Why Now Is A Great Time to Be a T-Mobile Customer

A few years ago, T-Mobile was borderline sick. The spectrum crunch was felt in full force by T-Mobile customers around the country. 1,500 milliseconds pings and dropped calls galore peeked their heads at every opportunity.

T-Mobile’s smaller customer base accompanied by its use of non-standard frequencies for network operation made it nearly impossible for T-Mobile to garner flagship handsets, further compounding the  “greener pastures” appeal of competitors’ networks.

To add insult to injury, T-Mobile had no roadmap to rollout LTE and no cash or spectrum in sight to do so even if they wanted. Even though their DC-HSPA network, also called HSPA+ 42, could hold its own against its competitors’ LTE networks, the minds of many were already made up with the help of competitors’ advertising. T-Mobile was hardly in a place to offer competitive service in a large number of markets. Things were so rough, in fact, for good old Magenta, that its European parent company, Deutsche Telekom, even attempted to cut its losses and sell T-Mobile in its entirety to AT&T.

Thankfully for us T-Mobile fans and customers, the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T never made it through all the necessary rungs of governmental approval; AT&T was unable to find a buyer for all of the divestments required by regulators. As a result, T-Mobile received an excellent breakup package of a whopping $3 billion in cash and $1 billion worth of spectrum, as well as a cross-usage newtork agreement allowing T-Mobile and AT&T customers to roam on one another’s networks.


With this newfound pile of cash and much-needed 1900 mHz spectrum, T-Mobile began their massive network modernization efforts, also called ‘reframing.’

T-Mobile formerly used the PCS band, the 1900 MHz spectrum range, for EDGE data and voice, and 1700 and 2100 MHz, called the AWS band, for 3G and 4G services. With the refarm, T-Mobile began splitting its HSPA+ service between the PCS band and the AWS band, with plans to eventually move the majority of its HSPA+ operation over to the PCS band. This translates to two things: interoperability of handsets and room for LTE on the AWS band.


This is a great thing for customers and T-Mobile’s business alike. Whereas customers were previously relegated to EDGE data when bringing their own handset (the iPhone being the most notorious example, but any other AT&T or international phone falls under this umbrella as well), now, in a growing number of markets, customers are able to take advantage of HSPA+ 21 data service with virtually any unlocked handset.


With T-Mobile’s network operating with a greater degree of harmony among domestic and foreign networks, flagship devices will be more easily obtainable due to the fact that manufacturers won’t need to implement custom/seldom used radios for just a small handful of carriers, bringing a wider variety of devices to T-Mobile’s lineup.

Now, more so than ever before, T-Mobile has a full and diverse portfolio of devices from the top and most desirable manufacturers running the latest and greatest operating systems. Google has always been nice to TMo, releasing its GSM variants of Nexus devices with AWS support, which has in a way always made T-Mobile the carrier of choice for the techy and tinkerer. Now, with the newfound iPhone 5 with AWS support, Nokia’s Lumia line of handsets sporting Windows Phone, and Blackberry’s newest offerings all gracing TMo’s airwaves, T-Mobile has a more robust and colorful smartphone lineup than ever.

And of course, the additional AWS spectrum and the reallocation of HSPA+, T-Mobile finally have a roadmap to rollout LTE.

Spectrum, Spectrum, Spectrum

If you’ve read this site for any length of time, or any other tech blog for that matter, you’ll know how vitally important spectrum is to the operation of a mobile network.

Spectrum can make or break a carrier’s ability to compete, so it’s easy to see why it’s discussed so frequently in the wireless industry. The more spectrum a carrier has, the more robust data connections are, the fewer dropped calls, and the greater number of simultaneous connections. Think of spectrum as a roadway. More spectrum means wider lanes and a lower degree of congestion.

Spectrum is one of the biggest reasons that now and the coming years are going to be great for T-Mobile and its customers. In addition to the breakup spectrum awarded to T-Mobile by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon also recently completed a spectrum swap, allowing TMo to cover an additional 60 million customers and offer more robust coverage in several top markets.

With the newly completed T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger, even more spectrum is brought into play. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, T-Mobile plans to deactivate MetroPCS’s CDMA network and roll that spectrum into the GSM footprint. This will give T-Mobile serious competitive edge, having even more spectrum than even Verizon and AT&T in some areas.

Details are still emerging, but T-Mobile also is expected to bid on 600 mHz spectrum chunks next year.

Two Unlimited ‘4G’s

T-Mobile’s newly nascent LTE Network is by no means ubiquitous at this point, but having two ‘4G’ technologies means that you probably won’t mind being outside of LTE reach because Magenta’s backup HSPA+ network is nearly as fast.

Though it’s debated whether T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network should be called 4G or something else along the lines of 3G+, HSPA+ can definitely stand on its own against LTE, even surpassing the speeds of some competitors’ LTE speeds in certain areas.

And this is T-Mobile’s fallback network.

With Verizon or Sprint, being outside of an LTE area puts you on CDMA 3G, called EVDO. Real-world speeds of EVDO range from 500 Kbps up to about 2 Mbps on a good day, meaning that there is a very, very large gap between EVDO and LTE performance, leaving much to be desired.

T-Mobile’s fallback HSPA+ network, which it still calls 4G, can provide real-world speeds of over 15 Mbps, meaning that in the absence of LTE, your phone, tablet, or hotspot can cruise along the interwebs at around the same speed, or even faster, than Verizon’s LTE network in some market.

The best thing about this is that both of these networks will be simultaneously active. And T-Mobile actually still offer unlimited data on both of these networks, unlike some larger rivals.

All in all, the combination of recent cash, spectrum, and technology will give T-Mobile a distinct advantage in the market.

  • yolanda

    Feels great being on EDGE when i go out of the city yay while att has 3G feels great having no service in underground parkinglots ,elevators, ,high rise buildings in dwtwn LA while att has at least 2 bars yay feels great being a ttmobile customer. -_-

    • Lagurl

      I agree tmobile in los angeles aint that great… I can write a list from here to mexico of places it craps out in LA for example on 3rd n ford were king taco is in east la u get full bars of hspa on ford but walk down 3rd which is the street next to it u on edge , and many more places like that u walk down the wrong street u on edge and signal in building s im not even gonna go there u know the roybal clinic in east la ? No cellphone company works there at ALL not even Verizon only at&t is the only company that works there, the library in dwtwn La T-mobile only works in the lobby take the elevator to the 2nd n 3rd floor u have no service while att works, the market on broadway n 4th in dwtwn u go down to were the restroom is the one deep underground tmobile craps out att comes tru, people talk bad bout att but it works way better in LA.

      • Dakota

        and you know when someone has that experience, they tell everyone they know and the word spreads.

    • Adrayven

      Don’t have that problem here. Guess you’re ‘special’.. :)

      • Dakota

        I think maybe youre special because a lot of people have similar issues. I rarely get 4 bars even in a major city – and often within 5 miles of downtown, I cant even make a p hone call while others on Verizon or ATT are just fine. I shouldnt be seeing an E on my phone that often either; contrary to others, Ive never been able to do anything data related when it falls to that level.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Then why are you with T-Mobile then? Switch already and stop complaining. If you don’t take action, what’s going to change?

        • Zacamandapio

          No kidding.

          I’ve been with all the major companies and let me tell you. NONE are perfect. I has issues with all of them regarding coverage, customer service, pricing, etc. I decided to give T-Mo a change and I’ve been very happy since.

        • It’s pretty easy to switch if Tmobile is so bad for you.

    • John_Vern

      Then stop whining and get on AT&T and pay an extra $50/month so you can check your Facebook on that 12 second elevator ride, and post self shots on Instagram on that 30 second walk to your car in parking garages.

      • Lagurl

        Thats dumb but still i rather pay 50 a month more for better reception im sure yolanda too but im not doing it to take self shots to post to instagram cuz I dnt even have one im gonna do it to have better coverage outside the city have u been to vegas from la? The whole trip there is tmobile edge or gprs while att has solid 3g all the way there.

        • superg05

          thats going to change soon metro had towers long the freeways so now tmobile was towers along the freeways all left to do now is convert them but when is anyones guess

        • Jose Hernandez

          Ok, do it. Im glad your service will work better for you.

        • Zacamandapio

          Enjoy it. Bye.

      • ANTHONY


      • yolanda

        Your dumb i dont have fb or instagram and yes i rather pay alot more for better signal

        • Zacamandapio

          Bye then. Good luck.

        • Then what are waiting for? Just switch.

    • Jarobusa

      Do you think T-Mobile does this on purpose? If they charged the same amount as Verizon and had as many customers they too would have better coverage.

  • Marinperez

    Yeah, I still can’t agree, especially if you’re on the iPhone. In SF, the network is pretty weak and toggles to EDGE a lot of places. Part of it is the iPhone 5 (a Galaxy S4 right next to it is more consistently on 4G). I just came back from Vegas though and it was 4G LTE all the time and that was an actually great experience.

    So, it’s a great time to be a TMo customer if you’re in one of its few 4G LTE cities, I’d say

  • benjitek

    “Why Now Is A Great Time to Be a T-Mobile Customer”…

    …if only all those customer satisfaction survey respondants thought so, they wouldn’t be in last place :-(

  • rfgenerator

    Hate to continue to harp on this but since T-Mobile is doing little to address it I think I’m justified. The Elephant in the room is the lack of high speed data outside of cities, even along major Interstate highways in moderately populated areas. To the best of my knowledge T-Mobile has made no definitive statements with even a vague timetable for upgrade the many many EDGE/GPRS areas of their network. My hunch is they do not plan to do so, the merger with MetroPCS tells me their focus will be even more targeted on metropolitan areas. If you are in a city and don’t travel outside of it, great T-Mobile is for you. If however you live, work, or travel outside of major urban areas T-Mobile will continue to be a 2nd rate carrier.

    • They aren’t going to be able to cover rural areas without breaking the bank with their current spectrum holdings. They have to hope they win some 600Mhz spectrum so they can become a bigger rural player.

      • rfgenerator

        I’m not so much talking about areas that currently have no coverage, but areas that are currently EDGE/GPRS only. If they had a plan to convert these areas I could accept it, but they apparently have no plans to convert these areas. EDGE/GPRS is unacceptable in 2013. I’ve been with T-Mobile since since 2004, but as I become more and more reliant on good data coverage and not simply voice, I find the solution may be to dig deeper into my pocket and move to ATT even though they are a company I truly hate due to their political and business policies.

        • RedGeminiPA

          Agreed, which is why I moved to Straight Talk, and I’ll be moving to Net10 starting next month. AT&T’s coverage is far superior, and I can’t suffer with the thought of EDGE in my city of nearly 50,000 that T-Mobile has completely overlooked while offering 3G/4G in two smaller college towns about 40-50 miles in either direction.

          I took my Verizon-LTE equipped iPad mini to my dentist appointment located in a very small mountain town. I was surprised to see “LTE” as the connection. Meanwhile, the only two carriers who service my area with LTE are Verizon and Sprint. AT&T has “4G” here and in the areas I travel to frequently. Granted, that “4G” doesn’t benefit from enhanced backhaul, so 4-5 Mbps is the best we ever see on a good day.

