T-Mobile has made hundreds of low-band LTE upgrades in the past two weeks

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T-Mobile’s got one more network upgrade to announce in 2019.

T-Mo today confirmed that it’s upgraded hundreds of 600MHz and 700MHz cell sites across the country. These upgrades have all been performed within the last two weeks, which is great timing for folks who may be visiting friends or family in a different city for the holidays.

Some of the cities included in this latest batch of low-band LTE upgrades include Portland, OR; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Arlington, VA; Omaha, NE; and Columbus, OH. As usual, I’ve got the full list of upgraded cities below.

Did your town recently get a low-band LTE upgrade? If so, have you noticed a difference?

  • Avondale, AZ
  • Chandler, AZ
  • Maricopa, AZ
  • Mesa, AZ
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Benton, AR
  • Dover, AR
  • Mayflower, AR
  • Springdale, AR
  • Yellville, AR
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Bonita, CA
  • Compton, CA
  • Desert Hot Springs, CA
  • Escondido, CA
  • Garden Grove, CA
  • Greenfield, CA
  • Hanford, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Pasadena, CA
  • Perris, CA
  • Pinole, CA
  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • Rosamond, CA
  • Rosemead, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • South Gate, CA
  • Temecula, CA
  • Aurora, CO
  • Conifer, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Erie, CO
  • Lone Tree, CO
  • Loveland, CO
  • Steamboat Springs, CO
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Greenwich, CT
  • New Haven, CT
  • Norwalk, CT
  • Riverton, CT
  • Stamford, CT
  • Trumbull, CT
  • Vernon Rockville, CT
  • West Haven, CT
  • Washington, DC
  • Chipley, FL
  • Dade City, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Key Biscayne, FL
  • Naples, FL
  • Bristol, GA
  • Jonesboro, GA
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Lithonia, GA
  • Richmond Hill, GA
  • Woodbine, GA
  • Aiea, HI
  • Caldwell, ID
  • Emmett, ID
  • Idaho Falls, ID
  • Island Park, ID
  • Kuna, ID
  • Meridian, ID
  • Nampa, ID
  • Chicago, IL
  • Palatine, IL
  • Hammond, IN
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Newburgh, IN
  • Kokomo, IN
  • Winterset, IA
  • La Crosse, KS
  • Wichita, KS
  • Lexington, KY
  • Chauvin, LA
  • Covington, LA
  • Metairie, LA
  • Ponchatoula, LA
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Glen Burnie, MD
  • Jessup, MD
  • Laurel, MD
  • Lothian, MD
  • Lusby, MD
  • Odenton, MD
  • Owings Mills, MD
  • Silver Spring, MD
  • Towson, MD
  • Dundee, MI
  • Roscommon, MI
  • Alexandria, MN
  • Garrison, MN
  • Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • Laporte, MN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Columbia, MO
  • Farmington, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Lebanon, MO
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Miles City, MT
  • Omaha, NE
  • Ely, NV
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Englishtown, NJ
  • Glen Rock, NJ
  • Hamburg, NJ
  • Maywood, NJ
  • Metuchen, NJ
  • Monroe Township, NJ
  • Newark, NJ
  • Ridgefield, NJ
  • Toms River, NJ
  • Woodstown, NJ
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Artesia, NM
  • Estancia, NM
  • Hatch, NM
  • Addison, NY
  • Astoria, NY
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Corona, NY
  • Farmingdale, NY
  • Glen Head, NY
  • Great Neck, NY
  • New York, NY
  • Rochester, NY
  • Ronkonkoma, NY
  • Sunnyside, NY
  • Waddington, NY
  • Woodbury, NY
  • Woodgate, NY
  • Gold Hill, NC
  • Hillsborough, NC
  • Bismarck, ND
  • Glen Ullin, ND
  • McClusky, ND
  • Ruso, ND
  • Columbus, OH
  • Grove City, OH
  • Orwell, OH
  • Carnegie, OK
  • Edmond, OK
  • Hobart, OK
  • Laverne, OK
  • Mountain Park, OK
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Walters, OK
  • Beaverton, OR
  • Cottage Grove, OR
  • Happy Valley, OR
  • Hillsboro, OR
  • Lake Oswego, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Rainier, OR
  • Salem, OR
  • Tualatin, OR
  • Beaver Springs, PA
  • Doylestown, PA
  • Dublin, PA
  • East Stroudsburg, PA
  • Effort, PA
  • Erie, PA
  • Herminie, PA
  • Huntingdon, PA
  • Kersey, PA
  • Long Pond, PA
  • Palmerton, PA
  • Lancaster, SC
  • Silverstreet, SC
  • Pierre, SD
  • Vermillion, SD
  • Hohenwald, TN
  • Linden, TN
  • Adrian, TX
  • Aspermont, TX
  • Baytown, TX
  • Brackettville, TX
  • Channing, TX
  • Cookville, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • De Kalb, TX
  • Dublin, TX
  • El Paso, TX
  • Floydada, TX
  • Frisco, TX
  • Garland, TX
  • Gatesville, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Jefferson, TX
  • McAllen, TX
  • McKinney, TX
  • Mount Enterprise, TX
  • Mount Pleasant, TX
  • Paducah, TX
  • Paris, TX
  • Sweeny, TX
  • Spring, TX
  • Tyler, TX
  • American Fork, UT
  • Clearfield, UT
  • Farmington, UT
  • Layton, UT
  • Lindon, UT
  • Midway, UT
  • Ogden, UT
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sandy, UT
  • South Jordan, UT
  • Springville, UT
  • West Valley City, UT
  • South Burlington, VT
  • Arlington, VA
  • Chantilly, VA
  • Danville, VA
  • Glasgow, VA
  • Keysville, VA
  • Moseley, VA
  • Newport News, VA
  • Stuart, VA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Burlington, WA
  • Chehalis, WA
  • Pasco, WA
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Washtucna, WA
  • Yakima, WA
  • De Pere, WI
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Oshkosh, WI
  • Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Washburn, WI
  • Waupaca, WI

