TMO Boston

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by lordofthereef, May 30, 2013.

  1. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    I intend to update this thread with some speed/reception stats as soon as we get our sim cards, but first, I wanted to explain my extremely pleasant experience, over the phone, with TMO.

    My first concern was a Best Buy FAN discount. As much as I searched, I couldn't really find concrete information on whether or not they provided a discount and, if they did, what that ultimately amounts to. They allow for a 15% discount and all they need to do is send and email to your employee email. This discount was the saving grace, as I assumed they didn't offer it. We currently have 21% with AT&T, but with this 15%, it actually makes it cheaper than AT&T even if we DO plan to buy phones through TMO (note: the phone monthly payment isn't effected by the discount).

    I was asked why I was switching, told them it was basically price. I also told them that we had TMO years ago, and were ultimately happy with customer service (this hasn't changed :) ) but reception was abysmal. He did mention they've changed a lot, but also grabbed a handful of zip codes in order to verify if there would be quality reception in the areas we frequent. As it turns out, eastern New England is basically blanketed (which I knew), so I am not terribly worried.

    As far as buying sims, they are $10 a piece, and activation fees were waived. I thought that was fair. At the end of the day, I never paid for a sim with AT&T or VZW, but there was always a $30+ activation fee (sometimes I got those waived too), so this wasn't bad.

    Where we were paying $215 per month for three lines, we will now be paying $112 (both numbers are post tax). That's $103 savings per month, for those that cannot count. ;) Even if we all got top tier new phones, we would still be saving $43 a month. Sweet deal.

    I also wanted to note that they give you a 30 day trial period, much like everyone else. If you don't like the service, you get refunded the sim costs, but still pay the prorated costs of the service. We plan on giving TMO a test run while still keeping our current lines.
     
  2. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #2
    TMobile is pretty abysmal around Boston. Signal drops in and out all over town. Only good thing about them is that they share the DAS system with AT&T for MBTA stations. Other than that, you go North into NH and it's all EDGE. Try going to CT, etc, and most highways are still EDGE. Complete letdown.
     
  3. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Hopefully you have the iPhone 5 that has the 1700/2100 band or else you gona see mostly Edge.
     
  4. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    Be sure to come back and update this thread once you get the sims and let us know how you experience is.
     
  5. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    This is why we aren't porting or canceling anything before giving it a run. Ironic that the only time I hear anyone say anything about the Boston area is after I made an order. I asked a few times before, no dice. Oh well, no worried. All I stand to lose is some time.

    ----------

    I swapped the phone out, so yes, it should support their HSPA+ network.
     
  6. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #6
    Yeah, it doesn't hurt to try it out. Good thing you swapped out your iPhone for an AWS one. The refarmed PCS network is super spotty. I'm in Brookline (near Coolidge Corner) and I can walk down Beacon Street and HSPA goes in and out. Same thing if I go down Harvard and end up near Packard's corner. I go down Comm Ave and HSPA isn't on every antenna just yet.

    I know that the Pru/Boylston/Newbury seem to be covered, but once you leave that immediate area, it's still in and out.
     
  7. lordofthereef, May 30, 2013
    Last edited: May 30, 2013

    lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    That's terrible. We have LTE on both Verizon and AT&T everywhere we go. I have seen edge ONCE on AT&T when traveling further north into NH (to grab some maple syrup lol). Oh well, at least I am ready for the pain.

    ----------

    I forgot to mention that I have read a lot about TMO getting unlimited roaming on AT&T's network due to the failed merger. I asked about this. The specific information was as follows:

    Unlimited texts/voice while roaming so long as you don't spend the majority of your time on the roaming network. The rep didn't have a specific definition, but he basically said I would have to either move to said location permanently, or spend months and months at a time at said location.

    Now, about the data, that is still unlimited, but will be throttled at different rates. If you buy their unlimited plan, you get 200mb roaming per month; 2GB plan gives you 50mb roaming; standard 500mb plan gives you 10mb roaming.

    What does this mean? This isn't anywhere near as good as what people on these forums made it out to be, at least not based on what the rep told me. One cannot get TMO and expect to just roam unlimited data permanently. That's just not how it works.
     
