T-Mobile’s Neville Ray talks 5G rollout, says there will be thousands of 2.5GHz sites in 2020

t-mobile-5g-logo-glow

After giving us an update on its 5G network last week, T-Mobile today shared some info on its 5G rollout plans in the near future.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, revealed today at the Oppenheimer 23rd Annual Technology, Internet, & Communications Conference that T-Mo was performing 5G radio upgrades on 600 cell sites every week in June and 700 every week in July. Ray says that T-Mobile is working to do even more and reach 800 upgrades per week.

Looking at 600MHz 5G upgrades, Ray said T-Mobile is “not slowing down” and that the upgrades are “relatively straightforward”. He explained that T-Mo has 700MHz on a lot of sites and so they change out a radio for one with a dual mode, dual band capability. This program of upgrades will continue through 2021.

And then there’s the 2.5GHz 5G upgrades, which are a bit more involved. T-Mobile is going to the sites and putting new 2.5GHz radios on the sites and there are backhaul upgrades and power upgrades as well. These upgrades can typically be done in 5 to 10 business days.

The total number of sites that T-Mobile plans to upgrade with 2.5GHz 5G is in the mid-50,000 range. Despite that work, Ray and T-Mobile are eager to get 2.5GHz 5G out there to customers. Ray teased that by the end of 2020, T-Mo will have thousands of 2.5GHz 5G sites, echoing what T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said on last week’s earnings call. And then in 2021, Ray wants to “break the back of 2.5GHz deployment in key urban areas and metros.”

One benefit of the 2.5GHz 5G rollout is faster download speeds. T-Mobile has said that so far in areas where its 2.5GHz 5G is available, it’s seeing average download speeds of 300Mbps. As it adds more sites and more spectrum to sites, the average 2.5GHz 5G download speeds should grow to 400Mbps by the end of the year.

Another important part of the 2.5GHz 5G rollout for T-Mobile will be in rural areas where it can be used with T-Mo’s Home Internet broadband service. Ray explains that this is because in a lot of rural places in the US, the home broadband choices are “awful” with regard to price and performance.

T-Mobile began its Home Internet pilot nearly a year-and-a-half ago, inviting customers to test its 4G LTE based Home Internet service. Last month that pilot test got its first big expansion, going live in the Grand Rapids, MI area for anyone interested whether they’re a T-Mobile customer or not.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: T-Mobile

Tags: , , , ,

  • Archmagos Dominus Krell

    Does T-Mo have the density to build out 2.5 GHz in rural areas? The range at that frequency is abysmal, though presumably there will be little to block the signal in a rural area.

    • Glenn Gore

      Their sites in the western half of Oklahoma are spaced about 25-30 miles apart, which is pushing the limit in a serious way. But, in my experience, they are getting quite good results and getting pretty good coverage from Band 2, and I would even say that they have better Band 2 coverage than they do Band 71. Here in my house, in our town that is halfway, 6 miles, between 2 sites, Band 2 is constant while Band 71 rarely ever shows up. You have to go outdoors to see Band 71. They are getting better building penetration with Band 2, which is very odd. So, this bodes well for the performance of 2.5 Ghz, which is pretty close to Band 2 in frequency. None of this is too surprising I guess since AT&T is getting great range out of Band 4 where it is the only spectrum they have deployed.

      As to the 50,000-site and fixed wireless claims, I am of the “I will believe it when I see it” camp. T-Mobile announced their fixed wireless program way back in 2019 and it took a YEAR to expand it from the initial service area, so forgive me if I am a bit skeptical about the speed of the rollout. I hope I am wrong. T-Mobile has a huge hole in their 5G coverage in the western half of Oklahoma they need to fill in, that hole has been there since December 2019, despite having Band 71 activated long before the 5G launch. They have the virtually unpopulated Oklahoma/Texas panhandles and western Kansas well covered, it’s time to get to work in the more populated western half of Oklahoma.

      • Shaun Michalak

        It does not surprise me that you do not see band 71 much.. Usually, it only flips over to band 71 for one of two reasons.. First.. They have the best signal, where the other frequencies are really bad (under 2 bars), or if they are just freeing up some band 2 for someone that is using it by putting you on the band 71 spectrum sense you are not using it.. If you are not using data, then it will at times flip you to band 71 too since data is not an issue on a talk only line that may be being used.. But as soon as you fire up any kind of data, it will switch you to band 2, 4, 66, etc if they are available..

        • marque2

          They are suppose to use multiple band Mimo

        • Shaun Michalak

          true, but no matter how you look at it, it is only going to display one frequency that it is connected to at a time.. Even if say it did connect to bands 2, 4, and 71 at the same time, do you think your phone is going to say 2, 4 and 71?? Nope.. It will only display one band that it connects to as the primary band..

