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T-Mobile’s calling out “Nationwide” 5G

  • 25 November 2020
  • 44 replies
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T-Mobile’s calling out “Nationwide” 5G
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Everyone’s been talking about 5G. But if you talk the talk, can you walk the walk? T-Mobile’s been transparent about 5G since introducing the layer cake concept in 2018. It’s time to explain why T-Mobile’s 5G can compete with the other carriers and call out the myths surrounding “nationwide” coverage.

T-Mobile’s 5G

Building out 5G coverage for all T-Mobile customers is always ongoing. The foundation starts with doing right by customers. Making false claims and only providing a fraction of customers with 5G isn’t doing right by them. The T-Mobile 5G network is constantly improving and working towards reaching EVERYONE.

How?

The three layered strategy. Low-band covers larger land area for more reliability. Mid-Band covers a broad area balancing speed and range. High-Band gives super-fast data speeds for smaller areas.

Mid-band is already reaching 410 cities and towns and will reach 100 million people by the end of this year! Speeds in mid-band areas are averaging 300Mbps and peaking around 1 Gbps.

Imagine what you can do with those speeds! So what say you? If you had to choose one 5G phone, what would it be?

5G phones

iPhone 12

Galaxy S20 5G

Pixel 4a (5G)

OnePlus 8T+ 5G

Fact-Checking

Check out this video breakdown for more info about 5G coverage and comment below with your feedback.

 


44 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hey! Put the Samsung Note 20 Ultra on the list….PLEASE! :blush:

Userlevel 5
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They who live in glass houses……. T-Mobile’s been guilty of over-selling their 5G. Hence all the questions asking, “Why is 5G slower than LTE?”

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I’d pick the One Plus 8T (similar to my One Plus 8 5G)

There’s a few bits that T-Mobile neglects to mention in the ‘nationwide’ 5G statment.

  1.  T-Mobile’s ‘nationwide’ 5G excludes coverage to many 5G devices in some locations.  I.E. Those locations where T-Mobile has deployed 5G SA, many devices such as LG Velvet will only obtain LTE (Band 12).  Some devices such as One Plus should function with 5G.  They’re both low band, however, T-Mobile and their handset vendors didn’t provide 5G SA and 5G NSA… but only 5G NSA, which requires B2/B4 LTE on T-Mobile to obtain .. 5G at all.
  2. Until ‘all’ (or at least ‘most’) LTE sites carry 5G service, many areas on 5G may actually end up with poorer performance.  Eg.  At home ‘if’ (when) my phone ends up on 5G SA, speeds are ~1-2Mbps.  on 5G NSA, performance is all over the place from 30Mbps to 150Mbps.  On LTE only, speeds are ~80-140Mbps.
  3. T-Mobile still needs to deploy some of its ‘rural’ service, where AT&T and Verizon actually have service, but T-Mobile (and former Sprint) do not, or its coverage covers ~1/10th of a community.
Userlevel 4
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They who live in glass houses……. T-Mobile’s been guilty of over-selling their 5G. Hence all the questions asking, “Why is 5G slower than LTE?”


You.mean like this… same location, 2mins apart.

 

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Put the 2G application back on the BYOD SIM cards please.

Everyone’s been talking about 5G. But if you talk the talk, can you walk the walk? T-Mobile’s been transparent about 5G since introducing the layer cake concept in 2018. It’s time to explain why T-Mobile’s 5G can compete with the other carriers and call out the myths surrounding “nationwide” coverage.

T-Mobile’s 5G

Building out 5G coverage for all T-Mobile customers is always ongoing. The foundation starts with doing right by customers. Making false claims and only providing a fraction of customers with 5G isn’t doing right by them. The T-Mobile 5G network is constantly improving and working towards reaching EVERYONE.

How?

The three layered strategy. Low-band covers larger land area for more reliability. Mid-Band covers a broad area balancing speed and range. High-Band gives super-fast data speeds for smaller areas.

Mid-band is already reaching 410 cities and towns and will reach 100 million people by the end of this year! Speeds in mid-band areas are averaging 300Mbps and peaking around 1 Gbps.

Imagine what you can do with those speeds! So what say you? If you had to choose one 5G phone, what would it be?

5G phones

iPhone 12

Galaxy S20 5G

Pixel 4a (5G)

OnePlus 8T+ 5G

Fact-Checking

Check out this video breakdown for more info about 5G coverage and comment below with your feedback.

 

Bull. A load of lies from unethical duplicitous charlatans. My theory is  TMobile is junk. The piggyback off of other companies towers because they are a cheap garbage company who owns the smallest coverage area, and exaggerates using other companies cell towers. That is my theory. And because I'm not poor, I'm going to test my hypothesis and post the results to youtube and put a link to the video on Facebook and Twitter. And here if this skank company doesn't ban it. This is what I'm doing. Last night I set up AT&T prepaid service. It cost me less than HALF of what I pay tmobile for their service. And I am going to yrst calling texting and internet. If AT&T is better I am going to film it and upload it. I have a feeling AT&T will be better they own the towers...all I get from tmibilw customers reps are LIES LIES LIES.