        • Zacamandapio

          You’ll feel right at home switching to Sprint’s LTE.

    • Dakota

      Yep…thats why it is often associated with kids phones and not for professionals. Its funny at the movie theatre recently I saw a bunch of kids whip out Tmobile phones. When Ive talked to adults who work and have to travel, theyve all said they cant even consider Tmobile…Price is not an issue when they need their phone to work

    • bydavidrosen

      exactly. I live in Las Vegas, and when I drive to LA, I’m basically phone-less for 75% of the drive. or at the very least, internet-less (i might have a few bars of edge to be able to make a call). i also wish they could figure out a way to get into buildings better. a lot of the big hotels here in Vegas, I get nothing (not even edge, just zero signal whatsoever) while people around me with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint all have signal. Sucks. HSPA+ is more than fast enough, just give it more coverage.

    • Tom

      I think one of the reasons why 3/4g coverage is urban focused is T-Mobile’s access to back haul. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all run their own large fiber back haul networks. T-Mobile doesn’t. It’s (relatively) easy to get the back haul in metropolitan areas but not so much in rural areas.

  • Dakota

    THe problem is still coverage areas…And Tmobile still needs to have an excellent marketing campaign to change people’s opinions of T-mobile. If you talk to friends (who arent on Tmobile), you might be surprised as to how negative their reputation is. Cheap phones, for kids, bad coverage etc. LTE still isnt in most areas either. Ive been really disappointed with their TV ads. Frankenstein? Really? A man in an iceberg? These are worse than even Carly. They need to focus on price, improved coverage and speeds etc. They need to do straight comparisons like Verizon does…(Um, VZ $90 for 1gb – we give you unlimited for that price even WITH the phone payments)…Show the savings over 2 years…Do what Sprint has done with their ads for unlimited data – showing what you can do with that that you couldnt do with a limited plan…Show how you dont have to worry about share plans or how many texts little Johnny sends or if Mom goes on the web constantly to shop, or Dad was bored and watched a 2 hour movie. They need to give real world examples that are simple for people to understand. Do you really want to associate your brand with a green monster? Ive seen that ad so many times and honestly cant remember what the message really was. I do remember VZ ads comparing their speeds and coverage to the rest; I do remember th Sprint ads with the family sitting around the table or their saying make the most of your iPhone 5 as it was intended. I dont know why Tmobile’s marketing continues to be so bad. They need a new ad agency

    • gshoq

      Hey what was wrong with Carly? Oh I know, I never really paid much attention to the message when Carly is on because I’m more fixated on her and her toys and dresses; I just stare and check out the awesome motorcycle and helicopter.

    • gshoq

      I would have to agree with you on the atrocious new advertising campaign. They are just not attention-grabbers. Let’s face it, T-Mobile coverage is terrible and the speed is great but, again, coverage is terrible. T-Mobile should really focus on its strengths: no contract, lower monthly service plans even when phones are being financed, unlimited data, etc. What advertising agency does it use and who are the yahoos on the corporate marketing team?

  • carloslacend

    Hola brad lopez. Yo por lo menos espero que tmobile usa se acuerde de nosotros en Puerto Rico. Nos prometieron LTE pero no pasa nada. Aquí tmobile es la número 2 ya que at&t ha comprado todo. La señal LTE d at&t es super rápida con casi 40mb d descarga y sobre 17 d carga. Pero lo q me preocupa es q TODAS las compañías d celulares aquí en Puerto Rico ya cuentan con su LTE. Incluyendo Sprint. Y nosotros nos quedamos atrás. Tmobile sigue siendo la número 2 pero hasta cuando?? Yo solo espero q si no piensan hacernos caso pues que vendan tmobile PR. No quiero ver como se derrumba mi querida tmobile

    • Jose Hernandez

      Tienes que tener paciencia. T-Mobile apenas comenzó el network de Lte. Se va a tomar tiempo en lo que expanden.

      • carlodlacend

        Si jose entiendo eso. Pero como ni siquiera han dado un comunicado ni nada pues me preocupa. Hace un año y medio todas las compañías incluyendo al presidente d tmobile PR q venia el servicio LTE y hoy la única q no lo tiene es tmobile. Llegue a pensar q como hay tantas noticias de la venta d tmobile usa pues no invertirán $$ aquí

        • Jose Hernandez

          Bueno, yo estoy en Detroit, MI. Aqui estamos teniedo problemitas con nuestra señales por que estan trabajando en el servicio de LTE. No importa cuantas veces llamo a customer service siempre me dicen que no saben nada. Desafortunadamente los reps de servicio al client casi nunca saben nada sobre lo que esta pasando. Los clients muchas veces sabemos mas que ellos!! jajaja Solamente sabemos que estan trabajando aqui por que se ven los technicos trabajando y por que notamos que el servicio estaba teniendo problemas. La venta no va. T-Mobile esta poniendo mucho dinero mejorando su servicio. Un dia de estos nos dejan saber aqui.

        • jose

          This is a English forum. Please take your Spanish to a Spanish forum. It’s very rude of you.

        • carloslacend

          I write in the language that I please. if you do not like do not read

  • Dave

    So why I am still on EDGE in my town and everyone else including the prepaid carriers have 3G and 4G?

    • RedGeminiPA

      Well, you said the keyword: town. T-Mobile is too busy with major metro areas (big cities) for now, which is leaving the rest of us with horrid data speeds.

  • gdbjr

    I am leaving Tmobile as soon as my iphone unlock gets processed. I started with Tmobile on 4/12 and every thing was great for the first 3 weeks. No LTE, but the 4G speeds were more then fine. I was getting about 7Mbps on average at that is fast enough for music or video especially in this big old cement building I work at. Then something broke. After 5/2 even though my Tmobile phone is showing full bars of 4G I average about 0.5Mbps download which isn’t fast enough to really do anything. Repeated calls, emails and tweets to Tmobile, while acknowledged do not resolve or even explain the issue. Let along follow up with those having issues.

    I had such high hopes for Tmobile. Unlimited data and I get to support the underdog, but they don’t seem to care about network reliability so unlimited data doesn’t do you any good if you can’t get throughput to do anything with it.

    • Jose Hernandez

      Where are you located at? They may be working on upgrading your area to LTE and if they are, that could be the reason you are having issues?

      • gdbjr

        If they would tell me something other then “It’s a known issue” I could deal with it. But they don’t. In fact the third time I brought it to their attention they said they reopened my ticket to add my results. How can you reopen a issue that isn’t fixed? And they never once suggested I have my phone looked at which tells me they know there is a issue, but won’t say what or when it will be fixed.

        And it only happens in few block radius of where I work in Washington DC. If I go past the area that I am assuming is serviced by the bad tower my phone works great. But that doesn’t help me.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Hm? Obviously there is something not quite right. I understand your frustation. I had a similar issue where I live. They where doing the re-farm and the service went down to crap for about a week or two. It was an on and off thing, but it was so very annoying. I really do hope they can get it together quick.

          I would try to talk to retention or a tier two technical support specialist. They might be able to at least give you a straight answer rather than wastinig your time with standard customer service. Sometimes they just honestly don’t know what is going on.

        • gdbjr

          It has been 3 solid weeks of poor speeds, I waited out the first week assuming they were having issues and would fix it shortly, but that never happened. I was harassing them on twitter every day for a while, but it did me no good, so I gave up and am moving carriers. On the phone I never spoke with regualr CS. I am not sure who answers the tweets and Tforce emails though.

          I am not saving money with tmobile so it isn’t worth for me to stay. I only wanted unlimited data at work as our network filters out all the good stuff on my PC at work. I know who I am switching too has issues as well, but at least they are consistent in their data speeds. Other areas will be 22Mbps down one day and the next day in the same spot I am getting 0.4Mbps down. I need something more predicable.

        • Travlin Man73

          I would hang in there for a while if I were you. The refarm/LTE process is beyond frustrating, but it will eventually get better. I travel between the Bay and DFW and I can attest to speeds all over the map, however in the areas of the Bay where I get LTE its well worth it. Those areas are growing, but remember at times they are placing the new LTE towers in the space occupied by the old towers so it may mean worse speeds for a short time. the other issue to note is your reason for coming in the first place… Unlimited Data. If you plan on keeping that shiny new iPhone you will need to go to ATT, and they dont like unlocked phones, and they dont offer anything near unlimited data for new customers. It may be worth the wait in the long run, after all you have nothing to lose by waiting.

        • gdbjr

          Had I not gotten great speeds the first 2-3 weeks I had Tmbolie I wouldn’t be so annoyed. It was working great and then they broke something and it has been almost unusable for me.

          And Huh? AT&T has no issues with unlocked phones, I have already ordered a SIM and am just waiting for the unlock. I can add my iphone phone to my kids account, bump up data to 10GB a month and it won’t cost me any more a month. And in all honestly I don’t care about LTE. 3G/4G speeds are more then adequate, but I can’t get them where I spend 9+ hours a day.

          Also on the tmobile support forums I complained on, someone who works a few blocks away was complaining about the lack of LTE, even though they claim DC is LTE enabled, and they can’t give any idea of when LTE will be turned on here. So for me it isn’t worth the hassle as I am losing the ability to use my phone while I am at work. I can’t steam music or video. Emails take forever to download and even trying to refresh twitter is trying beyond what it should be.

        • fsured

          Customer service may not have specific information stating the areas which are being upgraded currently.
          They may also be limited in what they can say. Saying the area is going
          through upgrades before being ready for a company announcement might
          violate a policy. That is my guess though and I could be wrong.

        • nyuhsuk

          I live off the 270 corridor around DC and our HSPA+ speeds took a massive hit earlier in 2013. Was pissed as to what was up. Went from an average of roughly 6/1Mbps to about 1.5/1 Mbps at best. Was like that for a few weeks and then just happened to flash my wife’s Note II for LTE. Bam. LTE was live in my area and it must of been brand new because I was pulling roughly 25/16 Mbps. I would wait a bit or try another phone as hardware can also be an issue.

        • Lukestation

          In what area of DC is this happening? In general…..and CSR’s…they are just repeating what they have been told….not that it makes it any less frustrating. Sorry you are having so much trouble, but who knows maybe someone can check it out if you can give a little more info…North…South..East…West DC?

        • Lukestation

          You just never know who is reading this info, right? ;)

    • gshoq

      I agree with Jose. I’m in LA metro and data speeds these past few weeks have been inconsistent and cut in and out (~once a week) more than the past six months combined. This happens to coincide with LTE testing and release in some areas of LA so maybe you can wait-and-see.

      The other issue may be the carrier settings on the iPhone, or the iPhone itself. I’ve read so many comments where some people’s T-Mobile iPhone 5 were constantly <1Mbps while others in the exact same service area were experiencing very fast speeds. I'm certain retail stores will be more than happy to look at that for you and give you a replacement if warranted.

