Band 12 LTE spotted in Detroit

700mhz

Through the latter part of this year, T-Mobile’s been ramping up its 700MHz LTE deployment. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer, Braxton Carter confirmed as much at a presentation earlier this week. We’ve already heard of sightings in Long Island and Houston, and now we’ve been sent a sighting from the Motor City, Detroit.

A reader from the Michigan city sent us the screenshot of his Note 4 in Service Mode, clearly indicating band 12 LTE. A Speed Test was done in the location, but it’s difficult to confirm whether or not it was hooked on to the Band 12 network while testing the download performance. If the 5+5MHz 700MHz network really is that fast right now, it’s almost certainly because there are so few other users (if any at all) using the bandwidth. With no traffic or congestion, speed tests will give an exaggerated result.

As with all network updates, we’ll keep you up to date with any new sightings as we receive them in our inbox.

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  • Chris Hilbert

    Hoping we get band 12 in Indiana soon. I was on I65 between Indianapolis and Chicago last week, saw band 2 there.

    • J.J.

      Many dead zones in northern Indiana. Hoping it gets taken care of soon

      • Chris Hilbert

        The Band 2 thing I think is new. You have a Band 2 capable device?

        • maximus1901

          Almost every device can do band 2.

        • Chris Hilbert

          Except the prestigious OnePlus One :/

        • maximus1901

          I don’t get why they oitted 2, 5. Att has b5 deployed in super rural locations. And TMO rural lte will be b2 only for long time.

        • Chris Hilbert

          Agreed. I was surprised. I’m on the Nexus 6 now – future proof in terms of bands.

        • Nick

          Yeah it seems like everything that they are deploying after the first “round” of b4 LTE is all b2 LTE. Not bad, but it must suck to have a device that doesn’t support it

        • maximus1901

          It’s because they’re using old antennas on rural sites that are only 1900 band. Eventually they’ll replace with triband antennas.

        • Nick

          Good point

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          T-Mobile owns exactly ONE 850 Mhz license, and it’s unlikely they’d get any more, so no Band 5.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Here’s a decent phone [for the price] that’s cheap ($230) and is band-proof for T-Mobile. 5″ screen (low ppi), 1GB of RAM.

          SL5000: https://www.verykool.net/Products/sl5000

        • besweeet

          And the HTC One (M8), even though the AT&T version has band 2 LTE (but no band 4 HSPA).

        • J.J.

          I may be wrong but i believe band 2 is the 1900 mhz band which is common. Band 12 which is 700mhz is the newest, which my note 4 is capable of connecting to. But i have not seen any in northern Indiana yet

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Awesome! we need it bad in SC

  • Joey Soloo

    I live in Detroit in my area where I reside…I only get 15 down and 4 up with my Note 4. Just could be my area too.

    • I consistently get 40-50Mbps LTE in the Detroit Metro area and surrounding Suburbs personally.

      • Joey Soloo

        Prove it…not knocking you just prove it. I’ve gotten 26 down & 13 up the other day, thats fast. Don’t get me wrong.

        • Zaldor

          I just got 46 down and 13 up from. North Westland, MI… Not sure how to see if it’s band 12 or not…

        • Joey Soloo

          Try *#0011# I’m on BAND 4

        • maximus1901

          That’s not b12

        • Doug Z.

          I can get 70 down 30 up on band 4 in the Detroit area on LG G3.

    • Ray Dull

      Not exactly detroit, but in highland park (75 and davison) This is about normal for me: http://i.imgur.com/n01Jgpu.png

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Anything in fresno?

  • TMO Radio Tech

    Its not “exaggerated”, that’s a dumb way to describe those speed results. Its a real speed test. Will it reflect long-term speeds, probably not, but its s real life result, not in a lab result.

    • Mike Palomba

      I wouldn’t say dumb, just not the best wording. What he meant was that these are not the speeds that people should expect on 700mhz once more people begin connecting to it

  • deeznutz1977

    I get band 12 here in baltimore (when forced)on my note edge

  • Willie D

    At only 23mbps, I can’t help but think TMobile will soon have its Sprint moment soon after launching 700mhz. Sprint LTE is on PCS 5×5 for its core network and the speeds now that everyone is on it, if you can use it are a joke. Tmobile relying on this as their “covers all” expansion is really going to be its downfall. It needs to deploy this to start in rural areas, as it is continuing to beef up and rely more on AWS or aggregation techniques to fill in and give capacity to compete in medium and large urbam markets and NOT be like Sprint. Then expand slower paced AWS in those rural markets to increase speed and capacity via AWS like Verizon has. Just saying. And 700mhz carries data speeds slower than a PCS network does, so in this sense, Sprint would be faster. Ouch.

