Poor/No Service

daltemose

    Hello,

     

    I am posting on this forum because I ever since I switched to T-Mobile back in March I have had pretty decent service everywhere I go with one exception: The office that I work.

     

    Don't get me wrong I don't have an issue with having spotty coverage here and there but for the most part my family has had positive experiences being with T-Mobile. Being former Verizon customers we were paying a lot for service (we never had issues with coverage though). I have tried many different solutions to have "some" coverage at my office since I spend a large majority of my time there. I don't need blazing fast LTE but I would like to at least depend on T-Mobile to deliver calls and texts to me while I'm at work.

     

    Before anyone asks:

     

    Yes, I have tried the Cellspot

    Yes, I have tried WiFi Calling

    and finally, Yes, I have tried DIGITS

     

    WiFi Calling and DIGITS work well but they both require I rely on a different provider for service. The Personal Cellspot would be fine if I was using it for my house but I don't know where I be authorized to place it and if it would be secure (I wouldn't want someone to steal it).

     

    So far the main workaround I have found is I rely on a MiFi device from Verizon to supplement my coverage via WiFi Calling. I have a Verizon unlocked iPhone 6S which thankfully supports most carriers as well as WiFI Calling. Verizon offers a plan (it's a little tricky to get, I had to talk to two reps at Verizon before they were able to get me this plan) that for $10 a month I get one Gig of Hotspot data (Every Gb is billed at $10/Gb). It's pretty reliable and the cheapest option I found to help my poor coverage. Thankfully if I only use the MiFi for WiFi Calling it doesn't burn through data and I end up with a bill for $10 a month. If my office had WiFi I would have no issues with coverage but as it stands I wish I didn't have to go through all this trouble. I know that I am not the only person in my office who has zero service from T-Mobile here.

     

    I look forward to any responses/feedback on this and I hope my solution provides some kind of workaround to anyone facing a similar issue.

     

    Thank you

    -Dean

      All replies

      • stevetjr

        Re: Poor/No Service

        Ok based on specs of your iPhone (A1688) it should have Band 12 LTE which is TMO's low band spectrum which penetrates building better.  Now of course this depends on you being in a market that Band 12 either exists (ie TMO has spectrum) or has been rolled out (has spectrum and it's live).  Based on your message it sounds like you had service with Verizon so it probably isn't the building, some buildings are just tough for any signal.  With that said it could just be the location of TMO's tower and it's angle to a part of the building structure that does interfere.  I will also note and while anecdotal if you search this forum for signal issues you will see the number of issues with the iPhone versus non-iPhones is significant and personally have a friend that complains and at first blamed TMO until we were standing in his driveway with him borderline on his iPhone and me standing right next to him with my Galaxy bouncing 4-5 bars.

         

        1) I am not sure if like the Galaxy's there is a "service mode" you can put the iPhone in that will show you what band the phone is currently using but if not there is an APP called LTE discovery that I believe will.

        2) Make sure you have the TMO carrier update on your phone, it may turn on some features that Verizon had buried or turned off since their network doesn't support all the features TMO's network does. (Yes TMO network is more advanced although only the Galaxy S8 can take advantage of the most advanced features at this point and rumor at this point is the iPhone 8 won't support the Gigabit LTE either since they use an Intel radio chip versus Qualcomm)

        3) Here is a link to a website which has info on 700Mhz (Band 12) as it relates to TMO.  While not officially a TMO site it is quite accurate. Map of T-Mobile's 700 MHz spectrum - Spectrum Gateway

         

        If you have Band 12 in your market usually that helps with in building coverage, I would be curious if the "others" on TMO in your building that have issues if they are all iPhone or all makes??  So if Band 12 is in your market and a number of you are having issues I would probably put a ticket in and see if they can look at the tower in the area.

        2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • daltemose

            Re: Poor/No Service

            I can comment that a coworker of mine has an T-Mobile branded iPhone and I also possess a T-Mobile branded Galaxy S7 both of which do not get signal in my building. I have so issue with T-Mobile but this lack of signal really makes me contemplate porting my number elsewhere since I want reliable service. I feel in most situations it would be fine to have spotty coverage every once in a while but to have no service most of the time is not something I can accept.

              • drnewcomb2

                Re: Poor/No Service

                T-Mobile used to have something called the Lifetime Coverage Guarantee.  The deal was that if you bought a phone using JUMP! On Demand (JOD), and didn't like your coverage, you could continue making just the JOD payments, T-Mobile would unlock the phone and you could port out to another carrier who was compatible with your phone (e.g. AT&T) I don't know how that applies with the current phone and plan offering. Problems like this is why I like phones like the Google Nexus 5x, iPhone 6s & Moto G5 Plus. You buy them unlocked and you can port your number to whatever carrier or MVNO you like. Try a carrier for a couple of months, if it doesn't work out, no harm no foul, no entangling equipment contract. Just port out and move on.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • daltemose

                    Re: Poor/No Service

                    Thankfully my daily driver is an iPhone 6S from Verizon (so it's already paid off and unlocked). Maybe in the future I'll come back to T-Mobile when they improve the network since they acquired those new bands but I know that may take a few years. Until then I'll probably just port out and find service that works for my location.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • drnewcomb2

                        Re: Poor/No Service

                        With an unlocked iPhone 6s you're pretty much free to move around. T-Mobile doesn't prorate partial months, so you might want to port out around the end of your billing month. It depends on how desperate you are. You will also need to return all the T-Mobile signal boosters. They're technically on loan. Be sure to get a receipt and/or delivery confirmation for anything you return. You might also want to take photos in case they want to get fussy over a scratch or something.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • drnewcomb2

                  Re: Poor/No Service

                  Not all companies have towers in the same locations. In the case of your office, the nearest T-Mobile tower may be on the back side and the signal has to go through 12 reinforced cement walls before it gets to your phone. How's the signal outside?

                    • daltemose

                      Re: Poor/No Service

                      The signal is ok. I have noticed that I have to step outside if I want to make a call but I usually have to toss my phone into Airplane Mode and then disable it otherwise it won't pick up a signal.

                    • tmo_chris

                      Re: Poor/No Service

                      Hey daltemose,

                       

                      Looks like our awesome community members we able to provide you with some insight as to why the signal may not be as good inside your office as it is in others. We would be very sad to see you go but I know that having reliable coverage in an area where you are spending more than half of your waking hours is pretty important.

                       

                      From all the things that you tried, it sounds like you most likely spoke with our technical care teams at some point. I am curious though, did we ever open up a service ticket for your office location as stevetjr mentioned in his first post? Our engineers can evaluate the signal in that area and if they see a way to adjust the signal there to provide stronger coverage without impacting other areas, that is something they would definitely do.

                        • daltemose

                          Re: Poor/No Service

                          Thanks for the reply Chris!

                           

                          No a service ticket was never created to evaluate the coverage in my area. All that I have recieved was a Cell Spot which would be helpful if I was having issues at my house but not at an office where somebody could take it/remove it. I don't want to be responsible for replacing/paying for it if the unit happens to become damaged/stolen.

                            • tmo_chris

                              Re: Poor/No Service

                              I completely understand your hesitation on that. I think the best course of action would be to Contact Us again so our support teams can get a service ticket filed for your work address so we can see if there is indeed something wonkey there.