          Personally, I am not even sure if you can connect to multiple bands like that on 4G.. As far as I am aware, MIMO uses an antenna to transmit multiple streams next to each other, using around the same frequency.. But I am not sure about trying to transmit on both, band 2 and 71 at the same time.

        • marque2

          Yeah, I have no idea how to tell what bands my phone is connected to, I only see the primary band.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I have used cell mapper to watch the bands myself.. If you have that running, it will tell you on the screen which band you are connected too.. I am not sure if there is a way to check on the phone itself without using a secondary program like cell mapper.. I honestly have never tried, or looked to see if you can tell..

        • marque2

          I should try that. I have been using LTE discovery.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I use that one because it tracks “real world” data from its customers about how good the coverage actually is.. It is real data, and not overblown maps like all the companies use for coverage.. Plus, it lets you see where, or about where, the towers are, so you know how close, or far the towers are too.. It does not give info about how fast speeds are, but I am more worried about coverage, and being able to call for help if I need to, when I travel, then being able to go online for stuff..

        • Glenn Gore

          That could very well be, but the end result is that the promise of Band 71 was its extended reach over Band 2, and that just is not the case. Band 2 reaches out just as far.

          They are continuing to upgrade sites to 5G, I noticed 2 new ones yesterday, one north of Clinton, OK and one in the city, filling in some of that western Oklahoma hole. A truck had been at the site in the country for several days this past week, and that site covers 3 towns. My phone first picked it up 16 miles away, which is very good reach in hilly country. With that 25 mile spacing between sites and not putting a site IN each individual town, they need to get really good reach to have decent coverage and service. All the other carriers have sites in each of those towns, which gives them a big service advantage since the best signal is in town. The mantra of T-Mobile not caring about rural just is not the case, since with their site placement between between towns instead of IN them, rural folks are getting the best signal and data rates.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I think it all depends on the area.. In flat areas, then I would agree that band 2 could do about the same as band 71.. But I have personally been in places, where it was more mountainous terrain, that had both band 71 and band 2 installed in the area, and service distance was greatly increased with band 71.. Places where I got 1 bar with band 2, I was now getting 4 bars with band 71.. and where service completely dropped off with band 2, I was getting 3 bars with band 71.. I was also getting service about 2 or 3 miles more down the road from where band 2 completely cut off.. But again, this is more mountainous terrain, and not flat terrain too.. That is what I would say makes the biggest difference..

        • readdanielquinn

          Your experience of band 71 only reaching as far as band 2 could have been the result of non-standalone 5g. My understanding is that when 5g is not standalone, it is limited to the capabilities of the band it is piggybacking on.

    • SirStephenH

      No one has that kind of density. It’d be islands of coverage in most of rural America but would take a little pressure off longer range bands.

  • Sharti24

    Is t-mobile utilizing band 25 from the sprint merger?

    • AA-Ron

      Yes

  • mikeZo6

    “One benefit of the 2.5GHz 5G rollout is faster download speeds. T-Mobile has said that so far in areas where its 2.5GHz 5G is available, it’s seeing average download speeds of 300Mbps. As it adds more sites and more spectrum to sites, the average 2.5GHz 5G download speeds should grow to 400Mbps by the end of the year”.
    HORRIBLE PROMISED 1GIG download on 5G

    • Lefty88

      You weren’t promised a thing! You read what you wanted to read, and ignored the details. Even now you continue to ignore the details! This is a mid band expansion, which simply put, means mid speed. Eventually, there will be a high band expansion, which will mean even higher speeds, but that won’t be for several years.

      Besides, for mobile use, what’s the real difference between 1 gig and 300 mbps? Both are still insanely fast!

      • marque2

        I remember when LTE first came out we were promised 100mbs speeds while getting 10mbs at most. Now, 10 ten years later I occasionally see 200mbs on LTE.

        I hope we weren’t expecting multiple gigabit speeds on the first day.

        • Joe

          Where I am right now I constantly get 50-100+ on LTE.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Here, it depends on where you are at.. If I am at my house, next to high rise apartments and a hospital, then here, on average I have been getting about 5mb down.. 15mb on a really good day and on the high side.. But I go over to the next tower a mile or two away, and I do not think I have ever seen a download speed of under 40mb down.. I have seen it as high as 88mb down..

        • marque2

          Very nice!

        • Mike

          Well I cant get over 3 meg download now, so any improvement will be nice. Them spending money on a network is because they have to,.They didn’t do much improving during LTE days, so they are catching up now.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Their improving during those days was mainly just expanding and putting up more towers.. Nothing when it comes to more spectrum for better speeds.. So they did do something, just not what really helps where you need it to..

