Question Of The Day: How’s Your Coverage In T-Mobile’s Modernized Network Markets?

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The promise of T-Mobile’s modernized network is one T-Mobile project that we’ve eagerly watched over the last year. The consideration that we, as T-Mobile customers can use handsets we’ve long since assumed would never work on T-Mobile’s 3G/4G networks are now ripe for the taking is plainly stated — wonderful. As of this writing, T-Mobile’s modernized network  consists of more than 40 markets and thereby allowed for images like the one above.

As a longtime iPhone user on T-Mobile, I’ve long since become accustomed to the EDGE network and its limitations. Now, with T-Mobile swapping 3G/4G over to the 1900 band, using the iPhone is like a whole new world. Pages load fast, the sun rises in the east and the sky is the clearest blue I’ve ever seen.

However, there’s a “but” here and that’s the notion that T-Mobile’s modernized markets are not as “filled out” as we want to believe. My understanding is that T-Mobile considers a market “live” when 75% of the tower work is completed. Unfortunately, there appears to be a lot of complaints across the interwebs that while plenty of 3G signal is found in those areas, it’s staggered and not reliable enough for full-time use.

Which brings me to my question, which is really directed at those of you who live in those forty modernized markets — how is your coverage and do you find it reliable enough for full time use? Tell us your experience.

Want to know more about the modernized markets? Check out our breakdown of what they are, how it works and when you can expect to see it your way.

Thanks to everyone including @rbrome for the iPhone screenshots!

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  • Jlopez2848

    I get great 3G coverage in my city (Stockton, CA) but 3G just drops randomly every hour or so. If I am outside, then I get consistent 3G but in buildings it’s a whole other story. But when I do get 3G, it is really fast, I get around 4-6 Mbps on my iPhone 4.

  • Michael

    I get 10 – 14 Mbps download speed and about 2 to 3 Mbps upload speed here in Fort Worth. I get 3G most everywhere I drive and go. It is still a little spotty for full time use but 80 percent of the time I am on 3G. Loving it. On the iPhone 5.

  • BigMixxx

    Las vegas. Summerlin…near 215 and the summerlin parkway. Coverage at home improved 1000 percent. From literally no coverage to hspa+ at home! Speeds on average 10meg down 1 up. Awrsome

    Just need more coverage IN BUILDINGS

    • Jason Crumbley

      I think my phone may be junk. Everybody in Vegas says coverage is good, but my GS2 says otherwise. As soon as I get to the race track, I drop to edge, even though their coverage map says it should be 3/4G up the expressway. I live near Russell/Boulder hwy and I drop down to edge in the kitchen and get only 1-2 bars 4G upstairs in the bedroom. If I go to the Strip, I get full bars, but speeds are way slow.

      • Bill Smith

        Just speed tested my Note 2: Ping 44ms Down 15.75Mbps Up 1.60Mbps. South Vegas.

        • Jason Crumbley

          I never get speeds like that. I just tested mine. 520ms ping, 3.73Mbps down, .77Mbps up.

      • Christopher_McG

        That part of Las Vegas is not refarmed (the race track)

  • d86

    Chicago is VERY spotty. I currently use the Xperia Advance for a weekend/backup phone and the connection to the HSPA+ network is not up to par. Only certain parts of the city and the surrounding suburbs have the 1900mhz build out. Like the article, I would not call this a done deal in Chicago, there is far more work to do.

  • Anton Buynovskiy

    Well they announced 3G service in NYC, I think it was at around 80%, then about a weeks later I noticed more places lit up. Now I see it practically everywhere. I live in Brooklyn.

  • Guest

    It’s not even funny how fast the speeds I get are.

    Near the Boston area.

    • Andrew

      That was on Wi-Fi according to your screenshot.

  • REV

    Terrible coverage in downtown Dallas, TX… corner of Hawkins and Swiss. I just ran 3 tests, and the best I got was 296kbps down and 1764kbps up.

    • Edward351

      I have this problem too, on Saint Paul and Pacific 20th floor get 4120. But at Gaston and Abrahms I get around 11mbps. I think the buildings aren’t helping the speed here.

  • Guest

    Whoops… This were my wifi speeds. Here it is…

  • NYC- It is great where it works. However, there are pockets that unfortunately drop down to Edge. I have experienced great 3G speeds of up to 14mbps then get Edge on the next block. Frustrating.

  • milanyc

    1900Mhz WCDMA coverage is not 100% here in NYC. The market was launched with about 50% cell site upgraded, now it’s more like 75% after a few months.

    That said, network performance is exceptional:

    • James Shaggy

      That looks like DC-HSPA+ speeds to me but i thought they didnt have enough spectrum for that.

      • milanyc

        That’s HSPA+21. NYC is a 20Mhz PCS market, 10Mhz used for GSM, 10Mhz for Single Carrier HSPA+.
        That’s HSPA+21 with 64QAM.

        • James Shaggy

          Ive never seen HSPA+ 21 speeds that high.

        • milanyc

          It’s a quality HSPA+ network here in NYC.

        • J-Hop2o6

          Nice PCS HSPA+ speeds. Getting half that in South/SW Seattle.

        • jjl

          Ive had as high as 24 mbps in brooklyn on my note 2

        • James Shaggy

          Note 2 is a DC-HSPA+ 42 device so it doesnt count unless you manually changed which band its picking up.

    • jose cruz

      SO far un Brooklyn,Queens,and the city i get super fast 3G on my iphone 5

      • Bud

        Are I kidding. 3 g service is spotty. Mostly edge

        • Spanky

          I’m very curious to see if the refarm has done anything to improve the data speeds in Bensonhurst.

  • James Shaggy

    My area isnt completely done but I am able to use 1900mhz while im at work and the connection isnt bad plus I get inside buildings. On the other hand when I get home im able to get 3 bars but no coneection so im thinking that the tower I connect to from home wont allow people to register on the network as of yet.

  • trife

    Still waiting……..maybe we’ll have coverage here by 2014.

  • tom

    Chicago area much worse than 2 years ago.

  • Helpful Traveler

    Just a quick note for regarding Windows Phone 7 on the reformed network.

