T-Mobile improves in latest RootMetrics US network report, but wins 0 national awards

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RootMetrics today released its First Half 2015 US Mobile Network Performance Review, which ranks the US carriers based on performance across the country. During its testing, RootMetrics says that it drove 237,506 miles across the US to collect around 6.1 million test samples.

RootMetrics’ overall performance winner for the first half of 2015 was Verizon, scoring a 94.5 out of 100. AT&T scored 91.8, Sprint got 87.5, and T-Mobile finished fourth at 82.0. T-Mobile also finished fourth place in Network Reliability, Call Performance, and Text Performance. However, T-Mo did manage to beat out Sprint and come in third place in the Network Speed and Data Performance categories. RootMetrics notes that T-Mo recorded speeds of 20Mbps or higher in 45 of the 125 markets tested, beating out AT&T’s 11 markets and Sprint’s 0. The fastest median download speed recorded was 33.8Mbps in Akron, Ohio.

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RootMetrics expanded on its rankings for T-Mobile, saying that it found Magenta to perform better in metro areas than at national levels. The company also deemed T-Mo a “solid choice” if you primarily use your smartphone in a major urban area. In all, T-Mobile ended up winning 221 RootScore awards, 20 more than it did in RootMetrics’ testing from the second half of 2014.

Unsurprisingly, John Legere had a few things to say about RootMetrics’ report. The outspoken CEO sent out some Tweets saying that “a little road trip is not an accurate network study” and that in the time that RootMetrics conducted its report, T-Mobile expanded its LTE coverage to include 30 million additional people and expanded its 700MHz coverage to more than 135 markets.

Legere also touted the recent study done by SpeedTest app maker Ookla that crowned T-Mobile the fastest mobile network in the US. Ookla came to that result after gathering more than 5 million speed tests and averaging the results from users and devices. Legere says that he prefers this type of crowd-funded report rather than one that has a “couple guys from @rootmetrics drive around, get paid by carriers to test networks on a single old-generation phone.”

If you’d like a closer look at the full RootMetrics report, it can be found at the link below.

Source: RootMetrics

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  • SEBA

    I’m not surprised anymore, I noticed our speed dropped compared to few months ago. In really crowded places our data becomes unusable.

    • Verizonthunder

      I agree, network quality has been taking a beating sense more customers are on the network. T-Mobile needs to add more 15×15 or 20×20 this is becoming a much needed request.

      • Joe

        That is true but I think they also need to start tuning the towers and making sure they have proper backhual and making sure that they spread ppl evenly between towers and everything else.

        • Verizonthunder

          That is what 15×15 or 20×20 widebands will address. I was on vacation where network quality flux between Lte and 3g which was still extremely slow at times.

        • Joe

          Wideband will not fix your problem that you had. Low band would and of tower densification. Wideband helps with congestion but you also need suitable backhule, and a bunch of other factores which I dont even know.

  • Andrew Heisler

    I have to noticed slower speeds with t mobile. Around a city of around of 40,00 in north Carolina I was getting like 1 Mbps down. I looked it up and they only have 5MHz of spectrum. All the customers they are adding is not sustainable without more spectrum.

  • For me TMUS is still a solid performer. Colleagues send messages to all employees in my site about signal issues with ATT or VZW every quarter, much to my bemusing, as I’ve had 4 solid bars.

    But, as we are coming to find out, the band 12 roll out is proving to have a slow uptake. Without VOLTE becoming ubiquitous, beyond the very expensive or very cheap phones sold by TMUS, it means little to most of its customers now and in the near future.

  • Mike Palomba

    I think they should state what phone or phones they used to test each carrier. Because let’s say they use an iPhone to test each carrier, the iPhone doesn’t support 700MHZ LTE on T-Mobile but supports all bands on Sprint, Verizon, and ATT. But if they use a phone like the Galaxy s6 then the tests would be fair since that phone supports all the bands that all the carriers use.

    • jay

      They used S5 on all carriers. Which doesn’t support band 12. We’ll see how TMO does when that report comes out.

      • Which variants, those sold by the respective carriers?

        • kbiel

          I did not see where they said which specific brand and model used, but they did state that they bought them off the shelf at a corporate store for each carrier.

        • If so, then I assume that they got the proper variant to test each carrier individually.

      • Roger Sales

        This reminds me of last years Super Bowl all over again when they refused to test T-Mobiles network.

      • Mike Palomba

        Yea that creates flawed data because the S5 supports all of the other carriers netowrks completely but not T-Mobiles. Hopefully next time they do this test in a fair, unbiased maner

        • Nostradamus

          No it doesn’t. The S5 doesn’t have Band 41 carrier aggregation on Sprint either. They were arguably as effected by that omission as T-Mobile. I’m sure Root Metrics will be using a Band 12 compatable device in their 2H 2015 testing.

        • Mike Palomba

          Oh I wasn’t aware of that.

        • Nostradamus

          Yep, So I’d expect both T-Mobile and Sprint to see better results in the back half of the year testing. Root is usually pretty good about using timely devices to capture as accurate state of a network as possible. Sometimes though like here you end up with a 6 month lag.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Carrier Aggregation is barely launched by Sprint.

          It’s as sporadic as their Band 41 sites that it’s not even a factor.

          Band 12 is absolutely more relevant.

        • Nostradamus

          No one is saying one is more relevant than the other except you. Sprint claims to have 2xCA in 40 markets, many of them the largest metros in the U.S., all of them places root tests. It stands to reason that their second half results, primarily to T-Mobile’s due to band 12 are going to improve.

        • calvin200

          I’m in one of the top 50 markets and I have carrier aggregation on two of the towers that I use the most. There is also CA where I work. I do not know what criteria they used, but it’s not that rare in the cities I guess. I had a similar experience in Chicago.

        • Fabian Cortez

          That may be the case, but it’s not on every site within a market.

          In contrast, if a market has 20×20 MHz Band 4 deployed on T-Mobile or even Band 12, it’s market-wide. L700 may not be on every site, but the net effect doesn’t neccessate it due to its propagation characteristics.

          What good is carrier aggregation if it’s live on select random sites?

        • calvin200

          Not saying it is and I realize the value of having a wider band and a lower frequency, when properly used. All I was saying is that it is not as rare as an endangered species.

      • steveb944

        What’s your source? Their report doesn’t state which device.

        • jay

          Go to a specific city and clicks on its report towards the end of the page in gray it will state what phones used.

  • jay

    “in the first half of 2015, one carrier was in the process of rolling out 700 MHz spectrum band in certain markets and releasing phones that supported this additional spectrum. The additional spectrum was not widely available to consumers at that time because it was released in limited markets and the devices were new. With the expansion of this rollout and support on additional devices, our testing in the second half of 2015 will cover the release of this new 700 MHz spectrum deployment”.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Huh?

      I guess wireless networks remain static and ongoing upgrades never complete. Oh yeah, just like Sprint’s ongoing Network Vision.

      Meanwhile, companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon manage to actually get upgrades done in a timely manner that does not justify holding out on devices that support their network for 6-12 months.

      What a silly explanation from that company. They sound very Apple-like with respect to their omission of 3G and LTE in their iPhones.

  • Diego Anza

    I have to agree, if they keep adding more and more subscribers with unlimited data or very large data buckets they’ll have to densify the network big time. And quick! I live in South Florida and there are spots in the middle of the city where the network is so saturated you can barely use data at all it’s like being on edge! T-Mobile has always had great service here and we’re on 15×15 and have 700mhz already but the network is literally crawling in some places. Most of the time I get between 5 and 10 Mbps which is okay but really far away from the 50mbps I used to get. Oh and the coverage maps are total bull. I went to the NASA space center in cape Canaveral with my mom and dad and there was nothing there, not even 2g. Also if you travel inland there are huge areas with so little signal it’s unusable even outdoors. You can, after several tries, send an SMS. Maybe. I’m talking about the clewiston area. If you look at those pretty maps it all looks dark magenta but the reality is totally different. I have a Samsung s6 so I have all the bands, they can’t even blame it on my phone…

    • Ascertion

      Their old coverage map was a lot more accurate. They’ve just pasted the color pink on the old map and called it a day. Even areas that say “Customer verified” often have little to no usable signal.

    • Acdc1a

      I live in and travel all of Southeast Florida. The service is nothing short of spectacular except at Dolphins games. Something is off on your story. I frequently go bass fishing in Lake Okeechobee and have no issues. Clewiston proper (if you can call Walmart and a dollar store proper) has LTE. Leading into town is HSPA from most directions except Belle Glade which is LTE the whole way.

      I’ll tell you what’s lacking…service on Tamiami Trail from just East of Naples to Western Dade county. No coverage at all, not even roaming despite the fact that AT&T has towers.

