Network continues to disappoint

  • 22 November 2020
  • 12 replies
  • 2155 views

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I was with Verizon for many years and switched to T-Mobile this summer with the excitement of blazing fast magenta 5G and the promise of a lower bill and payoff of the balance remaining on my device from Verizon. Months later, I am still waiting for that virtual Visa card to pay off Verizon, I’m gonna end up paying it myself so that it does not go into collections. As far as the network. It’s been very disappointing. With Verizon I was used to crystal clear digital voice calls, reliably fast and far reaching network and data speeds. Once in a great while there would be a hiccup but it was always brief and self resolving. Ever since day one, my service with T-Mobile has been glitchy to say the least. Phone call quality is Poor most of the time. Data is sluggish and slow most of the time even when I have full bars LTE reception. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am either. Downtown, at my house or at my job. Even using iMessage on iPhone is glitchy. Messages take long to send and sometimes will only send as the green sms message. I have reached out about these issues and had them escalated to “engineering” but I never really heard back from them. I just gave in and accepted this as magenta status quo. I finally got my hands on the new iPhone 12 and was excited for access to this great nationwide 5g network, hoping that this may bring some life to the network and bring back the quality I took for granted with Verizon. Sadly, the 5g is no different than LTE. Even though I have full bars of 5g service, the data is still sluggish and unreliable. I also was experimenting with Speedtest.net and testing the speeds of LTE and 5g at the same time and location. 5g was rarely if ever faster and sometimes was slower than LTE. I have also let customer service know and was advised that maybe when they send an update to my SIM card at some unknown time in the future, it would get better. I did some research (more than I should have) and learned that T-Mobile uses a midrange 5g wavelength in a majority of the country. While this is indeed a different frequency than LTE, it is basically using the same slow LTE backbone. Essentially, it is LTE with a different logo. They promise that this is an evolving and quickly growing technology. But based on my experience thus far, I will not hold my breath. The reps always seem so surprised when I tell them about the poor quality of the network I am experiencing. Am I the only one experiencing this? Or am I the only one complaining?
 


12 replies

Userlevel 4
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Performance is very ‘location specific’.  

While I can’t say about your location, I do experience various performance differences (comparing my work AT&T Samsung S10E to T-Mobile LG G7 and One Plus 8 5G).

  • Typically, AT&T (and I’m assuming Verizon) have better rural coverage in most areas
  • Speeds have improved on AT&T over the past year (4G LTE → 5Ge) giving quite good performance (+200Mbps) in many areas - however, in suburbia where I am they have less sites - but more capacity on each.  T-Mobile varies from ~120Mbps to +200Mbps here.  In urban areas, it varies wildly on both - T-Mobile sites with/without 5G having high speeds as good as +500Mbps, and poor ones as poor as ~2Mbps - with full signal.  AT&T is a bit more consistent on its capacity.
  • Rural - I will get good speeds on MOST rural T-Mobile sites - however, there are fewer, and in places ‘gaps’.

No - you’re not the only one complaining.   Call technical support and launch a complaint.

5G is  effectively an overlay (i.e on ~ 1 in 8 sites on low band) which covers a large area… but with limited capacity.  Unless T-Mobile turns over PCS, AWS or turns up Sprints 2500MHz ‘quickly’ ,  iPhone 12 users will saturate the n71 600MHz 5G service.

T-Mobile’s deployment wasn’t the best, IMHO.  It did allow them to cover large areas - but mostly that’s a benefit in rural areas.

AT&T refarmed their cellular band - which ends up being quicker - as no new antenna have to be placed.

Verizon did something similar using DSS - ‘sharing’ 5G and 4G LTE over existing spectrum.

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Metro Boston area. Great reception, terrible network performance.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Rural South East US and I’ve got coverage where the other two don’t. It’s really come 180° in the past 10 years in this area. Verizon and AT&T have a couple spots of very sparsely populated areas but are on highway stretches where 5 miles is really only five minutes. Out in the boondocks countryside, T-Mobile pretty much beats the other two in this area. So it is definitely location specific.
 

As far as speeds on 5G, I think most everybody understands not to buy into the hype just yet. But people who are buying androids right now may be a little disappointed in the next two or three years when coverage is much better but their phones are lacking updates and most of them missing millimeterwave. iPhone 12 owners may be a little happier given the update lifecycle of iPhones and the fact that the new 12 series has millimeterwave.