    There are a a lot of options for cheap AT&T branded WP7 devices these days. But be warned: WP7 doesn’t allow the user to set up APN settings required to run on Tmobile refarmed 1900.

    If you want to use a WP7 device without AWS and get 3G, you are at the mercy of the OEM and their connection setup apps. As far as I know, I the only WP7 OEM whose app will automatically set up for 1900 3G is Nokia.

    TL, Dr version: if you want to use WP7 on 3G 1900 band, only Nokia phones will work correctly.

    • Jeff

      You have to change APNs to use the new band?

      • Zacamandapio

        For data yes.

    • Alan

      What APN are you supposed to use?

      • Damean

        I’ve always used since it was required for a couple of years now.

    • I’ve been using a Samsung Focus on T-Mobile. I’ve gotten 3G and works fine I can also send MMS. :)

  • T-MoStan

    Seattle is spotty. I have used an unlocked ATT iPhone and a Thrill 3d. When 4g works its great. I have noticed my phone going from H+ to edge a lot and most of the time it will not switch back to H+. I also am getting a lot more dropped calls and its not like I am in the boonies, I am in DT Seattle or along major roads or highways. Its kind of frustrating. I dont think its ready to go in Seattle.

  • Ben

    I don’t even get HSPA+ anymore ever since the reform. UMTS 3G speed is between 9 and 11 Mbps down so I guess I have to rely on that until LTE arrives. That’s enough for my data to day use.

    • philyew

      Whatever is displaying on your phone, if you are downloading 9-11 mbps then you are definitely not using UMTS. You will be connected to at least an HSPA+ 21 service.

  • Scotty

    i live about 45 min from Miami using iphone 4. Very spotty 3G and not that fast even when I get it. About 1 mb down and 500kb up but definitely better than EDGE. Are the iPhone 5’s faster?

  • Dave

    I’ve got a Galaxy Nexus that has both 1700 & 1900 so I can’t tell which I’m on in KC. After refarming though it’s definitely improved at Truman sports complex where the Royals/Chiefs play. But all these speed tests make me jealous. The best I’ve EVER seen here is 7Mb/s down and 2Mb/s up. 3down 1up is more typical.

  • Robert Le

    I was at costco the other day testing out a verizon phone. Tmobile had the better signal but had very slow download speeds compared to the verizon phone. We need better coverage and download speeds

  • Marc

    Los Angeles (the city and not the area around it) here and it’s very spotty. I’m using a friend’s hotspot feature on his Verizon Android phone to post this right now.

  • JB

    As I’ve said before, it works great all over Kansas City (and it’s surrounding areas)! it’s much improved in buildings and at home. during peak times I can still pull 6-8. I consistantly pull 9-10. If you’re in one of the hotspots around town (like near the Truman Sports Complex, Plaza, ect…) You can easily pull between 11-14. (even 16) Though I did notice when visiting my brother over the weekend, that coverage seems to get a little spotty in West Wyandotte County (The west end of Kansas City, Kansas) paticualrly in buildings, except around the Kansas Speedway area, where coverage there returns to being great. Over all, I’m pretty satisfied with the work they’ve done in KC.

  • TheDonJ

    Its funny this came out today. I have been following tmobile very closely. I will be picking up a sim today and testing their network on my att unlocked gs3. Anyone here from the dc area here that can share speed tests info??

  • NotLookingBack

    I was with Verizon for 12 years, but decided it was time to go after they forced my hand by pushing us from our previously grand-fathered in unlimited data to their shared data plan. In reality we don’t even use that much data (and probably could have gotten away with 8GB shared for the 5 of us), but for me it was principle.

    Anyway, I started looking at the alternatives and narrowed it down to Sprint and T-Mobile. Even though T-Mobile appeared to have a better network, I was leary of T-Mobile’s lack of overall network coverage and decided I would go with Sprint. After more than six months of waiting for their Network Vision upgrade to be completed, I ran out of patience and decided to test T-Mobile’s network.

    I wound up being one of the lucky ones and purchased a Nexus 4 from the Google Playstore in late November (arriving in early December). I used T-Mobile’s $30/Mth pre-paid (and the GroVe IP app for additional talk time) and I was not disappointed at all. My speeds are all over the map ranging from 300k to over 20M (no, this was not WiFi), and average in the 3-6M range. In all honesty, with the speeds I’m seeing, I don’t even care that the phone’s not LTE capable (although I’m interested in seeing if it works once available).

    To sum it up, I’ve moved 3 of the 5 phones to T-Mobile and so far have not looked back.

    BTW, I absolutely LOVE the Nexus 4!!!

    • NotLookingBack

      Forgot to mention, I live in New Jersey and spend most of my time in Monmouth and Ocean counties…

    • monax

      I too have a Nexus 4 and love it. However, Nexus 4 doesn’t need the “modernized” HSPA on 1900Mhz. It can also use AWS HSPA. So it will have much better 3G coverage than a phone that can only use HSPA on 1900 (e.g. iPhone).

      As far as I can tell, there is no way to know if the Nexus 4 is using 1900Mhz or AWS. So this question isn’t really for us.

      • Trevnerdio

        Dialing *#0011# should tell you which.

    • Stillwaiting

      I wish south jersey had the coverage you have in your area

    • word

      I’m also in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and my speeds wherever I am here are just fine. I’ve been w/tmobile since 2007 and see no reason to leave and pay more for what I’m getting!

  • Has anyone found an Android app to show which band the phone is operating on? I have a Nexus 4 and have a suspicion that only certain towers in my town have been upgraded since my speeds vary GREATLY from tower to tower.

    • Dave

      I wondered the same thing not long ago (for my Galaxy Nexus). From searching various forums I don’t think there’s a way to tell which band you’re using on devices like that, just that it’s Edge or HSPA+. I’d love for someone to prove me wrong, though.

    • Roger

      I believe what you are looking for is Network Signal Info by KAIBITS Software

      • downloaded the free version and doesn’t give you what band it’s operating on just the network type.