      • Diego Anza

        I know Clewiston has LTE, but I said the clewiston “area”. Try taking those roads from clewiston to 75 and you’ll see what I mean. Granted it’s very rural but the maps would make you think you have LTE everywhere when in reality in many places you have maybe one bar which is not usable. Also traveling north on 95 to saint Augustine we found a bunch of areas only covered by edge or other areas where in spite of having a faux g signal, it was impossible to stream music or open a website. Sprint and the others are probably not much better but I was complaining about the lack of accuracy of their coverage maps.

      • Smp215

        I live in Everglades City and get LTE within 3 miles of the tower at US 41 and Hwy 29. Other than that I have no service or full bars with no data. Says I’m on an unregistered network. Over towards the Miccosukee Res it say emergency calls only.

        The Tamiami Trail is a major thoroughfare between the west coast and Miami, (a Tmobile City), I’m very surprised they haven’t stepped it up down here. There are cell towers all along 41 down here.

    • YABD

      I went to Titusville where the Kennedy space center is and the coverage is a yoyo. We need more coverage, more beef to the network.

  • Seems to square with my subjective experience this year. I feel like in my area, things have been worse over the past six months than the time prior to that. I’m noticing more gaps in coverage that didn’t affect me before and more random losses in reception. I hope the latter is just a symptom of working on the network.

    • Kiwini

      Also realize more customers using the network so more congestion. Thats why I never understand why people were so eager to have Tmobile pass Sprint in number of customers. I may do the Test Drive to test the network & see what an iPhone is like but I get over 30mbps sometimes with my ATT LTE Sim on Straight Talk. 5gb for $45 (no extra fees tagged on) still is working for me

  • trife

    They’ve come a long way for sure. But man, they have a long way to go. Just today I drove 5 miles past the city limits and was stuck on EDGE. I had a mishap with an incorrect address at the post office and thought I’d look the right address up. NOPE! I couldn’t even get a webpage to load, so I just left and now I inconveniently have to go back later.

    And just this past Saturday I went into a store having almost a full LTE signal. I went to the back of the store to look at something and wanted to compare prices in-store to Amazon. I literally had no service, and it wasn’t like I was in some huge, cavernous store. It was frustrating, to say the least.

    I really hope the network buildout is completed this year. I don’t like not knowing if my phone will be a brick if I travel anywhere outside of a city.

  • Melissa Cardenas

    same here in los angeles service is nothing to brag about . Full bars lte or 4G outside go in a store no service or one lil bar of edge. While Att maintains at least 3 bars lte of hspa in the same store, data speed was great before now its the same as atts lte 2-5 average with bursts of 10 to 15 on a good day ,average like i said its 5 .

    • M4F NSA

      Melissa, 5 average is still pretty good honey. What kind of phone do you have sugar? Does it have all the LTE bands and Cat 4 capable? Just wondering if it’s a device issue sweetie. I just ordered a mobile hotspot from T-Mobile that I will use whenever I’m not home or at work AND while in my Audi A4. I plan on using my Verizon phone only when I’m not at home, work, or in my Audi. Obviously when I travel on holiday the hotspot will come in handy too. Anyway, please elaborate you tall glass of water.

      • thepanttherlady

        Really?!!?

        honey?
        sugar?
        sweetie?
        tall glass of water?

        Sexist much?

        • Zacamandapio

          Grrrrrr
          Nice pic. Beautiful change.

        • thepanttherlady

          Danke :)

          I like having our female commenters contribute here. In that she’s never responded before to those types of comments, I don’t want her feeling uncomfortable.

        • M4F NSA

          Honey, I’m guessing your not some Hollywood actress, because that’s some serious over-acting. I think words can be harmful, and your accusation is pretty mean-spirited. I am not a sexist. Using terms of endearment is not sexist, especially such benign ones online. I asked some polite questions and did not put her down. As a curious and soon to be T-Mobile customer I was also saying 5 Mb/s average service is not aweful.

          Any mods out there please delete this young lady’s post. I’m offended by her strong words and unfair tone.

          p.s. That is a charming picture of you. I’m surprised you didn’t get offended by the other commentator’s flattery. That was way more sexist, if we carelessly throw around that word as you appear to. Or at least thirsty if we conclude that as the only female, as you claim, you should be the only one to be complimented.

        • J.J.

          i think the issue is that since you dont know her she is not your sugar, your sweetie, or your honey. maybe im wrong lol

        • Fabian Cortez

          She is the mod though.

          I find your post humorous though. In a non-judgemental way of course.

          Keep on posting!

        • Frankwhitess

          I totally totally Agree!!!! Love the New Picture :) ….

        • Raiterio Patterson

          He left out darling and pudding HAHAHA

      • J.J.

        wow!!! just wow!!!

      • Melissa Cardenas

        honey i have a S6 edge ,pretty sure it supoorts all LTE bands from tmobile honey ,so yea

        • M4F NSA

          Your absolute right doll. That beautiful beast you use can handle LTE: B2(1900), B4(AWS), B12(700), all of T-Mobile’s LTE bands and then some. Thank you for replying. I prefer apple products myself, but the design of the edge is nice. One question, is it difficult to keep the edge pristine and not scratched?

          Anyway, thank you for the response darling. And please ignore the panther girl. She was a bit dramatic and frankly, mean, for no real reason – I’m not trying to be a jerk. I hope your LTE speeds and coverage improves. Take care :)

        • Melissa Cardenas

          no prob n yea hope it improves i just hate havin no service in buildings while my mom on att has service, i dnt wanna go to att n join her ,but if things dont improve in 3 months ill have to switch . N u you too Hun take care ;)

    • Chris

      I don’t live in downtown LA but I do live close by and sometimes gets a chance to go around LA. I have a OnePlus and even I’m averaging around 10-13 when I’m in LA. Highest of 24. So it’s not that bad.

      • Fabian Cortez

        And that phone doesn’t support Bands 2 and 12.

        Los Angeles is a prime example of how T-Mobile’s network will turn out to be, experience-wise.

        And to be clear, the experience is a very nice one with Band 12 deployed.

        Make sure you have the correct phone that supports the entire network.

    • Will Grafius

      Ii luve

    • Will Grafius

      I live in Northern LA. Even with an LTE booster my in home signal and speed is poor. Maybe 50% of the time when travelling through the Northern and Eastern areas will I have “fast” data. Data is nonexistent around and especially in LAX. Thank goodness my work phone is a different carrier.

      • Melissa Cardenas

        Yes Lax is Very Spotty i was in The Aeromexico Terminal 2 and had Horrible service phone kept switching back n forth like crazy with 1 bar of 4G n edge ,while my mom had perfect Att Lte

    • moonoverparma

      The signal bars on your phone don’t necessarily indicate your LTE strength. Use an app called LTE discovery. That’ll tell you your true data connection

      • Melissa Cardenas

        well im sure they Do mean something when i have full bars outside calls n data go tru fine, when im in a store that have 1 lil bar edge i try calling someone it dont ring n go tru,try using data ,fb,look up a price on something Nada….

  • livinlife78

    As much as I like what Legere has done with the company, he really needs to publicly accept the fact at it’s current state, T-Mobile’s national network sucks! Outdoor, metro coverage is great, anywhere else you are taking a risk. My zip code is 23236 and I’m just minutes away from Richmond City. T-Mobile’s coverage map, shows 4G LTE. Well, that is true outside, inside my house…lol 0 bars. Outdoor data speeds are fast, and that’s about where the praise ends. My experience with my LG G3 (and other phones such as the G2, Note 2, Galaxy 3) are no coverage in my house, other family member’s homes, some of my friend’s home. I can’t send or receive mms while inside because the phone switches from wifi to the carrier’s network (which has no coverage) so I have to walk out to my drive-way to do mms. A good portion of my text don’t send (that’s everywhere even with full bars.) The duplicate text are getting really annoying at this point, call quality is hit or miss, but I don’t talk much. And, why can’t I leave a wifi location (such as my home) without having to restart my phone, it drives me crazy that the phone looses complete network connection. I’ve tried toggling airplane mode on/off, doing network searches with no luck the only thing that works is restarting the phone. So, I say this to Legere, I understand about some of your network hurdles, data speeds are great, but at this moment quit the bashing because the struggle is real! FWIW I’ve contacted tech support a couple times, they did send out a router, but I connected it at her house since she experiences the same issues, and I’d rather for my mom to have better service. Tech support still couldn’t fix the sms/mms problem.

    • Roberto Jaimes

      Well maybe you need a phone that’s equipped with band 12

      • nycplayboy78

        Ummm why??!! o.O

        Band 4 coverage should be plenty to have service in your home…I am in the DC Metro and experience the SAME ISSUES and I have the Galaxy Note Edge with is a Band 12 phone but the Band 12 LTE service is so spotty here in DC or FFS nevermind….UGH…..

        • Also Band 2 LTE should be good enough for indoor reception inside of a small building like a home.

      • Not only sporting band 12, but also VOLTE, lest TMUS disable band 12 in it, as it happened to the latest Moto E and Moto G.