    • maximus1901

      No. Just no. The network would only place a device on b12 when your phone cannot detect b4.

      • William Kestle

        how the hell does 700 mhz lte perform slower than pcs lte…lte is lte dude. if they both have the same channel size and signal to noise ratio and rsrq etc etc it will perform exactly the same with users performing the same task.

        different frequency spectrum does NOT dictate the data throughput, of any technology

      • Bryan Pizzuti

        It’ll be interesting to see just how many people get dumped to Band 12 when they enter buildings. That, and if WiFi calling will help ease the load from Band 12 in that situation (they HAD to be thinking about that as well).

        • maximus1901

          It can’t be worse than now.
          I think TMO might be adding DAS. At a local mall, I now have Hspa signal on my iPhone 4S where previously I had only 2G

    • William Kestle

      how the hell does 700 mhz lte perform slower than pcs lte…lte is lte. if they both have the same channel size and signal to noise ratio and rsrq etc etc it will perform exactly the same with users performing the same task.

      different frequency spectrum does NOT dictate the data throughput.

      • 9to5Slavery

        Yes it does.

      • Bart

        It carries less because the channel width is 5MHz instead of 10, 15, or 20Mhz. If they had licenses for wider channels in the 700MHz range it would have the potential to be faster than 1900MHz or 1700/2100MHz.

        • William Kestle

          Willie d was talking about sprints PCs LTE at 5×5. Then said it would be faster than 700 MHz LTE. Which is simply not true. He made no mention of wider channels

    • Bryan Pizzuti

      There’s a big difference. The T-Mobile 700 Mhz band is a last-resort band, for when you can’t pick up LTE on AWS or PCS, both of which have much more capacity, but are midrange rather than long range. Sprint, on the other hand, has their long range last-resort 800 Mhz LTE in areas (also 5×5 like T-Mobile’s 700 Mhz), but their fallback is a 5×5 midrange LTE network on PCS. The main network is the 2500-2600 Mhz BRS network, but that’s so short-ranged that most people end up on the PCS or 800 Mhz networks, which just don’t have the capacity to handle them. Sprint needs to frankly be expanding its Band 25 LTE deployments instead of worrying so much about BRS.

      • William Kestle

        i think band 41 could cover pretty well. sure not as a primary band but two or three 20 mhz tdd-lte carriers per sector, average 3 sectors per cell site and thats a ton of bandwidth in the short term to make pcs and smr decent. with 3 20 mhz carriers in brs ( band 41 ) and smr and pcs lte going, thats nearly a gigabit of capacity per cell cite. with average 160 mhz brs in top 100 markets, that could mean over 2 gigabits PER CELL SITE. however, sprint network engineers have little idea what they are doing compared to tmobile. worrying about band 25 expansion right now is foolish when its already cracking in metros, requiring a second 5×5 pcs carrier in some areas.

      • Evan Anderson

        Band 41 at 2500MHz is not much worse than AWS downlink at 2100MHz. Furthermore, 8T8R antenna offer signal resiliency improvements because of the transmitting and recieving configurations possible. Band 41 has been observed to come close to band 25 in some instances. Band 41 absolutely is the way to go because they have such a large amount of it and expanding PCS in markets without extra PCS spectrum available is near impossible because PCS is all bought up for the most part.

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          Band 41 is a lot worse actually, and remember that the AWS uplink is a ton better than BRS uplink (1700 vs. 2500..and remember BRS extends all the way into 2600 too). The reason AWS works so well is that it basically operates at 1700…the 2100 Mhz downlink comes from the tower, so they can juice it up a little more to boost the range.

          They actually have decent PCS in some areas, they own all the G block licenses in addition to whatever they have in the legacy PCS (generally at least 5×5, some places more). Not sure how much of it they need to keep for EVDO/1xRTT though.

        • ericdabbs

          But downlink frequency is what is more important. Downlink frequency is what is important when you are trying to stream netflix, watch youtube videos, browse internet. Uplink is only good for uploading which in most cases is not as important. So who really cares about the uplink at 1700 MHz when the downlink is still 2100 MHz

      • Jay Holm

        In short= Sprint is garbage.

        Any idea when Q4 results will be announced?

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          Well, Sprint tried…kinda. I guess they didn’t realize how much of a boondoggle BRS would be without ultra-dense cell spacing.

        • randian

          If Sprint were thinking long-term BRS would be good for them. They have monster bandwidth in that spectrum if they’re willing to build it out. Since bandwidth is proportional to frequency, 2500 has ~150% of the capacity of 1700. Population growth and increasing per-person data requirements should make 2500 more valuable over time.

