I upgraded my wife's phone with from iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s just for band 12 coverage since coverage is spotty at the outer fringe of suburbia.  T Mobile touts the coverage 'all magenta' (at Gum Springs Rd/Sudley Rd zip 20109), but coverage is crap.  There is no band 12 as indicated by the map, iphone 6, iphone 6s, and my LG G3 are all on crappy 2G (1 bar) and then searches for connection.  The area I am referring to isn't out in rural country, and this isn't just one spot - I can document numerous areas.  T Mobile needs to do a better job of providing seamless coverage where there is coverage, and stop using a 4 inch paint brush to edit their maps.

      All replies

      • e2k

        Re: Very Disappointed with iPhone 6s coverage of Band 12

        T Mobile coverage maps are about as reliable as promises made by politicians on the campaign trail.

        • mikefl

          Band 12 is not in use everywhere yet. This is a game changer for Tmobile though and they really need this on all towers! I have seen it in parts of NJ in use myself. Here is how you can check yourself, go to the dialer on the phone then type: *3001#12345#*

           

           

          Now press talk. One of the options shows you the ban in use. If you don't have an LTE signal you will not see band 12 at all as they are deploying this on top (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Press home button to exit.

           

           

          Help push the following to Tmobile so we all have a quick, easy, reliable way of reporting service issues:

          The specified item was not found.

           

          Hey today I was at a major store attached to a mall and inside I had 4 bars with EDGE, the data connection was un-usable! Outside the store 2 bars LTE and all working fine. Obviously I was connecting to another tower with issues or one that has not been upgraded to LTE ouch! I called and reported this today. I'm using iPhone 6S and testing Tmobile for the 3rd time in a year or so. I want to see more band 12 in use myself. I do see improvements in general compared to 1 year ago but there is still plenty of work to be done.

           

           

          -Mike

          • mikefl

            By the way don't be disappointed at the phone, the phone is not the issue here as often is the case. Issue here is the network and in your case they simply haven't added band 12 to the tower you are using. Band 12 works very well where it's in place but unfortunately its not in place in all towers yet.

             

            -Mike

              • stevetjr

                mikefl wrote:

                 

                By the way don't be disappointed at the phone, the phone is not the issue here as often is the case. Issue here is the network and in your case they simply haven't added band 12 to the tower you are using. Band 12 works very well where it's in place but unfortunately its not in place in all towers yet.

                 

                -Mike

                 

                The phone can also be an issue, IPhones have notoriously had more "antenna/signal" issues and have seen them for myself. I have a friend that has an iPhone and was complaining about reception issues so standing in his driveway said pull out our phone, I had 2 more bars of service than he did and every time we are together he has more issues than I do standing right next to me so yes the phone does have something to do with it.

                 

                As for Band 12 on top, you are correct.  You will only see Band 12 when the primary Band 4 (Band 2 in a few markets) is not reachable or very low. The primary Bands 4/2 are in most markets wideband 15-20MHz where Band 12 is only a 5MHz channel so it is only used as a gap filler.  T-Mobile doesn't have Band 12 available in all markets because they only got it where Verizon had it and a few smaller carriers or holding companies that were willing to sell it. Next years 600 spectrum sale at which T-Mobile is expected to be very active and because of protections should have reasonable access to some of it versus the last auction of the 700 spectrum where ATT & Verizon used their size to buy up 93% of the available spectrum. I know T-Mobile CFO has said they can access up to $10 billion if needed to buy in the 600 auction.

                 

                The other reason a tower may have not be upgraded or in most cases just not turned on is because 700 A Block spectrum has restrictions because it butts up against channel 51 so either the channel has to move which can take a year once they agree (like here in Atlanta which agreed Sep14 and moved July15 Band 12 active July15) or like in Los Angeles the station signed a waiver saying they don't care nor will file a complaint should any interference happen.  So a lot of this is out of T-Mobile's control.