Source: Neville Ray

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  • HotInEER

    Once again, Frederick, MD is forgotten. SMH

    • Shaun Michalak

      You are not completely forgotten.. There is one tower up with band 71 support, or 5G capable in your area.. It is just west of the I70 and US 15 / 340 interchange.. Just a tiny bit East of the Valley View area.. But that is it right now.. It has been up for about a month now.. or at least, it was recognized a little over a month ago..

    • Brandon

      I’m surprised because every time I travel through Frederick, I have no service issues. It’s Dickerson MD where T-Mobile has no service.

      • HotInEER

        It’s very hit or miss. Still horrible on Rt 26 and in the Walkersville area. In the Wegmans shopping center sometimes I have no service in certain parts of the parking lot or plaza and inside the grocery store. My wife has service outside her job in that area, but as soon as she goes into the building, pretty much no service. If she does get service, she has to leave her phone in a certain spot on her desk, if she moves it a few inches, no service. It’s unacceptable in 2020. The area near Rt. 85 and the FSK mall isn’t that stable either.

      • HotInEER

        It’s totally hit or miss. Some places are decent, most are not. Some places I barely get 1-2 Mbps. My wife can’t even use it insider her job, and I pretty much can’t at mine either. Luckily, my job has Wi-Fi, her’s doesn’t. Frederick is too large of a city to be this slow. Every time we go to make a call it seems to take 5 seconds or more to even go through, it just sits there. We’re in the process now of moving to a new home in Frederick and the service there is downright unusable. Inside the house I can’t do anything. It stinks because I my internet isn’t hooked up yet, but, even outside I barely hit 1 Mbps most days. I guess it also depends on what you mean by travelling through Frederick. If you’re making calls on the interstates and main roads, you can get decent coverage, but that’s about it.

