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Thread: About to test AT&T against my T-Mo service

  1. #1
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    About to test AT&T against my T-Mo service

    I've been with T-Mo for 6.5 years now. I'm currently on the One Plus International, complete with unlimited high speed hotspot. I've not had any real complaints up until now. In fact, last year I bought an S9+ and was ecstatic--so much so that I took up Samsung on their trade-in offer and moved up to an S10+. Both phones are T-Mobile branded, so fully compatible.

    I'm not sure I'm nearly as satisfied as I could be with T-Mo on what's going on nowadays. It's a bunch of little things, but mostly data speeds and signal availability.

    For example, hotspot availability and upload speeds are overall not very good at all. I don't remember this from before the S10+, frankly. Upload speeds with T-Mo are horrible, almost as if they're specifically targeting the unlimiteds like me to annoy me.

    And in my vacation spot 600 miles away, I would swear I had better service last year than this. Simply walking in a door would cut me down to zero service. I know it happened a few times last year too, but it seemed to happen all the time this year. Maybe I'm just more sensitive.

    Anyway, I decided to throw some resources at testing AT&T service side by side as I wander around for the next couple of months. I have their comparable plan, which includes the kitchen sink and high speed mobile hotspot (limited to 15GB; they don't offer any unlimited). I signed up last week, got a new SIM card, and just the other day put it into an AT&T-branded Galaxy S9+. At this point, everything seems to work.

    (I also put T-Mo DIGITS on it; that's wicked cool.)

    My plan is to use two phones for the next couple of months, to see if there's any appreciable difference in service. So far, there's not. One example: speed tests are showing very much the same results overall, including horrible upload speeds with AT&T--but not always. This is consistent with what I see on T-Mo. Different locations give different results across carriers, but the overall experience is similar.

    I get a corporate discount with AT&T. I'm waiting until the second billing period to know what my REAL bill will be, so I can compare costs against the $75 T-Mo bill.

    I'm hoping it's not my S10+ hardware.

    Feel free to chime in with any thoughts or ideas as I test.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    I've been with T-Mo for 6.5 years now. I'm currently on the One Plus International, complete with unlimited high speed hotspot. I've not had any real complaints up until now. In fact, last year I bought an S9+ and was ecstatic--so much so that I took up Samsung on their trade-in offer and moved up to an S10+. Both phones are T-Mobile branded, so fully compatible.

    I'm not sure I'm nearly as satisfied as I could be with T-Mo on what's going on nowadays. It's a bunch of little things, but mostly data speeds and signal availability.

    For example, hotspot availability and upload speeds are overall not very good at all. I don't remember this from before the S10+, frankly. Upload speeds with T-Mo are horrible, almost as if they're specifically targeting the unlimiteds like me to annoy me.

    And in my vacation spot 600 miles away, I would swear I had better service last year than this. Simply walking in a door would cut me down to zero service. I know it happened a few times last year too, but it seemed to happen all the time this year. Maybe I'm just more sensitive.

    Anyway, I decided to throw some resources at testing AT&T service side by side as I wander around for the next couple of months. I have their comparable plan, which includes the kitchen sink and high speed mobile hotspot (limited to 15GB; they don't offer any unlimited). I signed up last week, got a new SIM card, and just the other day put it into an AT&T-branded Galaxy S9+. At this point, everything seems to work.

    (I also put T-Mo DIGITS on it; that's wicked cool.)

    My plan is to use two phones for the next couple of months, to see if there's any appreciable difference in service. So far, there's not. One example: speed tests are showing very much the same results overall, including horrible upload speeds with AT&T--but not always. This is consistent with what I see on T-Mo. Different locations give different results across carriers, but the overall experience is similar.

    I get a corporate discount with AT&T. I'm waiting until the second billing period to know what my REAL bill will be, so I can compare costs against the $75 T-Mo bill.

    I'm hoping it's not my S10+ hardware.

    Feel free to chime in with any thoughts or ideas as I test.
    Keep us updated. Both have their pros and cons but will be an interesting test

    Right now att seems less congested to me in general but T-Mobile is pretty solid overall also.

