T-Mobile Band 12 (700MHz) LTE network spotted in Amherst, Ohio

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 18.39.13

For the second time in as many weeks, we’ve been sent a 700MHz LTE sighting. Last time out, a reader got in touch with a sighting in Houston, Texas. This week, a cell site is seemingly either going live or being tested in Amherst, Ohio. A reader managed to get it showing up in ServiceMode on his Galaxy Note 4 (above).

T-Mobile’s network chief, Neville Ray, on several occasions has indicated that the low-frequency network is already being tested and activated in a number of locations. Exactly how many, and in which markets, hasn’t been announced officially. We’ve heard of a site going live in Long Island, as well as the Houston and Amherst ones. But I’d imagine there are many more. Since the number of handsets capable of logging on to them is small, it’s not likely we’re going to hear of that many sightings. That said, I’d be surprised if T-Mo didn’t mention it in its next major launch event which – if the company follows last year’s timing – will be at CES in January.

As well as rolling out 700MHz LTE and wideband 1700/2100MHz LTE, T-Mo’s also been building out LTE networks using the 1900MHz bands. Perhaps the biggest market among those is the Cincinnati area which went live, officially, in October.

As always, keep in touch with us if you spot any network changes in your area. You can email me using cam@tmonews.com, and be sure to include screenshots and locations.

Thanks, Adam.

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  • KlausWillSeeYouNow

    Looks like we shamed whoever owns this phone into uninstalling Advanced Task Killer. :-)

    • Brad

      I don’t think the person in Houston TX and Amherst OH are the same person….

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        I was joking. I am aware of that. :-P

      • Cam Bunton

        Haha. Yeah, I checked for that before I posted. ;-)

    • Fabian Cortez

      While I agree with Brad, that shaming was pretty funny LOL

  • emcdonald75

    I love the Band 12 buys from T-Mobile, but I wish C-Spire and other companies like (Continuum 700 and Cavalier and a few others) would sell their Band 12 spectrum to T-Mobile instead of just sitting on it. Also, I hate that the FCC has been bought by Verizon and AT&T. What is taking the FCC so long to offer a declaratory ruling on roaming rates by AT&T and Verizon that T-Mobile made a complaint about in July 2014? Are they purposely waiting until the end of the AWS-3 auction because of the large amounts of money AT&T and Verizon are spending on this spectrum?

    • RiskyBidThis

      C-Spire isn’t a squatter, although they have some licenses they haven’t deployed on yet. The only (big) squatters left are Cavalier, AB License Co. (Cox), and Continuum 700. After that you have Bresnan and perhaps some even smaller squatters, but not really any noteworthy ones.

      • emcdonald75

        Then why is it taking C-Spire so long to deploy? AT&T announced support for Band 12 in their network after C-Spire brought forth a lawsuit. T-Mobile is implementing Band 12 support and has PCS and AWS support similar to C-Spire. The only difference is CDMA vs GSM but if C-Spire begin taking steps to implement VoLTE then T-Mobile could roam effortlessly and C-Spire could roam on T-Mobile. All carriers should begin to migrate to VoLTE. I know I’m dreaming, but it’s a damn good dream. Lol

        • RiskyBidThis

          We’ll get there eventually, but for the moment VoLTE isn’t necessarily compatible across carriers because different carriers use different codecs and lack a way to communicate across codecs.

          As for C-Spire, they may be waiting for better handset availability but they have awhile yet and I don’t see much benefit to them holding onto the licenses if they aren’t going to use them. I think of squatters as being limited to companies like Big Wave that had no intention of using the licenses and were just planning to flip them all along.

  • Nate S

    Braxton Carter is not T-Mobile’s network chief. It’s Neville Ray.

    • Cam Bunton

      Yep.. corrected.

  • RefarmAllPCSNowPlease

    I am intrigued by that screenshot. In particular, the 4th line says “CA-Add (S)BAND:4 BW:10Mhz”

    Does that say T-Mobile is using carrier aggregation? With Band 12?
    Does that mean that carrier aggregation will be deployed as soon as Band 12 is turned on?
    Is that 10Mhz only for Band 4, having a total of 15MHz, or 10MHz total for both Bands 4 and 12?

