T-Mobile’s 700MHz LTE network showing further signs of life in California and Pennsylvania

aerial-cell-tower-inspection
We like to try and keep our eye on network improvements here at TmoNews. While we’re still waiting for the new, official interactive map to be launched by T-Mobile, we can keep you up to date with new sightings found across the U.S. Particularly areas where the low-band 700MHz spectrum has gone live over the. In these areas, customers will be able to get a stronger LTE signal indoors.

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Limerick and Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

First up is Limerick, PA. A reader got in touch from the area after seeing T-Mobile’s band 12 network show up for the first time on their Note 4.

Limerick, PA

The band 12 LTE network also appears to be live around 90 minutes up the road, in Wilkes Barre. The following screenshot was sent to us from a different user in the area:

Wilkes Barre, PA

It’s clear then that T-Mobile is hard at work in Pennsylvania, bringing its stronger, more reliable LTE network to the semi-rural towns and cities in the state.

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Merced, California

Speaking of small towns and cities, another to be graced by the presence of LTE is Merced in California. It sits around 40 miles South East of Modesto, and is just outside a zone which won’t get any 700MHz LTE love until a TV broadcast channel – based in San Jose – is moved.

Merced, CA - 91241

Taking a look at the open source, interactive map, it’s clear T-Mobile is busy in California. Just 10 days ago it was updated with an statement that T-Mobile has made an agreement with Rancho Palos Verdes Broadcasters in Los Angeles, California, which gives it ability to operate within its “protected service contour”. In short, despite the KXLA broadcast station having broadcast spectrum of a similar frequency to T-Mobile’s band 12 LTE, T-Mo will be allowed to deploy its 700MHz band in the area.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 14.45.57

As always, we’ll keep you updated with new sightings when we receive them. There have been several so far, and it seems like things are certainly picking up speed. It’s worth noting that what we see is almost certainly a small fraction compared to what’s being rolled out in actuality.

Get in touch if you see any changes.

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  • sushimane

    Great! But does anyone know how to get into the xperia z3 service menu lol

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Z3 has not had the ota to enable band 12yet

      • sushimane

        Ok

      • Joe

        I hope they enable it in the lollipop update that they will put out in February.

    • Romdude

      Just use LTE Discovery app, it tells you the band without having to root.

  • What exactly does it mean that both band 12 and channel 51 are live in LA? Is it the case that KXLA is tolerating potential indifference with its signal on the fringes of its range?

    • Andrew Finkenbinder

      Probably means that T-Mobile isn’t operating 700Mhz in those areas covered by KXLA yet, or are only using half the spectrum they have available to reduce interference.

      • justsomecommentor

        The latter is correct. Bandwidth will be reduced, but it will still work.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Probably 3×3 MHz versus using 5×5 MHz.

        • enkay1

          I’ve heard theories that they will run 5+5 service in the A-block but there will be a performance hit in the uplink because of the avoidance techniques they will be using and because it is closest to channel 51.

        • You mean, something like 3+5MHz?

  • Andrew Finkenbinder

    As a T-Mobile customer in PA, I can confirm that the last couple of months have brought some serious upgrades to LTE coverage. Unfortunately, their Band 12 service doesn’t cover where I live, but they’re continually converting rural areas to LTE from EDGE on Band 4. It’s still frustrating in some placed to fall onto EDGE or to roam, especially given the 20+Mhz of Band 4 spectrum T-Mobile has statewide (really – statewide licenses), but they ARE upgrading the hell out of things.

    LTE coverage in some areas is still perplexingly thin (here’s looking at Carlisle).

    • itguy08

      Yeah although the Carlisle area needs some SERIOUS investment by T-Mobile!!!! Even Sprint and Verizon have seen fit to put new cell towers up on Wertzville Rd, have good service on the outskirts and up to Perry County.

      T-Moblile blows chunks even near the Turnpike. Were walking 0 service on this major artery. And I81 has quite a few dead zones over by Target.

      T-Mobile, time to get it done and invest in his area!!!

  • TheVorlon

    “Speaking of small towns and cities, another to be graced by the presence of LTE is Merced in California. It sits around 40 miles South East of Modesto, and is just outside a zone which won’t get any 700MHz LTE love until a TV broadcast channel – based in San Jose – is moved.”

