T-Mobile’s new “next gen”coverage maps: Hit or miss?

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 19.43.41

T-Mobile fan or not, you can’t escape the carrier’s influence on the modern market. Before the company’s Un-carrier moves, the only discussion about network operators were generally complaints about signal strength (or lack of it). It takes something special for people to actually care about a carrier, and take notice of what it’s doing.

Having recently launched Uncarrier 9.0, the carrier promises it’s not done yet and is moving confidently forward with its plans to remove customer pain points. One step at a time. But its Uncarrier philosophy stretches far beyond awesome offers. It’s not all about the glitz and glamour of launch events. It’s about changing the industry. Some of those steps include things like proactively refunding customers charged for premium SMS services, or lobbying the FCC to make roaming fairer for the small guys.

One of the lesser publicized moves is the latest change to the network coverage map. And its intention with the map is admirable. Instead of just showing where you should have coverage, it shows areas where the signal is “verified”. In other words: Where customers can actually get an LTE signal. In theory, it’s fantastic. Especially with its promise of updating frequently and showing almost real-time results.

But it doesn’t come without its problems. After the map was published, many of sounded off in the comments complaining that the map still wasn’t accurate. And was actually less useful. Others – like me – were pleased with the step T-Mo had taken. But there is reason to be concerned, or at least, mildly skeptical.

Peter Cohen of iMore recently published a couple of articles, one of which details a conversation he had with T-Mobile’s VP of Engineering, Grant Castle. Cohen (@flargh on Twitter) had written an article previously which detailed his experience of the T-Mobile network. Long story short: He needs a signal booster at home and regularly fails to connect to the LTE, and struggles with terrible audio quality on phone calls. And yet, the new map proudly fills his entire area with a deep magenta shade as if to say “all’s good here, you’re in LTE wonderland!” When the reality is far different.

“Mr. Castle admitted up front that the engineering models that his company and other cellular carriers use to determine coverage maps aren’t perfect, but says that T-Mobile’s goal really is to improve accuracy by incorporating customer data into the matrix as well.”

As luck would have it, there is a way to input your experience of T-Mobile’s network in to the map. If you have the My Account app from T-Mo, you get the option of sending diagnostic information anonymously to the carrier. This shows T-Mobile where and when you’ve connected to LTE without giving them any other, more sensitive, information. The app can even tell the difference between a Wi-Fi and LTE connection so it won’t send “great signal here” messages when you’re using Wi-Fi.

But the problem could arise when you have a signal booster. Like Cohen, if you have an LTE signal booster in your home magically transforming 1 bar of LTE in to 5 bars, the T-Mobile diagnostic information being sent by the app says “WOWSERS! Perfect LTE!”. And the writer’s other point, is that it only takes a connection to LTE – even 1 bar – to tell T-Mobile that there is LTE in that area. Even if it’s shoddy. It’s basically just a “yes” or “no” response to LTE. If you have LTE, it’s painted pink. If you don’t, it’s not. Who cares if you only get 1-2 bars.

Thankfully, it still takes “a statistically valid number of samples” before T-Mobile adds the “verified” check mark on to the maps. So if you’re the only person with a signal booster on your street, it’s hardly likely that T-Mo’s data will think your entire location has the best network coverage. But there’s still the issue of where it says there’s LTE coverage. On the big picture side, there’s no real distinction between low signal strength areas and strong signal strength, unless you zoom in close enough and click on individual streets or roads.

My question is, could T-Mobile do more to more accurately display what kind of experience a customer should expect in any given area? Right now, if you click on a specific street on the map you’ll get a popup similar to the one below which could show speed test results and network performance.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 19.31.18

But can customers really be expected to click on every street they visit to see what network strength is like. Or should there be an instantly visible layer of the map which shows accurate network coverage?

I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed with the carrier. T-Mobile has done well to incorporate this kind of information in to the map already. In fact, it’s miles ahead of the competition in that regard. But can it do more? Does the new map accurately show your location’s LTE as it should? Or is it misleading as Peter Cohen suggests it is?

