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Why does the service usually suck?


    So I've been a loyal T-Mobile customer for over a decade now and figured that over time, the service would get less shoddy and T-Mobile would become quite a reputable company. Oh how I've been so wrong and continue to be the laughing stock amongst my friends when it comes time to stream a video or song or look something up.


    In 2017, over a decade of being here and I am still getting the infamous "full bars, LTE" with NO SERVICE. It's so bad sometimes that I can't send iMessages, can't Google anything, or even Speedtest my connection. This is all from a iPhone 6S (purchased 2 years ago but shouldn't be the problem..). Obviously I reset the connection repeatedly, just to come across the same results of 3-4 bars, LTE, and nothing working. I usually end up getting so impatient that I reset my phone in hopes that it'll reset the connection and it usually fixes it, but I shouldn't have to reset my phone each time the connectivity sucks.


    I write this from Queens, NYC, where you'd imagine the service to be impeccable (or at least close to it), to state that the connection in Queens is consistently wrong (in terms of strength indication) and slow. And no, I'm not underground or in a huge building, I always experience these problems outside (not restricted to Queens, Brooklyn included). Inside my house (Queens/Long Island border), the connection is really bad as well but thankfully I have wifi, or I would've switched carriers out of rage years ago.  I am seriously considering switching to Verizon as I've never seen anyone with Verizon experience this problem in the past 15 years.


    Can someone please explain to me how there are times I get 0.2 mbps download speeds (and THATS LUCKY because it usually never even connects in these situations) with 4 bars and LTE in NYC? Is there any way to fix this within the settings of the phone or something, which sounds highly unlikely? Or should I just switch carriers now?

      All replies

      • tmo_amanda

        Re: Why does the service usually suck?

        Hey, frugalmeister!


        Welcome to our Support Community! After being with us for over 10 years, I'm bummed we're meeting on these terms. You're right about the area in Queens -- you should be getting a much stronger, faster signal. It's odd that only resetting the phone generally works for you. From the information you've provided, it sounds to me like the issue could be the device. I have a few questions to figure out what's going on. I truly want to get to the bottom of this for you because we never want to see a customer leave under circumstances that we can't get to the bottom of.


        • When you say that "resetting" your phone usually does the trick, do you mean restarting it?
        • By chance, have you tried your SIM in a different phone?
        • Do you know others in the area with T-Mobile that have the same experience that you do?
        • Have you worked with our Tech Support team regarding this issue previously? If so, what was the outcome?


        I look forward to hearing back from ya!

        • drnewcomb2

          Re: Why does the service usually suck?

          I think you're running up against the laws of physics. In Queens, T-Mobile has deployed 20x20 LTE on the AWS band and 10x10 on the PCS band plus 5x5 of 700 MHz, with sites spaced about about 500 m apart and it's not enough to keep up with demand. Unlike some of the other carriers, T-Mobile does not have a huge block of high-band to augment their service in dense urban markets. Your 6s has all the current bands and two-way carrier aggregation. It's a good phone.


          T-Mobile is working to get their 10x10 MHz of 700 MHz (band-71) spectrum online ASAP. They also are moving to deploy an LTE augmentation in the unlicensed 5 GHz band (band 46). Neither of these will directly help your 6s but could help by off-loading some of the traffic from power users who elect to buy phones that can take advantage of them.

          • tmo_chris

            Re: Why does the service usually suck?

            Just checking in here to see how things are going. Did you get a chance to look over Amanda and DrNewcomb’s replies to you?

            • dragon1562

              Re: Why does the service usually suck?

              Just wanted to say that what your experiencing is congestion more likely than not. Your best option is to stick it out just a bit longer and then upgrade your phone to whatever the next iPhone is that comes out in 2018 if you want to stick with Apple or to buy a android device like the S8 which can take advantage of T-mobile more recent improvements (i.e 4x4MIMO,256QAM modem and 3 way  Carrier Aggregation). That is pretty much the only thing you can do on your end to ensure the best experience possible on the network. Also I promise you that Verizon experiences the same issues that all the other carriers are facing in cities like NY. Their are just too many people trying to use a finite resource with the current tech aviable not being efficient enough to support it all.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • drnewcomb2

                  Re: Why does the service usually suck?

                  Just to add to what dragon1562 says. If you get a new phone, make sure it has band-71. Right now, only two top-end phones: LG V30 and the Samsung S8-Active have this band. Next year there should be several new, mid-range, phones available. In the NYC market, it's important to have a high-tech phone with all the bands and network features you can afford. Not talking about cameras and facial recognition. This means things like Carrier Aggregation, MIMO, 256-QAM, LAA-capable (if available), etc.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • tmo_mike_c

                  Re: Why does the service usually suck?

                  Hi there!


                  You've got some great help from our community folks. Have you taken a look at the suggestions above for help? Please give us a reply and let us know. Thanks!