      • livinlife78

        Good thing I didn’t buy a new phone, I just had a friend come test his Galaxy S6 edge+ and no surprise, we got the same problems. Looks like the not connecting to network issue is only on the G3, and that only started happening after I updated to the latest software. You got any other bright ideas?

        • Roberto Jaimes

          Yeah try switching carriers and stop complaining.

        • livinlife78

          lol I call T-Mobile out on the truth about their network, then you give some dumb response a customer service rep would say, which of course didn’t resolve the issue…what a joke.

    • Fabian Cortez

      He’s very well aware of the coverage.

      If your coverage was “good” or “excellent,” why would you set forth on a plan to natively expand coverage?

      This is the deprioritization article all over again.

      • Richard Roma

        I wouldn’t deduce much being good from these latest results. There is nothing worse than T-Mobile ending up with the same sort of Sprint apologist fanbase.

        • Fabian Cortez

          You’re kidding right?

          You realize that low band, the very same low band that helped Sprint, wasn’t tested?

          Am I saying Band 12 would make T-Mobile “beat” Sprint? Absolutely not due to various, almost obvious, reasons.

    • Richard Roma

      Same deal here. 9 out of 10 times that I take my phone out of my pocket within most structures, it will be on HSPA or 2G. Then if I place it on a table and leave it alone for a while, it might jump back to LTE 2 bars. Of course, the second I leave the building, it will be close to full LTE.

      The other problem is that non-metro areas are still 2G or No Service. It’s all good and well to be fast inner-city but they cannot sustain and long-term growth when people have to carry a 2nd phone.

      Now that everyone else is competitive on their own pricing, I may be forced to ‘jump’ to the other two again.

  • disqus_wppSz1w6p4

    I work for the company and get extremely disappointed with coverage repeatedly. Yes we have coverage where people live but not where people play. I’ve went to vacation in Ogunquit, ME, Bar Harbor, ME, Provincetown, MA, Key West, FL, etc. and due to not having a year round large population T-Mobile either has no network or a very poor network in these locations (Key West may have been improved, it admittedly has been a few years). There’s nothing more frustrating then being on vacation and now being able to use your mobile device for researching things to do restaurants, etc. If T-Mobile really wants to be in the competition they’re going to need to bite the bullet and start building new towers where there isn’t one currently instead of just continuing to update the existing towers.

    • Acdc1a

      Key West has fantastic service…except deep in the bowels of some Duval St. buildings.

      I agree on some of the other points. Hopefully they’re addressed before the end of the year.

      • disqus_wppSz1w6p4

        Thanks for the clarification, I was hoping that was the case and I’ll be much happier next time I find myself in KW!

      • nycplayboy78

        But everything else between Key West and Miami….For instance Marathon and Duck Keys service is NOT THERE…UGH…..I agree T-Mobile needs to bite the bullet and spend money on INFRASTRUCTURE upgrades instead of buying more spectrum…..ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

        • Acdc1a

          If you stray off the Overseas Highway it’s not so pretty good on the way to Key West.

    • YABD

      I went to disney world and I stayed in the art of animation hotel and not coverage inside the room at all. I sat next to a window and no coverage.

      • John Walsh Jr.

        Disney has jammers installed at some of its lower end hotels. It keeps the pimps and their slaves out of the facilities. I read about this in the Register. Apparently these guys don’t like paying for the hotels WiFi. Makes sense. After all these criminals should not be using these places, with so many children around, to solicit.

        • SirStephenH

          I find this unlikely considering radio jamming is ILLEGAL in the US.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Exactly.

          Those hotels were specifically told that they cannot engage in said practice no longer.

      • SirStephenH

        Every time I look at Florida on Spectrum Gateway’s 700Mhz map I’m left scratching my head as to why Orlando wasn’t one of the first places rolled out in the state. They own B12a in Orlando and deployment has been underway for some time in the rest of Florida. I think T-Mobile’s priorities got a little mixed up.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The exclusion zone was only recently lifted in Central Florida.

        • SirStephenH

          Good to know.

  • Ordeith

    The dropped calls and data trickle I experienced over the weekend despite having 4 bars of signal on my T-Mobile phone is a personal experience with Magenta getting worse, not better.

  • Jaramie Black

    T-Mobile has become a huge disappointment for me and my family. Coverage maps are complete bs, lte drop off is pathetic on a highway (interstate 40 in NC), and their lack of ability to really get the network right. I’m fine with speeds as low as 3 mbps, but once my LTE goes down to .5MBPS, thats an issue. HSPA+ in Wilmington, NC is a disaster due to the amount of customers they have added. They need to start buying up the rest of the 700 Mhz out there so they can fill in the gaps here in the Carolinas. Beaches and tourist areas around here have almost zero coverage and its disappointing when customers have no service in a extremely large city of over 100,000 people. Fix your network T-Mobile or I may have to consider different options for my family.

    • Raiterio Patterson

      Hey neighbor. Are saying there is no coverage along the Carolina coast? What about Currituck County??

      • nycplayboy78

        The Outer Banks…..T-Mobile has NO SERVICE there….UGH….To be fair nobody has good service in OBX though…SIGH….Not until you get on the main highway….SIGH….

      • Jaramie Black

        Never been up that far honestly but “according to sensorly” the outer banks should have decent service, not great.

    • YABD

      I agree with you. My family is facing the same problem here in Indiana.

    • Phone Guy

      If you are disappointed, switch. Writing about it on here won’t improve your service one iota. Pay more for a more expensive and bigger network and you are all set.

      • Jaramie Black

        i am trying to be patient in hopes of them finally buidling a bigger and stronger network. Actions speak louder than words and they have failed miserably once you leave a city. Backhaul to many sites arent in place yet along the high ways so lte speeds are still 2g speeds and the quality of the network is just pathetic.

    • Deval

      Unfortunately there isn’t that much 700mhz out there to purchase, and what limited amount there is enough only for a 5mhz deployment, which gives you max speeds of 37mbps on downlink. It will be useful for supplemental capacity, but not “data strong” speeds.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Not only should you switch carriers but oh should switch employers (from Sprint to T-Mobile).

        It’s interesting to kind of see you decry 5 MHz. Meanwhile, Sprint deploys 3 MHz FDD carriers out of their available 7 MHz FDD on Band 26.

        • Sprint hasn’t deployed any 3MHz carriers. That was the original plan on SouthernLINC territory but they reached a deal that has allowed Sprint to use a 5×5 carrier.

        • Deval

          Cute, another personal stab.

          Anyway, wasn’t decrying 5mhz, rather explaining limitations on throughput for those who may not know.

        • Fabian Cortez

          So your sudden need/urge to come over to TmoNews to help others understand the “limitations on throughout” of your competitor (yes, you work for Sprint) are because? Good Samaritan week?

          However, your argument is false. There is plenty of Band 12 out there for sale. It is T-Mobile that seems unwilling to make those purchases, at least looking from the outside in. We have no idea what kind of deals are going on behind-the-scenes. In fact, many analysts expect T-Mobile to pick up the rest of the 700 MHz A Block around the country.

          As far as Band 12 and its 5 MHz FDD is concerned, it provides additional capacity and can be aggregated with Band 4 to provide “data strong” speeds.

        • Marvin Lilmarv Bolden-Mitchell

          Amen deval

  • eanfoso

    …and like I complained earlier about my trip to and from Dallas to and from Houston, mainly outside of Dallas you’re lucky to go on roaming

  • YABD

    The only improvement I see with tmobile is they are increasing the speed in metro areas, the rest 2G and no service. I used to have 8 family members in my plan, 2 left for att and verizon and 4 more are leaving due to bad network. Root metrics is right.

  • TK – Indy

    My goodness, so many people gagging on the Kool-Aid. It is nice to see so many honest people on the site for a change.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Versus your constant trolling, right?

  • Phone Guy

    All of this complaining and whining gets tiresome. In America we have lots of choice. Unlimited
    on Sprint, but not a big footprint. Expensive ass service on AT&T and
    Verizon, but huge coverage areas. Look at the Verizon or ATT map up in WY and
    those areas. They have like 2 people that live there (kidding, but…) but yet they maintain full LTE service. Who
    is paying for this? The customers in CA and OR and FL and every other state. To
    have that in-depth coverage, you will have higher operating expenses. Stop demanding for T-Mobile to cover ever
    po-dunk town in the US without expecting to pay for it. Verizon gives you amazing coverage for a high
    price. For less, T-Mobile gives you free international data (albeit slow),
    almost free phone calls internationally (20 cents a minute) free international
    texting, Mexico and Canada as part of your US rate plan, and a TON of other
    features not provided by Verizon or ATT. So the choice is yours. Tons and tons
    of features with a smaller footprint for less, or in depth coverage where you
    are nickeled and dimed for everything. But the beauty is you have choice. Get
    the hell off of T-Mobile if its not what you are looking for. For me, where I go the coverage if amazing,
    and I am always out of the country, so the plans serve me well. Don’t force the
    company to bend over to your ways. Pick a company that fits you. T-Mobile will
    never be exactly what all these complainers want. Verizon and ATT are begging for your business
    as well. Give it to them.

