T-Mobile’s new 20+20 LTE speeds visualized

Towards the back end of November, you may remember we published an article with information on T-Mobile’s faster 20+20 LTE network going live. Results were impressive, as one particular tower near Plano, Dallas showed speeds over over 70Mbps. Turns out, that’s far from being an isolated incident. Over the past few days, a variety of sites have picked up on an AllThingsD article, pretty much confirming what we already knew. Something we had already reported on. (For those of you who sent me a link to that article, that’s why I didn’t publish anything else on it. We already got there.)

Last night, however, Sascha Segan wrote up a very interesting article over at PCMag.com. In it was a really helpful map, sent to PCMag by T-Mobile with details of speeds and locations tested in the Dallas area. I grabbed a screenshot of the map, but, if you want to have a look at the interactive map in more detail, head on over to the original post.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 15.22.19

Dallas is the first market in the States to get these new, faster LTE speeds, and has been made possible due to the merger with MetroPCS, and the usage of Metro’s AWS spectrum. In the speed tests, Category 4 devices like the Nexus 7 and Note 3 have been able to take advantage of this new network. Speed tests show results ranging between 70-100Mbps. As noted by Sascha:

“The 20×20 network runs on T-Mobile’s 1700MHz AWS spectrum. In cities where T-Mobile and MetroPCS had AWS allocations, the company is merging the two. In other cities, T-Mobile is moving customers on the slightly older HSPA+ network over to its 1900MHz spectrum to open up space on 1700MHz for more LTE, Castle said.”

We’ll forgive him for calling it “20×20″, but the rest of the information is pretty exciting. And it shows that Tmo is committed to ensuring it makes the best use of the extra spectrum required so far. It’s also worth noting that the company is ahead of schedule for its roll-out of 20+20 and 10+10 networks.

Over the next few months, we should see more of these 20+20 spots going live in a handful of key metro areas. So, if you live in a major U.S. city, keep an eye out and let us know if you spot any major increases.

Via: PCMag

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  • Adrayven

    Here’s to hoping their future spectrum purchases push them into a wider field than just larger cities.. I’d like to start seeing highway coverage at the very least.

  • SEBA

    How is this possible, when I’m picking up those speeds in Philadelphia, PA suburbs. I sent you a screen shot 3 weeks ago

    • Cam Bunton

      Which email address did you send them to?

      • SEBA

        I just emailed you the screen shot at cam@tmonews.com

        • Cam Bunton

          Awesome. Thanks.

  • Trevnerdio

    Sweeett. Love how fast things are getting, but we definitely need even 3G on major highways between cities…please.
    Also, why did you say that you’ll forgive them for using 20×20, Cam?

    • cr41g

      It’s supposed to be “20+20″, not “20×20″

      • Alex Zapata

        Correct, 2×20 would also be acceptable, indicating two 20MHz channels.

        • Trevnerdio

          @27b71de4bc8ab2995ce7a66f667043a4:disqus thank you, I forgot about that and @alex_zapata:disqus, thank you so much, it all makes sense now! lol

  • cr41g

    I just moved away from Dallas! Oh well, LTE speeds in Utah are pretty good too.

    • Fungis

      I don’t mind the LTE speeds here in Utah, they are pretty good for my little town 40 miles from SLC

      • donnybee

        Yeah, up here in Clearfield and Clinton, Utah we have pretty good LTE. And this is only on a 5+5 bandwidth network!! Can’t wait for a 10+10 upgrade!

      • Trevnerdio

        You get LTE 40 miles outside of a big city?!? It’s a miracle!

        • Fungis

          Im not sure what we have in Tooele, but it is amazing. We also had the HSPA pretty quick as well when it was released.

  • emcdonald75

    In Jackson, MS, the coverage map shows that we have 4G LTE coverage, but the phones in Jackson, MS does not show 4G LTE. I have the HTC One and I have friend that has the iPhone 5S. When we travel to New Orleans, LA or Memphis, TN, our phones’ indicators show 4G LTE, but in Jackson, it only shows 4G. Is this normal on a coverage map before 4G LTE is activated in an area?

