Report: T-Mobile 4×2 MIMO LTE upgrade showing its strength in Dallas

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Earlier this year, in April, T-Mobile confirmed that it was deploying a new, faster network technology. Dubbed MIMO, the 4×2 cell site configurations have gone live in a few markets. And according to testing done by Signals, the network is proving it’s certainly been a worthwhile investment by T-Mo.

For those unaware, the 4×2 MIMO LTE network – described at its most basic – basically uses 4 antennas to transmit a signal from the cell site/tower, which work alongside 2 receive antennas in the mobile devices (smartphone/tablet). There are also 4 receive antennas at the cell site. Working together to their full capacity, they can drastically increase download and upload speeds.

Signals, in its report, stated that not only were speeds faster, but battery life was improved too:

“We found that a 4×2 cell site configuration delivered substantially higher performance in the uplink, including much higher user data rates, far more efficient scheduling of network resources and clear indications that the battery life of the mobile device was greatly enhanced. Generally, the benefits increased the further the mobile device was from the center of the cell, but the improvements in battery life were observed throughout a large portion of the cell.”

The 4×2 MIMO sites in Dallas, where Signals tested the network, were also 20+20 sites. As for performance, the 4×2 antennas delivered download speeds up to 143.8Mbps and 46.93 Mbps uplink. Overall, I think it’s fantastic that T-Mo is delivering on its “Data Strong Network”. But it doesn’t come without frustration, especially for those living in areas where LTE hasn’t been activated yet. There’s little worse than knowing you’re stuck on EDGE while customers on the same network in Dallas are downloading and streaming at incredible speed.

Thankfully, T-Mobile’s network wizards have been hard at work over the past few weeks and months, upgrading networks in a huge number of markets, and along highways between cities, particularly in the South East region.

For the full details, read Fierce Wireless’ round up here, and full report here.

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  • Aurizen

    wow another development I forgot T-Mobile was doing.

  • besweeet

    Not only EDGE, but GPRS :(.

  • Qbancelli

    If they’re not doing it in NYC, then it is irrelevant.

    • Mike

      Irrelevant to you only, jerk.

    • Brian Perez

      Exactly as a nyc resident we are a big market we are where the moneys at so if.carriers dont do anything then there foolish except verizon

      • H Nathan Harper

        Carriers tend to roll out new technology to less important markets so they can make sure the implementation for more important markets runs more smoothly.

        • redman12

          Interesting.

        • H Nathan Harper

          Like a test market.

        • Trevnerdio

          Exactly. HSPA+ was first tested in Philly.

        • Eric

          And Philadelphia is not an important or major market for T-Mobile?

        • Trevnerdio

          Of course it is. And so is Dallas, but they’re no New Yorks

    • Adrayven

      NYC=center of universe.. lol

    • nyLTE

      As a born and raised New Yorker, I’d like to confirm that Qbancelli is an idiot.

    • DirkDigg1er

      It’s cool to have a new yorker attitude only in nyc. Outside of the Big Apple, 300m people in 49 States think you come off as a condescending prick.

  • Verizonthunder

    Can they fix the data stall uhg nothing like playing a online game and the data stops with full LTE bars… But I still love T-Mobile

  • eazy75217

    One thing to take in consideration about these so called “fast” speeds are even though this article mentions Dallas. You won’t get these incredible speeds inside the city limits of Dallas. I have lived here all my life and have been TMO customer for over 10 years now, I will say I have seen improvements in speed but all the best speeds (50mps+) are in the suburban areas where there is less people using the towers. Go to downtown Dallas inside and go inside a building you will probably get (5mps). All I’m saying is don’t get caught up with all the hype

    • Paul

      Yeah, West Plano, near the tollway, has AWESOME speeds. I lived in southeast Frisco and got crazy fast speeds. I’m in a heavily populated area in far north Dallas and my speeds are good, but not like where I use to live.

      Heavy traffic on a tower can cause unsatisfactory performance.

      • eazy75217

        Exactly this is why I say not to get all excited about these types of things just yet. Yes this is exciting and I’m more than happy that TMO is making the right steps forward when it comes to speed. But until I can go downtown and have 50mps+ or live in a high traffic area and get those type speeds. I’m pretty happy with my speeds but when I see articles like this where it hits close to home. I can easily dismiss it as untrue because you will only see these types of speeds in less populated areas

    • Adrayven

      Depends on the phone.. not many support those super high speeds right now.. or have been updated to do so… I had to have T-mo reset my phones registration with towers few days back.. things were good after that..

      Not all LTE phones are created equal.. many, especially the low-mid ranges phones or ones even a year old, would not be able to take full advantage.. Thats how ahead they are in pushing out the newer LTE technology.

  • YABD

    I want to see tmobile with the same coverage like verizon.

    • maximus1901

      Then be prepared to see the same prices as verizon.

      • archerian

        hmm… which begs the question – then why not pay Verizon the same prices right now and get the coverage the OP seeks today?

