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T-Mobile Releases 2017 Projected Coverage Map

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Earlier this week, T-Mobile announced its Q4 2016 earnings. In addition to unveiling information about its earnings, the carrier also released some information on its network current status along with their future plans for coverage. A projected coverage map for 2017 was also released by T-Mobile.

Judging on the locations highlighted on the projected coverage map, it is clear that T-Mobile hopes to expand its LTE footprint to a much larger scale. The carrier has compared this with its coverage last Dec. 31, 2016 and wish to grow the coverage greatly. The projected target date for this coverage map is Dec. 31, 2017.

The map depicts the carrier's plan to expand its LTE coverage across states like Montana, West Virginia, Iowa, and Oregon. There are other states where T-Mobile plans to offer more 4G LTE coverage.

During its Q4 2016 earnings announcement, TMO repeated its intentions on expanding its LTE network coverage. The carrier also foresees that its 4G LTE network will grow to serve up to 320 million people by the end of this year. Currently, the network reaches 314 million people. But with T-Mobile's plans to offer more services through the year, it's likely this number will grow.


Source: TMONews

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44 comments:

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  1. hows the coverage inside buildings

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    1. Good or bad depending on the building's construction and location. T-Mobile's signal is governed by the same laws of physics as any other carrier.

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    2. Hi Dennis,

      Not sure that's a fair statement. T-Mobile's signal is partly governed by the wavelengths that it owns as compared to other carriers. Some wavelengths penetrate buildings better than others.

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    3. It's true that lower frequency signals tend to penetrate structures better. But T-Mobile has 700 Mhz spectrum in most markets now just like AT&T and Verizon do.

      I've found T-Mobile or Sprint as likely to work indoors as AT&T. All three have dead spots indoors and out but not usually in the same places.

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    4. When I was on a Sprint prepaid network a couple of years ago, I found that Sprint only worked in the front of stores, near windows... with no signal about 20 feet in. And AT&T (Cricket), which I got later, works all over inside the building (comparing the exact same stores), only conking out in hospital basements.

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    5. Two year-old experience is no longer a good measure. They all have done much in the past 2 years, and you are more likely to have a phone that uses all the bands that a carrier has in your area.

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    6. I've had some experience with Sprint in the past year. The coverage appears to have gotten worse.

      Sprint customer totals reflect the rather poor state of the network. T-Mobile is actually expanding, and customer-wise is leaving Sprint in the dust because of it.

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    7. Dennis, what's your source for "T-Mobile has 700 Mhz spectrum in most markets?" As I recall, they sat out the 700 MHz auctions; Verizon picked up a lot of block A and C spectrum and AT&T got block B. T-Mobile negotiated with TV stations and Verizon for block A spectrum. Given that there are no anti-squatting rules in the US and that US Cellular was the other major buyer of block A spectrum, how did T-Mobile manage to buy as much 700 MHz spectrum as they have PCS and AWS?

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  2. I love what I see there for Iowa. T-mobile has a super weird "partner" relationship with iWireless in Iowa. iWireless customers can roam on T-mobile as much as they want, but in the past, there were data caps (don't remember what they are/were, but a very low amount per month) that you could roam on iWireless. It's super shady, as they have iWireless coverage displayed on the map and make it look like their own. What's even weirder is T-mobile owns a majority of iWireless, yet they count it as roaming. I wonder if this practice will go away???

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    Replies
    1. Don't be too quick to blame TMO here. There might well be factors such as contracts and/or unnecessary regulations to prevent companies from serving customers.

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  3. Even with the 700 mhz overlay in my area, no usuable T-mobile signal in my home or office in metro Atlanta . What is ironic is that Sprint network coverage is ok in both places. Verizon is who I use (via Boom Mobile) because their coverage best suits my needs.

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    1. Be happy you are in Atlanta. And don't leave it. Georgia is one of a majority of state with bad Sprint coverage... looks like only about 1/5th of the state has native Sprint.

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    2. That is why I use Verizon. It works for me everywhere where I need coverage (my specific locations). I was just pint out that T-mobile is not the end all provider.

      "Be happy you are in Atlanta. And don't leave it. Georgia is one of a majority of state with bad Sprint coverage... looks like only about 1/5th of the state has native Sprint.

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  4. This does me as the telco equivalent of Microsoft's classic FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt) strategy to keep their customers from defecting to competitors. They can promise the entire world will be covered *as long as they put it under the "projected" banner.*

    The idea is to get their customers thinking "Really? They're gonna fix my coverage this year? Maybe I'll just wait & see instead of going through all the hassle of switching providers & a new phone." Then the telco can give some excuse for why it didn't happen this year, but it will "definitely" happen the following year. They might be able to get away with this for up to a few years for some borderline customers who are afraid to change for whichever reason. Eventually they'll have to follow through on their promises or lose that customer, but it won't be today & so they get to keep taking the customer's money for sub-par service in the meantime.

    Not trying to bash TMobile in particular (about to switch to their network myself) - just saying don't make decisions based upon vague "projections." They need to be backed up with some sort of proof that they're likely to actually happen or they're not worth the electrons they're displayed with.

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  5. T-Mobile considers 1 bar of signal outdoors with no service half the time time to be "coverage" for the purposes of their map. Only AT&T and Verizon will spare the expense for extra towers to cover the areas in my town that are dead spots with Sprint and T-mobile. T-mobile is a little better than Sprint in coverage. Around here it is obvious that Sprint and T-mobile are the low budget carriers.

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  6. Looks like coverage is better than Sprint, AT&T. I am kind of worry they are going to be expensive than Verizon. Also indoor signal... Still my area has bad indoor signal.

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    Replies
    1. "Projected" coverage

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    2. Yes. Coverage holes that the maps do not show. T-mobile coverage has greatly improved but still not as good overall as ATT and VZW.

