AT&T unhappy with T-Mobile’s attempts at clarifying roaming rates

at-t-death-star

In a blog posted yesterday evening, John Marsh from AT&T outlines the company’s opposition to T-Mobile’s attempt at changing roaming regulation. And that’s not surprising. No matter which party is right or wrong, AT&T seemingly always opposes every change the Un-carrier tries to make. Whether that’s making spectrum auctions more fair, or “clarifying” roaming rate regulations.

At the heart of this complaint is T-Mobile’s request to the FCC just a few months back, which goes as follows:

The Commission adopted the data roaming rule because it found that providers require access to data roaming in order to be able to compete, and that an extensive record showed that many were having difficulty obtaining such access on reasonable terms. Despite adoption of the rule, however, real-world industry experience shows that providers continue to be stymied in their efforts to negotiate data roaming agreements on commercially reasonable terms.

These problems are due in large part to certain ambiguities in the “commercially reasonable” standard for data roaming – ambiguities that could not have been foreseen at the time, but which have become apparent with experience. The data roaming marketplace, and the consumers who rely on it for ubiquitous, affordable wireless service, would benefit substantially if the Commission provided greater clarity on the meaning of its “commercially reasonable” standard in the context of data roaming.

Yesterday’s complaint from AT&T states that T-Mo’s request isn’t for a simple clarification. But rather, a disguised attempt at changing rules which “Big Blue” believes are working just fine as they are.  AT&T has previously accused this move of being one which breaches the Telecommunications Act. And is strongly opposed to any moves.

“A recent survey of FCC files indicates that T-Mobile has spectrum throughout the continental U.S. Yet, as shown by the coverage viewer on T-Mobile’s website, T-Mobile has failed to build out its network in extensive areas throughout the Midwest, Mountain, and certain Eastern portions of the U.S. In these broad swaths of the country, T-Mobile holds PCS and AWS spectrum that it could use to provide broadband services.  It instead has chosen to rely on roaming.  In contrast, AT&T has built out its network in many of those same areas, and, notably, it did so with the same higher frequency spectrum T-Mobile holds.  There is no reason T-Mobile could not do the same.”

Now, I’m all for two companies arguing their points. It’s business. It’s competition. But what I find hilarious is AT&T’s headline and angle which – in a nutshell – says “T-Mobile should be investing in network and not in regulation”. This comment about a company which has grown its LTE coverage from 0-250 million in the space of 19-20 months. A company which has its 700MHz network and 1900MHz LTE being tested and activated in a number of locations across the country. A company which has upgraded 19 markets to wideband LTE, with 7 more due to be finished by year’s end. This doesn’t sound like a carrier not investing in network.

Granted, T-mobile may not quite have its network live everywhere yet. But by this time next year, it will be approaching 300 million people covered. Which is some going.

T-Mobile’s argument for regulation is not only about cost, but experience. In some areas where T-Mo customers are roaming on AT&T, speeds are so low, they’d be better off using their free international data abroad: As reported by Fierce Wireless:

T-Mobile has argued that, despite the FCC’s 2011 data roaming order, it cannot obtain commercially reasonable roaming rates from AT&T. “Because of AT&T’s artificially high roaming rates, T-Mobile wireless customers roaming in South Africa have a better user experience than customers roaming on AT&T’s network in South Dakota,” T-Mobile wrote in a recent FCC filing. “Their speed is twice as fast, and their data usage is unlimited. The record in this proceeding shows that other carriers are forced to throttle and cap data usage as well when their customers roam on AT&T’s network.”

Maybe I’m drinking T-Mobile Kool-Aid (I think that’s okay here at TmoNews). But I think AT&T is kicking against changes because it has something to lose. The same as it had something to lose when the Commission made auctions more favorable to the smaller carriers with low amounts of spectrum.

In the same way here, roaming regulations would stop the big guns from being able inflate costs of roaming and throttle customers as much as they wanted. With rules in place, there’s a fairer market. Let’s not forget, T-Mobile isn’t just about giving great offers to its customers. It’s about changing the industry for the better, and stop the duopoly from having so much control over the market. Even if this isn’t an official Un-carrier phase, its potential is huge.

What do you guys make of this complaint by AT&T? Does it have a point, or is just complaining because it stands to lose out?

Source: AT&T
Via: Fierce Wireless

 

Tags: , , , , ,

  • milanyc

    AT&T is acting like they’ve build their rural network themselves. Not the case. They’ve acquired many rural regional operators over the course of decades, and maintained already existing network, and in some case overlaid it with low band LTE.

    So this is another attempt to muddy the waters, especially now that T-Mobile’s brought the roaming issues to FCC and other governing agencies.

