Tmobile please join the 21st Century

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mikefla, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #1
    Many of you have or are going to switch to Tmobile. I am on my third trial of Tmobile for this year (yes 3rd one). Compared to my prior 2 trials things have improved a bit in the areas where I currently use my phone and I applaud Tmobile for that. However they still have a very long way to go and they have a serious need to adapt to the 21st century! Although they already have LTE in a lot of areas they still have plenty of towers providing EDGE service. I'm not talking about a location in the middle of nowhere either, I'm talking NJ in major cities. They also appear to have serious issues with tower handovers (switching from LTE/4G to EDGE) and basic tower handovers when you are traveling and are on a call causing your call to drop. I don't make many voice calls but I just experienced that yesterday twice, one call after the other dropped. This was on a highway moving at a slow speed with good LTE signal.

    Also see major issues with their signal in general, it tends to fluctuate a lot and very quickly. For example with AT&T (I've been a customer for many years) everywhere I have been I either get a 4G signal or an LTE signal and the signal is pretty steady (doesn't fluctuate much at all). I even get service in basements. Tmobile indoor signal in general is very poor. With Tmobile simply going from the 2nd floor to the main floor on my home or placing and removing the phone in your pocket causes major signal fluctuation or switching from different towers.

    I hear Tmobile plans to implement MIMO antennas on their towers, this will make a huge difference in signal, service quality and improve their usually poor indoor coverage across the country. This however will likely take a long time to implement on a nationwide basis so it may be a while before we see any real benefit and that is of course if they implement this at all.

    Tmobile really needs to develop a quality application for reporting services issues like AT&T has. AT&T has an application called "Mark the Spot" which they've had for several years and is an excellent application that all carriers should have. This application allows me to report any sort of service issues from anywhere at anytime and at my convenience. I can easily report a dropped called issue, no service issue, slow data, etc. Even if my phone has no service, the application gathers all information including using GPS to pinpoint the location and then transmits the report once the phone can access the Internet. The application sends the carrier lots of useful information that then allows the carrier to investigate the issue and resolve it (if they wish). An application like this would benefit Tmobile tremendously and all the customers. Right now you can waste your time calling Tmobile to report an issue, likely they will not do anything about it because you are talking to someone that is simply gathering information, information that can be rather inaccurate because you are not reporting accurate information or the person making the report makes mistakes. The reality is most carriers really have no way or a system to log service issues and investigate them. I recently reported a service issue to Tmobile and have been following up on it, it's been several days and there is no update on the request yet. I understand it takes time and I'm willing to wait as long as it takes but after investing time reporting the issue to them and following up I expect them to do something about (which is very unlikely). This is why Tmobile really needs to invest in some 21st century tools that would greatly benefit them and their customers.

    I would like to start a massive petition that we can all sign and send to Tmobile so that perhaps they will consider joining the 21st Century and implement an application like "Mark the Spot" that will allow customers to easily report issues and send Tmobile quality data that they can use and act upon. This would greatly benefit Tmobile as there are many small things they can do to alleviate a lot of the issues that a lot of customers are experiencing across the country right now. It would also allow them to gain more customers and keep their customer happier.

    I currently have a situation at my work location where Tmobile has two nearby towers. Outside the office I get a 4G signal (at least two bars), a few hundred feet on the main road I get a strong LTE signal (full or almost full bars) and a very fast data connection. Inside the building the phone will lock onto a low 4G signal (at least 2 bars if the phone is on a desk and is not touched) for a short period then bounce to their lovely EDGE tower which offers a stronger signal (4 bars) and a slow data connection (reminds me of the days of my Commodore 64c with a 1200 Baud modem dialing into BBS over a phone line with noise :). Right now I’m using an iPhone5S apple unlocked. In my prior two trials of Tmobile this year I was using an iPhone5 and then the Tmobile version of the Iphone5. All phones produce the same issue at my work location and I have seen no improvement as far as indoor coverage in almost 1 year. It's just a single floor building with very few obstructions (no trees close by, etc). I don't have my phone jail broken so there is no way to disable EDGE. If I turn off LTE or turn airplane mode on/off the phone will lock onto the 4G signal and use it for a few minutes then reverts back to the lovely EDGE tower. Tmobile could do something about this until they upgrade this old tower such as implementing some change in their carrier bundle so the phone will lock onto a 4G signal even if it's weaker than the EDGE signal. Who wants to use EDGE for data these days? Another solution would be to get apple to add a toggle switch to iOS that allows you to turn off certain bands. To get this done we would need to gather many folks and send apple a petition along with requesting Tmobile to do that same. I believe something like this is already possible by jail breaking the phone. I would like to avoid doing this as I like to sell my phones in a factory state when I buy new phones. Also it's a hassle having to revert back each time you want to update iOS. I have an Apple Developer account and always like to install the latest iOS betas.