      • timbay

        I am having the same problems right now. I went from 11 down to 0.05 and worse. But the reason is because they are working on LTE. I calles T-Mobile and they confirmed to me that’s why my speeds are down. So more then likely your area is getting LTE too so just hold on for a couple of more days. It’ll be worth it, I can’t wait

    • WW

      There’s another advantage to being with T-Mobile. You can leave and return any time you want with (currently) no activation fees (the big 3 charge at least $35 for new phones & new customers), no ETF and no contract. If you leave, give it another shot at a later time (as long as you didn’t have to sign a 2 year contract with your new carrier).

  • Jose Hernandez

    Hi Brad, thanks for this article. We appreciate your work. I was wondering if you (or David) would be able to explain on an article the why/how come T-Mobile has so many areas stil no EDGE and why it is so hard for them to upgrade those areas?

    I know it is not as easy as pending have a trillion dollars to add another 50,000 cell cites all over (I am kidding here!!!!:) )

    But it would be nice for everyone to understand why T-Mobile’s coverage is not as robust on rural areas. The how come and why’s of it.

    I am not a technical person, but I have read here and on others sites they reasons behind this and understand them. I have experienced the EDGE coverage while traveling and know first hand how bad it can be. But because I have some idea of why this is I am not constantly complaining about it.

    Just a thought!!

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      Tmobile has the highest amount of urban subscribers. Metros are their bread and butter. Adding HSPA+ or LTE to rural sites might bring in more customers, but that is not guaranteed. It would be a very expensive gamble for a company already losing postpaid subscribers. At the end of the day, they have to please their primary market( urban dwellers), then they can focus on tertiary and rural markets.

      • Will

        T-Mobile has to please its shareholders, not its customers. Customers are just the annoying people that call in to complain.

      • fsured

        While your explanation makes total sense and I agree, wouldn’t this also mean they have to constantly focus on the urban areas as technology is moving forward? If they stopped improving the urban then they risk the other carriers moving to far ahead of them in network technology. At some point the expense would need to be made so this ugly mark on their company will go away.

      • rfgenerator

        The issue is there is a large share of people that while they spend the majority of their time in a urban area they do spend a significant amount of time travelling out of those urban areas. I recently drove from Worcester MA which has HSPA+ to Mystic, CT which also has HSPA+, but the entire time of the trip (close to 2 hours) as I traveled along I-395 I was relegated to EDGE/GPRS. The lack of upgrades or even announced plans to upgrade 2G areas hurts T-Mobile in customer growth and retention and I suspect will continue to do so as people become more dependent on the data portion and not the voice portion of their mobile devices.

      • UMA_Fan

        It’s worth mentioning that since Tmobile doesn’t have low band spectrum like Verizon or AT&T it’s a lot more expensive for them to build out in rural areas. They would need multiple cell sites on Tmobile spectrum to equal what Verizon can cover with ONE cell site with their low band spectrum.

        My guess would be is that Tmobile would only see it practical to build out coverage in places no one is only of they got their hands on some low band spectrum. Hopefully they get some that makes sense. Would 600mhz require new phones to be made to connect to?

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          It will probably be 2 or more contract cycles before we start seeing phones that are capable of supporting 600Mhz. The band still has a lot of mystery. It is basically in pre-alpha stage. The FCC needs to figure out how much spectrum is available, before they can decide how the licenses will look. Even after the spectrum is auctioned and the bands created, we still need to wait for network equipment that supports said band.

  • Clarkkent113

    HSPA+ is amazing. Where I live I often get 15-22mbps down while my friend with Verizon usually gets less than 10mbps down.

    • Jose Hernandez

      same here

  • Brent

    In Cincinnati, the refarm has gone backwards. Areas that had 3G coverage on an iPhone 4 three and four weeks ago, now no longer do. What there is is still limited to downtown and the stadiums, and a few sections of interstate highway.

    Not only that, but I’m seeing a lot more dropped calls while driving. I can predict the spots where I will drop a call while transferring from one cell to another.

    I’m quite disappointed in the progress, seeing as how they originally said all of the US was going to be refarmed by the end of 2012.

    • fsured

      They may be working on the tower updates for LTE, hopefully. Many people report lower quality signals when upgrades are happening. I live in another state but I experienced this with the HSPA+ roll out, then refarm, and now I’m seeing it again as LTE is set to launch in the next wave.

    • HelloGello

      As it’s been said, it’s most likely that they’re working on the towers upgrades for LTE. My area (NYC metro) experienced a big decline in quality when they were refarming. I would only get EDGE for an entire weekend whereas before I was getting 4G.

      Recently, as the LTE NYC launch looms, I’ve again noticed a significant drop in quality in service. My phone would sporadically switch from no service whatsoever for limited periods of time to a full five bars of 4G. For the past week, 4G has been consistent, although the signal strength is on average a good 2 bars lower than usual.

    • aaroninky

      They are working on the LTE in the Cincy area. I recently made the switch from VZW to T-Mobile and at the time I was making my purchase a few weeks ago the guy in the corporate store said they just started setting up LTE in the Cincinnati market.

  • kev2684

    they should remove GSM 2G completely

    • fsured

      I thought that was their plan by about 2016.

    • taron19119

      They can’t if they do they Will lose the m2m business

    • Trevnerdio

      And lose like half their network? Doubt that’ll happen. It doesn’t really cost them much to maintain, but it costs them a lot to implement HSPA+ on those same towers.

      • It costs them more to maintain than it will to upgrade to HSPA+.

        • Trevnerdio

          How’s that? Then they have to maintain HSPA+

        • Most of the GSM-only areas are running on equipment that is reaching 15 years of age. The ones that don’t support EDGE are almost 20 years old.

          T-Mobile’s GSM-only equipment is no longer supported by the vendors that made them, and it costs quite a lot to get replacement parts made for them because they have to be custom-designed.

          It winds up to be cheaper to replace them with new multi-mode GSM/UMTS/LTE systems and switch on GSM/UMTS once the complaints start coming in and driving up support costs.

          The newer systems cost far less to maintain, since they are software defined and mostly remotely maintainable.

        • Trevnerdio

          Makes sense. Thanks for your info!

  • Jay J. Blanco

    No more 2G ! No more 2G!

  • Brad… had me on the edge of my seat reading, nice to hear from you once again. Been with T—Mobile since 2000(Voicestream days) and I have witnessed it all, so glad I stuck it out! Just Love being A Magenta customer. O:-)

  • adeedew

    if SOMEONE can explain to me even with LTE, why is the fallback Edge? Cant it be 3g at least? If i seen Edge on my Iphone 5 anymore i’m gonna have to jump back to verizon or att, I haven’t seen Edge since 2007-2008

    • Travlin Man73

      which type of Iphone 5, if its not the “TMobile Iphone 5” and you havent upgraded the firmware they pushed out a while back your AWS radios maybe inactivated. This would be why it was All LTE/ All EDGE and almost no “H” (3G)

    • rcarlosnyc

      I had an unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 and when I switched to T-Mobile. if I was not in a refarmed area I would get Edge. So I went to the Apple Store and got a warranty replacement. The unlocked warranty replacement models includes T-Mobile AWS support. So now I see 4G every where and never see Edge.

      • dayaram

        Last week I went to the apple store with my unlocked iphone5 (bought in January) because i’m having the same issue that you were having. My area is not reframed and it’s not going to be anytime soon. But apple store refused to give me the tmobile version of the unlocked iphone5.

        Can you please explain how you got the replacement phone? What you said in the apple store?

        • rcarlosnyc

          It took me 3 tries at 3 different stores. I made up reasons. Slow WiFi, sticky power button, drop calls. Weak signal. Pretty much anything and everything I could think of.

          I’ve read of some people calling Apple support and opening a service ticket. Apple mails you a replacement and you mail yours back. But they charge your credit card then credit it back after you return your phone. Or, phone support and have them mark your phone for replacement and you take it to an Apple store. The store employee usually doesn’t test it and just exchanges it as it’s marked.

        • dayaram


          thanks. :)

      • WW

        Nice tactic.

      • adeedew

        i assume you haven’t take a long road trip? I still see edge even in my house, i guess this isn’t going to work for me. I have the official TMO iphone 5

  • D_Wall__

    Way to be a D*ck to someone who takes care of the site.

    • Jose Hernandez

      I agree, what an ass.

      • Jose Hernandez

        He can complement the intern for writing a good article without being an ass to the guy that created and keeps the site going as well as another moderator. I am not in a knot. It was just rude, and I agreed with the sentiment.

        • Jose Hernandez

          He can convey his other opinions bout other people, he will always have the right. Being condescending and rude is not a right. It is being rude, childdish and just not nice. What ever happened to being respectful? And I am done with this.

        • WW

          Anonymity does that. The internet and cars (to a lesser degree). Of course some people are just assholes all the time anonymity be damned. Those people are not as hypocritical as the rest of us though.

  • fsured

    Why visit the site if you don’t like it?

  • Jose Hernandez


  • thepanttherlady

    That would be pet witch to you, mister! *insert cackle here*


    • thepanttherlady

      Yep! For being most awesome. :)

    • Stoop to that level…sigh, you clearly don’t know how this works. I have to go into the Admin panel for Disqus and approve comments, IP addresses are clear as a bell inside that panel, no extra mouse click necessary. Thanks for playing!

      • D6E

        Looks like David is on a mission. The influx of trolls is staggering.

  • drklahn

    Just dropped Verizon about a month ago. So far, my experience with T-Mobile has been great. Data speeds consistently matching or exceeding Verizon’s LTE. There was a bad Speedtest day where I was getting 300-500 kbps. But I figured they were working on the LTE upgrade in Chicago. Loving the openess of GSM, no contract, and unlimited everything.

  • And this is why I always stayed with the “Little Engine that could.” I mean what other National Carrier can offer me what T-Mobile has and continues to do. Customer service (I still get great customer service as opposed to others recent reports over the last few years), great portfolio of smartphones & other phone options (though I stay on Androids, if I ever wanted to switch to a WP8 or iPhone, I have that option), cover (Ever area I’ve been in I’ve always had great 4G HSPA coverage), and an affordable/valuable plan. I thought a while ago about switching to Boost or something due to the monthly cost, but it’s not worth it. And after recovering from someone stealing my old Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I’m very close to paying off my HTC One to get my bill back down to reasonable pricing.Next month I’ll be going on 9 years strong, and I’m happy to have had that commitment to a company & wireless carrier like T-Mobile. To me, I always considering T-Mobile the lessor expensive and more valuable Verizon.

  • Caerolle

    1) Cost good, 2) flexibility good, 3) no Ones on shelf bad, 4) coverage bad, 5) coverage bad, 6) coverage bad. The coverage issue was far worse than I expected, have no coverage or 2G a lot of places even in the city, and no actual speed even places that show 4G and all bars. Good thing 1 and 2 outweigh 3 – 6 for me. But then the options are Sprint (all 6 bad), or ATT or Verizon (1 and 2 especially bad).

  • jose

    I have been a customer for over 5 years. And my average is 14.5 down load and 5. Upload. I recently purchased a l9 it’s paid in full.the 70 unlimited every thing is.is simply that best
    Plan in wireless.

  • macman37

    What is the current news regarding whether the FCC has agreed to T-Mobile and Sprint getting a fair chance in bidding for the 600 MHz spectrum and when will we know the terms that the FCC has laid out, so that the other Big 2 {Verizon and AT&T} doesn’t gobble most of it?

