T-Mobile Extended Range LTE now live in Chicago metro area


After acquiring 700MHz spectrum in Chicago nearly one year ago, T-Mobile today announced that it’s officially flipped the switch on Extended Range LTE coverage in the Windy City.

T-Mobile Extended Range LTE is now live in the Chicago metropolitan area, covering the city’s downtown as well as its suburban and outlying areas. Places like Janesville, Wisc., Rockford, DeKalb, Joliet, and Kankakee should all benefit from the extended range and building penetration of this new coverage.

To go with its new Extended Range LTE coverage, T-Mobile will open 43 new T-Mo and MetroPCS stores in Chicago and its suburbs. In all, T-Mobile expects to add more than 350 retail and network engineering jobs in Chicago this year.

The official arrival of Extended Range LTE is big for T-Mobile and its customers in Chicago. This coverage reaches twice as far and penetrates buildings four times better, which should help T-Mo customers get better service in Chicago, but the additional stores will give T-Mobile more of a presence and give customers more places to go for help if they need it.

So, are you T-Mobile customers in Chicago seeing the new Extended Range LTE coverage?

Source: T-Mobile

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  • The Waz

    do we know a list of other surrounding suburbs that it helps?
    this list is not complete.

  • Jeff Hanson

    I’m in the northern suburbs near the Wisconsin border. about 25 miles from Chicago. No difference here that I can see

  • Ralanham

    Also what phone model can use this, because there has to be phone hardware and certification for the tower talk to that phone?

    • nearvanaman
      • William Ross

        In reading this article, it sounds like the pixel is not supported and there’s no way to find out if so. I find it hard to believe that the Pixel is not supported based on the fact that it can be used with every carrier and has more antenna compatibility than any of the phones listed in the link.

        • Yu Pang Ip

          LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 41(2500) – USA, North America

        • nearvanaman
        • nearvanaman

          See other link :)

        • nearvanaman

          It’s awaiting approval. Tmo don’t list Pixel as they don’t sell it direct.

        • Kyng

          Wow Pixel still doesn’t support band 12? I’d be very pissed….My 6p got support early December of 2015…Maybe two months after launch

        • nearvanaman

          Per the below link, it does
          Google Pixel and Pixel XL (VoLTE confirmed by T-Mobile Products guy)
          it’s under the 2016 section.

        • William Ross

          Haha ok ✌️

        • Pixel supports band 12.

    • Steven Chehey

      Any T-Mobile phone that supports LTE band 12.

      • The Waz

        Is there a carrier update that is required to enable this?

  • IJK

    The fastest Internet feed I ever got on my T-Mobile phone I measure in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago – over 70 Mbps downstream.

  • Austin8480

    I am currently running band 4 on my phone right now, and I am 20 mins south of Chicago.

    • Your phone will only switch to band 12 if band 4 signal is weak. Unless you have a phone where you can force which band to use like Samsung phones.

      • Elier Ruiz

        Good to know.

      • Acdc1a

        Yes, you don’t want to be on band 12 unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think too much emphasis was put on this stopgap measure.

  • Elier Ruiz

    I live in East Dundee. Not showing band 12 on my iPhone SE yet.

    • stuman19741974 .

      I’m in Cary. How do you test/check which band your iPhone is utilizing? Thanks.

      • Chris O’Malley

        Dial *3001#12345#* It will show you what band your on. Also Iphone 6 or lower will not work with low band. Cary resident as well.

        • The Waz

          once you dial that, where do you click on in the menu?

        • Chris O’Malley

          Serving Cell Info

        • Chris O’Malley

          For iPhone:

          For LTE – (Make sure you’re on LTE)

          1) Dial *3001#12345#* and hit “Call”
          2) Click serving cell info….download and upload bandwidth will tell you if you are on 5×5 or 10×10.
          3) Freq Band Indicator will tel you the band (17 if youre on lte). You may need to wait a while for it to appear (try have someone sending you an imessage during this, so it triggers the data)

          UMTS/HSPA+ is a bit different (Make sure you’re on LTE)

          1)Dial*3001#12345#* and hit “Call”…
          2)Click UMTS Cell Environment
          3)UMTS RR Info
          4)Download and Upload frequency will tell you if you’re on 850/1900 UMTS (9000s = 1900; Anything else is 850 — I forgot those numbers since I’m in a 1900 market)

        • Elier Ruiz

          That’s it!

    • The Waz

      How do you check which band?

  • Kyng

    Now they need to flip the switch for the rest of the Chicago land area…

  • Jacob Misavage

    Yep Alrealy seeing better indoor coverage were I live and checked in my Field Test mode on my iPhone and getting 3 bars of LTE instead on 1 in my home

  • Andrew

    Someone told me they read somewhere on Reddit that it doesn’t mean every cell site becomes active as of today. It’s just enough where they can make an announcement, apparently.

    • SteveD

      This is true. Not every site was turned up.. Also. not every site will get 700. Like in the downtown area where you may have sites within a 1/2 block of each other..
      Also.. This is just the beginning. More and more sites are coming up and online every single day. This project is in full swing.