    That must be one really POWERFUL transmitter.

    Merced is out in central California nearly 100 miles away from San Jose.

    • Austin

      Look at the map http://www.tmonews.com/700mhz-lte-map/. It’s fairly far away. I’ve actually unknowingly seen that transmitter before, so I can look at it Saturday since I will be in that area and see if it has been modified at all, or in the process of being turned off.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      With a mountain range in between

      • EndlessIke

        I’m sure the tower is on top of one of those mountains…

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Explaining the range….

      • monkeybutts

        I’m on the other side of the mountain range of Oakland, San Jose where the station is located and my antennas can’t pick up the TV broadcast from them. I get “local” signal from Sacramento. If you pay for Satellite or Cable you do get those channel that is blocking band 12 deployment go figure.

    • xmiro

      Nah, it’s not that unusual or that powerful KDTV broadcasts at 476KW from ~3000ft above mean sea level height. The furthest points of the station’s signal is about half-way through Gonzalez, CA.That’s 72 miles from the tower in a straight line though it technically doesn’t apply to other cities nearby due to how the directional antennas are. It’s signal contour is not an even ellipse or circle.

      Our stations in Miami, have about the same reach. WSVN for example broadcasts on VHF 7 @ 158KW and reaches 72 miles north and south

  • Austin

    Merced! Great news for the 3 people that live there! Seriously though, hope that the TV station in the Bay Area gets moved for band 12 here in Stockton.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Clearly more than 3 people live there……

      • Austin

        Clearly that was called sarcasm.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Clearly it doesnt translate well in text form

        • Ashton3002

          It did. Just not to you.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          You know this how

        • ren

          Exactly

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Just as i thought

  • NOYB

    The interactive map needs to be updated to show the new sightings mentioned here.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Close to fresno yee

  • Jay Holm

    Sure would be nice to hear of some 700mhz Band 12 sightings in Fairfield County Connecticut, and or New Haven or Hartford Counties.

    • Rob H.

      Join the club, I’d like to see west TN get band 12 coverage or any coverage. I don’t want to roam on AT&T when I’m down there.

      • Justin Smith

        Tmo would need to build towers which isn’t part of its plan. It will most likely build a few more at the end of the year but I wouldn’t get my hopes high.

        • Glad I Left CA

          TMo is aggressively building new sites. They are trying to compete with VZ in footprint, and the CTO has said he wants it done ASAP. Give it a couple years, and the footprint map will be almost identical. But the prices sure won’t :)

        • xmiro

          where did you see T-MObile is building new sites? Neville said the network was fleshed already

        • KingCobra

          They said they want to hit 300M POPs by the end of this year. That will require new sites since their current footprint covers only around 280M POPs.

      • Hector Arteaga

        Where in West TN? I live in Memphis and recently mapped (rootmetrics) LTE from Memphis to Brownsville, Brownsville to Covington and Covington to Millington. Just a few dead spots.

        • Rob H.

          Henry county where there is no coverage at all. Edge east in Dover and up north in Murray was all converted to LTE.

        • Hector Arteaga

          RootMetrics is showing coverage in Dover TN. Are you saying it’s wrong? I’m not trying to call you out, RootMetrics has been known to show incorrect coverage if the coverage was temporary for testing.

        • Rob H.

          LTE is live in Dover. I mapped it on Sensorly myself.

  • Henry

    This is actually great news for us Angelinos

    • K

      excellent news for LA. Big market for TMUS. Allows them to penetrate more and grab subscribers. Need TMUS to turn that profit and cash flow so DT can stop talking trash!

      • Mike

        I wish they would score some 700 Mhz spectrum in the Chicago area. Only top 20 market where TMO doesnt have any, but it would be subject to interference from WPWR TV anyway.

        • RiskyBidThis

          They’re interested, but only for the right price. Leap spent $204 million to buy that license and I’m sure they’re looking to net a nice profit off the sale with the way that the AWS-3 auction has gone.

          I don’t know that T-Mobile will be willing to pay their price, or that they should.

