Poor signal reception but T-mobile Map claims otherwise.

  • 29 November 2017
  • 22 replies


Your claim that there is an 'excellent signal' at where I am located is false.  Your maps indicate that there is 4G LTE 'excellent signal' and that 4G LTE 700 (Mhz) is available here.  I recently got an iphone 6s and tested it here but to my disappointment, the signal strength is 'weak' at best and poor and spotty most of the time.  Something as simple as a line of text takes tens of minutes to send and at times, doesn't send at all because it times out.  Your website:  Extended Range LTE | 600 MHz & 700 MHz Spectrum Phones | T-Mobile indicates that iphone 6s does support 4G LTE 700 (Mhz), but in reality and many times, there is no data coverage at all (i.e. data coverage that doesn't work).  This phone actually did worse than my older iphone 5s which didn't do all that well either, which was the reason I looked for phones that support more 4G LTE bands and technologies.  Now, I'll probably return my iphone 6s.

I believe that such false information should NOT be released to public as it could be deemed a false advertising that leads consumers to wasted efforts, time and money.  Therefore, I have come to a conclusion that T-mobile is just not honest with what it once claimed: 'best cell network'.

I have tried 3 different T-mobile phones here and they all get very poor reception here.  I have made sure that network/cell carrier/data settings are set correctly on these phones.  Because phones are made to 'look for' the best network/signal, the phones use up a lot of battery power to do so.  This drains battery like crazy on the phones that have excellent battery performance otherwise (i.e. while connected on wifi or in areas where a good 4G LTE is available).  I've been trying to get good data coverage here for the last several years, but to no avail.  Are you planning on providing a good data coverage here?  Or, at least be honest and stop saying that 'excellent signal' is available here.


Best answer by tmo_chris 2 December 2017, 18:55

Hey there! If you are not getting coverage in an area that our map says you should be, we can definitely look into this. If you are inside an office with windows, you should be able to get some kind of signal but the windowless metal buildings could be pretty rough. If you have a moment, please contact us so our tech teams can get an engineering ticket opened up for you.

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22 replies

Is your complaint about service inside or outside of the Boeing plant? It can be rather difficult to get radio signals inside a windowless metal building. T-Mobile may not have a DAS or microcell system inside the plant. Here's a shot from Sensorly of the same location. You can see a good signal all around the area:

Good morning drnewcomb2,

Outside.  Yes, outside of the metal factory buildings.  I'm in an office building with windows.  Why do I get poor/bad signals inside of a regular office building??

Thank you for including a snapshot of your map (Sensorly or whatever).  Why doesn't T-mobile publish 'this' map??  Seriously, I'd like an answer.  Can you take a moment and compare your map to the one that I included in my original post?  That is a HUGE difference.  Just look at how much coverage there is with the pink! -> false information.  Plus, they don't match well at all in that, where there is dark pink (better signal) in the pink map there is not even pale purple (weaker signal) in the purplish map you showed.

Can you send me a link to the map you enclosed in your response?


John, and all provide maps based on crowd-sourced data. If someone running their app visits a spot, they get data for that carrier in that spot. If no one visits that spot, there is no data. Empty space means "no data" not "no signal". 

The Boeing complex appears to be served primarily by a T-Mobile site (tower) near the intersection of Hwy-526 and Seaway Blvd. If the big metal buildings are between the antenna site and your phone, the signal could be greatly attenuated. Another site is at the water tanks on the corner of 44th Ave & 84th St. One problem appears to be Washington's strict zoning laws that restrict the height and visual impact of cell towers. It also restricts the range and effectiveness of the signals.

Also, don't assume that glass is a great conductor of radio waves. Ordinary glass passes radio waves pretty well but heat-reflecting and shatter-resistant glass can block a lot of signal.  I have a friend who lost all AT&T service in his house after installing shatter-prof windows. He had to get one of their personal femto-cells to get service back.  When I ask if you're "outside", I mean "out where it rains." If you're on the SE side of Bldg 40-87, I'd have a hard time explaining poor reception. On the NW side of the same building, there's no signal, except what gets reflected off other buildings.

Historically, big companies have made big corporate deals with the duopoly carriers (AT&T and Verizon). These deals would include access to the corporate campus to install small cells inside buildings. T-Mobile, being the underdog, didn't get access to the campus. This may be changing as T-Mobile becomes more accepted by "the suits" but these habits change slowly. Ford used Firestone tires exclusively for over 100 years because Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone were friends.