  • The Waz

    i wonder if they turned on all towers? not seeing band 12 at all

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile normally announces an area online once they’ve met a coverage goal for the area, not when the area is 100%. You should expect more B12 to pop up mainly in the surrounding area and improved coverage as they continue to tinker with what’s already online.

  • E647

    It’s definitely not on in my are 60647, I had to connect to wifi to come on here and tell you all… feeling disappointed by t Mobile again :( !!!

    • E647

      It’s entirely possible that they turned a or all tower around me off!

      • Josh Clark

        They turned on a few of the main towers in each area, now they’ll work out from there to other towers. They are still deploying it, it takes times.

  • Marto Manov

    I saw band 12 in 60045 today, with improved indoor coverage on my V20

  • The Waz

    live in south elgin and went into my basement and band 12 popped up…speeds were approx 60mbps. As soon as i went back upstairs, band 4 came back

    • Elier Ruiz

      Hopefully I’ll see band 12 up by me , in Dundee, soon then.

    • moonoverparma

      That’s awesome. That means it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing.

  • bkat11

    Just have to be patient…they will implement more and more towers in coming weeks but it takes time

  • Omar Lozada

    probably it’s too soon to judge, but I was looking forward for TMo to turn on the switch on this 700mhz thing hoping it will make a good difference on my reception, specially in building penetration, unfortunately it has not the results I was hoping for, definitely I have little better signal to make and receive calls but data… can’t even stream radio in a decent way let alone video or gaming.
    will keep trying until the end of this billing cycle if everything is as today, I definitely will be jumping ship to death star, they have an antenna right at my job site and one just one block from my condo, that should make a better service, at least for me, since I spend 90% of my time at job or at home.

    • Josh Clark

      Be patient. They are still putting band 12 on more sites going forward, but it takes time. This release was the main / more important towers, then they’ll had them to More going forward, including building more towers. They can give you a booster for your condo to boost your coverage there, they gave me one for free.

    • Melissa Cardenas

      Idk how long you gonna wait.. Here in los Angeles California b12 has been available for months… And still same thing as day one.. Berly works for calls and txt when you deep in a building and i say berly because sometimes even calls wont connect and just drop. Data FORGET with capital letters . Nada comes thru. I tought maybe as time goes by it will improve and nada… Perfect example is the gym i go to everyday after work. Different phones same thing . get 1-2 bars lte on band 12 since band 4 dont make it thru in the gym . Im on the treadmill running and cant even stream music . kinda frustrating.. Data almost never works on band 12 and when it does it so slow. Music keeps rebuffering and stoping i just stop trying to play it on i heart radio or pandora. At least u can switch to the death star i cant im broke haha cant afford it right now so i stay like this.

      • Josh Clark

        I’d suggest contacting support via T-Mobile social media and having them due a ticket, to look into your specific area.

  • nearvanaman

    I’m in DuPage County. Neville Ray responded on Twitter: “DuPage County is on the roadmap for several B12 sites”

  • kanakamaoli

    Finally, I saw band 12 in Honolulu Hawaii
    Inside of Queens Hospital band 4 was going from 1 to no signal then to full bars I was thinking whats going onthen I opened LTE discovery app and low and behold band 12. I can not believe how much it penetrates inside of this concrete fortress of a hospital. Thank you T-Mobile!

    • Omar Lozada

      full bars don’t mean anything, there has been several times that my phone displays full bars and my data speed is crap.
      How is your data speed when you are on band 12?
      not just numbers but how fast a video loads, how fast a page is fully open and loaded?
      here in Chicago TMobile just turn on the switch on band 12 and nothing has changed.

      • Brad C

        T-Mobile works great for me around Chicago. I use 30+GB on a regular basis no problem..

        Also iPhones tend to push for B2/B4 over B12 even if it’s uncrowded

  • Arun Jose

    Stronger band 12 signal has just started showing up in Windsor, Connecticut area. Now I get signal inside my office. Great job T-Mobile!

  • RustyShackleford716

    Still waiting for coverage in Buffalo……………

    • metalspy8

      its time to move out your mom or sell the trailer.

      • RustyShackleford716

        Sorry, I don’t understand wetodd

        • metalspy8

          Sorry, I’m a straight shooter. Specially low key haters. Call tmobile customer if your unsatisfied this ain’t the place bitch. Hope you understood that. Peace thanks for the W.

  • Omar Lozada

    I have to say, I was very disappointed with the 700mhz in Chicago for the first week, but in the last few days I have noticed a much better signal strength and speed in places where usually my phone was dead, probably TMobile is implementing more towers around my area, but I was a week from going to the death star and I guess I will try another month… If things are going better like it was the last few days I guess I will stay, and don’t get me wrong, I am happy if I stay.

  • SuperMan

    I work in the loop and do not notice any difference in signal strength inside my building. Is there more to do on this rollout? If this is it, it’d be very disappointing.

  • Heck Daniel Robert

    I live in Kenosha, WI and i’ve seen speeds in upwards of 100+ up and 30+ down and we still don’ have band 12. I think a lot of it has to do with the phones too. Switching to the iPhone 7 plus was the best decision I’ve made as far as cell phones go