Las Vegas needs some help

dragon1562

    So I just got back from a vacation in Las Vegas. I went there for EDC and I have to say T-mobiles service is pretty bad. At the concert all carriers suffered from the uptick in traffic but T-mobile was one of the worse. At no point could I text or place a phone call and I regularly got kicked off the network. AT&T struggled to but at least basic sms seemed to work for the most part. Even when the concert was not going on service was not stellar. I don't think I ever saw speeds higher than 8mb and that was at 3am in my hotel. Just making this to get some attention the the issue. When I was there I decided to look at what spectrum was available and for the most part I was connected to band 4(20x20) and sometimes I would CA to ether band 12 or band 2 which helped alot. To put things in perspective my AT&T device regularly stayed above 20mb with the exception of the concert venue. I mean seriously T-mobile even at the Las Vegas airport service was horrible. Airports are one of the easiest places to improve coverage since you can add micro cells or partner with them to install a wifi network specifically for your customers which AT&T has done in some locations.

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      • drnewcomb2

        Re: Las Vegas needs some help

        Yeah, T-Mobile bills their network as "Built for Unlimited" but even unlimited has limits when 10,000 people decide that they need to Facetime all at once. What needs to happen is that T-Mobile needs to "get busy" adding band-46 to many big venues as possible. Unfortunately, not a lot of phones currently support band-46. It will also help if the T-Mobile/Sprint merger is approved, as Sprint has a lot of 2.5 GHz spectrum that T-Mobile needs for situations like this.

         

        There's a rule in technology that demand will always grow to exceed capacity. It's an ongoing race.

          • dragon1562

            Re: Las Vegas needs some help

            Yea i figured as much but honestly the fact that they didn't have band 2 deployed on a lot of sites shocked me. Thats some stupidly simple that they could do to help a lot in a short amount of time. Plus they just need to densify. When a network can not even handle basic, non demanding cell functions that is a huge red flag to me. SMS uses so little data that a LTE network should easily be able to handle even 10,000 people. The way I look at it is like this, AT&T which has practically given up on their wireless business and has more customers was able to handle all that traffic, while T-mobile which is supposed to have all this modern tech failed miserably. I mean even Sprint did a better job at keeping its customers connected the network and that is not saying much. When at the concert venue I full on got disconnected from the cell site. The only carrier who somehow managed to work under the extreme load was Verizon which had me highly impressed.

             

            I don't care to much since I won't be back in Vegas for a while and as far as my neck of the woods is concerned T-mobile is pretty solid, although thats changing pretty rapidly. I actually started a internship that requires me to travel a lot and it is thanks to said travel that I am getting a much better understanding of where T-mobile is at.

              • drnewcomb2

                Re: Las Vegas needs some help

                Here's a screen save from the CellMapper map of downtown Las Vegas. The sites are about 200-300 meters apart. That's about a dense as macro-sites come. Almost every site I checked is running LTE on both AWS and PCS. (Just because PCS LTE isn't listed on a site, doesn't mean it isn't there. I just might not have been mapped.*) T-Mobile has a usable 20x20 AWS and 15x15 PCS and 6x6 of 700 MHz in Clark Co. They are probably running UMTS on 5x5 of the PCS spectrum for legacy devices that don't have VoLTE. What T-Mobile lacks in Vegas, and elsewhere, is high-band spectrum. In Vegas, AT&T currently has LTE deployed on bands 2, 4, 5, 17, 30 and maybe 14. T-Mobile is experimenting with band-46 and wants to merge with Sprint to get their hands on a lot of high band.

                 

                Frankly, I'm not sure why SMS failed. I could understand if it was a MMS, which uses data. As I understand it, everything in LTE is a data packet, unlike GSM and UMTS that have separate control and signaling channels. Maybe the number of devices on one sector just hit a limit where things degrade ungracefully. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned about tweaking the priorities so that texts can get through.

                 

                *To explicitly map a single band the user has to lock his phone into using just that band when mapping. Only a tiny fraction of CellMapper users would even know how to do that.

                  • dragon1562

                    Re: Las Vegas needs some help

                    Hmm that is weird. I wonder why my phone didn't CA to band 2 then more often. Whenever I checked I was always on band 4 and sometimes band 12. They have to have some of those sites down because my experience just did not co inside with the data being presented and I was using a S8 which should have been more than capable of utilizing the network in that market.

                     

                    Also I had no idea that AT&T had so much spectrum invested into the market. My iPhone 8+ which I use on AT&T doesn't really have a stellar service mode and no real apps that do a great job on accurately displaying such info so I never checked.

              • joe1994

                Re: Las Vegas needs some help

                I live in las vegas and can honestly say its not only T-Mobile that had lousy coverage in some areas. I had former co workers on all the big four carriers and each of them had issues. Where my daughter attends private school, my phone doesn't work. There is no T-Mobile service, At&t works great though.

                As someone mentioned above when you have 10,000 + people posting stuff to social media texting calling in a confine area service won't be the best.

                Another thing to consider ECD is held at the las vegas motor speedway only a few miles away is Nellis Air Force base and they have dozens of antananes scatter about

                • magenta5097622

                  Re: Las Vegas needs some help

                  To be honest if T-Mobile wanted it make a statement they could put temp cell sites but they chose no to do so I been there for nascar it’s so horrible service pretty much you can do nothing