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    Maybe it’s the millions of new lines T-Mobile keeps adding year after year? I mean at some point they’re going to outgrow their current network. I know they’re expanding it with new bands and better low band coverage, but man I’m amazed at all the new line growth from them.

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    I've had both AT&T and T-Mobile postpaid accounts. I've had T-Mobile since around 2011 or so and AT&T since a year ago in March.

    AT&T seemed to be the most solid between the two although both have areas where speeds are just slow, like 2-5Mbps or even slower. T-Mobile seems to have the worst coverage. At my job for the last few years, the service was so slow that I started bringing my AT&T phone with me because one night, I downloaded an app using T-Mobile and it said it was going to take 8 minutes. T-Mobile finally fixed that several months ago. They installed about 8 small cells along Pecos street here in Denver sometime over the winter. They activated them around April. One of those small cells is in front of my job and I now get about 40Mbps inside and about 250Mbps outside. AT&T is still faster in my work building so I still prefer it.

    I canceled my AT&T postpaid a few months ago and now just use a prepaid account just because it's much cheaper and the coverage and speeds seem to be identical to what the postpaid account was giving me with no congestion and no deprioritization on the prepaid. I have the $85 unlimited so I believe that's why my speeds are identical to what I was getting on postpaid. I kept both, the AT&T post paid and prepaid accounts open for several months so I could compare them in all the areas I go to.

    T-Mobile gets me service at my house where AT&T and Verizon don't so I'm kind of stuck using both T-Mobile and AT&T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlimar1 View Post
    Maybe it’s the millions of new lines T-Mobile keeps adding year after year? I mean at some point they’re going to outgrow their current network. I know they’re expanding it with new bands and better low band coverage, but man I’m amazed at all the new line growth from them.
    That thought has occurred to me, hence the test.

    I'm spending a decent chunk of change on this. But, it's important to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hexonxonx View Post
    I canceled my AT&T postpaid a few months ago and now just use a prepaid account just because it's much cheaper and the coverage and speeds seem to be identical to what the postpaid account was giving me with no congestion and no deprioritization on the prepaid. I have the $85 unlimited so I believe that's why my speeds are identical to what I was getting on postpaid.
    nice, good to know.

    So, prepaid for $70 with autopay--plus taxes and fees--and that gives 10GB hotspot.

    That's a good reason for me to wait until my corporate discount kicks in, to see what my postpaid monthly bill will be. If it's much over $70, I'll have to wonder if roaming and the extra 5GB hotspot are worth it. Certainly the other goodies they throw in the bag for postpaid users--some silly TV service, AT&T Thanks (um, yeah, I barely use T-Mo Tuesdays!), etc.--have no real value to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlimar1 View Post
    Maybe it’s the millions of new lines T-Mobile keeps adding year after year? I mean at some point they’re going to outgrow their current network. I know they’re expanding it with new bands and better low band coverage, but man I’m amazed at all the new line growth from them.
    T-Mobile has nearly identical spectrum holdings as Verizon nationally... if they're gaining more subs, that's more money for network investment. They either no longer care about being fastest or are purposely slowing network investment to get the merger to pass.
    AT&T: 2008, 2012-2014, 2016-Present
    T-Mobile: 2011-2012, 2015, 2017-2019
    Verizon: 2010 via Straight Talk for 2 months, 2018
    Sprint: Couldn't pay me to use them

  8. #8
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    I have both AT&T (work iPhone 8) and personal T-Mobile (LG G7).
    In general, both work well in SoCal urban/suburban areas. T-Mobile typically has more sites, and higher data rates where I am
    Rural areas - AT&T gets a nod for having a more dense network in many (not all) places, and actually having service in some where T-Mobile does not. T-Mobile does have a few locations where it has service, and AT&T's is literally unusable as well... but there are stretches of rural areas where T-Mobile 'has none', claims it does but AT&T works fine.
    Eg. Upstate NY, VT, HI, UP of Michigan (and area south of West Branch, MI). These are all areas that I have hit where T-Mobile is truly lacking in coverage. Where I do get coverage in those areas.. it is quite fast, I suspect because there are few to no T-Mobile subscribers in the area.
    I moved off of AT&T due to the cost. I have 4 lines on TMobile One, and its ~$120 without hardware.
    I can't get anywhere near that on anything other than maybe Sprint. VZW = $160 for 4 lines, AT&T = $160 for 4 lines. both add in 'taxes and fees'. My T-Mobile account includes those. Basically +$40 / month savings.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    so, to summarize: you have chosen price over coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    They either no longer care about being fastest or are purposely slowing network investment to get the merger to pass.
    They're not slowing anything down. This is just more blatant false information. They just finished #1 in both download and upload in Open Signal's report:

