In a dead zone, not registered with network

tigerfu

    I was in rural area, where, according to the t-mobile coverage map, should have fair LTE signal and worst case voice call and text.  There was no LTE.  But I got full-bar signal.  When I tried to call 611 to test voice call, I got "not registered on network" on the screen and call didn't go through.  When I was with AT&T, I didn't have much problem.  At least I got 3G.  Now I got nothing.  I guess the full bar I picked up was non-t-mobile carrier, probably AT&T.  But I thought we have certain roaming allowance.  Do I need to do certain setup on my phone?

     

    BTW I'm brand new t-mobile, just switched over from AT&T.  The Samsung S7 is brand new to me too.  I need to work quite often in that area.  At least I need to be able to do voice calls.  A bit bumped. 

     

    Anything helps.  Thanks for your help in advance.

     

    -TL

      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

        Your first mistake was believing T-Mobile's coverage maps. Anything shown as "fair" on their maps is highly suspect. Second mistake is not understanding how T-Mobile manages roaming. You can only roam AT&T in those locations where T-Mobile allows roaming. These areas are shown, with some accuracy warnings, on T-Mobile's maps. If it doesn't say "Partner Coverage", don't count on being able to roam.

         

        It sounds like maybe T-Mobile is not the right choice for you. When did you switch? Did you BYOD or trade in your phone? What phone are you using? Is it a band-12 compatible device?

        • tmo_mike_c

          Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

          Greetings and thanks for letting us know about this tigerfu.

           

          In fair coverage, the strongest coverage would be outdoors. When indoors, it's possible to get the this registration message. My recommendation would be change the band frequency to 3G or even 2G to see if you're able to connect better while in this area.

           

          https://support.t-mobile.com/community/phones-tablets-devices/android/samsung_galaxy_s_7#2g_4g

            • tigerfu

              Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

              I was outdoors.  I also tried manually switch to 3G and 2G, but it didn't make any difference; still couldn't call or text.

              With a cell signal app, I can confirm that the 2 cell sites on the nearby hill tops are AT&T and Verizon.  That was the full-bar signal that I picked up.  Is there anyway I can bring this to T-mobile management's attention?  Their coverage map is indeed a bit exaggerated.  It is a rural area; a valley with a few farms.  Probably doesn't generate a lot of revenue.  But still ... at least they should allow roaming.

              Going back to AT&T is not really an option for me.  The company is paying for my phone bill, but I have to go to T-mobile.

              -TL 

                • tmo_mike_c

                  Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                  I hear ya, and thanks for trying those steps. You can contact our T-Force team through the Twitter or Facebook links below. They have the ability to look at a more detailed map of your specific location and put in a Service Complaint if there's T-Mobile coverage that isn't as strong. This is the best way to get some some awareness  brought to your location. I can't promise an immediate turnaround, but it's worth having engineers take a look at the coverage. As for roaming, we'd have to have an agreement with the other carrier in order to allow you access.

                    • tigerfu

                      Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                      Thanks.  I'd love to contact them.  But I'm one of the old-fashion sort who don't do Facebook nor tweeter.  Is there a email address I can use?  I will provide them all the detailed information they would need.

                      I thought t-mobile already has roaming agreements with other carriers.  I also heard t-mobile only allow users to roam if it is to their benefits.  I think it is a tremendous benefit to T-mobile if a user is willing to defend on their behalf when he hears people bad mouthing the service.  I have been quite happy with everything T-mobile offers, except this one.  I have to admit the coverage may not be as good.

                      One more question.  Say I can't make any calls in that area.  If I need to call 911 in case of emergency.  Will the call be allowed to go through on other carriers' network?  I will have to put together a back-up plan if it is not.

                      -TL

                        • stevetjr

                          Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                          Yes you can always make a 911 call on any available network.  Even if a phone doesn't have a SIM card in it as long as it has any signal from any carrier it allows 911 calls.

                           

                          As for the roaming it is complicated but a general rule of thumb is that lets say in this case if T-Mobile has a presence in a an area not only are they less inclined to sign a roaming agreement the other carrier is not legal obligated to sign one with them.  However if a carrier has no spectrum in a market then the other carrier(s) that do legally have to offer a roaming agreement on "fair and reasonable terms" which especially AT&T is rotten at and often gets taken to the FCC on what they consider fair and reasonable. AT&T has a historical record of doing everything to avoid allowing other carriers to roam on their network, their latest being the whole 700 spectrum Band allocation and why there is now Band 17 and Band 12 instead of just one.

                           

                          I see you have an S7 which is Band 12 capable, do you know if your market is or will be covered by T-Mobile's recent Band 12 spectrum purchases? If so Band 12 signal carries much farther and penetrates buildings and other objects much better.

                            • tigerfu

                              Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                              Ah I see.  It is not too bad if I can still make emergency calls.

                              I don't know much about the spectrum / frequency band situation here.  We are in San Diego, CA area.  The area in question is in Escondido, a rural area just right out side the urban area.  I don't remember seeing any roaming area on the coverage map though, so like you said, roaming may not be possible.  I can see why AT&T or Verizon may not be willing to help their competitor if they don't have to.

                              Well, looks like the only hope is t-mobile can make the improvement, hopefully soon.  I'd like to help if my assistance is needed.  

                              Appreciate your explanations.

                              -TL

                                • stevetjr

                                  Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                                  It does look like T-Mobile has Band 12 spectrum in your area and once they

                                  can get the radios installed on the towers will help you immensely, based

                                  on the map it looks like the have Band 12 service active all the way down

                                  to Temecula at this point and don't see any notations about channel 51

                                  restrictions so suspect it won't be to much longer before they get it on.

                                  Band 12 is also referred to as extended LTE by T-Mobile and have included a

                                  website while not official T-Mobile has been very accurate in not only

                                  showing where they have Band 12 spectrum but shows where they have seen

                                  live sightings of it turned on.

                                   

                                  http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mobile-700-mhz-spectrum.html

                              • tmo_mike_c

                                Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                                Okay. If Facebook and Twitter is a no go, you'd have to call 611 and speak with Tech Support. That would be the only other way to get a complaint filed and get this area looked at for coverage enhancements. stevetjr makes a very good point about the Band 12. This is a great way to help in areas like Escondido and it's an ongoing process we're taking to make coverage improvements.

                        • matesny

                          Re: In a dead zone, not registered with network

                          The coverage map includes coverage provided by Stingrays

                          j/k....