        • Brandon

          I remember back in 2015 when I first spent the weekend in Frederick, I had absolutely no service whatsoever. I called T-Mobile, and gave them the address where I was staying. In 2017, when I returned back at the same address visiting, there was coverage in that area, and all around where I traveled in Frederick, but the data speeds weren’t good. And when I went to Dickerson MD, their was mainly no service. This is why T-Mobile absolutely needs to up their spending caped for network upgrades.

  • JG

    Is this just LTE? I thought they were setting up 5G along side their lte updates on the 600Mhz bands…

    • slybacon

      The 600 MHz sites will be both LTE and 5G ready. I would assume announcing deployment on 600 MHz means both LTE and 5G. 700 MHz will only be LTE.

      • Shaun Michalak

        True, but they are tying 5G into having the ability to use, both 4 and 5G networks, at the same time.. This is new because the only way that they tied both together in the past, is when you tried to use data, and talk, at the same time, with 3G.. Back then, you would talk on the 3G network, but since you could only do one at a time, they would switch your voice over to 2G, so that they could use the 3G for data. If both were not there, then you would only be able to do one thing at a time.. talk or use data.. Not both.. That all changed with 4G.. That is when they started being able to use a 4G connection to do both, talk and data. With 5G, they are letting people use both, the 4 and 5G towers, at the same time, to make more data connections, for faster speeds, and you still can use both talk, and data, at the same time for both too.

        • slybacon

          In other words, 5G is currently non-standalone (NSA) only. Once Tmo merges with Sprint and gains the 2.5 ghz spectrum, they may be ready to convert their 5G network over to standalone (SA), which will be more what 5G was intended to be. MMwave will complete it.

        • JG

          Oh, I’m sure it’s probably not NSA only… It probably supports GCHQ and the other 3 eyes… Maybe BND and a few others to…

        • Shaun Michalak

          From what I have read, and understand, I think the 2 big things about 5G is the fact that it can support using more antennas, so that it can make more connections at once, and that it has a lower ping rate.. Since it can make more connections, because of more antennas that it can connect to at the same time, that is where the higher data transfer comes from.. I believe that 5G is actually based off of 4G LTE technology.. It is just an upgrade to it.. Here is a quote from Qualcomm..

          “Like 4G LTE, 5G is also OFDM-based and will operate based on the same mobile networking principles.”

        • riverhorse

          Hopefully a standard voice over 5G protocol will emerge soon.

  • Sayahh

    Can anyone give me a quick primer on low band vs mid band? Especially in terms of how it affects T-Mobile and phones. Thanks. I’d really appreciate it.

    • David

      Lower the band the further it goes but less data (energy) it can carry. Low band is better for building penetration and coverage in rural areas. Mid and high band is faster but worse coverage distance from tower.

    • Shaun Michalak

      What David says is half right. Low band does travel farther then mid band, but not because of how low the frequency is per say… But more because of penetration value. Let me give you an example. If you took a low and mid band frequency and broadcast it in space, both frequencies would go the exact same distance. But, if you put those same 2 frequencies and broadcast them on a cell tower, the lower band frequency would lose less of its momentum, or power, as obstacles got in the signals way.

      Think of it like this, the higher the frequency, the more bouncing or vibrating that it has to do.. It is like shooting an arrow at a 1/4″ piece of wood.. With low band, if the arrow hits it straight on, it will go all the way through the wood, and maybe even come out the other side.. But a high band frequency would be like shooting that same arrow, at the same piece of wood, but at a 45 degree angle. It now has more wood to go through, so it loses more of its momentum.