    Exciting.

    • Bori

      Interestingly I am asking myself the same question.

    • milanyc

      It absolutely is Carrier Aggregation

      • Bori

        Will they be able to do the same with Band 2 as a secondary component, in markets where Band 4 is not available?

        • TMOGUY

          So someone with more engineering background please correct me, but I think the way it works is the phone is dynamically always using both bands to try and pull data, all the time, and simply draws the data from whichever “pipe” is able to deliver it at that very second. More then likely, the band 4 will be a bigger pipe. The band 12 is better indoors.. etc.
          So – imagine this. You’re outside. Your phone gets both band 4 and 12 just fine. Phone pulls from band 12 but can use band 4 if neccesary if band 12 is congested.
          You walk into a brick building. Band 4 disappears completely. Band 12 is still there, though.. You walk back outside and band 4 is back.
          This works better because without CA every phone would just be on band 12 all the time, everywhere.. TMO has no way of knowing if you walk into a brick building. If everyone where on the band 12 5X5 pipe it would congest too much. You need to still use that band 4 pipe to relieve that.
          Do I have that right? Does that make sense?

        • Bori

          I understand the concept, but just was not sure if it could also apply to lte Band 2 which is on 1900mhz.

        • TMOGUY

          Right, yes, I agree… Honestly, I have the same question.
          Actually, a bigger question – could CA be implemented between LTE and UMTS/HSPA+? I.E. combine L700 with U1900?
          Any TMO engineers? Enlighten us!

        • milanyc

          I’m not a T-Mo engineer, but I’ll tell you that on T-Mobile’s existing network infrastructure that’s not possible.

        • It’s technically possible to do that, but it requires some effort in 3GPP to get a specification developed.

        • milanyc

          Of course it could. 2+12/12+2, 2+4/4+2, and 12+4/4+12. http://i.imgur.com/ueRIEw4.jpg

        • Roger_Smith

          CA is about getting B12 and B4 to work together for 5+10 downlink. (5 from B4 for TMO, AT&T can do 10MHz on B12/B17). What you’ve describe is load balancing on the RAN. You are right though, if B12 and B4 were available then phones would most often prefer B12 because of signal strength.

      • kev2684

        why is band 12 primary? shouldn’t it be band 4? congestion might be where they are heading do you think they’ll switch it up when it actually launch? or does it matter at all? I’m not an engineer I don’t know how this work. if everyone’s pulling data on band 12 instead of band 4 which has better capacity that’s bad right?

        • milanyc

          The UE is capable of both combinations, and the network can change the CA combination as required. For example, if the backhaul at the site is sufficient, and the upload traffic is on the rise in that particular area, 4+12 combo can be utilized on the fly. Note 4 is fully capable: http://i.imgur.com/ueRIEw4.jpg

        • TMOGUY

          Okay how in the heck did you get to that page in Service Mode???

        • milanyc
        • kev2684

          so what you’re saying is T-Mo could easily (automatically?) flip primary or simultaneously use both bands when demand needs it (i.e. when pulling data)?

          do you know if the Nexus 6 has a service mode as well like samsung devices does? like how you can force the T-Mo note 2 on band 17 or band 4 LTE? i already know Nexus 6 is band 12 capable, i just want to know if you can force it.

  • TMOGUY

    Oh my god, this is incredible.. The huge story here is not just that 700mhz is live somewhere, but that it’s being implemted with carrier aggregation. Cam, do you understand what you stumbled upon? Thank you for sharing that screenshot.
    This is a big deal because: as we all know, the 700mhz Band 12 is never going to be bigger then a 5X5 pipe as that’s all the spectrum there is. But adding in service on another band at the same time will reduce congestion on the 700mhz band when another band is available.
    This is the first time I’ve seen it implemented. So cool to see!

    • JJ

      Tests on carrier aggregation saw DL speeds at 110MB.

      • Jay Holm

        Which smartphone?

        • JJ

          Note 4

    • Cam Bunton

      Hehehe.. you know what, I saw that and thought “Carrier Aggregation”, but wasn’t confident. I’d meant to follow up with some of my usual go-to network nerds.

