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AT&T Samsung Galaxy NOTE now works on T-Mobile 4G (HSPA+)



This is a great development for anyone who wanted to have an AWESOME Galaxy Note to work on T-Mobile 3G/4G network. As you may know, out of the box, AT&T branded phones do not work on T-Mo’s 1700 MHz network, and up until now you could only get EDGE / 2G speeds.

Yesterday, great folks over at XDA Developers have hacked AT&T’s Galaxy Note (SGH-i717) to take full advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G (HSPA+ 42 Mbps) network, by just flashing a new modem (radio) onto an unlocked / rooted Note.

This only works for AT&T Galaxy Note – international / European Note (N7000) owners are still out of luck on this – read below for explanation as to why.

So if you want to have a Galaxy Note on T-Mobile, what you will need to do, is head over to your local “friendly” AT&T store, and buy a new Note (for $650 + tax), and then root / unlock it, and flash the T-Mobile 3G/4G mod files.

XDA Developers user tomin.fhl has provided all necessary files and instructions in this AT&T Galaxy Note on T-mobile thread, and there is even a bounty of $690 (so far, with more folks committing money, for his great work).

Head over to XDA for instruction on how to do this, if you are interested in having your Note working on T-Mobile network. Keep in mind, that your Note must be unlocked and rooted first, before you can flash new 1700 MHz radio. Check out XDA’s AT&T Galaxy Note Android Development section for instructions and all necessary tools to root your Galaxy Note.


Also keep in mind, that roofing will void your warranty and you may also brick your phone if you do not follow the directions correctly.

Why European / International Galaxy Note (N7000) still does not work on T-Mobile 4G network?

The problem with N7000 Galaxy Note not working in T-Mobile 3G/4G vs AT&T Note (i717) is in the hardware. I717 has a Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and LTE modem, which was pretty much the only LTE modem available before nVidia released its new Icera soft-modem, paired with Tegra 3 quad-core chipset.

N7000 has Samsung’s own 1.4 GHz Exynos dual-core processor and 1900 MHz HSPA+ chipset (modem). In a nutshell, Samsung does not release the source code for it’s modem drivers, and this makes it very difficult to hack, compared to Qualcomm’s modem used in i717. Here is more info on hacking N7000 to work on T-mobile 4G network.

In the word of bedwa – a lead “hacker” behind making N7000 to work on T-Mobile 4G network:

I have mentioned from day one this was going to be harder. Despite having the same hardware as the G-Nex or other devices with the x-gold 6260 chip, unlike qualcomm’s chips, they are not coded similarly. Thus, I have to hack at a base hex level. Much harder stuff.

For more info on this development, head over to XDA’s Euro Note on T-Mobile US UMTS/3G thread.

When will Galaxy Note N7000 be hacked to work with T-Mobile?

Well – now one knows really. Hopefully very soon, and if or when that happens, I will definitely let you guys and gals know, as I myself am an N7000 owner, and would love to have an option of using T-Mobile. However, it is possible, that this may never happen, or will be too late, when Galaxy Note 2 comes out (most likely fall of 2012), and original Note will no longer be relevant. But let’s not lose hope!


In the mean time, you can get your Galaxy Note to work on Straight Talk $45 Unlimited plan, which essentially runs on AT&T HSPA+ network with “advanced backhaul” (non-LTE 4G) and still get great speed!

image of Straight Talk $45 unlimited plan Speed Test

And now you no longer need to buy the E71 and do SIM Card swap, as was described in our original article. You can now buy a Straight Talk SIM Card for $15 and put it into your unlocked Galaxy Note (or any other unlocked phone), and get same great deal, with fewer hassles and without the risk of being disconnected for not using “approved device”, which was always the part of sim-swap. We will have full coverage in this in just few days.

Related articles:

Samsung Galaxy NOTE - ICS (Android 4.0) with Premium Suite, coming Q2 2012
MIUI (ICS) for Galaxy Note review (Custom Rom - ROOT required)
T-Mobile $49 plan vs Straight Talk $45 plan - Unlimited plans battle
WiFi Tethering on Straight Talk

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Posted on March 13th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Posted in Android News

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