    • Verizon doesn’t have good coverage in Wyoming. I looked at the maps. AT&T is king there, sadly.

  • DStudio

    Be wary when anyone boldly proclaims they’re superior (and strongly suggests everyone else is inferior). This is exactly what RootMetrics on the first page of this study – they even highlight this sentiment in obnoxiously big teal text. Then they elaborate on the scientific method they espouse, as a way of saying “you can’t touch us” (with any kind of criticism). Scientific work has to be planned and executed well, with minimal bias going in. Otherwise the results may hold little value. Yet with just a few statements they unilaterally anoint themselves as the auditors of the industry – but apparently with no one to audit them.

    I’m not saying their results are worthless – they may be quite useful, properly applied. Perhaps they feel entitled, after the wearying number of miles they’ve traveled. But who’d want to entertain the thought that all that work was in vain (e.g. by selecting an inappropriate phone, measuring method, or tools)?

    Unfortunately the verbiage exhibits all the hallmarks of an egotistical narcissist. If this were a pastor or politician, you certainly wouldn’t want to go to his church or vote for him.

  • emcdonald75

    Sometimes I don’t understand cell frequencies. In Madison, MS, I can have full service in one spot and no service in another all within a few feet of distance outside. Also, I can have full LTE service outside of the Sam’s store and no service when I walk into the Sam’s store, then service restores once I walk outside again. Is this because T-Mobile doesn’t have low-band in Mississippi? The tower is actually close by so I don’t understand why service changes between going in a store and outside of a store. I literally had no service on one corner on the outside and went around the corner to have full service. I can understand great distances a part, but when the area is that close? Really T-Mobile? I just don’t get it!?

    • Correct. Nor do they have wideband LTE (1700/2100 band) in that area, either.

    • VernonDozier

      That would most likely be an issue with programming hand-offs and neighbor lists into the network.

      But what happened in many areas was T-Mobile fired many of it’s operational overhead positions (network engineers) and re-allocated those funds to flashy ads. The new replacement engineers (many hired directly out of Technical School), started over from scratch or know where all the antennas and tower elevations are. Elevation of the antennas dictate priority on the neighbor list.

    • Deval

      Could be a lot of things. Sometimes antenna panels are configured for blanket coverage, and the tilt may cause small coverage gaps to appear, especially if you’re directly under the umbrella.

    • SirStephenH

      Lowband (spectrum under 1Ghz) is often needed for indoor/dead spot coverage but T-Mobile doesn’t own any band 12 (lowband, 700Mhz) in Mississippi and is unlikely able to obtain any. C Spire currently owns the band 12a licenses covering Mississippi. I’m sure T-Mobile will take care of this issue in the upcoming 600Mhz auction though.

      It’s likely that you’re on band 4 like most of the rest of us although T-Mobile is repurposing band 2 for LTE in many areas. It doesn’t matter though because they’re both midband and have similar coverage.

      The lower a frequency is the longer distance it travels and the easier it can penetrate objects and buildings with a tradeoff of lower speeds.

      The higher a frequency is the higher the speed it’s capable of but it also reduces range and penitration.

      Other things also effect coverage such as building design and materials (metal is your main enemy here and skyscrapers and big box stores are among the worst) and your location and proximity to and the height of a tower. It seems to make sense that the closer you are to a tower, the better your signal but it’s not that simple. Cellular antennas are directional (signals are aimed in one direction) and are normally aimed in order to cover the largest area. This often leaves an area of lower signal power close to the tower with the best signal being a few hundred yards away.

      • emcdonald75

        Thank you. That explains a lot. I heard that LTE signals are fragile, but I thought I would at least get a 4G signal would propagate further on the 1900 PCS signal.

  • VernonDozier

    I’m sorry Legere is stretching the truth. RootMetrics data comes from people like you and I who load the app on the phone.

    I personally have put 10-15 “Red” (meaning “bad”) coverage areas on the map. I’ve also placed 3 or 4 Yellow (meaning “Average”) coverage areas on the map.

    The beauty of Root Metrics data is that it’s T-Mobile’s own customers that are providing the data. But when the network is only 1900MHz, it really sucks.

    The FCC Speed Test App also has similar results. So I guess when you don’t like the results, you say they must be paid for… The results are like how T-Mobile buys Spectrum. Remember when T-Mobile bid and won a stockpile of 700Mhz spectrum in the past decade? Yeah, I knew you would remember when T-Mobile placing those bids as well.

    T-Mobile US’s new marketing slogan: If the results or the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

    • Nostradamus

      Root’s data in the reports is their own drive testing.

      • VernonDozier

        Well, then I am quite proud to have contributed to Root Metrics some “Free Data” from my Data Stash Plan on how the coverage doesn’t work for me.

        If all T-Mobile customers donated some “Free Data” by using the app, then T-Mobile won’t have to create maps which claim coverage in places that there isn’t any. Additionally, the RootMetrics maps would be more accurate.

        • Fabian Cortez

          T-Mobile’s maps are just like the other carrier maps: they’re mathemetically-generated.

          You don’t need to have conversations between your three accounts to determine that.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          That’s partially correct. However, a good map will have an accurate propagation model based on 3-meter Geodata. 3-Meter is very expensive, needs to be annually updated, and requires clearance which is something T-Mobile can’t acquire because it’s still owned by a foreign government.

          AT&T, Verizon and Sprint on the other hand, all have this data. They have Government Contracts which carry service obligations. T-Mobile never could support selling service under it’s centralized organizational structure. It sells phones which take 2 years to pay off. It’s modeled closer to a Best Buy or McDonalds.

          The best data in the world is worthless if it’s more than 3 years old,
          or if the only geodata set available is the winter version. So T-mobile is really stuck with the inputs to that mathematically-generated Map being based on free public information which is updated every 7-10 years. (USGS Tiger and/or Census Data). That’s the best that a company primarily owned by a foreign government will ever do.

          Following acquisition of terrain data, the best mathematicians in the world need accurate height, elevation, antenna beam widths to feed into it. Here’s the kicker– because T-Mobile outsources its buildouts, they likely don’t have that data in a structured format to generate a map that’s accurate.

          But none of this matters because T-Mobile executive Allan Tantillo earier in the year said they have no plans to add coverage in areas people go to. He specifically noted sporting arenas, hotels, hospitals and theme parks. So, the best data-driven analysis system in the world can’t add coverage in those places because it would suggest seemingly obvious places people would expect to use the service. It wouldn’t work the way Allan approves budgets.

        • maximus1901

          Not what he said. He said he can’t afford to put a DAS into every hospital, school without each venue sharing in the cost.
          That’s such a misrepresentation of what he said. Your profile pic and way of talking screams “shill”

        • Fabian Cortez

          Curiously (:eyeroll), VernonDozier makes the same claims.

          Regardless, the claims about DASs by the T-Mobile executive are on point and not what Clifton K. Morris makes them out to be,

          It is the greedy landlords that need to get with the times and do everything in their power to get the popular carriers into their buildings at reasonable costs.

        • maximus1901

          Lowband, especially on TMO site density, will fix the small-mid venue coverage problems.

        • maximus1901

          What was the mid edit?

          Mathematically generated is not an excuse.

          TMO can send people out to a given area, get signal samples and adjust their propagation parameters to match their actual signal levels.
          Their current maps would be accurate if every tower had 700a.
          I’ve been in a car in a “lte in most houses” area with both iPhone 4S and moto g lte got EDGE. That’s not acceptable. And we weren’t on a coverage border.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The “mod edit” is for telling the truth about the single owner of the different accounts. But I digress.

          No, it’s not an excuse for anyone’s maps. But if one truly believes that Verizon’s coverage is as they depict on their maps, then I have some snake oil for them.

        • maximus1901

          Lowband paves over many deployment sins.

    • Nostradamus

      Just to clarify rootmetrics has their own app much like Ookla’s speed test or maybe the better comparison is sensorly that aggregates user data.

      The root metrics reports are based on root metrics themselves drive testing markets. The methodology is on their website. But I fully agree with you that this isn’t a good look for Legere.

      1) There is nothing to suggest carriers are paying root metrics to test the networks. Root metrics claims they are completely independent. I have a feeling they may offer more detailed reports to carriers based on the data they’ve collected.

      2) Contrary to Legere’s tweet I think the fact they drive test is what makes me trust their results even more. Here is the latest Denver report for example where T-Mobile won on speed. http://www.rootmetrics.com/us/rsr/denver-co/2015/1H Over a 5 day period they drive 1,100 miles in the Denver metro and conducted over 25,000 tests. That diversity in geographic metro area and frequency in number of tests gives a much better picture of a market than crowd sourced apps.