Let me know your thoughts on the new map in the comments.

iMore article 1, iMore article 2

Tags: , ,

  • besweeet

    I’d add a poll to the post to see what people think about the latest update on a more basic level.

    • Glad I’m not the only one thinking this. Sensorly’s map displays signal strength, RootMetrics is great for data speeds on an easy to view map, but T-Mobile’s previous official map still allowed a general idea of service confirmation and what to expect; this also allowing to compare to the two crowdsourcing options.

  • I miss having visual cues for “shades” of coverage that the old map had :-/

    This new map does a TERRIBLE job of indicating visually whether coverage is weak in an area or not unless you actually CLICK on it, read, and decipher the description.

    • Walt

      it’s just like verizon and at&t’s coverage map….coverage everywhere! it doesnt depict signal strength at all

      • Ashton3002

        Because they don’t gurantee it. It’s a little different because T-Mobile goes into detail which is why when it’s wrong people are complaining. However on AT&T and Verizon. It says LTE, HSPA+, ect. Not you’ll have excellent or good signal.

        • Richard Roma

          T-Mobile’s maps are lightyears ahead and clearer than the other three carriers, especially clowns like Sprint.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    I think it’s better than before but still room for improvement. I like the verified speeds but where they have no so good speeds they are trying to say LTE but not show speeds or HSPA.

  • Willie D

    Signal strength is more important to me than “is there LTE” or not. I had Sprint and up and down they swore I had WiMAX and then LTE inside my house, but like clockwork I told them I had no service at all and begged them to stop extorting me a monthly fee for no signal. Turns out only after I left, and used Sensorly maps to look, they still claim service, but now show a weak signal, which of course to them = we got service. So showing signal of any sort no longer wins me over, I wanna know just how strong that signal is and where I can expect best coverage rather than anything.

    • Richard Roma

      Sprint deliberately and conveniently has the worst coverage maps in the industry.

      I applaud tmobile for the having the most accurate maps in the industry. Probably 50 fold better than some failed carrier like sprint.

      • IceMan

        I’m going to have to agree here. Sprint’s map is still like a 360×360 pixel map. It’s pretty bad and needs modernizing desperately.

    • PiCASSiMO

      Gone through Indiana and Michigan, up to Grand Rapids area these past 2-days from Chicago. There are some improved spots through out the drive, but I have found many spotty areas that have EDGE or GPRS on the main interstate (I94 and I196).

      Sadly, the map LIES like there is no tomorrow. I’ve confirmed areas in downtown Zeeland, MI that should have LTE… well, how about NO SERVICE. Same goes for other areas in Holland and outskirts of Zelland. All show that it should have LTE, but I have NO SERVICE off major interstate or roads.

      Very sad, T-Mobile… the map sucks and I want the OLD BACK. And your coverage still sucks, but you have till the end of the year to get your SH*T together.

  • SEBA

    It’s a fact that the map is not accurate. I tested the address where I had 2 bars of 4G and the map was showing LTE. It even had customers verify next to my location. I’ll email you a copy of screen shot.

    • Walt

      post it on here so we can all set it

      • Walt

        *see it

      • SEBA

        We cant post images on here. I replied to this post on twitter with screen shot.

        • Walt

          yes you can. just post them using imgur and a moderator will have to approve them before we all can see them

    • MKashi

      maybe all the folks near you have signal boosters? ;)

      • SEBA

        Lol, maybe… I’m there only twice a month for work…

  • vinnyjr

    I’m lucky enough to live in a very strong signal area, it always wasn’t like this. I live very close to a tower, I can hit it with a rock, get very fast DL & UL speeds. If you are not as lucky as I am the LTE signal booster does a very good job as long as you are getting at least one bar of LTE at your house. I know that T-Mobile is upgrading all the LTE towers to 4 x 2 MIMO which most Carriers are still using 2 x 2 MIMO. They are spending big bucks upgrading their towers, more than any other Carrier. I am thrilled with my service, hopefully other customers will have my same experience. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

  • MKashi

    The best line from that article – “Just because an area may have 4G LTE coverage doesn’t necessarily mean you can do anything with that coverage.” .. WOW!!