        • Ana Peralta

          T=Trash Mobile

    • Mike Palomba

      The 700mhz band is being used as a sort of backup band. AWS or PCS is Prefered over 700mhz, the phone will only use 700mhz when there is nothing else to connect or or the other available band is very weak, such as in buildings.

  • Jay

    Curious to know, which exact city Band 12 was spotted.

  • William Kestle

    cam, 23 mbps on 5 mhz lte channel isnt unheard of. its the equivalent of getting 46 mbps on 10 mhz, or 90mbps on 20 mhz. lte has a rough data rate of around 37.5 mbps per 5mhz of spectrum used.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      I got 20mbps on HSPA 3am in the morning lol

      • William Kestle

        dual carrier im guessing? if not thats utterly fantastic!

        • Jay J. Blanco

          I believe so

        • Nick

          In my area its not uncommon to get 20+ Mbps on hspa even during the day (without dual carrier)

        • Fabian Cortez

          Yup.

          The maximum I’ve seen on 42 Mbps on T-Mobile is ~30 Mbps.

        • Nick

          same here.

        • Jay Holm

          Most I ever got on HSPA+ 42 was about 19mbps.

    • Jay Holm

      So much can’t wait to experience carrier aggregation.

  • Mike Palomba

    I wonder why he would need juice defender on a note 4? Not only does the note 4 have an amazing battery from what I hear, but juice defender doesn’t really save much battery

    • Noor

      And he has an App to clear ram, even though that makes the phone slower… People are tech-illiterate I guess :p

  • NorCalOffspring

    T-Mobile is in the process of purchasing a sh!t load of 700mhz spectrum in my neck of the woods (Grand Forks, ND). Currently, t-mobile only offers 2G out here. If the deal goes through and they deploy just 700mhz, will user experience be good if all we have is 700mhz?

    • Nick

      I would say yes as long as there aren’t too many people (like a big city)

  • Nick

    5×5 in greater cincy manages to average 20 if you’re closer to a tower

  • Cam Fas

    Band 12 went to the projects yet here in Vegas a major tourist attraction nothing to be seen I fly small planes hand have lte at 5000 feet miles further outside of most major cities. Let’s bring some wide 700mhz to areas that need it

    • Cam Fas

      Excuses the auto correct for misspelling words

      • I can forgive the Poor grammar, but I just can’t forgive the ignorance. ;)

    • enkay1

      They don’t own the 700 MHz license for Las Vegas… Detroit is also a very important market for them.

      • Cam Fas

        Indeed your correct I know they have band 12 in northern Nevada well at least the licenses

  • Chris

    Yay! I want to try it on my Nexus 6!

  • Joe Ma

    Those who are lucky enough to get a taste of B12, do you see significant reception difference between 700 vs AWS/PCS?

  • GionniOnTheSpot

    Thanks for sharing, Cam. Yes, this is a real speed test on Band 12. I tested multiple times. I came home Friday night and noticed I had full bars of service in my home rather than one or two bars. As I went in the basement, the call didn’t even drop and I still had full service, so that’s when I decided to check service mode. My phone automatically moves to Band 12 when I enter my brick home, but as soon as a go outside, I’m right back to Band 4 (20×20 MHz) – which is really slow in my area, right along with an even slower HSPA network. I don’t get over 3mbps down during peak hours on “wideband” LTE; HSPA is at EDGE speed. On Band 12, I get between 17 – 30 mbps down. A lot of people in my area use MetroPCS. It’s EXTREMELY popular in Detroit, so I believe Metro customers are primarily congesting towers in my neighborhood. My area really needed this improvement. I haven’t noticed Band 12 outside of my neighborhood, though. I live in Northeast Detroit. I’m glad I got the Note 4 when I did. Lol.

    • besweeet

      Do keep in mind that bars are heavily-inflated on newer Android and Windows phones.

      • TylerCameron

        I thought it was a Samsung thing? Stock Android doesn’t do the bar inflation. But Sense did. To an extent. And Samsung.. Dear god. They consider anything better than -100dBm to be full service??

        • besweeet

          All of T-Mobile’s Android and Windows phones do it. The Moto X does it as well. I imagine the Moto G does, too.

        • TylerCameron

          And the worst part is it seems that NO ONE is speaking out about it! I see no posts on XDA about it or anything. It almost drives me crazy enough to buy an iPhone, the “dots” are accurate. I don’t consider anything to be “full bars” unless it’s at least -80dBm

        • besweeet

          I can see both sides of it. At first, I thought it was nice to have more bars, but not after a while. It doesn’t give a good representation of when you’ll fall back to something else.