        • Mike

          Tmobile is being forced up upgrade quickly, the network is being severely tested now, that’s why most speeds are slow. The only true relief will be when band 2 and 4 are switched over to 5g, but that is a few years away..Tmobile has to spend alot putting up antennas up for 2.5 gig. They will get there eventually and get ahead of the curve. Mmw now that’s another story.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I really do not see them switching any band 2 or 4 over to 5G.. with the 3ghz auctions coming up, then having band 71 and 41 for 5G, and them only using a fraction of the band 41 on top of it.. There are too many people that will not be upgrading to a 5G phone any time in the near future.. In fact, It would not surprise me if at least 50% of the people on their network were still using 4G phones 5 years from now..

          “AT&T reported about 11% of its customers were still using 3G devices”.. “the trade association estimated that 17% of U.S. subscribers, or about 47.3 million, are still using 3G networks.” and when you consider how slow of speeds you get with a 3G phone, and all the extra coverage on top of it, going to 4G.. There were major incentives to upgrade to a 4G phone.

          Even so, there are still that many people on 3G.. The problem is, 4G speeds, when they are good, is good enough for the majority of the population.. and the more that people jump of 5G, the better that 4G speeds will get as congestion gets transferred to the 5G network.. You are not going to greatly increase coverage having a 5G phone, so there is no big incentive to upgrade to a 5G phone for most people, like there was with a 4G phone from 3G..

        • marque2

          Next year, at this time most Tmobile phones will be low and mid band 5g. I would guess 3 year before 5g takes over.

        • Shaun Michalak

          On the market, I would have to agree.. In peoples hands.. not so much.. I would say 35% max will have 5G phones a year from now, and that is an estimate on the high end.. because lets be honest.. As people get 5G phones, then those same people will start using the 5G service, which will relieve a LOT of congestion on the 4G end, and then the 4G people will have a lot less problems with service because of it, which will not give them incentive to want to upgrade to 5G.. That is, unless they brake their phone and get a new one.

        • Mike

          Tmobile better get working on there back haul to cell sites, that needs to be in place to get speeds like that..1 gig consistently will take years.

        • Mike Smith

          T-Mobile was the first of all the carrier to have a majority of site on fiber. Their backhaul is awesome.

      • mikeZo6

        T-Mobile recently flipped the switch on its 2.5GHz 5G in New York City, and it looks like the new spectrum is always paying off in a big way for T-Mo
        Speed tests have shown that T-Mobile’s 5G network in NYC is breaking the 1 gigabit barrier using 2.5GHz. T-Mobile’s Salim Kouidri posted a speed test screenshot that shows a download speed of 1,027Mbps that was achieved in Manhattan. Source Tmo

        • Lefty88

          Literally the next paragraph says that the speeds are at the high end. There’s hardly anyone on the network with a 5g phone, and because of the virus, lots of people are at home using wifi. The network congestion is very low.

          And in the article above, it says that the 400 mbps speed is the average. Some days/ times will be quicker than others. So it seems like you can get up to 1 gig, but the average is likely less

        • marque2

          TMobile data usage almost doubled in the first months of covid. Mine has gone up significantly as well. A lot of us are tethering to our phone for Zoom calls. Anyway, TMobile put out press releases saying as much and this site and Cnet (among others) showed the difference in usage.

          Your hypothesis is wrong, and most of us are impressed with how TMobile and others handled the data surge.

        • Lefty88

          Ah, my bad, I was not as specific as I could have been. I was talking specifically about the 5g network in ny when Neville did his test. Not the network overall. I could have been more clear

        • Shaun Michalak

          You could have also been more clear on the “wifi” part, as in, are you talking hotpot wifi, or home wired wifi.. because a LOT of people do not have home internet..

        • Mike

          Wait till millions of customers get phones for that band..Speeds will go down.. then we can hype 150 to 200 mbps speeds.

        • Mike Smith

          They have a TON of midband spectrum, more than AT&T and Verizon combined. They’re fine.

        • Shaun Michalak

          They only “now” have more.. Go back to 2017, just 3 years ago, and T-Mobile had an average of, going low, mid, and then high band spectrum.. 41, 69, 0.. But AT&T had 75, 73, 30..

          AT&T got their boost or low band because of getting safenet, and the 20mhz of spectrum that went with it..

      • Mike

        The problem will be speed priortiztion when the network gets there, they are not going to keep It running full speed. With 5g you will end up seeing more speed controls. So to even talk about speeds is funny. They pretty much already know you won’t see 1 gig speeds once all users are on the network. So it seems 300 to 400mbps will be the reality.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I love it when people can not understand the difference between being capable of something, and there being an “average” of something.. It is like it is too hard to comprehend that having a lot of people using that bandwidth is going to drop speeds down.. Or like they think that they should somehow have some kind of a prioritized and guaranteed speed of a connection off of a cell tower.. When I see people like that, I need one of those signs that say “bang head here”.. lol

    • JG

      The Gbps speeds are more associated with the mmWave bands, those in the 23-100 GHz range.

      T-Mobile is focusing on mid-range bands, the 2.5 GHz the text you quoted was referring to, as well as low range of 700 MHz.