      • Joe Ma

        Cam, what’s your email? I have sick 20+20 screenshots in Seattle I wanna share.

        • Nick

          Cam@tmonews.com im pretty sure

        • Saul Quinones

          I have some 80d+20u screenshots

  • TmoDude

    I’m interested to see how long Cincinnati will be able to keep up somewhat good speeds only being on 1900MHz band 4 with so many people living there.

    • JB45

      It depends on where your at in the city. Downtown and Northern KY the speeds aren’t that great. I live a little further from downtown and speeds are decent. Low 20’s down

    • Bori

      Cincinnati is not on Band 4, we are on Band 2 1900mhz. and let me tell you, we are barely keeping up LOL

      • JB45

        I wonder if right near Tri-County we can get that because of how both LTE’s can be picked up there or is that something they would have to turn on.

        • Bori

          Interesting, never thought about that, cause indeed Tri-County mall is right next to the “cut off line”
          I’ll need to check that out sometime when I am up there.

        • JB45

          I work in West Chester. I will head that way on the way home

        • Bori

          If we can’t get any B4 flavored LTE here in Cinci, I’d be happy with another 10mhz of the B2 lol. But hell, I’ve waited this long, might as well, not think about it too much, and suffer every time I see these speed tests from cities that have wideband LOL, and hope that we will eventually get there too.

        • JB45

          we did get some more PCS from Grain but whoknows how long that will take. Hopefully T-Mobile got some more AWS from the Auction for us.

        • Bori

          Oh, so they did get some AWS for our Market?? I had no idea, I knew about the Grain transaction, but wasn’t sure what the outcome was on the AWS auction.

        • JB45

          No not yet sorry should have word it better..Im just saying i hope that tmobile picked up some from the AWS-3 auction that’s going on right now

        • Nick

          Yeah I was hoping the same thing.

        • Saul Quinones

          Umts 2100mhz bw will be decommissioned and relaunched for Lte usage

      • Nick

        Try switching back to hspa+ if all you need is higher download speeds. I still prefer the 5-10mbps on lte over hspa bc of highter uploads and way better pings

        • Bori

          I have, however, HSPA+ has gone to hell ever since LTE was deployed. Besides, nobody who’s in an area classified as Excellent Coverage, should have to be switching to HSPA+ to get semi decent data service. If you were in my shoes, I am sure you would feel the same.

        • Nick

          True. Come on aws3 auction bandwidth!

        • Bori

          Amen!!! lol. I hope we land a big chunk here!

        • Mr Paul

          I was in that position using T-Mo, but that’s what you get with a carrier with tons of undeployed low-frequencies, almost no phones that support it, and tons of holes to fill after they covert all their towers and new spectrum.

  • TmoDude

    I also don’t understand why people are so exited about 700MHz band 12, I personally would deploy more on the 1900Mhz and 1700/2100MHz bands and wait out for the 600MHz auction since it would penetrate buildings even better and most likely come in greater packages above 5x5MHz

    • Danny

      It’s pretty safe to say that the majority of that 600 MHz spectrum will most likely be bought by the big two, whether they implement rules or not. Using band 12 means that we’ll get improved service no matter the outcome of the auction. If TMo does nab enough 600 MHz spectrum, then that can be used too with carrier aggregation.

    • TMOGUY

      The 700mhz really is a big deal. The 600 would be great but that’s a long ways off… The 700 is here and now! T-Mobile has the least amount of low band spectrum of all carriers. This is huge for building penetration. It will help TMO finally compete on par with the same capabilities as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint.

    • PaulRivers

      “the 600MHz auction since it would penetrate buildings even better”

      The difference in building penetration between 700 and 1900 is fairly large. The difference in building penetration between 700 and 600 is fairly small. Plus 700mhz band 12 is right now, it sounds like it will take around 3 years at the soonest to get 600mhz actually available on phones, and even then who knows how much of it TMobile will actually get.