    • kev2684

      VZW and AT&T shouldn’t even be allowed to bid on areas they already have great spectrum in hand (which is all of USA). FCC should let sprint and t-mobile take this home..

  • frigadroid

    I don’t know I’m not feeling it. :- I guess I’ll give them another 14 to 15 years to work things out before I quit, just because I hate the other 3 companys so much more.

    • macman37


      How was this individual able to post with my name?

      • frigadroid


        • frigadroid

          Nice trick now everyone wants to be frigadroid. :-) can’t say that I blame them, it’s damn good to be me! ;-)

  • drklahn

    Does anyone have any idea how the UMTS roaming agreement works with AT&T? Supposedly a 7 year deal signed when T-Mobile/Att merger fell apart. Is it live yet?

  • dave ryan

    Would be nice if t mobile rewarded those customers who stuck it out with them through the constant dropped calls and just plain aggrevation. Just a thought.

  • cielomoreno127

    This still negates the awesome 4G that I use to have. Now I get mostly E instead of 4G. Are they updating the LTE and moving on from certain areas? There is a mile radius from home and its really flaky connections. I love T-Mobile been here since Voicestream days, it just seems that the coverage maps nowadays are inconsistent with what service T-Mobile actually advertises.

    • superg05

      change your apn to epc.tmobile

      • cielomoreno127

        It’s already that.

        • superg05

          what device

        • cielomoreno127

          Samsung Galaxy S3.

        • superg05

          when the last time you got a new sim

        • cielomoreno127

          One month ago, have had 4 within the last 8 months.

    • Noah James

      Call 611 from your phone and complain maybe they can have someone come out to look at the towers. or go to this site to improve coverage/speeds in your area. http://www.t-mobile-takeaction.com/

      • cielomoreno127

        I’ll try that and if nothing gets down in a month or so, just take my busines eleswhere.

        • Noah James

          A month is a bit hopeful. I would try waiting 2 if you can. after all for the problem to get fixed they may need to fix most if not all the towers in your eara and that will take time.

        • cielomoreno127

          Well, this has been going on since September 2012. That’s all I’m giving is a month.

  • memphis blues

    …and yet, if you’re like me and live in the memphis area and you’re outside the city limits of this little metro area, you’re not thinking now is a good time to be a t-mobile customer.

    you’re wondering: wtf, t-mobile?

    can i get more than edge in places around this same little county the city is located in? can i get at least a signal in places that aren’t within a couple of miles of the interstate?

    i may be saving several bucks a month with their new plans but in my case, i’m having to listen to my girlfriend ask me why i don’t have any signal on my t-mobile iphone 5 when she has “all bars and 4g” on her at&t iphone…

  • Julio

    So is it reframing, refarming or both?

    • scb1898

      I noticed that, too. LOL


    Does any of this actually fix wall penetration, which I feel is a major downfall with T-Mobile. I can not tell you how many times I have no service in buildings or basements but ATT or Verizon does, and I live in NYC.

    • superg05

      no they need low band spectrum they wont get any if att & verizion are allowed to buy it all

  • kolijboy234

    Nice ad copy, Brad. Maybe you should apply to TMo’s marketing department. Positives aside, Tmo still has some key issues to work on: 1) coverage, 2) the uncarrier three card trick, smoke and mirror, Billy Mays (rip) nonsense, and 3) its unreasonable unlock policy

  • zx6guy

    I take serious issue with HSPA+ being considered T-Mobile’s fallback. Maybe in the future but not now. For example, take a look at Chicago on T-Mobile’s coverage map. Yea there’s great HSPA+ coverage in the city but drive any direction and you’re in EDGE. Now take a look at Verizon’s map, LTE everywhere and where there isn’t LTE there’s 3G. If anyone would take EDGE over some healthy EVDO (Sprint does not qualify) then I say they’re crazy. If you don’t believe me then you’ve never been caught far from home trying to use Google Maps on EDGE. Its times like that when a good “fallback” such as real 3G comes in handy.

    • zx6guy

      This comes from a T-Mobile subscriber.

      • zx6guy

        …and you missed the point.

        There isn’t a single person on this page that disputes that HSPA+ > EVDO. Even if HSPA+ could deliver 1 Gbit/s it doesn’t matter. Even if T-Mobile LTE could deliver 1 Tbit/s it doesn’t matter. None of it matters if that coverage isn’t where you are. New York, LA, Chicago, it doesn’t matter. You are always within an hour (maybe a little more in some cases) drive of a serious throw 2003 throw back (read, EDGE). HSPA+ can be a great backup yes, but to make that happen T-Mobile actually has to replace EDGE with it. Until then its all talk.

        And now for some food for thought, where is the economic sense with replacing a technology that’s far beyond the end of its life cycle (EDGE) with one that can see the end of its life cycle (HSPA+) when you could use one (LTE) that’s at the beginning of its life cycle and is scalable?

        Just like Sprint, it will take T-Mobile years to fix the technological bad decision making it made in its past. I’m not down on T-Mobile, I’m just saying the rah rah is premature.

        • Sprint is so fucked, its unbelievable. They only have narrowband basic LTE 5×5, on 1900Mhz. T-Mobile is 10×10 and 20×20 in some areas! also, we have a REAL network to fall back onto, not some shitty EVDO slower than EDGE network.

          And you know what? EDGE can use Google Maps just fine, music, etc.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          You really should not make comments on a subject, when you are obviously ill-informed. Sprint currently has a 5×5 network, however they will be adding another 5×5 on the 800Mhz band after the iDEN network is shut down. Sprint also is in the process of buying Clearwire, who has on average 160Mhz of spectrum in the top 100 markets. Clearwire has already started building a 20Mhz TD-LTE network(over 2000 sites live), which has peak speeds in the 100+Mbps range. Sprint is actually in the best position when it comes to spectrum. They have lower band and tons of higher band spectrum.

          Secondly, Tmobile’s network is not a pure 10×10, they have a few 5×5 areas as well.

        • I actually AM “In the know”. Its great you know about Sprint & their coming plans. Its all bullshit. Just like Network Vision.


        • SouthernBlackNerd

          I do not know their coming plans. I am only speculating on what they will be by their current moves. How is Network Vision bullshit? Tmobile practically ripped it off with their Challenger Strategy, so does that mean CS is bullshit as well?

          You are correct, no phones can access it, however phones are coming in q3 that are tri-band LTE. No phones can take full advantage of Tmobile’s future 20×20 network, but you still mentioned it, plus it has been mentioned that 20×20 wont be coming until 2015. And, even thought they cannot access the future LTE800 and LTE2.5ghz, Sprint already has plans to add another 5×5 on their PCS A-F, which current phones will be able to take advantage of.

          You can pair unlike spectrum, that is the whole point of carrier aggregation. Heck, their have been reports of possibly aggregating HSPA+ and LTE.

        • Err what? Actually, every single AWS LTE phone released in the last year supports the 20MHz FDD LTE network. So yes, that is a point in T-Mobile’s favor.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          You are correct, I was wrong in that regard.

        • I hear what your saying, but Challeneger was something different than Network Vision.
          Also, T-Mobile phones CAN take advantage of 10×10 (Of which NO Sprint device can) as well as 20×20 (With the exception of the iPhone 5)

        • zx6guy

          Sprint’s EVDO might be slow by comparison but 3G > 2G in all cases, period. Regardless, my comparison was with Verizon’s and AT&T’s 3G which no one complains about and covers the majority of the country. Until T-Mobile does something with EDGE its all talk.

        • Not in all cases at all. Sprint’s EVDO really is as slow as or even slower than T-Mobile’s 2G/Edge network in many instances.

        • zx6guy

          And I repeat, regardless, my comparison was with Verizon’s and AT&T’s 3G which no one complains about and covers the majority of the country.

    • That doesn’t change how slow EVDO is in comparison to HSPA. Also, all of that EDGE will be slowly phased out and replaced by HSPA…

  • Jay J. Blanco

    The refarm is gonna take time so all these 2g issues will be a thing of the pass hopefully by Spring of 2014. 2G i’snt gonna disappear over night lol

  • OOO

    Hey Brad how much did T-Mobile pay you to write this? Reeks of BS.

    • kaw

      truth hurts don’t it

    • D6E

      Bashing TMO again? Go back to ATT where you belong.

    • I’m still dumbfounded at the idea that writing something positive on a site dedicated to covering its namesake is cause for accusations that we’re bought off?

      • JDJFN

        Don’t engage the eggs. Don’t do it. LoL

    • I-Troll-U

      How much did AT&T subsidize your plan for you to write this reply?

  • MarkAzali

    Being able to make HD Voice calls actually makes calls a much more enjoyable experience

    • Asael Delgado

      I am really enjoying th HD voice between iPhones

    • Trevnerdio

      It really does. I have the GS4 and my girlfriend has the GS3 and the calls sound great.

  • Jody Smith

    When you think about it holistically, if the only way T-Mobile (DT) will invest in their US network is when a buyout/merger deal goes south that should really tell you how much they have valued their US subsidiary all these years.

    Blaming lack of spectrum to me is unacceptable for a carrier with less than half of the subscribers than their competitors do. T-Mobile could of upgraded their 2G areas using their AWS network if they wanted to. They didn’t want to because they take a backwards approach to wireless: “Let the customers come first and then we’ll build….” Instead of “Building the network first then the customers will come…” mentality. It’s not like they don’t have a national network because they really do…. it’s just that most of it is stuck on 1990’s technology. Surely by T-Mobile’s own admission 3G was a much more efficient means of voice/data transmission but apparently the engineering departments didn’t get the memo.

    Sure building out with AWS is more expensive than using low band spectrum but that’s what partnering out with rural providers is all about. Take a play from Verizon or AT&T and you’d know what I’m talking about.

    T-Mobile chose to stay out of acquisitions and didn’t feel the need to play a real part in the 700 MHz auction while they kept citing their preferred method of growing organically. How things would have been different if they gunned for AT&T instead of letting Cingular or Vodafone battle it out.

    Brad you wrote a great article and I’m sure T-Mobile employees will eat it up as they always do but I wouldn’t give T-Mobile (the corporation or their management) a free pass here. Everything they’ve done from poor marketing, lack of CAPEX spending over the years and poor B2B tools were perfectly calculated plans. Cheap plans and poor network coverage were hallmarks of T-Mobile and their management team were perfectly fine maintaining their profitable business model this way.

    The best news that I would like to hear from T-Mobile USA is a real hard commitment to upgrading their entire network to a technology that is worthy of the year 2011. Then they can brag about their network speeds, HD voice and unlimited data over a real 4GLTE network that can be considered, “nationwide,” for reals this time.

    • kolijboy234

      Excellent response. I really could not agree more.

    • unbearablepleasures

      But why even be a T-Mobile subscriber and constantly complain about the company if you know you live in an EDGE only area? If you have other options go for it.

    • Valid complaints and I would agree with many of them but why not just leave if your service is that bad? I wouldn’t pay for something if I felt I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. There are 3 other nationwide carriers to choose from.