      These bands cannot match the mmWave speeds. 700 MHz 5G speeds will be similar to a “good LTE” connection’s. And as you quoted, 2.5 GHz bumps it up to the 300-400 Mbps range.

      But while they lack in speed, these bands more than make up in range. T-Mobile can hook these radios up to their existing cell towers and blanket entire cities with 5G. I don’t (yet) have a 5G capable phone to verify, but according to the last time I checked T-Mobile’s coverage map, my middle of nowhere little rural burg should be fully blanketed in 5G.

      mmWave, on the other hand, has horrible range… You can get 1Gbps speeds, but only if your within 300 feet of the transmitter! Rain will knock it out. And the signal won’t follow you inside. T-Mobile demonstrated that even shutting a glass door will bock all of the signal… Verizon (who is mainly using mmWave for their 5G deployment) claim they’ve got 5G in Chicago and NYC etc. But its really just at select intersections. And if you don’t live in a heavily trafficked area of one of these mega cities … Your probably not going to see 5G (in the mmWave form anyway) for some time.

      • Mike

        Once Tmobile loads the band up with millions of customers that speed is going to go down, if say 150 to 200 mbps max. Tmobile right now is being forced to build it’s network.. soon they will have 50/50 on each 4g and 5g networks.what they do to eliminate 4g will be crucial.

        • Joe

          Eliminating LTE is far down the road (10 years). They still haven re-farmed all of there 3G if I am not mistaken.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Even if they didn’t, they have it in so few of areas that it makes little difference.. Since I would say that something like 90% of their coverage has all been installed in the past 6 years, and in that time, all those new towers, none of them that I know of has any 3G service on them.. Well, that makes the amount of 3G in play so small that it makes almost no difference..

      • Glenn Gore

        I have not seen any carrier who uses mmWave spectrum come out with any sort of device or method of getting that signal indoors yet. Getting it indoors and then further on into other rooms of an office or home is still the big reason why mmWave spectrum is virtually useless at this point.

        • JG

          I would imagine the likely course would be to upgrade the LTE microcell so it includes a 5G radio as well.

          Though given mmWave’s lousy penetration abilities, you’d probably have to have a transmitter in every room. And it would be limited to your home internet speeds. Personally, the fastest here is 400Mbps, so I’d be limited to 2.5GHz midband speeds at best not the 1Gbps of mmWave.

        • Glenn Gore

          Putting a device in every single room of a home is not a very practical solution to the problem. The saving grace might be the fact that no one really “needs” gigabit speeds for 99% of normal internet use. Streaming video and audio do not require anything close to that level, even with 4k and HDR.

          The exception is gaming, which does indeed require a huge pipe and low lag for a good gaming experience. So if mmWave can penetrate a couple of walls and give the user a 20-40 Mbps speed, that might be OK, but from what I have read, any wall made out of any material can completely block mmWave to the point that it doesn’t work at all, and that to me makes it just useless.

        • marque2

          I would suggest, like your broadband modem, you get one 5g “modem” in one roomt, on a window, hook that to Wifi and use that for internet and VOIP for voice – text.
          .

      • Shaun Michalak

        There is one problem with your statement.. T-Mobile is “not” installing 5G on 700mhz.. They are putting it on 600mhz band 71 and on 2.5ghz band 41.. T-mobile does not have a lot of band 12, aka 700mhz, and if they took any of it down to put it on 5G, that would really hurt their network coverage and speeds..

    • Mike

      Yeah the speeds they see with no one on the bands yet is that high, wait till it’s loaded down with millions of customers, a different hype will prevail. My guess will be 150 to 200 mbps at best.

      • Shaun Michalak

        Still, even 100mb is still better then what you get in a lot of the congested areas.. I would have no problem with that..

        • Mike Smith

          I think the whole obsession with speed is silly, especially if you’re using a phone as a mobile device and not running your home off it.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I agree.. Once you get past a certain point, or speed, there really is not that much of a difference.. I could get 100mb down from my home internet.. But I have 30 down.. The reason why.. Netflix, browsing the net to shop for something, there is going to be so little difference between a 30 meg connection and a 100 meg connection.. and there is going to be no difference in watching a movie on netflix.. Cells are not much different.. To do basic stuff that you will do on a cell, I doubt anyone would notice the difference between a 20 meg connection, and a 200 meg connection..

        • Mike Smith

          The great public misconception is that more bandwidth is faster. It’s not. Packets travel at about 2/3 the speed of light and that’s the same on the slowest dial up to the fastest fiber. The difference isn’t the speed of the packets, it’s the volume.

          But yeah, most people won’t get that so don’t try. ;)

    • Mike Smith

      You’re confusing midband and mmW. All things are possible with the right frequencies… AT&T already hitting 2Gps!

      Plus the speeds will go up when it’s stand alone.