  8. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #8
    Yeah, VZW and AT&T are unbeatable here. Once you go North, VZW has LTE everywhere. AT&T has Southern Maine almost done (Portland has been up for months) and Portsmouth will go online in weeks. (It's already up and testing.)

    I drove to Montreal in March and I never lost HSPA once with AT&T. I had LTE for a good portion of the trip on my VZW mifi, even through rural VT. My car runs on TMobile and signal was pretty much non-existant until I got near Burlington, where it was just EDGE.

    Hell, I drove from Boston to DC a few weeks back and my AT&T/VZW devices never lost LTE signal.

    This is very region specific, but I know for a fact that in the Northeast, TMo doesn't really roam on AT&T, unless you get really rural, and then it's only voice/texting. They don't support data roaming in this region.

    I have family outside of Portland, Maine and I'm stuck on EDGE, except when I'm in the middle of downtown. TMo can't roam on AT&T there, but AT&T/VZW have the area blanketed with LTE.

    Of course, this all depends on how much you travel in the area. I can't deal with EDGE coverage on major highways around here.
     
  9. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    Where were you when I had questions a few weeks ago?!?!! :mad:
     
  10. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #10
    T-Mobile is garbage, almost as bad as Sprint. They have swiss-cheese coverage map when it comes to HSPA+ "4G" and they only have a handful of LTE cities right now. As far as I'm concerned, if you're not using Verizon or at least AT&T, you might as well have a dumbphone.
     
  11. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #11
    :D

    Any other questions, feel free to PM me. I have all 3 carriers, so I do have some experience in the region with them.

    ----------

    Don't even get me started on Sprint. :D

    They're even worse than TMo in Boston. NV is a complete joke and their LTE deployment is going at a snail's pace. They claim that the Boston market is 70+% done, but I doubt it. Key areas like Back Bay and Coolidge Corner have one tower up with LTE, so Sprint can claim they have service, but you loose it fast. Fenway still has basically no LTE. For comparison, VZW/AT&T have the city blanketed.
     
  12. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Interesting you should say that. My wife has had a lot more issues with Verizon in this area than I have with AT&T. I started a thread, and a handful of people chimed in about it, also from the area. Long story short, she will often be on LTE and data will just completely drop out.
     
  13. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #13
    There are some report over on Howardforums of VZW users experiencing diminishing LTE service in major cities, like Chicago, NYC, LA, etc. It was bound to happen with the amount of devices VZW has on LTE these days. I bet Boston is having the same problems. They need to add more cell sites, small cells, etc to relieve stress in high-traffic areas. VZW is also going back and deploying LTE on AWS (20x20) in the next few months in major cities, so speeds will increase tremendously. Only issue is that only the Galaxy S4 supports AWS on VZW. Everyone else has to upgrade to new phones. :mad:

    I'd say to get a new iPhone and keep complaining to VZW. They'll fix it. Their LTE network is still in its infancy. Boston was a launch market for AT&T and VZW and there is no way they'll let their networks fall apart.

    (I personally haven't had any of these issues in Boston.. AT&T LTE has been fantastic here though)
     
  14. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #14
    Yeah I haven't traveled to the Boston area since Verizon deployed LTE so I can't speak on your specific area. I'm usually in the Southeast and sometimes in NYC. Since you've already bought the T-Mobile sim cards I'm interested to see how your experience is once you get them. Some of my friends who bought the T-Mobile iPhone 5 claim service is great with them, I just can't take the horrible data speeds outside of the cities. I had a prepaid sim with them but let it expire a few months back.
     
  15. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    I decided that I wanted to test TMobile side by side with AT&T, and they just started selling the Lumia 520 for $130 off contract. No LTE, but since TMO doesn't have LTE in Boston yet (supposedly it IS coming this month to greater Boston/Cambridge), that wasn't a deal breaker for my test. Truth be told, I had intentions of testing and returning the phone, but I found a guy in Cambridge selling his for $100. I offered him $80, he took the deal, and that was that. If I can get the phone unlocked after 7 days, even if I don't stick with TMO, an $80 throw away phone for when I don't want to get my nicer phones trashed (i.e. beach, amusement parks, etc.) is totally worth it. I am going to write a review in the "other" section on the phone for those who are interested. To be quite frank, it blows me away how good this thing is at $130 (even better at $80 HAHAHA :D)

