Does anybody else get bad reception from T-Mobile

soma4society

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Is there like a setting that needs to be turned on or something to get better signal?

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I recently migrated from att -- and while I like just about everything better with TMO (including, but not limited to, truly unlimited data), their average signal strength seems to be weaker. Some areas may simply have better coverage though. And of course, some devices are better at capitalizing on available signal strength than others. No special setting that I'm aware of that will alter your experience.

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klau25

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haha, problem with t mobile is that their service area is too spotty. that's why I switched out to straight talk att instead.

also its hard for us to judge without having something to compare to. you might want to mention what city you are at and ask ppl who lives close to you have similar issue.

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Jeremy8000

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I'm in Charleston, SC, and have no issues whatsoever with my N4 on T-mobile. Its reception is a step up over my former T-mobile phone, the G2x, which would occasionally drop out in a few parts of town. As to how it compares to AT&T, VZ, or others, the answers you get will be heavily weighted by locale, where each network will have its stronger and weaker spots.
 

ccgabe

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I am in Portland OR and T-Mobile Sucks. Gonna try AT&T next month and see if it is better. Anyone else from this area on Tmobile? Half the time I don't even have a signal on my N4 inside my house and many of the places I visit.
 

KitN

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The cellular spectrum T-Mobile operates on is well known to have poor building penetration, so it's a guess as to whether you'll get good coverage in your house or not if you're judging by the coverage map.

I get poor service inside my house on T-Mobile most of the time unless I'm right next to a window but I only have 100 min/month so obviously I'm not taking a lot on my phone via cellular anyway! LOL! The majority of my calls are made on Wi-Fi using Vonage or Google Talk so it's not an issue for me right now. ;)

(BTW, outside, I get great signal strength.)

If it's not up to snuff, switch to AT&T or one of AT&Ts MVNOs.

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minnemike

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This Is my first phone, but it says I'm in great coverage area on the T-Mobile site, for both cell usage and data, but I only get 1 maybe 2 bars.

FOr data, the bars will only show top speed once you actually use the phone for data... otherwise, it will auto switch to slower settings and maybe different signal levels.
 

Citizen Coyote

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The cellular spectrum T-Mobile operates on is well known to have poor building penetration, so it's a guess as to whether you'll get good coverage in your house or not if you're judging by the coverage map.

I get poor service inside my house on T-Mobile most of the time unless I'm right next to a window but I only have 100 min/month so obviously I'm not taking a lot on my phone via cellular anyway! LOL! The majority of my calls are made on Wi-Fi using Vonage or Google Talk so it's not an issue for me right now. ;)

(BTW, outside, I get great signal strength.)

If it's not up to snuff, switch to AT&T or one of AT&Ts MVNOs.

Sent from my Nexus 4

Likewise. My reception in my house isn't great, but it's functional and I rarely use it (we still have a landline, too, for business purposes). Otherwise, it works fine when and where I need it to.
 

PWC Realtor

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Have you guys tried forcing your phone onto 2g EDGE when at home using Wifi? That's what I do since I don't get a good 3g in about half of my home.

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soma4society

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Have you guys tried forcing your phone onto 2g EDGE when at home using Wifi? That's what I do since I don't get a good 3g in about half of my home.

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I second this. I stay on 2G most of the time, unless im trying to Google something or surf via tmobile's network. I get three ?3G" bars inside the ranch...but when i switch to 2g, I get five bars.

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pugnuttt

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My biggest problem is inside, I think it's because I am surrounded by way to many other electronics. My biggest isue with t-mobile is my very spotty messaging.
 

nickacs

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haha, problem with t mobile is that their service area is too spotty. that's why I switched out to straight talk att instead.
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+1.. I was on the TMO prepaid $30 plan for Nov/Dec and while signal was great at home, it was too spotty around Atlanta (even tho it's one of their big network cities??), crappy even on major highway like I-75 from GA to MI and lastly has .1% chance of getting any data signal at my work with their crappy building penetration.

So last week when my Jan 30 days were up, I switched to ST AT&T and couldn't be happier. Best thing I could've done and this will be the service I will now use. 100% building penetration at work/any building, excellent call/data signal all over Atlanta. Yes, using Speedtest, I got higher output download speed, but doesn't matter. I still get my emails. Still browse the net with zero lag and play 2 games on my phone that have no issues/lag. I'm not a heavy data use < 2GB month, so no data issues.

I was hoping for $30 (vs. ST $45) would be the "magic" plan for me, but being at work for 40hrs week 100% of the year doesn't make up the $15 difference if I can't send/receive emails while at work or use data. Sollie Charlie! LOL
 

HTCTundaBow

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I love Tmobile so far. My house, in town, and in the city, I get great service. But, as expected, once I migrate into the back-woods, it gets bad. I knew that was going to be the case though, so I don't mind at all. $30 a month vs $100 mo at VZW. . . I'll take the occasional loss of signal any day of the week!
 

zkSharks

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While T-Mobile's standard operating frequencies for 3G and HSPA+ perform rather poorly when dealing with interference (i.e. buildings/objects in the line of sight), be aware that they are slowly rolling out 1900Mhz HSPA+ service to select markets. In these markets, it appears that only certain towers are receiving the upgrades, at least initially. The 1900MHz frequency has a significantly increased ability to penetrate objects and other sources of interference.