      • Clifton K. Morris

        The Denver market is a rare oddity. Recently in the state’s local newspaper, was an article about a firm located in Golden Colorado called Centerline Solutions whom carriers outsource their network engineering and management to.

        So the article about Centerline Solutions was strange. This company won a million-dollar grant from their State for creating engineering jobs and a new business model of outsourced network management. This was covered in their local newspaper. Apparently the Denver coverage at one time was so terrible that the State Government is actively giving money to see it improve.

        Giving credit to T-Mobile for having “won” awards in Denver, (when the work is outsourced) is an oversight at worst, disingenuous at best.

  • No wonder why T-Mobile won zero awards: They’re using IOS and Android phones.

    • SirStephenH

      They won zero awards because RootMetrics used S6s for the testing which lack band 12 support…

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile won zero awards because RootMetrics used S5s which lack band 12 support. This report should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • calvin200

      They pick up signals that much better? They had band 12?

      • Those phones didn’t have Band 12.

        • calvin200

          I’m saying, what kind of phones had band 12 at the time. Do the phones you are talking about pick up signals that much better? What phones are you talking about?

        • The Samsung Galaxy series, in this case. None of their phones had T-Mobile’s Band 12 prior to the Note IV.

        • calvin200

          I’m asking if they weren’t using IOS and Android phones, like you said in your, “No wonder…..” post what should they have used? Why are you addressing an issue that isn’t an issue if a phone wasn’t out yet that could use that signal?

        • Most IOS and Android phones are made of metal in part, which degrades UHF signals, which mobile devices operate on. That kind of distorts the results of tests.

        • calvin200

          So which phone should they have used?

        • Jaden Keuten

          Every single Samsung phone since the S5 has had AMAZING RF performance. Apple & Samsung are known for their great RF performance.

  • Dominimmiv

    I have to say Rootmetrics is closer to the truth than T-Mobile maps. Yesterday I was in my home office located in the middle of the Inland Empire-So. Cal- (population 4 MILLION) in the largest county in the country and no service at all in the parking lot of Downtown San Bernardino. I pull out my handy ‘music’ phone with Band 12 (LG Leon) and have 3 bars in the parking lot and 1-3 in building. Problem is NO data, the network is already so clogged on Band 12 it is almost worthless. No data = no Volte. So I had a phone in my hand showing service that practically was non existent. I don’t want to go back to AT&T but if they don’t figure out how to add capacity to accommodate the new subscribers I won’t have a choice, other than AT&T or their Cricket cousin.

    • Uxorious

      One HUGE problem with the T-Mobile coverage maps is that they no longer show how strong the signal is at a particular location. San Francisco (for example) is bathed in 4GLTE … but anyone who lives there knows that if you are at the bottom of a hill somewhere you might be able to eke out 4GLTE if you stand in the middle of the street, on tiptoe, and hold the phone up as high as you can.

      • SirStephenH

        Yep. I use Sensorly and RootMetrics myself. Their crowdsourced maps are far more accurate than anything the carriers put out.

        Unfortunately Sensorly isn’t on T-Mobile’s whitelist so speed tests on its map can be negatively scewed by throttled/de-prioritized connections. The coverage map is accurate though and I like it above all others.

        RootMetrics is on the whitelist though so it shows actual network speeds. I just don’t like how tests are averaged over large hexes.

  • steveb944

    I find some bias with their ‘study’. They seem to advertise quite a bit and place too much opinion instead of just presenting the facts. And not disclosing SPECIFIC equipment used already raises red flags.
    We all know T-Mobile lacks in the boonies, but they’re improving. YMMV and if it doesn’t work pay more elsewhere.

    • Nostradamus

      They disclosed they used Samsung S5’s

      • Clifton K. Morris

        Good catch…

        I think it’s odd that Legere thinks 33.8MB/sec is accomplished on an “old generation” phone. Driving thousands of miles doesn’t occur as quickly as someone can snap a finger.

        I am starting to believe that the executive board must have told Legere what his opinion was (likely Neville Ray) before he could read the report or results.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Once again, you lost it.

          Understand that wireless networks are dynamic and as you put it “driving thousands of miles doesn’t occur as quickly as someone can snap a finger” would indeed miss the fast nature of network upgrades.

          Not to mention the lack of Band 12 testing versus the other three’s low band testing.

        • moonoverparma

          And even Sprint doesn’t have their band 26 (800mhz) deployed everywhere so I basically take rootmetrics with a grain of salt.

        • calvin200

          You are right. I was thinking TMobile would close up the gap a little but now I think it will be about the same.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          T-Mobile pays an outside firm $250k per year to run a similar test. It’s been a few years since it was discussed but I think the firm is Telcordia.. I have to check.

          Still, the issue again is that T-Mobile is using non-standard bands, which not all phones are compatible with or use.

          But the biggest problem is that T-Mobile isn’t communicating its bands or standards very well. Equipment doesn’t exist. America’s most popular smartphone isn’t even compatible. So it’s like baking a cake but substituting a key ingredient like Yeast for Baking Powder or Saccharin for Sugar. The first person whom should be angry about the way the cake comes out of the oven should be the idiot who put it in the oven.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Yeah, but that’s just not true.

          T-Mobile is actually using standardized bands in this country. It is Sprint who’s the odd man out with Band 25, Band 26, Band 41. Not to mention AT&T’s commitment to the FCC to switch to using Band 12.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          Of course, but Sprint’s band allocation was accepted by Apple. They had to commit to several $Billion in sales for Apple to make the desired changes including changes on the manufacturing line to accommodate Sprint’s frequency bands.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Of course, but Sprint’s band allocation was accepted by Apple. They had to commit to several $Billion in sales for Apple to make the desired changes including changes on the manufacturing line to accommodate Sprint’s frequency bands.

          Once again, you’re factually incorrect.

          But please enlighten us all as to how an engineering change (design, PAMs, etc.) affects the manufacturing line.

        • Do you realize that Apple does not design the radio chip, but just buys them from the likes of Broadcom or Qualcomm?

        • matt

          do you realize that apple is probably the only mobile phone manufacturer that actually buys that chip? why is that? why is every single cell phone maker in the world besiddes apple buying older mobile chipsets with limited LTE channels?? is it because apple has a exclusivity deal with them? or is it because all the other phone companies use cheap parts to save $$ ???

          the iPhone 5s had 13 channels, now with the 6, they are up to 20.
          meanwhile the best thing that google nexus and its cousin , the amazon fire flop phone can offer is 9 channels.

          why is this???

          is it because samsung and lg are broke and cant spend the few extra dollars that the chip costs?????

        • No, it’s because the more frequencies that have to be supported, the more expensive is the radio frontend. As the economies of scale allow, more and more phones will support more frequencies, as can be seen with the Galaxy S6 and the Moto X Stylus. In a couple of years or so, even entry level phones will support the most common bands worldwide.

        • LTE bands currently used by the top 3 carriers:
          – Band 2: ATT, TMUS, VZW
          – Band 4: ATT, TMUS, VZW
          – Band 12: ATT, TMUS
          – Band 13: VZW
          – Band 17: ATT

          It seems to me that TMUS shares most bands with the duopoly than they with TMUS.

        • Walt

          You sure ATT uses band 12? I thought 17 was their LTE band

        • Band 17 is a subset of band 12 and is being phased out in favor of band 12. ATT’s towers will advertise as being compatible with both band 12 and 17.

          In summary, TMUS has licenses to operate channel A of band 12 and ATT, for channels B and C of band 12.

        • walt

          Since TMUS only owns A block is that just good for 5×5? and since ATT owns blocks B and C is that 10×10 total? is it possible for t mobile to buy more A block spectrum or another block that’s available,,,,or will they be stuck with 5×5 forever?

        • SirStephenH

          Yes, A block is only good for a 5×5 and blocks B and C together can be used for a 10×10. Each separately is good for a 5×5.

          It’s possible and likely that T-Mobile will obtain more B12a but that will only effect areas not already covered (it’s licensed in full blocks so you can’t just buy more A block where you already own it because that’s all there is). They could buy other blocks as they have in parts of North Dakota but continuous spectrum is best which would require block B which AT&T owns most of and is unlikely to let go. They could make use of other non-contiguous B12 blocks with carrier aggregation but that’s still a bit down the road.

        • Block A is just 5×5. T-Mobile owns some licenses for block A and US Cellular and direction squatters own others. The same is true for blocks B and C, not all of them are licensed to ATT, but also to US Cellular and to squatters.

          It’s a mess, with most of it in the dark, much like most of the auctioned spectrum.

          Thanks, Ob…, err, FCC!

        • Fabian Cortez

          Actually, thanks AT&T and Verizon for their lobbying for this mess.

          The FCC should have adopted the APT plan for 700 MHz. Not the fragmented nonsense that only helped AT&T and Verizon that we have today.

        • To thank the corrupted or the corruptor… Is that a trick question?

