Background:  I have the Google Nexus 4 and I live in zip code 21108 (Millersville, MD just south of Baltimore) and work in zip code 20993 (Silver Spring, MD/Immediately next to I-495 outside DC).  I am extremely frustrated with T Mobile's building penetration.  I work in the 4th floor of an office building and I get absolutely no signal inside my building.   I get a great 4G signal (3-4 bars) if I step outside my building; I also get great reception at home, on the road to work, etc.  Talking to coworkers on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, they have good to great reception all over this building, so I know its not the building.

     

    I know there is a Network Modernization going on and I already submitted something to T-Mobile Take Action ... But I am getting to the point that as soon as my contract is up I am going with another carrier.  I don't see another choice.  I need to be able to use my phone while at work; its a major handicap.

     

    And before you say it, no I cannot connect to the WiFi here at work.

     

    Is there anything else that can be done, or do I have to just continue to patiently wait?  (My patience is running very thin anymore ...)

      All replies

      • smplyunprdctble

        Re: Reception inside buildings

        T-Mobile's signal is one of the weakest with building penetration.  It's more of a "feature" of the band used, not power at the tower.

         

        Some people have had success changing their phone to 2G only (that band has a bit better building penetration).

         

        But, it's unfortunately a product of your building's construction and how it interacts with T-Mobile's signals, it sounds.  I have a similar situation where I completely lose signal in certain areas of the building where I work (whereas some of the competition gets better signal).  If I turn to 2G only, I get much better signal, but, as you know, data is much slower.  I shouldn't be using data at work, so I don't feel that as an issue personally.

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          • stevetjr

            Re: Reception inside buildings

            smplyunprdctble wrote:

             

            T-Mobile's signal is one of the weakest with building penetration.  It's more of a "feature" of the band used, not power at the tower.

             

            Some people have had success changing their phone to 2G only (that band has a bit better building penetration).

             

             

             

            As smplyunprdctble mentioned it is just due to the frequencies used by T-Mobile and that higher frequencies can carrier more data but cannot travel as far or penetrate as well.  At the 2008 auction Verizon & AT&T scooped up 96% of the available low band spectrum.  Of course recently Verizon needed some highband blocks that were adjoining to theirs and T-Mobile just happen to have because Verizon is running into serious congestion issues so they were able to work out a deal that cost T-Mobile $3.3 billion in spectrum and cash and in return they got some much needed low band (700 A block) and they swapped some AWS spectrum around so that Verizon could lump blocks together to get a wider path in their existing AWS blocks.  If you look a the article attached you will see a slide of the 700 A block and most of the NE is covered down to DC.

             

            In slides: T-Mobile's purchase of 700 MHz A Block spectrum from Verizon - FierceWireless

             

             

            AT&T is making their 700 (LTE Band 17) inter-operable with LTE Band 12 at the tower so hopefully once the details are announce other than just it will happen late 2014 we will know if T-Mobile's Band 12 LTE will be inter-operable with LTE Band 17 and therefore current equipment that supports LTE Band 17 will work on the new T-Mobile 700 A Block Spectrum.

          • 21stnow

            Re: Reception inside buildings

            I suspect that it's the building materials interfering with the signal, as well, since you say that the signal is fine once you go outside the building.  Just because the building materials don't interfere with the signals from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless doesn't mean that those same materials won't interfere with T-Mobile's signal.

             

            I take it that you are not in downtown Silver Spring (based on the ZIP code and saying that you are near the Beltway), and are in an older building that has fewer windows than those downtown.  I'm in a building downtown Silver Spring and have a strong signal; I can even maintain calls in the elevator.

             

            The bottom line is that maybe another carrier would serve you better if it is important for you to receive calls at work. T-Mobile has recently acquired some 700MHz spectrum.  I don't know if the acquired spectrum is in our area or not but if it is, it should significantly improve building penetration.  Of course, none of T-Mobile's current phones support the 700MHz-block A spectrum yet, so we will have to get new phones to take advantage of it.  If you can continue to be patient, you may see improvement in the not-too-distant future.