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NORTHEAST U.S. -- Is T-Mo coverage better with the 4G LTE network?

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by opsanustao, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. opsanustao

    opsanustao New Member

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    I currently still use a 2G-level phone and plan to get a newer phone soon, probably iPhone. My wife & I have not been entirely satisfied with T-Mobile coverage in the Washington DC area and have considered switching to Verizon for their better coverage, despite some reservations I have about how they operate. I have been told that in recent years, not only has T-Mobile expansion concentrated only on 4G equipment but also maintenance/replacement of 2G equipment has stopped.

    The question I am hoping to get a reliable, fact-based answer for is: By getting a 4G LTE capable phone, will T-Mobile coverage probably be better in the areas where we currently have some trouble? Putting it another way: If there were a super-detailed coverage map, going down to the scale of city blocks, would it look different (and much better) for 4G connections as compared to 3G or 2G connections? (In this case I am only interested in the coverage issue, not data speed.)
     
  2. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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    I'd be inclined to say yes because T-Mobile is using 1900 more for data and this can impact call quality. Also in some areas, you must have at least a 3G phone for expanded coverage. In these cases, T-Mobile has deployed 3G/4G towers and these new towers do NOT have 2G. And the phone will likely not roam on a competing 2G network. I can say from experience that I have had improved local coverage when I let go of my ancient 2G phone.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
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  3. opsanustao

    opsanustao New Member

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    Thanks for that response. I am hoping to hear from some other users with relevant experience.
     
  4. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Maybe their coverage map can help:
    T-Mobile’s 4G Network | Check Your Coverage | T-Mobile Blazing Fast 4G Coverage

    According to this, T-Mobile uses the 1700/2100 frequencies for both 3G (HSPA) and 4G (LTE):
    About T-Mobile coverage | T-Mobile Support

    2G is on 1900 I beleive. Since 3G and 4G are using the same frequencies, and 3G has been around longer, I would guess 3G coverage should be better.
    In general, AT&T and Verizon have larger nationwide networks, plus they have the 850Mhz band that gives better coverage. T-Mobile and Sprint focus on city coverage mainly, and maybe give slightly better deals price-wise to compensate for that.
     
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  5. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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  6. opsanustao

    opsanustao New Member

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    Quint101, I think RadioRaiders was not saying that 3G & 4G are on 1900 – Just the way it was worded could be misinterpreted but I'm fairly sure the point was that 2G is on 1900, and then 3G & 4G are together on some other frequency. Correct, RaidoRaiders ?
     
  7. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Honestly, I'm kind of confused about T-Mobiles bands. They could be re-farming their 1900 spectrum to put LTE in there too, as Quint said.

    One other thing, is that T-Mobile sometimes refers to their 3G (HSPA) as 4G. So when they say 4G, you have to ask if they mean HSPA or LTE (LTE is "proper" 4G, HSPA is souped-up 3G that marketing decided to brand 4G as well.)

    In short, if you have a 2G-only capable phone today, and move to a 2G/3G/4G capable phone, I imagine your coverage would improve, because you suddenly have more networks available to you.

    If you know someone who has a T-Mobile 4G phone, you can ask them to switch it to 3G or 4G manually (ie: 2G will not be available) and then compare coverage with your 2G-only phone.
     
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  8. Eileen89

    Eileen89 Bronze Senior Member
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    I primarily use T-Mobiles service in the Philly area and although their coverage is much better than it had been, they have a long way to go before they can even remotely compete with both Verizon's and AT&T's LTE network in the North East area. I would say if you are thinking about going with T-Mobile try them out first with a prepaid sim in the areas that you'll be using your phone the most.
     

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