    • eanfoso

      Decades? At&t barely entered business in mobile phones in 2006…. When they bought xcingular

      • JaswinderSinghJammu

        Cingular was ATT behind the scenes as it was before that when it was Pacific Bell.

        • dtam

          cellular one?

        • Stone Cold

          They were around like 18 years ago

      • cruzz563

        Cingular bought AT&T Wireless for $41B, not the other way around, part of that was for the name and stock ticker symbol, “T”.

      • A cursory research in Wikipedia would demonstrate the history behind the company now known as AT&T, not to be confused with Graham Bell’s AT&T.

      • idisestablish

        You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. AT&T was broken up into various different pieces due to an anti-trust ruling in 1984 which broke up its subscribers regionally into companies often referred to as Baby Bells and left AT&T Corp as a separate company with only long distance subscribers. AT&T Corp launched AT&T Wireless as its cellular division in 1987. By 2000, many of the Baby Bell pieces had reformed into two companies, SBC and BellSouth, which merged what had been 12 different wireless carriers together as Cingular with SBC and BellSouth each owning a 50% stake. In 2004, Cingular bought AT&T Wireless from AT&T Corp and absorbed it into Cingular, leaving AT&T Corp still a separate entity until it was purchased by SBC in 2005, and SBC rebranded itself AT&T Inc. The Cingular brand remained because it was now half owned by AT&T Inc and half by BellSouth. In 2006, AT&T Inc purchased BellSouth, and shortly after, Cingular was rebranded as AT&T Mobility since it was now wholly-owned by AT&T Inc.

        • Zacamandapio

          I think AT&T and Verizon should be broken up as well.

          Have more players in the game.

    • Ryan Radford

      They still have to upgrade and maintain the towers in those areas they bought out. I should know they bought out cell one in my area, but I will conceed that if it wasn’t for the boy scouts then att would never have bothered with turning on the LTE.

  • Frettfreak

    Att is a bunch of crooks. Not sure if them or view is worse. Both Devils

  • Dave@TMO

    Great article Cam. It’s funny, I read what AT&T wrote and I was like, those are legit points, i.e. build your own network T-Mobile. Then I was reminded of all the work T-Mobile has done in 18 months and AT&T’s message does foot with the facts lol. Thanks for the summary counter arguments. Can’t wait to hear how T-Mobile slaps down the argument.

  • ATT is a prick, but it has a point, much like TMUS has its too. On one hand, while ATT must be free to do with its property as it pleases, it got huge swaths of spectrum for free when cellular telephony came about, giving it an advantage that other younger carriers didn’t have.

    On the other hand, it’s said that 50% of all auctioned spectrum is dark, including in the precious AWS and PCS bands bought by TMUS. Spectrum should go back to auction if not lit up after a while. It’s licensed because it’s considered, rightly or not, a public good. If so, a public good that is not put to the intended use is depriving the people of this good. Were there a grace period to light up an auctioned off spectrum, perhaps smaller carriers would be more willing to encourage roaming partners to gather revenue from its investment, lest the license be lost.

    I don’t know the history of cellular telephony in Europe, but roaming is the norm and huge networks are rare. Virtually all carriers depend on roaming to extend their coverage, so the fees are reasonable and the consumers get a good service for a fair price. The ridiculous system in place in the US benefits only the huge carriers which can outbid smaller ones for spectrum and block competitors from their networks. No wonder that cellular service in the US is two to three times more expensive than in other countries with more competitive markets. The American consumer is the greatest loser.

    • Mirad77

      As true of the arguments you make for at$t, my understanding is that the government owns the airwaves and leases or auction them to these with certain conditions in place. This would be the guidelines put in place by the FCC so that all will play for and give room for others to get in the game as well as increase competition. This, by at$t stands, means any new player or leacher have to play by their rule not FCC’s. I guess that’s good for you.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Liscenes has fine print. Example Dish has until I think 2017 to utilize like 70% of their spectrum. Just like everyother carrier. Tmobile just dont have the money to expand. And especially in the Dakotas. Tmobile doesny have enough aws to launch HSPA. Just band 2 lte or 2G. Not both they are constraiend there and cant launch there. They need more aws or 700mhz.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Cingular was a joint venture between SBC communications and Bell South which is ATT in a nutshell

  • Mirad77

    AT$T’s argument is typical of corporate America’s greed

  • Moby

    Cam lists all of those network upgrades but hardly any of the billions went to expanding T-Mobile’s coverage footprint so that T-Mobile wouldn’t need to roam on AT&T. Their footprint has remained the same and yet they want AT&T to drop their roaming rates so T-Mobile can mooch off of AT&T’s broader coverage. T-Mobile needs to invest in expanding their coverage footprint for once if that’s what their customer wants.