      • Will

        Because a lot of us are stuck in contracts. So very carrier of T-Mobile to force people to pay a large fee to leave when they cannot fix their network problems.

        • 21stNow

          So your service wasn’t bad in the first 14 days of your contract, it degraded over time? I went to Sprint back in the ’90s. I used the first two weeks to test the service where I lived, worked and went to school. The coverage turned out to be insufficient for me so I returned the phone and canceled service with Sprint within the buyer’s remorse period. All carriers still give this option; it’s up to the customer to use it.

        • Will

          Why does everyone keep mentioning the 14 day return. That was gone over a year and a half ago.


          Sorry for the caps. But people don’t seem to understand that coverage can get worse over time.

        • 21stNow

          I do understand that possibility, which is why I included it in my question.

    • xmiro

      it’s not John Leger’s fault the previous T-Mobile had shoddy management. T-Mobile also suffered greatly when the government failed to vacate and approve the AWS spectrum for 3G, they had to wait and wait. That’s why Legere went after MetroPCS – more AWS spectrum in key markets

  • kolijboy234

    Is anyone else here of the opinion that, with articles like these, TmoNews is sounding less and less like an independent blog and more and more like a fifth column of T-Mobile?

    • There’s no question that this is a pro-T-Mobile article but then again, this is a pro T-Mobile site. I criticize them ALL THE TIME but it’s forgotten every time someone says something nice. We can speak highly of the company’s current path while still being critical when necessary as I have done in no less than a dozen articles this month alone. I couldn’t disagree more with that statement and I’d urge anyone to provide more than this post as anecdotal evidence that I’m now a mouth-piece for a company that loves to hate me.

      • kolijboy234

        I’m assuming, then, that you take responsibility for this piece of shameless advertising? The article really fails to look critically at the glaring and obvious issue of the lack of proper coverage, and in so doing deeply hurts the objectivity of tmonews. Look, I know you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you, but you might start scaring off serious readers if you simply become a tmobile fanbois club or a haven for tmo workers.

        • lovingmyGN2

          Hey idiot the site is called tmonews as in “T-MOBILE NEWS”. Get a freaking clue if you don’t want to read something related to this carrier, there employees or fan base than learn to read before entering a Web site.

        • kolijboy234

          Here come the thought police. It’s people like this that make sites like these unbearable. Dare to express a dissenting opinion, no matter how carefully stated and the attack hounds come a-calling.

          Now I will say this once: adults want/need objective news (at least an attempt at objectivity) in order to make good decisions. Fanboism or its opposite, trolling, serves no useful function.

          I’ve been a loyal tmo customer for over seven years, and have championed it even when others referred to it as the “ghetto” carrier. Yet, critical loyalty is of supreme importance if TMo is going to build its image. It simply cannot have a bunch of yes-men who tell the emperor that he is well-clothed, even though to the most casual observer he is buck naked. That kind of loyalty leads to demise and kool aid.

          I really hope the mods do something to improve the atmosphere here.

        • I don’t believe this site has ever acted as or been accused of being a fifth column for T-Mobile. However, it is a T-Mobile site fan site as its core so there are some articles that will be more “cheering” than others. That’s always offset by the idea that I spend far more time talking about where T-Mobile is acting, behaving or doing something wrong. What concerns me is the accusation that the site is a shill by individuals who don’t take the time to remember or search out those articles that offset those in question.

        • kolijboy234

          Here is the problem as I see it: I can accept that the article’s main thrust has to do with promoting TMo’s positives. And, no, you don’t have to remind me of the articles critical of TMo. I have lurked here for years. In the recent past, I enjoyed your passionate denunciation of Tmo’s new unlock policy. The issue is that the article so blatantly ignores key matters obvious to even casual observers that it makes the blog appear like a fanboy club. It’s like technological pollyanna syndrome. We get enough of this from other sites; is this what you want? If so, let us know, then we the readers will know how to value the information and opinions we find here.

        • Jose Hernandez

          This article was written to show the positives of being a T-Mobile customer, not to go over their negative issues. There are plenty of articles about that on this site as well. Did you even read the title of the article?

      • kolijboy234

        Maybe it’s Brad’s inexperience. He is a great writer: his ideas are carefully and cogently expressed. But I think he needs to dial back his Tmobile enthusiasm a bit because it causes him to overlook the obvious and he may get the reputation of being a TMobile drone. Then, for people like myself who want some journalistic distance in their reporters, he becomes another of the talking heads, a la FoxNews and MSNBC. I don’t believe that he wants that kind of stigma, especially so early in his career.

    • You must have missed the article a little while back criticizing the large swaths of Edge data coverage. Also the recent one about the iPhone 5 surprise price increase. Or the unlock request procedure, etc.

    • Jose Hernandez


  • frustrated

    The op lives in la la land. Dropped calls are still horrible. I drop on avg 6 to 8 calls a day. I experience significant delayed calling as well. I reside in san Diego.

    • steveb944

      So why are you still on T-Mobile? Time to pay up for better service in your area IMO.
      It always depends on how the network works in your main area to make your choice. Make sure to test all of them out before you make your choice.

    • SeattleTrash

      If you have dropped calls report it. The scope of the article is about data and that’s unrelated to dropped calls. Packet data option can be disabled and voice path will still work. TMO engineering has the tools such as TouchPoint and depending on phone model, CarrierIQ stats to determine which side of the call dropped the connection. The new ticketing tools also track trends as to where existing network issues exist. Can’t help you if you don’t submit a ticket.

  • steveb944

    Bravo, bravo. Excellent writing Brad. Glad to have you helping David. I’m looking forward to the future.

  • I’m not sure what planet a few of you guys live on, but let’s be realistic here. The wireless services industry in this country is quite saturated, and has been so for at least the past 5 to 8 years. I’ve worked for numerous U.S. carriers since 2004, and have used all 4 national carriers at one point or another. It’s easy for us to quickly blame T-Mobile and DT for failing to invest in expanding and upgrading network infrastructure, but I think some of you guys fail to realize the actual costs involved.

    Installing a single brand new “fully loaded” wireless tower can easily run in the multi-million dollar range. The average tower covers a radius of about 20-30 miles if you’re lucky. From a business perspective, the carrier must attempt to calculate the financial risk involved before they invest in a new tower or even upgrading a tower with newer technology. Simply put, they’re looking for a reasonable return on investment (ROI) within the shortest amount of time possible. If you’re expecting T-Mobile to expand into cities with a population of less than 150,000, then you’re probably dreaming right now. If you live in one of these cities and you have 2G service right now, then you should feel lucky.

    T-Mobile has always stated upfront that they are focused on building their network in highly populated metro areas (including suburbs). They’ve justified their decision by referencing numerous studies which show the percentage of the U.S. population that lives within a few miles of a major metropolitan area. If you live outside of these areas, then T-Mobile is not the carrier for you. There will ALWAYS be at least 3 wireless carriers in this country, thus consumers will always have the opportunity to choose a wireless carrier that works best for them in their home area.

    T-Mobile has the ability to compete with Verizon and AT&T in these metro areas, but I would argue it would be a waste of capital for them to invest in expanding to rural areas at this point. Unless we’re talking about a highly traveled area that would link their existing coverage (i.e. major highways), it would be financial suicide to invest in a tower with a small population. We can’t compare T-Mobile to Verizon or AT&T. If you compare the rate plans that the two major carriers offered a mere 2.5 years ago with their current plans, you’ll come to the conclusion that they are using their existing customer base (most of which live close to a metro area) to finance their LTE expansion to the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t need the ability to pick up an LTE signal in the middle of Utah when I live on the east coast.

    If you travel for business and need LTE service everywhere, then more than likely your employer will be happy to contribute to your Verizon monthly bill. Unfortunately, most of us do not have that luxury and are finding it increasingly difficult to see the monetary value in AT&T and Verizon’s overpriced rate plans. Personally, I feel that T-Mobile’s prior issues with attracting customers were at least somewhat influenced by consumer perception. A lot of people mistakenly believe that T-Mobile is the last resort for credit challenged consumers who can’t get approved at Verizon or AT&T. Maybe the old “FlexPay” program has something to do with this, or the fact that a lot of older T-Mobile marketing was geared towards attracting lower class individuals. I’m actually looking forward to the new T-Mobile and what it has to offer to this under-regulated industry. Times are tough, and as a recent college grad, I’d much rather pay T-Mobile a mere $70 a month than Verizon over $160 for “Unlimited” Talk & Text + 10GB of data.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a T-Mobile employee, nor am I a “credit challenged” consumer. I willingly ported my number from Verizon in January and paid a ridiculous ETF to try something a bit more consumer friendly.

    • DT

      I agree with you. If Tmobile could put regular 4G, not LTE along major highways, just like how sprint has done with putting 3G along major highways. I think it will help change the perception for TMobile. Myself and a lot of people that travel from one major city to another, will drop to E once we are out the major city limit driving to the next major city. Sprint data speeds are bad on 3G, but it is decent along major highways to another major city.

      • PHILLY8


      • I agree. HSPA+ along the major interstate highways would be enough. On I-95 between Richmond and Florida, it’s still mostly a 2G trip. Also on I-85 between Atlanta and Durham there are still several areas of 2G in between the cities. Just having HSPA+ along the major highways would greatly change the perception that T-Mobile isn’t good outside the cities.

        • Trevnerdio

          Heck, I’d even settle for regular HSPA on highways…

        • John Mayer

          I-20 Between Atlanta and Augusta Ga is all edge as of last week. Voice and sms service was solid the whole time but anything data related was very spotty and quite slow. It then drops back to edge from just outside of Augusta to Columbia SC. Granted I-20 passes many rural towns on that route where I wouldnt expect 4g service. Iwas just a bit surprised that the data on that route was mostly edge as heavily traveled as it is.

      • Vladmir4

        From my own experience. Trip from Chicago to Seattle.

        IL to WI border – mostly HSPA+.

        WI border to Madison WI area – HSPA+ and EDGE between Milwaukee and Madison.

        Madison WI to Mouston WI – several outages and (!) even SMS telling me “welcome abroad”.

        Mouston WI to Mineapolis MN – crapy roaming. edge.

        Mineapolis MN – HSPA+ of cource.

        Mineapolis MN to Fargo ND – native Tmo, but EDGE only.

        Fargo ND – NO HSPA+. At all.

        Fargo ND to Beach ND (350mi) – crapy roaming, EDGE.

        Beach ND to Billings MT (250mi) – worst roaming ever. Impossible to make even voice call.

        Billings/Bozeman/Missoula MT (350mi) – NO HSPA+ at all.

        Missoula MT to mile marker 30 (70mi) – awful roaming.

        Mile Marker 30 to Post Falls ID (170mi) – ABSOLUTELY no coverage!

        Post Falls ID – HSPA+. (First place after Mineapolis MN, 1200mi!)

        Post Falls ID to Spokane WA – 50mi – HSPA+.

        Spokane WA to Ellensburg WA (200mi) – intermittent edge/hspa/roaming.

        Ellensburg WA to Seattle WA (100mi) – edge or NO SERVICE at all.