      • slybacon

        Already SA. See announcement.

        • Mike Smith

          Lol not mmW.

        • slybacon

          Why are you laughing out loud? And you’re saying that mmWave 5G is still running on the 4G backhaul, but mid-band and low-band 5G are running on 5G backhaul?

        • Mike Smith

          You’re mixing up everything! There is no 5G SA on mid-band or mmW yet so those speeds have yet to be seen. Back-haul is fiber so I don’t even know what you’re trying to say,

        • slybacon

          Why would they launch 600MHz 5G as SA, but keep 2500MHz and 28GHz as NSA?

        • Mike Smith

          Coverage.

        • slybacon

          That may work for low-band 5G going SA, but not for mid- or high-band 5G. Like you stated above, speed is another reason to go SA. And latency, # of connections. Etc.

  • Shaun Michalak

    They can install all that they want, and promise all that they want.. But when most people do not have a phone that can access it, it really means nothing in the end.. and until they gets phones in that are a bit under $500, that is going to leave a large portion of your customers out.. Looking it up, they even say that the average price people pay for cells are under $500, but T-Mobiles cheapest 5G cell is over $500 base price.. Until they get some cheaper models for sale, that is going to leave 5G only for the elite that are willing to pay more to get it..

    • Mike

      They might be keeping phones high so that many don’t switch over yet..I bet we will see some better deals towards the end of the year and that will be about the time they have more mid band put up.

      • marque2

        I paid $350 for my LG V60. I am sure they will have a deal again soon.

        • Mike

          That is a deal, does it pick up all 5g bands?

        • marque2

          I believe it does low and mid. But mmWave is a myth anyway – and is many many years away from practical application.

      • Shockrum

        Again, great points. I also think demand plays into this as well. The cell phone market in the US seems to focus more on high end, and less on the lower end. However, it seems that great improvements are coming to that more attention is being paid to low and mid-tier phones. Low end phones TODAY are so much better than low end phone 2, 3 4, etc years ago.

        • Shaun Michalak

          That is so true.. Back in the day, a low end phone was with 1gb ram, 4 gb rom (trying not to go too far back in time), single core processor, and a low def screen, which was not that great.. Now a low end phone is more like 2gb RAM, 16gb ROM, quad core processor, etc..

          I think that the majority of customers would rely more on a mid priced phone.. Say, around the $400 to $500 range..

    • Shockrum

      What about the A51 5G? I did not know that was coming to T-Mobile and is around $499.

      • Shaun Michalak

        According to T-Mobiles site, they do have that phone, and it is $504.. and yes, it is 5G.. But that is also the “cheapest” 5G phone that they currently sell according to their web site. That is exactly what I mean.. I am not saying that they need a $50 5G phone, but they need something that does not cost that much for the average person.. Look at me for example..

        I use the phone to talk, send a few texts, an occasional web lookup, gas buddy, maps, and check the weather.. I do not need a $500 phone to do that.. In fact, their current Aristo 5, which is $150 meets all of my needs, and still runs decently too.. Because I do not use my phone for much.. I want to check facebook, ebay, pay bills, etc.. I use a computer, not my phone..

        With that being said, they need to at least get the prices down to $200 to $300 for a basic 5G phone that will work off of the towers.. After all, that is the most useful, and important version of 5G that most people will use.. There are people out there that will never use mmWave, so if you have to take it off of the cheaper phones, do it.. Most people will not care..

        • Shockrum

          Good points Mark, but I would say based on your needs, 5G wouldn’t be necessary at this time. Certainly over time it will become more mainstream, the way 4G was, but it will take awhile.

        • Shaun Michalak

          For me, no.. But it comes down to the fact that if you want to take 4G down, or get people off of it, then you still have to get the people to go to 5G to do just that.. The fact that right now, they say that something like 11% of all cell users still have 3G phones, and that something like 17% mainly rely on 3G for service..

          With all the big advantages of 4G with major speed increases (3mb down on 3G to say 100mb in places with 4G), coverage area (something like 90% of T-Mobiles coverage has no 3G service), etc.. Well, you are not going to get those advantages from 4 to 5G like you get going from 3G to 4G.. and if that many people do not care enough to upgrade to 4G phones in all this time.. Well, I see less excitement for those same people to upgrade to a 5G phone..

          This means, it is going to be harder to get people to upgrade to 5G from 4G then it was from 3G to 4G.. add in price there on top of it.. and lets be honest.. anyone still using a 3G phone is not worried about performance as an issue.. Which leads to the conclusion that it is going to be hard enough for the companies to get people to upgrade to 5G for the majority of the public to start off with.. But high prices is only going to make it worse..

