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T-Mobile: My initial experience in the Los Angeles area

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by @TheRealDanny, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    Hi guys:

    I'm new to T-Mobile but I already see I made a huge mistake porting my Verizon number over so hastily.

    I'm in the Los Angeles area and I literally feel I warped back to 2001 when it was the norm for mobile phones "not," to work indoors and to encounter numerous dead spots. I'm so used to EVDO so the GPRS thing is a bit disconcerting and very slow.

    I purchased the Pearl Gray RAZR online for $ 49.99. I knew T-Mobile was weak a few years ago, but I've heard they have gotten much much better now that we are so close to 2007.

    Don't get me wrong. I know there are plenty of areas where the service is great and I know every carrier has their good and bad areas. However, I cannot remember the last time I ever had "no service," with Verizon or Sprint while shopping indoors at so many local retailers throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. I've had weak spots with every carrier but I'm just so especially surprised at all the dead spots I've recently encountered.

    Today, while visiting friends through Long Beach, CA., I encountered 4 large retail locations, one large gym, and my friends place where I had absolutely zero service indoors:

    Wal-Mart: North Long Beach
    Wal-Mart: Off of 5th Ave
    Circuit City: Off of Bellflower Ave
    Best Buy: Signal Hill area off of Cherry Ave
    Gold's Gym: Pine Ave
    My friends condo: Belmont Shores

    I visited my parents house in the High Desert. Not even a 1/4 mile from the 15 FWY, my RAZR had 1 bar. I knew that by the time I got to their place there would be no service. Sure enough, pull up to their neighborhood and bam: No coverage. Couldn't even make a 911 call if I prayed. Just to think? Just last night I was trying to convince my parents to ditch their VZW family plan and go for the new $49.99 per month share plan. I'm glad they said no or I wouldn't hear the end of it.

    I'm still in shock on how poorly built the T-Mobile network is compared to Verizon or Sprint "overall." I have heard so many positive experiences from others so I assume all of you guys live and travel very close to T-Mobile cell sites.

    Looking at their national maps, I know T-Mobile has added huge swaths of 850 MHz roaming. However, does anyone know if Southern California is excluded? Does any local T-Mobile user know if it's possible to force your phone to roam off of the Cingular network when needed?

    All the areas above where I had zero service with T-Mobile, my Helio phone worked fine. I'm starting to realize why their pricing plans are so cheap. But this is Southern Cali. We're the number 2 market in the US. I thought all the carriers would work great or at least similarly by now this late in the game.

    The only reason I may keep my service is so I can get some cool unlocked phones. I might just drop my pricing plan to the bare minimun or go pre-paid instead. Also, the three times I've called T-Mobile customer service I have to say were great. The reps were very professional over the phone and very courteous. And, I have to say... one great point is that the battery lasts forever. I guess that is because its a GSM device compared to the CDMA powered devices I've been used to.
     
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    #1 @TheRealDanny, Dec 16, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2006
  2. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    If you're unhappy you really only have yourself to blame. Each carrier has at least a 14 days period where you can check out the service and if it doesn't work you just return the phone from where you bought it and go on with your life.

    As far as GPRS vs. EVDO that would be obvious is you'd done any research at all on the services before you decided to choose T-Mobile. I wish I could feel sorry for your predicament, but you didn't have to be in this predicament if you'd at least tested the service where you need it and if you'd done a bit of research before dropping what you know works in favor of what you don't know works.

    I don't understand the mentality of people switching carrier just because another carrier "seems" to have a more whiz-bang "hot" phone especially if it means leaving a carrier that you know works for one that you don't know if it works or not.
     
  3. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Return the phone. In the LA Metro area I would only recommend Verizon Wireless or Sprint. Both Cingular and TMobile have very weak, and overloaded networks in this market.
     
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  4. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    So return the phone and port back to Verizon. I have seen areas that Cingular have the only coverage in (hello, Calabasas, looking at you here) but Verizon's worked pretty well for me -- the only "coverage" issues I have are sloppy handoffs that drop the call (yup, 134/170 interchange, it's your turn).
     
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  5. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Verizon has worked very well for me too, most areas (Minus the Hollywood Hills where only Sprint seems to have coverage) are pretty good. There are a few areas where I've been disappointed with the Verizon coverage, but they seem to be few and far between. Likewise my experience with Sprint.

    Cingular's network is getting better but they're busting butt to get it up to par. Both Cingular and TMobile's network here are a few buildout phases behind the other carriers.
     
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  6. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I'm surprised to hear this because didn't T-Mobile supposedly either win or finish 2nd in the LA market for the JD Power and CR awards this year and last year? That goes to show you that those studies are often meaningless.