    • D Nice

      Yeah and blah blah blah… This needs this to happen the wireless industry is broken and needs to be fixed. ATT and Verizon are making billions every quarter, posting record profits each quarter. I understand T-Mobiles and other regional carriers position on getting a more level playing field. It’s obvious that the big two have politicians and maybe even people at the FCC on the payroll. What’s wrong with lobbying to get things done fairly. To me this is no different from me working at my job and my boss keeps hiring his close friends and family and promoting them into positions over me inspite of my senority, knowing my job, and getting impeccable performance reviews. Sometimes it comes down to what is right and FAIR!

      • kalel33

        What’s wrong with T-mobile just building out their own towers in areas that they have to roam off of AT&T. They have the spectrum in all the same areas but they don’t want to spend the money that AT&T did to build out their network.

        • D Nice

          Sir/Madam it is nothing wrong with T-mobile building towers so they won’t have to roam. As you know TMUS is going full steam ahead with reforming their network. This may be something that potentially be non existing in two or three years time the way TMUS is going. Additional who knows what type of roaming agreements ATT may have with some regional carries that they may roam on. Even though ATT has the revenue to pay for these agreements, would it be ok to assume ATT would put up the same kind of fuss if they knew the terms to the agreement were intentionally predatory?

        • kalel33

          I know that AT&T has a much larger footprint in Southern Colorado, because my work phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with AT&T. The coverage is mostly native AT&T towers with very little roaming, because you can always pull down your notification tray and see who’s network you’re on. With T-mobile, it’s roaming all around Southern Colorado, except for the heavy populated areas.

    • MrExacto

      Exactly.

      This is the problem with both TMUS and S, they both need to expand coverage as ATT and VZW continually are.

      • superg05

        you have not read this article are the many others before it about tmobile expansions at all if you looked on the fcc page you would see they have been more quietly busy and not making any announcements about it untill its done

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        They didn’t expand they merely bought the companies that did

        • markw

          Like TurdMobile buying MetroPCS?? That’s business dumbass.

        • Zacamandapio

          In which if T-Mobile got too big I’ll be up for a break-up as well.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Exactly just like tmobile whats your point bitch?

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Exactly like tmobile bitch!!!

        • markw

          Your momma didn’t think I was a bitch.

        • Ryan Radford

          They still had to proform upgrades and maintenance on the towers to support LTE. Where I live the only gsm carrier only did as much work as they could get away with. While everyone had 3g they where still stuck on edge, att bought them out and had to proform major upgrades to bring them up to the 3g standard. While I will conceed that they never have turned on the LTE in WV if it wasn’t for the boy scouts building that camp.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          thats upgrading not expanding lol

        • Ryan Radford

          That’s still an expansion regardless of how it was made. I’m far happhappier with att rather than cell one. T-Mobile is not an option since they have no towers here.

      • KingCobra

        I’m fine with T-Mobile’s decision to upgrade all the areas where they actually have coverage to LTE first. After that’s done then we can talk about expanding the actual footprint.

    • the One

      Well said….T-mobile is always upgrading it’s network, but is very slow to expand!

  • TWK

    All I can say is that somehow, Sprint was able to work out a deal with Verizon and a
    Sprint phone is usable practically anywhere as a result. Why can’t AT&T and T-mobile come to a similar accommodation?

    • fentonr

      The obvious question is whether AT&T is being reasonable in their negotiations. If not, Tmo has a valid claim.

      • kalel33

        Reasonable or not. T-mobile has the option of paying AT&T or actually building out a decent nationwide network that wouldn’t have to rely on mooching off of the competitor’s towers. They have the spectrum to build out anywhere in the US, barring the two Dakotas.

    • Dan Hesse

      What an idiotic statement. You know we are talking about data roaming, right dummy? Otherwise T-Mobile is “usable” practically anywhere idiot.

      • TWK

        Sprint has data roaming on Verizon. Who is idiotic now?

        • Ryan Radford

          They also have agreements with several other carriers, including ntelos wireless. So if you have sprint service in the area of WV and the lot you have ntelos wireless to blame for the crappy speeds as well as sprint. Yup I lives in WV.

    • Brad C

      You do know that most of the “usable” 3g roaming that Sprint gets on Verizon is due to old Alltel agreements they have to honor.

      Bet your ass that in other legacy VZW/GTE/AirTouch areas it’s 1X roaming stuck at at a whopping 144kbps theoretical max.