    • sebastian

      I have a Samsung vibrant and it allows me to see and select 1900 band. But allbuou have to do is dial some numbers on the dialer and it opens secret menu.

  • the baby

    Delaware nothing yet

  • smartloom

    Very Spotty coverage in Atlanta, GA. I drove around downtown Atlanta and Iphone was switching back and forth betwwen 3G and Edge. Johns Creek, GA is all edge so far.

    • ghulamsameer

      Really? In most suburbs of Atlanta, I’ve gotten pretty great coverage. I think 75% is about right.

  • Guest

    Queens, NY – I find myself with 3G most of the time (with excellent speeds). When walking down the middle of some blocks I’ll drop back to Edge. I’m hoping this will improve eventually. Reception is still poor in some buildings where all I can get is Edge, but that was the case even when I was using a MyTouch.

  • the baby

    No idea what going on on new castle Delaware no modernicetion yet

  • Marc Sabatella

    Denver was just announced as live a week or so ago, and I got my iPhone shortly thereafter (partially a coincidence, but it was a factor). Driving around and checking the indicator, I’d say 75% coverage is about right. I have the 3G indicator “most” places, but there are some fairly large and prominent areas – like at DU and throughout the Highlands neighborhoods – where I get just “E”.

    Speeds in the “3G” areas where I have tested are quite good – 8-14 Mbps down (more at the upper end of that than the lower), 1-5 up. Speeds in the “E” areas are terrible, of course.

    • I don’t know if I’d put it as high as 75%. They still have really no coverage west of I-25… and north around City Park is very hit and miss. When I heard they were modernizing cities, I figured it would be more broad than just the city proper. I’m up north in Westminster and still rockin the Edge. If they don’t have my area blanketed with 1900 by mid-summer, it will be a Windows Phone for me.

      • Marc Sabatella

        Funny thing about west of I-25 – like I said, there seems to be a hole around the Highlands neighborhoods, but cross Sheridan and it picks up again. So it’s not fair to say nothing west of I-25. Could be that there is nothing that far *north* on the west side, or it could be just another “hole” and you might find it picks up again if you go *farther* north or *farther* west (eg, along US36 toward Boulder). Also, I can verify I get 3G most of the way to the airport, which is about as far north on the east side.

        Anyhow, I’ve been criss-crossing the city quite a bit the past week, and I really don’t think 75% is far from the mark. If anything, it might be slightly on the low side, depending on how far city limits you expect it to cover. But of course it’s hard to take comfort in that if you spend a lot of time in an EDGE area (and don’t have WiFi in those areas). I’d assume it’s still a work in progress, though.

        • I still can’t find any 1900 coverage west of I-25. I dont know where your picking it up, but I drove Wadsworth going south from 80th Ave to Lakewood. Didn’t pick up 3G the entire way. Looking at the Airportal map, it confirms that T-Mobile’s modernization of Denver is just the Denver metro, east, south and north. Very little (if any) of Denver west is covered, and none of the intermediate suburbs have been hit yet. If you include the entire Denver proper area, coverage has to be around the 20% mark… if that. When T-Mobile gets the iPhone in March, its going to be a complete flop unless it has a different antenna or they modernize a heck of a lot more towers.

        • Marc Sabatella

          Even though this is some time later, I thought it worth sharing:

          First, I do find that my signal indicator doesn’t always change to 3G immediately upon entering a 3G area. I may need to try to access data before it notices and changes. So that could be why you never saw the 3G indicator. But I got 3G all along Wadsworth from North of I-70 down to 6th, and all along 6th to I-25. Also up and down Sheridan, Tennyson, and Federal within that same N/S range, on West Colfax, etc.

          Also – and this is why I came back here to post an update – things are very clearly in flux and still improving. They didn’t stop after making the announcement. Highlands now shows 3G – that is to say, all along 32nd through NW Denver. And a number of other areas where I previously could get only E now show 3G. I don’t know if they are expanding the reach toward Bolder, but they are definitely filling in the holes. And it’s not must Denver proper – I get 3G down in Highlands Ranch as well. But indeed, it seems Boulder and the extreme NW metro area where you live isn’t there yet, so if you expect coverage to get out that far, the numbers dont look as good I’m sure. But well over half the population of the region is within the narrower area I was looking at.

          Anyhow, I figure that’s of interest to folks outside Denver, as I assume that’s a general policy. Whatever coverage you see the day they announce the modernization, it may well continue to improve in the weeks after.

  • Here in San Diego, I only get spotty coverage here and there and the max I’ve gotten is about 5 down and 1 up. They need to step it up BIG TIME! I mainly only get edge with my nexus 4 too. Just horrible.

  • Luis Medina

    If tmobile really wants to be the uncarrier they should start by being transparent about their coverage and modernization efforts, unlike sprint.

  • rennspeed

    When Tmobile launches the iphone I really hope it’s set up to run 1700 (Current 3G / Future LTE) and the new reframed 1900 band. If it only runs the 1900 band It will not even be an option for me.

    • sebastian

      I feel the same way. What’s the point of a phone to have limited high-speed data phone on a selective band.

    • philyew

      It will support 3G/HSPA+ on the PCS (1900) band and LTE on the AWS (1700/2100) band, exactly the same as the AT&T model.

    • Nearmsp

      T-mobile is doing the refarming only to get the iPhone from Apple. The iPhone will run on the 1900 band only and LTE on the 1700 frequency.

  • Chris-in-TX

    North Fort Worth, TX (I-35W @ 170) – Coverage and speed are excellent. Downstream ranges from 6 Mbps to 13 Mbps, and upstream is great too. Previously (before modernization), downstream maxed out around 3 Mbps, and more often than not was closer to 1 Mbps. All in all, the modernization project is a huge improvement in my experience.

  • Getting 6M down and 1.5M up in downtown Chicago on an iPhone 4. 3G coverage in the northwest suburbs is more spotty but has improved significantly during the past few weeks.

  • Chris25

    Used to get 27 mb/s download and around 3 mb/s upload on my One s

  • Aurizen

    I live in Philadelphia and I seen poor signal in my area I have no service in my house, when I go outside I get 3g but its spotty. I contacted Nevile Ray and he says he’s gonna local team look at it. I hope I see 3g in my house, speed is phenomenal but consistency of keeping the 3g is bad.

