Carrier Att or T-Mobile - Reception in San Francisco?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by LorQ1027, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. LorQ1027 macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    I've had att for about 15 years and am currently on the unlimited grandfather plan. Right now my bill is about $85/month. I just saw a commercial/ad for T-Mobile unlimited plan called "T-Mobile one". According to this plan, EVERYTHING is unlimited( talk, text data). My parents and sister currently have Verizon and on a family plan. They are paying about $200/month, with my sister the only one with unlimited data (grandfather plan). We live in SF and was wondering if anyone that has T-Mobile, how's the reception and customer service? The T-Mobile One plan would be about $180/month for 4 lines. Is it worth it for me to give up my grandfather plan with att and switch to T-Mobile?
  2. Howyalikdemapls, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016

    Howyalikdemapls macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2013
    I think with the T-Mobile One plan, you are forced to use the whole "Binge On" thing. If you're not familiar with it, they throttle your speed so that your phone can only load video at SD instead of HD. I'm not 100% sure on this since I have the old T-Mobile plan which is not unlimited, but offers free unlimited video if I choose to have them throttle the speed at which videos load (which I don't).

    I switched to T-Mobile because their marketing team got me. All these videos about how they don't have a coverage issue, just an out-dated image issue seemed convincing. They say their coverage is within 1% of Verizon, but when you do more research you see it's just not true. Sure, their "coverage" is within 1%, but has large gaps between towers with extremely weak signal in between, where Verizon and AT&T are strong throughout this same area of coverage.

    I still have the iPhone 6 though which doesn't support band 12, so if you have a 6S or are going to get the 7 then things might be better for you. Also, T-Mobile is rolling out 4x4 MIMO which should improve speeds, but may not necessarily improve coverage. I don't know enough about this to say for certain, so do your research. The iPhone 6S does not support this though and we don't know yet if the iPhone 7 will, but fingers crossed!

    My bill is about half of what it was with AT&T, and I have much more data to spend, but I'm not sure it was worth the trade off. I can't use my phone when out and about around the shopping centers or at work. My wife used to talk to me as she was driving home from work, but now it drops the call a few times and it's all broken up the rest of the time.

    Sure it's cheaper, but it doesn't come without sacrifice.

    Edit: I just checked and the T-Mobile One plan indeed requires you to have your video speed throttled with an option to purchase the ability to override this.

    "Customers may choose full-resolution video option (sold separately)."

    For an extra $25 per month per line you can have "Unlimited HD video day passes for free", which sounds like unusual wording so I'm not sure exactly why they don't just say it gives you "unlimited HD video". It says "Standalone HD Day Passes coming in October" so for now the only way you can watch video without it being throttled to 1.5mbps is to pay the extra $25 per month. As far as I can tell, they haven't announced the prices for the day passes yet.

    Bottom line, make sure you read all the fine print and know exactly what you're getting before you sign up. T-Mobile pretends it is all upfront and honest, but IMO they're more convoluted than AT&T and Verizon are.
  3. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2014
    I do have to say having a phone that has band 12 support will make a difference, but it'll depend where you live, work and play. T-Mobile works great everywhere I go, just as well as AT&T and Verizon. In buildings where band 4 can't reach, band 12 helps with that.
  4. LorQ1027 thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    I have a 6s plus, my mom has the iPhone 6 and sister has the Galaxy s6. My dad has a old flip phone that he will have to get rid of if we do go to T-Mobile. I will continue to do my research! Thanks everyone!
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I have a friend who still needs to borrow my AT&T cell phone because his T-Mo lost reception when traveling from Atlanta to Jacksonville. What is MOST important is the reception that T-Mo offers in your area of use. Even a nice phone sucks with poor reception.
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    The new TMO One plan gives you unlimited tethering at a reduced speed.

    You can pay additonal for 5GB of high speed tethering.

    However, I may be quoting the first draft of this plan. There was a crapstorm over on T-Mobile's reddit over the plan and they altered it and then also added the TMO One Plus plan.

    I'm on a grandfathered plan (go figure, we ported 11 months ago and there's been two plan changes which make our plan grandfathered). $80 for UD on the first line and $30 for UD on the second line. We have two tablets and there was a promo that gave us 5GB data match for each tablet for $10 per tablet.

    With EIP and lease payments I pay out $270 a month after the promo credits. Which is less than what Sprint was charging us for the same but with two crap Android tablets (we have iPad Air 2s now).