      AT&T can sell bulk data to TracFone, they can sell bulk data to T-Mobile. It’s them choosing to be a horrible company, plain and simple. But their network is so awful and congested in metro areas, i can see why they wouldn’t want too as that rural coverage is the only thing they’ve got going for them.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    AT&T didn’t build their whole network. Their network is the result of dozens of acquisitions over the last 30 years. They are leveraging their size to dictate roaming rates considering that they were given spectrum handouts (850mhz) that allow them to deploy coverage on the cheap

    • Mike Giron

      So true! People forget that AT&T has (excuse my analogy) been hoeing around since the late 1980s-2000s. Let’s not forget it used to be AT&T Wireless, then they merged with Cingular and then became AT&T Mobility, I’m obviously leaving out dozens of other smaller acquisitions its made over nearly the last 30 years, it’s easy for AT&T to raise to claiming that T-Mobile needs to “work” and build out their own network when AT&T has been a hoe their entire existence just having spectrum given to them by their sugar daddy and sending AT&T on acquisition sprees.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Exactly AT&T recently bought Cricket and what was left of Alltel Wireless

        • sweetstarshine1

          dont u remember when att was like Bell and they split up the company into 7 or 8 pieces because of the monoply??? Then verizon bought a part and att slowly became a whole company again minus the part from verizon. But by then there were other carriers so it was ok and not seen as a monoply . Att is just mad because tmo is making them not try and hoard spectrum!

        • superg05

          its about price gouging not spectrum charging them more than they do others it like your friend walks into at&t get a phone and service for 40 bucks you walk in right behind him get the same phone and services but they charge you 80 bucks since its not regulated they can make up any price they want

        • idisestablish

          Cricket and Alltel were both CDMA carriers. AT&T bought them for spectrum and customers. Neither acquisition gave them additional coverage.

      • idisestablish

        Just to clarify, Cingular, which was a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth, bought AT&T Wireless, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Later, AT&T bought BellSouth, which made them the sole owner of Cingular, which they rebranded as AT&T Mobility. But your point stands.

        • Sayahh

          You skipped the whole SBC dealie. Cincular was a joint venture between
          SBC (later The New AT&T) and BellSouth. SBC bought (bought, merged, whatever) AT&T and then
          bought BellSouth.

      • izick

        Yes. I remember when AT&T barely had any coverage in West Virginia (the only state on the east coast without native T-Mobile coverage, but coming soon). They purchased Dobson Communications dba CellularOne. I grew up watching that network being built, and one day, AT&T took credit for it all. Same with Verizon Wireless, they purchased West Virginia Wireless. On the other hand, Sprint is in the same boat as T-Mobile (having little to no native coverage in the state), except they have worked out a killer roaming agreement for native 1x/EVDO/LTE coverage in most of the state with n-telos or Shentel. To the customer, they never know they’re using someone else’s network.

        • Ryan Radford

          Since I live in WV I would love to know where you got the information that T-Mobile is coming here.

    • Fabian Cortez

      AT&T didn’t build their whole network. Their network is the result of dozens of acquisitions over the last 30 years. They are leveraging their size to dictate roaming rates considering that they were given spectrum handouts (850mhz) that allow them to deploy coverage on the cheap

      WOW Jay J. Blanco, very nice and informative post! Except the part where you utterly forgot (did you really?) to cite the original source. Did they not teach you about plagiarism in school?

      S. Ali clearly wrong that over on FierceWireless.

      not cool bro

      • Jay J. Blanco

        It’s just a comment not academic work. Plagiarism isn’t a law neither. -_-

        • idisestablish

          Law? Did you somehow infer that charges were going to be pressed against you? Lol. Just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s ok, and it also doesn’t mean that you can’t be called out, which you were.

        • NinoBr0wn

          lol

        • Spanky

          It’s just a blog comment. Get over yourself.

        • Nick

          Lol ikr its the comments section who really cares

      • Art Faucett

        Calm down. Plagiarism is when a Congressmen or Senator rips off copyrighted work. while claiming it as their own.. Take a pill

        • Fabian Cortez

          Calm down. Plagiarism is when a Congressman or Senator rips off copyrighted work. while claiming it as their own.. Take a pill

      • notyourbusiness

        Plagiarism, really? He merely stated a fact. He didn’t copy an article word for word and claim it to be his own. I think you need to look the word “plagiarism” up in the dictionary.

        • thepanttherlady

          “According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means

          to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
          to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
          to commit literary theft
          to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

          In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.

          But can words and ideas really be stolen?

          According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).

          All of the following are considered plagiarism:

          turning in someone else’s work as your own
          copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
          failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
          giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
          changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit

          copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)”

          http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/

        • Fabian Cortez

          He pretty much copied and pasted verbatim what the other person wrote.

          Oh yeah, and he played it off as if it was his own. In other words: plagiarism.

          According to M-W, to plagiarize is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own.”

