As everyone knows that has Tmobile up in Maine (I mean "real" Maine, as in north of Augusta, ME ), service up here gets iffy when away from Rte. 95, especially the further north you go. I've had service w/ Tmobile for about 6-8 yrs. All this time, I've been able to roam onto Unicel's towers no problem, including data.
However, I've noticed in the past year that it's becoming increasingly more difficult to register onto Unicel's towers, especially for data. I've noticed it both on my phone (an HTC HD2 w/ Android) and my wife's phone (iPhone 4S). Even calls are an issue. We've noticed you have to dial 2-3 times before the call starts ringing. Each time you dial, it will drop the call before it connects. Then on the 3rd try, it will finally connect. This is with a strong signal.
This only seems to be happening with Unicel & not USCellular towers. I realize AT&T bought them out some time ago, but AT&T's towers don't seem to be giving me an issue.
I have been using my T-Mobile service (out-of-state corporate account) here in Farmington for the past three years. Until recently, the phone had been using Unicel towers around here. However, for the past month I have been receiving US Cellular service in our basement apartment. Last week, I was out in Industry (small town east of here) and was back to Unicel. It took ten tries (I counted!) to dial out ("Error in Connection"). Unicel was acquired by Verizon a few years ago and because Verizon doesn't use the GSM technology, there was some question about the future of Unicel's towers at the time. My guess is that T-Mobile has made an agreement with US Cellular for service here, which isn't a bad thing, as their service around here is pretty good. I came upon this forum because I was searching for more definitive word on what is going on... Can anyone help??
I just found this thread after coming inside from running some more tests on a trail camera that has a T-Mo SIM in it. I was trying it with a couple of different external antennas, and at one point I saw five bars next to the "CREG," which is its code for "Nope, not today."
Another camera, with an AT&T SIM in it, wasn't doing much better on the external antennas. But seriously, folks; five bars and can't connect?
Much of my area (Midcoast, between Brunswick and Rockland) shows "Service Partner" on the maps, except for little blobs of other colors in certain cities and towns. I don't know who owns most of the towers in my area, but I know of one that has a sign on its perimeter fence saying T-Mo is a tenant there. (The site is owned by one of the big leasing outfits.)
As I understand it, the former Unicel infrastructure was divided up between the two GSM carriers by state or some other regional system, and T-Mo might not have gotten much in Maine. (I do seem to get AT&T in places where I can't connect to T-Mo.)
My situation might be different from anyone else's here because I'm on a prepaid plan, with unlimited texting. (The cameras send their photos via MMS.)