      “and most likely come in greater packages above 5x5MHz”

      As fun as high speed data is, it’s diminishing returns for how much it matters once you get past 7mbps down. It’s more exciting to get service at all than it is to get faster data speeds that you rarely notice.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      600mhz has to be abandon by its user in order for it to be deployed. 700mhz is better option right now because it’s been abandoned by most stations

    • xmiro

      Why? Because T-Mobile badly needed 700Mhz spectrum. Because 700Mhz it’s available now and gives them range and much better in-building penetration. Because the 600Mhz auction might not happen at all, or be severely delayed even beyond the 2016 date.

      The usable 600Mhz spectrum will come a year or two after the auction, whenever that is.

      • Logan S

        In the short term, it’s not going to help much as a greater percentage of the users do not have B12-capable phone (unless they hack it). It’s like a railroad without rail cars. It’s good for the long term, but the short term excitement is a bit overhyped.

        • Laststop311

          Pretty much every new phone being released in 2015 onward will be band 12 compatible. The note 4 already is. Your explanation is bunk.

        • Logan S

          And the majority of the phones owned and used by customers will not support B12. Debunk that.

          Just because new phones will support it doesn’t mean much until those new phones become ubiquitous. Drive out there and you’ll see more older cars than new. Same with phones. It’s good news for B12 owners cause their lanes will not be as congested, yet.

        • JamesG

          Its just now being launched, right on time

    • Laststop311

      Why would we wait 3 years for building penetration when we can have it now? Also, 5×5 on LTE is still more then enough to get a good 5-6 mbps which is still fast enough for just about anything you need to do on a phone. We are all glad you are in no position to make deployment choices for t-mobile. We already have a ton of bandwidth on the higher frequencies deployed. We need building penetration right now.

      • Jay Holm

        Neville Ray is doing a good job as CTO.

        • Mr Paul

          He better be doing a better job than Sprint’s new Japanese money and brains, because we’ll see next year who is really deploying properly and fast enough.

    • Mr Paul

      You want T-Mobile to turn into Sprint? That’s exactly what Sprint users wanted, and look what they’ve gotten: An LTE network that barely penetrates inside and where it is, painfully slow, no signal half everywhere, and a horrible reputation. 1900MHz is T-Mobile’s worst nightmare, even Sprint would want to get 850MHz everywhere before they worry about their 2.5GHz. Exactly why Verizon and AT&T saturated well over 85-90% of their pops before bothering with rolling out the higher frequencies.

    • Saul Quinones

      600 mhz will cost more than the company who is buying it.. 700mhz cheaper and easier to deploy

  • walt

    Saw it go up in Akron, Ohio as well. I went over to the workers in the parking lot (i knew it was a t mobile tower before i went to talk to them) they confirmed it was 700mhz band 12 antennas they were installing. too bad the new iphone 6 doesnt have the capability to access the new band :(

    Disqus

  • Bori

    I wonder if any of these folks that have spotted it, have tried running a speed test

    • JamesG

      Every band 12 area only has 5x5mhz spectrum so its not going to be mind blowing or anything. Maybe around 35mbit

      • Bori

        I’ll take that over the 2mbs I am getting at home with LTE lol

        • enkay1

          ???

          This is LTE and 35 Mbps is the maximum theoretical speed for a 5+5 MHz carrier.

        • Bori

          Not sure what you are refering to. I know the maximum theoretical speeds on 5+5mhz is 35mbs, however I don’t even get 5mbs down on it, here in my area.

      • Saul Quinones

        80mbps miami tricounty area

  • Alex

    how can i see the band im using in the nexus 6 ?

    • Nick Sutton

      Try the LTE Discovery app.

  • Al_gotti

    T mobile just sucks ass! Sorry t mobile lovers (cheap ass’s) my only advice to you all is switch to Verizon and you won’t have no complaints! If you can’t afford it find a way to use verizon prepaid network…

    • Nick Sutton

      Have you ever used T-Mobile?

    • Eric

      Hmm…I never knew changing the wireless industry and getting Verizon-equivalent coverage could make a company suck…

      • Romdude

        In my area, t-mobile is faster than all of them with verizon sometimes 2nd to last to sprint. So yeah, no thanks Verizon, I’m gonna pay less, get better and faster coverage where I go and unlimited internet as well as overseas.