    • carcomptoy

      Center City and even University City are really great when they work, but the consistency as you emphasized is really terrible. It frustrates me to no end because it’s not even like Philly’s that big of a city. And to think this was the first city that T-Mobile launched HSPA way back when…

      • Aurizen

        yeah Center City speed is crazy I got about 10mb then it goes away and comes back. Oh and I have to say now in my area I’m getting 3g now. Looks like my complaint to Nevile was successful. I also would like to add that its still spotty but picking up the signal frequently which is a good sign I gather, but the signal strength is 3 but when I was on Edge it was about 4. Hopefully signal strength will improve soon.

        • Andy

          N/E Philly you can go up to 10Mbps down and 2 up. It is still spotty. I have never got 3G in my office 19149

    • Eric

      I live in Northeast Philly, and the 3G I get here (My house is covered by the new 1900 MHz 3G and H+ network) and my Nokia C7 loads pages quickly. Just one issue, 3G coverage in my house is bad to ok sometimes.

  • tktv

    hahahaha! seriously?? modernized network? i live all of 25 miles from the heart of Memphis (an apparent 4G town of TMobile’s and one that’s not on the list yet to get upgraded) and I’m sucking EDGE all day long on my 4G capable Galaxy Nexus while my coworkers on ATT are 4G even in the sticks of the county…TMobile is good if all you are is a downtown urbanite who never leaves any city whatsoever…*wipes laughing tear from eye*

    • BigMixxx

      odd you say that…Being from memphis and wielding a G1 when it first came out. I NEVER had problems with at least 3g service, unless I hit Robinsonville or deep tunica. JAckson, understanding areas like somerville, etc. But in FRAYSER, and the North (memphis) No issues…

      • tktv

        From Millington in the north to Arlington in the east, it’s all EDGE. I’ve been with TM for almost 10 years, using many different phones, both branded and unlocked. Out here, the signal isn’t quite as advertised. Southhaven, Collierville and Germantown get more love…

    • Mujo Berbic

      That’s funny, I drive from Houston to Austin every now and then and I stream music through TuneIn almost the whole way… There is a 5mile stretch where I have no signal though out of that 170 mile drive through nothing…

    • Chris

      Why don’t you try living closer to the city? just saying.

      • tktv

        What a wonderful idea!

    • Charles Ray

      I live in Oxford, MS and At&t, Verizon, & Cellsouth all have LTE up and running. Tmo is still on Edge, if I go south into the sticks toward Watervalley I show 4G. With average dl speeds around 10MB. You would think with the Ole Miss campus here the data coverage would be better.

  • Roscoe

    I live in Houston and I’m seeing 12-15Mbps as an average, I have had 6-8Mbps on over cast days and as high as 22Mbps last week. I’m very happy with T-mobile over the five years I was with AT$T…

  • Diego Vazquez

    The 1900 band isn’t even usable here for some reason. When it switches to Band 2 on WCDMA the network is Unknown and doesn’t even work even tho it is very spotty but when it kicks in the signal is better and then it switches back to Band 4.

  • Branden Johnson

    Southwest Chicago suburbs — incredibly spotty coverage. I get 3G at my apartment, but literally across the street, Edge.

  • rob

    I’ve noticed a boost in speeds in the OC area(part of the LA markt apparently), I used to get anywhere between 5-10mbps down & 1-2mbps up around my house and maybe 1-3 bars of signal strength, but since the modernization I now get 9-15mbps down, 2-3mbps up and full signal bar strength inside my house. And around 2-3 years ago I would get very bad indoor reception something like 1-3 mbps down and 1mbps up and 1 signal bar (3G). When I go through some of the plenty of malls around here in the newly modernized cities I get 17-20+ mbps down and 3+ mbps up. Those are speeds on T-mobile branded phones like the HD2, HD7, Sensation to the One S and Nexus4 but my unlocked One X doesn’t fall too far behind those speeds at all, usually somewhere in the high middle and before the modernization it was all EDGE speeds of course, total night and day difference now! And in the 8 years since I first piggy backed on to my parents family plan to now w/ my pre-paid plan I have never had a dropped call even on 1 bar areas. Its a quality network but it needs more coverage.

  • tmorep

    Sacramento area is ok. I’ve noticed a slight change but no real improvements when it comes to indoor coverage. I can’t even talk on the phone on the toilet in my house cause I dont get signal.

  • tony

    what about Provo Utah i still have 2G network on my iphone 5 when will have a 3g or 4g in the next 50 years man i can believe it is soooooooo sloooooooooooooooow 2G i will move to at&t or verizon tmobile sucks.

  • mbrewski

    Denver – Good coverage even in Aurora, just east of downtown. I do notice drops to edge coming downtown on the light rail but for the most part I’m getting 3G.

  • Just tested mine in Minnapolis (warehouse dist) and got really impressive speeds for mid-day: 18.4mbps down and 1.6mbps up.

    • Nearmsp

      This thread is about the refarming of the 1900 Mhz not the 4G network. Your link shows the 4G network speed, which is not really relevant to this discussion.

  • Joe D

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but how can I find out what spectrum my phone is using?

  • fsured

    I have seen some better signal speed and strength in Downtown Austin. The coverage there use to be horrid inside of a building or bar. Last weekend my phone showed no bars or just 1 but “4g”. It was loading the web where it previously wouldn’t. Not faster than a friends ATT Iphone. I’m using a sg2 and can’t personally compare the Iphone on the network. But from a subscriber with a phone designed to work on their network, the improvement isn’t that great for me. There are more dropped calls and unable to send txt msg errors with this upgrade. I’ve never seen it go beyond18mb before the upgrade and haven’t seen my phone hit again. Others may have.

