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T-Mobile LTE & Network Discussion V2


lilotimz

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Let us be clear that some of those adds came from the MetroPCS merger, some from tablets, and some from "organic" growth. But, certainly, not all came for "organic" growth. And along for the ride with those adds from the MetroPCS merger came copious amounts of additional spectrum. You can read my fall 2012 article:

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-326-newco-needs-to-drop-some-of-the-pcs-from-metropcs/

 

Even with the subscriber adds, that additional spectrum extended the "runway" in many markets. So, I feel little sympathy for T-Mobile. Network congestion -- especially getting inverted on downlink versus uplink speeds -- has become a problem of its own creation. Maybe T-Mobile should BingeOff both giving away free candy and adding new subs.

 

AJ

The Metro train was a good one to ride for T-Mobile, in terms of subscribers, spectrum, and DAS infrastructure and certain macro leases and properties.

 

I couldn't find a final subscriber count at the closing of the merger, but most pinned at ~9M. And in July 2015 ahead of the final CDMA sunset, they claimed to have captured 92% of existing CDMA subs and moved them to GSM.

 

They also quoted 500,000 remaining CDMA subscribers after that 92% capture rate. So somewhere between 6.25M-9M came from the metro base, which accounts for roughly 21-30% of the 29M+ that were added in <3Y time, depending on what the actual number was.

 

So there is still an extraordinary surge in subscriber density in tons of markets across the country, contributing to congested air links.

 

 

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No issues passing through Huntsville. Network is very strong; data hovering around 25mbs during my last visit. Made several calls using VoLTE, clear and zero drops.

 

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Just one more questiom. Is band 12 live in Houston?

 

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IME I've found tmobiles up close and zoomed in coverage maps to seem fairly accurate. I can at least confirm that it pretty accurately depicts coverage in my county, maybe a little bit more conservative than it actually is. I followed along some of my usual travel routes out west and nice to see everything is LTE but seems like it would be a bit patchy in a lot of places. Looks like Colorado has B12 deployed across the whole state, and the B12 and non B12 map shows a pretty big difference.

 

The zoomed out coverage map just looks like someone went on a coloring spree. Anything and everything including roaming shows up as magenta.

 

If I moved to T-Mobile permanently I'm definitely gonna need to upgrade to a B12 phone if I want good service while traveling.

 

I'm one month shy of the 1 year mark of moving to AT&T. A year ago I said I'd consider Sprint again after a year. So far in looking at sprint they haven't really done anything in the parts of Lake County, IN that I frequent. I did find a new USCC conversion site in one place I complained about before and that was it. Aside from that, no new spottings of any sites going up. i am seeing a third panel on a couple of sites and that's about it. I'm not convinced that there has been enough improvement for me to come back yet. Maybe when they get VoLTE going, cuz then they'll have to optimize LTE to fill in every gap to ensure no dropped calls.

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STL is the airport designation. That is where the abbreviation comes from. Seattle is SEA.

 

But the Root scores for SEA are out too.

 

http://www.rootmetrics.com/en-US/rootscore/map/metro/seattle-wa/2016/1H

 

 

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Good to know!

 

I'm also glad T-Mobile was able to tie Verizon in Seattle, as it is where T-Mobile has a whole lot of spectrum, which if only they could expand that amount of spectrum to their markets where they need it, the result would be quite good.

 

One thing I wanted to add to the earlier discussions regarding BingeOn, customer gains, and congestion issues is that I was searching around the T-Mobile Reddit site and caught notice of someone mentioning beta tablet plans. I decided to take a look over at the T-Mobile tablet website and noticed something very clear to me in all of this I would have mentioned earlier had I known about this. That is on T-Mobile's tablet plans they are offering 6 gb for $15, plus $20 for the tablet fee, making it $35 monthly total for 6gb of data, including BingeOn, Data Stash, and Music Freedom. This is an incredible deal, which normally I don't pay attention to tablet offers, but if I didn't have my excellent loyalty smartphone rate, this tablet plan is what I'd choose. No wonder they are adding customers so fast, and at this price, I can see how to some people dealing with BingeOn's lesser resolution would be worth it

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IME I've found tmobiles up close and zoomed in coverage maps to seem fairly accurate. I can at least confirm that it pretty accurately depicts coverage in my county, maybe a little bit more conservative than it actually is. I followed along some of my usual travel routes out west and nice to see everything is LTE but seems like it would be a bit patchy in a lot of places. Looks like Colorado has B12 deployed across the whole state, and the B12 and non B12 map shows a pretty big difference.

 

The zoomed out coverage map just looks like someone went on a coloring spree. Anything and everything including roaming shows up as magenta.

 

If I moved to T-Mobile permanently I'm definitely gonna need to upgrade to a B12 phone if I want good service while traveling.

 

I'm one month shy of the 1 year mark of moving to AT&T. A year ago I said I'd consider Sprint again after a year. So far in looking at sprint they haven't really done anything in the parts of Lake County, IN that I frequent. I did find a new USCC conversion site in one place I complained about before and that was it. Aside from that, no new spottings of any sites going up. i am seeing a third panel on a couple of sites and that's about it. I'm not convinced that there has been enough improvement for me to come back yet. Maybe when they get VoLTE going, cuz then they'll have to optimize LTE to fill in every gap to ensure no dropped calls.

 

Hi gusherb,

 

I know I've asked you this before, but to clarify, could you let me know if I'm correct about one of AT&T's bands is getting upgraded to 15x15, but which is it, and is there two or three other frequencies AT&T is using at 10x10? Also, I know AT&T has low-band spectrum which I like a lot, as I'm pretty sure it is what helped my Cricket experience work so well in my basement, but is their low-band a 5x5, 10x10, etc.?