        • KingCobra

          Who cares? It’s a comment on a blog not an academic work. No one really gives a …

        • Fabian Cortez

          Who cares? It’s a comment on a blog not an academic work. No one really gives a …

        • Fabian Cortez
    • Stone Cold

      Yep they sold it off. Let Cingular build out most of it then bought it back.

  • notyourbusiness

    Oh, boo hoo hoo, cry me an f’n river, AT&T! Such a pathetic company.

    • Spanky

      Honest question…is it any less pathetic to rely on other carriers to cover your own network shortcomings and try to call the shots on what you’re paying them to mooch off their networks? That’s a pretty audacious move, if you ask me.

      • Mike Palomba

        I believe that’s how it’s done in Europe and it works pretty well

        • Spanky

          Take a look at Maximus’s post higher up in the thread. He nailed the supply and demand sentiment to the tee. If T-Mobile doesn’t like AT&T’s rates, they are welcome to shop around.

        • Scoop003

          There’s only 2 gsm carriers in the United States, and T-Mobile is one of them. Where do you suggest they shop around to? That’s what I thought.

  • RJKMadison

    It is a waste of spectrum and other resources to build out 4+ independent networks across all the sparsely populated areas of the US. It is in everyone’s best interest to have good rural coverage that is fairly shared by the carriers.

    • Your house is so big, you don’t need all the space, you should let others move in. You earn more money than you need, it’s in everyone’s best interest for you to fairly share it. don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier, when AT&T is not happy I’m happy, But I’m not a fan of socialism either. just playing devils advocate.

      • zeth006

        >But I’m not a fan of socialism either.

        Socialism? You sure you know what that means?

        • Yup, do you?
          “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management”.
          So yeah, exactly what RJKMadison described.

  • archerian

    “Maybe I’m drinking T-Mobile Kool-Aid (I think that’s okay here at TmoNews)” … don’t drink too much of it though :)

  • Any time AT&T is unhappy I’m happy.

  • vinnyjr

    I’m proud to say I’m a T-Mobile kool aid drinker that has been with the UnCarrier for a very long time. I believe I seen some where that the FCC was suing AT&T for throttling data on their unlimited data customers. I’ve never been happier with any Carrier than I am now with T-Mobile. Thank You T-Mobile. Thank You John Legere.

  • charles moore

    It stands to lose out because they rip off there customers and don’t want anyone using there towers

    • Art Faucett

      their

  • timmyjoe42

    I’ve been a loyal T-Mobile customer with 5 lines for over 6 years. Previously I had AT&T and I can say that their coverage is far superior. I love T-Mobile for the wifi calling and all the uncarrier moves. The one thing that frustrates me to no end is the poor coverage when I have to travel for work. Up and down I-75 are dead spots, Edge areas, G areas, and if you go more than a mile from the highway, you get intermittent to no internet. It’s downright frustrating, but because of how little I’m paying and knowing that I’ll be back home soon, I just sit back and try to enjoy being off the grid. When I’m off the grid and need connection for navigation or an emergency email…that’s a much higher level of frustration.

  • Maximus

    For the record, I’m a TMO fan and don’t care much for AT&T. However, I think ATTs objection is valid. If the towers and spectrum is owned by ATT, why do they have to be “reasonable” in their roaming negotiations? They can charge whatever the market demands. And if it happens to be unreasonable (who gets to make that judgement?), than too bad. That’s business. AT&T is right. If TMO doesn’t like it, they need to expand their coverage, which I know they are doing quite rapidly. If I’m selling a car for $10K and KBB says it’s worth $8K, but somebody is willing to pay $12K than I’m going to sell it for $12K because I have a vehicle that is in such high demand that someone is willing to pay a premium. There is nothing wrong with that.

    • In markets where a carrier has spectrum and is not using it I’d agree. However, since the FCC limits who can be a carrier and where – when you accept such regulated terms you also need to agree to share what you have with others.

      T-Mobile has little to no spectrum in the Dakotas and other parts of the country. In some places after they give spectrum to their legacy network (things that devices such as alarms use) they have nothing else.

      To put it in your car analogy: Let’s say the government allowed you to buy the car but another person wasn’t blocked (because enough of that type of car had been sold in the area). You’d have to sell the car to the other person at the government agreed upon price to be fair.

      • Maximus

        “fair” should determined by supply and demand, not by the government…If they government is going to regulate prices than they need to regulate the entire industry

        • The government has an extremely strong stance on regulation by limiting exactly who can use what spectrum.

        • Bman325i

          ***then*** Sorry, i just had to! :)

        • Maximus

          really? :)

        • dev*

          Not even close to possible. AT&T and Verizon own the bulk of the frequencies needed for proper coverage, which was sold to them by the government in the first place. As a result, in order to ensure fair sharing of that spectrum so the consumer can have a choice in carrier, the government has to step in, because otherwise those two can leverage the oligopoly they have (which is exactly the balance that is being fought).