    • Sidekicker89

      my T-Mobile bill is a total of $83 a month for three lines. If that makes me a “cheap ass” then so be it. I love saving money and I love the service T-Mobile provides me. Meanwhile you’re overpaying Verizon to use Wi-Fi because you don’t want to go over your data plan. Cut to you, a year from now, living in a dumpster.

      • Mr Paul

        I forget to argue that. Verizon users are WiFi slaves because they pay more for the least amount of data than anyone else! Paying more than everyone else to use WiFi and have terrible CDMA call quality. What is wrong with people’s heads?

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      I’m OK with paying much less than you and get unlimited data…..

    • Raiterio Patterson

      I’m grandfathered in with truly unlimited data for $20 and the $50 simple choice plan. Call me a cheap ass all you want, I can’t hear you over the cash register chime my checking account makes saving all this money

    • wright1bby

      I had Verizon but I got a new work location and had to switch to T-mobile or AT&T because I got tired of having to go outside at work to get any service.

      • SVU BOlieve in AJ’s EMMAlution

        Exactly, I had vzw but never had service inside at work. My phone would always go to “extended network” soon as I walked to the back loading dock area. No complaints with TMo though, just some dark spots in between cities on the interstate across the lake.

    • Laststop311

      Can’t take you seriously when you use double negatives like that “won’t have no complaints” which basically means we will have complaints since you are saying we will not have no complaints. You should have said won’t have any complaints. Learn to speak and then maybe you can troll better.

    • Sorry. Will stay with Big Magenta until the end.

    • Jay Holm

      Actually I switched FROM Verizon, been with T-Mobile for 19mo’s, no complaints at all, and none of this 2-3gb/mo crap, totally useless! Verizon is way, way overrated! And by the way, I was with Verizon for 3 years, so yes, I am speaking from first hand experience, network would drop down from LTE to useless EVDO Rev A way too much. No thank you to Verizon.

      • Joe Hartley

        I had Verizon for over 6 years switched to AT&T since the company I worked for at the time was paying for it. When they stopped paying for it I switched to T-Mobile and couldn’t be happier. At the time Verizon was over priced to what my bill was on AT&T for about the same service plan and both were drastically over priced compared to T-Mobile. Yes there was a few spots when I first got T-Mobile that AT&T and or Verizon had coverage that T-Mobile didn’t but now those areas have coverage and their coverage keeps growing and works well no dropped calls since I left the other two so I’m good where I am at.

        • Mr Paul

          Can I ask what state you’re from? Sounds promising.

        • Joe Hartley

          Currently in Louisville KY but originally from the suburbs of Chicago. Wife is originally from Michigan so we travel the Midwest a lot to see our families. Most of Indiana we are seeing good LTE coverage now and Michigan has been growing with T-Mobile coverage top.

        • Mr Paul

          It seems T-Mobile is definitely doing better out west, but interesting to here that also seems to extent to at least some of the midwest too. In the Northeast; not so much, and I doubt most of the south either.

      • Mr Paul

        I have a better one. I’m the the tri-state area, and I was with Verizon for 5 years, from 2009-2014 (4 months ago). T-Mobile totally lacks coverage where I am, but everywhere I had I signal I didn’t drop or block a call, and a call never went to voicemail. Verizon, on the other hand, would constantly push calls to voicemail with my phone on and working, data would constantly drop to 3G, even when they claimed to fully cover the entire area with LTE, which is useless and then that would drop or not work. I couldn’t browse the web on my phone in the middle of an allegedly LTE covered town, I couldn’t call or make texts in tons of areas; it was just a nightmare.

        They are viciously overrated. There’s plenty of areas they simply DON’T cover (and I’d easily go into detail with anyone who has a red check lodged up their ass who can’t come to reality), they charge more, not because they have a better service, but because they can, and they charge you for services that every other postpaid carrier offers for free, e.g. Visual Voicemail on non-iPhone devices, Mobile Tethering. If people weren’t brainwashed by hearsay and bs advertising, they would have gone out of business by now.