  • kev2684

    better than before but still far from acceptable.

    you can’t tell if you’re actually getting useable speeds in these “LTE” area. unlike verizon and at&t, just because you are on an LTE area, doesn’t mean you’ll get useable data. for t-mobile the difference between blazing fast speeds and slower than dial-up is one wall away.

    a counter between how much time the customer spend on LTE x% and edge x% and the average download speeds one both network types would mean a lot, but that would highlight T-Mobile’s spotty coverage so I don’t see that happening.

  • T.Johnson

    Nope. The maps before this were more accurate. The maps before the last “revamp” were entirely joke, this “new and improved” is just the same old maps but trying to connivence the masses that coverage does not SUCK..

    When your on TMO’s LTE and you are IN A CITY-METRO than it rocks… No question!

    Leave City limits and forget about it, I doubt it will ever change no matter how many times you put lipstick on the pig.

    • Walt

      “Leave City limits and forget about it”

      you don’t think the new 700mhz band 12 won’t help? it should propagate 3x farther than AWS

      • T.Johnson

        Yes. 700 will change the game!

        Sadly I doubt they will stop publishing “theoretical coverage” as actual.

        Theoretical speeds on EDGE shows we should have no issues either, etc.

        I am rooting for them on 700 efforts and also saying “wait a minute guys, reality check…” and doubt they are not aware of the lipstick.

    • besweeet

      The whole “leave the city and it’s junk” stuff is slowly fading away. Band 2 LTE outside of cities can be quite good.

      • T.Johnson

        I agree whole heartedly with your comment. In the instances where you do get PCS LTE coverage, it is quite acceptable. However, in my experience of driving all over half the state of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri (regions) when you do find these “Cells” they are very superficial. There is no “overlaying” or “saturation” of the cell, which leaves you again, frustrated.

        I agree again with the general sentiment, PCS LTE / AWS LTE is great “when” you get it, but the real “saturation” will come when there is extensive deployment of 700MHZ… Then the experience will change (hopefully)

    • KingCobra

      I disagree about the ‘leave the city…’ part. That was true a year ago but most driving between cities I do these days is an LTE experience with T-Mobile. That’s without any 700 Mhz in my state.

      • T.Johnson

        Yes, in “SOME” area’s it is getting better that you may travel from one city to another with a “DECENT” amount of 3/4G services (HSPA/LTE)… But, be-careful of going off the highway a mile and make sure your not traveling the length of a state or a few counties. (That is unless your in a handful of “lucky” area’s that have quality coverage.)

  • Aaron T.

    This new map is definitely inaccurate. Shows my area is supposed to get “perfect” LTE service and I can barely maintain 1-2 in my own home. Calls drop back to HSPA+ (1-2 bars) when I get a call as well. Atrocious for a carrier who shows perfect service in NYC. I turn a corner and I go from 2 bars LTE to EDGE or HSPA+..

    This map needs a lot of work but it is a welcomed change. However it needs to show signal strength.

    • Gee wiz, T-Mobile didn’t model the signal strength inside your home? How preposterous of them!

      • Aaron T.

        No need to get sarcastic. If you actually read the map, you’ll see it says “Connectivity in most buildings” as well as strong LTE. No, I don’t get strong LTE and I find myself not the only one concerned of the signal indoors.

        If you have nothing nice to say, best not even say it. Thanks.

        • I apologize for the poor tone of my previous comment.

          But, see, not all buildings are alike. Depending on the materials used in their construction, the cell signal may have a hard time passing through the walls. For example, yesterday, reading a book on the phone in a brick church, I noticed that I had only 2G, though outside I had 3 bars of LTE. Not only brick, but metal also makes a wall opaque to cell signals.