    • fsured

      Depends on how they have the map displaying 4g LTE. 4g refers to their HSPA+ signal. they are probably showing both signals under 1 color setting. It doesn’t mean LTE is present when shown this way.

      • emcdonald75

        Can you go to T-Mobile’s website and put 39201 as the zip code into the search bar? Then tell me if I am correct to believe that if it says “Your 4G LTE coverage is Excellent” that I should have 4G LTE.

        • Bori

          You are correct it does say Excellent 4G LTE. The map is way off then.

        • emcdonald75

          How can I get 4G LTE? T-Mobile repeatedly says that it is my phone but all phones in this area cannot be wrong. I have the HTC One, but I’m going to get the Galaxy Note 3 today which should have 4G LTE as well.

        • Bori

          Hopefully you won’t get this twice, I tried sending it from my phone, but, as the story goes, the signal is not very good here in the area at.

          Are you getting your Note at the store? if so, I’d ask the rep about it, and if he says he doesn’t know (which is pretty common) tell him to pull up the map and show him. Also you may want to check if your device’s Data is set to LTE/WCDMA/GSM Auto, (which it probably is, if you were able to get it elsewhere. I’d download Sensorly app, it does a pretty good job at depicting where LTE is available. I just checked your area, and I show where people that have the app, have picked up lte around the interstates (I-55 and I-20) Also it looks like Pearl MS has lte as well..

        • emcdonald75

          Yes, when I visit Pearl, MS, I notice LTE on my phone. I will ask the representative tonight about the map situation. Also, I noticed on my phone today at work @ 1:25pm that my phone had LTE and I am in downtown Jackson. It stayed for 1 minute and then returned to regular 4G. I wonder does that mean they are testing the service here in the area. But anyway, thank you for your help.

        • Bori

          You are welcome! If it’s in testing that means you all should have it any day now at least in downtown. but it seems like the surrounding area it’s pretty solid, where it’s available. As for us, not even that lol. The day I see that Icon on my phone I will jump for joy! :-). But if you do get a chance download that app, I’ve used it to find out if areas where I visit often have Hspa+ or Lte.

        • fsured

          As Bori said it says “4g LTE” but it doesn’t say what type of “4G”. It could be strong in HSPA+ but crap in LTE coverage but if they blurred the two coverages into 1 layer on the map then you have no way of knowing. They could also have the bare minimum of towers active for LTE to say the are live for LTE. The signal coverage may not be good enough to really sustain LTE on phones so they are defaulting back to the stronger HSPA+.

          It seems like a simple enough question for tech support to know where exactly LTE coverage is. I just checked where I work and it says the same 4g LTE but there is no LTE coverage there. Confirmed by tech support saying the area is not live with LTE coverage. North of there has very solid LTE but again they blurred the two signals into 1 layer for the purpose of the coverage map.

      • Trevnerdio

        I absolutely hate their new coverage map. It’s intentionally deceptive to cover up their crappy coverage.

  • Dats

    Which cities will get this

  • Dats

    Which phones other than N3 will support is?

    • fsured

      Look up the specs on your phone. It states in the article category 4 devices. This probably refers to LTE category 4.

  • Matt

    Of course none of this means squat unless it was deployed on lower frequencies. AWS cannot penetratate a paper bag.

    • TechHog

      They can’t deeply on what they don’t have

    • vrm

      really ? I have tmobile and get LTE and HSPA inside some concrete buildings. And I don’t get signal in some buildings; usually, when this happens, the signal outdoors is also missing or is very weak.

      Not sure why people keep posting nonsense here as though they are authority on everything. Maybe they should actually go and read articles on rcrwireless and fiercewireless.

  • Aurizen

    This is good. more improvements the better. I’m hoping for better building penetration when they get into the spectrum auction.

