T-Mobile’s network team is working at a furious pace to get the company’s airwaves to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. In some major metro areas it’s upgrading the existing LTE network to wideband LTE, making higher download speeds possible. But in many rural locations, LTE is going live for the first time.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been sent a number of new LTE sightings all across the States, in some very rural towns and roads. We’ll focus on the big one first: North Carolina. A reader sent in the following map/graphic which shows sites where LTE is going live, and where it’s going to be live soon, and all looks good for the areas in an around Charlotte, NC.As with a lot of new LTE sites, virtually all the upcoming upgrades are on the 1900 band.
That said, it’s great to see that some areas in Charlotte, NC have been upgraded to 10+10MHz LTE, after being on 5+5 for so long. Although not quite wideband, the extra data pipes will make traffic a non-issue and provide a more stable and speedy connection.
The screenshot above was taken in Charlotte, and shows the network connection type and cell identity.
In Batesburg-Leesville, SC, a new site has been spotted, showing LTE availability for the first time there. The data was tracked using Sensorly’s app and can be seen on one of the main highways through the area.
Johnstown, near Pittsburgh, PA
“We live in a community outside of Pittsburgh PA called Johnstown, this area is still Edge, but over the last few weeks we have seen numerous 4G LTE sightings. With this being said I was able to grab a screen shot with my Samsung Galaxy S5 displaying the 4G LTE icon.”
“T-Mobile seems to be lighting up high-band LTE (AWS or 1900MHz seen on a N5) south of Huntsville, AL along highway 231 down to just south of Morgan City. It seems to be intermittent as I saw it in the morning (10AM-11AM central) and didn’t see it in the afternoon (4PM-5PM central) on Sunday November 9th. It also stuck to 1 or 2 bars signal strength the entire way. When my phone dropped off of LTE, it went straight to Edge…”
Knoxville to Jellico, TN
A reader got in touch to let us know that, although the signal isn’t too strong or consistent, there is some LTE showing up on the stretch of 75 from Knoxville to Jellico, TN.
“Just sending a report on rural LTE upgrades. Belfair, WA has a population of about 6,500 people and was just updated to LTE from Edge over the weekend! Also, some rural highway in between towns got LTE.”
Another reader spotted LTE in his status bar in Harrisonburg, VA, although the signal is very inconsistent. Most of the time switching back to HSPA+, which is also fairly new for the area. He notes that average speed tests have been between 8-10Mbps, compared to the 0.5-1 Mbps in previous weeks and months.
Boca-Ranton, South Florida
It’s not a new site for LTE, but Boca-Ranton in South Florida was recently given the 15+15 wideband treatment.
Overall, I don’t think my inbox has been as busy with new network sightings as it has been over the past couple of weeks. And looking at the map of South Carolina, it confirms what we’ve seen from some of our readers and sources from that area already: T-Mobile is expanding quickly and not just in major metro locations.
If there’s a negative here, it’s that the HTC One M8 isn’t supported in any of the newest LTE sites. With it not being compatible with the 1900MHz band, there’s a group of customers who can’t take advantage.