        • marque2

          Other than better ping time, I did fine with HSPA+. 10-mbs on my phone was just fine. You are right, people really aren’t going to notice much difference from 4g – 5g, just as many won’t notice from 3g(HSPA+) to 4g. However I got 5g phone because of the promise of better reception and wider range. Unfortunately I have to wait for the standalone update on my phone for that to happen.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I am not expecting coverage to improve that much on 5G, like they are making it sound.. Especially when you consider the fact that in most places, if not all of them, they are installing band 71 coverage on both, 4G and 5G, so the coverage space should not be that big of a difference.. So IMO, even going to stand alone, I just do not see them suddenly going 2 extra miles, or 2 bars more of service, just going from a LTE core to stand alone, with the same frequency, on the same tower, on the same antenna..

          When you think about it, didn’t they say the same thing about free OTA TV when they went to digital.. how it was supposed to go further, and better signals.. Etc.. Then after they got it installed, and got real world data, they found that the signal distance was worse, and they had to build repeaters that they did not need on the analog side, to cover the same coverage..

          I am not saying that there will be no truth to them going farther, but using the same frequency, with the same power, and both being digital signals.. I could see better speeds, but I am very skeptical on the better coverage part..

        • marque2

          Depends how flat the land is on TV. Got incredible coverage right at changeover in Cedar Rapids – where I lived at the time and some 20 channels we were able to drop cable. St Louis and Arlington,Tx both had some 50+ ota channels to choose from. All three towns were on relatively flat land Where I live now in a valley – there are problems and the old VHS signals came in the canyon better than the UHF.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Where I live, it is not flat land, and they had to build repeaters, or something, to rebroadcast the signal, because the signal got a lot worse since they went to digital.. But then again, like I said, it is not flat land and that makes a huge difference..

        • Mike Smith

          That’s misleading. “While about 12% of wireless service users are still relying on 3G connectivity. The reasons for that vary. A research conducted by OpenSignal showed that only a small percentage of these users remain on 3G because they lack 4G coverage, about 12.7% the vast majority, 87.2% have access to 4G and even own a 4G capable device, but don’t have a 4G plan .”

        • Shaun Michalak

          Not really when you consider that AT&T has stated that 11% of their customers are still using 3G phones.. So if you do not have a 4G phone, then the plan does not matter, does it..

          If it was just that people did not upgrade to a 4G plan, or something, then you would have a point about how it can be misleading.. But if people are not upgrading to new phones, then what difference does the plan that you have make?? The thing is, companies like T-Mobile pretty much upgrade the plans to 4G, and now 5G for no extra charge.. The only thing holding people back are their purchase of a new phone.. and it is pretty much standard across all carriers about how many people still use 3G phones.. It is not just a one carrier thing.

        • Mike Smith

          I looked for that, and I think what they actually said was use 3G service, and that something like 84% of those using the 3G service had 4G capable devices. In either case it’s a small number, and they’re probably all seniors and dying off fast anyway.

        • Shaun Michalak

          A lot of them probably are seniors.. But the others are probably people that just use their phone for talk, and do not text or use data, so they see no reason to upgrade because they are not going to use the features on it anyways. It is like with me.. I would not miss data and texting if I lost both of them.. I prefer a computer to a cell when looking stuff up on the net.. and there are a lot of people out there that are just like me..

          Personally, I think it comes down a lot to where you live.. People that are farm people, people raised in the country, or maybe even small towns, are not hyped up on cell use like people in the city are.

        • Mike Smith

          And btw Verizon shut off their 3G network let year and AT&T will next year.

        • marque2

          Verizon extended the 3g for a bit longer (until early next year I believe) but won’t allow new 3g lines.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Nope.. They Verizon was “supposed” to shut their 3G off last year.. They changed it to this year.. I think they put it off a year because there was still so many people still using 3G phones on their network when they were going to shut it off.. So they gave people one more year to get a new phone. AT&T said that the last of their 3G should be down by Febrauary 2022 at the latest..

        • kanakamaoli

          Do customers have to pay 500 upfront for 5G phones?
          or can they split up over 24 months interest fee like other phones?
          if so ? 20 dollars a month is hardly a price for the elite imo?

        • Shaun Michalak

          It all depends on the person.. You can do either, but people like me.. Well, if I do not have the money to pay cash, I do not buy it.. It may only be $20 here, and $20 there, but all those $20 add up at the end of the month, and I like keeping my bills paid up, and as low as possible for things like this.. I hate owing people money, so I do not like to buy things if I can not pay cash for them..

          But then you run into problem number 2 in paying by the month too.. Yea, it may only be $20 a month.. But that is or the next 2 years.. Say you drop your phone and break it after just 6 months, and have no warranty that will pay for it.. Well guess what, you are now paying $20 for the phone that you no longer can use, and then another $20 for the phone that you are using.. So now you are paying $40 a month plus your cell bill on top of it.. It starts to add up really fast..

        • marque2

          If you are buying from tmobile, they don’t give a discount for cash up front, so there is no point in paying in full unless you have awful credit.

