VoLTE, 4G and Wideband LTE spotted in many new markets

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our regular roundup of network improvement sightings from our own readers. And as time goes on, it’s becoming evident that T-Mobile’s network expansions and upgrades are gathering speed.

We’re monitoring three different upgrades at the moment. First is the VoLTE service expansion. Ever since it was first made available in T-Mobile’s home town of Seattle, it’s been popping up in multiple markets across all areas of the U.S. And it’s being made available in more cities and towns than is on T-Mo’s official list.

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VoLTE

This week we’ve received emails from readers in several locations, spotting VoLTE for the first time. If you want to check out your own area, you need to ensure you have a Galaxy S5, LG G Flex, Note 3 or Galaxy Light running the latest software version. If, when making a call in a LTE-covered area you notice that the LTE connection remains, you’ve more than likely got VoLTE. In non-VoLTE covered markets, your signal will drop to 4G/HSPA to make the phone call.

VoLTE has been spotted in the following locations:

  • Greensburg, PA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Northern Denver suburbs
  • Fontana, CA
  • Albany, NY
  • Pittsburgh

Of course, more than anything, we’re hoping that more handsets are issued a firmware update soon to take advantage of T-Mobile’s new network technology. We’ll keep you up to date on those as they come.

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Wideband LTE

The best way to spot areas covered by wideband LTE is to perform a speed test. If you get speeds way higher than average (30Mbps-plus) chances are, you’re either covered by 15+15 or 20+20 LTE. There are ways to be completely sure, for instance, putting your device in to ServiceMode will give you access to that kind of information, displaying exactly what bands you’re using. The only new market covered by wideband we’ve been sent this week is in Green Bay/Manitowoc. Our reader there got download speeds over 40Mbps.

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Upgrade to 4G and LTE

Earlier this year, T-Mobile announced that it would be replacing 2G/EDGE with 4G/LTE throughout this year. The plan is to eventually shut down 2G in many markets, but that’s just not feasible right now. Still, we’ve been informed of many markets that have received either HSPA+ or LTE for the first time:

  • Hillsboro, TX
  • Torrington, CT
  • Espanola, New Mexico
  • Calhoun, GA
  • Moscow, Idaho
  • Manchester, NH
  • Willimantic, CT

What I will say is that although some of these areas may not show up on T-Mobile’s official 4G map, you can contribute to help light up a real-user map using the Sensorly app. By launching the app, and hitting “MapTrip” you can set your phone to map your routes while you’re running, driving or commuting and Sensorly’s data will be update to show what network is in place where you live, work and play.

Of course, keep sending in your updates to cam@tmonews.com and I’ll do my best to keep up with all the developments.

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  • Diego Vazquez

    Add Rockford, IL. HD Voice has popped up multiple times.

    • Kidney_Thief

      HD voice and VoLTE are not the same thing.

  • ronjon400

    i tweeted Cam this yesterday and John Legere fav’d
    pic.twitter.com/wUMSYce7aA

  • AM Gone

    Just yesterday all of my contact phone numbers now have a small HD listed next to each one and when I make calls the HD voice banner pops up as well. All in Jax, FL

  • mreveryphone

    Cam, did you get my screen shot of my VoLTE call? I tweeted you and emailed it to you. The Kansas City Area is live with VoLTE…

    • Cam Bunton

      When did you send it?

      • mreveryphone

        About 2 weeks ago after my gflex updated. I’m using my s5 now. I upgraded it through kies… I’ll send you another screen shot today.

  • Ben

    This is excellent news for most of us, especially since the whole Softbank thing has been quiet lately. Hopefully Mr. Son has changed is mind about the purchase.

    • vrm

      I think it is more likely DT is not interested. DT has always been playing hardball about this and negotiating for as favourable terms as possible, which is why they haven’t officially announced an agreement (because there is none yet).

      t-mobile knows the pile sprint/softbank is in and they want to take every advantage available. DT is also benefitting from in-sourcing cloud storage/computing because of NSA scandal, which means their growth in Europe will mainly come from that.

      t-mobile can be a growth engine for them overseas- plenty of pickings to be had from vz & at&t (and of course, sprint).

    • Aaron Davis

      They are waiting until after the spectrum auction.

  • AM Gone

    Just went in and verified through my phone settings that Jax is in fact VoLTE! Life is good

  • SEBA

    Philadelphia, PA runs all on 10×10 but I’m able to pull up 60 down in few suburbs where reception is very good.

    • carcomptoy

      I was able to get 60Mbps the other day in Manayunk. Here’s to hoping Center City won’t be behind for much longer…we need it more!