        • Toasted_Cracker

          No unlimited Data would be the biggest factor for not going to Verizon. For myself anyway.

        • Romdude

          Basically, go with the carrier that best works for you. In Hawaii, their services have similar coverage for the most part, so I save a lot on fast unlimited 4g lte and lower monthly bills. In a few spots, verizon has better coverage and in some spots here, only tmobile has coverage at all. For my use, I’m happy with them that’s why I’m staying.

        • yaby1979

          100+million people are.

      • nomorebs

        It’s worth it. It Always works.

  • archerian

    “T-Mobile 4×2 MIMO LTE upgrade showing its strength in Dallas” – what about the nationwide LTE issues past few days showing its weakness? I have LTE pings of 200ms and DL/UL of 2Mbps/1.5Mbps at the same place where I had sub 50ms pings constantly and DL/UL rates of over 15Mpbs/15Mbps

    • Adrayven

      Nation wide? Not seeing that.. probably not as wide spread as you’d think…

      • archerian

        Well it was not a nationwide blanket occurrence, but occurred in several places across the nation .. merited an article here a few days ago on it.

        • Toasted_Cracker

          Yeah I still have an ongoing issue with that here in Greer SC. I have already had to reset my connection twice today.

  • NOYB

    “according to testing done by Signals”… “Signals, in its report”…

    Who is Signals?

    • milanyc

      Signals Research Group. A high quality independent research firm, they’ve been around for decades. Highly competent, and incredibly informative stuff regardless of your Cellular and RF knowledge level.

      Obviously TmoNews Cam just senselessly copied FierceWirelessTech article that also made that same mistake with SGR’s name.

      • bkin94

        it’s not unacceptable to use FierceWireless as a source of information, and it’s understandable that if FW had something wrong, he would be misled. Please take it easy on Cam, He has a difficult job running this blog

        • milanyc

          Nobody is saying it’s unacceptable, but if you’re running the site, and quoting the article, may wanna read through it and at least understand the basics.

          They’ve actually mentioned the full name of the research group initially, so it’s not like they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  • Mahmoud824

    I don’t understand why are they working on different network updates at the same time. What is the difference between this and Wideband and 20+20 network updates? This is just getting confusing to differentiate between them. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy they are doing the upgrades but all these things need to be explained better to their customers.

    • Cam Bunton

      I’m not the biggest network nerd out there so I’m happy to be corrected on this, but, a “regular network” is normally 2×2, or 2×1(I think). Which means you have two antennas transmitting the signal from the tower, and two (or 1) radio antennas on your phone receiving. You can still have 20+20 on this technology as far as I know. 4×2 is 4 transmitting antennas to the 2 antennas on your phone. It makes it a more stable connection that’s less likely to drop performance.

      20+20 wideband is more to do with the frequency/spectrum of the airwaves. MIMO is a lot more about the hardware that makes those airwaves possible. I think…

      • Adrayven

        Think of one as the engine (Antenna) and one as the gas (Spectrum).. the better the engine the faster you can go, but w/o a lot of gas, or GOOD GAS, you can stutter, stall, or even run out..

        Both are critical to a solid and fast connection..

        • Hiro

          That’s actually a great analogy! Very true.

  • Alex Zapata

    I wonder if they’ll start deploying DAS alongside 4×2 MIMO…….

    • TMOLOYAL

      What is DAS in this context?

      • Alex Zapata

        Distributed Antenna System

  • sushimane

    I’m curious how fast I can get when it or if it comes to spartanburg,sc or Boston.

  • Hiro

    In Seattle, I’ve hit 90 Mbps download. In some areas of the city, it runs a CONSISTENT 70-90 Mbps. Where I am, I’m stuck at “only” 30-50 Mbps consistently.

    • markx

      When T-Sprint moves their combined corporate office to Overland Park Kansas ( Sprint Corporate Headquarters)because the cost of living is 30% lower than Seattle we’ll see how great your speeds are.

      • Tony Chen

        Fcc will block the merger

        • ChrisKringle

          Doubt it

      • DirkDigg1er

        If anything, they would move the HQ to San Francisco, the new Silicon Valley.

        • markx

          Yeah with no money. Smart

        • DirkDigg1er

          Kansas is a dead market and not enough resources to keep large company. That being said, we’ll just agree to disagree and see who is right down the line.

      • greg5green

        Why would they move to Kansas instead of the shadow HQ they have set up in SoCal after Softbank took over?

    • Cam Fas

      What phone do you have?

    • Trêy Bēllø

      Which phone do u have

  • Miguel Sanchez

    Coverage needs improvement indoors!! Especially in forney tx (75126) goes down to edge from LTE as soon as you step indoors.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    How about some 20X20 love for S A N J OS E? California’s 3rd largest and USA’s 10th largest city. I am not even talking about San Jose Metro, just San Jose itself is officially over a million people.

