Leesburg, VA Coverage

furushoadam

    I have the WORST service in the town where I live. I'm sitting here at work in downtown Leesburg VA and I have no service. Can't even make a phone call.

      All replies

      • stevetjr

        Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

        What phone do you have, it looks like T-Mobile is rolling out their extended LTE (Band 12) in that area as we speak.  Band 12 is their new low band spectrum which penetrates buildings, trees and etc along with the signal carrying a lot farther from the tower.  This greatly improves indoor coverage, however not all phones support that particular band.  For iPhone you have to have a 6S series or higher and for Samsung Note 4 or higher.

          • furushoadam

            Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

            S5

             

             

             

            Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

              • stevetjr

                Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                The S5 doesn't support Band 12 unfortunately.   As I stated low band signal carriers much farther but also penetrates objects better which noticeably improves indoor coverage but also fills in the coverage gaps that can happen between towers or other obstacles.  All phones that T-Mobile started selling (with the exception of the iPhone 6) when they first acquired the low band spectrum for $4 billion dollars were Band 12 capable, Apple took a bit longer and the iPhone 6S was the first.

                 

                Unfortunately with the mid-higher bands there is only so much you can do realistically since it takes approximately 4 mid-high band towers to cover the same area as 1 low band tower.  When the first low band became available AT&T and Verizon used their monopoly/duopoly size and bought up 93% of all of the available low band spectrum.  Verizon however found out the one downside to building your entire LTE network on low band and that is that while it carries farther, penetrates better it is inherently slower and has less bandwidth due to its lower wavelength.  So they are the ones that for cash and mid-high band that TMO had sold them the Band 12 spectrum.

                 

                I can tell you from personal experience Band 12 makes a difference.  When I moved 2 years ago my new place had very flakey service because of the geography and that the neighborhood is surrounded by trees and is in a bit of geographic bowl/low spot so even though there is a tower only a mile away cell signal was intermittent at best. Band 12 got turned on in this market about 3 months after I moved and now I have no issues at home.

                 

                If you want to resolve most of your signal issues in your area unfortunately you will need a newer phone. I can tell you I have had every Samsung Galaxy since the II and obviously if you are going to upgrade can tell you the S8 is amazing but now that the 8 is out the S7's are a great deal and I had the S7 Edge and it was a great phone also.

                 

                From what I can see Band 12 is not officially launched in Leesburg but there have been siting by users which usually means that they are converting towers in that market and until they are done won't officially launch it since if you hit one they haven't done they don't want to have it that it was officially available.

                 

                While not an official TMO site it has pretty reliable and accurate information on the Band 12 Map of T-Mobile's 700 MHz spectrum

            • tmo_marissa

              Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

              Hey, furushoadam! I know that area well -- it's absolutely lovely, but I can appreciate how it would be much lovelier with steady signal. stevetjr is correct, we are modernizing there to add Band 12, and the deployment date shouldn't be too far off -- but with the phone you're currently using, that isn't going to be the exciting change we'd hope for.

              I noticed from your reply's signature that you're using an unlocked S5 -- how recently did you start service with us? Have you had a chance to double check the Generic T-Mobile data settings on your phone? If there's a simple settings tweak that could improve your situation, that would absolutely be ideal!

               

              - Marissa

                • furushoadam

                  Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                  I've been with T-Mobile for about 3 years now. I don't know about my data settings but I'll Google it and see if there's any "tweaking" I can do. Thanks.

                   

                   

                   

                  Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

                • drnewcomb2

                  Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                  Both CellMapper and Sensorly show pretty good service in and around Leesburg, particularly downtown. There are a half-dozen band-12 sites (towers) within about 3 miles of the city center.

                    • furushoadam

                      Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                      Most of the time I get no signal inside buildings downtown. Worse during inclimate weather.

                       

                       

                       

                      Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

                        • stevetjr

                          Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                          Band 12 will/should solve those issues, unfortunately the S5 whether

                          T-Mobile branded or not doesn't have the radio capable of using that band.

                          The S6 was the first Galaxy that had it.

                          • drnewcomb2

                            Re: Leesburg, VA Coverage

                            This is typical in towns with brick buildings stacked wall-to-wall. T-Mobile's answer to this is supposed to be 700 MHz (band-12) which should provide better range and building "penetration". Although, with only 5x5 MHz, it does not normally provide a lot of speed. If you have access to WiFi, T-Mobile's WiFi Calling can also help.

                             

                            Suggestion: Go to the nearest T-Mobile store and get a new phone with band-12 and Carrier Aggregation (CA). Make sure of their return policy. DO NOT trade-in your current phone. Keep everything. Don't let the sales person throw out anything. Use the new phone for 12 days. If you are not happy with the results, return it within 14 days, keeping the SIM and switch back to your old phone. Then port your service out to AT&T or Cricket using your current phone with a new AT&T/Cricket SIM.

                             

                            The idea is to give T-Mobile a chance to see if a new phone will provide good in-building service but if not, you want to be able to back out at very little cost to you (e.g. $15 SIM charge) and cut your losses. The reason you want CA is that being able to use two signals at once can really help in the situation you describe.

                             

                            Maybe some other folks will come up with a cleaner suggestion but that's what I've got for you.

                             

                            Just to be sure, your phone is a T-Mobile (mod# G900T) S5?