          So, though T-Mobile frequencies are more affected by walls than others, your house is probably unlike most buildings. Besides, I think, perhaps agreeing with you, that T-Mobile overestimated the signal strength inside buildings in its coverage map.

    • Rob H.

      If your device does not support VoLTE and its not in your area, then its normal for it to drop to hspa while on a call. My Nexus 5 has done that on both T-Mobile and AT&T

      • Aaron T.

        Yup, definitely aware of that. :)

        My iPhone 6 does support VoLTE and the setting is on, but for some reason it still falls back for some odd reason. =P

  • Walt

    Something that would be very un-carrier like would be posting where the T-mobile cell towers are located on the map. that would be awesome! then we would know exactly where the closest tower is located. is it gonna happen? probably not…lol

  • digiblur

    Its worthless. Lots of places showing coverage and even verified with no coverage in that area. No way there is that many microcells around. To be fair the other carriers have worthless maps as well. Sensorly and Cellmapper.net are the go to places for real data still.

    • T.Johnson

      Agreed! (Cellmapper is the BEST)

    • TheCudder

      Basically. I have LTE in my city, but there are areas that drop to 2G & 4G, those areas on this new map display magenta, indicating are strong LTE signal.

  • It’s an uncarrier hit, but it has room for improvement. In my case, it does show the strength fairly well, that is, good where it’s good and bad where it’s bad. I just think that it should not display LTE at all where there’s only one bar, for, as the support representative told me about the signal at my previous home, a single bar is the same as no bar.

    • KingCobra

      They don’t have to. All cellular coverage maps from all carriers show outdoor strength. That’s a given.

  • Rob H.

    Its been pretty spot on in cities. The map will get better over time. Its not going to be perfect over night.

  • Mike

    I would have to say its worthless just like any other map put out by any other carrier. Too many variables.

  • Pbs

    It is misleading, map is not accurate it gives wrong information.

    • Justin Smith

      it is not even a week old. give it time

  • taron19119

    How do u do LTE only mode on the note 4

    • lsuisme69 .

      Dial *#2263# and select preferred lte band and choose lte all

  • kbiel

    No map they publish will be perfect and any map can be made temporarily inaccurate by local conditions. What I like about the new map is that it seems to keep up better with T-Mo’s network improvements. For example I noticed LTE coverage turned on along NH 101 months before the map showed it. In fact the map did not show that coverage until they switched to the verified mapping scheme.

    And let’s not forget that T-Mo has the try it before you buy policy too. So you can take home a T-Mo phone and see just how great or horrible your coverage is before you jump in with both feet.

    • maximus1901

      1 week is not enough

      • kbiel

        For you maybe. Perhaps other people still appreciate the policy?

  • Joe

    I still want to c the old style that shows different colors for the signal strength.

    • Justin Smith

      I think everyone does.

  • Jay Holm

    No problems or complaints with Tmobile coverage in Connecticut.

  • Rene

    Is anyone having issues because T-Mobile is down in Tampa, FL. I am having erratic data services and calls not going through.

    • Justin Smith

      I’d contract @tmobilehelp on twitter about that.

  • Xermys

    I disagree about Connecticut, I have been a customer for somewhere near 15 yrs. I travel quite a bit through the state and this map doesn’t match my experience. Particularly on rt 15 as a whole, rt 10 in the hamden area, rt 69 from new haven to waterbury and rt 34 when travelling from the valley area through I84. Shows much stronger coverage then reality.

  • Brian Richards

    It says real time data at my exact home says I should have perfect reception and solid 4g at top speeds. Which is what the old map said. Reality says that’s not even close to the case. We have to use wifi calling here. So, FAIL.

    • Justin Smith

      1 week is not enough to provide accurate information. Give the map a month or so and allow t-mobile to anonymously gather signal info from your phone and it should improve.