    • milanyc

      In San Jose area T-Mobile’s equipment vendor is Ericsson, which means in order to enable the existing sites with 4×2 MIMO, T-Mobile will have to upgrade RRU, and add an antenna. Since they’ll be adding 700MHz equipment this fall, seems like a good time to activate 4×2 in Ericsson markets as well.

      Nokia markets already have radios that support 4×2 MIMO, so that was painless.

      • JaswinderSinghJammu

        Thanks for the info. I figured things would improve drastically by the end of the year

  • bob

    That is great they are upgraded. But need get better service outside the city.

    • hit_the_lights

      They’re working on that, be patient

      • markx

        Tmobile isn’t patient about paying your bill on time. Why be patient on shit service?

        • Romdude

          As everyone has said, why stay? Choose the best network for you. Maybe in the future when they are all upgraded, you could try their service again.

      • markx

        Be patient? You mean tolerate crap service? Why? They gonna let you slide on your phone bill until their service doesn’t suck?

  • Ordeith

    With speeds like that they should consider going into the fixed wireless home internet provider market. Those cable duopolies could use the competition, and with a fixed location the coverage falloff a mile down the road wouldn’t matter so much.

    • humpfh

      I’ve seriously considered ditching my fiber service (INSIDE my house my speed is twice as fast as my fiber line…AND CHEAPER) but I just can’t make myself commit to a single point of failure.

      Too many years in telecommunications I guess and too many fiber cut nightmares.

  • nd5

    While I must say that T-Mobile has made great strides in the quality of their network… it is limited to where they deign to have network. I drove from Pennsylvania to Florida and back last week. I had no data along the I-95 corridor through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. That’s 500 miles along a MAJOR highway. That’s completely unacceptable.

    • Felipe Bigio

      I agree 100%on that one, because I experienced it before and singnal sucks in that distance frame block. It’s not good.

    • Clarkkent113

      Yeah I’ve traveled between NYC and Florida via I-95 multiple times and have the same experience. It’s quite annoying as I love streaming music on those long roadtrips. Eventually I just had to bust out my oldschool IPOD (with the scroll wheel) that always sits in my car and still works. It was actually kind of cool to listen to a bunch of the songs I listened to 10 years ago.

  • humpfh

    I’m just gonna leave this here…

    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/768590373

    • Brzfld

      And in most parts of Missouri it is .25 down on Edge.

      • H Nathan Harper

        So true.

    • superg05

      what part of dallas

      • humpfh

        190 at Preston

        • Steve

          I regularly get 80mbps down and 25 mbps at that location in Dallas. It’s “slower” in other areas of dallas, but I rarely get less than 5mbps down.

          Traveling is a different story, but I’ve almost decided just to get a travel phone. Maybe a Verizon Prepaid Moto G. Their plans came down significantly this month. Once or twice a year for $45/mth might be worth it when taking a car trip for me.

        • Romdude

          Exactly, if you plan to travel into non urban areas, then a cheap prepaid from verizon is the way to go specially if you don’t travel often.

        • humpfh

          I’ve gotten 40Mbps in Sealy, which is hardly a thriving metropolis.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Whoaaa blazing fast

  • el_perezo

    I hate seeing these stories on TMO news. south Texas has absurd service from tmobile. For the past 3mths been dealing with 400ms ping times and .8 dl speeds. Yes you read right, 400 and .8!!!!! I have to sit here and read about 100mbs dl

    • Pineaple

      I agree, I get 900png and .1 DL on 4G LTE! I call and complain and all they would say is we have our engineers working on it. They need to decongest the network! And fast!!

    • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

      I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but… Why stay with them if the service is so bad? Just curious.

    • Jesus Villafranca

      Are you talking south texas as in Corpus Christi? Rio Grande Valley? Because in those areas I get 4G/LTE in my iphone 5S with 53 ms ping/ 10 Mb down/5 M up..I tend to average about 10 GB of data monthly..

      • el_perezo

        I am in RGV. If you in CC…I know you all getting some love from tmobile.

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    All of you saying the service is bad, and has been for a long time just leave. It’s that simple. Go find a company that can give you what you need for cell phone service if it’s not T-Mobile lol. It’s crazy reading all these complaints, but this is something you can actually fix on your own, verizon, AT&T, sprint, which ever has service best where you live. Go with them.

  • el_perezo

    Cause I’m too vested in tmobile for past 6 years. I would have to move 6 lines. But believe me I have been looking at Verizon, just don’t know if I want to pay probably close too 300$. And I guess I wanna be around for when tmobile finally gets their stuff right.

  • el_perezo

    Plus one of my best friends is a supervisor at a local tmobile call center. Dont know if he’ll like me going to a competitor,ha .

  • Jay J. Blanco

    But ummm im in ATLANTA and im getting 44mbps down and 24mbps up

  • nain

    I’m guessing I won’t be able to get those speeds on my one plus one? :( just regular lte?

  • Jason

    Danbury, CT now getting 80mbps down and 10mbps up… YEAAAA BUDDYYYYY!!!!