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Anyway, APN settings match what Metro PCS gave me on the phone. When I re-unlocked the phone and put the Metro PCS SIM in it, the T-Mobile APN settings were already in there. I verified with Metro and they're correct.
I was about 30 miles from home last week and randomly started to pick up 4G. About a 2-bar signal because I was in the country, but I picked it up. That tells me I CAN pick it up. Metro PCS (today, in-store) told me that their customers, on the Metro PCS phones, are picking up 4G in this area with no problem. So what would be a technical reason why I can't pick it up around here.. the other folks can... but I am able to pick it up whilst on different towers? This is making no sense.
They escalated my issue to tech support but it'll take another 5-10 days.. and 99% of people who work at Metro are idiots (per my experience) so I don't expect them to come up with much.