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“Piggybacking off other companies towers” ?  Umm… Crown Castle and American Tower own most of the sites in America, which are used by all 3 carriers.

I will state that T-Mobile’s coverage ‘is the smallest’… which doesn’t mean much, as there are only 3 carriers.  Everything in wireless depends on location and device.  Eg.  Here in SoCal, I can get +700Mbps on T-Mobile with 5G.  In other areas, T-Mobile has gaps in service.  Note:  The same is true on AT&T (poorer performance locally on AT&T, but ‘generally’ better coverage in rural coverage.

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i get 100mbps down 40mbps up on my AT&T phone(and hotspot) in BFE Arkansas. Was a sweet deal, i had the tablet plan which i used for home internet in a netgear lb1120 since no internet, landline, cable etc is available in my area. unfortunately, AT&T shut me down dec 31st for TOS violation. Just got my 5g internet gateway from T-mobile today and despite the sales rep’s insistence that i had great Tmobile coverage (i assumed it must be true because my neighbors have tmobile phones and recently they told me we now have coverage on our road, where previously no coverage was possible). unfortunately my 5g gateway is stuck on b71 with 2 bars of service (leading me to believe i am very far from the tower but i don’t know too much about it). My speed is 10/1 and hoping to god support can find a way to improve that for me. its bare minimum usable for me (but won’t be over my work vpn) poor first impression of T-mobile for me, but if they can fix it i would consider the service acceptable given my circumstances. my only other option right now is 90/mo for a cricket hotspot, which i also have but was hoping to get rid of it because its speeds are even more pathetic since ATT rate limits the piss out of it.  we do have a local fiber installation that was setup last summer, but its not scheduled to go online until next year some time due to covid. 

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They who live in glass houses……. T-Mobile’s been guilty of over-selling their 5G. Hence all the questions asking, “Why is 5G slower than LTE?”

Yes it is slower. I keep my phone on Lte. 

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Transparent? Really?

Then why am I not able to get a 5G connection in (or around) San Francisco with my Pixel 4a (5G) despite the T-Mobile coverage map claiming 5G coverage?

My Team of Experts told me to get an R15 SIM, so I did, but it did not help.

My Team of Experts then told me the nearest 5G tower wasn't actually close, so I drove to the tower, but still no 5G.

Has anyone been able to get a 5G connection in San Francisco?

 

 

Userlevel 4
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“Fair” means that the stars must come into alignment and you must be at least 100' off the ground to get service.

 

May want to try the other map to give a better idea of where 5g is

https://maps.t-mobile.com/pcc.html?map=mvno-noroam-5

 

 

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@formercanuck Thank you, but

  1. The maps are essentially the same.
  2. I do know what ‘Fair’ means.
  3. The location in my map image was only posted as a 5G sample.
  4. As I said, I’ve not been able to get a 5G connection at any location, including the location in your map sample (near the 5G tower I mentioned).
  5. And you didn’t answer my question: Are you able to actually get a 5G connection in San Francisco?
Userlevel 5
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@formercanuck Thank you, but

  1. The maps are essentially the same.
  2. I do know what ‘Fair’ means.
  3. The location in my map image was only posted as a 5G sample.
  4. As I said, I’ve not been able to get a 5G connection at any location, including the location in your map sample (near the 5G tower I mentioned).
  5. And you didn’t answer my question: Are you able to actually get a 5G connection in San Francisco?


usually it means

fair=1-2 bars..a butterfly farting in Japan could affect your signal.

good=3-4 bars

great=5-max.

 

if he is speaking about the signals in So Cal..why would he know about the 5G signal in SF?

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  1.  Similar… but not ‘essentialy’ the same.  The 2nd map shows you where 5G (among others) should be strong/vs weak  instead of 5G vs. 4G LTE only
  2. Good - T-Mobile’s definition doesn’t typically mean actual service
  3. Good to know
  4. I would dial 611 and have a ticket filed if T-Mobile’s 5G service is not working
  5. I haven’t been to SF in a couple of years… I try to avoid it, actually.
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@formercanuck 

  1. Different presentation, but the underlying data is the same. The magenta map display depends on the setting of the 5G switch, as you can see below.
  2. Good is supposed to mean actual service, per regulatory filings and orders.
  3. See additional sample below, taken next to the tower shown in the photo.
  4. Thank you, but my Team of Experts has not been helpful. What was helpful was going to a T-Mobile Store, and asking what I needed to do to get a 5G connection. The answer was to “drive to Santa Clara” (over 40 miles), because “there is no 5G service in San Francisco currently.” In other words, the 5G display on the coverage maps is false.

 

Comparison of 4G LTE and 5G signal
Cell tower next to Sports Basement
Purported 5G signal next to Sports Basement

 

Userlevel 4
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If T-Mobile's official response is that you need to drive to Santa Clara, then I'd suggest you file a complaint with the BBB and/or FTC for false advertising.  BBB will get your issue escalated… but might not get what you want ( unless it's a device refund)

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Looking at actual user crowd sourced maps.   Very little 5g mapped in San Francisco..  but there is some

 

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@formercanuck

Alas, crowdsourced maps are not accurate.