    Those of you who want to see Tmobile succeed and do something for us please join me and sending them a message, lets start a petition. Otherwise we can wine about things all over the Internet and just sit back and wait years before we see anything happen.


    -Mike
     
  2. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    MattMJB0188

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #2
    Switch to ATT and you won't have those issues. That's because T-Mobile uses awful frequencies which don't go far and suck in general.
     
  3. mikefla, Dec 7, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013

    mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #3
    I've been using AT&T for many years and have been generally happy with their service, I can't remember the last time I actually called them over the phone. Like any carrier they do have their own issues. Any issues that I have ever experienced with them though, I simply reported it to them using their Mark the Spot App (I love this app) and usually they addressed the issues. I usually get 4G or LTE service everywhere never came across EDGE service at least in NJ. I even get service in basements which is a good thing. However I have been experiencing a weird issue for some time where I place an outgoing call and nothing happens, never hear the call ring yet the person receiving the call appears to get the call but of course I don't hear anything and I'm assuming the other person doesn't either. I don't make many calls but have experienced this many times in the same area and with 3 different phones. Not the reason why I'm trying Tmobile again though.

    I recently switched to AT&T's prepaid service to save money as I was paying way too much money for my service, I was able to reduce my costs by as much as $30 a month going prepaid for the same type of plan. That said, I been wanting to use Tmobile as they have a lot of potential but as I also mentioned they still have a long way to go. I believe they will have a better network than AT&T if they continue their LTE implementation and install those MIMO antennas on their towers. You see some really nice LTE speeds on their network in certain areas. Right now switching to Tmobile will actually cost me a couple more dollars a months vs. my current AT&T prepaid plan. It's just such a hassle to switch back and forth. This is my third Tmobile trial and if I cancel I usually have to call them several times in order for them to address the billing issues. I would like to switch to them for good this time around but I'm only willing to do it if they at least do something at my work location. I'm not pro AT&T or Tmobile but I feel like giving my business to Tmobile right now assuming they are willing to make things happen.

    -Mike

     
  4. Killcount macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    #4
    tl:dr

    I've been with T-Mobile for 8 years, and for the price they offer ($50 monthly for decent service,) it's hard to beat.
     
  5. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #5
    I'm on their $60 plan which I hear comes to about $67 with taxes. What do you get under the $50 plan and what is your total with taxes/fees?

    -Mike
     
  6. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #6
    I think T-mobile is already aware of their shortcomings, that's why their pricing strategy has been so aggressive since the failed AT&T merger. I don't think a petition will do anything.
     
  7. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    I'm in Colorado and I have to say that I am EXTREMELY pleased with the way my 5S works on their system. I actually get LTE at my house where I could not get even edge on AT&T and Verizon.

    Obviously, experience varies by location but I could never go back to the other carriers.

    I think they have done an excellent job of covering my area (Denver/Thornton/Broomfield/Arvada).

    I do have two lines, $30 100 minute on my Nexus 4 and $70 postpaid unlimited on my 5S. I just keep the $30 plan active just for the 5GB data.
     
  8. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #8
    They are and the reason why their network is much better now compared to a few years ago is due to all that money that they received from the failed AT&T merger otherwise someone else would have already purchased them or they would be in very bad shape right now.

    Calling in does nothing and writing messages on forum does little, so I think the only thing that might make a bigger impact would be some sort of massing petition. Look what happened when carrier wanted to make unlocking illegal, the Whitehouse got involved with that after receiving a petition.

    -Mike

     
  9. xmaseve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #9
    I'm sure T-Mobile would love to "Join the 21st Century" as you say...they would also love "to have the money" to do it. :)
     
  10. DMaki650 macrumors 6502

    DMaki650

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    South Saint Paul, MN
    #10
    T-Mobile has a website (t-mobile-takeaction.com) that you can use to report bad reception and stuff like that. I've had no negative experiences with T-Mobile. But that site could help.
     
  11. 6thDAY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #11
    I have really bad coverage "in" my house. I only get E.

    But then when I step 10 feet away from my house. I get 4G.

