T-Mobile LTE network stalling, or dropping out? You’re not alone

 

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With any network upgrades there are bound to some customers experiencing issues with network reliability and signal strength. And that seems to be what’s happening to many customers.

Threads on HowardForums and Reddit indicate that there are plenty of T-Mobile customers who – when connected to a strong LTE network – notice that speeds suddenly stall. A customer posted the following on Reddit, three days back:

Is anyone else still experiencing stalled data while on LTE? I have almost full signal, everywhere, and my data will just stop working periodically throughout the day. I have to toggle airplane mode on and off to fix it.

So far, there are 58 comments in response with many of them being people using different devices. Nexus 5, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and the OnePlus One have all been noted to be suffering with the stalled data. But in some cases, it’s a case of not connecting to LTE at all. One respondent claimed their Nexus 5 would connect just fine to the LTE tower nearby, whereas his Nexus 7 wouldn’t.

Rebooting devices and toggling airplane mode have worked temporarily to solve the problem in many instances.  But haven’t solved the issue permanently. And it’s pretty much the same story on Howard Forums.

To me, this seems like a simple case of teething issues. Like I’ve already mentioned, there are always problems when networks are being upgraded. And you only have to read posts here from the past few weeks to know that VoLTE, 4G, and Wideband LTE are being activated in new locations at break-neck speeds. But, just to be sure that is the case, and it’s not your phone or SIM card, you can try a few things.

  • Put your SIM in a different phone. If it works without trouble on LTE for an extended period (a few days), then it’s your phone.
  • T-Mobile customer care can exchange SIMs, because they don’t last forever. If that exchange solves the problem, you had a faulty SIM card.

But before you go raging on the phone to customer services you can try these – perhaps temporary – fixes:

  • Toggle Airplane Mode off/on – This gives the SIM card a quick reboot and sometimes that’s all it needs to start performing as it should on your network.
  • Reboot your phone – Sometimes our phones get a little bogged down, and don’t like behaving. And this can manifest in many ways. Especially if you haven’t switched it off for days.
  • Call CS – Check your account, make sure there are no issues with it. If they can’t see an issue then ask them to…
  •  “Cancel Location” – You’ll need to call CS for this. It disconnects and reconnects your handset from the tower, and reboots a whole load of other technical network things. In some cases, this has worked.
  • Wait –  If it is just an issue because T-Mobile is busy working on your local cellular network, there’s little you can do besides hang on and hope they’re done soon. Keep going through the temporary fixes, and hope that the frustration passes.

We’ve not head any official word from T-Mobile on this yet, but hopefully we’ll hear something encouraging soon. Be sure to let us know if you’ve been experiencing issues with your phone. Use the comments to sound off, and let us know which phone you’re using, which area you live in and how long it’s been going on.

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  • TimGNO

    This article hit close to home for me! Just today, after close to 3 weeks of wrangling with “no 4G” (ever) on my OnePlus One, I finally proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the problem is on T-Mobile’s side! I can finally assert with authority that:

    It’s not my phone: Placing someone else’s already-working T-Mo SIM into my 1+1 got me 4G (network = LTE, etc.)

    It’s not my settings: Duh. Setting up the correct APN and checking “Preferred Network”, etc. in the OS is child’s play.
    It’s not my location: Everyone was getting T-Mo 4G around me … just not my phone, using my own SIM.
    It’s not T-Mo coverage or tower: Because when 4G works, it works just fine in every part of town (just never for me!).
    It’s not my SIM: Not only does it grab 4G effortlessly in someone else’s phone, but T-Mo replaced it 3x or more!

    PROOF: I went to Wal-Mart, bought a “$30 T-Mo Plan”, activated the new SIM in someone’s iPhone, and transferred it to my phone. BAM! 4G LTE service, the likes of which my 1+1 (an unlocked, non-TMo-branded phone) had never seen before! SpeedTest results doubled (I was careful to take before and after screenshots throughout, to show T-Mo and 1+1 staff!).

    CONCLUSION: It was/is somehow my original T-Mo account’s fault all along. (T-Mo is still trying to ascertain just how…)

    Now, I am working with T-Force to iron out where the glitch lies, by comparing the provisioning and other back-end aspects of my (now) two accounts. I will also be asking them for a refund of all my expenses trying to suss out this vexing problem!

    • TimGNO

      T-Force suggests anyone with the aforementioned “no 4G ever” issue reach out to them via tforce@t-mobile.com or by calling tech support at 1-800-TMOBILE and explaining “a change needs to be made on the back-end for this account.”
      They declined to share any specific information, such as which “codes” they altered to solve my particular situation.
      Hope this helps someone else!

  • Willie D

    Unfortunately, each customers issue is unique, however, T-Mobile network engineers found what the issue is in my area, and in my case. Lost packets and a bad baseband code. When this will be fixed is beyond me since the issue is now spreading through the cell towers in my area, and crossing from LTE to HSPA as well. But that is a start.
    What you all need to do is contact T-Mobile and ask that they put you in touch with their network team, they will ask when, where, and what device is experiencing the issues, and it can give them the go-ahead to go deeper into the areas you are in and really see what can be solved. But without contacting them and being specific, filing trouble tickets, and keeping a log of where it happens, T-Mobile, like all carriers, will be slow to fix it. If they can pinpoint it fast, a solution comes fast. If they cant pinpoint or reproduce the issue themselves, you are looking at months. Again, this is with any company.

