Is 2G GSM service still provided?

rbob

    My wife’s been using my old Nexus 6 on her old prepaid plan and really, really hates the phone. I’d like to find a basic phone, either unlocked or T-Movile specific, but all of them that I see are 2G quad band.

     

    Will such a phone work on today’s T-Mobile network? Will there be coverage in the same places that 3/4G coverage is available?

      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

        There's no easy answer. T-Mobile is generally not adding any new 2G coverage in new areas. They are maintaining existing 2G coverage with a big caveat: In some areas they are depreciating 2G service to such a reduced level that it may only be good for some M2M applications. One example is NYC, where they have just a bit of 2G running in the guard-bands of their PCS LTE service. Customers there with some older and BYOD devices complained bitterly about reduced service, dropped calls, etc. when this change went into effect. To really use T-Mobile's service you need a phone that's fully compatible (e.g. Nexus 6). T-Mobile is charging into the future, not looking back and "devil-take-the-hindmost". Their attitude seems to be that the customer can keep up or find service elsewhere.

         

        Unfortunately, I don't think T-Mobile provides any good options for customers who don't want a smart-phone. If they do, I'm not aware.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • dragon1562

            Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

            T-mobile does have one flip phone device available that uses all the tech needed to make nice clear calls and send texts. Also drnewcomb2 basically answered the question. It is not advisable to use a strictly 2g phone if you want to enjoy even half the coverage that is available now a days. All the carriers are this way, AT&T has decommission most of its 2g network Verizon has begun to do the same with its 1x. I think Sprint is the only one maintaining 1x but its useless.

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • dragon1562

            Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

            Alcatel GO FLIP | Price, Specs & More | T-Mobile  this would be the perfect phone for her

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • rbob

                Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                I looked at that before I went diving into the (really) cheap basic phones on Walmart’s Web site. I see that it supports 4G LTE service which might be a problem. The PAYGO plan my wife keeps has no data support. When I set the Nexus 6 to 4G mode, the phone simply didn’t work. When I moved it down to 3G, it worked fine. Oddly, I still had to enable data in the phone config to get it going. It’s possible that the phone would work in 4G mode and I just gave up to quickly, but my wife’s annoyed enough already for me to subject her to more experiments.

                 

                Still, if a 4G phone can be made to work on her plan, or the Alcatel can be moved down to 3G, $75 is a small price to pay to keep everybody happy.

              • magenta1021

                Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                T-Mobile does have the Alcatel flip phone that has 4G LTE capabilities! It's cheap, basic, and will cover the bands she needs. If you want something that is an entry level smart phone, perhaps consider a J3 Prime. Touch screen, cheaper, all the bands she would need, too.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • tmo_mike_c

                  Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                  Hi there!

                   

                  Were you still looking for a basic phone or did you find one that worked for you? I'm sure any T-Mobile branded device we're currently selling should be fine but if you're looking for a Non-T-Mobile device, it's still possible it'll work, but it can be tricky. We'd just like to make sure you get what you need.

                  • tmo_marissa

                    Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                    Hiya, rbob! Just wanted to check in and make sure you got all of the info you needed!

                    • tmo_mike_c

                      Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                      Hey again.

                       

                      Just want to know if you still need some help here. Please let us know if we can assist further. Thanks!

                      • memn1

                        Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                        Hi,

                         

                        I'm coming across identical problem - I have a GSM only phone, and there''s NO 2G GSM signal at all at a specific residence:  'Network NOT found.' 

                         

                        I called 611, and the T-mobile rep tells me the signal is strong at that location.  But I doubt she knows about 2G vs. 3G/4G networks at all.

                         

                        According to this article, T-Mobile is shrinking the 2G network support:

                         

                        https://www.pcmag.com/news/362222/why-we-dont-recommend-2g-gsm-phones-in-the-us

                         

                        We have to abandon 2G phones now -- since 2G GSM is no longer supported by T-Mobile?

                          • drnewcomb2

                            Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                            2G is maintained, to a degree*, in markets that were originally 2G but new deployments are strictly 3G & LTE.

                            I don't think you'll get a lot of sympathy from T-Mobile. AT&T ditched 2G a couple of years ago and Verizon plans to shut theirs down a EOY '19.

                             

                            *I say, "to a degree" because in many cases it's a really thin GSM layer, only a few channels running in the LTE guard bands.

                              • memn1

                                Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                                That location which no longer shows Network available -- it used to have very good 2G GSM signal.  Now there's no longer any 2G GSM signal like before.  I guess 2G GSM is now being phased out slowly in T-Mobile network, unless someone from T-Mobile can explain otherwise.

                                 

                                In this sense, I wonder, for areas where there're no longer 2G GSM signal, how calls are conducted -- would they be all GSM-VoLTE instead of GSM-2G?

                                  • drnewcomb2

                                    Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                                    Either UMTS or VoLTE. T-Mobile is charging boldly into the future and not spending a lot of time and effort looking back. While AT&T did completely ditch 2G, as I understand it, they have kept 3G operating on either 850 MHz (band 5) or 1900 MHz (bnad 2) so that people with phones as old as the iPhone 3GS can still use them. T-Mobile does not really have the luxury of keeping 2G everywhere as they upgrade. They did make a point of trying to keep 2G and selling their 2G service to IOT companies (e.g. Alarm companies) who had legacy 2G equipment that they wanted to keep operating but was no longer supported by AT&T.

                                     

                                    One issue for a lot of people is that they just like their old 2G flip phone that fits in the watch pocket of their jeans and they don't want a smartphone. Unfortunately, I don't think T-Mobile offers very much for this market segment. The subject comes up every now and then but as far as I know, there's no nice little flip phone that supports all T-Mobile's current bands and technologies.

                                      • dragon1562

                                        Re: Is 2G GSM service still provided?

                                        There is one flip phone that T-mobile sales but it is not quality. Honestly though like all things in life its adapt or die. There is no going back now and smartphones really are a better value. You can find ones that are small and easy to carry and there are simple phones that are made that do work with T-mobile. The Light Phone is actually a good option.