      • ltnstar

        Just moved to T-Mobile frm sprint in LA, so what does it mean? Does T-Mobile have to just turn it on or can it begin adding those towers. Just trying to understand tmobiles band since been on sprint for 10 years. My nexus 6 gets good reception, but I’m noticing the iPhone 6 cuts off when on calls. Dunno if its a bad phone

        • pda96

          TMO is in the process of deploying the 700MHz spectrum it bought from Verizon and other sources. This frequency used by TMO is designated as Band 12. This frequency will penetrate buildings better and travel farther.

          Up until now, TMO can’t broadcast this frequency because the fore-mention TV station has the right to this band. But I guess TMO now has permission to deploy this frequency. So it’s great news for L.A. residents.

          One more note, not all phones sold by TMO are Band 12 compatible though. But they promised all new phones released this yr will be.

        • Cayden Griesbach

          My guess when they get approved by the FCC to purchase certain 700 mhz markets and the deal is squared away with the seller that’s when they begin working on the towers. So basically current 700 mhz area already have the towers upgraded. Just a matter of a waiting game for mobile.

  • skywalkr2

    I’m in a building near Phill – no LTE. zip 19425.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Please map any band 12 lte on sensorly

    • monkeybutts

      I don’t think Sensorly is able to distinguish LTE bands.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        It can’t but band 12 travel Long distances. That’s why I said that

      • Alex Hutchins

        Actually Sensorly can implement that on Android. I have an app ‘LTE Discovery’ from the play store that reports the band of LTE you are on, no root required.

  • Loco Mole
  • Omar Boyer

    Does anyone kno if the xperia z3 from tmobile supports this new band? Cuz im thinkin of taking my 2 att lines back to tmobile .. i like the z3 and my mom the iphone 6 plus . And since i live in los angeles i seen that most of LA is covered by this new band.

    • yatolstiy
    • E

      from this link, it does appear the Z3 in Bank 12 compatible. probably will need others to verify though, but it seems pretty accurate considering Note 4, Note Edge, and Nexus 6 are all on the list too.

      http://www.spectrumgateway.com/compatible-phones

    • Mike

      The Z3 sold by Tmobile is band 12 compatible.

    • TMOTECH

      Z3 yes. iPhone 6 no…

      • Analog Spirit

        And I would add that only the T-Mobile variant of the Z3 (the D6616 model) supports band 12. So if you’re on T-Mobile and you want to be able to use a Z3 on that band, make sure it’s the D6616 model, the one T-Mo sells. The other variants support T-Mo’s other LTE bands (2 and 4), but not band 12.

        And as an added bonus, T-Mo’s variant has 32 GB of internal storage, unlike the other variants, which have only 16 GB. Unfortunately the T-Mo variant of the Z3 is only available in black (I really like the white Z3).

  • YABD

    I am trying to find out what’s the biggest amount of data that you have used in a month with Tmobile? Please reply me.

    • Jay Holm

      About 23gb’s.

    • SEBA

      53GB

    • Aaron Tillery

      About 163gb last June on average about 20 something gbs a month

    • monkeybutts

      30 GB, I know 2 people that have used over 1 TB before though.

      • nextgenius

        combined or each!?

        • monkeybutts

          each they wanted to see if T-mobile would say anything.

    • taron19119

      I use 90gb of data a month

    • Mathew Colburn

      Between April and September I average around 60GB

    • Ray

      I average around 35.

    • Justin Smith

      140-160Gbs per month

    • qmc

      About 1.2GB. And yes I have an unlimited plan. (t-zones)

    • kev2684

      56gb when i was in the process of moving

    • Henry Pham

      If these are typical Tmo users, then I don’t think my recent unlimited data plan will be for long (speaking as a guy who had Sprint unlimited taken away as well).

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Sprint still has unlimited but I read they limit videos

        • Austin

          Yes they limit at 1 mbit.

    • KingCobra

      Most I’ve ever used was 15GB. Normally I average around 6-7.

    • gmo8492

      I average 20GB a month and I’m not even a heavy user based on what I’ve seen on some forums.

    • Naruto44

      100GB and my wife the same month 96GB.

      • Austin

        Are you trying to use that much bandwidth? I’ve used that much on Verizon before trying to but never done that on T-Mobile.

        • Naruto44

          Was just one month

    • Romdude

      About 10GB per month and I have unlimited high speed. I just like having it in case I need it.