    • The Jase

      We “won’t have no complaints”? Surely Verizon expects a slightly level of clientele. AKA not speaking like an ape. You might want to continue working on how to really BE a Verizon customer. You go in there talking like that and they are liable to kick your ghetto butt back onto T-Mo. ;-)

    • Stone Cold

      I am a 10 year customer. I have zero complaints about my service and I know T-Mobile is working hard to continue to improve.

    • Dylan Aarhus

      I’m a T-Mobile customer and there not only prepaid there coverage will dominate Verizon’s LTE network any day of week

    • Jmap81

      Obviously too cheap to afford English lessons .. The words you’re looking for are “any complaints” you dumb hilljack!

    • Mr Paul

      Verizon? Expensive and terrible data coverage (with no XLTE), no thanks. AT&T is better almost everywhere and I don’t want to use anything from Verizon or CDMA. I had nothing but complaints when I used Verizon, and T-Mobile was terrible as well, but at least it worked where it was! AT&T has been a dream. Most people (98%) that hate AT&T used them 4-6 years ago, and that is not a fair way to judge any carrier.

      Most people who use Verizon know nothing about the GSM side of things due to ignorance and hearsay. The average American knows of two carriers: Verizon and Sprint, and it’s obvious which choice people will choose.

    • Charmed79

      You are a tool, I may be a cheap ass, but you clearly have more money than brains! I’m not going to pay $100 more a month just to say I’m on verizon lol If you have money to burn go for it, dumb-ass!

  • Nick

    Ive noticed many people saying that the note 4 has carrier aggression in it. Is there a website or list somewhere of all T-mobile phones that support this? (Or that could do 1900mhz and AWS at the same time)

  • Matthew T Wagner

    Any word on Kansas City Wideband LTE?

    • JFC

      Yeah. Shut up. There’s the word.

      • Mr Paul

        I bet that’ll be Legere’s new phrase this year. Shut up, don’t ask for anything, and pay us, or go to AT&T. Like it’s some insult.

      • Matthew T Wagner

        If you have no insight STFU yourself

  • Mr Paul

    Good it’s coming, but I, like most, don’t even have band 12 on my smartphone, and I’m not concerned about switching back to T-Mo any time soon, because they still have tons of 700 MHz to both obtain, and then convert, and that doesn’t mean I’m going to have it where I need it.

    It also doesn’t mean if I travel just an hour or two away, there still won’t be complete areas without any coverage at all where T-Mo has both no towers and no obtained spectrum.

    Quick question to those that post these hints: Why where there not an accompanied speed test with to show us what the speeds and latency are like on this band? Rude.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      The beauty of 4 national carriers to choose

      • Mr Paul

        It will be nicer in by the end of the year hopefully with closer to 3 actual choices for most areas instead of 1-2.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Theres still 4 to choose from just because one or two are not good in your area does not discount them. In fact ATT and Verizon have some areas/towns here for me where they are poor or no signal. That doesnt discount them

        • Mr Paul

          Yes it does, it depends on your area as per what choices you have. Some areas have totally no T-Mobile or Sprint coverage at all. How is that an option? Can you start an account and pay for no service? Sure, but let’s not be politically correct. Try using T-Mobile in an area like mine for a week and say that again.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          I have……..in a 2g area where signal died indoors…..solution? I moved haha. So in my area I will discount VZ and big blue cuz they are horrible…..only sprint and tmobile here!!!!!!!!! no sorry does not work that way. There are 4

        • Mr Paul

          Exactly what state has neither great AT&T OR Verizon saturation, but Sprint and T-Mobile are good? I’d like to move there, but I won’t hold my breath.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Come to central CA yo…..

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          lol it happens

  • Tyler

    So basically band 12 is as fast as the DCHSDPA they already have that already works on 99% of smartphones (or in my case an iPad). I understand for EDGE areas, but if they’re rolling out LTE, chances are they’ll roll out 4G as a fallback there too, and I woukd HOPE that’s the case since 99% of smartphones today don’t support band 12. Also should mention that their 4G network coverage is improving along with LTE. Used to pick up Edge if lucky at my house but now I get 3 bars of 4G to one bar of LTE. So hopefully 4G will come as a fallback because LTE band 12 with 5MHz bandwidth has lower theoretical speeds (35Mbps) than 4G (42Mbps), which works great in most cases.