    • Tim S

      Contrary to what most people say, I noticed building penetration increase on LTE even where hspa signal was stronger outside, I noticed that throughout Charlotte NC,

      • TMOguy

        You know, there actually is a reason for that. In most cases, the LTE radio heads are being installed at the top of the towers… Meaning, there’s no coax from the BTS to the antenna transmitting/receiving LTE. That’s a project TMO started early 2013. Instead, fiber goes from the BTS to the top of the tower for the LTE radio.
        The effect is you don’t have all that signal loss from the hundreds of feet of coax from the BTS to the top of the tower…

  • jonson

    Your link for “read full article” on the homepage links to AllThingsD.

  • Paul

    I’ve gotten speeds up to just over 100Mbps in Plano, although it was in the morning and I couldn’t get them any other time during the day.
    t’s spreading into Frisco, I get over 40Mbps on my couch, and close to 70 in the parking lot of my apartments.

    • Trevnerdio

      Holy cow!

      • Paul

        The 100+Mbps has only been in the morning when the towers aren’t overly used. I get 30-45 pretty regularly on my couch.

  • MacRat

    I’ve been getting 40mbs in California for a few months

    • britney_jean

      Dam u lucky over here in montebello speeds top out at 10 dwn 3 up with full bars lte average is 7 dwn different phones i tried same thing in dwtwn LA its a lil better up to 20 but Average 7 i only know one place in east la dwn arizona and kern lol were i guess one tower is 10×10? Because on that block on kern were the Reeds pawnshop is all that block speeds ARE crazy fast up to 40 average 35 but its only 1 block u walk down to the 99 cent store on the other block speeds go back to average 7 so when ever i wanna download or upload something i go sit on the bus stop outside the pawnshop and enjoy 40 mbps . I wish more parts in east la/ montebello got those speeds because i hate sitting in the bus stop outside that pawnshop especially now that its really cold.

  • TMOguy

    Few things: If you have a note 3, just type *#0011# on the dialer keyboard and your phone will show how much LTE bandwidth it currenty has (if it says: BW:10Mhz then it’s 10+10).
    Second thing – most T-Mobile cell sites only have a 50 MB/S backhaul. I know that’s the case for most sites in Seattle. Some with very high traffic in dense urban areas have 100MB/S backhaul. The 50MB/S backhaul was installed when we started advertising the HSPA+42 awhile back (i.e. you need at least 50MB/S to the site to get the 42MB/S on HSPA.) Keep in mind it takes a few MB/S of the backhaul for the O&M link (i.e. just to run the administrative operations of the site between the switch and the site).

    So above 45-50 is going to be rare.. No matter what the bandwidth. But honestly – does anybody need more than that anyways???

    • ccnet005

      Thanks for the info, i only get BW:5Mhz.
      Not too good huh?

    • Trevnerdio

      when you say “50MB/s” do you mean 50mbps? also, is that per customer? Because there’s no way a site only has 50MB/s, let alone 50mbps.

      • TMOguy

        50 MB/s – 50 mega bits per second… That’s the typical data connection a cell site has.. Nobody is going to get faster then the backhaul the site has. Part of my point is as we get such fast LTE (20+20 and Cat. 4 phones) the limiting factor is fast going to be the site backhaul, not the phone and the radio technology.

        • Visiting

          Than not then… Wow

        • Alex Zapata

          MB/s = Megabytes per second. Mb/s = Megabits per second.

    • fsured

      How do you find these type of developer/admin codes? I’d like to find something like this for my Xperia Z and see what it reports where I live.

      • tmoguy

        Google ‘field test codes’. There are some radio monitor apps in the play store that are pretty cool too.

  • Pfftt

    Must be nice, considering that a lot of us don’t even have LTE.

    • Bori

      I feel your pain! LOL

  • Bori

    Sweet! Now Tmobile get cracking on getting us some Lte love here in Cincy :-)

  • Frettfreak

    I just started noticing lte lighting up all around me over the last 3 months but still no official announcement. Pretty awesome. Was only able to get about 260k downloads before average with bursts up to 1.5 mbs now I am seeing 20_30Mbs consistently. Tmo is really stepping up.

