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Thread: Data or Calling in East KY. Canít have both.

  1. #1
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    Data or Calling in East KY. Canít have both.

    Repost from my Reddit.

    TL;DR unless bored. But I am hoping the right AT&T person will see this.

    I live in Pikeville, KY, rural (but largest) town in eastern Kentucky. We have a medical school, optometry, school undergrad uni, community college, and a hospital that has 3,000 employees. Weíre the banking, retail, and dining hub this side of the state..... one would think AT&T would invest in the network of the actual areas where people live/work/shop. Our corporate store was one of the only ones open in the area during COVID. But this does not equate to investment.

    I was with Appalachian Wireless on their Band 12 LTE network. The Verizon LTE in Rural America 13/4 network still doesnít have VoLTE or WiFi calling, so I stick with their B12 network. This newly launched network still has some growing pains. WiFi calling still isnít right and I am constantly dropping calls. I decided to switch back to AT&T for their WiFi calling and MAN, nothing has changed, if anything it has gotten worse here.

    The site closest to me received the B14 upgrades (Bob Amos tower) and signal is considerably worse. Speeds are awful. Sectors were not repositioned so this shouldnít be a problem, coverage drops to HSPA+ and sometimes nothing on this side of the town served by that site. Six months ago an engineer told me if I didnít like it I could simply leave, that there were ďno known issues.Ē The engineers I have previously spoken with have stopped responding.

    Travel to the other side of town and itís even worse. I have been told for a year the Duty Knob AT&T monopole will receive upgrades, it hasnít been touched. Speeds are so slow from 2 PM - 6 PM you canít send an iMessage. AT&T store employees, their local fiber guys, ALL experience this, but AT&T engineers insist nothing is wrong. This tower serves the busiest shopping and dining area in the town and itís so bogged down during weekends if you donít have WiFi, your phone is a paper weight.

    AT&T did build a few new co-lo sites with Appalachian Wireless which was helpful, but two are literally in an area where there are more cows than people, rather than focusing on areas the network is crippled.

    I was told $75/unlimited prepaid plan had WiFi calling. Turns out that wasnít true and I basically lit $50 on fire. To get WiFi calling back, I switched to elite. WiFi calling worked, but people on here had me thinking I was prioritized. Wrong. My GFís prepaid $300/year plan had the same speeds and issues. Same speeds within a few kbps. Yes that close.

    I dropped calls in areas I didnít drop with AT&T just 6 months ago. I donít know why they give up so easily in rural markets like this. We have ONE usable carrier here, but as more people jump from T to Appalachian Wireless, their network becomes congested too.

    At&t: Calling is great with WiFi calling or when you actually have signal. Data is awful, even on the B14/FirstNet upgrades site.

    Appalachian: Calls donít come through and I just get voicemails. WiFi calling drops constantly. Data speeds consistently 10-20 mbps though

    T mobile: Letís build sites in random places nobody goes and leave the major US highways (23) without coverage making it useless. You can drive 20 miles north or south of Pikeville with T Mobile without coverage, yet their maps say otherwise.

    Oh the struggles of connectivity out here. I am now back with AW missing calls, but at least my data is usable.


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  2. #2
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    is this on the iPhone X? for T-Mobile.. you WILL need a phone that has Band 71 support. grab a cheap phone that supports Band 71, and a sim on the $3/mo plan to see if that helps at all.

    I know in Ohio, i went from almost no rural coverage to having service in places that Verizon does not even work after B71 was added.

    Although looking at the map they've not enabled the NSA 5g on 600MHz there yet.. but that could be due a lack of decent backhaul.
    Verizon: Grandfathered UDP
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT&T: Premium & More w/ Free 100Mbps VDSL2 "for life"
    Sprint: Premium Unlimited (for 100GB hotspot!)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    is this on the iPhone X? for T-Mobile.. you WILL need a phone that has Band 71 support. grab a cheap phone that supports Band 71, and a sim on the $3/mo plan to see if that helps at all.

    I know in Ohio, i went from almost no rural coverage to having service in places that Verizon does not even work after B71 was added.

    Although looking at the map they've not enabled the NSA 5g on 600MHz there yet.. but that could be due a lack of decent backhaul.
    11 Pro Max.

    T-Mobile just doesnít have nowhere near the sites as AT&T here. Theyíre adding Band 71 right now actually though. This will help the small coverage area lol


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinkk2005 View Post
    11 Pro Max.

    T-Mobile just doesn’t have nowhere near the sites as AT&T here. They’re adding Band 71 right now actually though. This will help the small coverage area lol


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Well, in all fairness.. there's a reason they're cheaper haha BUT i do wish you luck getting anything working out that way.. I know just a couple hundred mile north... it can be a struggle. Maybe T-Mobile will upgrade Sprint's 3G sites to LTE and you can get some decent coverage there at some point.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Well, in all fairness.. there's a reason they're cheaper haha BUT i do wish you luck getting anything working out that way.. I know just a couple hundred mile north... it can be a struggle. Maybe T-Mobile will upgrade Sprint's 3G sites to LTE and you can get some decent coverage there at some point.
    I hope so buddy. Oddly enough, my market is a Shentel market for Sprint. Nobody really knows whatís going to happen there yet.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinkk2005 View Post
    I hope so buddy. Oddly enough, my market is a Shentel market for Sprint. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen there yet.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    T-Mobile will likely just pony up the cash and buy it out, Shentel would leave a sizeable coverage gap T-Mobile would have to fully pull out of... and Shentel is not quite big enough to stand on it's own without some kind of "national" partnership.

    The current network being spaced for 1900MHz EvDo/CDMA would be perfect to overlay with 600/700MHz LTE as the further reach should make the coverage quite solid in/right around town.

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    Not that this would necessarily solve your problem, but it's it possible your service is made worse by deprioritization? You said (I believe) you're on AT&T Prepaid. Would it be worth trying a postpaid line for a month to see if the very little bandwidth AT&T seems to offer there isn't being hogged by the "real" AT&T customers, with little left for the prepaid and MVNO users?

    Just a thought...



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