Carrier T-Mobile: Tired of Weak Building Penetration

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maverick22, Apr 17, 2017 at 2:59 PM.

  1. maverick22 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #1
    I have posted my troubles in different ways with the 7+ (south Dallas).

    Am I the only one that has a virtually unusable phone if you're in a building if there's no wifi? I've been in stores and restaurants with no wifi (Target, Walmart, Jasons Deli for example), and if I leave the LTE on I can't do anything. Once I turn off LTE, if 4g is available, it's a little better. Still can't make calls though.

    It's getting very frustrating. Do those of you with T-mobile just not use your phones inside buildings? I switched a few weeks ago from AT&T to T-Mobile, but this just isn't working out so well. Very seriously considering going back to AT&T (will be cheaper for me since I have DTV), and I really want to try VZ (will cost more though).

    I like some things about T-mobile (Tuesdays, been working good in the car, fairly well at home, pretty good customer service so far), but I honestly feel like I can only use my phone well in those 2 places (home or car). While at a red light I sometimes test my LTE speeds, and they have been over 100mbps a couple of times. Once I'm inside a building though forget about it! I feel like my phone is unusable half the time.

    Any other advice/tips are appreciated!
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
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    #2
    While I don't use T-Mobile the carrier that I do use only works in Alaska and outside the state uses T-Mobile's network for roaming. When I was down visiting family and having to roam on T-Mobile I definitely had many times where I had no service, mostly in buildings, but even outside some.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    I would put your troubles down to the Intel modem in your version of iPhone. That may be oversimplifying it a bit, but here in Phoenix the only place I experience 4G is at home.

    Between my wife, me and my son there are several devices on T-Mobile. 1 iPhone 6s, 1 iPhone 6s+, 2 iPad Air 2's and 2 unlocked Sprint iPhone 5's. The iPhone 5's are the only devices getting 4G only and I routinely pull down 10-13mbps on 4G on these devices. The best I've done is around 48 down on LTE. I've got no issues inside buildings. The other day I did about 23 down at my desk on my 6s+ here at work.

    Speed does tend to fluctuate during the day because I work close to City Hall for Glendale, AZ. But I've never had issues. Mostly I am on Band 4 although Band 12 has been rolling out here.

    At home, T-Mobile has given us a 4G/LTE Cell Spot so that gives us LTE at home.

    Our cars have the SyncUP drive and the ONLY time I've ever had connection issues was between Tonopah, AZ and Indio, CA when we drove to my parents for Christmas. I made a trip to Eloy, AZ (halfway to Tucson) about a month ago and I had solid LTE the entire way (through boonies).

    Maybe you might want to have Apple check your device?
     
  4. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #4
    T Mobile has definetly been a step down for me coming from ATT. I literally cannot hold a conversation while driving. It constantly cuts in and out and often will drop the call completely with a "Call Failure" message. I'm switching to VZW very soon.
     
  5. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #5
    What phone do you have? Might try turning LTE voice off.
     
  6. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #6
    iPhone 7
     
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #7
    No problems here. Made the switch over 2 years ago to T-Mobile.
    Individual results and location coverage will vary.
     
  8. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    I moved to T-Mobile years ago once they announced they would begin supporting the iPhone 3GS. It's been the best network I could ever ask for. I actually get LTE at my house whereas AT&T and Verizon could never do that. I've watched as their coverage started out as spotty that first year to being nearly 100% complete coverage in my area here in Denver.
     
  9. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #9
    The weak building penetration problem is due to the particular band that is used on their network. The signal is not as strong as Verizon or AT&T in such cases.
     
  10. Thor_1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    I have the Intel modem and experience no issues outside of a known dead zone. Support even admitted its a dead zone near where I work. My Intel modem works in all business and buildings I go into, within reason of course.
     
  11. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #11
    Where did you get yours from? 7 or 7 plus?
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #12
    You're not going to post another one of your show off speed test screen shots are you? :rolleyes:

    :D
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    No, I'm starting to cut down on driving around and constantly doing speed tests.
    People think I'm weird :D lol
     
  14. Thor_1 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    T mobile, both 7 and 7 plus.
     
  15. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #15
    Another test: we were at Target tonight, and my wife's 6+ consistently was able to browse the Internet better than mine inside the store. Her 6+ taking about 3 seconds to load a webpage, but websites on my 7+ wouldn't even load! I couldn't even connect to the Internet!

    I feel like I certainly got an inferior phone (Intel modem likely to blame then?)!
     
  16. maverick22, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:43 PM
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017 at 9:17 PM

    maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #16
    The poor building penetration is really bothering me. My wife's old AT&T unlocked 6+ performs better in buildings than my brand new T-mob 7+!

