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Thread: T-Mobile wins first PCMag award for America's fastest network

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    T-Mobile wins first PCMag award for America's fastest network

    Congratulations are in order for T-Mobile in winning this award. Certainly a great report by PCMag showing just how well the 5G rollout is going.

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/fastest-mobile-networks-2021

    Great success indeed.

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    Same article as below in 'race to 5g'. Thier analysis for LA West and North Carolina were pretty.much in line. I can't speak as much for other areas, but I do like their jab at rural coverage vs map, and their overall poke at TMobile and their issues with rural.

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    Great speeds and coverage out here in the Mojave metro areas.

    They covered the long stretches of the 15 FWY between SoCal and Vegas and the 40 through AZ with LTE even before MaBell.

    Glad to see the speed trend continue with 5G.




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    Name:  7D4FCC83-FE12-47F5-B20E-CE96AC9DAF41.jpg
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Size:  25.4 KBThere are a few issues with these tests. First off, from the map, they only drove Interstate highways, no US or state highways at all. “Rural testing” was done along rural sections of Interstate highways, not actually out in the country and along state roads. Until testing is done on ALL types of highways, I question the validity of the testing, as it is well known that carriers have always favored site placement along Interstates as opposed to US and state highways, which skews the availability and date results. Get away from those Interstates and you will find a whole new world of very few sites and lack of availability of coverage and data speeds.

    Second, there are some HUGE gaps in where they tested. The article claims they tested “from sea to shining sea” when in fact, no testing was done between Interstates 25 and 35 in the heartland of the country, and no testing at all was done over fully 1/3 of the country north of Interstates 70 and 80….from sea to shining sea, to use their phrasing. Some of these gaps can easily be explained by the fact that AT&T essentially does not serve the state of Nebraska at all. They have made a little headway in that regard in the past few years, but not much. Coverage tested should be native, not roaming, over which the major carriers have no control. And some other carriers also nearly completely ignore the northern US north of Interstate 80, which includes Interstates 90/94.

    So these tests, interesting though they might be, do not really give a full accounting of each carrier’s capabilities and service offerings across the entire country……..not even close. It’s just fun to look at, that’s all.

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    Based on the map, it seems more oriented towards urban/suburban road trips versus nationwide coverage "off the beaten path." For many people, that's probably good enough - if I'm traveling, it's either to visit family where I already know the coverage in their area or it's going to be along a major highway for the most part. That said, it would've made sense to include a few random towns under 25,000 people to see how good coverage is from the freeway to that town, and within the town itself - maybe pick the city hall as the point of reference for each town for testing.

    Other than that, I can't super fault the testing - including any potential roaming coverage makes sense, as that's what a postpaid customer would experience. While they didn't cover every major city, I think it's still a good sampling and the trends should hold across the areas that they didn't cover. Nebraska would be the one exception, but it's such an odd market for the major carriers that it might make sense to skip it until things get better built out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    Name:  7D4FCC83-FE12-47F5-B20E-CE96AC9DAF41.jpg
Views: 61
Size:  25.4 KBThere are a few issues with these tests. First off, from the map, they only drove Interstate highways, no US or state highways at all. “Rural testing” was done along rural sections of Interstate highways, not actually out in the country and along state roads. Until testing is done on ALL types of highways, I question the validity of the testing, as it is well known that carriers have always favored site placement along Interstates as opposed to US and state highways, which skews the availability and date results. Get away from those Interstates and you will find a whole new world of very few sites and lack of availability of coverage and data speeds.

    Second, there are some HUGE gaps in where they tested. The article claims they tested “from sea to shining sea” when in fact, no testing was done between Interstates 25 and 35 in the heartland of the country, and no testing at all was done over fully 1/3 of the country north of Interstates 70 and 80….from sea to shining sea, to use their phrasing. Some of these gaps can easily be explained by the fact that AT&T essentially does not serve the state of Nebraska at all. They have made a little headway in that regard in the past few years, but not much. Coverage tested should be native, not roaming, over which the major carriers have no control. And some other carriers also nearly completely ignore the northern US north of Interstate 80, which includes Interstates 90/94.

    So these tests, interesting though they might be, do not really give a full accounting of each carrier’s capabilities and service offerings across the entire country……..not even close. It’s just fun to look at, that’s all.
    Generally I agree with with your assessment about this test not really going off of the beaten path into rural areas. However, your comment about AT&T’s lack of native coverage in Nebraska is no longer correct. AT&T is completely native now except for a small area in the north central part of the state. Coverage wise, Verizon is still the best in Nebraska, though.

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    I did drive a lot of that east coast bit, and it wasn't always as good (in many areas) or poor in others.
    In WV -> VA -> PA there are a lot of drops, and in many places, roaming on Sprint.

    I mostly agree with the one on Mojave - that area (nicer way to Vegas from Santa Clarita) is typically good.
    The article does complain about the urban LA area - which I will state is probably fairly accurate from my driving - highs and lows. Similarly, North Carolina rural areas are pretty weak.
    There is a lot of traffic that takes the Interstates, so one would EXPECT them to be good/great.
    Rural areas on T-Mobile are kinda hit or miss depending on the market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMac704 View Post
    Generally I agree with with your assessment about this test not really going off of the beaten path into rural areas. However, your comment about AT&T’s lack of native coverage in Nebraska is no longer correct. AT&T is completely native now except for a small area in the north central part of the state. Coverage wise, Verizon is still the best in Nebraska, though.
    Good to know that AT&T finally built out a system to cover all of Nebraska. And if it’s brand new, it would have been a good candidate for testing to see how good brand new coverage is. And not just along I-80, but on some north-south US and state highways as well. There is only 5G in a tiny area of the northeast corner of the state, but that isn’t unusual as AT&T’s 5G in the middle of the country is sparse to be kind, but as with Verizon’s 5G and T-Mobile’s as well, it is no better than LTE. One would think brand new coverage would be built with 5G in mind, but as usual, it will probably be many years before 5G makes an appearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jebr View Post
    Based on the map, it seems more oriented towards urban/suburban road trips versus nationwide coverage "off the beaten path." For many people, that's probably good enough - if I'm traveling, it's either to visit family where I already know the coverage in their area or it's going to be along a major highway for the most part. That said, it would've made sense to include a few random towns under 25,000 people to see how good coverage is from the freeway to that town, and within the town itself - maybe pick the city hall as the point of reference for each town for testing.

