Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: How does T-Mobile coverage compare with AT&T MVNOs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    upstate South Carolina
    Posts
    186
    Device(s)
    iPhone 4S, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Consumer Cellular
    Feedback Score
    0

    How does T-Mobile coverage compare with AT&T MVNOs?

    In general, how does T-Mobile coverage presently compare against that of AT&T MVNOs? I want to move our two lines from a Verizon MVNO to a GSM carrier and am trying to understand which coverage and carrier have fewer compromises for our usage.

    With T-Mobile’s new 55+ option, the price is about the same as Cricket and PureTalk (to mention two) options for the amount of data we use, though this T-Mobile deal provides other amenities that are nice but not essential. While 600 MHz is being rolled out, it will be a while (I’ve read 2019) before we have it in South Carolina, so that’s not yet really a factor.

    Thanks. I appreciate any insight you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Gulf Coast
    Posts
    14,196
    Device(s)
    Samsung Avant, Nexus 5X, Moto G
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile, Project Fi, PagePlus
    Feedback Score
    0
    It all depends on which carriers the MVNO roams, when out of AT&T coverage. Some MVNOs have no 3rd-party roaming, others do. You really have to look at the MVNO's coverage maps to know. Cricket is pretty good, provided you don't travel so some parts of Nebraska and Southwestern states.
    Donald Newcomb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,033
    Feedback Score
    0
    Do you have international roaming considerations ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Patriots Nation
    Posts
    9,325
    Device(s)
    iPhone 6s, Droid Turbo 2, Galaxy S4
    Carrier(s)
    Changes often
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
    In general, how does T-Mobile coverage presently compare against that of AT&T MVNOs? I want to move our two lines from a Verizon MVNO to a GSM carrier and am trying to understand which coverage and carrier have fewer compromises for our usage.
    Generalizations are not going to help you. You really need to look at the coverage maps (where you frequent) to compare.

    You also need to keep in mind a B12 device will get you better coverage in some areas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,033
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by billm261 View Post
    Generalizations are not going to help you. You really need to look at the coverage maps (where you frequent) to compare.

    You also need to keep in mind a B12 device will get you better coverage in some areas.
    Generalizations are actually good unless you sit in one spot all the time.

    Good point about Band 12. I strongly recommend those for the best TMO experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    351
    Feedback Score
    0
    Besides coverage, priority levels are another thing to consider. MVNO’s get lower priority and some of them (Straight Talk, Cricket etc) do their own throttling. With T-Mobile ONE postpaid, you’ll always get top priority for the first 50GB.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,476
    Feedback Score
    0
    I've been on both T-Mo (via Project Fi) and AT&T and there is no doubt that AT&T covers more territory up here in the Northeast. There are big holes in the middle of Vermont, Downeast Maine, and in the Adirondacks where there is virtually no T-Mo. Along the NE coast and along major highways, and in major cities, they are pretty close as far as I can tell. Coverage maps on all the carriers are basically fiction for the most part. My sister lives in a solid orange area showing full LTE on AT&T and she has to walk to the end of her driveway in order to obtain a very weak signal that will allow phone calls only. However, T-Mo is improving and I would now use them if I could be sure that most areas I travel to regularly have coverage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    upstate South Carolina
    Posts
    186
    Device(s)
    iPhone 4S, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Consumer Cellular
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    It all depends on which carriers the MVNO roams, when out of AT&T coverage. Some MVNOs have no 3rd-party roaming, others do. You really have to look at the MVNO's coverage maps to know. Cricket is pretty good, provided you don't travel so some parts of Nebraska and Southwestern states.
    I didn't realize some GSM MVNO carriers that have roaming. I'll keep that in mind.

    How accurate are coverage maps? When I look at Cricket and PureTalk, they both look like they have the eastern portion of the U.S. covered, but I don't know whether either is simply native AT&T or have some arrangements with local carriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by NotABiot View Post
    Do you have international roaming considerations ?
    Rarely, but if I did, that would be a plus for T-Mobile.

    Quote Originally Posted by billm261 View Post
    Generalizations are not going to help you. You really need to look at the coverage maps (where you frequent) to compare.

    You also need to keep in mind a B12 device will get you better coverage in some areas.
    My 6s has Band 12, being a SIM-free purchase. I'm presently using it on CDMA Selectel.

    Speaking of bands to need, how big an impact will Band 71 make? To go with T-Mobile, we have to upgrade my wife's 4S. We keep phones a good while (the 4S was purchased new in 2011 and my wife is still content with it), so I'm hesitant to buy a new iPhone without Band 71 if the 600 MHz network is going to make a significant on signal strength in the Southeast within a couple of years. I could move to, say, PureTalk for a year until the 2018 iPhones are released. If 600 MHz is not going to be that big a deal for us, I could upgrade the 4S now and go ahead with T-Mobile.

    Quote Originally Posted by NotABiot View Post
    Generalizations are actually good unless you sit in one spot all the time.

