So still haveing issues with coverage


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About a month ago  now i had made a post regarding abismal LTE speeds in my area when connecting to a tower in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. I called in yesterday to see the status on the upgrades and work on the towers in my area and was informed that everything is completed and should be working fine. However i am still only able to have down load speed of about .1 if its non peak hours and .01 during if its just about any other time. Upload speeds are usually fine about 3mb up been when I was on the phone with the tech team I wasn't getting any upload at all. I ran numerous tests connecting to 4 different servers to make sure that it wasn't on the sever side.

So my question regarding this issue that has been on going is this what can i do?

 

I have filed numerous trouble tickets and given various physical locations in which you can run tests and yet nothing seems to change or get better. The issues does not just effect data speeds service quality has progressively gotten worse despite having a very strong signal when running the tests and trying to perform other functions like phone calls. I personally use a Nexus 6p but the service issues effect both android and IOS devices alike even with other people that are not on my account.

 

My location is in Koppel, PA zipcode 16136 if you need to check the coverage map and it shows excellent coverage but that is not the expience that you get in these areas. Even calls don't seem to work properly ( what happens is the call connects but the person can't hear you or vice versa.

 

I love T-mobile so i would really like things to get better

 

Sincerely,

Dennis


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Just for reference 😊

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Thank you tidbits

When it comes to T-Mobile, the free international roaming is a HUGE perk, but at this point, it does not offset the horrible experience I have in many parts of the USA. The Verizon plan I am going with will include free roaming in Mexico and Canada. Any other countries it's $10/day to use full speed data within my allotment of 12GB. It will cost about $100/month. I don't need Unlimited because I think the most I ever used in one month was around 12GB and average about 4 - 8GB.

If T-Mobile fits your international needs, and really want to stick with them, then you need to escalate this to the highest authority to get that tower fixed in your area. LTE speeds under 4MBit/sec is completely unacceptable to me.

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Thank you jcap i appreciate your help and information on your experiences. You have also provided some interesting info about the competition that i didn't know about. At the current moment even after all the crud i really want to make t =mobile work for me and sadly i believe i have had it pushed to the highest person. If you do know how to get it escalated that high it would be amazing if you could tell me.

Thus far i have been posting on here and calling in and fileing tickets whenever pretty much anything bad happens like the loss of LTE which feels like it has to happen once a month which is really annoying.

Honestly I doubt even if it was possible to escalate to the "highest authority" in terms of T-Mobile's network engineering, that anything would be done. A little while ago I did a speed test with my Galaxy Note 5's service mode showing my tower signal info. It's peak hours at this time so the speeds are beyond unusable. My Verizon order of my Pixel XL is delayed until December 2nd so I'll have to stick this out for another month or so lol

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to be honest i'm surprised that its that bad especially with all that spectrum. I think the biggest problem for T-mobile is how people use there phones on their network. With everyone basically haveing unlimited data in some way shape or form i'm sure there network is faceing more strain then the competition.

Also for your area the only thing they can really do is improve back haul at the moment and maybe use different antenna or maybe try a different method to addressing each client.

I'm sure it's not so much a bandwidth issue as it's individual towers that they do not maintain as well as others. I can run a speedtest at my home and get the horrible result I posted above. I can drive less than a mile away, and test over 50MBit/sec. This applies to any given location. The inconsistency of T-Mobile is why I am leaving. I rather get 4 - 12MBit everywhere rather than 6 here, 50 there, 0.3 here, 80 there , etc.

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i could agree to that however i don't think t-mobile wants this for their network. Its usually more complicated. However i really hope the day comes where everyone including sprint offers service exactly like Verizon so competition once again can heat up and all networks will benefit as a more even distribution of people should occur.

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It's not that easy. Just to do even backhaul improvements still needs approval from governing bodies and even the neighborhood board. For example I will use Sprint since it was at our last board meeting. They wanted to do more work on their tower they put up which ironically they couldn't put where they wanted from the exact same board. They have been denied for the 6th straight month. Keep in mind most of these people here are Verizon customers ironically.

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I wonder what the hold up is for them here. I know my local board is fine with it.

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Still need approval from the governing bodies, and potentially environmental testing.  Here in Hawaii even if it's a minor change in signal requires this testing which at times I understand is to protect the land, but some are just "lack of a better word that'll bypass filter." 

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that sucks so hard i wish when they were installing LTE originally they would have just did it right. This tower has never been fast it just was never this bad ether. On a side not i am seeing speeds of .2 rather then the .01 that i always saw. It appears here and there but less frequently. The fastest speed i saw was 1 mb but its not consistent and very rare.

I wonder if the maintenance was just to restore LTE or if they will be doing other things.

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I hope they get it going and sometime soon it gets better. Here in hawaii i am lucky enough to be in an area where there are 2 towers near me at all times unless i am out in the field. The company i work for is Verizon and AT&T on field work. Sprint is the worst in most places. T-Mobile has gotten a lot better and past Sprint but needs more work.

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i know it will get better i watched it happen before my eyes and continue to see it happen in other locations. I just wish that they would take a step back and realize that certain towers that already perform spectacularly don't necessarily need more improvements. For example in Monaca speeds say a year ago were constantly 20-30mb down now they are 50 mb down and at times 75. While that looks amazing on paper it doesn't make the same kind of difference as going from say 1mb to 10mb.

I know its a time thing its just feels like a lot of time has passed with very little return on investment for said time.