    I dont get LTE until I'm about a mile away, but online it says there is great coverage where I live!

    Apparently one of the towers near here hasn't been "modernized".

    But I can live with it for now. The unlimited everything is too good to pass up.

    AT&T were a bunch of money vultures so I switched
     
  12. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #12
    I've signed up for that site months ago, it's useless. I think the idea with that site is for end users to send feedback regarding areas where Tmobile is not able to put up towers so they can forward that to the local politicians/decision makers. It's a waste of time. What Tmobile needs is an application like AT&T's "Mark the Spot". I don't understand why all carriers don't have an app like that, it benefits them so much as they get so much data each time you use the app to report something.

    -Mike



    ----------

    Tmobile has a big problem with this, I see it all over NJ. I think the issue is in part to the way they have things configured on their back end and the other issue is the carrier bundle which needs serious tweaking. I'm assuming you are using an iphone. I bet you if you jail break it then install the app that allows you to turn off individual frequencies you will then be able to use 4G or LTE without having to suffer their outrageous signal fluctuations which they really need to work on.

    It's not a phone issue as many claim, it's a network issue on the Tmobile side and they need to work on that.


    -Mike




    ----------

    They have money (or they had money) thanks to the AT&T failed merger. Do you know how much money they got from that, if I'm not mistaken around 2 Billion US Dollars. That is the main reason they were able to make some investments in their bad infrastructure.

    -Mike


    ----------

    You are lucky, not everybody can say that. But there is some hope and that is why I am trying their service for the 3rd time this year. I do want to see them succeed. I'm tired of giving AT&T my money. I do see improvements but there are many little things that they can do right now to address immediate issues which unfortunately they don't appear willing to do. Part of the problem is their lack of tools to help themselves.

    -Mike

     
  13. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #13
    I have the same issue except at least now (on my 3rd try this year) I now get LTE at my house, not a strong signal but it works (2nd floor). As soon as I move downstairs (1st floor) it goes to 4G but at least no ugly EDGE. It's a combination of things but something they need to tweak on their network and perhaps do something different with their carrier bundle for the iphone and or work with Apple as well.

    It is very frustrating though because you are basically wasting your time when you contact them about these type of issues, like most carriers they have no system in place that allows them to track, gather good data and follow up on these issues. Therefore they do nothing about what you report to them unless a million customers call in an report a problem with location A. Instead you waste your time talking to a customer rep person who does basically nothing because they don't have the tools to do anything and besides they are not Engineers. The real Engineers do not talk to people and will not be talking to you about anything.

    -Mike

     
  14. xmaseve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #14
    2 Billion is not all that much money when it comes to cellular network infrastructure.
     
  15. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #15
    True, but it gave them a nice investment at the time.

    -Mike

     
  16. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #16
    They really can't do much with the spectrum they hold. It's high frequency 1700/2100 spectrum that penetrates buildings poorly as doesn't travel long distances to provide for good rural coverage. They're fully aware of their coverage shortcomings. That's why they're cheaper than AT&T. Complain to the FCC and maybe in the future tmobile can win some low frequency spectrum in the upcoming auctions. Until then, they can't really do anything.
     
  17. Purdue macrumors newbie

    Purdue

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    #17
    Don't use a 'smart' phone and these troubles do not exist. I don't.
     
  18. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #18
    That's one of the reasons why they are looking to implement MIMO antennas on their towers which will do the trick or at least make major improvements:

    http://www.tmonews.com/2013/06/t-mobile-will-debut-lte-advanced-features-in-2013-according-to-exec/

    Also they are in the process of trying to buy some spectrum:

    http://www.tmonews.com/2013/12/att-to-compete-with-t-mobile-bid-on-verizons-a-block-spectrum/


    -Mike




    ----------

    Ahah, yeah I wish I didn't need one! I use it for work really. Need to manage my customer's spam, answer customer emails, etc.

    -Mike

     
  19. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #19
    T-Mobile on Long Island near New York is fine. With no wifi, I watched part of a netflix movie today while on line at Microcenter. Smooth video, looked good, sounded good. No dropped calls; good sound quality. I read of others travails and think I should be worried; but I'm just not seeing it.
     
  20. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #20
    It's always a plus if the service works well for you where you use it most. Sometimes one carrier works better in one location versus another carrier. I been testing on major highways in NJ and so far it looks pretty good, pretty much LTE all over with good signal. There's still work to be done in certain areas but progress has been made no doubt comparing to just a few months ago. I would just like to see them use better tools so they can help us and themselves better.

