LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

kaz312

    I have been a T-Mobile customer for over a year and have generally been satisfied with my service and coverage. There's a distinct lack of coverage in my home on the Southside, but I experienced that with Verizon as well and believe that's just something I'm going to have to live with regardless of carrier. However, in recent weeks I've been having some serious issues with connectivity in the downtown Loop, which was never an issue before. While in these areas, the upstream arrow is constantly lit up and the downstream arrow goes dead -- and typically stays this way for minutes at a time. If I'm streaming something, I lose the connection and often have to cycle data on & off before I'll get reconnected. This has also happened on multiple devices, as I recently had my phone replaced to make sure it wasn't a hardware issue. There are a number of areas that I can pinpoint that I *know* I am going to lose downstream when walking through them. These include, but are not limited to:

     

    Lake St, between Wells & LaSalle (near the Starbucks)

    Wabash Ave, between Adams & Van Buren

    At the Roosevelt CTA stop, especially when on the el platform.

     

    A rep at one of your stores told me to go into settings and shut off LTE when this happens, but in my opinion the service should just work without a workaround. Can someone look into this for me?

     

    Thanks!

      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

        Just to be clear, your phone was replaced with a current T-Mobile phone? What model?

          • kaz312

            Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

            both phones are LG G6s. Replacement is the LG-H872.

              • drnewcomb2

                Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                OK. I give up. That phone has all the bands and features.

                  • kaz312

                    Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                    yeah it's been incredibly frustrating. And today it happened between 2 & 100 Riverside Dr when I was out walking to get lunch. That's a new one.

                      • j.a.r.v.i.s

                        Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                        Hi kaz312 - I had intermittent signal when I visited Chicago last year, so share your pain.

                         

                        Any idea what your signal strength is?  LTE Discovery or OpenSignal apps can help you check what the strength is.   Typically higher (lower negative number) than -100dBm is recommended, although I've had workable service near -110dBm...

                         

                        What if you have another TMO phone at the same place - same issues?  Just thinking to try and isolate signal vs phone...

                         

                        You can also check OpenSignal maps to see if that area is a known hole in coverage.  Other than that, up to the network guys to deploy better coverage...although would not rule out some LG specific issues.

                          • kaz312

                            Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                            hey j.a.r.v.i.s! I'll check my signal strength next time I'm in these areas -- but like I said, this wasn't a problem until about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and now it's happening every time I'm there. I checked OpenSignal and it's all green along the entire route that I typically walk from work to the train. Unfortunately I don't have another T-Mobile device to test it against, just the two LG G6s I've had in the past couple of weeks.

                              • j.a.r.v.i.s

                                Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                So kaz312 - are the LG G6's new in the past few weeks or have you had them for a while?  I couldn't tell exactly from your previous posts.  Wondering if it's a LG G6 issue...not likely, but stranger things...

                                • tmo_marissa

                                  Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                  Hey, kaz312! I imagine going through the trouble of replacing your device only to find no change in the situation was a disappointment. :/ Before we got to the replacement step, did our Care/Tech teams file any service inquiries for the areas you mentioned? Typically with signal concerns our first route is to explore the network as the culprit before we move to a device replacement! Were you having other issues with your phone as well?

                                   

                                  - Marissa

                                  • tmo_marissa

                                    Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                    Hey, kaz312! Just wanted to check in here and see if we'd been able to get some tickets filed for these locations where you're having trouble. How is everything going for you?


                                    mir_s, thank you for chiming in here! Have you had a chance to report this to our Care/Tech or T-Force team so that we can get a trouble ticket filed? That will alert our engineering team to the issue!

                                     

                                    - Marissa

                                      • kaz312

                                        Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                        Hi Marissa!

                                         

                                        Apologies for the delay in reply -- I was on vacation on the east coast. And after 10 days in Philly, New York & DC, I can confirm that this appears to only be a problem in Chicago, as I didn't experience it in any of the cities I visited.

                                         

                                        I don't have any tickets issued at this time for the issue, but I can confirm it's still going on as I experienced it twice this morning -- once at the Roosevelt elevated platform and again at the Clark & Lake el. Do I have to go to a brick & mortar location to get a ticket opened, or is there a way to do this online?

                                         

                                        Thanks,

                                        Sam

                                          • tmo_marissa

                                            Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                            Hey, Sam! Sorry for my delay -- I wish I'd been travelling like you, but sadly I was just running a preschool birthday party gauntlet.
                                            You definitely don't have to travel to a store to have a service inquiry filed. We can take care of you online through social media if you're active on Twitter or FB (or frankly, if you simply have a login you can dust off). On Twitter, you can DM @tmobilehelp, and on FB, you can hit the Message button on our T-Mobile Facebook page (the icons in my badge below are links).
                                            mir_s and hl1041990, we'd like to get similar reports to our engineering team for the locations where you're having issues as well, if you have a few minutes to reach out! Thanks to everyone for chiming in here.

                                             

                                            - Marissa

                            • mir_s

                              Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                              Seeing a similar issue at 135 S. LaSalle and also while taking the train (BNSF out of Union Station).  @ 135 while on the 2nd floor next to a window and barely get 2 bars of 4G; text messages wont send, data wont transfer, calls don't go through - Just came over to T Mobile with a Note 8.  Previously had an S5 on Verizon and had no problems (until my phone died over the weekend)

                              • hl1041990

                                Re: LTE Connection Issues in the Chicago Loop

                                I have same issues at the Roosevelt stop. i agree its only started happening a few weeks ago and getting progressively worse.

                                  • magenta2848826

                                    The Loop and gold coast are absolutely terrible for Tmobile.   I'm about ready to switch.  I have great signal strength but no data coverage most of the time on the north end of Maggie Daley Park.      It's simply ridiculous that Tmo allows such primo populated areas be so far gone, yet the 10 people in the Oklahoma panhandle will have great coverage with 600 mhz

                                     

                                    On the flip side, in Holland Michigan I have gotten 114 mbs.   Go figure.

                                      • drnewcomb2

                                        It's not difficult to figure out. In Chicago, It's the tragedy of the commons. T-Mobile has 15x15 MHz of PCS, 15x15 MHz of AWS and 6x6 MHz of 700 MHz. Inside the Loop, T-Mobile sites are spaced, on average, about 200 m apart (about every other street corner). Put 1000 customers, trying to stream videos, on any one sector and you'll get congestion. There's another 15x15 of 600 MHz on the way but it will be years (i.e. 2020) until the TV stations clear the band in Chicago. Until such time as T-Mobile gets UMA or some other high-band technology to help with the dense urban situations in NYC, Chicago and parts of L.A. this will continue to be an issue. About the only thing T-Mobile can to in those markets, currently, is to stop selling to them. At least for the next couple of years.