Band 2 handoff issues in SoCal

  • 4 February 2018
  • 8 replies

Badge +4

Just to add this to the overall community thread - I have been having an issue with the newly added band 2 handoffs in my area.

About 2/3 of the sites now have band 2 (10x10) active, added to existing band 4 (20x20) and band 12 (5x5).

Quite often my phone will 'camp' on band 2 as its primary.  In most cases, this is not a problem.  The issue does arrive when drive to my neighborhood which is one of a few sites that have 'only' band 4 and band 12.   In theory, my phone 'should' handoff to my local site, which is ~1300' away.

However, what has been happening, my phone has been holding onto band 2 from further away sites - typically one that is nearly 3 miles away.

Speeds have gone from ~40-60Mbps on band 4+12 to either 0.22Mbps or 'Network Communication Issues'.

Band 2 (2.88 miles away)

RSRP:  -116

RSRQ/SINR: -16/0.2

Band 4 (1330' away)

RSRP:  -104

RSRQ/SINR: -7/11.4

Band 12

RSRP: -92

RSRQ/SINR: -7/11.0

I have opened a ticket on this, as service is literally useless unless I cycle my phone through airplane mode, or go indoors.

T-Mobile states that this will take about 3 months for them to resolve, as they have to upgrade the cell site to fix it.

8 replies

What device you have you could just force the phone to stays connected to band 4 trough this might be a problem if you are on a deep building

Userlevel 6
Badge +12

T-mobile is not the only carrier to have handoff issues. I live in State College, PA at the moment and all the carriers are bad at connecting to a specific tower. AT&T specifically is the worse with my Iphone 8+. However, I have also had issue with T-mobile at times wanting to insta lock to HSPA+ instead of the stronger LTE connection. It really is weird but usually a quick airplane mode cycle does the trick.

Badge +4

I'm using an LG G6.  This doesn't happen when I go indoors - as the signal does effectively drop and handoff to band 4 or 12 on a closer site because thtere literally would be 'No Service' vs. unusable weak service.

As Dragon1562 posts - and T-Mobile is aware of - this requires one of a few things to fix the issue until T-Mobile deploys band 2 on a closer site:

1.  Toggle airplane mode

2.  Disable VoLTE and force a call (which would force the phone to HSPA+)

3.  Use field test mode to force the phone to HSPA+

4.  Use field test mode to force the phone to band 4 or 12 only

5.  Put cellphone into a faraday cage / shield it from 'weak' service which will force it to a closer site.

Badge +4

Here's the 'bad' handoff - will hang onto band 2 until unusable.  Same location.

Badge +4

Well, it looks like T-Mobile is dropping the ball again.  Their 'scheduled' upgrade appears to not exist any more, and I'm still with failed handoff in my area.  Its 4 months now T-Mobile.

I've sent a letter to 'John' for an executive response.  Worse case, I have the local engineer's number.

Badge +4

The temporary good news.  John / Neville escalated to local RF team.  I was able to speak with an RF engineer, and they were able to make some adjustments to allow for handoffs.  It 'was' handing off at -118dBm, they lowered the threshold to -115dBm, and it made a world of difference.

Now, instead of having to wait until I go indoors for a handoff, it will hand off up to 2 blocks away, where streaming actually works, even if its not the greatest.

I actually ran a speed test at < 500' from my nearest site (has no band 2), and it handed off on the upload at 1 block away.

Download = 0.08Mbps, Upload = 25Mbps.  Ping = 132ms, jitter = 873ms.

If they handn't tuned it... Upload would be at 0, and would stay this way until I forced handoff or went indoors.

This morning - same location (band 4/12 only), typical result = 104Mbps, 45.9Mbps ping 28ms, jitter 3ms

Official word is this site will be upgraded to add band 2 (10x10) by end of Q2.  Should be able to hit ~150Mbps.

Userlevel 6
Badge +12

Glad to see progress was made and I actually experienced this issue for the first time. I had to call in to T-mobile to get my phone to fix itself since a simple restart would not suffice. T-mobile really needs to work on improving this across the board.

Badge +4

In my area it didn't happen all the time, but it did increase a lot depending on which sites had band 2 added, and it only happened it my phone was using band 2 as the primary... because my neighborhood's site lacked band 2.

This will 'eventually' disappear when the site is updated.  It will be up to 2 more months before they complete.  Since they have fixed the handoff issue by lowering the threshold, it'll do until they complete the upgrades.