  • maximus1901

    It’s an obfuscation. Previous map showed signal strengths and although the lightest “lte” areas were more like 2g, at least you could see where those areas are.
    Now everything’s one shade as if everything is good all over. Att and vzw can get away with that because they have lowband spectrum deployed TODAY and ALL their phobes support it TODAY.
    This was an UN uncarrier move to hide their crappy signal strengths because “everyone else is doing it”

  • andy

    I just called tmobile to report an error on the map that has been like that for years. It says satisfactory coverage but I coulnd even dial 911 if needed. They are running test on my line for the next 72 hours I know it will show know coverage in that area They will respond after the 72 hours guess I will see what happens.

    • itguy08

      You can always call 911. The phones are programmed to use any available signal. So if AT&T is there it will use that.

      • andy

        Yea I thought so to so the iPhone will go from no service to AT&T automatically?

        • itguy08

          I think so. I know my GS5 will settle on AT&T if it’s available but say Searching. Pop into test mode and see what network you are on. If it’s 310-410 it’s AT&T.

        • andy

          I’ll try that thanks

        • eAbyss

          911 calls will always go to whatever carrier is available when your carrier isn’t. You don’t even have to pay for service to use 911 on a cell phone.

  • jordan

    This new map is the most inaccurate map tmobile has ever had. I dont care about the excuses people make, I travel 200 miles a day and i know many areas that have ZERO signal of any type and the maps show LTE satisfactory inside. Complete crap! And yes, i have band 12 capable phones even though tmo doesnt have band 12 in the areas i am talking about (New Orleans). Complete fail!

    • Jason R

      Quite simply put, if you’re travelling out of metro areas regularly then why the f do you have t-mobile? I mean I love tmobile to death because its price to value equation is spectacular for my suburban lifestyle. But what kind of cheap mfer would get tmobile if theyre roaming and travelling cross country and then whine on a forum? Get a life

      • jordan

        Let me try this again for the slow people out there. I travel 200 miles a day. This is not across the country, as the country is more that 200 miles wide. I travel an area called New Orleans. It is a metro area. The tmobile maps are not accurate for much of this metro area. I am stating on a forum that has a post asking what people think of the new coverage map. I am not whining, i am stating a fact that the map is the worst one they have. It is almost a complete lie in many areas. Learn to read or get off the internet if you take things that dont pertain to you so personal. Gotta go get a life now sine i dont think the new map is accurate.

        • Acdc1a

          I’ve used AT&T and T-Mobile in and around NOLA. Honestly my experience is both were horrendous. Who provides good service there?

        • KingCobra

          Verizon. Just like almost everywhere else.

        • Acdc1a

          Don’t take your Verizon phone to Palm Beach and points South in Florida. You’ll be quite displeased.

        • Also, don’t try to use Verizon on US 14 in Wyoming.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          Yeah, Verizon sucks. Your statement is false. Verizon’s 4G LTE pulled 2.57 Mbps down and 0.23 Mbps up during non-peak times in NYC.

        • jordan

          I am not saying anything about the service. I am just saying the maps do not accurately represent their network there.

  • Dominimmiv

    Although the map is somewhat better it still isn’t great. I can be sitting in an area that shows solid LTE and or 4g and be looking at 5 bars of 2g on my phone. After calling CS they said it should be 4G according to the map and to try to shut of GSM. True enough once I forced WCDMA my phone did show 2 bars of 4g but very erratic. So you may have LTE or 4g where you are at but as long as the stronger signal is the priority for the phone it latches on to it, even if 2g/GSM, making the map of dubious value.

  • afive720

    Very bad. First, it is so pink that it hurts to look at it for extended period of time. Then, it makes it seem likes there’s lte all over with confirmed user tests. States that indoor signal is strong too. I know of many spots that this isn’t so, many of these so called perfect coverage areas have weak signal with poor data indoors. Older map told you the actual strength.

