T-mobile down in Minneapolis, switches to AT&T?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BruiserB, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    I have been using my iPhone 4 on T-Mobile for the last 2 months and have generally been happy with the service as I live in Minneapolis which has been refarmed.

    Last night I was in the immediate downtown Minneapolis area and I noticed my phone had actually switched to show AT&T service and the 3G logo. I didn't have any data service when I tried to access safari. I tried switching on/off Airplane mode and even rebooted the phone and it still kept pulling up AT&T. As soon as I got home (slightly out of the downtown area), T-mobile coverage came back. This morning I was again briefly in the downtown area and I was back on AT&T. I entered a building and I got T-mobile Edge service. I think several of the downtown buildings have internal nodes that aren't refarmed to 3G. As soon as I left the building I got AT&T again. This time I tried placing a call and it worked, but I had no data service. As soon as I drove out of the main downtown area, T-mobile 3G coverage came back.

    I have a few questions.....

    If T-mobile was down in the area, why did my phone move to AT&T instead of just saying "No Service?" Does T-mobile use AT&T for "roaming" backup in areas where they have no coverage? If so, is it normal that they only provide backup voice service and not data coverage? Strange that the 3G showed up, but yet I had no data.

    Is there any place to check for T-mobile service outages? I searched a bit on Google, but couldn't find anything.

    Could the fact that they are down be a sign that maybe they are doing some further upgrade work (rather than just being an unplanned service crash)? Maybe they are installing LTE in downtown Minneapolis? Seems strange that it was the immediate downtown area and as soon as I left on both NE side and SW side, the T-mobile coverage came back. I would guess they would want to upgrade downtown before other areas, but found it strange they would have a complete service outage while they do so.
  2. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    Generally you call your carrier's customer service to find out if there is a tower down somewhere.

    They have ways of checking these things I'm told.
  3. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah Tmobile and AT&T have roaming agreements with each other some areas where the other company doesn't have native coverage. They're probably upgrading to LTE or something in the area but you would have to call customer service to find out for sure what's going on.
  4. mikeydeezy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    MN, USA

    What area of downtown MPLS relative to the (go figure) AT&T building?
    I've had friends with issues around the Foshay/AT&T tower area w/ T-Mobile.
  5. BruiserB thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    I was specifically in Target Center at LifeTime fitness. Had T-mobile Edge in the building (they must have internal node in building), but going out into the skyway it switched to AT&T. Last night T-mobile came back just after crossing Mississippi River to the NE on Hennepin Avenue. This morning I got service back when leaving city on 394 to the SouthWest. So all along Hennepin was giving AT&T. Hasn't done this previously as I travel through here regularly.
  6. BruiserB thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    UPDATE: Drove through downtown after work this evening and service stayed on T-mobile. So it seems to have been a short term thing...perhaps just overnight. Still find it odd that I roamed on AT&T. Would think there would be very defined geographies where this would happen....not just wherever there is no Tmo coverage. Otherwise I would see ATT every time I go through any hole in Tmo's coverage. So I'm thinking it must have been planned and pre-arranged with AT&T to provide roaming coverage last night. Wonder if the LTE upgrade is underway?

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