T-Mobile Extended Range LTE coming to Chicago in the first half of 2017


Back in May, we learned that T-Mobile had agreed to acquire 700MHz spectrum in Chicago that would be used for Extended Range LTE in that city. Now we’re starting to learn more about when and where that rollout will happen.

T-Mobile has closed its acquisition of 700MHz spectrum from Leap Licenseco. Now that the deal is done, T-Mobile expects to deploy its Extended Range LTE coverage in Chicago in the first half of 2017.

In addition to Chicago itself, this Extended Range LTE rollout will cover several towns in the Chicago metro area. Included in this rollout will be Elgin; Joliet; Waukegan; Evanston; Naperville; Aurora; Gary, Ind.; Rockford; De Kalb; Janesville, Wisc.; Bloomington; Normal; Kankakee; Kenosha, Wisc.; and other towns.

This is big news for T-Mobile customers in Chicago. Extended Range LTE, which covers 240 million people, can make a difference in your coverage because it reaches twice as far and is four times better at penetrating buildings. And while “first half of 2017” isn’t exactly the most precise launch timeframe, at least now we’ve got some sort of idea about when Extended Range LTE will make its way to Chicago.

Source: T-Mobile

Tags: , , ,

  • The Waz

    finally….it would be nice to know a more precise time.

    • slybacon

      June 30, 2017 :) You’re welcome!

  • Alex Zapata


  • nearvanaman

    I’ve been teetering on the brink of bolting from T-Mo because I’m dropping $75 a month for 6GB and poor coverage in the Naperville area. This might be the commitment that keeps me until i see the results of this roll-out.

    • Acdc1a

      Why aren’t you on a better plan?

      • nearvanaman

        Well I think the only cheaper plan is 2gb and without Binge On (if they still have the zero rated data turned off for that plan).

        • Acdc1a

          ONE is $70. Though the tethering is slower, everything else about it is better than what you have…unless you’re talking about your total post tax.

          One thing T-Mobile is not fantastic with is single lines, but then again the other 3 aren’t good either.

        • nearvanaman

          Sorry I’m including tax. I’m on the $65 plan. When you see that GoPhone will give you 4GB for $40 plus tax with better coverage (where I live), that’s the reason I was “teetering”. I think Tmo are being strategically tight with the $50 plan. I think they know that if they put it up from 2GB to 4GB, a lot of people would drop from the 6GB plan.

        • Acdc1a

          I think ONE should be $55 to try to encourage adoption and move a lot of those 2gb data misers up, but what do I know?

        • nearvanaman

          My girlfriend rarely uses more than 500mb a month but her bill is $60. It’s kind of crazy. we both feel we overpay. BUT if they give me better coverage, I could justify it better.

  • Dave

    Finallyyyyyyyy, the 3rd largest market finally gets upgraded!

  • kev2684

    Jacksonville, come on, T-Mo! Get to it! :D

    • Ascertion

      There’s been some B12 sightings in Jax. Just not too widespread yet.

      • kev2684

        Yeah I read on reddit somewhere near Mandarin low power so range isn’t great yet. I hope they officially turn it all on this month or next month. I’m sick of having 4G instead of LTE >.<

        • patt

          B12 won’t be fast so don’t expect something amazing. Just stronger signal.

        • kev2684

          I know that. I literally have unusable 4g in my flat like not even a webpage can load over it so I’ll take LTE band 12 over anything ATM

        • Bradley Karas

          Band 12 is serviceable when Band 4 or 2 aren’t available…probably in between 5 and 15 down and 4 to 8 up…

        • Acdc1a

          That really depends on the area. In populated areas where band 12 is the only option you might only see 1-2 in either direction. Band 12 is very limited and suitable for voice calls, text messages, and maybe e-mail in many areas.

        • Bryant

          There should be some carrier aggregation occur with the band 12 install.

    • Bradley Karas

      They already own the spectrum…they are working to launch

  • Arkitech

    Heck yeah! Finally!

  • CJ

    What about Schaumburg? This is awesome news!

    • Joshua Smith

      Yeah that’s what I was wondering too.

    • The Waz

      yes, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates are included…especially near Route 59

  • Sam1116

    Anyone knows Which phones are supporting this?

    • The Waz

      yes, tmobile phones.

      • Sam1116

        I thought only certain phones support this band

        • Bradley Karas

          I heard T-mobile phones work great with this

        • Acdc1a

          All phones presently sold new from T-Mobile.

        • gmo8492

          Like people have mentioned here all of T-Mobile’s current selection of phones now support band 12. But also some phones that are being sold GSM unlocked and support this signal, like the Axon 7 and OnePlus 3.

