I work near 53rd St. & Lexington Ave. in New York, NY on the 21st floor, and I have very slow LTE and 3G data. I ran a Speedtest and the results were:
LTE: 44ms 0.52Mbps 3.39Mbps
3G: 49ms 4.87Mbps 0.48Mbps
I'm using a Moto G 3rd Generation. Is there anything that can be done, or is it just an issue with the office building?
Best answer by stevetjr
Yea that phone doesn't have Band 12 (700 A Block). T-Mobile until a few years ago didn't have any low band spectrum until they made a deal with Verizon for $3 billion.
A quick history lesson and tech lesson, when the low band auction happened quite a few years ago AT&T and Verizon used their size (monopoly) and deep pockets and bought 93% of all the available low band and the only remaining chunks were in very wide spread small chunks really only suitable for regional carriers or investment companies. Low band has an advantage of being able to penetrate buildings better and carry farther which also means you need about 1/4 of the towers to cover the same area. Mid High band which is where most of T-Mobile's spectrum is (between 1700 & 2100) doesn't penetrate as well or carry as far. It does however have one advantage in that it has higher band with so it is faster and can carry more data. That is what led to the deal with Verizon which had built their entire LTE network on low band and was coming to a grinding halt because it was getting overwhelmed and just didn't have the band width to handle all the traffic, so they needed the deal also. While low band is more valuable T-Mobile paid them cash and high band spectrum in exchange for Verizon's 700A block holdings. If you have seen Verizon's ads for XLTE that is the spectrum they got from T-Mobile.
Now the other fly in this ointment is that AT&T which doesn't like the mandatory legal roaming agreements they are required to do convinced the governing body that the 700 block needed to be split into Band 17 and Band 12 with of course them having only 700 B & C block primarily so they could then convince the handset makers there could be interference with TV Channel 51 so the device makers would only make phones to support Band 17 (like yours). This would keep the regional carriers and T-Mobile from being able to roam on their networks. Well right before the FCC was about to thump them for this they announced that they would reconfigure their towers so they could receive both Band 17 and Band 12 but the damage had been done since at the time the device manufacturers were only adding Band 17 to their phones which delayed phones that supported Band 12. Of course T-Mobile grew in size significantly in that year and T-Mobile stated they would only sell phones that had Band 12 so now most all the phone manufacturers add Band 12.
Most of the NE has Band 12 service active as do quite a few areas around the US, T-Mobile has some markets they are still waiting for the local Channel 51 to relocate to a different channel like here in Atlanta where last year Channel 51 relocated to Channel 31 and within a month T-Mobile turned on Band 12. T-Mobile has also been very active in buying more 700 A block from other regional carriers and investment companies over the last year.
In the markets where they have turned on Band 12 and like myself have a Band 12 capable device I no longer have the same indoor issues and what few small areas that I had some coverage gaps have all mostly disappeared. So if you want better indoor coverage (and better coverage overall) you would need to invest in a phone that supports LTE Band 12.