Is T-Mobile dropping the range of their cellular towers throughout the day?


    I have been noticing quite consistently lately that cellular strength (in dBm) drops considerably throughout points of the day.  I have queried the tower the cell device connects to (or attempts to) via AT-Command.  At times during the day the signal strength will be as weak as -112dBm (To completely disconnected from the tower), but also the same tower can be as strong as -85dBm during different parts of the day (queried via RSSI).  The location of the device is fixed and does not change in position at any time during the day, so it cannot be anything structural in the immediate area that could be "blocking the signal"


    I would like to have a clear and concise answer as to why is T-Mobile doing this?

    How could the same tower be dropping power so badly?  It's not the device I am using as I am measuring the power throughout the radio chip and it only peaks when attempting to connect out to a tower, but never drops below operational (1.750mA Peak, 553mA continuous)


    Here's some technical info while querying the tower:

    GEN: LTE+

    MCC: 310

    MNC: 260

    Band: 12

    TAC: 15482

    PCI: 73

    ASU: 32

    eNB: 96936

    ECI: 24815624

    LCID: 8

    N/ID: 24/1

    Power: 17.6fW

    RSRP: -90

      All replies

      • smplyunprdctble

        I'm not an engineer nor T-Mobile employee.


        But, could it be the number of connections the tower has to it at the time?  I've seen my router not reach as far when I add more and more devices to it.


        Is the area you're measuring more congested at these times of day of lower signal vs higher signal?  I've never checked the dB strength when I lose signal at work because of extreme congestion (read: major conference next door) in the area.

        • retanicus

          Hi Smplyunprdctble,


          Well there will always be load differences on the tower throughout points of the day, that is correct, but I don't think it would affect the tower's output/transmit power? To me that sounds like some sort of overheating issue with the base station, if it has to decrease transmti power for any reason.


          By the way - unrelated, but during congested times of the day (if/when there is signal), the quality of the connection is horrible since everyone is on the tower, but that's something entirely different and expected (*cough cough* - more towers please! )

          • tmo_amanda

            Hey, retanicus!


            I'm no tech guru but I at least have the tools to take a look at the area to see if I can figure out what's going on. What zip code does your phone stay in when this is happening? Also, that's an interesting theory about the base station possibly overheating - one I wouldn't have thought of. Last question - have you talked with Tech Support about this yet, and if so, what was the outcome?

            • stevetjr

              When it drops vs high is it always Band 12?   In markets that have Band 12 and Bands 2/4/66 the phone will only use Band 12 if it can't hold the other primary bands. Most all of TMO's Band 12 came from VZW (they have picked up some elsewhere) but most of it is all 5x5 blocks and low band has inherently less band width as the higher bands which in most cases TMO has 15x15 or 20x20 blocks so they don't want devices choking up the low band if the phone doesn't need it.

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