    • Keith
  • Elier Ruiz

    Hoping they mean January 1st. Thought it be around by now.

  • Jason Caprio

    As a former T-Mobile customer, I’m guilty of trolling this site. I recently switched to Verizon and I couldn’t be happier. All this talk about “Extended Range LTE” in certain areas is laughable. Verizon has “Extended Range LTE” aka Band 13 700MHz on its ENTIRE FOOTPRINT.

    • Omar Cardenas

      Tmobile works better here in LA than verizon . In downtown LA tmobile mantains lte in highrise buildings ,underground parking lots and elevators while verizon drops down to 3G cdma

      • Jason Caprio

        Yea T-Mobile might work better here and there, but I travel to rural areas quite often. T-Mobile is an urban carrier. They have a dense network in cities, but outside cities, they are abysmal. Verizon during my travels over the past month has consistently performed flawlessly. Yes, a building here and there it might drop to 3G but in many more buildings T-Mobile would drop to 2G or NO signal.

        • Omar Cardenas

          I agree verizon never fails in rural areas but i dont travel in the US some im good w . I only travel international to mexico and spain so tmobile works for me good cuz its free were as with verizon i would get A 3.000 dollar bill for using it in spain.

        • Verizon does it did for me. Dropped to 3G during storms and no band 4 for capacity band 13 was overloaded at my summer camp this year

        • Jason Caprio

          When I had T-Mobile, I have lost count of how many times with a FULL LTE SIGNAL in a major city I had to drop to 3G (4G HSPA) in order to get usable speeds. There were times where my LTE would be doing less than 0.5MBit/sec in parts of Philadelphia, PA and Trenton, NJ. The capacity issue was the main reason I switched. With Verizon I would opt to be on Wifi to use less of my 14GB data bucket, but on T-Mobile, I would have to be on Wifi because A) The data speeds were abysmal, or B) I had 2G or NO signal outside of cities. Verizon has solved those issues for me.

        • Acdc1a

          Fails in *some* rural areas.

        • Cam Fas

          I had verizon and in rural areas it wasn’t what everyone made it out to be. On tmobile for the last few years and couldn’t be happier. All networks have issues from time to time. My issue was mainly poor data speeds in the heart of Las Vegas.

        • Congratulations, you are the one to make this point for the 500 millionth time.

        • I dropped to 3G when a storm came through my summer camp and all that was available was band 13. It was also congested due to everyone having Verizon. My summer sucked because of verizon

        • Jon

          How about this for range: free international text and data.
          How much does that kinda coverage around the planet cost you on Verizon?

          Really though, YMMV. I don’t travel in rural america very much, but I travel internationally. What works for you wouldn’t work for me, and apparently vice-versa.

        • slybacon

          Verizon is for Republicans (Rural), T-Mobile is for Democrats (Urban). ;) Now y’all know what service to get. Haha!

    • Flagged for trolling.

    • HawaiiD

      In Hawaii T-Mobile is on Par with Verizon as far as coverage. For my family and I we have 4 lines of unlimited data, talk, text, international roaming(great in Japan this past vacation), 14 GB each line of high speed Hotspot for 127.00 a month plus tax with Corporate discount. And as a bonus we get 130+MB download speeds at our home. So yes we can go on and comparing Verizon vs T-Mobile. I’m happy Verizon suits your needs . However, on the other hand I cannot imagine what type if plan if any Verizon currently has that would match my current plan in terms of features vs price point that would make me switch as I said in Hawaii they are pretty much equal. Jason, could you be so kind to show me a Verizon plan that would match what I have and not be more that 130 dollars? Aloha!

      • Lawrence Ferreira

        how to you ask about the Corporate discount

    • It’s nice to know that tmobile doesn’t work for everyone. I can’t wait to switch back i can’t do shared data plans or no unlimited data. Rates are too high for just reliable coverage. That’s all your paying for. Not worth it is needed unlimited data. Verizon has issues with me too building penetration and my Pandora does that work on the network buffers all darn day.

      • Spanky

        Isn’t reliable coverage the most important component of wireless service? Perhaps it’s just me, but if a carrier’s coverage is not reliable, perks will not make up for it.

        • Jason Caprio

          For me, reliability is most important. Apparently for others, having Unlimited data on an unreliable network seems a better choice, but since in most cases it is cheaper, you get what you pay for. Verizon has gotten much better with pricing plans and perks recently and I owe that to T-Mobile’s success in shaking up the industry. I am paying $100/month for a single line with 14GB and Mexico/Canada are included. Rollover data as well as “Safety Mode” which is basically Unlimited data reduced speed if I hit my cap. I generally used 6 – 10GB a month when I had Unlimited T-Mobile so this plan to me feels no different.