 

Of course some people buy 5G phones in the hopes that the speed would be something ridiculous however most all phones can be switched over to LTE 4G thereby saving battery power in areas that don’t really have 5G or is really weak.

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

Metro Boston area. Great reception, terrible network performance.


It's been a couple years since I was in downtown Boston (work).  Service and coverage on T-Mobile was very good back then (LG G7) mostly Boston common, North end, Omni Parker, Bunker Hill.   Service was decent up at Plymouth and good at Forestdale, Provincetown but poor at Sandwich

Userlevel 5
Badge +7

Metro Boston area. Great reception, terrible network performance.


It appears that T-Mobile has yet to integrate Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum into their LTE/5G network in metro Boston. This means that they’ve only got the base of their 5G “layer cake” with 600 MHz for broad-area coverage and perhaps some mmWave for hot spots. This means that, for the most part, in Boston T-Mobile’s 5G won’t be much better than their LTE. It should be improving soon but I can’t say when.

Signal OK backbone network is terrible.  I agree.  I may need to cancel and stay on AT&T.  I keep hoping T-Mobile will get it right.  They are not close yet.

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Ionia michigan good signal but throttled speeds are way to low 1or2 mb im sure its not the signal i have 4 bars band 12 jumping from 20,40,60 mb and Immediately back to 1or2 mb and sometimes it will stay fast. Bottom line yeah sure its unlimited and very slow it will take you a life time to view a email. I'm not giving up though I have faith in tmobile 

Yes I'm having consistent connectivity issues with T in California. Like you it will show 4 or 5 bars of 5G and still drop network connections. Most noticeable when driving but happens at my house as well. One rep recommended I just turn off 5G. Seriously?!  

So bummed I switched off of Verizon towers which worked much better especially in rural areas.  In addition, I have been trying to fix my trade in and sign up credits for 5 months now. It's incredibly frustrating and T-Mobile customer service while always there and reachable, nobody ever follows through. T-mobile sucks and as soon as I can figure out how to get off it, I'm done. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

Ionia michigan good signal but throttled speeds are way to low 1or2 mb im sure its not the signal i have 4 bars band 12 jumping from 20,40,60 mb and Immediately back to 1or2 mb and sometimes it will stay fast. Bottom line yeah sure its unlimited and very slow it will take you a life time to view a email. I'm not giving up though I have faith in tmobile 

Ionia, MI isn’t in the ‘best’ spot for T-Mobile coverage.  Looks like cell sites are east and west of Ionia with 5G available only on the site west of town near Bertha Brock Park.

B12 is typically limited in capacity, and you won’t really want to use it, limited to 5MHz.  PCS B2 isn’t much better at 10MHz.  Aggregated, you could probably get ~60Mbps.

In theory, if you have 5G and are picking up n71 + B2, you may do Ok from the site west of Ionia.

I was with Verizon for many years and switched to T-Mobile this summer with the excitement of blazing fast magenta 5G and the promise of a lower bill and payoff of the balance remaining on my device from Verizon. Months later, I am still waiting for that virtual Visa card to pay off Verizon, I’m gonna end up paying it myself so that it does not go into collections. As far as the network. It’s been very disappointing. With Verizon I was used to crystal clear digital voice calls, reliably fast and far reaching network and data speeds. Once in a great while there would be a hiccup but it was always brief and self resolving. Ever since day one, my service with T-Mobile has been glitchy to say the least. Phone call quality is Poor most of the time. Data is sluggish and slow most of the time even when I have full bars LTE reception. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am either. Downtown, at my house or at my job. Even using iMessage on iPhone is glitchy. Messages take long to send and sometimes will only send as the green sms message. I have reached out about these issues and had them escalated to “engineering” but I never really heard back from them. I just gave in and accepted this as magenta status quo. I finally got my hands on the new iPhone 12 and was excited for access to this great nationwide 5g network, hoping that this may bring some life to the network and bring back the quality I took for granted with Verizon. Sadly, the 5g is no different than LTE. Even though I have full bars of 5g service, the data is still sluggish and unreliable. I also was experimenting with Speedtest.net and testing the speeds of LTE and 5g at the same time and location. 5g was rarely if ever faster and sometimes was slower than LTE. I have also let customer service know and was advised that maybe when they send an update to my SIM card at some unknown time in the future, it would get better. I did some research (more than I should have) and learned that T-Mobile uses a midrange 5g wavelength in a majority of the country. While this is indeed a different frequency than LTE, it is basically using the same slow LTE backbone. Essentially, it is LTE with a different logo. They promise that this is an evolving and quickly growing technology. But based on my experience thus far, I will not hold my breath. The reps always seem so surprised when I tell them about the poor quality of the network I am experiencing. Am I the only one experiencing this? Or am I the only one complaining?
 


