Apart from last week, over the past month or two I’ve tried to make a point of keeping you guys updated with unannounced network improvements across the U.S. For the past two weeks, my inbox been flooded with emails from readers who have noticed a change in service. We’ve been focussing on three key aspects: Voice over LTE (VoLTE), the continued upgrades from 2G to 4G (HSPA or LTE) and the addition of wideband LTE or 10+10 LTE markets. And we have plenty to inform you of today.
In that time we’ve also seen an internal document we (sadly) can’t share with you confirming a lot of activity going on in the South East region of the States. Lots of new 15+15 and 20+20 sites going live there over the past couple of months.
Readers in the following locations have informed us of VoLTE going live.
West Palm Beach, FL
If you want to check your area, you need a Galaxy S5, LG G Flex, Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Light running the latest software. If your LTE connection remains through a phone call, that’s a pretty good indication that you have the service where you live.
2G to 4G
In many areas, particularly along major highways between cities, T-Mobile has been lighting up new HSPA and LTE networks. Although it currently covers most of the major metro areas with LTE, we all know it has a long way to go before its coverage is as wide-reaching as Verizon or AT&T’s. T-Mobile knows it too, and has been working hard to bring 4G to more people.
Orland, CA – “I came home from work and found a very strong 4G signal in Orland, CA. Just this morning it was terrible EDGE service (if you can call it service :-)
The internet is slower than you’d expect at not even 1 Mbps but it is a good start and now maybe I won’t be missing anymore calls. “
Kings Mountain, NC – “Took a speed test after work to see how fast LTE speeds are on my Nexus 5, and this is what I got! Work Crowder’s Mountain Golf Course. Most of the course I get 1 bar of LTE, but some parts I drop down to HSPA+ not great but after talking to a T-Mobile representative, should improve by the end of 2014!”
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.”
Slaton, TX – “I spotted LTE and tested it out using the sensorly app. LTE is rapidly showing up in Lubbock TX and I noticed that areas that I would normally have 2G/EDGE I now have LTE. Slaton TX (small town outside of Lubbock) is getting the upgrade aswell.”
Improved Speeds – Wideband?
T-Mobile is improving its network performance continuously, and in its quest to be known as the “Data Strong” network provider, it’s doing all it can to provide a really fast and reliable connection. One way of achieving this is by launching Wideband LTE (15+15/20+20). The other is its recently activated 4×2 MIMO network.
Although Speed Tests can be a good indication as to whether or not you have Wideband LTE, they’re not a perfect representation. For instance, it’s possible that in a 10+10 area you’ll still get downloads up to 72Mbps. Wideband is classed as 15+15 or 20+20 networks.
Here are a few of the new locations we’ve been informed of, and Speed Test results achieved.
Kalamazoo, Michigan – 50Mbps-plus
Roanoke, VA – 40Mbps-plus (up from 10Mbps)
Rochester, NY – 70Mbps-plus
Edinburg, TX – 40Mbps-plus
Tarzana, CA – 30Mbps-plus
Don’t forget, you can inform us of any activity in your area by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specifically in regard to Wideband LTE activity, the best way to check if you have it is to go in to Service Mode on your device. Speed Tests also offer a good indication.