          On another note, the APT band plan just took way too long, but at least it’s rational and efficient.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          Still, I think it speaks to how astute most Germans are.

          Remember- German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t use T-Mobile service even in Germany. You may recall the Deutsche Telekom was caught spying on German citizens a few years ago. Angela Merkel uses Mannesmann/Vodafone. In the US, the company roams on Verizon. She was recorded ordering a pizza.

          Still, the band overlap is likely so that when T-Mobile is acquired, it’s compatible. Until that occurs, they’ll likely publicly state that it’s done for 9-1-1 reasons. T-Mobile knows that it would be very bad PR if someone visiting from Germany made an emergency call to 9-1-1 which didn’t connect and they had to be flown back in a casket.

          It’d be controversial because German Taxpayers would wonder why their Government invested in the US.

        • DT is a private company of which the German government is a minor shareholder with just 15%of the total.

          TMUS operates mobile LTE networks primarily in Europe mainly on frequencies common in that continent, namely bands 3 (1800 MHz) and 7 (2600 MHz), soon bands 20 (800 MHz) and 28 (700 MHz) too.

          Finally, rest assured that none of the frequencies that T-Mobile operates on stateside or abroad can penetrate tinfoil.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Tin foil, nice.

          I guess I’m not the only one who’s caught on to the conspiracy theories.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          Well, you can’t have Edward Snowden un-publish the audio recording, can you?

          I know things are repressive in King County. Cheer up. No need to be so passive aggressive. :)

        • Fabian Cortez

          Okay…

        • Clifton K. Morris

          Yes. One of the benefits of the European Union is frequency bands are set by a single authority. But it’s a FCC requirement that all calls to 9-1-1 (or 1-1-2, if your european) connect.

          Indeed, a centralized authority for 26 countries makes obtaining some approvals easier. Many people don’t know this, but DishNetwork even has frequencies that cover all 28 EU member states.

          However, I think it’s safe to assume that the “Worldband” frequency of 1900 will continue to be a default for a while and calls to 9-1-1 and 1-1-2 will be required to connect.

        • This may surprise you, but FCC authority stops at the border. European phones may or may not connect to an American GSM network.

          Besides, it’s not any European agency that sets the frequencies in Europe, but the same one that sets them worldwide, including in the US: the ITU-T.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Still, I think it speaks to how astute most Germans are.

          Remember- German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t use T-Mobile service even in Germany. You may recall the Deutsche Telekom was caught spying on German citizens a few years ago. Angela Merkel is a Mannesmann/Vodafone customer. She was recorded ordering a pizza by Edward Snowden.

          Still, the frequency band overlap is likely so that when the time is right, T-Mobile can properly abandon the US. Customers and spectrum could be divided equally between AT&T and Verizon to satisfy Government anti-trust law.

          Until that occurs, they’ll likely publicly state that it’s done for 9-1-1 reasons. T-Mobile knows that it would be very bad PR if someone visiting from Germany made an emergency call to 9-1-1 which didn’t connect and they had to be flown back in a casket. It’d be controversial because German Taxpayers would wonder why their Government invested in the US.

          Relevancy to anything?

        • calvin200

          I was thinking the same thing. I’m like, what did I miss?

        • calvin200

          According to this report I thought TMobile was fourth.

        • Fabian Cortez

          He’s talking size-wise.

        • calvin200

          I know. I just wanted another opportunity to point out that they are FOURTH in Rootmetrics ratings.

        • Fabian Cortez

          T-Mobile pays an outside firm to run a similar test. I think the firm is Telcordia.. I have to check.

          Okay?

          Still, the issue again is that T-Mobile is using non-standard bands, which not all phones are compatible with or use.

          If by “T-Mobile” you mean “Sprint,” then yes, you are correct.

          But the biggest problem is that T-Mobile isn’t communicating with industry partners bands its using or planning to use. Even America’s most popular smartphone isn’t even compatible. Put simpler, it’s like baking a cake and substituting a key ingredient such as yeast for baking powder or salt for sugar. The first person whom should be angry about the way the cake comes out of the oven should be the baker (idiots who stirred the ingredients together.)

          Are we not on the same planet?

          T-Mobile purchased Band 12 from Verizon in January 2014. Mind you that it is still pending the FCC approval which is ultimately granted in late April 2014.

          The iPhone 6 was released in September 2014. What magical place on Earth do you believe that Apple will redesign and implement a new band within a due out in stores 4 months later?

          At that point you are ignorant to manufacturing processes, hardware testing, circuit design, logistics, etc.

          Leaders can do a lot of awesome things, but arguing that results might be better on an “unloaded network” which most of its own paying users can’t even access themselves isn’t a valid excuse. In that vein, come over to my office and use the WiFi. I have a gigabit connection. If you can guess the password, the speed and coverage is all yours.

          Who, ever, made that excuse?

          Overall you’re just factually incorrect.

        • Matt

          Non-standard LTE bands? All LTE bands are standardized but some are less commonly used.

        • maximus1901

          What’s TMO gonna do about b12? Wait till the buildout expires on dec 2016 then 6 more months till it’s reauctioned? Speculators have TMO by the balls.

        • calvin200

          I would like to hear a response. Is it going to be done in time? Extensions given? Reauctioned?

        • Hector Arteaga

          Your technical knowledge is lacking. Simple as that.

        • Matt

          In theory, WCDMA (HSPA+) is capable of around 50mbps. In areas where the population density on WCDMA is lower, you will see lower ping times and higher speeds.

      • moonoverparma

        And the S5 doesn’t support band 12. So this test is inaccurate as far as I’m concerned.

        • AngryBadger

          perhaps the second half will have it (compatible phones)?

        • moonoverparma

          I think every phone released on T-Mobile since the note 4 is band 12 capable except the iPhone 6.

        • AngryBadger

          hmm, the iPhone 6 did get wifi calling patched in already right? I’m guessing the next iPhone will debut with it baked in. edit: maybe i’m confusing that with the Nexus 6.

        • moonoverparma

          I’m not sure about WiFi calling on the iPhone 6 as I don’t have one, but I’m pretty sure band 12 will be on the next iPhone. They just missed it in the 6 because it was already in production when T-Mobile started deployment of 12.

        • The Lumia 640 and 640 XL was already in production when T-Mobile rolled out the 700 and they have Band 12. Don’t know what Apple was thinking last year.

        • moonoverparma

          Me neither.

        • Hector Arteaga

          I agree with this. To be fair, they didn’t use a CA enabled device for B41 on Sprint either (albeit it was lunched recently).

        • calvin200

          I get it though. As far I understand when the test was done the Note was the only one available which is not in phone category. As Hector said the S5 doesn’t have carrier aggregation so I guess we will all wait tho see what happens. I say the gap will decrease a little between Sprint and TMobile.

    • SirStephenH

      “We select phones that support the most advanced and widely available network technology for each mobile network operator at the time of selection.” We could simply tell you what devices we use instead of going on and on about our “selection process ” but instead we’ll just make you take our word that we actually chose the best.

  • Adam

    But that is really true, unfortunately T-Mobile doesn’t have the best network coverage at all.

  • SirStephenH

    Speaking of networks. Still no coverage of the B12 rollout underway in Washington (home of T-Mobile!) and Oregon by TmoNews…

  • randomnerd_number38

    I’m fortunate enough to be in a band 12 area. So I’ve seen the sometimes dramatic improvement band 12 can bring. I’m sure the next set of results will show a more marked improvement when they are released early next year.

    Having said that, band 12 is a limited stopgap IMO. T-mobile has had a dramatic turnaround in brand and image, and network improvements have been great, but they need a nice chunk of that 600mhz. Once T-Mobile has and is able to deploy some(hopefully 10×10), that’s when they’ll be able to build a network that truly competes on a national level.

    But bey, I truly believe that T-mobile is up to the challenge. And since T-Mobile already meets my needs, I get to relax and enjoy the Wild uncarrier ride. A merger with US Cellular? An acquisition by Alphabet? DT changing their mind and keeping ahold of TMUS, giving the US executive team time to complete T-Mobile’s transformation to a wireless superpower? Some other crazy fate? Regardless, I will be along for the ride, enjoying my grandfathered 2.5GB/line family promo plan that I managed to get on a corporate discount.

  • Ascertion

    T-Mobile really half-asses their network when it comes to any sort of rural build-out. Even Sprint’s managing better there.

    • gmo8492

      Lend them around 10 billion in cash and they will make sure that you will get coverage out in the boonies.

      • Ascertion

        They already for a bail-out for the failed AT&T acquisition. They just don’t care about rural. Period.

        • Who cares about Daniel Boone?

        • Ascertion

          If you’re fine with being completely unreachable by your loved ones for miles upon miles while you’re driving, be my guest. I’ll take the competition that thinks it’s essential to always be connected.

