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Thread: How does T-Mobile's actual coverage compare to AT&T?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    They also just signed a deal with Commnet to overbuild their coverage for FirstNet. If not immediately, coverage should improve a TON.

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/atandt-outsources-firstnet-construction-to-atns-commnet-for-$1675m-in-southwest/d/d-id/753350


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Wow, that's great news

    Sent from my SM-N960U 6GB aka Note 9 using Tapatalk

  2. #32
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    Is it New Mexico or Arizona that's a disaster on AT&T? It really depends on the market, but in general, nationwide, AT&T has much better coverage. With a T-Mobile branded phone on a T-Mobile postpaid plan, some markets will have USCC roaming, which is typically superior to everything else, even if it won't excite the speedtests.

    I've found in CT that in more exurban/rural areas, T-Mobile isn't as good as AT&T, but T-Mobile has the most sites in suburban/urban areas. AT&T has excellent coverage, but not always the most bars, but generally still has a huge speed advantage due to some combination of a crapload of spectrum and good backhaul arrangements as they were the ILEC here until a few years ago.

  3. #33
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    My experience with T-Mobile in NM was that they had superior coverage on some highways like US 285 between Santa Fe and Roswell. AT&T at the time hadn’t integrated Plateau yet, but from what I can tell Plateau only had a few sites along that highway anyway.

    In my area my experience with T-Mobile is varied. The Chicagoland coverage is very good, quite a bit better coverage depth than AT&T. But there are still spots I go to at the edge of the metro that are sub par for both, while Verizon is taking the crown. One place I make a few trips to in the summer in SW Michigan, T-Mobile is a hot mess that leaves one questioning their legitimacy as a carrier. AT&T has its own issues in that area but they at least can make a call.

  4. #34
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    To the OP, as stated, everyone lies about their map. The best way to see actual coverage is usually to look at their top prepaid company's data map and see where they have data since they usually don't want to pay to let people do data roaming. T-Mobile has gotten better in their coverage, but you'd have to know if the area is covered by band 12 or not, especially if you are not using a T-Mobile branded phone as you could show a data signal but not be able to make a call. As much as Sprint needed the merger to go through, T-Mobile needed to get their hands on Sprint's spectrum and network in some areas to fill in the gaps that they have. If you are going to try postpaid and get Sprint roaming, it may be a different story than if you had Metro's coverage for now.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wireless View Post
    To the OP, as stated, everyone lies about their map. The best way to see actual coverage is usually to look at their top prepaid company's data map and see where they have data since they usually don't want to pay to let people do data roaming. T-Mobile has gotten better in their coverage, but you'd have to know if the area is covered by band 12 or not, especially if you are not using a T-Mobile branded phone as you could show a data signal but not be able to make a call. As much as Sprint needed the merger to go through, T-Mobile needed to get their hands on Sprint's spectrum and network in some areas to fill in the gaps that they have. If you are going to try postpaid and get Sprint roaming, it may be a different story than if you had Metro's coverage for now.
    They all lie, but some more than others. Verizon used to lie the most, now they lie the least. T-Mobile takes the cake for crayoning the map, although Sprint is deceptive in that they show roaming until you zoom way in, so they're basically showing their native coverage AND Verizon AND USCC at a national level. T-Mobile is good about VoLTE support on unbranded devices, the issue is that they don't seem to be able to get USCC VoLTE roaming due to something on USCC's end.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    They all lie, but some more than others. Verizon used to lie the most, now they lie the least. T-Mobile takes the cake for crayoning the map
    Spray painting.

    Paintballing.

    Their map is a Jackson Pollack exclusive.

    Turk 182 bows to T-Mobile.

  7. #37
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    I find that in rural Alabama, AT&T may have a slight edge but they are comparable for the most part. Both carriers however, fall short in terms of rural coverage compared to SouthernLINC and Verizon.

    AT&T just put a new macro that only covers about 1-2 miles at most with Band 14 installed. They fall back to no signal whereas Verizon has LTE.

    Verizon is having some capacity issues in the urban parts of Alabama, but their coverage hands down cannot be matched by AT&T or T-Mobile. SouthernLINCs coverage cannot be beat by any in Alabama.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    Spray painting.

    Paintballing.
    Some of their isolated islands of coverage from a single site do kinda look like a paintball!

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircuitSwitched View Post
    Verizon is having some capacity issues in the urban parts of Alabama, but their coverage hands down cannot be matched by AT&T or T-Mobile. SouthernLINCs coverage cannot be beat by any in Alabama.
    That's interesting because if you looked at their websites, you'd think AT&T was the best, Verizon was second, and SouthernLinc was last. SouthernLinc must be extremely conservative with their map.

    Does SouthernLinc actually have more tower sites, or are they using a combination of tall towers (top of transmission lines?), the Sonim XP8 with excellent reception, and a narrow LTE channel to really blast the signal out there? Maybe they also are running at higher power, since they have far fewer users and data load than a network like Verizon that needs more density and thus might leave dead spots when they turn towers down to avoid interference?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    That's interesting because if you looked at their websites, you'd think AT&T was the best, Verizon was second, and SouthernLinc was last. SouthernLinc must be extremely conservative with their map.

    Does SouthernLinc actually have more tower sites, or are they using a combination of tall towers (top of transmission lines?), the Sonim XP8 with excellent reception, and a narrow LTE channel to really blast the signal out there? Maybe they also are running at higher power, since they have far fewer users and data load than a network like Verizon that needs more density and thus might leave dead spots when they turn towers down to avoid interference?
    AT&Ts maps are so wrong. They depict coverage that my WRX’s 1 watt LTE antenna can pick up, but no handheld phone including an XP8 in FirstNet can pick up.

    I’ll put it this way, AT&T has no signal outside the Sheriffs office.