      • SEBA

        They need to fix New Hope, Doylestown area. I’m there every 2 weeks and it sucks.

    • Fabian Cortez

      10×10 MHz is good for up to 72 Mbps.

      Cam needs to correct the article with respect to the claim that 30+ Mbps speed tests means that you’re probably on wideband (15×15 MHz and above).

      That is a terrible way of determining how much bandwidth is being allocated for LTE.

  • sushimane

    Does anybody know if the nexus 5 would be able to use HD voice I’m certain the nexus 5 is able to use the wide band.

    • philyew

      PCMag used the Nexus 5 to carry out comparative call quality tests between HD voice on TM and AT&T.

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        It seems to me that the N5 is used to only for regular voice call quality in their tests. Or am I missing something?

        • philyew

          I’m going by the bit that says “For our HD Voice tests, we used an unlocked Nexus 5 with a T-Mobile SIM…”

          Not sure how you can argue with that statement, though I am looking at the mobile version of their site and the links to their test results are not appearing properly.

          Also, purely anecdotally, I would say that I do experience HD voice quality using my own N5 on calls with other TM customers also using HD voice enabled devices.

        • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

          Other than audible differences, do you have any visual indication that the call is HD?

        • philyew

          No. The network indicator goes from LTE to 3G or H, which is to be expected, but there doesn’t appear to be any indication of the call quality.

        • philyew

          Here’s another comment from a review of the device at Anandtech: “I’m actually very impressed with how well the Nexus 5 performed at rejecting noise using the normal babble distractor track I use. In addition this was a T-Mobile AMR-WB ‘HD Voice’ call between two Nexus 5s, illustrating that the Nexus 5 is indeed in the T-Mobile whitelist for HD Voice.”

        • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

          Ah, OK. I’ve never seen the N5 figuring in lists of phones that support HD on VOLTE, so I figured that this was the reason why I get neither VOLTE nor HD calls, though TMUS lists my city among those where they are supported. I have a prepaid plan, and wonder if both are a premium feature of postpaid plans only.

        • philyew

          While the N5 does support the AMR-WB codec needed for HD voice calling, it doesn’t yet (and might never) support VoLTE.

          http://support.t-mobile{dot}com/docs/DOC-9556

          I’m not sure why you have not been able to experience HD voice quality, since the original launch of the service back in January 2013 made no distinction between prepaid and postpaid. Bear in mind, however, that both devices on the call need to be on the TM network and be HD voice capable.

    • Johhnybg00d4

      I have Nexus 5 and it does have HD Voice. When I talk to my gf who has a SG5 (also HD voice ready), the call quality is amazing, almost like being there.

      • FILA

        it will sound amazing when your having phone sex

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      I’m afraid that we’ve seen the last update to N5. I suspect that Google is focusing exclusively in Android L and the next Nexus generation of devices. Without an update, N5 just cannot place a VOLTE call.

      • Kidney_Thief

        Uh, what? Are you implying that KitKat is the terminal update for the Nexus 5? They already have a developer preview build of L for the Nexus 5, so I can virtually assure you it will come to the Nexus 5, as well as the Nexus 7s and the Nexus 10.

        • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

          Let us hope that N5 does get L then.

        • yeah right

          your joking right? You can’t seriously be that misinformed?

        • ButtaKnife

          It absolutely will. The Nexus 5 is the primary phone platform that Google is using to develop L.

      • ChristianMcC

        The N5 doesn’t have the hardware that Tmo is employing for VoLTE, but that doesn’t at all mean that Google won’t issue anymore updates, as kidney_thief said. Almost a year of updates left, based on Google’s track record.

        • Alex Zapata

          SD800 (MSM8974) is perfectly capable of VoLTE on TMO, for the N5 it’s up to google to support it through an update.

      • Nate32()

        you are full of sh!t. The N5 is Google’s current flagship. In fact with what device do you thing they demoed Android L during Google I/O?

      • Aaron Davis

        HD Voice and VoLTE are two completely different things.
        The N5 does support HD Voice, but it doesn’t support VoLTE (yet)

  • hounddog

    Lafayette Louisiana metro area has wide band 15 x 15 and volte for 2 weeks now , but with no mention on here.

  • meach13

    Give the S4 some VoLTE love please.

  • Julian Sparks

    Queens, NY needs some love moving from EDGE in area’s to 4G or LTE. It’s nice having it in most of the city but disappointing when the signal drops to 2G when all I’m doing is going around the corner.

