday its plans to carry the iPhone on its new no-contract, no-subsidy, monthly installment plans starting at $99 down for the iPhone 5. Following the announcement, Engadget confirmed with Apple that the existing A1428 model iPhone 5 for AT&T would not support the necessary AWS bands to access T-Mobile’s network. Apple said it would phase out the existing A1428 iPhone, meaning new devices would support both AT&T and T-Mobile, but it will be doing so through a firmware update at the factory. In other words, a software update for A1428 iPhone owners isn’t possible and existing AT&T iPhone 5 owners are out of luck when it comes to support on T-Mobile’s network.
The hack above, which we haven’t tested first hand, of course won’t work for the Verizon iPhone, as it does not support the correct LTE bands.