  • Enoch Cheng

    Does anyone know whether or not the Unlocked GSM iPhone 5S supports 20×20 and/or is a LTE Category 4 device?

  • Alex Zapata

    139.2Mb/s?!? Holy christwagons Batman!!!!

    • superg05

      thats cool with i had lte other than the no and 1 bar lte i see appear in fade from some distant tower far away or when i force it with barely no throughput its okay though maybe they’ll upgrade my area in dallas at years end or two

      • Alex Zapata

        Oh believe me, I know the feeling all too well. Streaming anything about 10 minutes west of my house in the Chicago burbs is painful to say the least.

    • Cam Bunton

      I had a similar response. Followed by the irrational “I’d emigrate to the States, sign up on T-Mobile just to get those speeds” thought.

  • Chris

    Not sure if they rolled this out elsewhere (cause I’m not from Dallas) or a result of software update on Xperia Z. I am now getting 40 mbps down on my Xperia Z – up from 30-33 mbps I used to get. Either one I’m happy hehe. Was really happy with my 30+ mbps speed.

    • Paul

      It could be the distance from the tower. I’m thinking it’s about to go up in your area. I never got 40+ before.

      • Chris

        i did the speed tests for the old 30+ mbps and the new 40 mbps on the same spot. The only way distance could have factored in is if they 1. built a new tower closer to me or 2. completely relocated the old tower.

        Either one, I’m happy with the speed boost.

  • Tommy

    Can we get a list of current category 4 LTE phones which work on T-mobile?

    • Cam Bunton

      Good idea.. I’ll stick it on my to-do list.

  • Don Kim

    I’m still stuck with 10X10.
    And my Nexus 5 still only has 4.4
    My life sucks in LA, CA

    • kev2684

      i know the feel. i’m also stuck with 4.4. i read some people saying that the speaker was also improved after the update. i hope it’s true because N5′s audio output both rear speaker and AUX is horrible compared to my Note II.

      and my area is still EDGE only to no service inside Jacksonville, FL when the website says it’s supposed to be a good 4G LTE area. still no sign of improvement since i called them 2 months ago.

      • princedannyb

        Try emailing ExecutiveResponse@tmobile{DOT}com

      • superg05

        tell them your working with a news station to cover a story about it that includes recorded calls with reps and online chats with reps and hello lte

        • kev2684

          actually not a bad idea. deception is a big thing especially when you’re paying $70++/mo. for it.

        • princedannyb

          I live 1 1/2 hours from you in citra, fl. I have edge tower in the middle of my town, but the nearest 3g/4g/lte tower is a few miles sw of me. I can rarly pick up anything but edge even though on the map i have “good” 4g coverage.

    • eneka

      I’m in the La county and can get 30up/10down which is plenty…
      also you can easily sideload 4.4.1

    • cubanito151

      Your life sucks? Try being on a crowded 3g only area which was barely lit up 2-3 years ago. Here’s hoping for hspa+ within the next year or two here in Harrisonburg, VA. I wouldn’t even need LTE with hspa+.

    • j

      I live on Tmobile Dialup here in PA

  • nycplayboy78

    So is the Galaxy Note 2 a Category 3 or Category 4 device? Hell I am in Washington, DC and I don’t expect us to get that anytime soon…..SIGH…..

  • Flyincloud

    Where is the post about improve voice quality and talk stability? ENOUGH with upload and download speed!

  • t22c

    My speed is ZERO… can’t even connect to the network. I’ve tried all the providers now. Verizon is the best… but they can’t figure out their billing. It looks like it’s time to dump t-mobile, get a net10 phone, and rely on wifi hotspots.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    I am in San Jose/ Santa Clara and speeds are generally 20′s download and 10-15 downloads. I have seen it as high as 60 mbps download and 30 upload, I couldn’t be happier. Does anyone has a list of future 20X20 cities? Metro pcs has a lot of spectrum in Northern California I hope they upgrade to 20X20 soon

  • Miguel Sanchez

    Forney Texas needs better coverage were still stuck 10*10