      The same thing thing happens in the signal.. When it finds obstacles, like walls, trees, and even water / rain / snow in the air, all of these things lower the signals strength little by little.. The more things in the way, the more the signal loses it power.. But since the higher the band, the more the frequency bounces up and down, or back and forth, the more distance / obstacles that the signal has to go through to reach the destination. It is no different then skipping a stone off of the water.. Shallow launches skip and go farther because the water does little to stop it.. Throw that same rock at a steeper (higher frequency), and it bounces less times as it hits the water.

      But just as much as the lower the signal, the less points it has to carry data.. For each high point, it may transfer 1 bit of data.. But since the low band flows so low, you get long spaces between each high point of the frequency.. But, high bands have many more high points, closer together, per the same amount of space, so you can transmit more data due to more high points.

      So you can see, the low bands simply go farther due to them losing less energy every time that they go through an object. But this is not just a T-Mobile thing, as it effects all carriers.. But other things can effect signal too.. Like how much power they transmit on, what angle they point the antennas, etc.. For example, in cities where they might have towers close together, they will point the antennas downward more, so that the signal is not pointed straight out, so that it will limit the amount of people tied to both towers, at the same time.. More towers, means more frequency that they can use since you can use the same frequency, on both towers.. so 2 people can use the same frequency at the same time, one on each tower. This is not very beneficial in rural areas due to costs with the towers, vs the number of people on each tower. So that is why they only put towers close together, where there is higher amounts of congestion from customers.

      I tried to explain it where it would make the most sense.

      • marque2

        The lower frequency has less propensity to get absorbed by the atmosphere which is why it can propogate long distances. For actual penetration – finding that hole in your steel and cement work structure, higher frequencies do better – though if the signal manages to get through the facade it will still attenuate (lessen in strength)faster – which is why you often have cell only at the edges inside buildings. Low band is great for outdoors and car travel because there is little blocking the band and the lack of atmospheric attenuation – assuming you aren’t driving a mountain range. Note that there is a happy medium depending on circumstances. As an example rural police use lower frequencies on 2 way radios than urban police so they can get long range. Urban police use higher frequencies for the building penetration and can mount lots of repeaters on the high-rises anyway.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Do you have a source for this information.. Because from my experience, everything that I have read, and from every source that I can find, all say the same thing.. Under the same amount of transmission power, that high frequencies bounce off of objects more, and penetrate less, leaving less of a signal. I do know that while a higher frequency will find a hole to go through better because it bounces.. at that same time, that signal is also less reliable too.

        • marque2

          The kids on Reddit seem to glean on to something from the extreme – and write something as though it were fact. I wouldn’t trust them. Read my post carefully – it does answer all your questions. We are not talking 120khz vs 50gighz. If we were you would be 100% correct since 50 ghz can barely attenuate a few dozen feet of air. You can search it out yourself. The better article point out the considerable variables and don’t come to cut and dry conclusions.

        • jacob

          Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz), Band 5 (850 MHz), Band 12 (700 MHz)
          still makes a huge difference on these frequencies

        • marque2

          Let’s put it this way I am in an area where 12, and 71. My was shielded from radio signals (purposefully) and the few spots where I get a leak and minor data it is always Band 4.

          Some of the stuff you read isn’t quite right – at least real world. There are so many factors from material types antenna positions and window sizes that the subtle generalization is almost never true. What is true is that 33+ GHz attenuates very quickly and can’t penetrate materials well. What is also true is bands in the Khz range tend to go very long distances but are subject to significant distortion and poor penetration (into typical work places)

        • Shaun Michalak

          That is because band 4 will bounce around a bit more giving you that signal.. The lower the frequency, the bigger and more direct of a signal you need to make a connection. You are probably one of the very few examples where band 4 would get a better signal.. but 99% of the time, band 12 and 71 would win..

  • Rwolf

    They say this but my city was on the list months ago and I’ve yet to see a single tower broadcasting the signal.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I can not say.. I have no idea what city you are in.. So sorry, I can not validate that statement one way or another..

