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Thread: Do T-mobile phones reliably shift bands while in motion?

  1. #1
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    Do T-mobile phones reliably shift bands while in motion?

    In another thread, someone mentioned his phone always staying on Band 4, and never shifting to 12 or 71, even in areas where 12 and/or 71 had better signal ?

    Is this an unusual case? Defective phone? Or do people find that the phones don't reliably change bands during calls?

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    yes they do.. when people are not messing with them. Both OS, Android and iOS do shift when in automatic.

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    Lol stop worrying. I’m sure he’s not looking at which band is phone is on every second. You have know the phone only switches to the other bands when needed as dictated by the tower config. T-Mobile phones then to switch bands when others are weak or got limited capacity. So yes they switch reliably or they’d be a lot of complaints here.


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    Seriously the whole concept from the beginning of all cellphones was based on it moving from one cell area to the next cell tower area without dropping a call even when you changed Spectrum bands. That is the definition of Cells. There would’t Be cell phones if it didn’t work.

    What drives me nuts is people pretend that cell phones only use one spectrum band at a time. Go read about Carrier aggregation where your phone uses multiple spectrum bands at the same time. If you are using Band 71 you could be simultaneously getting data from Bands 71 plus 66, and band 2 at the same time. BTW, Band 66 has all of Band 4 including in it’s band.

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    I may be the one you are referring to and yes I HAVE dpne some tests using Cellmapper and other apps which show which band my phone is connected to, as well as what other bands are available, and yes it definitely prefers band 4 even when I can see a better signal on band 12 or 71. It was actually quite common for the phone to connect to a band 4 signal of -115db and have calls that were breaking up at time, even though there was band 12 signal coming in at -90db.

    I spoke with a Tmobule rep about this who had no clue what I was talking about nor why this was happening. Another rep told me that band 71 specifically is not a priority on their system (at least in my area). All this is probably the major reason why I dumped Tmobile. By the way, I've had conversations with other users who complained about the same exact issue. Why does it not happen with everyone? My gut feeling is that it has something to do with prioritization of the bands depending on how congested they are in certain areas.

    I also tested with an AT&T SIM and found that their prioritization worked differently. Their's ALWAYS connected to the band with the strongest signal strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
    Seriously the whole concept from the beginning of all cellphones was based on it moving from one cell area to the next cell tower area without dropping a call even when you changed Spectrum bands. That is the definition of Cells. There would’t Be cell phones if it didn’t work.

    What drives me nuts is people pretend that cell phones only use one spectrum band at a time. Go read about Carrier aggregation where your phone uses multiple spectrum bands at the same time. If you are using Band 71 you could be simultaneously getting data from Bands 71 plus 66, and band 2 at the same time. BTW, Band 66 has all of Band 4 including in it’s band.
    Very true in theory but in practice, I can say with confidence that with my phone, in my area, I would stay connected to band 4 at all cost unless the call was on the verge of dropping altogether. I did many tests to confirm this. It did not happen with an AT&T SIM in the phone, There it would always stay connected to the strongest signal.

    Now it MAY be that the phone I was using (Galaxy S10e) behaved this way because it was a factory unlocked phone and not a Tmobile branded one (?). MAYBE if it was Tmobile branded it might have handled the bands differently (I don't know).

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Dude View Post
    In another thread, someone mentioned his phone always staying on Band 4, and never shifting to 12 or 71, even in areas where 12 and/or 71 had better signal ?

    Is this an unusual case? Defective phone? Or do people find that the phones don't reliably change bands during calls?
    Isn’t that because, in much of their territory, that’s what they have the most of?

    I’ve been a T-Mo customer for years before they had band ANY 12/71 and was pretty happy with my coverage then too.


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    Most phones support carrier aggregation, and as a result are connected to more than 1 band at the same time. Band 12 doesn't currently aggregate with 71, but I had no issues driving through Michigan where many areas were band 12 or 71 only, sometimes with band 4. Old school GSM could reliably hop channel/bands 20 years ago... No reason why modern phones capable of 1Gbps can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by californiajay View Post
    ....I spoke with a Tmobule rep about this who had no clue what I was talking about nor why this was happening. ......
    Team of Experts
    Donald Newcomb

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    Have you compared RSSNR, RSRQ, and/or bandwidth on the neighbor cells? I have found that I may stay locked to a lower signal band/site, but have found it appears to be because it is still "best" overall in factors other than signal strength.

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    Sent from a Sonim XP-8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wannabefree View Post
    Have you compared RSSNR, RSRQ, and/or bandwidth on the neighbor cells? I have found that I may stay locked to a lower signal band/site, but have found it appears to be because it is still "best" overall in factors other than signal strength.

    Sent from my [SM-N960U] using HoFo mobile app
    This is true. Similarly, when, in my area the deployment of initially band 12 and later band 2 LTE my phone stay on a site on a weak but newly deployed band 12 or 2 even when I was physically standing < 100' from a site that was band 4. It would actually jump between further sites with band 12 or 2 with weak signal because it wasn't at a threshold (-120dBm) ... similarly, it wouldn't put band 4 as a primary due to RSRQ/SNR. Once I did hit threshold (i.e. went indoors), it would immediately 'jump' to the nearest site / spectrum - in this case, band 4 from a close by site. This is somewhat 'normal'. During their upgrades.. I was actually able to get T-Mobile's engineers (yes!) to drop the handoff threshold to ~-114-116dBm range and handoffs worked better until the other bands buildouts were complete.
    Note: I do see this happening some times in areas were pole mounted band 4/2 sites exist, and I happened to be primarily on band 12. Service is still decent and usable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Team of Experts
    Lighten up a little, CS reps are not network engineers and only have limited resources. Complicated issues are forwarded to Tech support.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    Lighten up a little, CS reps are not network engineers and only have limited resources. .....
    I guess that's why they're called "Experts". I generally only call CS when I need a question answered or I want to submit a coverage request. I generally give up on the former and doing the latter is like pulling teeth. Is there anyone else here who remembers dealing with VoiceStream's Customer Service? Now, those people were good. There were very few questions they couldn't answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    Lighten up a little, CS reps are not network engineers and only have limited resources. Complicated issues are forwarded to Tech support.
    Well he's not the one that claimed they were "experts" now is he?

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    I didn't use the term. He said it.

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