    • gtcard

      I’m glad you pursued this issue further. Packet loss always a nuisance, but I think the gripe most of us are having is with the consistency this is occurring on T-Mobile’s network. Case in point, my issue just crossed the line from nuisance to an issue with actual consequences; microtransactions are becoming more prevalent and you can imagine how bad of a day I had when I had this problem occur in the middle of making an in-app purchase. Needless to say, I did not get what I paid for, and I lost the in-game cash currency I used to buy it. While I understand this is probably the developer’s responsibility to have some sort of fault tolerance for transactions, I also can’t help but feel T-Mobile has a responsibility to properly maintain their network, if they are selling service. As I said before, it’s understandable if this data problem occurs sporadically, but it’s inexcusable when it occurs with this level of regularity, and went unaddressed for this length of time.

  • Johnny

    NYC is having the same problems. So as i see we just have to sit it out. What baffels me is why the company just don’t say it as it is. Thanks your post helped.

    • gtcard

      They do not acknowledge the problem openly because that will give fodder for the other carriers to use against them. I have no doubt they have been aware of this issue long ago, and I can only speculate as to why they have not acted on it yet. Though I will point out that with the unlimited plan, the knowledgeable, vocal heavy data user pays as much for service as the complacent chump.

      However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, this is beginning to shape from an inconvenience into something of a liability. With microtransactions in apps becoming more common, there will bound to be instances when this problem occurs to someone in the middle of making a purchase. All is fine and well until people lose real money because of this problem. Then they’re going to want to hold someone accountable. My guess is this problem WILL eventually resolve itself, whether T-Mobile does it on their own, or their hands are forced, I cannot say.

      Spreading the word is the most sensible thing we can do right now.

      • Johnny

        You do sure have a point.

  • Shonnetta

    I’ve been having issues with t-mobile for a month now. I have galaxy note 3 and everything was good up until last month. My son who is on a family plan with me has no issues. At first I thought it was my phone. But after getting a replacement phone and new Sim card, I’m still having service issues. But I’m being told my area has bad coverage. I’ve been in the same area for 33 yrs but all of a sudden I have issues now.

  • unhappy Horrible service

    I have always had problems with my t-mobile service. Am always fighting with trying to get our phones and mobile broadband to work either that or trying to tell a customer service rep their service is horrible not only their service but their customer service. I called and cancelled my hot spot today and am calling within the next couple days and getting rid of T-mobile totally. We spend on average $300 a month and constantly have problems have been with t-mobile for 7 years and they have gone from bad to worse!!! I am filing complaints on them too. We just got new phones and sim cards hoping the problem would be solved and nothing has been solved. Seems odd the last three nights my husband can’t even call out, but after me calling and complaining at 3:45 this morning at 4 I was able to reach him, even though they told me he had to call back from his phone before they could do anything. Then again this afternoon its not working. SUCH A JOKE. They might be cheaper then other cell phone providers but their service sucks. I would much rather pay more to Verizon and have good service. Since switching to a Jet Pack through verizon today for my laptop I have super fast internet and no problems at all. T-Mobile is not a provider I would ever consider again.

    • Pamela Marie Nemec

      I am going through the same they are a nightmare I am so sorry I switched from Verizon

  • Pamela Marie Nemec

    We switched from Verizon to T Mobile since their unlimited text talk and data with international calling seemed enticing so I could call my son stationed in Korea. I was lucky to get the I Phone 6 first day out at T Mobile but that day when I made the switch I have had nothing but dropped calls, several times, No service and I am talking in areas that should have it like Dallas Houston to name a few. I travel a lot showing dogs and the first week of switching while out on travel I got lost for several hours on the back roads of Arkansas with no service to intermittent service to maxed out roaming. Their fix is toggle airport, reset phone, blah blah blah and even replaced the Sims card. They then said they would replace the phone but none are available. I told them the first week I didn’t want their service long story short they said I couldnt get out of the contract without paying a hefty price and after Calling several times a day for two weeks about helping me with my dropped calls no no service on the 15th day they said I could have returned the phone to the store when in fact they told me I couldn’t… This is the worst service ever of any carrier with many hidden charges .. They spend way too much money on advertising and all are trained the same annoying way to greet you via in person or on the phone. DO NOT get trapped into T MOBILE unless you plan to never leave your area … with Verizon I was in the Wichita Falls Mountains at the Holy City and had a signal… In the middle of no where. If you travel a lot T Mobile is not Safe with no service as I have explained to them but they don’t care

  • Stacy Kim

    I’m in Maine and I just switched to T-Mobile last month. I have a Galaxy s5 and didn’t have any issues until today.

    Both phones on my account are having issues connecting to the network. I’ve called tech support twice and I’m now quite familiar with the “more networks” settings. I also went to the store and got a new Sim. It’s not the Sim card.

    The odd thing is that it’s just with cellular data. I can access the web but not make phonecalls.

    The only thing that works is switching to any network mode besides the one with LTE. That seems to work consistently. The other method like using airplane mode only works for a short time.

    Honestly I think all carriers have issues so I’m hoping to simply find a solution rather than T-Mobile bash.