    • notyourbusiness

      Hmm, odd. I also live in Queens and consistently see LTE on my Nokia Lumia 925 when I’m out and about. Then again, I’m usually just in three or four neighborhoods on a regular basis.

    • Binny Gupta

      where are you?
      Generally in queens I get good service.

  • Dats

    El Paso Tx VoLTE found (lte stayed on and said HD voice during call while my S4 it had disappeared)

    • ggfb20

      I reported VoLTE for El Paso to Cam over a week ago and included photo proof. Had to manually update to the latest firmware via kies though.

      • Dats

        Nice… I had received the update OTA.. glad the update is being given out

  • LakeFish

    “The plan is to eventually shut down 2G in many markets”

    So what happens if you hit your high-speed data cap in one of those markets? As of now, you drop to 2G/EDGE.

    • philyew

      The operative word is “eventually”. Right now, they are leaving a part of the spectrum to support 2G services because (a) there are still a number of customers in those areas who do not have LTE capable devices and (b) they need a network capable of providing 2G voice services because there are so few LTE devices currently capable of supporting VoLTE.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      Your speed on LTE is throttled to 2G-like speeds.

    • besweeet

      Your speeds are decreased, not the type of data that you’re on.

      • LakeFish

        Thanks! My wife has been on prepaid with a low cap, and it seems like her phone was saying E instead of 3G or 4G after she it it. Now I’ve got four of us on a family plan as of about two weeks ago, so I’ll watch and see what happens when we hit caps.

        • Steve R.

          My sister has T-Mobile and hits the 1GB cap after about 2 weeks, and it’ll say on the phone that you’re on 4G or LTE, although your speeds are throttled.

  • Joe Ma

    I have a GS5 and in L.A. market. Still can’t get the latest firmware to take advantage on VoLTE. Help anyone? I’m on baseband G900TUVU1ANE6

    • mreveryphone

      Update it through kies…

  • Cam Fas

    Wonder when Vegas will get wide band or volte wasn’t this one of the major metro spectrum markets? They said they shut down the CDMA network on July 1st

    • Jay Holm

      Same here in Ct, they said Las Vegas & New England MetroPCS was going to be shut down on July 1, over a week later still no Wideband LTE.

      • Cam Fas

        Your right still nothing and I have heard Vegas has the capability too have 20+20 so I’m hoping that’s what we get along with volte although I don’t know how too find out how much spectrum metro had in Vegas hopefully soon they can unlock volte on the iphone as I went back too an iOS device after my note3 crashed

  • rmtworks

    Is it normal for T-Mobile’s HSPA+ to be faster than their LTE? In Flagstaff Arizona I average 10-12 mbps on HSPA+ (with peaks up to 27 mbps), but I only average about 3-5 mbps on LTE (with peaks at only about 12.5 mbps).

    • Wil

      Around the mall, I’ve been getting 9-13 mbps on LTE, peaks up to 22. On HSPA+, it’s about the same, peaks up to 30. Along Milton I get what you have. Another tower should be in the works, I think.

      • rmtworks

        I live out by Lake Mary, and they *really* need to get their act together out here. All of the towers in my area have only HSPA+ that only hits about 0.9 mbps. I’ve never seen it hit above one. If I drive towards Mountainaire my speeds rise up to like 6.5, but right by the lake things are very bad.

  • Baz

    Cam:

    Rehoboth Beach, Delaware has LTE.

    It wasn’t there a few months ago. I just confirmed this over the past holiday weekend, and pulled speeds of 17 down / 8 up.

    • Mike

      Lewes DE had limited voice service and no data. Texts were delayed. E service around Dover. Daughter in OC MD had same issues.

      • Baz

        Is that today? Dover is still stuck in HSPA as of sunday, ridiculous how backwards the area is. I live in northern DE, in Middletown and its still E despite the fact that it’s a rapidly growing urban area, and major trucking route.

        • FILA

          What phones you guys using. I hit LTE in Dover last week (4th of july) and LTE in OC. I dont think the coverage is strong in Dover. O course LTE on the 95 side in wilmington. I didnt do a speedtest so not sure of the speeds

        • FILA

          crazy fast LTE in VA beach though

        • Baz

          Interesting. I’m using a Moto X.

          I was at Dover Mall last Sunday afternoon, and had HSPA throughout- indoor and outdoor.

        • Mike

          I’m using iphone 5 c. Daughter using iPhone 4s. Really crappy service in Lewis. Going down tomorrow. I’ll report back..

  • Binny Gupta

    What happened to the metro shutdown?

    • enkay1

      MetroPCS CDMA will be shut down in time. New England and Las Vegas are slated to happen really soon.