Airportal.de is an interactive mapping site which displays geo-located records of T-Mobile 1900MHz towers and reception quality. There appear to be a reasonable number of records in Cleveland, but only one report in Akron. My offhand guess is that it's an outlier; it is either incorrectly geo-tagged or incorrectly identified as a 1900MHz connection.

@ccgabe, there appear to be quite a few 1900MHz records in Portland. You might want to take a look at the Airportal map of the Portland region and compare it with T-Mobile's coverage map for '4G'. That might help you identify the signal issues you're experiencing. I live in Seattle, and I'm in Portland every few months. I've had decent reception in the city and some residential areas on both Verizon and T-Mobile, but I didn't have great luck with AT&T. Just my experience, however.
 

tbonn41fn

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First of all, big mistake by going to T-Mobile, their spectrum is terrible, you're going to continue to get bad signal, and there's nothing you can do about it. If u activated your phone in store, u have 14 days to cancel, online or called in to activate, it's 20 days. Stay with bigger carrier, Yes it maybe a few more bucks but you don't have to worry about bad reception

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zkSharks

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First of all, big mistake by going to T-Mobile, their spectrum is terrible, you're going to continue to get bad signal, and there's nothing you can do about it. If u activated your phone in store, u have 14 days to cancel, online or called in to activate, it's 20 days. Stay with bigger carrier, Yes it maybe a few more bucks but you don't have to worry about bad reception.

While T-Mobile's service may not be as ubiquitous as, say, Verizon's, don't be so quick to bash the carrier altogether. I'd hardly call their spectrum "terrible" -- in fact, much of the spectrum T-Mobile is using to offer high-speed HSPA+ service (primarily HSPA+ 42), as well as AWS spectrum being re-apportioned for LTE use, has been purchased from Verizon and the "bigger carriers" themselves. Now, restating my post above, "while T-Mobile's standard operating frequencies for 3G and HSPA+ perform rather poorly when dealing with interference (i.e. buildings/objects in the line of sight), be aware that they are slowly rolling out 1900MHz HSPA+ service to select markets. [...] The 1900MHz frequency has a significantly increased ability to penetrate objects and other sources of interference."

I live in Seattle, which was a trial city for Verizon's first LTE rollouts, as well as to a fair amount of T-Mobile's 1900MHz refarming. While my experiences will likely not be indicative of everyone else's (read: your mileage may vary), I have reduced a total of $900+ monthly bill to around $560 by moving a majority of my personal, development, and studio lines to T-Mobile from Verizon over the past six months. While I don't have speed tests that can be compared in an unbiased manner (they were not taken under anywhere near the same circumstances), our experience so far has been one quite far from disappointment. Signal strength seems strong in almost all areas of the city in most conditions, and while our data speeds are slightly slower, the real-world impact has not been a nuisance in any way.

  1. T-Mobile is re-apportioning its PCS spectrum (UMTS band II) for UMTS service in select markets. They'll continue to do this while the LTE rollout begins.
  2. T-Mobile received additional AWS spectrum (UMTS band IV) for LTE deployment.
  3. T-Mobile received yet more AWS spectrum from Verizon this past summer (summer 2012) after Verizon purchased a large amount of it from television networks. T-Mobile received additional licenses for this spectrum in 125 markets.
  4. T-Mobile will roll out its LTE network on the AWS spectrum, and the HSPA+ network will be gradually re-apportioned to the PCS band. This should begin this spring (spring 2013).
 

PWC Realtor

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While T-Mobile's standard operating frequencies for 3G and HSPA+ perform rather poorly when dealing with interference (i.e. buildings/objects in the line of sight), be aware that they are slowly rolling out 1900Mhz HSPA+ service to select markets. In these markets, it appears that only certain towers are receiving the upgrades, at least initially. The 1900MHz frequency has a significantly increased ability to penetrate objects and other sources of interference.

Airportal.de is an interactive mapping site which displays geo-located records of T-Mobile 1900MHz towers and reception quality. There appear to be a reasonable number of records in Cleveland, but only one report in Akron. My offhand guess is that it's an outlier; it is either incorrectly geo-tagged or incorrectly identified as a 1900MHz connection.

@ccgabe, there appear to be quite a few 1900MHz records in Portland. You might want to take a look at the Airportal map of the Portland region and compare it with T-Mobile's coverage map for '4G'. That might help you identify the signal issues you're experiencing. I live in Seattle, and I'm in Portland every few months. I've had decent reception in the city and some residential areas on both Verizon and T-Mobile, but I didn't have great luck with AT&T. Just my experience, however.

The reason that site isn't 100% accurate is that it's user input driven. Only people who know about the site and are using non-AWS phones on T-Mo may report their results.

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