    About a week and a half ago I noticed a change on our tablet plans from the promo to another plan. I'm told that the new plan, although costing $10 more (per tablet) would kick that $10 back because this is part of the new TMO One thing. I didn't know that at the time, but I still don't care.

    I Facebook messaged T-Force and told them this was an unauthorized change that I did NOT initiate. The rep had to override things but he fixed it so that we weren't booted off the promo.

    I'm betting the override made it permanent. Not bad, $10 for 5GB of data for each iPad.
  7. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    T-Mobile all comes down to reception where you live/work/play.
  8. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I'll throw in some comments - I had AT&T for about 8 years, T-Mobile prepaid before that (mostly EDGE), and decided to see what T-Mobile was up to this past November. While I had great service, the other members on my family plan had great service at their homes, but not in some rural areas where they frequented. There were still some huge swaths of EDGE coverage for them, too. That being said, they had Band 12 in their area and incapable devices, so that would've made a huge difference (even where I am, it really helps - a coworker upgraded from a 6 to a 6s and got about 2-3 more bars in a lot of rough areas).

    In the end, they are doing a lot of great things for the industry and to gain customers and I applaud them for that. For us, saving $5-ish per line/month wasn't worth the "but..." situations and we went back to AT&T. Obviously, if the other lines were Band 12 capable, that would've made somewhat of a difference and I'm keeping an eye on what they're doing, but our current plan on AT&T is hard to beat (retention Mobile Share Value plan, anxiously waiting for a retention Mobile Share Advantage plan).

    Their "unlimited" plans do come with some caveats, so if you can live with them, they're a great way to get a lot of use out of your device. If you don't need them or don't necessarily agree with what they're doing with different types of data, it can be easy to be critical.

    Do some research about the criticisms of T-Mobile One (and One+) and if it's a cost-saving measure, you might want to look at Cricket (they're owned by AT&T). Although speeds are throttled at 8Mbps, there are some good deals and some flexible T-Mobile-like options.

    By the way, if your dad's flip phone is unlocked (you can do it if it's paid off or off-contract), you can take it to T-Mobile or Cricket: Keep in mind that if it's 2G, AT&T will actually phase out support by the end of the year, so he'd need to upgrade.
  9. rzc16512 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    They're filling in a lot of service holes with band 12 (extended range LTE) upgrades and new cell cites (adding their equipment to existing towers) south of Atlanta so I wouldn't expect too many services holes for much longer
  10. jetlagged macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2012
    I cancelled my Verizon plan with unlimited data since I've been overseas for 24 months. I've never experienced dodgy signals or drop calls with Verizon.But going back home soon, and trying to decide between t-mo, Verizon, sprint, or att. T-mo plans has me intrigued though because I want a reasonable plan cost.

    I'm still annoyed Verizon upped the unlimited data from $30 to $50 when I cancelled
  11. THE JUICEMAN, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016

    THE JUICEMAN macrumors 68020


    Oct 3, 2007
    Well it's t mobile Tuesdays. They gave me a free subway sandwich and a free movie rental so I'm bias today. Take a good look at t mobile.

    Are you ok with your videos being SD quality?
  12. LorQ1027 thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2014
    San Francisco, CA

    LOL! I assume SD would be OK as I don't really watch many videos on my phone. I believe my dads flip phone is locked to Verizon. We'll probably end up going to a T-Mobile store to talk to someone and see what they say
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I been an unlimited iPhone data plan customer with AT&T since 2007.
    I Switched to tmobile about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier with the switch.
    I say go for it.
  14. robertpetry macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    We switched for a month and went back to AT&T in the Indy area. Coverage was just not nearly as good in Indy, Ohio or Chicago or the roads in between. Fewer bars, more dead zones (quite a few) and dropped calls. Plus a few calls where one party or the other sounded like a Martian.

    It would have saved the family $50 per month but if you can't use your phone 20-30% of the time, it isn't worth it. And I really wanted to like them too.
  15. Bigserver1 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    I switched to TMobile a couple weeks ago, before "One" was the only plan available.

    I got two lines, 6GB each, rollover data, BingeOn (with the option to turn it off and stream in HD for no extra cost), for $100 a month total. I've been paying $160 a month through VZW, and figured TMobile will be worth the savings, especially given all the perks. I spend 99% of my time between Phoenix, AZ and Portland, OR. Both spots have very good Tmo service.

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