It appears that Tello GSM (T-Mobile network) is now available.
It's on Tello's front page.
The BYOP test page currently verfieies both legacy-Sprint and GSM-only devices.
On testing and confirming a GSM IMEI, I'm offered a GSM SIM for $9.99.
A Sprint-only MEID returns a note that it can only be activated as a replacement for an existing device.
Recap: it appears that only GSM devices can be activated for new lines.
Sprint-only devices can still be swapped in to existing lines.
I haven't looked yet to see whether one can request a GSM replacement SIM for an existing Sprint/CDMA line.
Just a little quick poking around the Tello website:
It does appear that at least some of the pages have been updated to go along with the GSM conversion.
Tentatively, I see (assuming that the page updates are commensurate with the introduction of GSM)::
Fallback 2G is still mentioned for all monthly plans including data. (I suspect that the 2G speed may go up a notch, since it seems like T-Mobile's fallback 2G speed has been faster than legacy-Sprint's.)
Unlimited text is still mentioned for all monthly plans.
Tethering is still included.
Capability of changing plans at will still seems viable.
PayGo credit still seems available, at the same per unit rate.
I just ordered a new gsm sim from Tello. The sim was free but the shipping was 5 bucks. Whats confusing to me is that it seems if you are a new customer you can order the sim and everything is fine. But if your an existing customer (as I am) they want you to "wait" untill they send you an email. Maybe this is because for existing customers they intend on not charging 5 bucks for shipping. Otherwise it looks like new customers can get set up before existing ones. Or maybe it has to do with auto-porting your number but at any rate I ordered one and it was 5 bucks.
When you receive the SIM, could you report whether it has an expiration date? I want one for emergency situations for Tello’s unlimited talk plan. Don’t want to buy one and then have it expire on me. Happened to me with a Tracfone Tmobile SIM - and that one was just a buck as opposed to 5 bucks for Tello.
Candidly, I don't know why. Theoretically, it may have something to do with T-Mobile's network infrastructure. For example, both Verizon and Sprint use SIMs for LTE connectiviity. Verizon has one SIM. Sprint has 4 different flavors (nothing to do with SIM size) depnding upon which phone one needs the SIM for. It's apparently not a general GSM thing. AT&T network SIMs don't typically have an Activate By date. Of course, the lack of a published expiration date on the SIM doesn't in and of itself mean a SIM is good forever.
Or, it may simply be "policy" to discourage storing of SIMs without activating service. I both understand and share the desire for in case of emergency storage but from the provider's perspective it doesn't do them much good. They're interested in and profit from folks using their service regularly not so much as an emergency backup.
In any event, I've used TMO proper SIMs as well as TMO network SIMs on Mint Mobile, Republic Wireless and Ting. All had an Activate By date. I would be happy to be proven incorrect but don't see any reason Tello TMO network SIMs would be an exception to the rule.
I would not be surprised if it is, but we won't know until someone tests it or asks & gets a reply from Support.
Generally, fallback 2G seems consistent across all of a carrier's offerings, since it's too much work to set up different fallback speeds for different vendors at the low end of the contractural scale. If T-Mobile doesn't already have a 64kbps option, we may not see one built for MVNOs converting to GSM.
I won't have a GSM SIM for a while, since I don't need a new line. And if I don't forget to renew early, I won't be inclined to burn through accumulated rollover data to test it, either.
Got my GSM Tello sim yesterday. Did not see any expiration date on it. I had to call Tello CS because it would not activate with the web portal for some reason. CS did it over the phone and everything is working fine!
My understanding of the E6 data problem is that it wasn't specific to Tello, but specific to all (legacy) Sprint MVNOs, and appeared to be something that wasn't being set up correctly via auto-provisioning.
Tello/GSM shouldn't be using the legacy Sprint auto-provisioning system. I don't recall seeing any reports of data issues on T-Mobile MVNOs, so I wouldn't expect any here. (Of course, I didn't expect the original no-data issue with the E6 on Sprint MVNOs, either.)
(Thanks to jmac32here on Howard Forum for this...)
It looks like it's possible to rush your conversion to GSM if you're a current customer with a GSM-compatible phone already active.
The process: Lot in to your account, visit the BYOD test page, and enter your IMEI.
When doing this, my multicarrier moto tells me it's acceptable for GSM, and not compatible for CDMA swapping into a current line.. (A bug in the return info, I imagine, since the real situation is it's already active on Tello CDMA.)
On the Do You Have a Tello SIM? field, select "No, I need one. $9.99".
The GSM SIM will be offered. The cost changes to $0 on the next screen.
On the shipping page, you can select USPS Priority for $0 shipping cost.
Thanks KentE----just did what you posted on 2 Tello accounts with one account having an unlocked, all-carrier phone, and the other using the IMEI from a GSM phone that will use to replace the CDMA only phone. I wonder why Tello, if it's aware that this can be done, didn't inform existing customers? I wonder if the process listed in the activation process will apply to my account where I'll actually be swapping one phone for another rather than just sim cards?
Isamorph, I don't know how it will work with a phone swap involved.... you may be the test case.
I see that the directions indicate they're using an activation code rather than the SIM # for GSM activations--like thte (old?) T-Mobile system. I don't know if they're tying the GSM replacement SIMs to a specific line, either. (Basically, this would be pre-registering a replacement SIM to a specific line.)
I imagine that Tello is intentionally slowing down the process for existing customers to prevent too much work at one time, and possibly limited supplies of the new SIMs. It does seem like many folks are anxious to make the move-- personally, Sprint service has been really good for us, and T-Mobile can be kind of sketchy in some parts of the region. I might move one line over, but will leave the others on Sprint until I see the network deteriorate. (Which pretty much matches Tello's suggested path for converting...)
Forgot to mention, when I ordered the sims there was something alluding to the instructions emailed to customers, which I assume Tello assumed had been already been received by the customer before going through the online process of ordering a GSM sim. So it's likely the email instructions may have more information about the process than the process shown in my screenshot above. We'll see.
It will be interesting to see whether the instructions they send you are substantially different or not. When I ordered new SIMs for my in-laws' new phones a couple of months ago while Tello was still exclusively on Sprint, the instructions (part of the email confirming the purchase) were nearly identical to those included with the SIM cards when they arrived. Maybe it will be different now, given that you are activating on the new GSM platform. Please keep us posted, and thank you for being one of our "convert pioneers" here on Nth Circle.