      • Rwolf

        Tampa, it was listed in Oct or Sep of last year.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I just looked, and either those who tracked your area have a phone with no band 71 support.. Or, there is just no band 71 / 5G coverage in that area.. I would guess it to be the latter.. So as for right now, I would have to agree with you. No 5G in Tampa, FL..

        • Rwolf

          yeah I drove around for a bit with every band but B71 disabled and the phone never found a tower.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I just go on cellmapper to check things.. If you go on their web site, on a computer, not their app, it will show and tell you what towers have what bands installed on them, and where that coverage goes to. It is a easy way to find it out, as long as the person tracking it has it on their phones.. Plus, it costs nothing more to do it when you are out driving. Whenever I drive somewhere, that is not a normal drive or route, I turn it on to update the tracking for the site.

  • Sharti24

    Not bad but wish they went into a little more detail with these upgrades

    • Shaun Michalak

      I know.. I feel the same.. I live in Erie, PA, and I have seen my city on the list about a half dozen times so far.. So when I see it, it would be nice to know where this new coverage is at.. But, what I think that they do is just use names of places in the area when they put the areas down.. For example, I believe that they just did some upgrades on the tower down in Waterford, PA, which is actually 10 miles south of Erie.. But I have never seen that town in the list. They have also done upgrades in Millcreek, Fairview, Girard, Albion, etc which are all within about 20 miles outside of the city limits, but I have never seen any of them on the list, yet there has been upgrades done in all these areas.. I think the only time that they use the names of smaller towns is when there is not city within say a 20 mile radius of it.

    • Augustine

      At the very least, the ZIP codes.

  • pseudoswede

    Let’s see if this improves reception inside IKEA near Lone Tree. I doubt it, but fingers crossed. I still get < 1 mbps outside in some areas of the Denver Tech Center. (Samsung Galaxy S10)

    • jacob

      your speed likely wont increase just signal stability. on band 12 4 bars in my house i see under 5 meg. on band 4 1 bar i see 40 meg

  • riverhorse

    Right now, pre-merger, most of us without a 5G model, get little boost from Band 71. We get a small 5×5 MHz sliver, the rest goes to 5G.
    I hope 5G fulfills all its trumpeted potential– I have serious skepticism of it overall, much less that any carrier individually can accomplish it.

    • htyoung

      Why?

      • riverhorse

        Its fragility given actual use reports. Even the more robust 4G never solved all its shortcomings, now we’re asked to trust something more fragile, that is not even using any different bands. At any rate 5G seems to require so many more towers, facing just right… And it’s supposed to blanket most of the country? It’ll be a feat just to cover an entire city.
        I’m Chicken Little on this one.

        • htyoung

          For me, 4G LTE is far faster than 3g and edge were and the network got much bigger when they implemented them. And the T-mo implementation of 5G is using two different spectrums. 1 short range with broad band speed if you’re in the right place, 1 long range but slower. I know my friend is president of the largest HOA in the largest city in the state and he sees those towers going up all over. But then I’m an optimist and early adopter so we probably see the world differently. I trust your judgement as your experience and the network in your area may be different. We’re kind of a second level city behind the big cities like NYC and LA so we probably get a little better experience here.

        • riverhorse

          Happy New Year!

        • riverhorse

          I’m usually am optimist too. But I can’t get an LTE signal in office buildings, even right at the window.
          But…you have a bird’s eye view.
          So, if all they have to do is add beacoup antennas to present towers, that would be very encouraging. And further, if you were to report that you got 5G in your city uninterrupted, while walking around all over- then tear the roof off the sucker time is coming everywhere.
          But if lots more towers are needed… And,
          TMO has a lot on its plate- gave up some bands, has to fulfill the TV & home Internet…
          It is very early, and software tweaks will multiply effectiveness…
          All the best to you.

  • htyoung

    Would be nice to have a map. A city is huge and has plenty of cell towers. No telling if they did the upgrades here or 20 miles away.