        • If you do think that it is indeed essential to be always connected, what no carrier provides, then, by all means, TMUS is not for you, Daniel. Just keep in mind that there is a huge number of people who do not mind being offline for a while every now and then for the right price.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Agreed. And the 1+ million new subs. joining for the last 9 consecutive quarters, with record low churn rate validates your statement.

    • orlando duran

      Sprint is absolute garbage

      • Ascertion

        T-Mobile, at the state level, recorded the highest number of blocked/dropped calls. Sure they’re good in metro, but some rural and suburban areas are lacking, and often the other carriers perform much better in these areas.

    • Matt

      The speed of the rural build outs is a little frustratingly slow but I would disagree with Sprint doing anything better than T-Mobile. It seems like Sprint is floundering and that isn’t good for anyone. Competition is healthy and a healthy Sprint benefits every single cellular consumer in driving prices down.

      • Ascertion

        I think the rate of dropped/blocked calls at the state level is something that Sprint’s better than T-Mobile in. I’ve personally witnessed it, myself. There’s a lot of areas when I’m driving across the state of Florida where T-Mobile will drop the signal completely and Sprint will still a connection (whether it be 3G, or 4G, it’s at least something.)

        • Matt

          The problem with radio telecommunications is that it is notoriously unreliable and difficult to deploy. Tower position, atmospheric conditions, objects that impede line of sight, and even the humidity in the air are all factors. Even Verizon has areas that are absolutely terrible. When I lived in Northern Virginia, Verizon would drop off all of the time.

        • Ascertion

          I’m hoping T-Mobile can grab some of that 600Mhz to cover the areas where they lack 700. This way, they can improve on their reliability factor while still maintaining their advantage in speed. As of right now, the coverage is quite spotty when you leave a city.

        • Matt

          Remember that the acquired spectrum is only as good as having the handsets to support it. T-Mobile can have all of the 600Mhz that it can swallow without any kind of improvement unless the consumer hardware can support it. Granted, these days radios are often software defined so it might be possible to push a software update to allow the 600Mhz band.

        • No, it’s not. The radio still has a hardware filter right after the antenna for each band it works with.

          But, indeed, as we are seeing with band 12, it took about as long to roll it out as for devices to become available, and still mostly through TMUS itself, since it’s still rare that a phone supports both band 12 and VOLTE, as required by TMUS.

          So, as interesting as acquiring licenses next year for the 600MHz band is, it won’t be until a couple of years later when the network is rolled out and devices are available.

          Therefore, future expansion is nice, but it lies years in the future and, here and now, TMUS network coverage and performance has room for improvement.

          Not that I am not happy with it or don’t recommend it, quite the contrary, yet aware of such caveats.

        • Marvin Lilmarv Bolden-Mitchell

          U are right some people down the CDMA NETWORK. But at lease CDMA will still hold a call with one bar of LTE or with 3G

      • itguy08

        In the past 2 years, Sprint has built 2 BRAND NEW cell sites in my somewhat rural area. Verizon has built 3 and has 2 more in the works. AT&T is built out and has great signal. T-Mobile, 0-2 bars and mostly NO SERVICE. Bear in mind I’m located less than 5 miles from a major Interstate and in one of the busiest trucking hubs in the Eastern USA.

  • JL, Please Fix TMUS ASAP

    237,500 Miles is NOT a “little road trip”… that is almost 10,000 miles per week. A Full-Time Professional Truck Driver in a great week will be lucky to break 4,000 Miles driving 66 Hours in 7 Days (the max number of hours allowed under FMCSA HOS rules) Furthermore, road tripping it is about as accurate as you can get for real world usage. I drove from Tampa to Chicago a few weeks ago and was completely dissappointed with the quality of service I didnt receive in many places on the Interstates. Many parts of Kentucky and Southern Illinois I was getting G level service on my phone…. not even good enough to be Edge Data! Now don’t get me wrong… when I get service with TMUS, I love it, BUT there are still too many areas where LOS is just pathetic and inexcusable.

  • Matt

    Legere is right in his arguing points. Ookla, being crowd-funded, is far more objective than RootMetrics.

    • itguy08

      No he’s not. Few are clamoring for fastest. What we want is consistent service where we work, live, and play. T-Mobile needs to get their areas built out. As a recent T-Mobile -> AT&T switcher I went from checking to maps to see if I get any sort of service to not worrying about it.

      John needs to stop assaulting and get the network built out like YESTERDAY. Sprint has built 2 new cell towers,Verizon has 4 in the works, AT&T has plenty and T-Mobile is barely any sort of service off the Interstate. That needs to be addressed ASAP.

    • TK – Indy

      Ookla is garbage. No carrier has a 100% LTE network, and that is all that they report. T-mobile has the data being used for Ooka Speedtests given the highest priority in their network management scheme. No one else considers that data to be a priority.

      • Drewski

        Well then leave. T-Mobile is true LTE. If you hate T-Mobile so much, well I suggest that you leave forever.

  • Matt

    I also think that as T-Mobile refarms its spectrum currently using the HSPA+ technology, we’ll continue to see improvements. I currently keep my phone on WCDMA in my home area because the WCDMA network is still better. If I leave my home area, I’ll switch the phone to allow LTE.

    • TK – Indy

      Refarming doesn’t help much, it is just pouring water from one bucket to a different bucket. You still have the same amount of water. They need and can’t obtain more spectrum, hence the interest in unlicensed spectrum, etc. They want to get more water for free.

  • Tom@L

    lol dont trust rootmetrics or oaklaa speedtest results from Tmobile either.

    As per rootmetrics, verizon was the leader in 2014. I remember the horrible speeds they had which was slower than 3G. Until they rolled out XLTE, things were absolutely horrible with verizon, considering the price you are paying for their service.

    And tmobile skews their speedtest.net app results. If you ever used the app on their phones, you will see they will always connect to a server hosted by tmobile.com … which always gave you awesome results. That server is never seen when you use other operators.

    • Zach Chadwick

      I’m never connected to a T-Mobile server. I’m always defaulted on DMCI Broadband on Michigan, and my Preferred Server is Innov Network Solutions based in Indianapolis, IN. T-mobile in no way, whatsoever, pays OOKLA developers to have T-mobile phones connect to their very own T-Mobile servers. That’s bullshit. Speed test determines which server is best for you based on your location, and Ping response time.

    • Jaden Keuten

      There are servers in Illinois for all the carriers. T-Mobile in Elgin, AT&T in Cicero, Verizon in Chicago, and Sprint also in Chicago. Each carrier defaults to their own servers.

  • I got my friend to switch to tmobile from ATT. I used to be on ATT 2 years ago. My friend now calls it “T-urban”. We have decent service in our Long beach CA home but you go out to the driveway and the Cell Spot signal booster drops off and reality sinks in. Now their 2g is gone and 700mhz/band 12 no where to be found w/in 20 miles of long beach. Hey John Legere, I get that you are a top notch salesman but dude you are going to have to concede this fight. Stop embarrassing yourself. Pick up the fight again on getting 700mhz in the auction ($$$). There are many areas on the 5 fwy north to bay area where data is non existent and you are lucky to get 2g and voice. Im a T mobile supporter but lets call it like it is. You get a good deal as the network is tiny. You want more coverage you go to VZ and pay more. I dont need 33 meg down load. I need more 4g data in more places. Most agree.

    • SirStephenH

      Long Beach has one of the densest concentrations of deployed T-Mobile B12 in the nation. There’s still work to do but they’re deploying it very quickly there.

      “Pick up the fight again on getting 700mhz in the auction ($$$).”

      All the B12 was sold off years ago. What B12 T-Mobile has been getting it’s been buying from other carriers. You’re most likely thinking of the 600Mhz auction coming up next year. This point is moot for you anyways because T-Mobile already owns a B12 license covering the Long Beach area. They’ll also have their B12 deployed before they’ll even be able to start deploying 600Mhz (it takes a few years after an auction to complete the sale and get all their ducks in a row).

      What phone do you use? Does it even have full T-Mobile band support (bands 2, 4, and 12)?

      • I have the ZTE Z max. It is band 12 ready. I dont think there is much band 12 avail or they would have turned the phone’s band 12 on. If there is a lot of band 12 here then why the hell have they not turned it on in the phone. As far as the auction next year for 600mhz or what ever long range penetrating bandwidth there is T mo is going to get outbid by att and vz so long term tmo is screwed. Legere knows that. Thats why he campaigned for better auction rules at fcc to no avail

        • SirStephenH

          The Zmax is band 12 capable but it hasn’t been enabled. Why? I don’t know, doesn’t make much sense to me. A band 12 capable phone will likely give you better coverage.

          Verizon and AT&T are barred from bidding on 30Mhz of the spectrum that will be put up for auction next year. It’s reserved for T-Mobile, Sprint, and the smaller regional carriers. This spectrum will likely be won by T-Mobile and Sprint alone through. Verizon and AT&T will be able to outbid everyone else for the remainder but they won’t likely grab it all.