    I'm trying to decide what the smartest thing to do is. Should I go ahead and find a used Verizon/unlocked Qualcomm LTE phone first before switching carriers? Have they been proven yet to perform better than the Intel LTE modems for a fact yet?

    I'm enjoying the lower bill ($100/month including taxes for unlimited--$127 including iphone), but unfortunately I'm "getting what I'm paying for." The weak/no signal in buildings for data is really bothering me. I'm thinking of selling the T-mobile locked one and finding a used one with the Qualcomm.

    Think it's worth the trouble, or just go ahead and switch to ATT or VZ? Thanks in advance!
     
  17. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #17
    Maybe you should try getting that 7 Plus replaced.
    My 7 Plus is very fast inside buildings and outside.
    Something is not right with what you're experiencing.
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    Try getting that phone replaced by Apple first.
    Might be faulty if you keep experiencing bad signal performance and very slow speeds compared to an older 2 year old iPhone 6.
     
  19. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #19
    Well, as mentioned before, I turn off LTE for voice when calls as I've been told I don't cut in and out as much. By doing so calling has been pretty good.

    I just really lost it when I was trying to look a product up on my phone and couldn't connect to the Internet with LTE. I asked my wife to use her phone, and sure enough it was going pretty smoothly (not super fast, but like I said, about 3 seconds for a page to load--better than mine for sure).

    I just wonder if it's due to the limitations of the Intel LTE chip. On the flip side, when I'm driving around and stopped at a light, I'll run a speed test and have gotten over 100mbps a couple of times. I have a feeling my phone isn't faulty..it's just a combination of T-mobile's weak signal for buildings AND my Intel chip. Just my feeling...but I'm pretty dumb when it comes to this stuff haha.
     
  20. prospervic macrumors regular

    prospervic

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    This might not be such a bad thing, if you really ponder it.
     
  21. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #21
    If you turn off LTE for voice calls then your LTE for data/internet should work fine.
    What you're describing doesnt make much sense.
    Go to Apple and have the device checked out because assuming/claiming that Tmobile sucks or that all Intel iphone 7 phones suck and your wife's iphone 6 is superior somehow with less bands included and slower radios than the newer iphone 7 is plainly false.
    But up to you what you decide to do. Complaining about it and doing nothing to fix it is not a reasonable approach to me;)
     
  22. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #22
    I called Apple, and they ended up suggesting an iTunes restore I think it is (I really only use iTunes for backups so forgot what's it's called). My phone now has a clean 10.3.1 and they want me to see how phone does. They are going to call me back in 2 days to see if phone performs any better to rule out a previous bad install.

    Maybe I would have been better off just taking the exchange T-Mobile offered. I know they would just replace it with another Intel so I declined. I was wanting them to let me return the phone. Let's see how this plays out.
     
  23. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #23
    Great, that's what they usually have everyone do.
    Restore and setup as new on the latest ios version.
    If it continues then they rule out software issues and proceed with a hardware replacement.
     
  24. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #24
    It's a terrible thing! I use Bluetooth so it's all handsfree!
     
  25. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #25
    So, some more comparisons between my wife's 6+ and my 7+ on T-mobile after my clean 10.3.1 install:
    1) at home, LTE voice calls seemed to do better (other person said I wasn't cutting in and out like previously)
    2) calling while at Target with my 7+ the other person said I was still cutting in and out a lot
    3) while at Target my 7+ really struggled loading a web page...wouldn't open anything with LTE on..turned LTE off, and 4g also struggled but did better
    4) with my 7+ it took 4-5 minutes to send a picture in a text...receiving a picture gave me the "downloading icon," and that took about 3-4 minutes also
    5) sending regular texts struggled also (taking 1-2 minutes)
    6) as soon as I stepped out of Target my 7+ did well

    7) with my wife's 6+ browsing was much better with LTE even on..took about 3-4 seconds for pages to load
    8) texts seem to send pretty quickly on her 6+
    9) the person on other send said I sounded better/clear/no cutting in and out

    I'm no cell phone techie, but my little takeaway is that the 6+ performs better than my 7+ with Intel. I believe T-mobile struggles inside buildings anyways, but the 6+ is able to perform better with bad reception.
    It's unfortunate that my brand new 7+ performs like this. I came from AT&T & was using the 6 with no issues.

    Now I can't make up my mind what to do -- still owe over $600 for this 7+ to T-mobile:
    - just settle for this crappy performance,
    - buy the Qualcomm outright/full price to see if it does better, pay off this 7+, and then sell it somewhere
    - or pay off this phone, switch to AT&T, keep this phone, and see if it performs better

    Advice appreciated!
     

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