    • Gary

      True, I never understood exactly which tower got upgraded in my area and I never had any better speeds. I then quit and moved over to Visible wireless and not looking back. I may come back if they make their 5G coverage stronger in my area.

  • rwmgd2

    Meaningless since the phones always default to band 4 regardless of what other bands are available.

    • jacob

      not if band 4 is too marginal for calls and data. then it switches to 12 or 71. happens everytime i go down in my basement seemlessly

      • rwmgd2

        Then you are the exception rather than the rule.

        • jacob

          Not really.. If you phone supports band 12 it should switch to it when band 4 or 2 are intermittent.. If you never have bad band 2 or 4 signal you are correct you won’t switch to 12. That’s how tmobile designed it to work..band 2 and 4 have more capacity. They want 12 to be used only when really needed since it can’t handle as much traffic.

  • Glenn Gore

    These lists are completely meaningless PR pieces. “Albuquerque” is one of the places listed, and could very possibly mean that ONE site in that entire metro area got some sort of an unspecified upgrade of some unspecified component. No one knows what the “low-band upgrade” was, that info is proprietary and a T-Mobile trade secret. Far more meaningful are the small town listings, places where there is probably one site that serves the listed town, where an upgrade would produce meaningful verifiable increases in data capacity, something that if you lived there and are a T-Mobile customer, you would definitely notice your service got faster and better. The data rate from T-Mobile on their site here, the one tower that serves our little town, went from around 35 Mbps to 140 Mbps a while back, and that site has never been listed in these updates, more evidence that these lists don’t really mean anything. T-Mobile is doing updates and upgrades all the time behind the scenes.

  • Jason Caprio

    These upgrade lists are a total joke. I’m on Verizon on a Google Pixel 4 XL paid for by my work, and my wife is on T-Mobile using a Google Pixel 3, which supports Band 12 and 71. In our apartment in Bensalem, PA, to this day, her T-Mobile for YEARS would speed test between 1 – 2mbit/sec, and very often go below 1mbit/sec. Not that it matters since we have WIFI, but this happens in many other places as well in the Philadelphia area. My Verizon consistently in our apartment speed tests between 50 – 100mbit/sec. I’ve seen our town a few times listed on those upgrade tweets, and T-Mobile always stayed slow in our home area, yet over the years, Verizon would progressively get faster. It’s only a matter of time before I switch my wife to Verizon, but she’s delaying because shes on a family plan with her parents. She’s getting really sick of her service being unreliable and inconsistent. T-Mobile might work amazing in one area, but fail miserable in another. I can count on 1 hand how many times I’ve had issues with Verizon over the last few years. T-Mobile seriously needs to step it up but I doubt that will ever happen since they’ve had PLENTY of time to get their act together, at least in the Philadelphia area.

    • jacob

      was just in suburb of minneapolis, and my girlfriends verizon phone had 1 bar i had 4 on tmobile… its going to be diff everywhere.

      also you do realize the low bands are slower than the higher frequency bands? they just allow longer range.

      • Jason Caprio

        Bars are meaningless. I’m at a diner in Bristol, PA with 1 bar on Verizon and just speed tested 40mbit/sec. T-Mobile tends to overstate the “bars” on phones. You only get full bars on Verizon when you’re basically standing next to the tower.

        • jacob

          Yeah i agree. But the reason is verizon has more high frequency bands.

    • Jesse

      The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL do not seem to support 4X4 MIMO on band 71. however, this means that support for band 71 on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is mainly on board as a fallback. There is the answer.

      If you get an actual T-Mobile phone these days then is will have full Band 71 support.

      https://www.androidheadlines.com/2018/10/google-pixel-3-pixel-3-xl-support-band-71-on-t-mobile.html

  • Ja D

    Best way is stop by TM stores, they have this program can show you where are the LTE/5G cell sites and on what bands.

    • Sharti24

      Correct. Ask them to pull up the coverage map using their “grand central” website