  • Adam Cab

    I’m in Alhambra, California (border of Los Angeles) and i’m using a samsung galaxy relay 4g. at 10:36am, on a holiday, I’m currently getting 5.71Mbps down & 0.82Mbps up…

  • Mirad77

    In Chicago and surrounding suburbs listed in the refarm list ,it really varies. Some area are good while others (even though list as refarmed )still have edge. I have an Atrix 2 hanging some where as my back up but I will say I had way better experience during better testing than now that the refarm is done. Areas I had good 3G are off and on between 3G/Edge but mostly edge.
    So its not all good as some areas in the city of Chicago still get edge.

  • Nearmsp

    David, since the question you asked covers 2 types of users – AWS frequency on one side, where T-mobile has done a great job for its 4G phones. The other is the 1900 Mhz PCS on which iPhones run 3G. This is where the problem is. So you will find that those with an iPhone will not have as enthusiastic response as those on the 4G network. I myself had great 4G coverage in Rogers, MN, but having bought an iPhone 5 after CTO Neville Ray announced as Minneapolis was refarmed, I have bee seeing Edge network mostly. So I am definitely disappointed so far.

    • The question I asked is really just for the 1900MHz customers, otherwise I would have specified coverage concerns for AWS customers.

      • 21stNow

        It seems like quite a few people didn’t get that you were asking about the 4G-on-1900-MHz band customers.

  • Andy Godoy

    I’ve had T-Mobile for 7 years now and have been using an iPhone on the network for 2 and a half years. In the Riverside, CA area I got used to EDGE but now that I pick up 3G signal it’s a little irritating. The coverage is so spotty and inconsistent that it’s not worth upgrading my Internet plan (which T-Mobile wants me to) from my $10 200MB unlimited plan (throttled after the 200MB). I have 3G at one of my work sites, in the mall area and various other places but at school (UCR), my second work site and home I’m still on EDGE. While an LTE deployment is nice for T-Mobile, we need more consistency on their existing network

    • Paul

      Where in the Riverside area? Im in Temecula waiting for when we get the refarm.

  • Elier Ruiz

    It’s gotten a little more reliable in the house. I’m in Berwyn near Chicago.

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    I’m on the edge of the Sacramento network and I’m pulling 5-8 still, which is good enough for mobile but I recently got a hotspot and 5meg isn’t cool for a pc. I’m used to having 25-50 so it’s an adjustment. $100 for 10gb on verizon for the speed isn’t worth it either though so the hotspot just isn’t fast enough but 5-10 is cool for mobile stuff and everyday browsing. Anything big should be done on pc anyway imo

  • Scott Walsh

    I’m getting over 20mbps on HSPA here in the DC area:)

  • quan

    I work in Buena Park California and got very bad / to connection when i am in my building. My colleagues with ATT & Verizon have no such problem. I have been with Tmobile for at least 10 years but will switch when my current contract expired. Overall the US cellular network is far behind many countries both in terms of call qualities, coverage and speed. But we are best in terms of smoke & mirror.

    • Julian C. Taborda

      thats because is the US is huge compared to most European and even Canadian companies. Yes Canada is huge but there is only coverage in like 5% of it because a lot of it is tundra/forest. and then Europe ..each country has provides and they only have to worry about geographical areas the size of a state not the entire US

      • Guest911

        Sigh. I dont want to call you out so I will suggest that you search for info before posting about Canadian or European coverage regions.

  • GinaDee

    It’s still very patchy in SoCal. iPhones go back and forth from EDGE to HSPA all day long even when standing still.

    When the phone transitions between the two networks it’s not smooth. Data streams get interrupted and stuck so I usually have to wind up closing my radio app then re-opening several times per day.

    Here at work we have 1 cell site “modernized,” with PCS 1900 that covers a span of 10 miles in either. That one site is not enough. PCS HSPA is very weak and sometimes even web pages do not load properly.

    However T-Mobile claims “we’re covered,” so I guess they feel they are done. I hope their LTE network is not this bad.

  • SEMichigan

    I think the list of 40 is indeed misleading. For example, Detroit, MI is a city but also a larger metropolitan area with dense, adjacent cities that make up over 3x the population of the City of Detroit. Only Warren, MI (one of those adjacent cities) is listed as live. Many more do get 3G signals but they are not reliable. Based on the demographics in Metro Detroit, I would not say that 75% of the area is live. In fact, most of the suburbs that would benefit are not covered. Yet most of those same areas do have consistent “4G” 1700/2100 Mhz coverage. I hope TMO is still working on the expansion because this is not enough for iPhone (and other 1900 Mhz) users. With that said, I guess it is correct to say Detroit and Warren are live, but that is not the point of course.

    • spritemoney

      I agree, I live in Metro Detroit and it constantly changes from E to 3G, even in my home! Warren is truly done, and Sterling Heights is truly done. There are still some parts of Detroit where it’s not done yet. I live in Oakland County but I frequently go to the other counties.

  • mreveryphone

    Needs better building penetration. I still have to turn my phone to landscape to get a better 4G signal.

  • keasycase

    Anybody see anything in south jersey????

    • Stillwaiting

      What part of south jersey? Cumberland county is full of edge

    • Stillwaiting

      If any part of south jersey gets reframed it will pr(bably be the shore anything west of mayslanding has shitty serviceup till you get to pennsville in salem. Hat probably the only part you get decnt 3g anything in between is edge. Tombile doesnt care about most of south jerey

  • mad_philosopher

    Note 2 gets 20+ MB all day in Seattle. Am I even utilizing LTE?

    • Mirad77

      They are asking about the refarmed network which isn’t what Note2 uses.

  • DjWoody

    I have a Nexus 4 and I’m in Santa Ana, CA (Orange County). I’ve gotten mixed results from as low as 3 Mbps to as high as 22 Mbps. This is a screenshot from the other day.

  • 30014

    While my in building coverage Is better my speeds seem slower. Before the refarm is was getting 7 down and 2 up on average, after it’s been more like 4 down and 1.5 up. Is this happening to anyone else?

  • cooldude

    it shows execellent 4g coverage in my zipcode 76244 Ft Worth and i barely get 1gb

  • Logan E

    Using an iPhone in the new network is very spotty in Tampa, FL/St. Pete/Largo/Clearwater. You get 3G in some places and then it goes to E for a majority of the time. When it is on 3G the speeds are great. I just hope T-Mobile can make it fully 3G in Tampa when they official provide the iPhone!