        • Jam

          But wait for the iPhone 6S or 7 or whatever because Apple didnt give the iPhone 6 700Mhz LTE.

    • nelagster

      Awesome! My wife works near Wayne State and badly needs band 12 for her Note 4. Do you know of any other areas in Detroit with B12?

    • Gerad Munsch

      Can you map some of the coverage with CellMapper?

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cellmapper.net.cellmapper

      That’d be awesome! I’ve been wanting to see some live Band 12 coverage on the maps!

      Sites with sector numbers 21-22-23(-24) are band 12.

    • Guest

      Dearborn, MI towers have been upgraded with dual-frequency antennas (Band 12, Band 4). They’re turning it on almost immediately after the antennas go up…such a contrast from the Sprint Band 41 rollout. I’ve also observed very significant congestion on HSPA+ (some congestion on LTE) in the Dearborn area.

      • Jay Holm

        Sprint is the most stagnant company I’ve ever known.

        • twicetheprice

          Also the most ironic company name ever. Instead of Sprint, they are closer to Stalled.

        • Jay Holm

          Yeah, it’s surprising they aren’t clunking faster, especially with that stupid $10 “4G data” charge.
          Nice to see someone else up at this time!

  • Raiterio Patterson

    I have 2 phones :iPhone 5 & the Nexus 5. Neither support the band 12 700mhz, but the iPhone 5s supports WiFi calling, so I’ll stick with that because money is tight. The way things are looking with the channel 51 situation in NC, it could take up to a year until T-Mobile deploys 700mhz in NC. I hate my life….

    • Drew

      That and t-mo doesn’t own 700mhz in NC (I’m assuming you mean North Carolina)

      • Raiterio Patterson

        Yes because I live in North Carolina. I was under the impression that T-Mobile would have to get rid of any cable or tv stations on channel 51, then they would be able to buy spectrum in the free area?

  • Philip

    How do you get the Service Mode screen?

    • Nick Gonzalez

      It depends on your phone. My old HTC One M8 was by pressing *#*#7780#*#* on the dialer. Just Google it for your phone though.

      • Torry Skurski

        There’s an app called LTE Discovery that works well too. It tells you a bunch of stuff about the network, including the band you are currently connected to. I check it every couple days to see if band 12 is showing up but I haven’t seen anything yet. Usually just band 4. I’m just outside of Detroit too, so I’d expect to see band 12 at some point soon.

        • nycplayboy78

          Amazing app thank you for sharing :)

    • nycplayboy78

      On the Galaxy Note Edge –> *#0011#

      • Philip

        I did on my Note 4 and it work! Thank you!

  • Joey Soloo

    Over off 75 and Davison I got the once 30 down and 10 up with my 5s….back last year this time but not with my Note 4 but back on that side of town going into downtown the speeds are crazy

  • guest

    i saw guys working on two towers this weekend in my area of roseville and warren but i get good coverage indoors before so i wouldn’t know the difference because im using an iphone 4

  • nycplayboy78

    SIGH….Well I am here in the DC Metro area on my Galaxy Note Edge which is sitting on Band 4…..SIGH….No Band 12 here in DC, MD, or VA….SIGH…I need to go home and check NYC this Christmas…..UGH…..I am using the app LTE Discovery for all my information about what frequency and tower I am connected to….

    • chris

      go to downtown silver spring, md (Georgia ave/colesville rd near the metro sta and force band 12, you’ll get it if you *#2263# on your samsung

      • nycplayboy78

        Chris if I set my preference to LTE B12 as default will it also use whatever band if B12 isn’t present? I have never done this sort of thing before so that is why I am asking.

        • chris

          yep t-mobile announced band 12 as being all over dc but i can tell you that’s not the case, it’s availble in a few pockets of dc,nova and the only place i picked it up in montco is downtown silver spring. maybe they’re still testing or maybe it launched city-wide today

    • Jay Holm

      It’s just beginning to be deployed, this is just the beginning of the market accountments.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    The Galaxy Avant is only $199 at BestBuy, and is also band-proof. Plus it actually has support for T-Mo WiFi calling.

  • Myles Douglas

    I think I might pick up the Galaxy Avant just to see this spectrum in action.

  • just got band 12 in 21901 and 19709

  • Nicholas Armondo Martinez

    I really want to make the switch to T-Mobile, but would like to know how fast the reduced speeds are.

  • wazmo

    Just went to my local T-Mobile store in suburban St. Paul-no Band 12 love yet.