          I’ve been with Verizon for about a month now and I never knew how bad I had it before with T-Mobile. My data just WORKS everywhere I go! Occasionally I’ll drop to 3G deep inside a building but I had that issue in many more places with T-Mobile. It’s amazing just have a service that WORKS 99% of the time. T-Mobile would constantly drop calls outside a metro area, have very inconsistent data speeds depending on what tower I was on, especially in big cities. For example, I could be in a particular spot in Philadelphia, PA and clock in 50 – 100MBit/sec blazing fast speeds. Move to another, and not even beak 0.5MBit/sec with high latency and unresponsive google maps and websites. I have yet to have this issue on Verizon. My T-Mobile phone was a Galaxy Note 5 with Band 12 supports.

          I have a lot of respect for John Legere and what he has done for the mobile industry, and as soon as T-Mobile’s network matches or beats Verizon’s, I will GLADLY switch back!

        • tmobike wouldn’t have 70 million customers if they were unreliable sir. And that sounds like gimmicks to me that Verizon is pulling off and they are still bleeding subs.

          But as I said for the 1000x your not going to get beyond belief service from any carrier veriozn has capacity issue I witness them 40% of the time in my city. Building penetration issues. Etc etc. Plus I don’t travel to rural areas so idk why I switched. Waste of time. Luckily I’m not paying for it. So I’m glade your enjoying Verizon best to luck.

        • Jason Caprio

          Verizon wouldn’t have 142.8 Million customers if they weren’t doing something right either. ;-)

          Don’t get me wrong, I am rooting for T-Mobile all the way, if/when they bypass Verizon’s coverage/reliability, I will be more than happy to go back. I really wanted to stay with T-Mobile, but after multiple complaints of issues I was having to customer service with no resolution, I had to dump them.

        • a d00d

          Verizon: The Finest Trolls Money Can Buy!

          Seriously, they must have a “Troll Budget” considering the number of them here (or maybe just one guy making up new names). I find it hard to believe they’d all be here screwing with people (and not doing any better a job than Jamie Foxx) if they weren’t being paid to do it.

        • Jason Caprio

          I habitually visit this site because I am a former T-Mobile customer between Feb. 2014 and Nov. 2016. I DID NOT want to switch to Verizon. I am still rooting for T-Mobile to improve. I was an unhappy customer because of an inconsistent experience on the network. If T-Mobile gets their act together, I’ll switch back in a heartbeat.

        • for people who travel in rural areas for God knows why…. and by far everyone has different experiences on tmobile. Tmobile was great for me. I don’t expect it to be for everyone esle.

        • The vast majority of the population never leaves T-Mobile LTE coverage area. For those that do, pay more and get AT&T or Verizon.

    • Jon

      It’s your money, do what makes you happy. What makes me happy is not paying twice as much.

    • lomsha

      We don’t care.

    • gmo8492

      “I’m guilty of trolling this site”, proceeds to troll. I don’t understand if you already switched why you continue to seek some sort of validation as if you made the right choice. Obviously you’re having some doubts realizing that there are downsides with Verizon.

    • uncommonsense

      So you would think they would have a signal that was strong enough to provide service inside buildings just 1 mile west of downtown Dallas but they are the only one of the nationwide carriers that doesn’t.

  • Omar Cardenas

    Tmobile works better here in LA

  • HawaiiD

    Probably late next year or early 2018 I predict. Neville Ray answered a tweet this past summer regarding band 12 extended range lte for Hawaii, saying by the end of this year 2017. I have been all over the island with LTE discovery. I have yet to pick up any band 12 signals. Called T-Mobile and what do you know? they are saying band 12 is live here but…. you can only pick it up while driving? I replied are you serious? Only when I am driving? Csr replied yes. Giving the benefit of the doubt. I tried driving around the city and pretty much 3/4 of the island to no avail. Oahu is strictly band 4 still. Being it is already December, I will assume band 12 deployment will happen sometime next year even though T-Mobile had acquired the 700mhz license for Hawaii this past February. So with that being said…Chicago don’t hold your breath.

    • Roger Sales

      I moved to South Florida and band 12 is not as present as they claim it is. I’m always on Band 4 and dropping down to HSPA+ at home/in the area(Fort Lauderdale area).