  • I have a video of the test here. Speeds are very good in LA, this was taken about a month ago, well before it was announced as a modernized market.

  • For me it’s incredible and has been even before the Modernization even tho my area(Detroit Metro) is transitioned to 1900 PCS already. As I say a lot I always get 20 to 29Mbps regularly on HSPA+42, rarely any dropped calls, and strong signal just about most places I travel to. Couldn’t be happier and it’s only getting better. : )

  • Eric

    I am in raleigh, nc and consistantly get 15-20 mb down and 2-4 mb upload on my note 2. Faster than my friends get on the other carriers by a large margin. I’ve been on a couple towers that give less than 10 but not often. The ones I am regularly on are very fast.

  • Verizonthunder

    I realized that T-Mobile upgraded a few tower’s in a small/average town but the range was within a 3 mile radius of that area much better than a few month’s ago was edge only, and If you go outside that 3 mile radius it’s still edge and a huge part too so much they still need to do.

  • spritemoney

    It’s good, but it still needs improvements in these areas they refarmed.

  • nycplayboy78

    Well I was in Washington, DC for the MLK/Inauguration 2013 Weekend and my 4G was crappy…..Of course only Verizon has the contract to have mobile service in the DC Metro (Subway) system…SIGH….But I took some good videos and pictures :)

  • Alvin

    Located in Houston, TX (Sugar Land area) using a factory unlocked iPhone 5 and I only get spotty 3G coverage. When closer to downtown, I get very high speeds, but then again, very spotty.

  • 21stNow

    My experience in MD (suburban DC) is the same as many others’ here. On my phones without the AWS bands, the indicator constantly goes back and forth between E and H (or 4G, depending on the phone). If I am somewhere that can hold the 4G signal, the speeds are usable. But I’m rarely somewhere where the 4G signal is steady. I’m watching this closely now because I would like to move my HTC One X from AT&T to T-Mobile, but will consider other options if I can’t get a steady 4G connection.

  • Winski

    The modernization that occurred here in SoCal has yielded an amazing increase of probable 1-2.5 KB increase in thru put -PER MINUTE. I’ll relay my personal experience once agin.
    Here in a small – 35,000 pop. Community in SoCal between LA and San Diego ( north of Camp Pendleton) , T-Mumble made a huge deal out of their ‘modernization’ program, especially for un-locked iPhones. ‘Blazing Speed at a Highly Reduced Cost compared to AT&T’.. I bought an un-locked iPhone5 from Apple. Got a T – Mumble nano-sim and immediately began enjoying the blazing 2G EDGE speed. A few days later, I found out that T -Mumble installed ONE new micro-cell in our little community with a range of about 1/2 mile ( normally 3-5 miles)… But limited by the ‘terrain’… So, I went and sat in the parking lot of the building the micro-cell was installed on. Sitting in that spot, I got 4.5 mb down and 1.5 mb up to T-Mumble servers in Irvine (25 miles away) … THAT’S ON A MODERNIZED CELL!!!

    Then I drove 1.5 miles to my house and ramped up to that blazing 2G EDGE platform we here all enjoy.

    IT SUCKS !!!!

  • Justin

    I’m getting up to 25mbps on a Nexus 4 at my house and most of Wilmington, NC.. Its awesome!

  • Adrion

    iPhone 4S – East Harlem, NYC


  • O-Qua Tangin Wann

    T-Mobile should not have announced cities are lit up until every tower in that city is refarmed. In the Irvine, CA, area, 3G is so spotty. Most of the time, signal on iPhone 5 is Edge. Indoors, always.

    They are getting away with claiming a city is modernized even if only one tower has been refarmed. This is so frustrating, and so sad.

    T-Mobile coverage is awful around here. There are so many places I get no T-Mobile cell signal while Verizon and AT&T phones get a signal.

    Eventually, T-Mobile, the truth will get out and you will be exposed.

    • Bajamin

      They don’t claim coverage until 75% of a city is lit up (75% of the towers). That is internal policy. So NO they aren’t claiming modernization on just one tower. Exposed for what? They have less coverage than competitors? They don’t hide it you can look up coverage online or in the stores. If they don’t met your needs go to Verizon and pay 40% more per month.

  • Ron

    i live in NYC, 5th AvE Manhattan is the most famous area for shopping in big brand, but i still dont always pick up 3g/4g signal, still there have lots of area still in 2G, i think now just have 50 % or less area in NYC had lite up the 3G/4G, so what T-mobil is working on it??? thats sucks

    • Spanky

      T-Mobile’s network seems to be full of holes in NYC. I switched carriers as a result of not being able to get more than 0.5 Mbps downstream in my area of Brooklyn.

  • hinduguy

    I live and work in the Minneapolis suburb area. I have a iPhone 5 on the T-Mobile network. The coverage has improved for outdoor use, for example when I driving around and streaming music no issues. However, indoor coverage is very poor (3G) in my day to day life. I walk into my house, or office and the connection drops back down to EDGE. I have noticed that it is trying to pick up on 3g at my home, but its is only causing more problems when it is trying to transition between EDGE and 3G. I do find the the pubic announcement in a press release that my market was ready to be miss leading. The only thing to make up for the disappointment was that when I went to get a nano sim card for a iPhone 5 from a T-Mobile retail store, the rep advised me that coverage is sporadic and I would have to be patient until the market fully modernized. I asked for a time frame and he told me that he does not know, but made a educated guess saying it would be along side the iPhone launch on T-Mobile.

    T-Mobile marketing and upper management need to get in touch with the rep at the the Bloomingtion, MN T-Mobile store to get accurate information :-)

    Contact number (952) 881-6302

  • Steve Park

    I am still getting a blazing .020 Mbps down and .100 Mbps Up with a solid 5 bars of 2G. Drive a few miles east and I get 5 bars of 4G and speed jumps to .125 Mbps down. I have seen as much as 20 Mbps in larger cities around here, Cincinati, Indianapolis. Amaze 4G running ICS 4.0.2 and Sense 3.5

  • Chris

    I have the GS3. The building penetration sure have improved. I usually get Edge when I get to my cubicle. Now I’m getting 3-4 mbps average.