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Service hasn't deteriorated for me. Ran a speed test after work yesterday.

 

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I'm also in Houston and have a line with both Sprint and T-Mobile.  I've run into many places where I'm getting sub 1Mb/s download speeds on T-Mobile.

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I'm also in Houston and have a line with both Sprint and T-Mobile.  I've run into many places where I'm getting sub 1Mb/s download speeds on T-Mobile.

 

I tried to find some information online regarding T-Mobile's spectrum amounts in Houston, but couldn't. I'll look for a few more minutes to see if I can find anything that would say, because spectrum seems to be an issue for T-Mobile in some areas, particularly where I'm at in Chicago. Sprint doesn't have the spectrum issue T-Mobile has. However, T-Mobile has a denser network. Once Sprint densifies their network, it'll be blazing past the other carriers.

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Hi gusherb,

 

I know I've asked you this before, but to clarify, could you let me know if I'm correct about one of AT&T's bands is getting upgraded to 15x15, but which is it, and is there two or three other frequencies AT&T is using at 10x10? Also, I know AT&T has low-band spectrum which I like a lot, as I'm pretty sure it is what helped my Cricket experience work so well in my basement, but is their low-band a 5x5, 10x10, etc.?

Where you are its 10x10 B2, 4, and 17. And band 2 is free to be widened to 15x15. Not sure when but it'll happen at some point, could be tomorrow or 6 months from now.

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Hmm... Still nothing on Houston. I'm looking at this site, which doesn't list Houston, but it lists Chicago, and I have some questions for the technical experts here on S4GRU. Here is the link though before I ask the questions :

 

http://specmap.sequence-omega.net/

 

Alright, I'm looking up the Chicago market for T-Mobile, and this is what is says about the spectrum T-Mobile has here in total :

 

10x10 in the 1710-1720/2110-2120 frequency range

5x5 in the 1740-1745/2140-2145 frequency range

10x10 in the 1745-1755/2145-2155 frequency range

15x15 in the 1895-1910/1975-1990 frequency range

 

So, the first three are AWS, while the last is PCS. In Chicago, 10x10 of the PCS is being used for LTE, while 5x5 of it is being used for HSPA+. That is my understanding of T-Mobile's spectrum usage here in Chicago.

 

It appears from this that there is an additional 10x10 amount T-Mobile could be using for LTE. Is it that amount is being used for GSM/EDGE? Also, is there a way for T-Mobile to take their AWS spectrum and combine it for what appears could be a 25x25 on AWS, if it is able to be combined for one large wide band of AWS spectrum?

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I'm also in Houston and have a line with both Sprint and T-Mobile.  I've run into many places where I'm getting sub 1Mb/s download speeds on T-Mobile.

 

From one of the maps I found online, it looks as though Houston is a 15x15 AWS, 20x20 PCS market and also has band 12 low-band spectrum, so I would imagine speeds ought to be good there. Unless some of this spectrum is being used for HSPA+, which could be affecting LTE speeds if there isn't enough of that spectrum being used for LTE.

 

T-Mobile really ought to shut down HSPA+, at least in areas where it does not have enough spectrum for both that and LTE, such as in the Chicago market.

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PCS still isn't really being used for LTE (outside the 2G-LTE conversion).  They turned it on in NYC but only for large events, and then moved it back to HSPA.  More than likely that is a 15x15 market on AWS LTE only.  If they refarm PCS, it'll be 10x10. 5MHz for GSM and 5MHz for HSPA.  It does seem like TMo might squeeze GSM into guard bands before shutting down HSPA on PCS so that is good.

 

 

If LTE speeds are poor, try forcing HSPA.  Might get some decent speeds.  But I am hoping that 2016 is the year of PCS GSM/HSPA to PCS LTE refarm.  It is becoming quickly apparent in many cities that it is needed now rather than later. 

 

With all their customer adds, data usage is just exploding on their network.  I'm sure BingeOn only decreased total throughput for just a few weeks before the increased usage from customer adds surpassed the pre-BingeOn traffic levels.  lol

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I'm also in Houston and have a line with both Sprint and T-Mobile. I've run into many places where I'm getting sub 1Mb/s download speeds on T-Mobile.

Is it becoming an issue or is it just in some places

 

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From one of the maps I found online, it looks as though Houston is a 15x15 AWS, 20x20 PCS market and also has band 12 low-band spectrum, so I would imagine speeds ought to be good there. Unless some of this spectrum is being used for HSPA+, which could be affecting LTE speeds if there isn't enough of that spectrum being used for LTE.

 

T-Mobile really ought to shut down HSPA+, at least in areas where it does not have enough spectrum for both that and LTE, such as in the Chicago market.

Im sure tmobile will aggregate houston real soon

 

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I'm also in Houston and have a line with both Sprint and T-Mobile. I've run into many places where I'm getting sub 1Mb/s download speeds on T-Mobile.

Im sure t mobile will aggregate the bands real soon

 

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Is it becoming an issue or is it just in some places

 

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The network is still very usable overall and there's great speeds in many places.  But it's congested in enough places that makes it noticeable.  

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The network is still very usable overall and there's great speeds in many places. But it's congested in enough places that makes it noticeable.

Nice! Im still currently using sprint in a b25 market only. Getting ready to move to Huntsville tx and i checked coverage map and t mobiles covers the 1-45 /i 10 way better then sprint

 

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Irony at it's finest.

 

Adult fanboys are insufferable.

 

No irony.  I am not even remotely a fanboy.  But that is you to a T.  The T-Mobile fanboy.

 

Tales from Houston, TX...

 

Where all the T-Mobile cell sites are strong, all the T-Mobile LTE signals are good looking, and all the T-Mobile data speeds are above average. 

 

AJ

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