        • Aaron C

          Probably hasn’t been enabled because it didn’t go through T-Mobile’s VoLTE certification. That’s why the Moto E and newest Moto G were cleared by the FCC for band 12, but they disabled it — because supposedly T-Mobile didn’t want folks having full bars of band 12, but unable to make a phone call.

      • point me to the t mob band 12 map

        • SirStephenH

          Spectrumgateway .com

  • Zach Chadwick

    Everyone here complains WAY TOO MUCH. If you’re to the point where you do nothing but talk about how bad your service is, in the rural areas in which you live, why don’t you switch back to a carrier who for example thinks of you as a goose returning home? Do other carriers listen to you? ATT, Sprint, and Verizon do not give 0.. let me repeat, 0 (ZERO) fucks about your service, or how long you’re without service for during your ‘road trips’. None. Their fields in which they grow their fucks is barren. Keep on complaining. Or for gods sake, switch already. NONE OF US, know how to create a perfect network out of T-Mobile’s current spectrum as well as T-Mobile’s Network Engineering department. You can’t place blame on T-mobile for not carrying any Popular Flagship Phones that don’t support 700MHz, as that’s on the manufacturer. Also, It’s not as simple as a software modification to allow other LTE bands. That’s up to the LTE modem installed, and what bands it supports. Also, OOKLA is accurate. T-Mobile in no way, pays OOKLA developers to have T-Mobile phones connect to T-mobiles dedicated speediest servers. Also, don’t expect 600MHz support in upcoming flagship phones until late this year, and early next year. Again, stop complaining. We have a carrier that has outstanding customer service, and HAS DONE ALL IT HAS, TO REMOVE PAIN POINTS. IE. INCLUDING TAX IN YOUR BILLING STATEMENT, MUSIC FREEDOM, NO CONTRACTS, UNLIMITED DATA, JUMP, JUMP ON DEMAND, UNLIMITED HOTSPOT. STOP COMPLAINING. IS VERIZON, SPRINT, and ATT DOING THAT? I DON’T THINK SO.

    • I dont care what bands I get. I dont care what all these test guys get. All that important to me is my user experience. Im the customer. Like fiber vs coax. I dont give a damn. Give me speed enough to open a web page in a metro area at a decent price.

    • Ascertion

      There are so many incorrect statements and kool-aid flavored opinions posted here, I’ll break it down.

      Do other carriers listen to you? ATT, Sprint, and Verizon do not give
      0.. let me repeat, 0 (ZERO) fucks about your service, or how long you’re
      without service for during your ‘road trips’. None.

      If Verizon, AT&T, and/or Sprint all have signal, that means they’ve invested in that area. If T-Mobile doesn’t have signal there, then they’re the ones that do not care. Your logic doesn’t really make sense here. Towers cost money. Negligence is showing, mostly on T-Mobile’s part.

      NONE OF US, know how to create a perfect network out of T-Mobile’s
      current spectrum as well as T-Mobile’s Network Engineering department.

      T-Mobile had the chance to bid on 700Mhz spectrum when the auction came, yet they opted out of it. You can’t blame others for T-Mobile’s poor judgement.

      Also, OOKLA is accurate.

      Well, I’ve scored a 300Mbps speedtest on Sprint before. My personal experience begs to differ. Also, someone can just simply spam a speedtest in a 100Mbps area to boost the average. I don’t think that’s fair, compared to other carriers that don’t offer unlimited data options.

      We have a carrier that has outstanding customer service, and HAS DONE
      ALL IT HAS, TO REMOVE PAIN POINTS. IE. INCLUDING TAX IN YOUR BILLING
      STATEMENT, MUSIC FREEDOM, NO CONTRACTS, UNLIMITED DATA, JUMP, JUMP ON
      DEMAND, UNLIMITED HOTSPOT. STOP COMPLAINING. IS VERIZON, SPRINT, and ATT
      DOING THAT? I DON’T THINK SO.

      I think the main selling point in any carrier is their network. Sure, customer service is a plus, but why else do you think AT&T and Verizon own more than 75% of the market-share? Customer Service? Price? I think not.

      And don’t get me wrong, T-Mobile has done a great job with their Uncarrier promotions. But until the network is comparable, at the state-level, T-Mobile likely won’t pass Verizon.

      • Jrunner

        I definitely agree. 99% of the time my service is pretty good. And even when I had Verizon at one point there were holes in the network (my parents left them in town I grew up because they were halfway between the two towers and indoor calls would drop… Since AT&T had a tower in town, they switched to them. That town by the way only has spotty t-mobile service, and that’s only become available since band 12, so I roam when home). But another point I wanted to make is that Ookla is only as accurate as being able to connect. When t-mobile has their network get overloaded during a sporting event… Doesn’t go into the data. In an area on the t-mobile map where they supposedly have service but not connecting? Also doesn’t go into the data. Music freedom and throttling when hitting your data cap are still I think the 2 primary selling points (other than price or international if you leave the country) but at the end of the day, despite massive improvements in the past two years, problems still exist and it is still primarily an urban/suburban network that works best where they have the most spectrum.

    • Dear Jackass

      You know you don’t have to be a jackass about this….

      There are many reasons why I don’t switch… Here are a few of them….

      1) I’ve had Verizon in the past, loved the service, was grandfathered in with unlimited data on 4 out of 5 lines on my account. Then I was having financial problems due to job loss/changing jobs, etc and lost my account with Verizon becuase I couldnt afford their service any more.

      2) I would have returned to Verizon had they not lost their *Greedy* minds and exponentially jacked up their rates on all of their Share Everything (including your wallet) Plans.

      3) Went to T-Mobile and for the most part am very happy with them and their service. However, I travel a few times a year and the service DOES NOT WORK in MANY of the places where I have to travel. Do I like it?… No Do I Deal with it?… Yes Why?… Becuase I don’t have a choice.

      4) So, I’ve already established that I cannot afford to go back to Verizon… so why not switch to ATT or some other MVO? Oh, Did I mention that I cannot afford to switch? Buy all new phones for the family and come up with the money for an equivelent service plan to what I have now?

      So, it’s pombus and assinine to play the “Don’t like it? Then switch carriers” Card EVERY time anybody says that TMUS needs to improve their service. For some, it’s not an option or shall I say “it’s not in the cards” for us at this time.

      So there you have it….

  • Zach Chadwick

    Again, Speediest determines the best server based on Location Proximity, PING response. Also, of course T-Mobile Speediest Servers are limited only to T-Mobile phones. Why would a Carrier rooting OOKLA’s Speediest app with it’s own servers for testing purposes, allow a phone from a competing carrier to connect to theirs? See my point? Their severs, and they’ll do as they please. If you think that T-Mobile skews their speeds because of their servers. Take your Verizon SIM card out, Switch on Airplane mode, find that T-Mobile server, and run a speedtest on it. (if you can find it, as I mentioned above, it’s unlikely it’ll let you connect)

    • Tom@L

      and why will there be exclusive servers connecting for tmobile only? Why is it hidden when you are using other carriers? you do know that will definitely help their test speeds and most importantly latency or are you intentionally ignoring this aspect?

  • Spanky

    This is a bit off-topic, but reading the comment section of posts critical of T-Mobile is akin to people-watching. You have your die hard “T-Mobile can do no wrong, it must be the other evil carriers manipulating the data” crowd, you have the trolls who look for reasons to hate T-Mobile…then, you have the people who are not allegiant to any one carrier, but, since they are not unconditional cheerleaders, tend to get lumped in with the trolls by the pro-T-Mobile crowd. Ah, good times!
    With regards to other carriers giving “zero fucks” about the quality of their customer’s service…well, that’s just a delusional, Kool Aid-fueled statement.

  • Daniel Marcus

    In this particular case, I mostly agree with John Legere. Different phones do have different characteristics when it comes to call and signal handling. An interesting case-in-point is a Blu MediaTek-based HSPA+ phone versus my Motorola Moto X Pure Edition with a Qualcomm LTE chipset. Both only place calls on HSPA anyway, but the MediaTek actually will hold a signal in some places that mine doesn’t, likely because it takes more power to hold an LTE signal. The fact that T-Mobile has added a lot more coverage since the test was performed also could impact the results a lot.

    That said, I think that RootMetrics was fair in their carrier rating, and they did note that T-Mobile improved significantly since their last test. I’m definitely looking forward to RootMetrics results next year!

  • ianken

    Legere can tweet all he wants but that doesn’t change the fact that TMO sucks outside of urban/suburban areas. Get on I5 between Olympia WA and Portland and you’re in edge territory most of the way. Using nav? Load map when you have data. Head from Longview to Canon Beach and half the trip is with no signal at all.

    I am a TMO customer, and happily so. I’m just under no delusions about their coverage on the road.

  • DKBNYC

    T-Mobile coverage has been good to me for years. Of course I live in NYC and not on a highway outside of Olympia WA.