    Now that Sprint is adding CDMA to Nextel sites all over So. Cal I predict they will become the coverage king here in just a few months or so. :D
     
  7. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    yeah that'll be nice

    once Cingular and Tmobile update the MNCs on their towers from the acquisition and giving up of towers in that area........you know.......T-Mobile getting the Cingular orange network..........Cingular setting the AT&T Blue network as their primary network.....then Cingular building out to cover the dead areas..........once they do all of this......hopefully they will get their act together
     
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  8. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    That was in the paper the other day. I honestly don't know how they won for the LA market. I've never met someone that was 100% satisfied with TMobile or Cingular unless 95% of their use was on the freeway.
     
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  9. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Thank you, Larry and I were totally unaware that this was going on.:wink:

    Honestly, once that happens coverage for both will be in the pits for both.
     
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  10. @TheRealDanny

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    Hi Telekom:

    Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Keep in mind you are speaking to someone who isn't naive to the industry or wireless technology. After reading all the hoopla from JD Powers and such, do you really blame me for my upfront faith in the product?

    Actually, T-Mobile works well at our corp. office. I also checked out their online coverage tool and it showed excellent service in the areas I'd use the service the most. When I got the phone in the mail, it worked fine so I just simply ported my number over so that my number would be working by the time I got home. I'm so busy that I have to get things done in a flash and use my free time wisely.

    I travel a lot in my postion on the road throughout Southern Cali. It's impossible for me to verify that I'll have decent coverage in every spot. That said, I've had the opportunity to test the service thoroughly and have been through so many poor areas that the comparison to the other carriers I've mentioned was easy. Looking at their coverage maps, I can see many discrepencies now that I've been able to test their service in the areas of question.

    As I said, coverage at my office is decent and although not perfect, I can still make calls from home. It's only when you have the opportunity like me to travel around do you notice the problem.

    I believe because of the congestion, my phone may be locking on to AMR HR. While driving on the freeways, my calls are choppy and garbly every half mile or so. The hissing and popping is pretty loud and not what I'm used to due to CDMA noise cancellation. I just may do some hacking and see if I can force the codec to FR.

    I still have 5 days left on my 14 day get out jail free card. You are right. I guess I'll have to make my decision pretty fast otherwise I'll get stuck with the ETF. At that point, yes, it will be my fault if I wind up paying the ETF knowing what I know. :)
     
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  11. @TheRealDanny

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    Yeah. It was odd when I was at the store and when trying to call my GF I kept getting call failed. Retry. Over and over again. It brought back memories of my wireless past so long ago.

    It's such a shame. I actually find myself making excuses to keep the service even though inside I should know better. I really want it to work just as well if not better because I'm a dork.

    You know the service is bad when you lose service in the parking lot before you enter the store. :) Geez.
     
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  12. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member
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    true.......coverage will be in the pits for both.........but that will be motivation for Cingular and T-Mobile to get their cellular rears in gear to kick the competitions :censored:
     
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  13. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Maybe you can give Metro PCS a try when they launch here in 2007. :D
     
  14. @TheRealDanny

    @TheRealDanny ALL IN
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    No WAAAAAAYYYYYY !!!!! :D

    I hear Metro PCS is launching very soon with their corporate offices somewhere in OC. It is rumored that Telefonica Moviles may also start a MVNO as well using the T-Mobile network next year based in OC too.

    T-Mobile already is a MVNO of Telefonica in Spain.
     
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  15. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    The Metro PCS office is down in Irvine practically next door to Sprint/Nextel.
     
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  16. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    T-Mobile USA already has at least one MVNO Túyo Mobile (run by IDT.) Targeting the hispanic market.

    And just FYI if you didn't know TracFone and Net10 are owned by America Movil!
     
  17. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Ha ha you beat me to it. I pass by there at least once a week. :D
     
  18. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I don't think it will be very soon. They haven't even built and finished a single cell site yet in OC. Some of them are under construction but not very many. One of their sites was just denied here in my city (Orange). Many of their sites are still in the land locating process and they have a ways to go. My prediction is that they will have to delay launching until late 2007.
     
  19. @TheRealDanny

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    Would they MVNO off another carrier until they can get on their feet? I can't see VZW allowing them to sell unlimited local voice plans on their network, but I'm not sure if another carrier might?

    I can see Metro PCS being popular by those who only call locally and don't need all the cool 3G apps.

    I hear they kick butt in a few markets where they have launched at least on a small scale.
     
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  20. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    No they are not going to MVNO. There's no way they ever kick butt in this market. They're coming in way too late in the game.
     

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