One bar to no signal indoors

  • 7 July 2019
  • 9 replies

Hi there my family recently switched over from ATT and the main issue I am experiencing is whenever I’m indoors my reception on all my lines will drop to one bar. I live in San Francisco. I know these are places I have good reception before when I was with ATT. The places I went to recently are museums in San Francisco near the Golden Gate Park, buildings in the financial district, small restaurants in the Richmond area. Does anyone have issues with one bar signal they’re able to fix? Do you think it has to do with SIM cards ? If needed I can provide exact address to pinpoint the Issue.

9 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

There are a lot of factors in determining the cause of poor reception.  What device do you have and did you bring it from AT&T or buy a new device when you came to T-Mobile?  Depending on the type of coverage deployed, certain bands penetrate buildings better than others.  Older structures tend to be more dense than newer.  Network congestion can also reduce the amount of signal your device receives.  The more local network congestion, the weaker the signal.  Interference from construction equipment or very strong WiFi networks can also impact the cell signal.

Although I own quite a few devices and swap devices regularly.  Radios in devices do vary a lot by manufacturer.  Samsung devices tend to have very good radios by comparison to almost everything else.  I was very surprised though to find my OnePlus 7 Pro pulls in a bar more usable signal strength than my Note 9 and S9 Plus though.

I brought iPhones 7 and 8. And I traded in one phone and I got iPhone xs. Its just whenever I’m indoors my reception drops to one bar. This could a small cafe, building, museum, restaurant. The moment I step through the door, the bar goes down. this happens to all my devices

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

I'm guessing band 12 hasn't been rolled out in those areas then as of yet.  There are some 700MHz sites around San Fran but not everywhere.  iPhone radios aren't the greatest either but at least most iPhone's should receive similar reception as long as they are connecting to the same LTE band. 

Is it going to roll out anytime soon ?

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

When you're inside the buildings, have you tried restarting to the phones to see if they get signal? This may be something we'll need to have you file a Service Complaint for. That'll have our field techs check out the site performance in a specific area.

To add, if you are outside a structure and getting good signal, and you step into the structure and signal reception is diminished or lost, odds are it is the structure.  If you move next to a window and reception improves, then more evidence the issue is the structure.

If you have received signal in a structure before and now you are not, then +1 to the suggestion to restart the device and try again.  I would try turning airplane mode on and then back off a moment later to force the device to search for a signal, and after then restart if that didn't help.

There will probably be some structures that just block signal, particularly the deeper you are in the structure away from windows; and then even near a window you might have trouble in some cases.  Conventional dwellings in my experience are not a serious impediment.  Signal reception will be reduced, but if the signal strength is strong outside, even though weak inside it will likely be strong enough.  If the signal in the area is weak to begin with, it will be even worse inside.    Some huge hotels and office buildings will be very bad.  Count on metal buildings being a definite problem always and for everyone.  Your mileage may vary.

I don't think I have personal experience, at least not that I know of, with the new bands.   My personal experience I'm relating here is from over the past 20+ years, a lot of traveling, and a lot of buildings.  In any case, I can say I find ways to manage, and wifi and wifi-calling have been tremendously helpful in those cases of hotels and office buildings where mobile reception is too poor or non-existent inside.

Yup, I restarted the device, I reset my settings as well and changed my sim card. Reception is still weak inside. It is not just one building. It is pretty much whenever I am inside except my home because I got a cell spot. I already opened a service complaint

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Okay thanks for that info. We'll definitely need to let our field engineers investigate the coverage there and update your service complaint with their findings. That'll give us an idea of the next step.

yea, this happens to me all the time.  I basically  get very little service any time i enter buildings including my own home.  Tmobile is a fucking joke.