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Why no 2G/3G Coverage map? 2G/3G Users are gonna die!

  • 7 December 2019
  • 17 replies
  • 1648 views

For many years I've had great coverage when visiting Stoughton, WI (53589), better than my home area in IL.

A few months ago I first observed a weird problem in which I had full bars on my phone, but could not make or receive voice calls. I got a great LTE signal, internet connection and could surf the web just fine.

I contacted T-mobile support when I got home to IL (couldn't make a call while in the trouble area), and chalked it up to network problems that day.

The next time I was in that area, I again could not make or receive calls on my iPhone 5s, yet could make calls from a borrowed Alcatel Go Flip 3 (on my account).

So I called T-mobile support from the Alcatel phone, and was on the line with them for a long time, and the person finally said they were going to 'switch me to a different cell tower', and that I should power cycle my phone and then wait a couple hours, and it should work fine (this was in the 1-2 AM time period).

I knew this was a load of crap, as I worked in the cellular industry for 30 years as a software developer on the network side, cell site, and even handsets, but it was late a night, and I didn't have the incentive to give the person a hard time. Of course it was still not working the next morning.

When back in my home area, I called T-mobile support again, and explained the problem. This person, after a long time, said they compared the SIMs for the two phones I had used, and had 'normalized' them, and that everything should be fine then next time I was in that area.

So, the next time I was in the area, there was still no voice service. This time I put my iPhone into the 'Field Test Mode', and did some checking.

Saw great LTE signal strength, but absolutely no GSM 2G/3G signal (for a fleeting moment I detected a neighbor cell, but its signal was way way down in the mud). I did some research on my phone, and found that my iPhone 5s does not support Voice Over LTE, so with only an LTE signal, I was not going to be able to make or receive calls! (Why didn't T-mobile support tell me this? They knew what type of phone I was using.)

On my way home, I found that once I got a couple miles outside the Stoughton, WI city limits, I again had an adequate GSM signal, and could make voice calls.

Again, while back in my home area, I called T-mobile support, explained the situation, and asked why there had been no notification of the removal of 2G/3G service in that area, why there was no information on the T-mobile web site warning users of the removal of service. The response, after getting escalated a couple of levels, was that they were doing 'tower work' and replacing 2G/3G radios with 5G, and that typically users of affected phones that had mailing addresses within the affected area would get notified.

 

Ok, fine and good, but what about the T-mobile customer that doesn't live there, and is traveling through the area?

If I had a medical emergency while in that area, I would not be able to call for help, even though my phone says I've got great coverage, and would simply die.

T-mobile needs to notify ALL customers that 2G/3G service is being turned down NOW. They should put a 2G/3G coverage map on their web site (like the 4G/5G map that they so proudly display), and keep it updated as the coverage area shrinks.

The current lack of information shows a total disrespect for the lives of their customers.

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Best answer by tmo_lauren 13 December 2019, 15:26

Greetings!

The 2g network has been being progressively decommissioned in order to free up other spectrum for newer technology. While there's plenty of information from sites other than ours explaining as much, it doesn't appear we have any direct documentation regarding this which definitely isn't ideal. I'm going to go ahead and find a content ticket regarding it, but ultimately some of the answers above explain what's happening.

It's been a gradual change which explains why some areas that have worked recently no longer, and it will continue to progress in that direction.

I agree there needs to be more readily available direct information and I'll be getting that feedback passed along.

-Lauren

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Tmobile sent an email with a list of  Tmobile branded phones that would not work when they started to refarm

their network and get rid of 2g/3g a couple of years ago. Basically it was anything that didn't have Band 12 which the iPhone 5S

lacks.

I'll see if I can dig up that list.

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https://www.tmonews.com/2015/06/aws-hspa-t-mobile-markets-shutdown-dates/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

AT&T completely shut down their 2G network several years ago. Verizon scheduled their 3G shutdown for the end of this year but have pushed it back a year. It's the way the world is going. 2G is only hanging around to support legacy M2M devices. 3G is not going to be around many more years. T-Mobile is rolling out 5G PDQ. 4G should be around for a while. Time to move on.

Not sure how 'gramps28' reply got marked as the 'correct answer'. I unmarked it.

The 2015 item referenced, is not an official notification from T-Mobile, and I was able to make voice calls within Chicago the last time I was there this year (2019), and am still able to make them in my home in the suburbs of Chicago, with the iPhone 5s. The list of affect phones in that article does not include a single iPhone model.

Anyway, this is getting off the track.

My beef with T-Mobile, is that there is no information on their web site indicating where they are currently providing 2G/3G voice service, and how that coverage is shrinking. Their customer service is incompetent. They should be able to tell me why I am unable to make calls in a particular area. They are accessing my account while I am on the phone with them, where it clearly lists my equipment as iPhone 5s. Giving me bogus stories that they are 'moving my phone to a different tower' or 'normalizing my SIM', that's just bull. They don't have a clue, so I have to figure it out myself. What about the people that don't have the technical understanding of how cellular systems work?

Listen - I've got nothing against the advancement of the technology. I worked in it, on the inside, for 30 years, AMPS, TDMA, CDMA, and LTE.

But hells bells, give us the information we need to make informed decisions about how and when we should plan to upgrade equipment.

Not some 'oh, that technology will be going away in a few years, so go buy a new phone now'. That's crap, and you know it.

Greetings!