        • Shaun Michalak

          or if you just do not like bills.. But then again, unless you get a good discount, sometimes it is better to buy a phone off of ebay too..

        • marque2

          I have done that – bought a V30 off eBay. Get a top tier phone for $150, but I haven’t found another phone where the deal is worth it. Sometimes when TMobile offers 2 for 1 deals you find people selling phone 2 on eBay. You might be able to get a good deal on a V60 on eBay since TMobile did the two for one twice now.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I watch Facebook marketplace too.. I have seem some stuff that is way over priced, but I have also found some good deals on there too.. I got my Stylo 4 for $50 at the time, just a couple of months after it came out, in almost mint condition.. I got a Aristo 3 plus, when that was the newest phone out for $25 off of facebook marketplace too..

    • Glenn Gore

      Good point. They need to get phones into the market that can access ALL the spectrum they will be using for 5G. Not just one phone for low-band and one phone for mmWave and one for mid-band, etc. Of course part of this problem goes back to Qualcomm and their lack of chips that can access all those different frequencies, plus phone manufacturers lack of enabling the full functionality of the chips in their phones. There is plenty of blame to go around on this.

    • MindFog2287

      I’ve had two trade in offers on 5G phones so far from T-Mo. I didn’t bite on the first Samsung model (I guess it was the A51 5G) because there was no wireless charging.

      I just ordered the A71 5G for my wife and she’s trading in her OnePlus 6T for it, so it ends up being $300 plus tax. I was going to get the Note20 for ~$450 with my Note9 trade-in, but I decided to go for the Ultra instead.

      Bottom line, T-Mo is going to find ways to get even the higher-priced 5G phones into customers’ hands. Just like they phased in the Band71 phones, they’ll phase in the 5G’s.

      • Shaun Michalak

        True, but my problem is I am with their Metro end, not the main company side, and Metro does not get those kinds of deals for their customers.. With them, it is always, “when you add a line” or “when you switch” or something.. Nothing that is just, hey, keep what you got and we will give you a good deal.. Right now, they have about a half dozen deals, and every one of them comes back to, “when you switch”..

        • MindFog2287

          OK, I hear you, but then you are the minority of “T-Mobile” customers. Metro has 18 million customers. T-Mobile as a whole has 98 million subscribers. It’s kind of skewing the debate to say well, Metro subscribers like you aren’t going to pony up for 5G because they don’t want to spend $500 for a phone. Metro is kind of the “discount” brand, or at least the brand for people who don’t need a family plan. I have six lines between my family members, and I will be looking for opportunities like the A71 and Note20 trade-ins to move to 5G and set us up for the next three years or so. I would bet within two years you’ll see a majority of T-Mobile subscribers with 5G-enabled phones.

          Any time there’s a new technology it just takes six months or so for the cheaper phones to include it. When Band71 was rolled out, within a few months they had a “free phone” option, or at least a $100-200 option. I bet 5G will take a little longer, but I would be willing to put money on a $300-400 phone with no trade-in being offered within the next six months.

          I remember when Verizon got LTE and only my HTC Thunderbolt and maybe one other phone had it. That was fun for few months until the iPhones started including it. My data speeds were crazy.

          Yeah, it stinks that T-Mo usually reserves the best deals for “add another line” or “when you switch,” but if you look carefully enough, the trade-in deals are offered from time to time. Those have always worked out well for me and my family members.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I got a good laugh at the “Metro is kind of the “discount” brand” comment.. While in price, for the plan, they are a discount.. But on the price of the phone end, the phones themselves are “not” cheaper.. They used to be, but that all changed about 2 or 3?? years ago.. The prices for their phones went up to the same price that T-Mobiles retail prices were..

          Those numbers are actually old numbers.. They had about 18 million in Jan 2019.. They then had 19 million in April of 2019.. so if they gained 1 million customers in 3 months, and then going 16 more months after that, I would estimate that they probably have closer to 25 million customers right now.. That is till a minority.. I will give you that.. But that is about a 25% increase in customers..

          I can not agree to the “family plan” part though.. We have 4 lines of unlimited everything on the phone, and we pay $100 for all 4 lines, total.. We used to have 5 lines, and were paying $125 when we did.. But we did not originally go over to Metro because of the discounted prices..

          The reason we did was because, at that time, T-Mobile would not let me pay the bill for the following month until 3 days before my service was shut off.. When you are the type of person that likes to say.. hey gas company.. here is $500 so I do not have to deal with you for the next 6 months.. Now go away.. It drove me crazy worrying about forgetting to pay the bill because of the short time frame they gave me to pay the bill..

          That was actually the biggest reason I switched to their Metro end..

        • MindFog2287

          Well, the phones are the phones. Not sure why different carriers should charge less just because they have cheaper plans. That’s kind of my point though. I think the majority of T-Mo’s customers will find deals that work for them to move to 5G, and I’ll accept your Metro figures as a given. I just looked it up and if it’s a few million more, that’s fine.