        So for 2100 mile you have HSPA+ only 150 miles total.

        • DT

          for roaming, we can’t blame tmobile since they don’t provide service out there. so tmobile and we as customers have to rely on other providers to provide whatever service they have. I just hope tmobile in the future follows along w/ sprint by putting at least 3g along major routes and interstates. It will make customers happy and get better image. HSPA+ is better than edge. I am not expecting LTE along these routes.

    • kolijboy234

      Great arguments! But still you missed a key point. A huge part of the frustration is that along key routes connecting major cities, coverage drops to 2G, even G, for crying out loud! I recently traveled from the Akron OH area along the PA turnpike to Philadelphia and then to DC. Then from DC to Virginia Beach along 95 and 64. Coverage was abysmal during both trips!! I don’t care how cheap the service is, if you advertise that you have nationwide 4G service and you don’t, you’re deceiving customers and there will be a backlash.

      • Will

        It doesn’t even matter if you live in a big metro. I live in a D.C. suburb (I even have FIOS at my house). Yet T-Mobile drops to 1 bar of EDGE. This is similar to Virgin Mobile’s coverage in the area. Drive 10 miles north and it automatically switches to 4G. But the problem is that no one wants to live where T-Mobile is providing LTE coverage in the D.C. suburbs (unless you like getting shot).

        I have been with T-Mobile since VoiceStream. The most recent development is that T-Mobile made me change out my sim cards. Before, I was always getting 4G HSPA coverage. Now with the “new and improved” sim cards that allow roaming on AT&T in this area, I never ever see 4G or LTE until I head north into D.C. I thought it was the iPhone, so I bought a sim adapter and tried it in multiple, unlocked 4G phones.

        And before anyone says well, you are too far out…I live in a neighborhood where the average home has a CEO or high ranking government official. Do you think T-Mobile is going to win over support for corporations or the government if the people that make the decisions cannot use your service? Good luck on the next spectrum auction T-Mobile. But somehow, I think they will probably screw that up as well.

        • 21stNow

          I live in an LTE service area in the DC suburbs and I’ve never been shot. You can live where you want to live, but you don’t have to put down other places where you choose not to live.

        • xmiro

          T-Mobile until recently was mismanaged, I’d argue. So give the new guy a little time to see what he does with the network now that there are contracts and churn is even easier to happen

    • SeattleTrash

      Actually you might still be influenced by past perception in regards to urban and rural coverage. Neville Ray has stated several times that TMO was found to actually have far more rural coverage reach in areas where the top 3 carriers fell short.

      • I highly doubt that T-Mobile has more rural areas providing 3G/4G service than Verizon & ATT. When most of your customers are now purchasing data intensive smartphones, they’re going to notice and care if they receive EDGE at home or AT&T’s HSPA/HSPA+ or Verizon’s EVDO/LTE. If he’s not specifically comparing similar data speeds in these rural areas, then as far as I’m concerned it’s apples-to-oranges.

        • Vladmir4

          >>I highly doubt that T-Mobile has more rural areas providing 3G/4G service than Verizon & ATT.<<

          You never tried to check. Take a trip along i80 or (OMG!) i90 and you will discover many bad things about Tmo coverage.

        • Trevnerdio

          Isn’t that what he just said…that T-Mo’s coverage isn’t as great as Verizon’s or AT&T’s?

      • wazmo

        If you pull Up T-Mobile’s map for Mchigan, their native network stops right above a line starting at Grand Rapids and ending at Saginaw/Bay City/Midland. Now compare the coverage maps of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to that line-all 3 have a good-sized coverage area as you go around that area.

    • joshinsobe

      Very well written reply. Whether someone disagrees or agrees with an article, ^this is how to do it.

    • Trevnerdio

      First, while I agree with you, I think your numbers are exaggerated. Installing 1 tower does not cost in the millions of dollars normally, and the radius of a tower is hardly ever 20-30 miles. Those are the seriously rural towers that rely on few-and-far-between coverage.

      And second, I live in an area of just 60,000 or so over 5 cities and we have had 42mbps service for a long time now while this little town called Ebro (Pop. of 250) went from no service to at least 21mbps basically overnight.

      I completely agree with the rest of your assessment, though.

  • RonJeezy

    When is the “final state” to be accomplished? B/c I’m calling shenanigans.

  • louie siason

    I’ve been a TMO customer for 8 years now. Been loving the rate plans and data speeds. I live in Los Angeles metro area and has been happy with the sevice.

    Awesome article! BTW Brad, have you heard anything about the rumors that TMO’s LTE is actually LTE +??

    • Brad Lopez

      I have indeed heard that TMo will be deploying LTE Advanced (Release 10), but I don’t exactly know when what that will look like at this point. We will post about it when we have more info, I’m sure.

    • Vladmir4

      There is now hspa/lte on the road between LA and Las Vegas NV. On i15 form LA to LV ATT customers can stream video form youtube, Tmo customers struggle with gprs. Dont lie to yourself and remove pink glasses.

  • WW

    Both Motorola and Sony are conspicuously missing from T-Mobile’s “flagship” handset list.

    Hopefully we really will get the Sony Xperia Z and some (any?) smartphone.

    • Tmobile is getting a sony tablet and phone. And tmobile Motorola’s phone don’t be as good as Verizon so why bother if they not gone get a razr

      • Quan Bui

        There’s nothing remotely special about Motorola phones. I’ve used 2 recently and they both suck. hard.

  • John Rocke

    It really depends on your area. I was on sprint(Virgin Mobile). It worked OK in rural/small cities(.5-2mbps). I moved to a larger city where sprint towers were overloaded giving me ~100kbps. I switched to TMO speed were great in city but 2g elsewhere. I found it well worth the trade off. I can still use email, navigation, and opera mini web browsing on 2g. Last month TMO switched on 4g in my city and I went from 1-3mbps to 5-12mbps. While I’d love all the 2g replaced with 3g, I prefer low prices.

    The best part of t-mobile for me is the $30 unlimited texting and 5gb data prepaid plan. Its not for everyone with only 100 minutes but coupled with grooveip voip for longer outgoing calls it works great for my needs. With the $300 nexus 4 from the google store and it saves a lot of money vs contract plans while maintaining the same high end experience.

    So while TMO may have others beat on price, it may not be worth it if you’re in 2g areas often.

  • Newmexican

    Nice pitch for our favorite provider. However, what you are describing is only valid around the big cities. In a lot of areas TMUS is still stuck on 2G. They need to restart their efforts to bring at least their HSPA+ footprint everywhere (I am not even asking for LTE in Northern New Mexico).

    • Vladmir4

      Few year ago they didnt even provide voice service from Albuq to San John NM.

  • Disqus is messed up.

  • CPPCrispy

    A few thoughts.

    There is no reason to upgrade EDGE to HSPA+ if LTE is the future. Sure some people will say that not everyone has a LTE phone or that if T-Mobile does this, LTE will not have a fall back. What I say is that EDGE does not have a fallback so why does LTE need one. Also if your phone does not support LTE then you will have to upgrade or be stuck on EDGE.

    Also a thought on the amount of spectrum. In urban areas you need a lot of spectrum to support the large quantity of users. But in the rural areas, where there are not as many, you do not need as much.

    Also a thought on backhaul. You need a fast backhaul to provide fast internet access. It is difficult to get fast backhaul at a releasable price in rural area. That should not stop T-Mobile from upgrading its towers. Sure they might have to use T1 lines instead of fiber but going along with the spectrum thought, you do not need a large pipe where there aren’t a lot of people. With that said, if you cannot get a reasonable backhaul, for the amount of people that it would serve, to a tower, then there is no reason to upgrade that tower. But if you can, then upgrade it.

    • Will

      Voice does not currently run over LTE. So the phone wil automatically fall back to EDGE or HSPA when making a call. The LTE networks are all data networks. Voice over LTE is a long way off. So this idea will not work.

      • CPPCrispy

        What I meant by the fallback is that just like EDGE does not have a fallback for voice/data, LTE will not have a fallback for high speed data (data would fall back to slow EDGE). For voice calls the phone would fallback to EDGE but would reconnect to LTE after the the call has ended (unless some sort of active dual mode connection could be setup so that the phone could be connected to EDGE and LTE at the same time so the hand over does not need to happen. But I do not know it that is possible with the network or phone). The issue with EDGE is the slow data speeds not voice. I think that most users would be willing to deal with the handover delay and the suspension of the data connection, while making voice calls, if that meant that we would have a high speed LTE connection when we are not talking on the phone.

        • Will

          Actually the real problem is that T-Mobile does not seem to handle the hand-off to EDGE without causing a moment of no-network connection. If they don’t stop dropping my connection because of poor coverage, I am gone once my contract is up in August. Life is too short for a cheap cell phone plan.

      • Andromedo

        Air interface (LTE, HSPA, EDGE, etc.) is independent of backhaul. So this would work fine. No reason you couldn’t put an LTE/HSPA/EDGE tower at the end of a dial-up modem… It just won’t perform any faster than that connection.

  • MO

    I live in Murrieta ca. Smack in between l.a and San Diego. I commute into sand iego more often because i work there I have NO problem in san diego or either L,a,.
    Love the service and Pricing.

    • GinaDee

      You must not use your phone or enjoy the large pockets of EDGE and no service along your route. Same story on I-5 or I-15 north or southbound.

      People read sites like these for information. Leaving your phone in your purse all day doesn’t give you credible information to go by.

      • Vladmir4


      • Wyn6

        That’s presumptuous. Again, you should understand that your particular experience isn’t necessarily representative of others’ as a whole.

        Just because my trip to Tijuana was so horrible that I’ll never return doesn’t mean that same horrible experience applies to someone else. While I may talk about how terrible it is, they may talk about how great it was. I can’t force them to have had a bad experience just because mine was.

        There are a ton of factors that go into any experience, any of which can be applied to any given person and mobile service is no exception.

  • I have to agree with the article. In my area I consistently get 18-25mbps down on HSPA+ with T-Mobile. In the past my only issue with the network was the lack of the iPhone, now that has been solved. Love the way the new uncarrier plans work compared to what Verizon and AT&T offer. Unlimited data is available on T-Mobile and it’s actually fast (unlike Sprint) and even for those who don’t opt for unlimited data, they don’t have to worry about massive overages for going over their limit.

    I do think T-Mobile has some work to do when it comes to having HSPA+ along the interstates but I don’t take long trips often enough to make paying an extra $1000/yr to Verizon worth it to me just to be able to stream things faster during my trip. I drive to Atlanta often but there are only a few spots along 85 where the internet isn’t fast enough to stream Pandora.

    Now that I have my iPhone 5 with fast 4G most of the time and a lower monthly bill as a bonus, I’m pretty content with my phone service for the first time in years. LTE is supposed to be coming in the next few months here but honestly it’s not even a big deal since my current speeds are already faster than my WiFi. Often times I turn off wifi altogether.

  • swiss_cheese_coverage

    How about instead of sucking T-Mobile’s #$%^, you push them to cover areas that currently have nothing, or edge? Why does it feel like this site is just doing T-Mobile’s bidding? Get complacent, and they will, too. They need to expand coverage while expanding coverage, it’s swiss cheese and not just in bumfuck rural areas. I’m talking right out from a major metropolitan city.