  • James m

    My understanding is that they have LTE installed in allot of places but software isn’t there yet but by mid summer they will we just got it mexicana Missouri and I’m getting 26mbs

    • Justin Smith


  • Groucho

    This isn’t even remotely accurate…I checked 3 different addresses where my data signal is notoriously bad (even non existent), and all of them are listed as 4G LTE “typical indoor connectivity”. Utter BS…and very frustrating. I don’t have problems 95%+ of the time around the metro Phoenix area, but can’t believe that these few areas in town haven’t improved at least a LITTLE bit over the years. And changing this coverage map…mind boggling & lame.

    • Pbs

      I also have the same experience, I agree with you horrible connection but it shows 4 G LTE signal not even Edge network available in my area

      • Groucho

        One of my worst spots barely gets Edge most of the time, and will occasionally drop to only GSM…yet it’s listed as a 4G LTE. Pitiful…

  • eAbyss

    The new map is horrible. Nice idea, bad implementation. I’m sticking with Sensorly.

  • KingCobra

    It looks like the other carrier maps now which means misleading. Just showing where there is ‘LTE’, ‘4G’, ‘3G’, etc. and not giving you any idea of what quality of coverage to expect anymore which can be misleading as 5 bars of ‘4G’ is a very different experience from 1 bar of ‘4G’. On the old maps you could figure out the quality of the signal you could expect in a given area.

    The ones who cried about wanting a map that showed the differences in ‘LTE’, ‘4G’, ‘3G’, etc. should be happy now. I preferred the old maps.

  • ajsaloon

    I like the idea. The map displays sporadic 4G in my area, but never have I had 4G or even 3G for that matter. However, the map does not show any verified 4G. Everything that has been verified are the sections of EDGE surrounded the alleged 4G area. I’m assuming since there are many plateaus and valleys that if I were in a helicopter I would have great service a couple hundred feet in the air. (Hurricane, Utah)

    • JoshNay

      It also depends on your device. For instance I’m in Cedar City and getting 4G LTE using a Lumia 635 while my friend on a Galaxy S 4 is only getting EDGE or HSPA.

  • Freddy

    Dont get it, so all those areas are filled in by customers using the T Mobile my account app?

    • Adam

      Only the hexagons are filled in with customer data. If you see pink without a hexagon, it is likely a hole in T-Mobile’s network.

      • IP Man

        Are you retaarded? No hexagon means not tested by an actual device. You got to be an idiott to think it means a hole. Or do you think a T-Mobile customer/ device has verified every possible square inch in the nation?

        • Adam

          This is the first time I have heard retarded to mean: excellent map reader. T-Mobile does not differentiate untested from no customers. Your interpretation of the map is correct for areas where T-Mobile does not have customers, such as the wilderness, but Freddy and I are talking about the parts of the country where civilization exists.

  • Not accurate at all for me and it is pretty misleading. It indicates that I get LTE in my home, but I only pick it up *very* rarely. For that matter, I struggled to maintain plain old 4G before they gave me a signal booster. I see LTE once in a blue moon for only a small amount of time, and usually if I step 3 paces in any direction, it’s gone. I’m not complaining about my signal as 4G has been fast enough to stream videos without any issues, but I am pointing out the possible unreliability in using customer data like this.

    • tomarone

      How about outside?

      • Right outside my door? No. If I walk to the top of the street, I pick up LTE though. It’s a little strange and the geographical layout plays a role. In theory, there’s LTE coverage, but the neighborhood slopes downward, and the further downhill you go, the less likely you are to find an LTE signal. Although, there are days where it covers more of the area, which I assume has something to do with weather or the ionosphere. Just a guess though. I also wonder whether this could be remedied with Band 12.

  • Bcoup

    Give this a little time before claiming it a bad idea. The customer data metrics just started and will improve the accuracy over time.

  • Marcelo_L

    Utter miss. The converge map is COMPLETELY wrong for the area around where I live.