    Man that Microcenter must have slow lines :) I feel you though, same thing happens at the NJ location on weekends.

    -Mike



    ----------

    I was at an office in NJ today where AT&T never had very good signal and was surprised that Tmobile actually appears to have a better signal overall there.

    What really bothers me right now is my work location. AT&T inside the building gives me 4G service with a somewhat slow data connection. Tmobile although has LTE near by on the highway and 4G outside the building, inside I can't really lock on and stay on the 4G band because there is an EDGE tower nearby with a much stronger signal so the phone just hops on it which really sucks. I have to play with turning off LTE just to get on the 4G band until it switches automatically to the EDGE tower. I'm considering jail breaking the phone in order to have a toggle to be able to turn off EDGE which would be another hassle to deal with.

    -Mike



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    I bet if you try another GSM phone (like an Android) or jail break your Iphone and turn off EDGE you will probably pickup the 4G band and be able to use it in the house. This is something I'm seeing myself and many other folks out there. It seems to be a combination of things, the way Tmobile works with the new iPhone, their carrier bundle and other factors. A lot of folks are reporting this issue with the iPhone5S which is what I have.

    -Mike

     
  21. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #21
    T-Mobile sucked when I was in Jersey ( Morristown - Northern NJ ) but works amazing in Dallas-Ft.Worth, Texas ( hit some crazy speeds around Plano and Richardson ... ~ 70 Mbps Down and ~ 25 UP :eek: ) and Denver Metro, Colorado ( I'm in Thornton and get LTE inside my home! )

    T-Mobile has the funds to update their network, and I have faith that it'll happen (soon) in the Tri-State area as well :)
     
  22. mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #22
    You are lucky as you are now using their latest LTE offering which is very fast as you outline. I do see very fast LTE speeds here in NJ where they have a good LTE signal and sometimes it's even fast than AT&T which is cool. What's not cool is that overall their network in NJ is still poor. I mean lets look at one particular scenario. Iphone5S main road LTE service good signal, enter a small lot with small stores and you have a 4G signal outside, enter a small barber shop and as soon you sit down (close to the door) you have no service. Play with your phone (airplane mode, or reboot phone) and you now have 1 bar and an unstable 4G signal with slow or no data connection. Things like this really bother me. Also you read a lot of scary stories about indoor coverage specially in buildings in a major city like NY. I'm sorry but this is not Afghanistan, Tmobile you are not trying prove service up in the isolated mountains.

    This was my third try, I just cancelled today, tested for 6 days. I do see improvements overall but right now they have a big issue with iPhones specially the 5S where the signal bounces and fluctuates all over the place (only happens on their network, AT&T is rock solid everywhere). Maybe I will try them again in a few months if I hear they have made real investments and implemented those proposed MIMO antennas and migrated the remaining old EDGE towers but I think all those things are going to take a long time to implement.

    On the money issue, right now they appear to be having money problems. That is why they were looking to sell some stock recently, they were also trying to buy some spectrum from Verizon which will cost a lot of money. The failed AT&T merger gave them a boost with all that money they got from AT&T but it appears they already spent it all and what you see now might be what you get for a while.

    I want them to succeed but they also need to make some changes to help themselves. Build a damn application and a platform like AT&T has (Mark The Spot) where customer's can easily report services issues from anywhere at any time and send Tmobile valuable/accurate data they can use to better their network. There are many small little things they can do without having to spend a lot of money but right now they just don't have the systems in place and perhaps Engineers with the experience necessary to make things happen.

    -Mike




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    I get LTE also and see it in a lot of areas in NJ (Parkway, Turnpike), it's just the other areas where the iPhone just locks onto the EDGE signal that really sucks or the areas that have very poor signal and you can't get usable service. With AT&T everywhere I have been I have either LTE or 4G, even underground in basements!

    -Mike

     
  23. Preed08 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
  24. mikefla, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

    mikefla thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    #24
    Bang! Ahaha yeah, sorry about that! I guess too much frustration working with them Tmobiles and their network :)

    -Mike

     
  25. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #25
    Ironically i live in a city where Tmobile has LTE coverage and ATT doesn't. Also i always get fast HSPA "4G" speeds on Tmo 10+ Mbps, while ATT i was lucky to get 2-3Mbps.

    i do see "E" on Tmobile a lot, but that's only when im taking long 3-4 hour roadtrips on the highway.
     

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