    Anyway, still haven't gotten my sims, but the guy who sold me this gave me the sim in the box, so I called to activate it. They did that after some excruciating explaining on my end on what is was I was trying to do, but then gave me some strange 978 number (and I was wanting a 508). I pointed out I never got to choose my numbers, and they told me they can change them for $15 per line. Huh? They kept repeating that unless I was getting harassing phone calls or something, number changes cost $15 per line no matter what. After about 20 minutes of explaining to them that I NEVER picked phone numbers (apparently my sims are activated currently as they sit in an envelope en route to me... strange) they finally agreed to changing one number for free. Again, what? I am not wanting to change numbers. I am just wanting to pick a 508 number, like I as promised in the beginning. So, after another ten or so minutes, they decided to transfer me to the "buyer's remorse" line. I kid you not, that is what they called it. Luckily I explained everything to the nice lady ONCE, she changed all of the numbers like I asked, waived all fees, and that was that. She was unable to explain to my why exactly the lines were activated on the 31 of May (the day I ordered over the phone), but she clearly saw that none of them had been used thus far and that I hadn't created an online account, thus it was obvious I never had a chance to review my phone numbers.

    As far as reception goes, inside the house (we live in an old mill turned into lofts) I drop to 2G and four bars. If I am near a window, or in the gym (which is basically all windows) I still get strong 4G signal. Outside I have 4G (HSPA+) and four bars. I haven't had a chance yet to check around the city for data. I will note that both AT&T and VZW get a pretty strong LTE signal where we live, be it inside, in the gym, or outside. Every once in a while I will see my (AT&T) line drop to 4G, but that is rare. I am going to attempt to do some side by side by side (TMO, AT&T, VZW) shots to show what reception is like. I will keep this thread updated.
     
  16. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    Here are some screenshots outside our house. We live near-ish Fenway. Won't give a more exact location for obvious reasons (but will do in future pics that won't let rapists know where my sexy butt lives :D).

    Unfortunately you can't see the signal within the app (even when you try to drag it down), so I snapped a pic of the homescreen as well as the app.

    Click to enlarge. Another thing to point out is this phone doesn't do TMobile's faster HSPA+, while the iPhone 4S+ should handle it, no problem.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17
    Made it up to Salem, NH yesterday!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And then Methuen, MA. Basically the same geographical location, but since I was there, decided it was worth chronicling. Notice the battery drain. It's awful. :( This would not have been due to poor reception, either.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #18
    Glad to hear you're getting to test it out. Keep us updated.
     
  19. Apple Trees macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    #19
    So did you not get the sim cards for your iPhones yet? I'm curious as to how they perform in a real world experience as well. According to their coverage maps the Boston area looks blanketed by their false 4G. A real on the ground account of the service would be interested.
     
  20. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    I got them in today. I popped one in to see if if worked but I am hesitant in leaving it for a terribly long time as my number, where I can be contacted,especially by work regarding patients, is linked to AT&T. What I can say is that reception indoors is definitely worse than AT&T and Verizon.

    I did a little more testing today on the windows phone too, but the speed test app kept crashing. I rebooted, reinstalled, etc but nothing I did fixed the problem. I'll likely have some more time this weekend to actually take the iPhone out for a spin with the TMO sim intact.
     
  21. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #21
    Would love an update. I'm considering T-Mobile. I live just outside Boston. I also frequent LA and NYC for work so anybody else with T-Mobile in those areas.......I'm all ears.
     
  22. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #22
    Where are you exactly?
     
  23. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #23
    Suburban town outside Boston. Which one exactly I'm not going to say.
     
  24. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #24
    Alright. I'm in Brookline and coverage is pretty spotty around here. The towers seemed spaced far apart. The refarm isn't even remotely done yet. Even with an AWS phone, it's mediocre.

    I drove out to Worcester a couple days ago, and there were good portions of the highway, where my TMobile powered Audi was on EDGE, whereas my AT&T/VZW devices had no issue getting LTE.

    If you're right outside Boston, it is probably just as spotty, but gets even sketchier the further away from Boston you get. Their coverage maps are a complete lie.
     
  25. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #25
    No T-Mobile for me then. Thanks.
     

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