    It might be a good….idea….but heavens knows where they’re getting their data from. And so, if Verizon were to knock them for anything…they’re simply putting themselves in the position to get dinged. For instance, according to the the map, I should have 2 bars of LTE…..uh…no. Maybe I’ll get 0 Bar, and if I step outside, maybe i’ll get 1-2 bars 4G (non-LTE).

    I don’t know who’s idea it was to put this out there, but…..good idea, poor execution.

  • I haven’t been around my area in S.C. enough to give a full opinion on it. But, I will say that it’s not accurate along the gas-guzzling US Route 78 in Aiken County, where there is enough time to determine LTE signal for about 3 miles of the highway (2 inside of Windsor, and 1 in the White Pond area).

    Also, my phone has Band II LTE, but does not have VoLTE, so that may put a crimp on things whenever I get the chance of riding along the environment-friendly US 278 to Augusta, Ga.

  • Brandon Powell

    The map is not accurate in the East Texas area. There showing LTE in my town and the areas around me however that’s only true for one city around me. Mostly on edge or roaming on AT&T which is worse than T-Mobile’s Edge. There map currently shows alot of LTE in Texas I travel around a lot in Texas and Arkansas so this comes from multiple locations. They have added a lot of LTE on interstates which is a great improvement however when traveling you can’t always take Interstates in Texas. So I have had a lot of trouble using GPS. Find myself roaming alot which is not good because you have very limited data runs out quick. Wifi calling is awesome if you get lucky enough to find wifi which is not readily available outside of major cities. I love what T Mobile is trying to do they made it more affordable for poeple. Their coverage is still nowhere near AT&T or Verizon. So because of that I believe they’re using deceptive coverage maps. I have talked to T Mobile about this issue. They said their map gives a forecast of what reception you could theoretically get. they do not even currently have LTE capable towers in my area the closest one is 16 miles away. Yet the’re showing excellent LTE? They did tell me however they were sorry about what the map showed me. Which is why I switched to T Mobile thinking I had LTE. They also told me that the tower in my area was currently undergoing an upgrade to LTE. Which is yet to be seen been over a month. no LTE tower and their new map is just as deceptive as their old one. I hope that the new updates start showing more accurate coverage. new customers will get a false impression of T Mobile’s coverage and when those customers leave they’ll never come back to T Mobile. They’re not going to recommend T-Mobile to other people and in the end. T Mobile will have a lot of financial trouble which would damage their coverage expansion. As it is I’m one of those customers that once my phone is paid off is going back to Verizon.

  • Matt

    Only problem with that is that it only shows the towers that T-Mobile actually owns. The majority of their sites are owned by someone else, and T-Mobile will lease space on the tower.

  • Joekidd

    I’m in metro Detroit. And it is accurate in the north east suburbs. Dead on at my house with excellent coverage. 5 bars of LTE. The other 3 carriers get no more than 2 bars of 3g.

    • Larry

      I’m in Jackson and I get 5 bars.

  • KijBeta

    In my bedroom I can get a connection to LTE most of the time. But if it’s only capable of 1Mbps down and 0.33Mbps up, that is not really a usable connection that you would expect from wideband LTE. If it actually showed that it’s only viable outdoors, that would be a major improvement (currently it just shows that it works). If it could show that information accurately, without having to click in the several possible tiles, because of inaccurate gps information that would be a genuine miracle. It says weak signal indoors, but the location is an empty field (near a friends house). In my opinion/experience it is not significantly more useful than before.

  • Frustrated

    I was in a road trip from Texas to California, California – Washington and come back.
    The map is a completely farce.
    The map suggested I should have LTE all the way and back. It is not true. I tried to connect to look for hotels, not possible even it showed 4G and the phone was spinning and spinning.
    What is the point to pay less that Verizon, but not be able to have service. It is just wasting money. I rather pay more, but have a service.
    I am going back after 2 years to Verizon.

    • Obi Alfred



    Miss… it’s like they averaged out the potential speeds across a larger area that really doesn’t the true reception.