    Good point about Band 12. I strongly recommend those for the best TMO experience.
    How can I tell how strong T-Mobile Band 12 is in our area? My impression is that T-Mobile is pretty decent in upstate SC.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikkarma808 View Post
    Besides coverage, priority levels are another thing to consider. MVNO’s get lower priority and some of them (Straight Talk, Cricket etc) do their own throttling. With T-Mobile ONE postpaid, you’ll always get top priority for the first 50GB.
    You make a good point. Priority, if that includes voice, could be important. Also, if T-Mobile has voice capability that will help with stronger signal in my office, that would be great. I don't get that with Selectel, though friends on regular Verizon can get a good signal in my office. Of course, some MVNO's have WiFi calling as does T-Mobile. Selectel doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Four View Post
    I've been on both T-Mo (via Project Fi) and AT&T and there is no doubt that AT&T covers more territory up here in the Northeast. There are big holes in the middle of Vermont, Downeast Maine, and in the Adirondacks where there is virtually no T-Mo. Along the NE coast and along major highways, and in major cities, they are pretty close as far as I can tell. Coverage maps on all the carriers are basically fiction for the most part. My sister lives in a solid orange area showing full LTE on AT&T and she has to walk to the end of her driveway in order to obtain a very weak signal that will allow phone calls only. However, T-Mo is improving and I would now use them if I could be sure that most areas I travel to regularly have coverage.
    I like T-Mobile's direction, to be sure. Plus, the 55+ plan for us codgers removes the price advantage that MVNO's have for the data I would like to have.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Patriots Nation
    Posts
    9,325
    Device(s)
    iPhone 6s, Droid Turbo 2, Galaxy S4
    Carrier(s)
    Changes often
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by NotABiot View Post
    Generalizations are actually good unless you sit in one spot all the time.

    Good point about Band 12. I strongly recommend those for the best TMO experience.
    But you don't have knowledge of where the OP would need coverage. It would be unfair to state that in general one is better than the other if it doesn't apply to his needs.

    Sure, we could state that Verizon and AT&T (in general) have better coverage but magenta may be equally as good (or good enough) where he needs coverage.

    Before I switched my lines to T-Mobile I activated a phone on Metro PCS. For almost 3 months I was able to gauge service based on where I am the most. I know that it won't be as solid when I drive from the Northeast to Florida but I really don't care. I should have voice coverage for the most part which is all I need while driving. Once I arrive I will once again have solid coverage in Pinellas County where I spend 95% of my time.

    What seems to be omitted is the fact that it's no contract service. If you go with T-Mobile only to find it's not cutting it simply port out to an AT&T based service for a try.

    It's not a big deal nowadays to bounce around and find the service that best fits your needs and budget so long as you have the right device.

    For someone who trash talked T-Mobile (I was skeptical as well) you seem to be content even though in general Verizon and AT&T may be better.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using HoFo mobile app

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    351
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Broadus View Post
    How can I tell how strong T-Mobile Band 12 is in our area? My impression is that T-Mobile is pretty decent in upstate SC.
    If you zoom in on T-Mobile’s old coverage map (not the one that’s the EOY 2017 projection) you can pick the device you’ll be using that will allow you to see coverage with and without Band 12. As Band 71 becomes more prevalent, I’d imagine they’ll start including that option as well.

    Regarding your question about getting a new phone without Band 71, T-Mo did announce they would provide a 50% discount on next year’s iphone for those that buy the 8 or X. So there’s that. An iPhone 4 isn’t going to work very well on T-Mobile’s network.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    upstate South Carolina
    Posts
    186
    Device(s)
    iPhone 4S, iPhone 6s
    Carrier(s)
    Consumer Cellular
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by erikkarma808 View Post
    If you zoom in on T-Mobile’s old coverage map (not the one that’s the EOY 2017 projection) you can pick the device you’ll be using that will allow you to see coverage with and without Band 12. As Band 71 becomes more prevalent, I’d imagine they’ll start including that option as well.
    I’ll try to find the old map. Thanks.

    Regarding your question about getting a new phone without Band 71, T-Mo did announce they would provide a 50% discount on next year’s iphone for those that buy the 8 or X. So there’s that. An iPhone 4 isn’t going to work very well on T-Mobile’s network.
    Right—the 4S is missing newer bands.

    I didn’t see that announcement. Would this year’s purchase have to be traded in to get the discount?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    351
    Feedback Score
    0
    Here’s the old coverage map:

    https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map

    Yes, I believe you have to trade in this year’s device to get next year’s at 50% off.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,033
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by billm261 View Post
    But you don't have knowledge of where the OP would need coverage. It would be unfair to state that in general one is better than the other if it doesn't apply to his needs.

    Sure, we could state that Verizon and AT&T (in general) have better coverage but magenta may be equally as good (or good enough) where he needs coverage.

    Before I switched my lines to T-Mobile I activated a phone on Metro PCS. For almost 3 months I was able to gauge service based on where I am the most. I know that it won't be as solid when I drive from the Northeast to Florida but I really don't care. I should have voice coverage for the most part which is all I need while driving. Once I arrive I will once again have solid coverage in Pinellas County where I spend 95% of my time.

    What seems to be omitted is the fact that it's no contract service. If you go with T-Mobile only to find it's not cutting it simply port out to an AT&T based service for a try.

    It's not a big deal nowadays to bounce around and find the service that best fits your needs and budget so long as you have the right device.

    For someone who trash talked T-Mobile (I was skeptical as well) you seem to be content even though in general Verizon and AT&T may be better.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using HoFo mobile app
    Not unfair at all. Step 1 is OP making sure they have coverage where they need it right now. Step 2 is making sure that it is a good flexible network to meet all their needs: from going to a shopping mall or cider mill 15 miles in the other direction they didn't think they'd go to, to that unplanned trip to South Carolina. Life happens, and people need mobile,

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 53
    Last Post: 02-05-2008, 08:23 PM
  2. Replies: 40
    Last Post: 03-05-2005, 11:24 AM
  3. How does t-mo data compare to At&t
    By dekard in forum AT&T
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-06-2004, 08:31 AM
  4. How does T-Mobile stack up to AT&T??
    By afrodziak in forum AT&T
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12-19-2003, 04:05 PM
  5. How does T-Mobile stack up to AT&T??
    By afrodziak in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-18-2003, 08:00 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks