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Thread: Is the Free 200MB plan the same speed as the paid 4G LTE plans?

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    Is the Free 200MB plan the same speed as the paid 4G LTE plans?

    I have an iPad and I signed up for the Free 200MB promotion a few years ago. I've noticed in some parts of the house the 4G LTE is extremely slow.

    I also have an iPhone with AT&T and the phone broke, so I need to get a new iPhone. At my office I don't get a signal in some areas, so I want to switch to either Verizon or maybe T-Mobile. I was chatting with a sales rep on t-mobile.com and asking him why my iPad is really slow in some parts of the house. First he didn't even seem to know about this Free 200MB promotion, and then he told me that the 4G LTE used by that free plan is slower than their paid plans. Is that true? If I go with T-Mobile I will be signing up for their new unlimited plan for $70/month. But I'm not sure I want to go with T-Mobile if it's going to be extremely slow in some parts of the house.

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    Not in my house with 2 different iPads on the free service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by interdigital View Post
    I have an iPad and I signed up for the Free 200MB promotion a few years ago. I've noticed in some parts of the house the 4G LTE is extremely slow.

    I also have an iPhone with AT&T and the phone broke, so I need to get a new iPhone. At my office I don't get a signal in some areas, so I want to switch to either Verizon or maybe T-Mobile. I was chatting with a sales rep on t-mobile.com and asking him why my iPad is really slow in some parts of the house. First he didn't even seem to know about this Free 200MB promotion, and then he told me that the 4G LTE used by that free plan is slower than their paid plans. Is that true? If I go with T-Mobile I will be signing up for their new unlimited plan for $70/month. But I'm not sure I want to go with T-Mobile if it's going to be extremely slow in some parts of the house.
    It also depends on what bands the iPhone and iPad support.

    It could be you are connecting to a "congested" band, really the only way to test is sign up for the service and try it for 1-2 weeks and see.
    Verizon: Grandfathered UDP
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT&T: Premium & More w/ Free 100Mbps VDSL2 "for life"

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    Which iPad model? Does it have Band 12? What city are you in so we can see if Band 12 makes a difference? Band 12 is not on my iPad Air and so its reception is weaker than my iPhone 7 because lte Band 12 goes through walls more effectively and has a longer range than T-Mobile's other LTE bands.

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    It is the iPad Air. I have no idea about Band 12. I live near Gaithersburg, Maryland.

    I want to get the iPhone SE - does that support Band 12?

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    Quote Originally Posted by interdigital View Post
    It is the iPad Air. I have no idea about Band 12. I live near Gaithersburg, Maryland.

    I want to get the iPhone SE - does that support Band 12?
    It does, and works well on T-Mobile. I use one for a backup device

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    Oh good then, now I just need to find out if Band 12 has coverage in my area. Specifically I'd like to know about North Potomac, MD (20878) and Germantown, MD (20876).

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    Quote Originally Posted by interdigital View Post
    I have an iPad and I signed up for the Free 200MB promotion a few years ago. I've noticed in some parts of the house the 4G LTE is extremely slow.

    I also have an iPhone with AT&T and the phone broke, so I need to get a new iPhone. At my office I don't get a signal in some areas, so I want to switch to either Verizon or maybe T-Mobile. I was chatting with a sales rep on t-mobile.com and asking him why my iPad is really slow in some parts of the house. First he didn't even seem to know about this Free 200MB promotion, and then he told me that the 4G LTE used by that free plan is slower than their paid plans. Is that true? If I go with T-Mobile I will be signing up for their new unlimited plan for $70/month. But I'm not sure I want to go with T-Mobile if it's going to be extremely slow in some parts of the house.
    I tried the T-Mo 200 MB a month for free on my tablet. If it is slower than paid plans it is not by much. In good signal areas I was getting ~30 Mbps. T-Mo good signal areas around where I live in central Virginia are very patchy and don't include home at all. 2-4 Mbps is plenty to do anything I want to do with mobile data.

    Gaithersburg, as part of the continuous urban/suburban sprawl from DC to Germantown, should be pretty well covered by T-Mo. I lived in Olney, Germantown and Rockville for years.

    I would expect T-Mo to be slow inside houses and buildings if the phone does not have band 12 and/or T-Mo does not have band 12 signal at a location unless you are real near the cell.

    Also keep in mind that if you travel away from metro areas and highways, T-Mo signal can be bad to non existent. IIRC, there is zero T-Mo in most of West Virginia.

    The iPhone SE has band 12. You can look up phone specs at www.gsmarena.com.

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    I found this web site that shows the band 12 coverage, although not sure how accurate or up-to-date it is: http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mo...-spectrum.html


    I zoomed in on my area, and it doesn't look like it's near any band 12. I attached a screenshot, and marked the 2 areas I'm interested in with black X's. Those areas aren't close enough to the band 12 circles, are they?

    Name:  extendedlte.PNG
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    I chatted with a T-Mobile rep and they said Band 12 is available in my area. They said the only service not available in my area is the 3G/4G U2100. Should I be concerned about not having that, or would that only matter if I couldn't get the Band 12 signal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by interdigital View Post
    I chatted with a T-Mobile rep and they said Band 12 is available in my area. They said the only service not available in my area is the 3G/4G U2100. Should I be concerned about not having that, or would that only matter if I couldn't get the Band 12 signal?
    That's odd. I thought band band 4 1700/2100 MHz was T-Mo's primary band. Maybe they have band 2, 1900 MHz as the primary around there.

    IIRC, The problem with T-Mo band 12 (700 MHz) is that it is only 10 MHz wide (5 transmit/5 receive). That can get congested easily.

    The importance of band 12 is that it is at 700 MHz. Lower frequencies penetrate buildings better than higher frequencies. They also have a longer range from the cell. For example, I have Sprint service with only 1900 MHz for LTE on the phone. I can get 2-3 Mbps with the phone in one window. Just a few feet from the window it drops to 3G with ~100 Kbps data and is unreliable even for voice calls.

    There are some real T-Mo experts around here that may have more authoritative answers.

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    The iPad Air 2 does not have band 12.

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    Just got back to BWI from York PA visiting family. Last year without Band 12 York was a mess of no service and edge. Now with Band 12 had LTE coverage everywhere. I'd suggest trying a band 12 device to see how well it covers your area.

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    If you require band 12 service, I suggest you use a phone that has it and hotspot it to your iPad Air 2.

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    Wonder if they still have this spot now.

    Sent from my SM-N910P using HoFo mobile app

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