    • Kaulana1989

      That was me I asked him I live on Big Island 12 LTE sites are supposed to be upgraded to band 12 on Big Island by early next year

  • It’s nice to know that tmobile has slowed way down with the 70pmhz deployment when they need to speed up. Not sure what happened. Maybe the current spectrum auction is more important at the moment? But my state SC needs band 12 badly. Tmobile is spotty in alot of the rural areas even with the expansion of lte to the rural areas.

    • Walt

      Switch to Cricket. You would be better off

      • Acdc1a

        Unless he travels internationally, doesn’t want to get raked over the coals for an unlimited family plan, doesn’t want to pay for WiFi while flying, enjoys good customer service, etc.

    • Golbez

      Just drove down thru Beaufort and had band 12 pop up a few times on my v20 so it’s coming


    Can my G4 support the 700mhz (band 12)? If so, how do I know I’m on it?

    • Oblivion Awaits

      It depends on the variant.

      LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 17(700), 20(800), 28(700) – H815

      LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 17(700), 20(800), 28(700), 40(2300) – H815T

      LTE band 4(1700/2100), 7(2600), 17(700) – H815P

      LTE band 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 12(700) – H811

      You’re looking for the one that has B12 support, which means if you’re not using the H811 variant, your device is not 700Mhz compatible on T-Mobile.

      • PiCASSiMO

        Thank you.

        T-Mobile branded H811… how do I know I’m on the Band 12?

        • gmo8492

          Not a lot of devices let you access the engineering menu where it could tell you if you’re on band 12. Mostly Sammy and LG have that set up by typing in a short code on the dialer. There are apps like LTE discovery that tell you what band you might be in, but some people say it tends to be inaccurate.

        • Acdc1a

          When you have really strong signal and really slow internet speeds, you’ll know it.

    • Acdc1a

      If you have the T-Mobile version the answer is yes. That’s the short answer.

    • Norman Harris

      LG G4{H811-the one made for T-mobile} does support band 12. The AT&T and other versions DO NOT SUPPORT band 12. If you have the H811 version, You can only tell if you are connected to it by using a utility such as LTE Discovery available in the Google Play store . There may be others. There is also a secret menu on some phones accessed by dialing a number combination {I don’t know what number} on your phone dialer. The LTE Discovery utility is the easiest to use. Band 12 is extremely new to my local area and I currently use a Galaxy Note 4 { I wanted the LG G4 but did not get it because of its frequent bootloader problem- and I buy them used and inexpensively, I have and use a G3 also which does not support band 12}. I find that my Galaxy rarely switches to band 12 since band 2 and 4, especially 4 are widely available and strong here in Columbus . I use the LTE discovery program to show what band I’m connected to..

      • PiCASSiMO

        Thank you, Norman. I will try out LTE Discovery as T-Mobile brings out Band 12 into Chicago.

      • a d00d

        Since B12 (Lower Blocks ABC) is a superset of B17 (Lower Blocks BC), not working on a newer device is just AT&T deliberately disabling it in the radio firmware. :(

  • Keith

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for 10 years, I recently started getting dropped calls on my commute. Maybe growing too fast? Cone on T-Mobile, let’s get band 12 in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, Utah

    • George

      I second it*** up by University of Utah inconsistent signal

  • bessie.whiddon

    One year have passed since I quit my office work and I never felt this good… I started doing work at home, over a site I stumbled upon on-line, for several hours each day, and I profit now much more than i did on my previous work… Check i got for last month was for $9k… The best thing about this job is that i have more time with my kids… TINY.PL/g9s36

  • Tiny Pieces LLC

    I recently switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. What I was paying for 2 lines at Verizon, I now have 4 unlimited lines with T-Mobile and about $100 less. It was a no-brained for me. I was with Verizon for 10 years and I dropped calls all of the time with a variety of phones. T-Mobile has been great!

  • Tanguy Seiwert

    As of today 4/1/2017 Band 12 (700Mhz band) is live in CHICAGO! I just switched from Verizon, and in my area T-Mobile has download of 54Mbps, Verizon had 27Mbps. So far I cannot tell a difference in building penetration – both are excellent,… but T-Mobile is a much better deal, and better company IMO.

    • Patrick

      I’ve been checking everyday downtown and it is not live in Chicago downtown or Avondale neighborhood.

      • Tanguy Seiwert

        Patrick, how are you checking. I am using LTE Cell Info on the iPhone, and it shows Band 12, but maybe this is not the right way. Either way the speed and building penetration are very good. I am in Hyde Park (south of downtown).

        • Patrick

          Using the iPhone Diag menu. I’m mostly on band 2 or 4.

    • The Waz

      It’s not live yet.

    • The Waz

      It will be turned on end of april