I have had it with t-mobile and their 5G claims. When 5g was announced it was supposed to answer all the questions. Be fast enough to be able to remotely control surgery equipment cross the country. To be able to remote drive vehicles.

so far, it hasn’t been even as fast as LTE on a good day.

why am I disappointed? First I ordered the T-Mobile MiFi hot spot. Got it the first day it came out. It added a hefty sum to my billing, but it seemed like it would be worth it. My wife would be able to remotely work from home on a dedicated hotspot that allowed her, as a teacher, to do her thing uninterrupted by the other 5 people in the house needing zoom access for work and school.

THEN REALITY CAME CRASHING DOWN!

she could barely stay online. When I ran tests it showed miserable performance. So bad, even as a single user she could not reliably service her kids one on one during school (she works with spec needs). 
so, I went to the store I purchased it at, and they immediately had an answer for me since I was ready to throw it through their plate glass window a la the old “discount tire commercial.” They said the new pricing was a flat rate 50 bucks a month just started. Apparently I was not the only person threatening to cancel. As it stood, it was not worth the original 85/month they quoted. Oh, and any connectivity issues would be fixed with a firmware update. Just do that and it will work fine.

BS! We live literally 3 blocks from downtown bellevue, wa. This is t-mobile’s home city. Where we are at, we get 1 bar on the hot spot. 1 bar on cell phones most of the time. Hence, why we got the 5g hot spot because it’s supposed to allow for better signal, as the hot spot on iPhone just would not be fast enough.

The other reason I got it is so that we could stream my kids softball games for everyone at home during Covid. Yea, their school is literally half a mile from T-Mobile HQ in Factoria!!!!!m3 bars, and continuous dropping of stream. Either this hotspot has the wrong antennas or it’s just a piece of crap. I, guessing both now!

 

this whole sham of 5g is a massive bait and switch for everyone. We should have never gotten off att for phones and this 5g mifi hot spot is a POS!

 

my question to t-mobile. What are you going to do about this? My story is not unique. This is a huge issue. 5g is a total flop. I’m guess class action lawsuits are already in the works. We pay over 550 bucks a month for 15 devices on your network. Where is the customer love!??

 

so done with this.

 

 

THAAAANK YOUU! Let be kind about it. This coverage is pathetic. 20 Miles from Boston. Ya know, not like it's a tech hub or anything.

I switch from Verizon to this POS network, excited to do so btw, and the speed is not only subpar, it's embarrassing. I can see two towers from my house and Network Cell info tells me I connect to them. But can I get EVEN 6 Mbps, nevermind 10 consistently? Never. My work cell is Verizon. 30-40 Mbps everytime no matter what time of day. These execs are better marketers than engineers, who put the cart before the horse. Trust me T Mob. Once people switch from a reliable carrier to a bragadocious flop... Good luck getting them back.

Pathetic. 20 miles from MIT and you sell inconsistent 4GLTE, nevermind 5G. The amount of time and effort it took me to get my family to switch to this 4G sludge network has left egg on my face. I'd download a Pic but it would take all day. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. In fact, and I swear this is true, Im doing this from my phone and had to connect to my xfinity cable because this page took forever to load. Think I'll be selling my stock also. Ya had me there for a min. About 60 MB per min

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

Also, T-MOBILE typically has highly exaggerated its coverage maps.   What once had 3 levels  (excellent,  good and fair) it you gave an address, where fair means  that it the planets come into alignment,  you might get an outdoor signal, and you might be able to get a text.  Now there's  one more level, listed as “Limited “, which, back in April was a lot of “No Service “ coverage.  T-MOBILE  ‘technical experts ‘ state that  these are more for sales, and are not accurate compared to their internal  maps.

If you truly want service on T-MOBILE to work better,  file a complaint  through 611, with a follow up to the BBB.

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