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AT&T Galaxy Note made compatible with T-Mobile thanks to custom modem software

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AT&T's Galaxy Note can now be used on T-Mobile bands when rooted and loaded up with custom modem software.

Gallery Photo: Samsung Galaxy Note LTE for AT&T review pictures
Gallery Photo: Samsung Galaxy Note LTE for AT&T review pictures

Samsung's Galaxy Note is currently an AT&T exclusive in the US, but there's now some good news for T-Mobile customers with a yearning for the 5.3-inch device. Like virtually all domestic handsets, the Note is locked down to wireless bands corresponding to its carrier. However, the quad band nature of the internal hardware offers theoretical support for nearly any GSM network — T-Mobile included. All that's preventing the Galaxy Note from connecting to T-Mo's HSPA+ airwaves is the default modem software on board, which is attuned only to AT&T's signal.

Thankfully, tomin.fhl at the ever-resourceful xda-developers forums has managed to break that restriction by installing a custom revision of this software on the Note, enabling compatibility with T-Mobile's bands. A rooted device is required, so despite the fact that this method is somewhat straightforward, we wouldn't recommend that anyone uncomfortable with Android's inner workings attempt the process. Those with even more expertise with Google's OS can opt to modify the modem configuration files directly, though the lengthy procedure isn't for the faint of heart. To be clear, this solution isn't without its own quirks: weaker-than-normal reception has been reported by the brave souls that have proceeded with the installation so far. Yet based on the lengthy forum discussion at the source below, we gather there are plenty of folks willing to make such a tradeoff — even if the Note may be somewhat impractical as a daily driver.