    T-Mobile puts up fastest download and upload speeds in new network report

    https://www.tmonews.com/2019/07/t-mo...etwork-report/

    Why don't you defend how your beloved AT&T did in those categories? Big third place scores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    They're not slowing anything down. This is just more blatant false information. They just finished #1 in both download and upload in Open Signal's report:

    T-Mobile puts up fastest download and upload speeds in new network report

    https://www.tmonews.com/2019/07/t-mo...etwork-report/

    Why don't you defend how your beloved AT&T did in those categories? Big third place scores.
    well, that's all well and good, but I'm here very specifically NOT to talk about crap like press releases. I'm here for real world testing.

    And let me tell you, T-Mo upload speeds ABSOLUTELY SUCK for me over the last 4 or so months--hence the AT&T test.

    I'm not interested in any PR puff pieces here. Don't crap on this thread with that stuff. Real world information only.

    Objectively, based on my experience lately compared to about a year ago, it's quite possible that T-Mo is overloaded and showing it. I don't know. All I care is, who will give me the best service overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    so, to summarize: you have chosen price over coverage.
    In a nutshell... yes.
    In the areas that I visit often, coverage is similar, speeds are better on T-Mobile.
    The areas that I travel through and sometimes visit, AT&T will have better coverage (sometimes no coverage on T-Mobile). Where T-Mobile does have coverage where I travel through.. it is often pretty good, and typically... better than AT&T - at least outdoors.

    I often tell (many tickets to T-Mobile) to fix their service where they claim it exists... and doesn't.
    That is a more likely - eventually scenario than having AT&T lower its cost of service by +$40/month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    They're not slowing anything down. This is just more blatant false information. They just finished #1 in both download and upload in Open Signal's report:

    T-Mobile puts up fastest download and upload speeds in new network report

    https://www.tmonews.com/2019/07/t-mo...etwork-report/

    Why don't you defend how your beloved AT&T did in those categories? Big third place scores.
    Wow, 1 report as opposed to 3 (GWS, Ookla, PCMag) and RootMetrics most current available report showing AT&T ahead of T-Mobile in speed, data performance, call, text and reliability? Hold onto that report for dear life.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    Wow, 1 report as opposed to 3 (GWS, Ookla, PCMag) and RootMetrics most current available report showing AT&T ahead of T-Mobile in speed, data performance, call, text and reliability? Hold onto that report for dear life.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Most of these tests are not worth much, IMHO. Most of the California areas tested, in all categories, T-Mobile didn't do so hot. The question for anyone but the fanboys are.. does it work for you? If not, why are you still using the service?
    For me... it works 99% of the time and 99% of the places I go to, I'm not willing to pay an extra $40/month for places that I go to a couple times/year. I can bring my work phone (note: I used to have AT&T wireless service from 2002-2015 in SoCal)

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    That's exactly where OpenSignal gets its information:

    "All of the data used in our coverage maps is crowdsourced from our global community of app users, ensuring that the findings we publish reflect the real-world state of mobile network coverage as everyday user typically experience it.

    https://www.opensignal.com/networks/...obile-coverage

    And they beat Verizon with AT&T in third place.

    If T-Mobile is too slow for you, then port your number.
    If you look at those results.. they're primarily urban locations and metro areas. I don't see any results for .... Mackinaw City, MI, or... Telluride, CO, or Lake Louise,NY, Stowe VT.
    Results are only as good as the time and location (and device) that you are using.

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