  • AnthonyRyan89

    I’ve been a T-Mobile customer since 2007 and I love it. I may not get the best coverage in my house, but then again that’s why I got the signal booster and I’ve been loving tmo even more. I’ve even seen faster download speeds in my area.

    This is really a great article though.

  • oryan_dunn

    What good is that roaming agreement? After it was announced, T-Mobile changed their roaming policy to limit you to 50MB/mo of roaming data. Some plans go to the insanely high cap of 200MB/mo. Of all the times I’ve roamed on AT&T, I’ve never got 3G/4G roaming, even in areas with their 21Mbps HSPA+. I can only assume this roaming agreenment is not in place yet.

    • xmiro

      they all limit your roaming if you read the fine print Sprint spells it out, as does AT&T and Verizon

  • mingkee

    LTE finally comes to Brooklyn, but I found “fast” APN is bad when uploading/downloading large (>100MB) files. Fortunately, I added “epc” APN on my note 2 and problem fixed.

    • curtl

      What exactly was the problem you were having? Using the epc APN should connect you to HSPA+, not LTE. It’s possible there was a problem with LTE and using HSPA+ instead fixed it.

  • Will

    T-Mobile left me stranded last night in Fairfax, VA (if that wasn’t bad enough on its own). “Unable to connect to data network” means no gps directions. Thankfully, I remembered to bring my Verizon iPad with me and could tether the iPhone to it so I could get back to civilization (Maryland).

    • superg05
      • xmiro

        great site, although calling doesn’t hurt either. I logged a problem where our phones couldn’t dial out and kept giving ‘Error’. It was fixed in about a couple of days

    • Quan Bui

      Just a thought, if you use GPS regularly, you could use an offline GPS program. I use Sygic for my GPS and it doesn’t matter if I have data… as long as GPS is turned on, you’re connected forever!

    • John Rocke

      I use Nav Free for a offline GPS navigation backup to Google Maps. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navfree.android.OSM.ALL It lets you download entire states and POIs and Address search is offline. Navigation works offline too. Not the best but should be enough to get you back to an area with data.

      I’m guessing in this case you were roaming on att and could still call/text.

      • kolijboy234

        Have you really used this app extensively? It’s not ready for prime time, and certainly should not be recommended as a substitute for having what I consider to be basic data service along major highways. I was on US Interstate 76 this morning, not five minutes outside of Akron, and lost data service – it said “E” on the signal indicator, but the phone couldn’t connect to the internet. This is unacceptable for a supposedly nationwide service that is seeking to be competitive. And suggestions like these, though obviously well-intentioned, are merely bandaids on a bullet wound.

        • Wyn6

          While perhaps a “bandaid on a bullet wound” Nokia offline maps also includes morphine-like pain relief. Providing you own a Nokia Windows Phone device, of course.

    • superg05

      Google lets to cahce a whole city or route but you have to do it

  • hello

    Who cares about LTE in New York.. What about the rest of us in the US stuck on 2G? Wake up T-Mobile!

  • unfaix

    Voice and data is still shit at where I live, they’ve been “monitoring” my reception for over two months.

    I still have not receive the signal booster.

    • Aguilar

      Did you already order the signal booster? If yes, just wait.

      • unfaix

        I requested one, and they said they cant just give out like that.

        They’ll have to monitor my signal and such and then send it out if deemed required.

        It’s been months.

        I even tried the reporting feature of they official test application, one corner of the house has basically zero data rate and if I hold the phone just right, it’ll connect to another tower and everything works.

        Forget about talking on the phone while walking around the house, that’s ground for disconnection, they dont believe me that i’m on the edge of two tower and all of the phone are not smart enough to just stick to one that works.

  • baker estat

    Go T-Mobile. Stop talking about T-Mobile being slow. I’m in a small city, and get 20 MBPS down!

    • Vladmir4


      Scranton, PA, i80. 5/27/13, 9:20PM, Down – 0.72Mbps, Up – 0.57Mbps.

      Biggest Down achieved: Chicago, IL, 5/4/13 6:45PM – 18.5Mbps.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Who wants to bet this guy (who wont stop posting “poor speeds” in random posts), is faking it. Based on other postings, Vlad here has a big stick up his butt about tmo, and I think he is just trying to be defamatory. Ive NEVER seen anything less than 1mbps on tmo 4g. I would assume you are standing in your mom’s basement when you test, vlad.

    • GinaDee

      No you see. The problem I have with T-Mobie speeds is just how inconsistent they are.

      I call total BS anyone on this forum who makes claims that they get 20-40 Mbps down “everywhere,” they go on T-Mobile HSPA+. The only people who would openly agree with you online are T-Mobile employees or their agents.

      Speeds like that are hit and miss and generally only in spotty metro areas. Swing 20 feet in any other direction and you are back to sub 1 Mbps speeds or even worse: 2G speeds/no service.

      SoCal is a classic example. There is HSPA+ pretty much everywhere west of the mountains but speeds are poky unless you are right underneath a cell site. Even then not all sites appear to be hooked up to fiber. There is no excuse to be getting 100 Kbps speeds from a HSPA+ cell site broadcasting >60 dBM’s but T-Mobile’s network seems to be put up this way every other block.

      • Wyn6

        I call, BS is it? …to you. Everywhere I go, I’m consistently at full bars 4G. I don’t EVER and I mean EVER see 2G/Edge on my phone. Now, I live in Dallas/Fort Worth which has over 6 million people. I do not drop calls and get roughly 8-9 megs down on a pretty consistent basis.
        So, with both our posts being anecdotal at best, what this says is your mileage may vary. This is exactly the same with any carrier. I’ve talked to a ton of people with many different carriers who claim to get great service and likewise for those who claim to get poor service.
        So, I highly doubt your singular case is representative of the majority of T-Mobile users, just as mine may not be.

        • GinaDee

          I wish my post was anecdotal. It would be if I were the only one in the country who had issues with T-Mobile’s network implementation.

          There are more network related complaints about T-Mobile than any other US wireless carrier and its not because they offer full bars 4G coverage everywhere like you claim.

          It’s one thing to have bad service in someone’s basement, in the middle of Death Valley or deep in the woods. It’s another thing for a wireless provider who advertises themselves as offering “nationwide 4G,” while only offering the most skeletal faux G network out of the top 4.

          Interstate 15 is one of the busiest freeways in the country. It’s currently the only terrestrial way to get from SoCal to Vegas and back yet even Metro PCS covers the entire stretch with LTE. T-Mobile gives their customers a technology complimentary of 1998 for the majority of the stretch. Even EDGE would be better than what they offer now.

        • Fernando Caldera

          Well I personally cannot speak for SoCal, however here in the bay area(Richmond, Oakland, Vallejo, etc., I get 15 to 22 mb/s downloading on hspa+ on my nexus 4. And this is through going through a 30 mile commute.

        • Wyn6

          Actually, your post, as is mine, is anecdotal. You see, considering that you can only base your claims on your own experience and that of a relative few others, is the very example of anecdotal.
          T-Mobile has over 30 million customers (not including the 9 million MetroPCS subscribers). You, nor I, can claim to speak for all of those experiences. However, if you can provide me with the claims of a large minority of those subscribers which corroborate your own, I will gladly drop the “anecdotal” tag I have applied to your posts.

        • Will

          Well here is another person’s experience. I see very inconsistent speeds in the D.C. metro. Speeds are fast one minute and “No network connection” the next. T-Mobile really needs to fix this if they want to be a top wireless carrier.

        • gdbjr

          Glad I am not the only one seeing network inconsistency with T-Mobile in DC.

        • GinaDee

          And that’s my beef. I can deal with the lack of HSPA+ coverage as it is…. This is T-Mobile so that is kind of expected. We pay less and get less.

          It’s just the areas they have a full fledged live HSPA+ 42 Mbps network is full of holes and congested areas where the phone can’t even hit a half a meg down or is constantly flipping between 4G and EDGE.

          It’s maddening to stream audio or video anywhere on my commute. Streams constantly buffering or “no internet connection available,” even with full bars of 4G. Sprint is bad like this too. Sprint used to be fast back in 2007 but their network has gone to pits.. Network Vision and all.

          Verizon and AT&T just work. Things connect fast and remain connected until I stop them.

          I want T-Mobile to get better and I’m hoping they are reading this.

      • Fraydog

        Can’t you stick to complaining that T-Mobile removed the soda fountains in corporate headquarters?


        Look at this thread where people are complaining over and over again about Verizon being at EDGE speed on LTE in the same area you’re talking about. If you weren’t a CWA/AT&T AstroTurf plant you’d recognize this.

        Furthermore Conan already wrote a LONG editorial on here talking about the massive EDGE areas, that’s beating a dead horse. T-Mobile has come a long way in fixing their problems in urban areas, they have to do that to get the capital to deal with the rural EDGE.

  • Vladmir4

    >>Now, more so than ever before, T-Mobile has a full and diverse portfolio of devices from the top and most desirable manufacturers running the latest and greatest operating systems. <<

    BS. Even short look at ATT offer shows TWO htc one (black/islver) with 32/64Gb against ONE only (silver 32gb) option at tmobile. Same with Galaxy S4.

    • jasonmatty1

      The T-Mobile HTC ONE actually has 32GB as that is the smallest HTC is currently manufacturing.

      • Vladmir4

        Ok, 32 for HTC. But any way, no black version, no 64gb version.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          You like to whine a lot. Did someone not get their binky?

        • Pfloyd09

          No kidding. Seems like someone with that much whine should either get a bunch of cheese to go with it, or stop posting where it obviously causes so much agony. Jeez… They could just drop Tmobile and go with another carrier if it’s THAT bad.

  • truckeemike

    Sadly I am in 2g/Edge GSM area where I live in Truckee , Ca (just miles from Lake Tahoe, Ca which has 4G). I fear that small GSM plot (yes I used “plot” on purpose) is where we will remain. I have called TMO about this. (forgot # to report slow speeds.., HELP??), they say they monitors calls about poor speeds. Let me say that the Tahoe bunch, who come from EVERYWHERE, come that few miles to see our Wild yet snow ridden West, Where Charlie Chaplin filmed his greatest movie.You know the one with the blizzard?And real people now shop, rent ski condo’s et, are bound to EDGE at best ;-[. Yes I know Charlie didn’t have cell svc,back then, but WHAT ABOUT US?? We are in between Reno HSPA+, and Tahoe 4G(HSPA?). Please ‘o please grand tmonews.com King David, pass this on????

    We want a reasonable speed so these world travelers don’t go home saying T-Mo ain’t got it right, right??? OK, yes I would LOVE to walk out of my wi-fi house and be able to even Check-In, but alas not enough speed.

    David forward to T=Mo pretty pls????
    And what is the # again to report these slow speeds??
    I thank you. No bashing required I love T-Mo, for last 9 years. But, I hate ATT leftovers here.

    • Vladmir4

      THOUSANDS of truck drivers get stuck in winter time at Truckee, CA. From time to time you cant even make a call from that place. Ridiculous.