      • kalel33

        “In markets where a carrier has spectrum and is not using it I’d agree.”

        Google “T-mobile spectrum holdings map” and choose the first link. From the map, you can see that T-mobile has spectrum for the entire country, except for North Dakota and part of South Dakota. They just won’t build out the towers.

        • And what did they claim in he ruling? South Dakota. Did you read the article?

        • dev*

          On that same site you can read the importance of low frequency coverage – which T-mobile doesn’t have in most of those areas. Mid/high frequency build-outs in rural areas are cost-prohibitive – The map you are referring to is largely potential LTE frequencies in the AWS range, and there’s no way T-mobile can build a high density AWS network in the midwest and make their money back. That is why next year’s auction is so important.

      • KingCobra

        T-Mobile has a nationwide AWS license which also includes the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming. They’ve just chosen not to place any towers in those places as of right now.

  • linda

    Reading all the comments im laughing all i can say at the end of the day att is better in terms of coverage .. If you the type of person that travels then tmobile is not reliable for that, att is.. Here in los angeles tmobile performs better than att theres no denying that speeds are faster and call quality alot better. But lets see as of 2014 u wanna go to vegas or san fransisco or arizona? Well tmobile is ALL Edge on the way tho those places att is lte /hspa sometimes gets so bad on tmobile u drop down to “G”. I been surprised how att has covered those routes with lte/hspa if u dont have lte u have solid hspa and it actually works .Tmobile on the other hand its just sad on the places it shows edge half of the time u cant even load driving directions . ..Like i said u live in the city stick with tmobile u travel alot like i do get att or verizon.

    • ellett

      Err… NO!

      I’m a resident of the Bay Area and my daughter lives and works in San Francisco. The coverage is excellent throughout the Bay Area. In the city, my daughter’s 4G speed is much faster than her room mate’s AT&T 4G speed. I’m out at the northeastern edge of the Bay Area and my 4G speed is just as good, beating my neighbor’s Verizon 4G speed.

      • caligurl323

        the problem is getting there sure when u get to the bay area or san fransisco tmobile works great i think what linda meant is driving there is horrible i know it is i have tmobile i know how it can get frustrating being stuck in edge on the road to those places while att has hspa or lte.

        • ellett

          My experience is that T-Mobile is good along the major highways and neither T-Mobile nor AT&T are good when you get out in the boonies.

        • kalel33

          My experience differs from yours. My work phone is with AT&T and it’s coverage for data is much much better than T-mobile. Now, T-mobile does have 700mhz in the area I travel but it’s whether they will actually build out towers or did they just buy the spectrum to use in the larger cities in Southern Colorado.

        • Ryan Radford

          Thank god for the boy scouts then, because without then att would have never turned on the LTE in my area! T-Mobile has zero service here incase you where wondering why I use att and not T-Mobile. Had the merger with sprint gone through I would have had service through them.

      • Ryan Radford

        Is the phone saying LTE or just 4g? If it’s the latter then it’s not really 4g just slightly enhanced 3g service. They just call it 4g and can get away with it because it is faster than regular 3g, and T-Mobile does the same thing as well.

        • ellett

          LTE… all over the Bay Area it’s LTE.

        • Ryan Radford

          Hrmm…. Sucks to be her, and I’m not being a smart aleck.

      • dev*

        I just swapped to T-Mobile from Verizon in the Portland metro area, and the coverage is actually better than Verizon’s along my commute, and the LTE speeds are three times faster sitting in my house (I had both before I ported my number, tested side-by-side). I knew the risks switching and honestly really didn’t expect that – I’m impressed for sure.

        I know especially in the midwest T-Mobile has a long way to go, but for some to imply they are sitting on their hands is a silly.

    • Chris

      I recently traveled from SoCal to NorCal. All I can say is it’s not as bad as it used to be. It’s not Edge all the way through. I probably lost HSPA+ / LTE connection for about 1 1/2 hours on a 5 and 1/2 hours trip. Just to say, they’ve improved. I haven’t done another trip to Vegas but I’d assume they must’ve improved that as well.

    • steveb944

      “If you the type of person that travels then tmobile is not reliable for that, att is.”
      I travel overseas, not the continental US. Only T-Mobile allows the world to be your network, no one else. I’m saving hundreds a year with that new policy AND getting great coverage.

      • linda

        Well i dont really travel over seas but when i do my att S5 is unlocked so when i get to mexico city all i do i pop in a telcel sim they have decent plans which give u at least 2 gigs at full LTE speed and decent ammount of minutes. But i never really go maybe twice a year when i do i do that and it works great.