    • chanman

      welcome to the wonderful world of gerrymandering! Congress has been waiting for you

    • PiCASSiMO


      Gone through Indiana and Michigan, up to Grand Rapids area. There are some improved spots through out the drive, but I have found many spotty areas that have EDGE or GPRS on the main interstate (I94 and I196).

      Sadly, the map LIES like there is no tomorrow. I’ve confirmed areas in downtown Zeeland, MI that should have LTE… well, how about NO SERVICE. Same goes for other areas in Holland and outskirts of Zelland. All show that it should have LTE, but I have NO SERVICE off major interstate or roads.

      Very sad, T-Mobile… the map sucks and I want the OLD BACK.

      And your coverage still sucks, but you have till the end of the year to get your sh*t together.

  • Wirelessgeek

    Why did they feel the need to generate their “own” maps? Why couldn’t they have just posted RootMetrics data? If you read RootMetrics methodology they seem to be the most scientific and transparent in how they validate the data they post. TMO seems to like their approach to using hexagons as they’ve copied them here, but feels the need to control the data which is very “carrier” like. This is the wrong crowd to try and pull these tricks on.

    • fflip8

      I know you posted this long ago, but Verizon pays RootMetrics to show old data for carriers other than Verizon. It’s sad but they’ve become corrupt and untrustable.

  • Scott

    From personal experience driving through and to areas of southeastern Utah this past weekend, the coverage map is uselessly inaccurate.

    Places labeled as “confirmed” 4G were Edge, roaming (on AT&T) or
    simply “No Service”. And if it was showing as connected at 4G, that
    could mean anything from decent connection (rarely) to essentially

    Of course I had anticipated particularly remote areas to lack coverage, but even along a primary four lane interstate there were massive gaps that seemed to be almost inexcusable for a national carrier.

    It didn’t take long to regret my decision to forgo activating an old Verizon hotspot.

    Lesson learned.

    • donnybee

      Yeah, rural Utah is pretty ill-represented on these maps. Nephi, for instance, shows 4G. Well, the connections in Nephi have been upgraded to a 4G connection, but the speed is worse than 2G. In fact, I can’t even do a speed test on that “4G” because it can’t connect to a server. I can’t even send an iMessage.. And that uses next to nothing as far as data goes.

      So, no, these maps are not accurate in the least.

      • kim

        Another interesting inaccuracy in Utah … Cedar City only says 4G but I’ve been using 4G LTE for the past two weeks.

    • Michael Barnes

      Ya I am with you at my parents house it says there is coverage there is none I get there and use WiFi calling now it says verified at there house from that come on there is no service around me for miles its all at&t roaming

  • Finally decent LTE speed in NYC.

  • goodnightmare

    The map is a misleading joke. According to the map I should have 4g LTE at home. Yet, there is actually no signal at all. I’ll be returning this useless equipment asap.

  • Poor connections

    The map is not accurate I can hardly ever get service most of the I don’t get any. Especially when I’m at work or even when the power goes out in my house then I have no service. I can’t make or receive calls or texts! I had Virgin Mobile and they have better service than T-Mobile for half the cost of what I’m paying now! Don’t waste your time and money on a service that doesn’t work correctly!

  • Merlyn

    Map is terribly inaccurate. If you’re thinking about switching to T-Mobile, be prepared to be confined to WiFi. Good luck doing any sort of travel on T-Mobile. You’ll lose service 5 minutes down the road until you get to a WiFi spot

  • angryshortguy

    The map is covered in magenta, until you zoom in two clicks and 1/2 the map is now covered in gray for “Partner” coverage.
    No LTE,
    No 4G.
    No 3G.
    No 2G.

    I have T-Mobile and find this very dishonest and misleading.

  • Art Chippendale

    Thanks to this thread, i just downloaded the Cell Mapper app. The objective data should be interesting. It may or may not support my subjective hypothesis that T-Mobile is using weather balloons instead of cell towers as my signal strength is all over the place even at my home (ZIP 98070).