  • Austin

    Oh my God, I hit .10 mbps.

    Seriously. Where’s my 4G?
    ╮(╯▽╰)╭

  • besweeet

    I went ahead and made a shareable spreadsheet (on Zoho, not Google Docs) to document various upgrades (VoLTE, wideband LTE, 2G > 4G/LTE): http://bit.ly/tmoupgrades

    Anyone can contribute!

  • Nathaniel Ily Jacob-Joshua Hud

    VoLte in stl!

    • stl user

      what device are you using?

      • Nathaniel Ily Jacob-Joshua Hud

        G FLEX, SOUTH CITY AREA.

  • Aurizen

    still no wideband in philly :( ugh hurry up guys.

    • Eric

      It’s weird how Philadelphia has enough AWS for 15+15 LTE, but T-Mobile won’t deploy yet. :P

      • Aurizen

        Did you speak to the engineer in the area? Does he know anything?

        • Eric

          I didn’t speak to an engineer yet, but I will contact the Philadelphia director tomorrow. :-)

        • Aurizen

          awesome! let me know what he said, and whats the line up for shutting down on metro, implementing their LTE, and wideband.

        • Eric

          I’m just hoping T-Mobile can tell me a secret lol. :o)

        • Aurizen

          yeah lol oh is this person.Strike?

        • Eric

          Yep, Kerri Strike.

        • Aurizen

          Ah I spoke with her once, I might drop her a email.

        • Eric

          I decided to send her an e-mail just now. I’ll report back to you if I get an answer. This is an exciting time for T-Mobile.

        • Aurizen

          lol same here I’ll report back to see what she says.

        • Aurizen

          i got a reply

          We
          continue to improve our network with the expansion of LTE and the
          recent addition of VoLTE (Voice over LTE). You will see continued
          growth through the expansion
          of LTE service throughout the country, launch of some great services
          utilizing the blazing fast LTE network plus 700 MHz available in
          Philadelphia and several other locations early next year (this frequency
          gives even better in building penetration).

  • HothTron

    Too bad VoLTE just makes me lose calls all the time in Seattle, had to turn it off

    • an0nim0

      Oh? There’s an option to [en/dis]able VoLTE? Or just LTE altogether?

      • HothTron

        Disable VoLTE

  • aoaleman

    Looks like wideband LTE is here in Northwest San Antonio.

    • Andrew Bayne

      I’m getting speeds close to 60 down and 15 up in Northeast San Antonio.

    • besweeet

      Still 10×10 (capped @ 40/20) in north SA :(. Though speeds and pings have been inconsistent lately. Thursdays are usually when major upgrades have been happening.

  • lordfarquaad

    What is that map of dots supposed to represent because it’s surely not coverage

    • an0nim0

      I don’t know, but it looks infectious.

  • Daniel

    Waiting for VoLTE in Portland Oregon now that we have wideband…

    • Louie McAllister

      I’ve had VoLTE in Salem Oregon since a week after Seattle got it.

  • Guest

    GFlex in S. Fla working on VoLTE. Not sure how I feel about it. I think I’ve had more issues with the phone since the update.

  • TMOLOYAL

    New Orleans has VoLTE enabled Can get it on my S5 all day. Just had to update the firmware through KIES.

    • ChrisKringle

      Maybe on select towers in New Orleans. I live in Metairie (New Orleans Market) and spend most of my time in Metairie and there’s no VoLTE coverage. Galaxy Note 3 running new firmware upgrade from Kies.

  • Joseph Torres

    I guess we have had wideband for sometime now, have speedtest coming back saying 60 mbps and up. Doubles my house speed, but feels like it might be go higher if it wasn’t time for everyone to come out of work and stuff.

  • dcx126

    Still waiting in New Rochelle, NY. Zip Code 10805 says it’s a 4G LTE area on T-Mobile’s coverage web page, but there is none here.

    • Aaron Davis

      Looking at the sensorly map for that area, there is a tower-shaped hole in the LTE coverage. I suspect that there is a tower along I-95 that either got skipped during the upgrade or is broken, because it’s the only dead-spot on I-95 from New York to New Haven.

      • dcx126

        There is no LTE coverage here.. T-Mobile is lying. I’ve been all around this area and I get nothing at all. I also get sub par 4G speeds.

  • John Brown

    Show the Cincinnati area some love. Since Cincinnati Bell screwed you by selling the AWS spectrum to Verizon, MAYBE you can buy some of that nice Cricket spectrum from the death star. They don’t need it. And it’ll be vacant by March 2015 once the CDMA is shut down.

