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So still haveing issues with coverage


    About a month ago  now i had made a post regarding abismal LTE speeds in my area when connecting to a tower in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. I called in yesterday to see the status on the upgrades and work on the towers in my area and was informed that everything is completed and should be working fine. However i am still only able to have down load speed of about .1 if its non peak hours and .01 during if its just about any other time. Upload speeds are usually fine about 3mb up been when I was on the phone with the tech team I wasn't getting any upload at all. I ran numerous tests connecting to 4 different servers to make sure that it wasn't on the sever side.

    So my question regarding this issue that has been on going is this what can i do?


    I have filed numerous trouble tickets and given various physical locations in which you can run tests and yet nothing seems to change or get better. The issues does not just effect data speeds service quality has progressively gotten worse despite having a very strong signal when running the tests and trying to perform other functions like phone calls. I personally use a Nexus 6p but the service issues effect both android and IOS devices alike even with other people that are not on my account.


    My location is in Koppel, PA zipcode 16136 if you need to check the coverage map and it shows excellent coverage but that is not the expience that you get in these areas. Even calls don't seem to work properly ( what happens is the call connects but the person can't hear you or vice versa.


    I love T-mobile so i would really like things to get better




      All replies

      • tmo_chris

        1. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

        Hey Dennis,


        Thanks for taking the time to post to our community. Those speeds look like they could definitely use some help. Looking at the ZIP you provided, I do see that this is a good coverage area but there are not really that many towers that serve the area. With that being said, all the T-Mobile users in the area are most likely connecting to the same tower you are and that can cause congestion and the slow speeds. I know that you said that you had multiple requests filed for you on this but have you received any follow up on these?

        • dragon1562

          2. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

          Out of all the calls I have only had two people give me follow up calls. I understand congestion can be a issue but if thats the case then why was it not addressed when the towers were being worked on in my area. Also if its congestion shouldn't it only be during certain parts of the day. I'm not mad per say i get that there is just some things that are out of your control i'm just frustrated. I mean when my area first got LTE it was so beautiful and i was so happy but now the service is as bad as it was when we just had 2g its just terrible and getting my account accredited in the mean time is nice and comforting but doesn't help the root problem.


          If you need any extra info don't be afraid to ask i have kept a file of each call made and i have speed tests from different days and times recorded.

          • drnewcomb2

            3. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

            Just a guess but it appears that you may have a good down-link margin (strong signal) but the phone's transmitter is not strong enough to support the up-link margin. It appears that T-Mobile has not installed band-12 service in this area, which could contribute to the problem. Don't have any ready solutions. Have you looked into one of T-Mobile's signal boosters?


            I don't buy "congestion" as a reason. Ellwood city has a population south of 8k and Koppel's population is 762.

            • tmo_chris

              4. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

              So with congestion, our engineers work to optimize the network as much as possible. Sometimes this optimization is not enough and the only way to improve the coverage is with the addition of more sites in the area. Looking at a high-level, I do not see any immediate plans for new sites in the area but I do see that the two LTE towers for your general area are experiencing some downtime. This is something that just started so I don't think it is related to the issues you have had in the past. Our engineers are working to restore LTE services on these towers as we speak.


              If you are noticing that your speeds and call quality are taking a dive at the same time that your phone is struggling to maintain signal, then I wouldn't call this a congestion issue. If this is the case, one of our in-home coverage solutions may be a perfect fit for you. What kind of signal are you seeing at the time these problems are happening? 

              • drnewcomb2

                5. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                P.S. There's very little independent data for Ellwood City and Koppel. If you could download the CellMapper app to that Nexus phone and run the mapping function as you go about your daily drives, it might help.

                • dragon1562

                  6. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                  So I have between 4-5 bars of LTE service when the issues of data speeds fall into question. So it is not a signal issue per say. Also same deal with calls i will have excellent coverage but calls will ether drop randomly or when they connect the person can hear me but i can't hear them.


                  drnewcomb2 I will download the app and run tests around the area when i get a chance. Also  i'm doubtful of it being my device since i'm not the only one suffering from the issues plus i ran tests on other unlocked phones that i own which include the Iphone 6, Note 4, and the nexus 6p which is the device i typically use. I will also have a iphone 7 here soon as well to run further tests.


                  Finally i do have a booster at my house its the one that is like a mini tower that uses my internet. Although this is nice for when i'm at home and i'm happy its a option its again one of the band aid fixes that i hate. I just want the service to go back to how it was nothing more nothing less. Which means i would be happy to see 5mb down 5mb up that is what i used to get on a regular basis when connecting to the tower in my area.


