We get it. You're not made out of money and that is why you haven't purchased a new smartphone since April of 2014 when you bought the OnePlus One (by invitation of course). Since you purchased the device and activated it via your T-Mobile account, you've seen the carrier go from last place (among four major wireless providers) to second place. The carrier is now the fastest growing of the major U.S. carriers. You've also seen the beginning of the 5G era, and the introduction of smartwatches and wireless Bluetooth ear buds. But after six years, perhaps it is time for you to consider a new handset.
These phones won't work on T-Mobile or Metro's network starting January 29th
If you're a T-Mobile subscriber, you might not even have an option. Internal T-Mobile documents obtained by Android Police (the authenticity of which have been verified) reveal that a number of devices will no longer be welcome over T-Mobile's networks starting on January 29th. The document names 19 devices while the remaining models soon to be cut off the Magenta airwaves will receive an SMS message starting on December 28th. The reason why these devices cannot continue to receive support from T-Mobile is due to an update that these devices cannot receive. This update is necessary for devices to continue to receive support from T-Mobile.
One of the conditions of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint requires T-Mobile to keep its merger partners' 3G network operating for three years. Based on the document, those with one of the named devices running on the Sprint network will only lose T-Mobile roaming capabilities. Speaking about the document, it reminds reps to keep an eye on the latest handset deals for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile subscribers. And it also notes that "targeted" T-Mobile business customers can receive $150 off select smartphones. The reps are also told to "stay tuned for additional offers that will be targeted to impacted customers."
The following 19 devices will lose T-Mobile support on January 29th:
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (AT&T model)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Verizon model)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
HTC Desire 650
Google Nexus 9
Huawei Mate 8
Netgear Arlo Security Camera System
Quanta Dragon IR7
Samsung Galaxy S5 Duos
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony Xperia Z3 Orion
Sony D6616 Xperia Z3 Orion
Running through this list might bring on a wave of nostalgia. Most of these models were released during 2014-2015 although the Huawei P9 was launched in 2016. Also interesting, the AT&T and Verizon versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are on the list, the T-Mobile version of this phone is not. The Netgear Arlo Security Camera System is obviously not a smartphone and neither is the Mikrotikls SIA_R11e-LTE6 card.
If you are using one of the phones on the list, you have approximately four and a half weeks left to buy a replacement handset. And if your phone is not on the list, there is still a chance that you will receive an SMS message informing you that your phone will need to be replaced if you want to remain a T-Mobile or Metro subscriber.
T-Mobile told Android Police that this list has nothing to do with the carrier's requirements that all handsets used by T-Mobile and Metro subscribers be equipped with VoLTE starting next month. The phones on the list would suggest it that it does although neither the security camera or the R11e-LTE6 card would use VoLTE. The latter allows you to use a compatible phone to place a call over an LTE network instead of a voice network.