  • KingCobra

    You can’t enable Band 12 on a device that doesn’t have the radio for it. It’s a hardware limitation.

    • Logan S

      Did you read the forum? Some people have.

      • RiskyBidThis

        It’s illegal to do that and if it doesn’t have the appropriate filters you’re either going to accomplish nothing or destroy your band 17 radio if one is present.

        Just because the interface says something is enabled doesn’t mean it’s actually supported in hardware.

  • Kenneth Warner

    Keep us updated

  • RiskyBidThis

    The LA update should really be receiving its own post. While Merced at least isn’t tiny (~80K residents), it and Limerick are a far cry from Los Angeles and surroundings in importance and the ability to deploy there seems worth more than a brief mention at the end of a generic LTE update post.

    I mean, it’s the second-largest metro and it positively impacts ~17M people.

    • Al Karimse Mela

      Seriously! LA is a big deal of news, and its not even mentioned on the headline. Tmobile reaching and agreement with RPVB (BS channels) is a bigger deal than a lot of headlines that are posted on this site.

  • Brian Cicalese

    What I need to know is if the iPhone 6 can get a software update to work with this lte band

    • KingCobra

      No it can’t. You’ll have to buy the iPhone 6S most likely.

      • Brian Cicalese

        Most likely will wait for iPhone 7 or since it will the 10th model maybe it will be called iPhone X

    • Analog Spirit

      I have an iPhone 6 and asked about this recently too, and no, unfortunately the iPhone 6 and 6+ do not support LTE band 12. They support just about every band EXCEPT band 12. It’s not something that can be enabled with a software update as it’s a hardware limitation. So if you want to use band 12, you’ll have to either buy a different phone or wait til the next iPhone comes out.

  • Analog Spirit

    This is excellent news! I happen to live almost in the exact centre of that L.A. area Channel 51 exclusion zone, right next to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, so this means I’m going to finally be able to get LTE band 12 coverage sooner than I expected. This made my day, and it should solve my indoor reception problem. So maybe I’ll stick with T-Mobile after all. Now all I need is a phone that supports LTE band 12 (my iPhone 6 doesn’t support it, unfortunately).

    • ltnstar

      So band 12 will also support voice? I hot a nexus 6 so I’m ready for band 12. Just curious to find out if this means they can begin adding it to their towers or have they already and can just turn it on. I been getting good service but from what I notice my mom’s iphone6 gets bad voice reception. Anyone know if its a volte thing?

      • Analog Spirit

        Now that I don’t know. I sure hope it does support voice. I don’t have a phone that supports band 12 so I have no way of testing that out. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on this can help us out here.

      • Voice goes over GSM or UMTS, not LTE, unless the device and the carrier support VoLTE.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Hopefully it will solve my reception problem in 2 of my 5 spots I work at. Main office is like a fortress and home with all the trees.

      • Analog Spirit

        I hear you on that. At home I have solid LTE, but at work I get nothing at all if I’m indoors, unless I’m on the very top floor or right next to a window. I hope that band 12 won’t take too much longer for them to roll out, because I’d really rather not have to wait another year or more for some indoor reception.

        And that’s another thing: If band 12 LTE will only be for data and not voice (as someone mentioned below), then even after they roll it out, I’d only be able to use it for mobile data and I still wouldn’t be able to make or receive calls or texts anyway (right? Or would I?).

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Should work with volte

        • Analog Spirit

          OK, thanks.

  • Derek Mounce

    Cam,
    In Somerset, KY T-Mobiles LTE is on with 1900Mhz band 2. It hasn’t officially launched yet but it had been on since Nov 9th up from GPRS which was a big jump. Where I live the signal fluctuates from 4-5 bars to 1-2 bars and sometimes loses signal completely and that is even with a signal booster which also sometimes loses signal

  • Steve Park

    Won’t see 700Mhz around 42701. We have a TV station (WMYO-CW Network) that is using that band and don’t see it going away any time soon. Still stuck on 2G Edge at my house, but 4G LTE less than 1/2 mile away.

  • Nerd_Baller

    Is it possible that tmobile has other spectrum deals but they can’t announce them due to the aws-3 auction?

    • enkay1

      Definitely.

  • Clippers FANactic

    Band 12 live in Lancaster Ca. 93534