I got this L9 about a month ago on the $30/month pre-paid plan (I can live with 100 min talk a month) after a couple of years on Virgin Mobile and an earlier LG Optimus (V). The L9 is a superb Android device, and I'd like to keep it, but data coverage seems much too spotty where I'd expect better (Very Good to Excellent on the coverage maps) in Toledo, OH, and surrounding towns with a T-Mobile signal.
For example, as I write this, my L9 reports a signal strength that varies between -89 and -109 dBm, not moving, inside our frame house about a mile from the nearest tower. All the while, the mobile network type is "EDGE:2", which is confirmed after running a data speed test: download 129 kbps, upload 35 kbps. The other day at a restaurant downtown, no signal at all (not even for voice, while coverage maps said Very Good). Last night at another restaurant closer to the OH Turnpike, excellent signal and very fast UMTS:3 data rates (download 3,713 kpbs, upload 1,405 kpbs). And I'm on my 2nd new micro SIM from the local T-Mobile shops, where the earnest young salespeople generally wave away the problem of not getting data better than 2G inside buildings (all that concrete & metal!). And I've only seen fleeting glimpses of the elusive HSPA+ mobile network type (try getting closer to the tower, I'm told, which hasn't helped yet).
So, I'm conflicted: Is data on a GSM network so delicate that it's either full-bore UMTS (3.5G in my book) or not-much-better-than-a-high-speed-modem EDGE 2G ? Does the device have a defect (apart from something to do with the micro SIM), and how would I ever know ?
I want to keep the L9, but if data is either all-or-nothing (mostly nothing) & signal strength is unreliable where it even exists, I'll have to go back to VM.
It's fairly normal for signal to fluctuate which causes data speeds to vary. You can learn more about signal fluctuations here: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-5181
To make sure things are working as they should be, you can use this document for signal troubleshooting: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4211
And here's some information about data speed capabilities: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-2779
We did check the network in Toledo and it looks like your area has a good variety of speeds and strength, some not so fast, some very fast. The balance between the two can be rather delicate; your device works hard to use the best available signal. You may be able to modify the mobile networks that your device uses primarily in the settings. Access settings, then more settings, then mobile networks. If you see an option for network mode, you should open that and choose the arrangement that you believe will work best for you. Of course, automatic will give you more consistent signal availability, but the signal may be edge, or 4G, depending on what's strongest.
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