The 2g network has been being progressively decommissioned in order to free up other spectrum for newer technology. While there's plenty of information from sites other than ours explaining as much, it doesn't appear we have any direct documentation regarding this which definitely isn't ideal. I'm going to go ahead and find a content ticket regarding it, but ultimately some of the answers above explain what's happening.

It's been a gradual change which explains why some areas that have worked recently no longer, and it will continue to progress in that direction.

I agree there needs to be more readily available direct information and I'll be getting that feedback passed along.

-Lauren

Lauren,

Thank you for your reply, acknowledging that T-Mobile has not provided clear information to its customers regarding the scale-back of the 2G coverage.

I hope that this is something that can be rectified, and not forgotten the next time that a new technology supplants an old one.

my question is this... I use a motorola v600 from 2006. its a phone. thats ALL I need. I can NOT use smart phones other then for target practice because I can not read the screens, feel the screen, and no bottons/keys for me to feel, I do nto need a computer in my pocket. I have a desktop and laptop computers for that. ALL I NEED is a SIMPLE PHONE like the V600.  so my question is this. after all this 2/3G crap is over and done with. will my phone still work as JUST A PHONE to make calls with. the only phone T-Mobile has right now thats a flip phone is a serious piece of garbage. my girlfriend got one and being that T-Mobile wont take it back, she is looking for a new carrier and giving me the go phone to use as a target to shoot.    so again, I need a SIMPLE BASIC FLIP PHONE WITH NO DATA. NO INTERNET OF ANY SORT. JUST A SIMPLE FLIP PHONE TO MAKE CALLS ON. AND THAT CAN CHANGE THE MENU'S TO LIST BECAUSE THE ICONS ARE LAME, STUPID, ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING !!

my question is this... I use a motorola v600 from 2006. its a phone. thats ALL I need. I can NOT use smart phones other then for target practice because I can not read the screens, feel the screen, and no bottons/keys for me to feel, I do nto need a computer in my pocket. I have a desktop and laptop computers for that. ALL I NEED is a SIMPLE PHONE like the V600.  so my question is this. after all this 2/3G crap is over and done with. will my phone still work as JUST A PHONE to make calls with. the only phone T-Mobile has right now thats a flip phone is a serious piece of garbage. my girlfriend got one and being that T-Mobile wont take it back, she is looking for a new carrier and giving me the go phone to use as a target to shoot.    so again, I need a SIMPLE BASIC FLIP PHONE WITH NO DATA. NO INTERNET OF ANY SORT. JUST A SIMPLE FLIP PHONE TO MAKE CALLS ON. AND THAT CAN CHANGE THE MENU'S TO LIST BECAUSE THE ICONS ARE LAME, STUPID, ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING !!

Hey Buddy,

If you calm down and use your brain to process some thought, you can easily answer your question yourself. First I can't help but to point out how odd it is that you're clearly all wound up for some reason, did reading the prior conversation really get your panties all in a bunch? I can understand the how one gets all emotional during a heated discussion but you popped up suddenly 2.5 months later, with quite a lengthy paragraph incredibly disturbed, yelling using all CAPS and stuffin your very first post here. Ok, well I was told this type of behavior coincides with ones personality so I'm not someone who makes judgements on others so those were my observations and I'll leave it at that.

Now back to your question, you yourself said, "after all this 2g/3g crap is over," I assume you understand the end result of this and I assume you have knowledge about your device, like which bands it operates on 2G/3G. I could look up your v600 myself, but being that old, I don't want to use any more of my time, digging up specs on ancient artifacts. Plus my goal is not to answer your question but rather demonstrate the fact that you can answer it yourself by dusting off those cobwebs up there, maybe a little lube get those wheels a going a bit, till that old light bulb, lights up.

If youre still scratching your head, ask yourself, ok those bands are turning off, so if your phone uses those bands then

...? If a car is needed to cross the bridge, and you have no car, then...?

The T-Mobile (and Metro) Alcatel Go Flip 3 is a good solution for you. Supports all T-Mo bands, VoLTE, VoWiFi, mobile hotspot and has nice, big buttons. Simple to use; it even has Google Assistant built in. You can use the kaiOS app store. It will outlive the 3G/2G shutdown just fine. If the price is too high you can save by using eBay sellers.

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if it's not too late I would check out SWAPPA. I think swappa does a better job making sure that you won't get a bad phone. I bought my T-M V30there.

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Some of us however are younger users who like the flip/candybar format and better build quality of old phones, and don’t want a flip phone with huge buttons targeted at boomers (no offense). Glad to see KaiOS though.

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Some of us however are younger users who like the flip/candybar format and better build quality of old phones, and don’t want a flip phone with huge buttons targeted at boomers (no offense). Glad to see KaiOS though.


I thought you sold unlocked phones off of eBay?

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Some of us however are younger users who like the flip/candybar format and better build quality of old phones, and don’t want a flip phone with huge buttons targeted at boomers (no offense). Glad to see KaiOS though.


I thought you sold unlocked phones off of eBay?


I do, but what does that have to do with my comment?

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Because it’s favorable for your business interest that Tmobile keeps alive a dying bandwidth rather than expanding their 5G footprint.

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Because it’s favorable for your business interest that Tmobile keeps alive a dying bandwidth rather than expanding their 5G footprint.

You’re crazy.

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Because it’s favorable for your business interest that Tmobile keeps alive a dying bandwidth rather than expanding their 5G footprint.

You’re crazy.


Takes one to know one.

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