        • steveb944

          I travel frequently and not having to fumble with a ‘dumb’ phone or swapping out micro sims and possibly losing them is great. The best part is people can reach me at my actual number anytime, not having to inform them I’m going out of the country and to not contact me.

          If I needed more data they offer passes, but the free one works just fine for my needs.

        • dev*

          Which you can’t do in countries like Japan due to government regulations, so instead you have to rent a phone or data-only sim at painful rates. Verizon offered data in Japan when I went last year, but when I got there, it not only didn’t work, but Verizon’s only solution was for me to come back to the states so they could reprogram the phone. T-mobile’s setup is incredible for international travel. Bottom line is T-mobile is better for international travel, and Verizon/AT&T are better for the US. But that only serves as a perfect example of the power those two carriers hold, when T-Mobile is able to make better roaming agreements overseas in well over 100 countries than it can at home.

        • linda

          Well honestly u are lucky if u do go to japan i have the money to go and all but have nothing to do over there have no family nothing so if u do go u are lucky .

    • gmo8492

      Your information is misleading and outdated, even if you’re on edge when your “traveling” you can still make calls, texts, and basic web browsing. What’s the point of switching to Verizon or At&t if you can’t even watch a movie before you hit your data limit and be hit with ridiculous overages if you go past it.

      • linda

        Calls yes sometimes worked but data i couldnt get it to work on edge .. Yes i would try multiple times google maps did not load or fb or twitter. And i wouldnt have minded if edge worked okay for basic web browsing because tmobile edge doesnt even work for that then again neither does att edge i forced my att phone to att edge and it also doest even load a web page so i switched it back. Dont know were u live but here outside LA while u in the I5 trying to get driving directions even tho u have 5 bars edge it keeps crapping out so then u end up getting lost lol cuz u dont know were to go its not fun at all. Yes i agree with the second part u said about hitting your data limit on att i gotta be careful no youtube at all for me.

        • Scoob

          Linda since you’re so smart a lot is actually 2 words not “Alot”

        • SaggyBallsHD

          Don’t be pedantic. You’re trying to insult him instead of addressing his points. Which, by the way, are valid. In the grown-up world this is what we call ad hominem. For anyone who can recognize what you’re doing, you’re one of two things: 1. a child who is incapable of a rational, respectable conversation with another human being, or 2. Someone who recognizes that they have no solid foundation in which to refute the point being made so you resort to name calling, and insults. In both instances, you’re a child. Stop being a child.

        • KingCobra

          Yes this is true and is currently T-Mobile’s achilles heel. In many areas EDGE is totally unusable. By this time next year though their whole current footprint should be LTE. Then even those of us who travel will be covered with high speed data.

        • linda

          When that happens ill go back to tmobile atts prices are killing me ..

    • phonefreak

      Ill have to agree with you on this whole comment i traveled from missouri to colorado and i lost service with tmobile half way through kansas and all the way until i reache denver colorado. My friend on att had full coverage all the way through.

  • Rahul

    I am all for it. I have been with Tmobile for over 13 years now, and my parents are on my service with S5 and iPhone 5s and they live in remote Texas. The roam on ATT or ATT Subsidiaries, and within the first day, they get to the 10MB Roaming allowed and then their data is cut off. To me, this is just unacceptable. As it is, the data is running on Edge (2G).

    I also put Tmobile at fault a little too. For years, I have thought of moving to ATT just because of this issue. My parents are in their Mid 60’s and they travel, and with 2 phones that cannot have Data, their ability to use basic apps such as email and maps is taken away.

    In all, I have had faster roaming speeds in all over India, UAE, Ireland, UK, Switzerland and a few other European countries than here in the US.

    Heck, I have even posted tweets, but to no avail.

    • guest nonstop

      Agree. blazing fast 3G roaming in france, belgium, netherlands. Total failure in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming…

  • LilKidLover

    T-mobile works great in SoCAL, I recently took a trip to the East coast and was left with NO service or on GSRP in Vermont, New Hampshire, parts of Massachusetts and upstate New York. I got LTE or 4g in Boston, NYC and Connecticut.

  • Art Faucett

    “Which is some going” ?

  • sanches12

    A little off topic but there’s no article on Tmonews yet. This is reason 1,203 why I’m no longer with at&t.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/technology/FTC-says-ATT-deceived-consumers-on-unlimited-data-plan.html?_r=0

  • EmeryE100

    AT&T is just whining. “The little guy is picking on me. Make him stop.”

    • Spanky

      Poking the sleeping giant doesn’t usually produce favorable results.

      • SaggyBallsHD

        It does if you’re trying to distract him. I have no idea what I’m trying to elude to with that. It just sounded all vague, and mysterious and shit.