Going from 20 to 50 is likely pretty easy since it's often just turning up the speed of the backhaul like "hey <fiber provider> can we move to the biggie size plan from the large speed plan?" where as if you're at lower speeds you're probably talking about sites that might be limited for capacity due to availability of speed or spectrum (maybe the telco/cable provider only has a gig line in for the whole area so can only sell us a 50mbit plan...just making this up for example).

I don't remember for that particular site in Elwood if there's other providers on it or if they're on others, do you happen to know?

When it comes to site congestion, the engineers are normally painfully aware of the issue. Every sector on every site in every market is tracked. Sometimes the answer is to ask for more speed from the fiber provider, sometimes it's splitting a cell sector, maybe building a new site or even re-tuning multiple sites (which could go back to one of the other answers). The folks in the market are likely working crazy hours right now on getting B12 up in metro area where it has it's greatest bangforbuck ratio. I'm hoping they can get that site fixed up soon though.

@jcap334do you happen to know the cell ID of the problematic site near you? I have a fair number of T-Mobile friends spread out over the greater Philly area and haven't had any hit me up with performance questions so I'm curious about that particular site.

edit: just back from vacation and scrolled up more finding the site info.

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I believe t-mobile is the only person with the equipment on that specific tower. The local internet provider in the area is Armstrong Cable and they have fiber deployed through the maturity of Ellwood and Koppel markets. I'm fairly confident that if there was a limiting factor it has more to do with backhaul rather then spectrum. I believe that tower only has 4 t1 lines running to it while the AT&T one has true fiber all the way through. I'm not sure what sprint has but i know there location is like right beside my Aunt's house. As for Verizon i don't think they have a tower in Ellwood. Although i know that they have two within the area that Ellwood does rent to also install emergency equipment on

Anywho the tower for T-mobile is on jockey road so it is in a pretty good location in terms of what it can see. It is also owned by Crown Communications i believe. The only other thing on the tower  is local emergency equipment. It has 5x5 block of band 2, 5x5 Band 12 and a block of 2g operating on it. Koppel has a rough population of 700 and Ellwood has less then 8,000. So its definelty something go one here that is not right.

Well the 4 T1s would certainly do it...

We own more PCS than that in the area so that backhaul, ugh...yeah...

Hopefully there'll be a way to get more than that to the site.

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Yea i don't know why it hasn't happened i was doing some extra digging and T-mobile is the only one to not have fiber connected to their tower. So yea..... i know that everything you need is in place so i'm not sure what the hold up is. I haven't seen any permits filed to add back haul which is interesting to me.

I've been complaining about my crappy coverage in the 98520 zip code for months. Worked fine until 2016 started. Then into the toilet. All the tmobile people want to do is send me some dumb signal booster, or tell me to go on WIFI, but that doesn't work. It's a MOBILE phone... it use to work in this town just fine...now I can't carry on a conversation, and nobody really cares. I can't take much more of this. I am holding off on upgrading phones until this gets resolved, which at this pace will be never.

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hey tidbits i figure you might know this but i was wondering if it makes a difference if T-mobile out right owns a tower or if the lease it from a company such as Crown Communications. I have been doing a lot of digging again to be sure about which towers are T-mobile at least to the best of my abilities and it would seem that the majority of towers in the area are leased and not outright owned. The only person that seems to still have out right ownership is AT&T and even then it seems T-mobile shares those sites with them.

Makes zero difference. The vast majority of sites out there are owned by the tower companies and the carriers just rent space. In fact, most everyone has sold off the towers to the tower companies in the past. Much easier to just rent space.

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Thanks were you able to find out what kind of backhaul on your end is being run to the tower in Elwood and if so is there anyway to make a bigger incentive to improve it. I was super happy to see it get lit up to LTE but speeds are just like the 2g days which sucks and it really does need addressed before focusing on other projects. Especially since once summer comes back around it will be worse because a bunch of people from Michigan and other states will come to the race track nearby and make congestion even worse.

Most of T-Mobile's rural sites, like yours, are 2G sites refarmed to LTE on Band 2 1900MHz with a 5MHz wide channel. Most of my experience with Band 2 only towers are not very good. The backhauls are usually not upgraded for LTE speeds, and 5MHz wide channels cannot yield high data speeds especially if multiple people are connected.

I've dealt with Band 2 LTE in a few areas over the last couple years. Estes Park, CO, Bangor, ME, and the Poconos region in PA. Outside it generally performs OK assuming the backhaul isn't crap. As soon as you step indoors in most locations, you lose the signal completely or at least have a signal so low that it is unusable.

PCS 1900 bands have HORRIBLE signal propogation and are only really any good for outdoor use.

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Well as mentioned prior its not so much a signal strength issue since i am so close to the tower. Its definitely the backhaul. Also i have had good experiences in the past where the site had only band 2 but it was usually 10x10.

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Just as a heads up for everyone that is continuing to help me (which i thank you) i have been recording infor for you all to view using sensory,Root metrics,Speedtest, and other crowd sociable applications to help paint a more accurate picture for you guys and myself.

I haven't given up on things getting better and if there is something specific you would recommend let me know. I honestly wish t-mobile had a specific app to report coverage troubles rather then taking this route of things and filing tickets. Which i do have a ticket to be checked on if possible #13928458 just want to know what the engineers see if you could relay me that info its appreciated.

I also have some important screenshots that i will upload when i get home. They will show cell ids as well as what potential towers are in the area to connect to.

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