                  Also thank you for both you taking the time to try to assist me i am very grateful drnewcomb2 amd tmo_chrisl

                  • dragon1562

                    7. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                    also to clarify it is only when connecting to this tower if i connect to the one that is along side highway 376, speeds are amazing calls are crisp and clear and seems to always work. So there must be something still wrong with it. Also it was about a month or so back as well that a bad storm came in and damaged the tower and knocked the power out for the city but that was fixed in like a weak however service has not been the same since. I'm just trying to have as much attention drawn to this as possible so it can get fixed within a timely manner.


                    Like i said i really really love T-mobile but unlike 2 years ago when i joined you the competition has gotten a lot better.

                    For example AT&T haveing a "Data Stash" equivalent almost or the no overages that they have yes copied but still implemented.


                    I know that was off topic my point is i'm loyal and would love to stay with T-mobile but if the service never works in the places i need it to then its not a good choice. Once summer comes around i'll have to spend a lot more time in Ellwood since i do work there.

                    • tmo_chris

                      8. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                      It is definitely sounding more like a congestion issue then since it is specific to one tower. While congestion is usually only a temporary issue, I think in your case we have optimized as much as possible.

                      I did do a bit more digging on the area and while there are no visual indicators that there will be additional sites put up, there are plans to upgrade two of the three total towers in the area to L700 (band 12) later this year. As drnewcomb2 pointed out, this can help alleviate some of the congestion as owners of L700 compatible phones will be able to utilize that network freeing up the 1900 and 2100 LTE frequencies.

                      • dragon1562

                        9. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                        When they do add band 12 I'm assuming that they plan to improve back haul to the tower as well because drnewcomb2 pointed out the population connecting to the tower is not nearly as high as the one that is connecting to the one along the highway.

                        • drnewcomb2

                          10. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                          The real test for congestion would be to run speed tests at different times (e.g. 3:00 PM vs 3:00 AM).  Also, most towers have three sectors arranged in a cloverleaf pattern.  Each sector is semi-independent of the others. One sector may be congested while the others are not. Now, if the site's backhaul is congested all the sectors will be slow at the same time. One thing that would be interesting is to download "LTE Discovery" and see the specs for the LTE signal. Some rural upgrades are done by just overlaying a 5x5 LTE signal on an existing GSM signal. Ellwood City is in Lawrence Co., where T-Mobile has 31x31 MHz of spectrum. They could easily run a 10x10 LTE signal on either PCS or AWS. For a mostly rural area, they have lots of spectrum. If they opted for a 5x5 LTE deployment, that could be part of the problem.


                          Is this an area where only about 8k people live but many more commute in to work?

                          • dragon1562

                            11. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                            Thats vaguely correct. In this area there is a race track that thousands of people come to for the weekends. There has also been a lot of construction workers liveing in all the hotels and motels etc in the area. So for the time being there has been a large influx in people. However this is nothing new and has existed for years now and no other carrier seems to have these issues. I mean realistically speaking i doubt that (and lets be extreme) 12,000 people all have T-mobile and that they all decide to use the network simultaneously. I believe that your right drnewcomb2   that its probably congestion because i ran tests all of yesterday while driving around to various areas with a buddy who also had t-mobile. The network just straight up did not work around 11am-3pm and was still very hampered till about 2 am when we saw download speeds of .75-1mb down and 3 up these speeds which are indeed usable are not acceptable in my eyes for a area with such a small amount of people. Especially since the speeds that i happened to have gotten are not the norm and are during hours where i'm not usually up and need the service.


                            For comparison sake i decided to run speed tests with my AT&T iphone 6 i was pulling 50mb down in ellwood and 30 up during the same peak hours. There is just such a large disparity in performance between the networks in my area when T-mobile should have the advantage in atleast Ellwood i mean the tower is right there and they have the strongest signal.


                            I'll take a look useing LTE discovery later today when i get home and let you know but if i recall i think its only 5x5 LTE band 2 if i remember.

                            • drnewcomb2

                              12. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                              This level of congestion on a mostly-rural site should be setting off bells and whistles at the network control center. T-Mobile's field crews are working round-the-clock to perform upgrades all over their network but if that site is 5x5 LTE on PCS, they'll probably need to come back and hang new air units with AWS and 700 MHz. At least upgrade the LTE to 10x10. I don't think that area ever got HSPA (3G) service, so there's nothing they have to move out of the way.


                              BTW, gotta love the name of your neighboring town (Big Be*ver). I bet folks there get a lot of remarks about that.

                              • dragon1562

                                13. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage


                                • tmo_chris

                                  14. Re: So still haveing issues with coverage

                                  Hey dragon1562. Are you able to reply to this message? I see that you created a new thread because you were not able to reply here.

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