UPDATE:

T-Mobile called me in response my FCC Complaint, and promised to get back to me with accurate 5G information for San Francisco. :fingers_crossed:

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Its good that the complaint is being fielded.  The Cellmapper maps are ‘pretty accurate’ where they’ve been mapped.  Not all devices (iOS) support cellmapper, and similarly, not all devices map 5G properly (esp under 5G NSA).

Userlevel 4
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Well… Looks like T-Mobile’s left hand doesn’t meet its right hand… again in SLOCal.

T-Mobile has not acknowledged the issue in ‘writing’  per se, but their Office of Executive Management has supported that their ‘5G’ site in San Simeon, CA (Vista Del Mar) has ‘capacity issues’, and their is no plan to fix it.  Town population 400.

Typically, with AWS B4 20x20 + B71 10x10 and 5g n71, I should be easily hitting 300Mbps.  Peaking at 1Mbps is awful.  Something tells me they only have a handful of T1’s or ‘business ethernet’ setup.

The site is on the Motel 6.

This is the area: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.6117911,-121.1428829,3a,75y,306.52h,103.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sI-MAk4LCc2rSzwDAUKyOaQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

 

 

Userlevel 4
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This should get interesting…. BBB complaint literally fell on deaf ears.  It was take it or leave it.  Sent to FCC.  Engineering ticket has been reopened.

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T-Mobile has finally enabled 5G in San Francisco. I was on a phone call this morning when it happened, and my Pixel 4a (5G) phone dropped the call when it switched to 5G.

This far I've only done a limited amount of data speed testing, and not in a terribly good signal location. It's better than LTE, but only modestly; e.g., 6.48 Mbps down on 5G vs 4.35 Mbps down on LTE. That's probably because the current T-Mobile 5G deployment here is NSA/DSS (non-standalone, dynamic spectrum sharing with LTE). It should be a lot faster when T-Mobile enables SA (standalone) with the acquired Sprint spectrum.
 

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5G sucks in San Francisco:

 

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There’s a whole bunch of things mentioned that don’t all go together…

  1.  Phone dropped the call when it switched to 5G.  VoNR is not yet supported, meaning that the 5G indicator may be on… but your call is still 4G LTE.  Its more than likely that your call dropped for one reason or another, and 5G showed up.
  2. Testing in a limited signal area with 5G (NSA) can actually be worse than 4G LTE itself.  I have this often occur.  Weak 5G signal + strong LTE signal = ‘either’ slightly better performance OR much worse.
  3. 6.48Mbps vs. 4.35Mbps is not a significant bump.  Being in San Fran, there’s a lot more people, and with the only 5G channel being n71 ~20MHz on a handful of sites - it will saturate quickly.  Urban areas is where low band usage isn’t always optimal.   SA probably won’t help much here, but I may be wrong.  In theory, if your device supports 5G SA, then you would probably be on 5G SA where LTE is saturated.  I have this occur where I am at times.
  4. 5G SA vs. NSA typically gives a boost to existing under most locations.  Eg.  At home, 5G SA (n71) gives ~4-5Mbps.  5G NSA (n71 + LTE) gives me +110Mbps. 
  5. When I’m in an area with strong n71 SA, i can peak around 150Mbps… typically only ~70Mbps due to the amount of 5G devices now on the market/in the area, while with 5G NSA in those same areas, its typically +300Mbps to 400Mbps, and ~200-250Mbps on LTE.  In the few areas with n41 spectrum, that number will reach past 700Mbps on 5G NSA.  SA’s main advantage right now is in lower latency, typically being around 10-13ms vs 18-30ms.  More locations need to be deployed before 5G becomes ‘useful’ - at least in urban areas.
  6. T-Mobile doesn't use DSS… Verizon does.  NSA is not DSS.  NSA just means ‘requires LTE band as an anchor’ IE. carrier aggregate of LTE of band x with 5G of band y.  DSS is effectively a form of time slicing of service between LTE and NR of the same spectrum.  Its not super efficient, but works in a pinch.
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  1. I disagree. My phone doesn’t drop calls. It was not just a coincidence. Network switch to NSA 5G is non-trivial.
  2. Signal strength is the same. With NSA, 5G is coming from the LTE tower. That NSA 5G is often slower than LTE is a known issue, especially where wideband LTE has been deployed. And I’ve seen the same results in other locations.
  3. SA 5G is not yet deployed in San Francisco. When that happens, using the Sprint spectrum, 5G is expected to improve dramatically.
  4. “Your mileage may vary.” In other words, performance will differ in different areas. My performance comments apply only to San Francisco.
  5. All other things being equal, SA 5G performs much better than NSA 5G, as confirmed by many technical articles.

I've now run a lot more tests, and 5G is so often slower than LTE (on top of consuming more battery power) that I've reconfigured my phone to prefer LTE until T-Mobile makes 5G more compelling here, probably with SA 5G on the Sprint spectrum. I'm disappointed, but not terribly surprised, because a T-Mobile network tech told me that they have often needed to do that.

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