    Other than that, I can't super fault the testing - including any potential roaming coverage makes sense, as that's what a postpaid customer would experience. While they didn't cover every major city, I think it's still a good sampling and the trends should hold across the areas that they didn't cover. Nebraska would be the one exception, but it's such an odd market for the major carriers that it might make sense to skip it until things get better built out there.
    Not all traffic in the US occurs on Interstates. I can take you to US and state highways all up and down the middle of the country, both north-south and east-west roads, that carry just as much truck traffic and regular car traffic as some of the Interstates carry. I-25 and I-35 are 600 miles apart, and the east/west Interstates are 250-300 miles apart, so there are many US and state north/south highways to carry the traffic that needs to go those directions. So the carriers should cover those roads as well in my opinion.

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    I took a deeper look at the map compared to the Interstate highway system, and it looks like they made at least a couple deviations - they took the Pacific Coast Highway instead of I-5 in California, and they took either US-93 or US-95 for at least a portion between Phoenix and Las Vegas (there's no good interstate here, and the map isn't a high enough resolution to determine which route definitively.) The lines don't also seem to follow the Interstates perfectly, so it seems they made a few smaller deviations as well - looking at Wyoming to Colorado, I-80 to I-25 would have a sharp turn instead of the rounded corner (maybe they took US-287, although there's a separate jagged edge back in that doesn't follow that perfectly either.)

    At any rate, it appears that while there's always room for a more comprehensive test (though that costs more money, which they may not have had) it seems as though in areas where the Interstate system isn't as comprehensive (particularly in the West) they did do a few deviations to see how things worked on larger non-Interstate highways.

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    Name:  0E72B1BE-77FD-487C-BB33-E02061FDFF78.jpg
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    I’ll take coverage over speed. I checked cellmapper and T-Mobile looked pretty bad in the area but I didn’t except miles of no service. Thankfully I use a sprint sim so it dropped to 3G / 1X in a most places where tmo had no service but this spot there was no T-Mobile or sprint (only usable service on AT&T due to a firstnet tower, Verizon was -123 b13) Came into a small town after that, Verizon and AT&T had full bars while T-Mobile was -125 b71.

    Excuse the dusty phone.

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    This is why TMobile placed poorly on the west coast (note, rural desert can be ok in many places).
    At&t built out FirstNet, Verizon has a lot of sites in rural west coast federal land , and communities. TMobile mostly relies on B12/B71 on existing. Eg TMobile upgraded a site on Sierra Highway... now I get service .... -140dBm. Verizon B13 is strong, and the At&t sites on LTE are pushing +300Mbps.
    TMobile has its work cut out.Name:  Screenshot_20210827-193859_SignalCheck%20Pro.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebr View Post
    I took a deeper look at the map compared to the Interstate highway system, and it looks like they made at least a couple deviations - they took the Pacific Coast Highway instead of I-5 in California, and they took either US-93 or US-95 for at least a portion between Phoenix and Las Vegas (there's no good interstate here, and the map isn't a high enough resolution to determine which route definitively.) The lines don't also seem to follow the Interstates perfectly, so it seems they made a few smaller deviations as well - looking at Wyoming to Colorado, I-80 to I-25 would have a sharp turn instead of the rounded corner (maybe they took US-287, although there's a separate jagged edge back in that doesn't follow that perfectly either.)

    At any rate, it appears that while there's always room for a more comprehensive test (though that costs more money, which they may not have had) it seems as though in areas where the Interstate system isn't as comprehensive (particularly in the West) they did do a few deviations to see how things worked on larger non-Interstate highways.
    Those are some pretty small deviations from the Interstate system, and then there is the matter of the northern 1/3 of the US that they did not bother testing at all. Like I said in my original post, these results are interesting to look at, but in no way to they give remotely accurate depictions of the carriers’ offerings across the entire country, “from sea to shining sea”.

    I am sitting here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the center of one of T-Mobile’s new “Ultra Capacity” service areas, and when I do have data available, which is not all the time for some odd reason, it is nowhere near mind-blowing, just 22 Mbps for the best reading I have been able to get. So, it doesn’t look to me like this new N41 spectrum is going to be much of a game-changer. At least not here. Other locations may vary.

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    Yes... much of the coverage map is hyped up fluff for sales, IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdewey View Post
    Not all traffic in the US occurs on Interstates. I can take you to US and state highways all up and down the middle of the country, both north-south and east-west roads, that carry just as much truck traffic and regular car traffic as some of the Interstates carry. I-25 and I-35 are 600 miles apart, and the east/west Interstates are 250-300 miles apart, so there are many US and state north/south highways to carry the traffic that needs to go those directions. So the carriers should cover those roads as well in my opinion.
    Amen to that! Haven’t we met before and sang the same tunes in related threads?


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