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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  • 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.

  • Mr. Hill

    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

  • Joon Lee

    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.

  • Jared Hutchins

    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.

  • Joseph Klatzko

    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

  • Stian Flynn Harju

    if you live in buffalo its shit