          New technologies generally arrive with the most expensive phones first, then work their way down. This is no different. That’s all I was saying. Eventually 5G will be on lower-priced phones as well.

          As for the billing, I just put it on auto-pay. Have never had an issue.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I have no problem with people using auto pay.. It is more that if I have something taken out of the bank, I like to mark it down right there.. I have seen too many people get into trouble forgetting about this, or that bill, that is automatically taken out, and then suddenly, they have overcharge charges added on..

          The numbers were the best that I could find.. I did a bit of searching, but I could not find anything from this year about how many customers Metro has right now, so it is just a guess at the current number based on old numbers and the way that they were going.

          I agree that phones are just that, and they cost the same to make no matter what carrier that you go through.. My point is that some places crank up the prices for more of a profit then others.. For example, the go flip phone.. Basic flip phone with no extras.. limited ram and rom too.. To get it through Metro, it is $100.. It is something like $60 with upgrade discounts through Metro.. If you get the same phone, just branded consumer cellular, AT&T Prepaid or tracphone, that same phone is in the $30’s..

        • marque2

          TMobile gives everyone $5 a line discount for autopay. They just automatically bill my credit card once a month.

    • Mike Smith

      If someone can’t afford a 5G phone they probably don’t need 5G anyway. It’s not like it will suddenly do something their 4G phone couldn’t do. 5G is really for carriers more than consumers, we are already at the point of diminishing returns on speeds and T-Mobile isn’t in a rush to shut off LTE just yet anyway.

      FWIW my 5G phone sits in a drawer most of the time. Yeah it’s cool and all but it’s Android… until there’s a 5G iPhone a lot of people don’t really care that much.

      • Shaun Michalak

        Hey, if 5G can get me more steady speeds, and speeds that you can do something with.. say run a standard HD stream of netflix.. then I am all for it.. But right now, at my place, speeds jump all around, all times of the day.. I did a speed test where the average speed was around 15 to 20 megs down at 10:30 to 11:00 AM.. Then did another test at about 12:30, and my speeds dropped where some of them resulted in about 2mb down.. I did a speed test 2 days ago, and got speeds as high as in the 30’s..

        That is a ridiculous amount of a difference during the day time.. So if 5G will put some extra spectrum out there so that I can keep say, 10 megs down at all time.. Then I say, go for it.. It is not so much about needing 1 gig down, or even hundreds of megs down, but more the hope that I can go on at any time and get a decent download speed.

  • Shaun Michalak

    On my phone, no.. But if I used hotspot off of it to a computer to TV, yes.. Like I said, it is not about having 100 megs down, but having a decent speed for basic things.. hey, I only have 30 megs down with my home internet.. I am fine with that.. But if we tried running 2 streams of netflix, and only got a 2 meg connection.. Well, I do not think that would work out too well..

    • Mike Smith

      That’s kind of like complaining about the off road capabilities of a Ferrari. I mean if you own one, and that’s what you want to do with it, you certainly can. But that’s not what it’s made for. Streaming Netflix via hotspot from a phone? Like everything else in society, the challenge is how to keep the small number of people who would abuse something from ruining it for everyone else.

      • Shaun Michalak

        True.. But if I do not have a hotspot, and we are on vacation, then sometimes Hotspot use off of the phone is the only option.., One person on the net, and one on netflix in the evening.. a couple megs just is not going to work with that..

  • marque2

    I can leave whenever I want anyway, I just pay the remaining balance.

    • Mike Smith

      Exactly! But most of the people who finance do so because they’re unable do so. That’s WHY the carriers provide financing at a loss.

      • Shaun Michalak

        and some just get more expensive phone then they need just because they can.. even if they can not afford it up front.., That whole, but it is only $20 a month makes it sound soo much more like a deal then saying, this phone is going to cost $600.. and people fall for it too.. Either that, or they do it just because they have to have something better then the people next door.. My sister is like that.. Most of the people that she works with had a truck, so she went out and bought one just because they had one..

      • marque2

        I do it because the cost is the same and I conserve cash and save on inflation. When I can find a really good deal, I will sometimes get things on Ebay, but this time around I wanted 5g so I got a newer phone on sale. but still – going 2 years + 2 years of credits.

  • slybacon

    T-Mobile’s 4G LTE kicked Verizon’s LTE’s butt this last weekend in Jackson Hole, WY. Verizon had no service at Hoeback Junction, or around Moose Junction, WY. T-Mobile even had service on the hike up to and at Phelps Lake. Then in Tremonton, UT, Verizon wouldn’t load a youtube video, so I streamed it on T-Mobile. My friend is ready to switch. I have both Verizon and T-Mobile on my iPhone XS and can compare signals in real time. I almost always use T-Mobile data over Verizon’s.