    Also, how about expanding HSPA+ eastward into rural Clermont & Brown counties while you’re at it. And build a tower in Hillsboro. OR, buy the Cricket CDMA tower there and convert it. While it is a rural area, It is one of the biggest towns between Cincinnati and Chilocothe. It’s about as big as Wilmington and Wilmington has 4G LTE on the edge of the Dayton market.

  • Farmer John

    If we live in a rural area, should we expect any higher speed in the next 12 months or switch to Verizon? I appreciate the T-Mobile “uncarrier” approach, but the E network is just not cutting it. Some of our county doesn’t have voice coverage, much less data coverage.

    • TechHog

      Not every market will be fixed within 12 months, but a lot will. It’s your call. If you travel around the country a lot, however, just switch. T-Mobile won’t ever match Verizon in coverage for reasons beyond their control.

    • chris

      I totally agree with you its very frustrating i am from Michigan still waiting for coverage in the other half of Michigan in the northern part and rural, urban area since i am a METRO PCS/T MOBILE and not a fan of Verizon !!!

  • Alvin Brinson

    I noticed that Livingston, TX seems to have lit up 3g/4g/HSPA/LTE in Livingston, TX.

    Last month I was there and it was EDGE all the way. Yesterday I had full 3g/4g/HSPA/LTE on my Nexus 5. As you stated, T-Mobile’s coverage map only shows EDGE/2G.

    I suspect it is being piggybacked onto refarmed AT&T bands, as my friend’s G2X and Galaxy S Vibrant still only pick up EDGE, whereas they should be seeing 1700/2100 AWS if it was there.

    EDIT: I mapped the LTE coverage in the Root Metrics app and confirmed that LTE is available in many parts of the town.

  • Bristol Hagan

    Ive noticed Louisville market now has voLTE

    • ChristianMcC

      I need to go to thunder next year…

  • Jeff grace

    @johnlegere it would be nice to bring lte or 4G to Nebraksa . I had to leave you guys to go to us cellular to get service here that sucked . I know I’m never going to verizon . Bring service here ASAP

    • thepanttherlady

      You’re more likely to get a response if you email him directly or tweet him.

  • Jeremy

    LTE is now live in Cheyenne Wyoming yay!!

    • Stone Cold

      Be up there in 2 weeks for Frontier Days good to know.

  • chris

    As a Metro PCS/ T mobile customer hopefully soon well have coverage in the other half of Michigan in northern part of Michigan and urban area too since the south of Michigan already has coverage ?

  • Joseph Toscano

    Mr. Leger my name is angelo I would like to know when we’re going to get 4G LTE voice over LTE in Las Vegas iPhone 5s please contact me at thank you

    • thepanttherlady

      Hi Joseph,

      I’m not sure if you realize this is not an official T-Mobile blog or not but leaving your personal information is not a good idea. I’ve removed your phone number for your own safety.

      You can reach John Leger via email, twitter, etc. Probably not the most direct way to reach out to him using this blog. :)

      • Aaron Davis

        If John Legere was smart, he would read this blog.

    • Rob

      My roommate is staying at the Tuscany and has VoLTE – it was the cause of a number of dropped calls last night until I had him turn off LTE since his signal was so poor.

  • Rob

    Its not just the northern Denver suburbs, Capitol Hill downtown has it.

  • Trevnerdio

    VoLTE live in Panama City and Panama City Beach, FL! (and the surrounding areas, of course.)

  • Jason

    45 Mbps down & 8 Mbps up in Danbury,CT. A little slower in The Bronx (around 30 Mbps down) but still fast. Any idea when they will be upgrading the network along interstate 684? Its 2G half the time and even GPRS by exit 4.

  • http://andrew-richardson.net/ Andrew Richardson

    37 down/7.5 up in Houston with 4/5 bars.

  • Pokley

    I’ve got VoLTE in the Ogden, UT area.

  • Ed

    Just drove by a small town of south of Clermont Ga and for the first time they have lte
    looks like t-mobile is working in some towers of north east Georgia

  • Zack S

    Is the Nexus 5 capable of using VoLTE and/or the Wideband LTE?

  • matt

    The lte speed test of 11.18 mbps I’m sorry but that’s nothing I have tmobile in cincinnati ohio and on 4g not lte I average 15-25 mbps download speeds so if lte is going to slow down my speed don’t upgrade cincinnati

  • Alex267

    Speedtests done in the Foresthill, Auburn, Loomis areas of California are 38-42 Mbps

  • terry

    as soon as they get service in brandenburg, ky. I’m leaving verizon.