    Most public safety in Alabama seem to use Southern LINC and have opted out of FirstNet due to coverage issues.

    SoLINC is extremely conservative with their coverage maps, and it hasn’t been updated in a few months. They have since activated over 250 brand new macros since the last update. Their map shows my house as ‘no service’ but I receive 3 bars of usable signal inside my home.

    I’m sure it’s a combination of the XP8s excellent reception, antenna placement, and transmit power. They have about 100,000 customers and 42,000 of those are Southern Company employees. I rarely see congestion on this 3MHz carrier.

    They also prioritize PTT and voice availability over raw data speeds, but being an LTE only network they have to have decent data speeds for those anyways.

    The site nearest my lake house is 480FT y’all and LINC is on top. AT&T has their own 150ft lattice tower next to it.
    LINC reaches 16 miles from that same site, where as AT&T drops to no signal at just 6 miles from the site..

    Another reason they beat any other company
    in this area is for their backup systems.

    Every cell site has 7 days of automatic backup power on site, and 500 of the 1200 sites are hydrogen based.

    85% of sites have diverse backhaul paths which are fiber optics and 2 self healing microwave paths. If optics goes down and one microwave path fails, the site will operate at reduced capacity on the 1 remaining microwave path.



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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircuitSwitched View Post
    AT&Ts maps are so wrong. They depict coverage that my WRX’s 1 watt LTE antenna can pick up, but no handheld phone including an XP8 in FirstNet can pick up.
    It's weird because I've been places where they are totally wrong and show continuous coverage where it doesn't exist for a handheld phone, meanwhile, I've been to places where it's dead on accurate. Go figure.

    Most public safety in Alabama seem to use Southern LINC and have opted out of FirstNet due to coverage issues.
    I wonder if AT&T is going to improve coverage with additional sites.

    SoLINC is extremely conservative with their coverage maps, and it hasn’t been updated in a few months. They have since activated over 250 brand new macros since the last update. Their map shows my house as ‘no service’ but I receive 3 bars of usable signal inside my home.
    250?!? That's an insane number of sites, even for an AT&T or Verizon. I guess it helps when you can skip most of the process of building a site though, due to already owning large numbers of tall metal objects that are perfectly suited for double duty as a cell tower.

    I’m sure it’s a combination of the XP8s excellent reception, antenna placement, and transmit power. They have about 100,000 customers and 42,000 of those are Southern Company employees. I rarely see congestion on this 3MHz carrier.
    That's impressive. I'd bet a lot of their users don't use much data, and probably have personal phones on AT&T or Verizon that they use for more data intensive stuff while they have the SoLinc phone for work. It sounds like they are able to build a network that's really for coverage, as opposed to the capacity games that the others are playing with UDPs.

    They could make a lot of money hosting sites for other carriers, but maybe they're just not interested in doing it.

    They also prioritize PTT and voice availability over raw data speeds, but being an LTE only network they have to have decent data speeds for those anyways.
    All VoLTE systems do this.

    The site nearest my lake house is 480FT y’all and LINC is on top. AT&T has their own 150ft lattice tower next to it.
    LINC reaches 16 miles from that same site, where as AT&T drops to no signal at just 6 miles from the site..
    WOW.

    Another reason they beat any other company
    in this area is for their backup systems.

    Every cell site has 7 days of automatic backup power on site, and 500 of the 1200 sites are hydrogen based.
    So I do find it slightly ironic that they have the best backup power for when they fail to deliver commercial power to their own sites.

    Not sure exactly what your environmental conditions/risks/threats are down there, but up in CT every time there is a hurricane or storm there are tends of thousands of homes out of power. We just don't learn. The solution is very simple: put all the utilities 48" underground in conduit. Equipment fails occasionally, but not all at once like when trees start taking lines down right and left and it takes a week to fix them.

    85% of sites have diverse backhaul paths which are fiber optics and 2 self healing microwave paths. If optics goes down and one microwave path fails, the site will operate at reduced capacity on the 1 remaining microwave path.
    That's pretty impressive though. But reduced capacity? These aren't AT&T sites cranking out a gigabit a sector or something. They've got, what, 40mbps per sector or something of total capacity?

  12. #42
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    The tallest sites here are 175 feet, most are smaller, much smaller, but then we have a lot of mountains and hills, where many sites are. We do, however, have Redwoods that get to 400 feet high, nature made. We actually have a tree about 10 miles west of me in the Montgomery Woods SNR called the Mendocino Tree, it's 368 feet tall!

  13. #43
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    I can attempt to give my honest opinion here, as I have service on AT&T iPhone 8 and TMobile on LG G7. Urban/Suburban SoCal, TMobile typically has more sites. Coverage is a bit better in the city on Tmobile. In my area, TMobile has nearly 2x the cell sites, allowing for more consistent speeds.

    In buildings such as LAX, TMobile typically sucks. Rural SoCal coverage is typically much better on At&t. Places such as Cambria CA, TMobile has coverage on 1/2 the town, while AT&T works. I didn't have any issues between LA and Vegas on either carrier as others have., but as I mentioned... TMobile indoors sucks. Rural Michigan is usable on Tmobile taking I75 , but has large gaps. Similar in Kauai and Colorado. In general, they currently don't have that much interest in covering rural America as well as At&t ... They are better than they were, and at this point they are done with their "low fruit hanging from the tree", and they won't see much ROI unless they do beef up, and take on At&t/VZW.... I personally don't see it.. Yet

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  14. #44
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    At my location T-Mobile says "Text, Talk, and non-LTE Data Partner. We've partnered with providers... Most T-mobile plans include a limited amount of data in these areas, and data speeds can vary as well..."

  15. #45
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    As others have mentioned AT&T isn't the fastest or have the strongest signal but it works more consistently in more places.

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