      To sweeten the pill for you, Tmo GOT 4g at Moab, UT and Leavenworth, WA. Both are tourist places.

  • Mirad77

    Good read and good write Brad. But as much as this is a well written article it doesn’t reflect the reality of everyone’s day-to-day experience with our beloved TMUS. I for one is very happy with my TMUS coverage and bill but as far as down/up speed there is a lot of fluctuation.
    Lets put is this way, the future is bright but we still have a long way to go. Last but not least, this new CEO just give me a chill and that might just be me but I don’t see hope in him.

    • TBN27

      It’s like that with all carriers. What is more important tha TMUS gets to rural areas with HSPA+, wich I notice they are doing

      • Vladmir4

        I noticed not. F.e. there is no HSPA+ in Fargo, ND (city area!).

        • TBN27

          Check their coverage male. You will see quite a few “middle of nowhere” areas that have HSPA+ away from where you are

        • Vladmir4

          I am checking it last several years. I got consistent 3-4Mbps down with outdated ATT mobile hotspot, and I got nothing with Tmobile super duper galaxy blaze 4g.

        • TBN27

          Well I live in New York. I recently went up to Windham, NY where it isn’t a big town and had 4G coverage. Away from the Dakotas in other states and such, small population areas are getting 4G coverage. It may not be a big amount but they are starting to pop up.

        • Vladmir4

          Again, 4G icon on phone task bar means nothing. I got 4G icon on some rural and suburban areas, but Speedtest shows EDGE speeds. Thats NOT 4G, thats a joke.

        • TBN27

          Well the middle of nowhere town I went to produced good 4G speeds. Again, not on North Dakota, but in upstate New York was my experience. To each his own.

        • Vladmir4

          BTW, i88 near that place is complete BLACK HOLE.

        • TBN27

          Wouldn’t know because I cannot look at my phone and drive at the same time. But according to their coverage map, I see no black hole. And from past years traveling upstate on my way to Canada by bus, there was coverage. Not 4G but coverage. Now there is a smattering of 4G coverage of 4 Gand my stopping in one of those towns proved so.

  • jose

    Probably one the best articles if not the best I have read here at tmonews.com. great job brad.!!!

    • Vladmir4

      this article repeat as a mantra dozens times.Nothing new or encouraging to be (or continue to be) a tmobile customer. You spend in McDonalds on a daily basis more that a difference in a verizon/att and tmo monthly bill.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        So considering that the difference is typically 40 bucks or more, you are saying you spend 40 bucks a day at Mcdonalds? wow. you must eat a lot of fast food and be reeeaaallllyyy fat. Maybe you should see a doctor. Hope you don’t dollar menu is with that 40 bucks.

  • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

    Honestly, I feel like T-Mobile’s EDGE covers less than AT&T’s 3G. And their HSPA+ will or already covers less than AT&T or Verizon’s LTE. I am not sure what coverage advantage they will have, really.

    • Vladmir4

      They do not have appropriate coverage even in urban area. Take a simple test: enter any mall and check your ability to make a call.

      • bobsyouruncle

        Actually the mall in my area gets far better coverage on tmo than on vzw or sprint. Sprint is a joke. I cant even get past the checkout lanes in walmart before they lose signal. besides, anyone who uses a mall as a means to test coverage is an idiot. Thats like asking someone to test their lambo speed on a dead end road. Malls notoriously cause issues with all cell phone carriers.Same goes for hospitals..

        • mall hater

          who goes to malls?

    • dtam

      this is the biggest gripe against magenta, only having 2g speeds for the majority of the network

  • Vladmir4

    5/29/13 9:47AM – Old Henry Rd and i265, Louisville, KY

    Down 2.55Mbps

    Up 1.32Mbps

    they call this 4G. Sick.

    • dtam

      just tested, speen st, framingham, ma

      down 13.822
      up 11.07

      • Vladmir4

        Summit IL, 11:38pm

        down 4.55
        up 1.01

        • Bobsyouraunt

          New York, 32.653 down and 12.438 up
          Beat that Verizon!

    • Pfloyd09

      That is on the edge of town, almost in the sticks. Gimme a break. I worked downtown Louisville for 2 years, and roamed all over that city, and had GREAT Tmo service. I recently moved to Salt Lake City, and get 13mbps down rather consistently.

  • tech916

    F you tmobile as soon as my contract is up in December you can kiss my A-$$

  • Alex Zapata

    As much as I love T-Mobile and as excited as I am about the new LTE network there’s 2 things they really need to take care of: coverage and consistency, with a big emphasis on consistency. It’s great that I can get ~30mb/s around my house, but what good does that do me if the rest of the time my latency and speeds are mediocre at best in about 80% of the places I’ve been to? Maybe they should look into small cells like Verizon. I don’t know, but consistency would probably help a lot.

    • Vladmir4

      they do not have money, thats why they do not have consistency.

      • They have $4 billion dollars. That’s $4 billion more than AT&T has put in their crap network in the last year,

        • Baxter DeBerry

          theyve pretty much have spent the 4 billion on lte, refram amongst other things

        • M42

          Actually they had $6 billion.

        • M42

          Actually they had $6 billion.

  • Wake up people you’ve been sleeping you really believe at and fee went through all that for nothing? The “merger”was supposed to fail, they never intended to acquire trust the true plan is yet to come, lol at people who believe this merger it was all a farce

  • tech916

    Tmobile is full of deceit and Lies and as soon as I am released from my Contract Goodbye Suckers and Hello Big Red

    • Brandon

      Have fun paying out the ass for service! I was a Verizon customer for 5 years and I was paying about $100 a month for unlimited data (I was grandfathered in, now you’d be lucky to get 2 GB for that), 1000 texts (to anyone, including Verizon customers), and about 500 shared minutes. Not to mention a whopping 700 Kbps down on Verizon’s amazing [sarcasm] 3G network! I switched to T-Mobile about a month ago and got the S4, I now pay $90 a month for unlimited everything [down to $70 when I have the phone paid off], no contract so I can leave whenever I want (as long as I pay off the phone), and I regularly get 7-12 Mbps down on HSPA! We’re also getting LTE sometime in the next few months. Verizon has been telling me for 1.5 years that we’re getting LTE soon.

      Have fun getting raped by Verizon. They can do whatever the hell they want because they don’t care if they lose one customer because they have 90 million more. T-mobile can’t do ballsy things like that because they want to keep their customers.

      • Vladmir4

        BS. For those who travel a lot – verizon is a must. I got solid 10mbs down in a middle of nowhere (NE i80) with verizon where tmo just sucks. So keep your BS stories with you.

        • Brandon

          How is my story BS? Everything is based in fact. Of course T-Mobile isn’t as wide spread as Verizon, but I’ve had a much better experience with T-Mobile in NJ than I have with Verizon speed wise. I drove 170 miles from South Jersey to North Jersey and I was only on Edge for no longer than 15 minutes total, most of the 3 hour drive was either spent on HSPA/HSPA+ and some on LTE. Verizon has 3G all over NJ, but only certain areas have LTE. Also if you’re in an area with WiFi it doesn’t matter if you don’t get a strong signal from a T-Mobile tower. Not the same for Verizon though!

        • Vladmir4

          Very easy. Novody cares about NJ. Take a trip 100 miles away and you got no signal. Virginia, Pennsylvania i80, NY i88/i81/i84 – all have crappy coverage. Urban areas ok. But if you travel just a leap out of town – thats it.

        • Brandon

          By that same horrible argument, nobody cares about where you live either. I love it how you call my story BS simply because you don’t live in NJ and coverage apparently sucks for you. Sucks for you buddy, it’s fine for me!

  • Brandon

    I guess I picked a great time to switch from Verizon to T-Mobile! I was a Verizon customer for 5 years and was paying $140 for 1000 texts to anyone [including VZW customers], unlimited data (grandfathered in), and about 500 shared minutes. My mom had a dumb phone so her share was only about $40 even with her teacher’s 15% discount! I was leery of switching to T-Mobile because I remember a few years ago one of my college roommates had T-Mobile and his service was horrible compared to Verizon and AT&T. When my current roommate (in a different city) switched to T-Mobile from Sprint and said it was great and I saw for myself I cancelled my contract with VZW and jumped ship to T-Mobile!

    I now pay $90 for unlimited everything and it will drop down to $70 when I pay off the phone. I was also getting a whopping 700 Kbps down on Verizon’s 3G, I now regularly get 5-10 Mbps down on HSPA and we’re getting LTE in the next month or two, we already have it an hour away where I work. Verizon has been telling me for 1.5 years that we’re going to get LTE.

    I will admit that T-Mobile’s 3G/4G coverage isn’t nearly as good as Verizon’s 3G coverage in NJ, but it’s definitely getting there! On my daily commute from Vineland, NJ to Mount Laurel, NJ my data never completely drops out but it will drop me down to Edge for about 5-10 minutes total in places out of the total 45-70 minutes I drive. A friend who has had T-Mobile in Vineland for years says that it sucks anywhere outside of Vineland and he’s leaving as soon as his contract is done. But then again he has the original Samsung Galaxy and I have the S4. Two weekends ago I went from Vineland, NJ to Park Ridge, NJ (complete opposite end of the state) and I wouldn’t lose 3G for more than about 20 minutes total out of the 3 hour ride. Granted Verizon’s 3G wouldn’t drop at all but I would be stuck on 500-1000 Kbps down for the majority of the drive.

    The one thing that does confuse is me that on the outskirts of Vineland I’ll drop down to Edge for a few minutes until I toggle Airplane mode, then it will connect to HSPA (+), it shouldn’t even be on Edge at all considering the tower is about 5 miles away. Also yesterday I was about 5 miles away from the tower and was getting a whopping 0.1 Mbps down, as I got closer to it (under 2 miles away) it jumped up to the normal 5-7 Mbps down, still on HSPA. What gives T-Mobile? Is your transmission power really that weak??

    • Nada Hin

      So glad I came upon your post! My family and I are looking to switch to T-mobile from Sprint.I live in Washington Township in Gloucester county, NJ and wasn’t sure whether switching to T-mobile would offer less coverage than Sprint(coverage kinda sucks) or not. How is you’re LTE/HSPA+ coverage in other areas of NJ? My mom works mostly in Philadelphia, so I know she won’t have any problems, but me and my brother are mostly in NJ(Gloucester county, Voorhees, and occasionally New Brunswick) for work and school so that’s my main concern.

      • Brandon

        The only areas I spend a lot of time in are in Vineland (I live there) and in Mount Laurel (I work there), so I can’t really attest for other areas since I was just driving through them, not spending a considerable amount of time there. At my office in ML (right on the corner of 295 & 38) I get LTE from Deptford and my signal strength is around -85 dbm and I get about 10-15 Mbps down. In Vineland my signal strength is about -90 dbm and my download speed is about 7-12 Mbps on HSPA(+). I have noticed recently over about the past week that while making a call the voice will sometimes cut out for a few seconds and we can’t hear each other, It doesn’t happen all the time, but it is slightly annoying. If you’re near a WiFi access point you can make WiFi calls so that remedies that situation.

  • I replied to your other comment