      "Projected" coverage

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  7. We say that TMO has the 700 Mhz spectrum.
    Thats great.
    Now, what specs do I look for when scouting out a prospective new phone?

    Is it the bands?
    Is it the UMTS frequencies?

    I just wish to know what will the spec sheets say that will gaurantee me that I can use the 700 Mhz frequencies for TMO

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    1. You need to look for "LTE Band 12."

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    2. You need to look for T-Mobile approval of a band 12 phone. Last year there was a mini-controversy where they were having Motorola disable band 12 in phones that hadn't gone through T-Mobile's certification, and other manufacturers first listing band 12 in their phones then taking it out. I don't know if this continues. Also, AT&T-branded band 12 Android phones may or may not work on T-Mobile.

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  8. More than 11 million people need coverage in Wyoming (based on native population, tourist totals, and other visitors). yet that state is left off ot T-Mobile. I hope they fill in the rest of the huge gaps by the end of 2018.

    By that point, T-Mobile would truly be in the same league as AT&T and Verizon.

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  9. Anxiously waiting for TMO MVNOs to expand their coverage.

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    Replies
    1. The tmo mvno will not automatically get to use the new towers of TMO as they are set up?

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    2. Yes, MVNOs use the same native network as their MNO although most MVNOs don't share the MNO's roaming agreement.

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  10. Is band 12 lte for cellular talk and text or is it for mobile data?

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    1. Band 12 is data only, VoLTE is used for voice on band 12. You need to look for a phone that supports band 12 and T-Mobile's VoLTE implementation such as any T-Mobile or MetroPCS phone released in the last couple of years. Also recent iPhones, Nexus and Pixel phones and some factory unlocked Android phones.

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  11. So, it has actually come to the point that DATA ON ALWAYS is the new cellular always on reception?

    Also, the phones that have band 12 and VOLTE will automatically always use VOLTE or is it a choice of the caller or will the phone just use the strongest signal?

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    Replies
    1. The phone will use the best signal regardless of band. T-Mobile supports VoLTE on all bands. According to T-Mobile, over 60% of calls on its network use VoLTE.

      If data is on, VoLTE is enabled in phone settings and the connection quality is good enough, the phone will use VoLTE to make the call on any band. If data quality is not good enough the call will fall back to old fashioned circuit switched voice provided a non-LTE signal is available.

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  12. So does TMO know, from their end, if I am using VOLTE?
    If yes, will they not count the data used with VOLTE against my data pool?

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    Replies
    1. Data used by VoLTE is zero rated. A VoLTE call is billed as voice minutes not as data.

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  13. And if TMO proper is to not count VOLTE against my data pool, will the MVNOs also not count the data used for VOLTE against my data pool?

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    Replies
    1. They should. The NVMO gets its billing data from the MNO. I haven't heard of anyone getting charged for VoLTE data on an MVNO.

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  14. Thanks Dennis

    And now how do we indeed verify that an unlocked phone is to be using TMO VOLTE?

    Is it enough for the phone to have Band 12 and thats it to allow VOLTE for TMO?

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  15. fyi: i read an article on 'appy geek' about an mvno called " mint sim". it is running a promo which is cheap 2gb per month for 3 months. model is based on 3 plans, and you pay for 3, 6, or 12 months in advance. tried out the 3 mo/2gb lte plan. when sim card arrived, return address was ultra mobile , chicago ill.
    it uses t-mobile's network. so, i expect coverage and speed to be great. just an fyi for any readers of this column who see the same article, or google the name.

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  16. T-Mobile says it has "Extended Range" (b12) LTE in 500 markets covering 252 million currently. Its total LTE coverage is 314 million so 80% of LTE coverage pops have b12 available. It recently acquired b12 spectrum in Chicago and Montana that will provide b12 coverage to another 20 million.

    Source: T-Mobile Separates Itself from the Competition for a Third Straight Year, Best Customer Growth and Revenue Growth in the Industry | T-Mobile Newsroom

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  17. Will TMO MVNOs also have VOLTE since the parent company has VOLTE?

    -------------

    If I use an unlocked phone, like the moto g4, that is allowed on all carriers and has all the bands, will it work with VOLTE on all carriers if I move from carrier to carrier?

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  18. Just because a phone technically has a certain LTE band doesn't mean it's enabled, my Alcatel fierce XL has band 5 for at&t LTE but T-Mobile has locked, so my unlocked T-Mobile fierce XL uses band 2,4, and 17 on my at&t sim.

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  19. T-Mobile is the only carrier that I have had really bad coverage issues with. I sure don't feel like their coverage has improved, not in my neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you used VOLTE on TMO?

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  20. I just went to Tmobile from ATT. There really is no comparison. While T-Mobile has better raw speed in Urban area's it's spotty and I've had poor in building experience so far...in places that were never an issue. I had to upgrade from my Iphone 6 plus to 7 plus to make use of band 12. Before that, I would go into 4g coverage at my home and even on interstates I'd drift off to 4g or even e. Now, since I have band 12, the 4g and e gaps have been closed and coverage has ALMOST been as good as AT&T. I'm hoping that with their expansion that they'll fill in some of the gaps where AT&T goes and Tmobile does not. Also, there are spots in WV that are only services by AT&T due to the Green Bank Radio Observatory in the area. I see that in MOST area's(except Franklin) that AT&T allowed Tmobile to roam voice but the data is a crazy 50mb per month. This new map seems to suggest that Tmobile may be able to move into the area since they are GSM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "... that AT&T allowed Tmobile to roam voice but the data is a crazy 50mb per month."

      Which means that T-Mobile for all intents and purposes has no data roaming in its still "not ready for prime time" native foot print". No roaming... with an asterisk.

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