      • EmeryE100

        Tell that to David and Jack.

      • Brian Perez

        Ha i think it has produced results aT&T has adopted a similar model at T Mobile they have increased the data buckets for the customers so if you don’t call that favorable results then you must obviously not read the news enough to know that T Mobile has caused major ripples through the telecommunications industry whether people want to admit it or not the results are evident and clear and it will only continue to change as time goes on because the consumer needs and wants clarity and options it is our money by the way so why not

  • EmeryE100

    I have been with T-Mobile since before it was T-Mobile. Ariel to Voicestream to T-Mobile and I am not changing. Still waiting on LTE in my area though.

  • Nick Gonzalez

    DT & T-Mobile should just buy AT&T and call it good. Let’s shut that mouth of theirs.

    • TMOTECH

      Where would they get the 50 billion for that

      • Nick Gonzalez

        Oh sorry bud, I was being sarcastic. Just edited the comment to reflect that. Word.

  • nebraska

    How are the gonna cover almost the whole us by the end of 2015 when they don’t even have towers in several states such as nebraska

    • TMOTECH

      They could build everywhere but Nebraska, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Montana and Alaska and still cover 300 million People.

      • Brian Perez

        Thats right

    • skywalkr2

      Shoot they barely support coverage on major interstates. I am afraid ever driving the PA turnpike… or even HWY 70 all the way to St Louis. You can go for miles without any bars.

    • NorCalOffspring

      I didn’t know Omaha and Lincoln weren’t part of Nebraska…

      • guest nonstop

        I was traveling few days ago form IA to NE, i80. After crossing a bridge ALL bars disappeared. I got connection only approaching to Gretna NE. Thats epic fail for Tmo.

        • NorCalOffspring

          At&t isn’t much better. It’s all EDGE once you leave Omaha heading west. Verizon is the only reliable carrier in Nebraska

  • lynyrd65

    As far as I’m concerned the FCC need only do the opposite of what AT&T says to work for the public interest. AT&T & Verizon make policy decisions easy.

  • Spanky

    T-Mobile did the same exact thing a couple of years ago. How soon we forget.

  • SaggyBallsHD

    They need to add additional infrastructure. AT&T is right in that regard. They do hold licenses in the same areas as big blue, but have chosen not to do so. I think perhaps justifiably. DT has wanted to sell their bastard step-child of a company for many many years. If I were looking to unload a company I certainly wouldn’t dump 5 billion dollars into it beforehand. But, TMo is now successfully standing on its own and making DT truckloads of cash. It’s time to build out as well as improve.

    • dev*

      Their licenses are only for limited regions however, and not all in the same areas T-Mobile is highly dependent on AT&T for. They along with others are waiting on the results of next year’s auction before investing, and considering the costs involved that’s reasonable. Waiting until you have a nationwide plan makes for huge savings over doing it piecemeal and maybe having to refit or sell equipment due to changes in the value and coverage of frequencies. AT&T and Verizon on the other hand have sole rights to massive blocks nationwide, and thus have no such reason to hold back.

  • calvinneal

    Tmobile does not have bandwidth in a lot of territory. Example, Michigan, above a line from Bay City to Lansing, there is no Tmobile license. Absolutely nothing for Tmobile customers in Traverse City or the U.P. My wife’s data of 10mb expired 4 hours into our trip. Ironically, when we got close to the Canadian border, the phone switched from ATT roaming to Rogers and she again had data. We never crossed the border. Tmobile is getting band 12 up there, but who knows when. ATT is a crappy 4G experience up there, but at least they have connectivity.

    • Brian Perez

      By next summer tmobile has prmised to provide service in upper part of michigan i was there this summer i know how frustrating that is..double jj ranch to be exact i was roaming on att worst expérience ever

  • ronjon400

    AT&T is to wireless as Comcast is to broad-band. I think that hits the mark.

  • John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt

    My Tmo phone is on a ATT site at home and I can’t even send/rec photos in text msgs. This is only an hour west of Nashville, TN.

    Using population to boast about coverage is deceptive. Square miles is the real number to boast of. Of course dense population is more profitable, while us country folks are up the creek w/o a paddle.

  • fuckatt

    ATT has too much power they are rip off

  • attidiots

    Att should jus shut ther pie hole up and let the consumers have what they want and make ther moneys worth lets go tmobile lets take it all the way up their butts!!!!

  • Clemson Nosnep

    In Stonewall, LA very limited TMO data. Could not read my email or pull up a web page until I started driving into Shreveport on US 171 N. In Rutland, VT AT&T was #1 then Verizon IMO. Seriously considering AT&T since I do a lot of business traveling.