Question

Data Issues Two Harbors, MN

  • 6 December 2021
  • 9 replies
  • 52 views

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My mother lives in Two Harbors MN and I visit quite frequently and I have data issues every visit. This has been the case for a year and a half so it is not congestion issues. The phone shows full service and now even 5G. Calls work great but data does not work or is extremely slow. It starts a couple miles south of town and any where in the town.


9 replies

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I was just there on Dec 19 and took a speed test to show an example and will continue to do so each visit 

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Each time I visit I will post a speed test Results

Userlevel 6
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That whole western coast of Lake Superior is a long thin line of minimal service. It’s mostly bands 12 and 71 with a little band 2. Two Harbors seems to be just bands 2 & 12. If you’re more than a couple of miles from the tower, you could be on just band 12, which has very low capacity.

If you have an Android phone, I’d suggest you install CellMapper to see which towers and bands your phone is using.

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Sounds to me like I just need to switch carriers. AT&T has no issues.

Userlevel 6
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Sounds to me like I just need to switch carriers. AT&T has no issues.

Whatever works. All wireless carriers suck. The goal is to find one that sucks in a way that works for you.

Userlevel 5
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i can’t say for this part of MN, but in general, I’d recommend filing a complaint with T-Mobile.  Its possible that you’ll get a message stating ‘Capacity issues’.  If you like T-Mobile service, in general, file a complaint with the state PUC.  Its possible that T-Mobile has T1 or microwave backhaul running those sites in an inadequate way.  I had a similar issue in San Simeon, CA with 5G ~200’ from the tower giving those ~0.5Mbps speeds.  It took a bit of work, and chasing down, but PUC came back with a written response of using T1 circuits for 5G (took +6 months to get to this point), and then a few weeks later, it was +300Mbps.  All cell sites are not created equal… some are more equal than others.

Since this appears to be a colocated site… its likely that AT&T has brought in its own (they are a FirstNet service ), while T-Mobile .. has not, or has not paid for upgrades.

This is where T-Mobile hasn’t really done much for its rural ‘support’, but more of a claim on its rural footprint.

 

Userlevel 6
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Like with most stories, there’s a history. This coast is historically under-served by wireless carriers. A few years ago, up at Grand Portage they were begging anyone to provide cellular service. T-Mobile came in and set up a thin line of service along the shore. I think they under-built not anticipating how demand would grow. Right now, they have a lot of other fish to fry, integrating Sprint’s network and customers into T-Mobile. It will probably be Spring before they get anyone up on towers in N MN to upgrade antennas. If it can’t be done on the ground, I doubt it will happen, before Spring. 

T-Mobile does have 10x10 MHz of AWS (band 4) and 15x15 MHz of 600 MHz (band 71) in Lake Co, which they don’t seem to be using. So, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Userlevel 5
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It appears that the site north and south of Two Harbors, MN has B71, and so does the site just south/west

eNB ID 30247 - LTE (Cell mapper ID)

NR has been mapped on the site to the north

gNB ID 2115802 - NR

I suspect that you’re correct, in that the site has been ‘ignored’ - most likely as T-Mobile looked to make a ‘large’ coverage area (both north and south sites cover a large area), and I suspect that T-Mobile has a very small user based outside of tourists passing through.  This was kinda like what I got in San Simeon, CA.  Locals that live in the area use Verizon or a possible AT&T, as the nearby larger town of Cambria, CA has no service in the west side of town.

Last year, I went through TMobile tech support to report this low/no data problem.   I made it to level 3 support who told me that there was a known issue with equipment on the tower, and that equipment was scheduled to be fixed in March of 2022.   That did not happen as data is still painfully slow.   Does anyone have any ideas on how to move this forward with TMobile?

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