                 

                AT&T and Verizon's primary LTE networks are low band (with all the aforementioned low band hoard) so of course they will have better in building coverage because yes the building materials do matter, even a group of trees could matter as high band while having higher bandwith cannot penetrate objects or carry as far as low band.  The denser the material the more affected higher frequencies will be affected, it is the same reason if you have a 2.4/5G router the 5G is faster but you cannot go as from your router while on 5G.

                  • mikefl

                    Life sucks sometimes you have to be quicker, you snooze you lose! Signal bars on different phones mean nothing, enable the mode on the phone that shows the signal DBM value then you can really compare. In other words 2 bars on my iphone may not correspond to the same two bars displayed on your Android phone (due to different radio, software, etc). I'm using iphone 6S phone works extremely well been using it with AT&T and now testing Tmobile again. Usually the issue comes down to the network not the phone.

                     

                    -Mike

                  • dragon1562

                    mike just curious i was reading your link and you mentioned a app that AT&T uses what is it called i have had a AT&T line for as long as i can remember(atleast 8years now) and i have never heard or seen this app i would love to know more about it.

                     

                         Also zodro i feel your pain i live in PA on the western side and recently made a trip to new york most of that 2g coverage came from AT&T. Which i should mention i carry two phones all the time for this very reason if i had not i would have been lost while driving. Anyway thats not the point i wanted to make i can tell you their coverage has gotten tremendously better then the last time i made the trip there. The reason why t mobile doesn't cover the highways like you want them to is because from a business perspective it doesn't make sense. Its more cost effective just to have a partner agreement then to maintain a cell site yourself and i'm sure once they finish getting coverage where its needed most they will work on covering highways.

                  • drnewcomb2

                    I can't find any evidence that there is any 700 MHz deployed in the area. In any event, T-Mobile's coverage maps only show that area as having "Fair" coverage, which is a catch-all that covers everything from "OK" to "Worthless."

                      • mikefl

                        The coverage map seems to be machine generated by god knows what information. I am going to visit a location tomorrow that according to the map has excellent LTE coverage including indoors etc.Tmobile would be better off building an app for reporting service issues that would gather quality data from a user/device that could then also be used for the maps on the so called "customer verified". Right now whatever method they use to gather this data seems to be rather subjective and as most customers see it heavily inaccurate!

                         

                        The specified item was not found.

                         

                        -Mike

                          • drnewcomb2

                            Even if there is predicted indoor service, it's still possible to construct buildings such that no RF gets in or out. This is typical in windowless "big box" stores. Even though the local Home Depot is within sight of a nearby T-Mobile tower, I still have to use their in-store WiFi to have phone service when I'm there.  I believe that the only reason I get service in the local Walmart is that since they resell T-Mobile service, there's a micro-cell in the store.

                              • e2k

                                drnewcomb2 wrote:

                                 

                                I believe that the only reason I get service in the local Walmart is that since they resell T-Mobile service, there's a micro-cell in the store.

                                 

                                You will often find repeaters in places such as large malls. It can be interesting (if you're nerdy like me) to walk around & monitor the db level of the signal. Sometimes you'll be in one part of the mall with a signal of -40 and a signal of -120 in another part.

                                 

                                Retail stores of the major carriers often have repeaters as well, especially if coverage in the area is not ideal and/or blocked by the structure.

                            • If you click around the area enough, you'll get a pop-up with a tiny link at the bottom stating the area has band 12.  At least if I drive a mile or two from the mentioned location, I can get spotty data connection.  My biggest issue with T Mobile coverage is the interstates!  Why no T Mobile love for the state of Pennsylvania???  I was excited that 1900 refarming was in progress (as the 'map' showed) and finally would get signal, BUT the drive from Harrisburg PA to NYC was awful.  I had 2G or no network good chunk of the way through PA.  I swear I've never seen band 2 coverage anywhere I've been.  I just wish TMO would cover the interstates as well as their competitors.