  • I’m in Schaumburg, IL, just outside of Chicago. Refarmed coverage in my apartment is fantastic, however at work, unfortunately I am not impressed at all. Inside the buildings, an iPhone 5 varies between EDGE and HSPA+, unfortunately sitting on EDGE I’d say 80-90% of the time. With Android devices (Galaxy Note 10.1 cellular version) I’m able to specify a preference of WCDMA over EDGE, and so it tends to stick to HSPA+ better than the iPhone – which just chooses the strongest signal regardless of EDGE or HSPA. I think if I were able to tell the iPhone to prefer WCDMA, my experience would be better – but Apple, in it’s wisdom, does not deign to provide we mere mortals with such a choice.

  • Happy Camper

    I live on the north edge of the Chicago city limits and I am using a Nexus 4. Speeds have been inconsistent but overall improved. I am on the T-Mobile $30 5gb prepaid plan and I am very pleased with the performance. I am getting about 3mb speed on the low end and about 16mb on the high end. I am satisfied with the performance but curious if the lte radio within the Nexus 4 will be activated and compatible with the eventual lte rollout on T-Mobile.

  • fedupwith2g

    I live 20 minutes outside of Tulsa and am on Edge. Whats crazy is in Oklahoma we will probably never see a refarm or network modernization.

  • Sam

    I am in Redwood City, CA. Just south of nicely modernized SF and north of modernized Palo Alto. Got a Galaxy S3 and 4G improved dramatically in indoor locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto. However, half of my place gets very, very fast 4G and the other half is stuck on EDGE….

  • Lolz

    Northside San Antonio – Pinging Tiara server in Nuevo Laredo – Ping: 58ms – Download: 11869 kbps – Upload: 1430 kbps – NOT BAD!

  • Ernie

    after the modernization, eastern San Diego still only has 2G coverage.

  • ncmacasl

    I visited DC over the weeked (N.Va. suburbs.) and speed was much better than my last visit (Thanksgiving).

  • sailor

    My worry is it will take a long time for TMO to have a robust 1900MHZ and LTE infrastructure in place. Some of the competition has been working on a roll out with a lot of 700 MHZ towers that have far greater reach than 1900 or 1700 MHZ towers will ever have. Especially in penetration through buildings, lower frequencies are favored over higher ones. TMO lost out on those 700 MHZ auctions much to the delight of the competition. It will be more expensive for TMO to build out the network or the network will be less robust – one or the other will need to give – my bet is TMO will not spend 2 or 3 times the amount of the competition to get their network built. There will be good data speed IF you are in range of a TMO tower but the chance that you will be near one consistently is lower than with a 700 MHZ tower.
    According to some estimates, the cost of building a nationwide wireless network over the 700 MHz spectrum is around $2 billion versus a nationwide 1900MHz PCS that costs approximately $4 Billion. The costs are lower in rural areas, due to less interference issues and wide-open spaces. That’s because each tower broadcasting at 700MHz covers twice as many square miles. Some estimates say that a single 700 MHz tower can cover 20-miles.

    Further reading:Mobile Radio Technology, Daily Wireless.

    • philyew

      TM didn’t participate in the 2008 700 MHz auctions, which took place as they were finally preparing to launch the 3G network on AWS spectrum that had been acquired back in 2006.

      TM have said that they will be spending $1.4 billion on the modernization of those towers that currently deliver 3G/HSPA+ service on the AWS band. That’s 37,000 out of the 52,000 towers currently used to deliver their network. It means they add 3G/HSPA+ on the PCS band and LTE on the AWS band within their existing 3G/4G footprint.

      I have no idea why you would think the infrastructure won’t be robust once modernized. They are deploying state-of-the-art equipment to augment existing tower services. This phase of the program doesn’t enlarge their broadband coverage, but there is no reason to think it will not be robust from market to market, once the engineering work is completed.

    • Does 700mhz really penetrate all buildings better? I have a Verizon iPhone 5 that only gets 1 bar in my house spotty 3G and LTE, and my T-Mobile 8X gets 5 bars 4G here.

  • Danny Bruce

    Hi there! I have the Nexus4 too! Do you know about the $49 unlimited talk, text, and data plan? With NO contracts? Please contact me at

  • J.P. Avila

    I live in Washington DC and 3G service is spotty at best. As is typical, the downtown areas get upgraded first, followed by the more affluent neighborhoods.

    In a large part of downtown DC I get 3G service. My ave download speed is around 4.5 to 6 Mbps. But outside of downtown, dupont, and parts of the NE, I’m back down to EDGE… I wish there was a way for me to know WHEN all of DC will be upgraded!

  • Bajamin

    Houston speeds are fantastic albeit a bit spotty at times (25%). My Nexus and iphone were doing well for day to day use. They are still in the middle of it and owe me nothing so I am not going to complain, I think they are moving along pretty fast.

    • Anonymouse

      i agree. at the energy district and med center speeds are great but coverage-wise there are still holes just like our city roads..

  • pete k.

    in Dallas I get between 5 and 12 Mbps with my Lumia 900. Usually its about 7 Mbps.
    With the Optimus 4x HD i owned it was slower and less stable connection but I blame the phone phone for that. I’m loving the refarm. In the parts of Dallas and suburbs i go to its has 80-90% of the 1700/2100 coverage. Just a few EDGE spots left from what I’ve experienced.

  • gmcmoz

    i live in corona, ca and i get it in my house and its lovely! i use the hotspot with unlimited data on T-mobile. my speed tests are confirmed faster than at&t users when their handsets say 4g, my 3g is faster! i got up to 12 mbps once! i use the iphone as my home internet by the way because i have unlimited… when you catch the signal it will stay on 3g, it goes in and out sometimes, but i cant complain… just needs to be in more places. for example, 3g is not really live in riverside at all…i am a tmobile employee and i keep up to date wit this, any questions, let me know guys!

