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Thread: Congestion question

  1. #1
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    Congestion question

    Was recently in Moab and Torrey Utah. In both locations noted I had great signal strength throughout the towns but terrible congestion - couldn’t even get a speed test to complete.
    I noted friends with Verizon and AT&T didn’t experience these issues.
    Wondering what the root cause of all the congestion issues are. Is it a bandwidth issue? Is T-Mobile not purchasing enough internet bandwidth to cover all the users on their network in certain cities? Or is T-Mobile not deploying as many antennas as other providers on each tower? Or what is the root cause generally to cause this when it’s limited to just T-Mobile? I don’t think it’s the combined band 66, 12 and 2 aggregation as Verizon seems to have less bands to work with than T-Mobile.
    How will 5g fare btw? Will T-Mobile be just as congested in certain areas due to the same factors affecting congestion on 4g?
    Any information would be helpful. Debating if this is a short term issue or if I should be looking at more reliable though more expensive providers. Because it was really frustrating not being able to read email on my trip while friends were easily posting videos and photos, etc.

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    How will 5g fare btw? Will T-Mobile be just as congested in certain areas due to the same factors affecting congestion on 4g?
    You can end up with sites where getting like 1gbps or whatever to it is impossible via wire (or very expensive, I guess anything's "possible"), so those rural sites are very likely using like a T1 or something (1.5mbps) as a backup and wireless backhaul for the main service. Those wireless backhauls can do 1gbps+, but you can end up with a whole chain of cell sites going out hop after hop. Here in eastern Iowa, Verizon was running like a T1 (1.5mbps) then dual T1s to their rural 3G sites, then when then put up band 13 4G I'm pretty sure they usually ended up using the wireless backhaul as thier main method, backhaul it to a few hops to whatever sites are in a big enough town they can get a fat fiber connection to it.

    Actually, when they ran the 4G here in Iowa City at first, apparently whoever (either phone company or cable co.) kept delaying putting whatever lines (100mbps or 1gbps I assume back then) to the sites, so initially when they launched the 4G they were actually backhauling it wirelessly like 20-30 miles down I380 from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City; now they run fat fiber into old brick downtown and wireless backhaul it out from there. (Although fiber started showing up here the last year or two, and the microcells showed up last year, I'm assuming those might be on fiber.)

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    Your issue reminds me of San Simeon, Ca. Town of <500, T-mobile site on a Super 8 motel with B4 20x20, B12 5x5, B71 10x10 and 5g n71. Typical speed was ~0.5Mbps when 1/4 mile away and -63dBm, SINR of 30 and 2x CA. Upload was around 6Mbps. Wasn't congestion. Lack of backhaul. 4 miles away, Hearst Castle has B4 20x20 only and once connected, you'll be pushing +100Mbps. Same goes for downtown Cambria. I suspect that the site probably has either a few T1s or 10Mbps Ethernet tied in from somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skierrob View Post
    Any information would be helpful. Debating if this is a short term issue or if I should be looking at more reliable though more expensive providers. Because it was really frustrating not being able to read email on my trip while friends were easily posting videos and photos, etc.
    Historically, T-Mo has only had good or adequate coverage in urban areas and major highways. They are building, but still have a long way to go. I would not use T-Mo if I needed service in remote areas. Maybe in a year or three. Moab and Torrey sound out there.

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    I suspect the issue may come down to 'Is T-Mobile colocated with other carriers on a site which has some infra, or are they running their own'.
    Looks like multiple carriers... but microwave backhaul
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/He...4d-109.5358801

    https://www.google.com/maps/search/T.../data=!3m1!1e3

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    VZW has sites here out in the sticks where they're running all bands, 13, 5, 4, and 2, so at least 10+5 (or 10 depending on how much they've squeezed down CDMA/EVDO)+10+10 at least, 6 sector sites, 75mbps (assuming no MIMO or anything) per 10mhz channel, 40mhz, that's like 1.8gbps per site. These sites did get faster than when they were band 13 only, but I seriously doubt they have that much speed running to these sites.

    I think it's for both VZW and T-Mo in some cases, it's simply a matter of they replaced the old hardware with a shiny new software defined radio setup; turning on bands is a matter of checking some boxes, rather than having to install channel cards and whatever like in decades past, so they just went ahead and fired up all bands because why not.

    An example from the distant past of this kind of thing, I was up in Lac du Flambeau in northern Wisconsin many years ago... they had a nice shiny CDMA 1x site, loads of signal, but nothing but "all circuits are busy" (I think this was Alltel roaming back then, it was a long time ago). Someone up there pointed out "yeah, the site only carries about 50 calls; they upgraded the site to digital last year but didn't run any more circuits to the cell site."

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    Usually in more rural areas, if T-Mobile has not updated it recently.. it usually has Band 2 LTE at 5x5, and maybe Band 12 at 5x5 as well.

    If Sprint also had service in the area, they'll most likely *at some point* light up 600/700/1700/1900/2500.. but it's going to be about 2.5yrs total (they're about six months in) to get the entire network uniform.
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
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