Poor signal in many areas of NYC




    I have spent the last months in frustration because the signal on my phone became extremely low or inexistent. I live and work in Greenpoint, NYC, zip code 11222. I cannot receive phone calls from clients when I am in the office, which is hurting my business. I tried calling T-mobile several times, we go through some change settings, but the problem persists. It also happens in many other areas of NYC, for example, I cannot receive calls at Rockefeller University either where I spend a lot of time.

    My phone is not from T-mobile, it is a Motorola Moto G Play.

    Someone suggested I try Wifi calling. I researched it and it seems like my phone is too old and does not support wifi calling.

    Someone suggested my phone is too old to use the bands T-mobile provides nowadays.

    I would like to know if buying a new, more modern phone will solve my problem before I invest my funds in it.

    Alternatively, I am strongly considering canceling my 13-year-old subscription with T-mobile. Before I do that, can I get any advice from this community?



      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        Re: Poor signal in many areas of NYC

        Let me get this straight. You live in NYC and you're trying to get by with a Moto G1? That phone is 2G/3G from about 6 years ago. This phone will work in NYC but just barely. I'm surprised you can make calls at all. Let me explain what's happening. T-Mobile is switching their service to 4G LTE and 5G. 2G and 3G are being rapidly obsoleted. At last count,  in NYC, T-Mobile has a few 2G channels running in the guard bands of LTE band-2, mostly to support M2M applications. They left one 5x5 MHz channel for 3G in a block of band-4 that couldn't be made broadband. Everything else is LTE. Your phone might work reasonably well in the 'burbs, but not in the big city.


        It would be nice if the world stood still and we could still use our old analog bag phones from the '90s but that's not how it plays. Life moves on.


        In a very congested market like NYC you need all the bands you can get. You seriously need to upgrade your phone to one that supports all current T-Mobile LTE bands. I would suggest at least LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 66  and 71 as a minimum. Also, any of Sprint's bands you can add may be useful before long. These include, 25, 26 & 41. Band 46 can't hurt and all the Carrier Aggregation (CA) you can afford and WiFi Calling too.


        The current Moto G7 Play is not perfect. It lacks band 46 and has only 2-way CA but, at about $150 it's also not $600+.

          • joanatorres

            Re: Poor signal in many areas of NYC

            Hi drnewcomb2 !

            Thank you for the helpful reply!!

            My phone is a Moto G4 play, 4th generation (sorry I missed the "4" previously).

            Over here it looks like it supports some of the bands you mentioned earlier and some different ones too. Still the case for a new phone instead of changing carriers?

            How can I be sure that a new phone will solve the issue?


          • drnewcomb2

            Re: Poor signal in many areas of NYC

            That makes a lot of difference. The G4 Play (XT1607) has LTE bands 2, 4, 5 & 12. What it seems to lack is band 71 and CA.  While the G4 can be upgraded to Android 7, that may not be enough to give you WiFi Calling. When you go inside, you'll be limited to band 12, which is generally congested. I'd still suggest the G7 Play. I can't guarantee this will solve all your issues but it should give you WiFi Calling and better reception indoors. There is band 71 in Greenpoint, so it can't hurt.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • joanatorres

                Re: Poor signal in many areas of NYC

                This is helpful info!


                The Moto g7 play, seems like a reasonable option, although I read on a different thread that T-mobile wifi calling is "Not available on other non T-Mobile devices"other than some iphones. This thread is from 2017, so it might not be the case anymore.

                You mentioned "The current Moto G7 Play is not perfect. It lacks band 46 and has only 2-way CA but, at about $150 it's also not $600+", where did you find it at $150?? And in your opinion, what would be a better fit (with band 46) for an inexpensive price?


                Your help is truly appreciated drnewcomb2

                  • drnewcomb2

                    Re: Poor signal in many areas of NYC

                    The ~$150 price for the G7 Play was on Amazon when I checked. I'm not sure of all the phones that have band-46. The Galaxy S10+ does but it's a $1000 phone. It's an short-range LTE augmentation (LAA) using the unlicensed 5 GHz  (WiFi) band. A while back T-Mobile installed some band-46 cells around Manhattan as a test of LAA. I'm not sure how many sites are running today but it may become useful in the future.


                    WiFi calling works perfectly on my G7 Power and my wife's Nexus 5x, neither of which came from T-Mobile. I believe that the feature has been "cooked in" as standard in all Android phones with v 8 and higher.