  • AutumnOrangeGT

    I’m getting on average 25mbps download speeds in Lake Orion, MI

  • en4

    I’m pulling 20-30mbps in bonney lake Washington using my nexus 4, and yes its consistent. Elsewhere its consistently 9-16mbps (Seattle, tukwila, etc)

    • CDavisUnlimited

      Yeah, Seattle is CRAZY fast on the refarmed network.

  • CDavisUnlimited

    I’m in Seattle with an unlocked One X+. I get anywhere from 13-20 Megs down and 2.5-3 Megs up all over the Seattle Metro. Couldn’t be happier.

  • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

    From what I can see, the 3G coverage is still very spotty in Boston and Cambridge area. The progress made during the past 2 months is minimal. I still don’t have it at home or at work.

  • HelloGello

    I live in the NYC/Northern NJ market (NYC to the east and Newark to the West). I also had the same issues as others have posted (spotty refarmed network coverage and the areas that did have a decent signal suffered from unreliability. My iPhone 4 would often switch between EDGE and 3/4G) even after T-Mobile had announced my market as refarmed. However, T-Mobile has today (about a month after their announcement of my market being refarmed) completely overhauled and launched reliable 3/4G HSPA+ on the 1900 band. My iPhone 4 has consistently shown 5 full bars of 3/4G and not once has it regressed to EDGE.

    Although at first I sincerely hesitated about purchasing an iPhone 5 to use on T-Mobile’s network seeing the poor quality of their “refarmed” network, T-Mobile has proven to me that they were indeed still working on the network and now I feel confident enough to go through with my purchase. Don’t lose hope, people! I’m sure T-Mobile will eventually do the same for your markets!

  • Coverage is still pretty bad in Los Angeles, especially the suburbs, not significantly better than it was 9 months ago and much worse than it was 2.5 years ago.

  • od312
  • conservative_motorcyclist

    Where I live and work in the Boston market, T-mobile’s refarmed network is extremely spotty at best.
    After vacationing in South Florida (Ft Lauderdale) and driving all the way to Key West (full 3G almost everywhere I went. There were only a couple of very tiny zones where it would momentairly fall back to Edge), I am shocked at how the Boston market can even be considered “launched”!

  • kawkaw

    hmmm…in brooklyn I have gotten 10mb down. in manhattan before the refarm I used to get round 5mb down. Now its like .5mb in manhattan. Brooklyn might have gotten a bit faster after the refarm though.

  • My area only just started to have some towers refarmed. Tested one of the areas out a few weeks ago and got 11mbps down, 3 mbps up on my Verizon iPhone 5.

  • Pickle

    coverage just two milles from me is 4G but my area is 2G. Called TMO for a free signal booster and they said they were out of stock until April at the earlist. Seems they need to have a logistics supervisor keep on top of this.

  • wastew

    In Miami on Galaxy S 111 and get 20 to 30 mbps and uploads1.65 to 2.93

  • I was getting 9-10mb down 3-3.5mb up on the iphone 5 NYC

  • Kameron Bourgeois


  • Pro2ndAmendment

    I am a 5+ year customer that lives in Columbus, Ohio. I have the GS3, and before any of this started, I was averaging anywhere from 12-18 Mb download speeds in all my necessary locations; however, in the last month or 2 I am averaging 4-8 Mb, and that is VERY spotty coverage. In the same places that I used to get strong 4g coverage, I am now getting no service, or 2g at best. Is anyone else from Columbus (or a surrounding area) having issues like this? I have talked with tech support but they are now telling me that the area I have the complaint about has always been a 3g only area, but I used to have no problems at all pulling 12-18 Mb download speeds out of on 4g.

  • jimmiekain

    Based on the coverage map on the T-mo site I live in a 4g area but my nexus 4 only gets edge inside my house and it switches to 4g outside but i only get .21mb down (slower than edge) and I get 1.1mb up strange. I gave on T-mo and I use a straight talk /Att sim now. I get 5mb down and 1mb up almost everywhere i go. i will try t-mo again in a few months. (I have tried every APN i can find.)

  • gsm_dude

    Using an iPhone 5 since December- Dallas, Houston, and DC seem to have 80% 1900/HSPA coverage. Better coverage in the urban areas, worse in the outer suburbs. South Bay (greater San Jose, Cupertino, etc) is surprisingly bad considering this is the home of Apple and Google. I seem to average about 7 Mbps download when 3G is available…which is good enough for me for $80/month unlimited with ability to tether. Using Google Maps for navigation works fine as it goes back and forth to Edge. iMessage works fine with just Edge coverage. One major complaint is that T-Mobile seems to have bad coverage at major airports, as in no signal at all when stuck on the runway. I have an iPad 2 on AT&T and a Verizon LTE mifi hotspot to compare coverage. Most places where signal is poor, it is poor for all three carriers, airport runways being the exception where just T-Mobile is bad. I made a three day trip to Tokyo…because my iPhone 5 was unlocked I was able to get a nano SIM from SoftBank at the NRT airport with unlimited data. Total bill for three days was $50 USD. I thank T-Mobile indirectly since I would have been forced to buy an expensive roaming package had my iPhone 5 been locked to AT&T.

  • I travel all over the country for work to both major metro, suburbs, and rural areas with my note II and while there is a significant difference in speed between the rural and metro areas, my voice and texting is always decent.
    Since I use Wilson boosters for work I recommend that you guys in rural areas pick one up with a cradle and an outdoor antenna to improve your voice/data signal quality.
    Its money well spent if your phone is your primary internet source and used for business.

  • djskoolboi

    I almost never have full bars but in decent coverage I get 3-6Mbps. In good coverage(full bars) I get 20Mbps + with highest recorded at around 24MB.

    Very satisfied overall.

    I travel frequently from Dallas to Austin, Tx.

  • T-Mobile is decent in my area (Long Island). I consistently see download speeds of at least 10Mbps with my Nexus 4, peaking as high as 25Mbps. Uploads never really go above 2.5Mbps. Can’t wait to see increased upload speeds and even more insane downloads with LTE

  • if you live in buffalo its shit