Userlevel 5

Hey there! If you are not getting coverage in an area that our map says you should be, we can definitely look into this. If you are inside an office with windows, you should be able to get some kind of signal but the windowless metal buildings could be pretty rough. If you have a moment, please contact us so our tech teams can get an engineering ticket opened up for you.

I only get 2G. Yet your map claims 4g lte. I used to get 4g lte until a couple months ago. Now I get 4G if I am lucky but it is short lived. Those maps are a lie. Who do I contact about Tmobiles false claims? The FTC?

Userlevel 5

Hey @ceceme​,

What kind of phone do you have and what is your ZIP code? I can take a closer look at your area to see what is going on.

Its an LG G3. Worked wonderfully great reception in Sept/October now all

our phones have barely 2G in our home. All the Samsung on5 and LG G3 have

been rendered useless. I was told our local tower was "upgraded" which

means none of our phones will work with the new spectrum tower and t mobile

no longer provides us the service we paid for. Quite a conundrum.

Userlevel 5

Well that is no good at all! What is your ZIP code? I would like to take a closer look at the coverage in your area.


Also if I bought a LG V20 would it improve my signal at my home address?

EDIT: TMO_Chris - Removed personal info.

Userlevel 5

Thanks for the info! I was looking at the area and we have LTE 700 in your area with another site just to your south east coming up with LTE 2100 on the 15th and LTE 700 on the 18th. This tower upgrade is going to significantly improve your coverage as the On5 can use the LTE 2100 and the LG G3 will be able to use the LTE 700.  Also there is an LTE tower that is down directly to your west that is closer which may be why you are seeing these issue more prominently today.  The tower is scheduled to be back up and running tomorrow.

This has been going on since September not just today.

Is LTE 700 the 700 MHZ spectrum. Because I according to your website

neither phone is compatible with that.

Userlevel 5

So the LG G3 is capable of LTE 7000 but the On5 is not. The tower coming up on the 15th/18th will have both LTE 700 which your G3 will benefit from and LTE 2100 which your On5 will benefit from.

I am confused is my phone capable of LTE 7000 or LTE 700. How will it

benefit from LTE 700 when its not even capable of using the tech? I already

spoke with a rep in the past that said my phone is outdated and I will

probably have to get a newer one to get LTE. I used to get 3 to 4 bars 4G

LTE now in the last few months or so our phones mostly get 2G. Not what I

am paying for.

Userlevel 5

I apologize for the confusion. It looks like we have a slight discrepancy with the supported frequencies listed internally for the LG G3.

The LG G3 does not actually have  LTE 700 which is band 12. It does however have band 4 which is the 1700/2100 4G LTE. The tower that is coming up as mentioned in the dates above will add additional coverage for the 1700/2100 LTE band 4 which both your On5 and LG G3 support increasing your ability to connect to LTE at the address you provided.

The LTE 7000 was just me fat fingering the 0 key an extra time there. Sorry about that. 

So why did my coverage disappear in the first place?. I used to have good

coverage at home. Now its subpar.

Userlevel 5

I am not exactly sure what could have caused you to lose service 😥 I do however see that the tower that was down yesterday have been fixed. Is your coverage any better today?

Did tower coverage improve at around this area? I am new to t-mobile and have great service except for this area. It is very frustrating to get 1Mbps or less inside the building. Often times during peak hours I do not have data at all.

I am using an essential phone operating on band 12.

The only way we can send  pictures or watch video or browsing internet at reasonably fast speed is when we are connected to WiFi. We are located in Ottawa Ilinois so we expected the LTE signal to be much better. Did a long trip between Illinois and Ohio and we had bad signals most of the time and sometimes we totally lost the signal.

We both are using iPhone X

T-mobile needs to improve their mobile network for sure...

Shittiest coverage ever in a mobile carrier! My God, too many dead zones, no service, and your map lies about coverage areas! It's nice u all have that money to make booths, buy Sprint, buy streaming tv service, what about Towers? Hell, u all don't even pay dividends to you all shareholders! Record breaking subscribor base, month after month, and u all still cannot improve coverage? Sprint has better coverage than u! Now that u near clear ownership of Sprint, why don'u use sprints cellphone towers?

same issues in tukwila washington.  15 fucking miles away from SEATTLE. tmobile is a god damned joke.

Userlevel 2
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I know of areas just outside of Los Angeles city limits where TMobile and former Sprint are “No Service” while At&t and Verizon have 4 and 6 sites each to cover.  When band 12 came out, TMobile just filled in the area as covered.  That was 5 years ago.  Still “No Service” today, and there are “No plans” to “improve” serivce.