Home - , , - Time to Upgrade Your Phone - T-Mobile Replacing 1900 Mhz 3G With LTE in 31 Markets

Time to Upgrade Your Phone - T-Mobile Replacing 1900 Mhz 3G With LTE in 31 Markets

T-Mobile Coverage
Is your T-Mobile or T-Mobile MVNO non-LTE phone suddenly only getting 2G data? The reason may be that T-Mobile has shut down more of its non-LTE service.

Mobile operators are moving toward an all-LTE future. As more devices support LTE and VoLTE there's less need for legacy 2G, 3G and non-LTE 4G service. AT&T has already completely shut down its 2G network and is using the old 2G spectrum for LTE. T-Mobile appears to be taking a different path to all-LTE world by keeping 2G but shutting down its UMTS 3G network piece by piece. (UMTS also includes HSPA and HSPA+, which are the 3G and pre-LTE 4G technologies that T-Mobile uses.)

Two years ago T-Mobile shut down UMTS on the 1700 Mhz band in 23 Markets. Now T-mobile is replacing 1900 Mhz UMTS with LTE in 31 markets, including some big ones like New York City. Here are the affected markets and when 1900 Mhz UMTS was or will be replaced with 1900 Mhz LTE:

June 23, 2017: Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ, Boston, MA, Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA, Cincinnati, OH, Dover, DE, East Stroudsburg, PA, Elkhart-Goshen, IN, Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL, Hillsboro, TX, Lancaster, PA, Manchester-Nashua, NH, Providence-Warwick, RI-MA, Reading, PA, Rockingham County-Strafford County, NH, Sussex, DE, Tuscaloosa, AL, Waco, TX

July 11, 2017: Long Island, NY, New Jersey, New York, NY

August 15, 2017: Atlanta, GA, Bakersfield, CA, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL , Detroit, MI, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, Orlando, FL, Port St. Lucie, FL, Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA, Seattle, WA, Tampa, FL, Ventura County, CA

I believe that all the markets listed above still have UMTS on 1700 Mhz, which most T-Mobile phones and some non-T-Mobile ones support. However, a few T-Mobile and many unlocked phones including all iPhone 4. 4s, and 5 phones and many iPhone 5s models do not support LTE or 1700 Hz UMTS. In the affected markets phones without either LTE or 1700 UMTS support will be stuck on 2G. T-Mobile is recommending that customers in the affected markets upgrade to LTE capable phones. It's offering affected postpaid customers discounted LTE phones but prepaid and T-Mobile MVNO customers are on their own.

Sources: T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, Image: T-Mobile

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40 comments:

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  1. So what band LTE do you need in these areas?

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    1. Band 2 LTE should definitely be available as that's 1900 which is being converted from UMTS to LTE. T-Mobile also has LTE on bands 4 and 12 in most markets.

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  2. How does that affect voice and text only (no data used)??

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    1. Voice and text work about as well on 2G as they do on UMTS so there should be little or no effect.

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    2. If you don't have a UMTS 1700 network around and there are a lot of similarly affected people who don't upgrade, it's possible that given how little 2G is left after the upgrade (guard bands) there could be congestion issues on 2G.

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  3. I wish they would have kept 3g and shut down 2g like ATT.

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    1. T-Mo is likely shutting off 3G first because, during its heyday, T-Mobile's 3G was literally incompatible with nearly every cellphone in the known universe, except for those specifically manufactured for T-Mobile. That's why Apple didn't immediately start selling phones through T-Mo after the AT&T exclusivity ended. iPhones of the time couldn't perform at their best on T-Mo.

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    2. I agree, but they are keeping 2g to continue to support older IOT, Alarm Systems, etc that are only 2g.

      Delete
  4. more tmobile bs, i upgraded to 6s = to get band 12 for great signal, it turned out to be super slow so i had to go back to band 4. Tomorrow, tomorrow t mobile will be great tomorrow... but tomorrow never comes

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    1. Band 12 was great two years ago when few devices used it. Now it seems overloaded and of little use.

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    2. Band 12 is better than nothing. And without Band 12, T-Mobile is a lot more like Sprint, an also-ran carrier with a maximum population base that is pretty small due to poor coverage.

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  5. Friggin' BLU still manufactures 3G-GSM-only smartphones. Best Buy's website is littered with them.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My Blu phone has most LTE GSM bands, including TMobile LTE band 12 and volte.

      Delete
    2. Blu was caught shipping phones riddled with spyware. Beware of Blu!

      Delete
  6. The legacy 3g phones are easier to carry around and fit into pockets vs the newer 4g lte phones. The 3g phones also stay cooler than 4g because 4g pulses and heats the phone and also drains the battery quicker. Data is also used faster with 4g vs 3g when watching video clips or opening web pages with embedded video

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "The legacy 3g phones are easier to carry around and fit into pockets vs the newer 4g lte phones"

      That's a fine way to spend these older phones having tiny hard to look at screens and being too small to type on.

      There's a good reason that the tiny phones had pretty much died out from the market. And phones large enough to use dominate.

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  7. A clarification regarding the iPhone 5. The GSM model for the US is A1428. The initial release was missing UMTS 1700, which means that if you are someplace that doesn't have T-Mobile LTE coverage (or band 12/UMTS 1700 coverage,) your phone will drop to 2G.

    UMTS 1700 was added in a re-issue by Apple. How do you tell which A1428 hardware model you may have? Look at your serial number. If it ends in FH19, FH1C, FH1D, FH1F, FH1G, FH1H, you have the newer A1428.

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  8. Its it's typo in hyperlink to AT&T story. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How do I find out if my device is compatible, by make/model method? Thanks in anticipation!

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  10. I still use T-mobile legacy PAYG account in a Nokia 6010 (yes, yes, stop laughing).It doesn't even have 3G. I thought 2G would go out first. Will this affect me?

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    1. 2G is not being shut down. If there are enough displaced 3G users to overload 2G capacity you could experience a deterioration in call availability and quality.

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    2. IMHO 2G has been overloaded and of little use since 2015; two years later band 12 is in a similar situation. Expanding band 2 might put additional strain on band 4. Why? Because many older devices do not support band 2 LTE. We will see what happens.

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  11. So everyone is moving to an LTE-only network just before they roll out 5G? Why not just wait for 5G and move everything to the new tech?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There are advantages to LTE over sub-LTE: max speeds, lower latency, better flexibility with spectrum (5, 10, 20 MHz, etc,) higher voice/data capacity, and probably power management as well.

      Delete
  12. Does this have anything to do with the band 600 deployment?

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    1. I don't think so. 600 Mhz will probably be all LTE anyway.

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    2. 600 MHz WILL be all LTE because there are no corresponding GSM bands.

      They could easily throttle users down to 2G speeds though (your phone will still show an LTE connection.) They do this already in cases of de-prioritization or after a limited HS data plan is exhausted.

      Delete
  13. This is literally nothing.

    They're just expanding their Band 2 capacity.

    As for the 600 band, there aren't even any chips that work with it, let alone any phones that can pick it up.

    It won't even be fully deployed until 2020 (at latest), which means that a number of customers won't even need a 600mhz phone until 3 years from now.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Fake news above. T-Mobile starts deploying 600MHz next month, and both Samsung and LG will have models for sale before the end of the year.
      Deployment will go very fast. T-Mobile is virtually done with their 700 MHz deployment (early), and they just announced a fast deployment for 600.

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    2. TheKnightWhoSaysNi!!!July 21, 2017 at 3:40 AM

      The upcoming LG V30 & Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are rumored to be the first U.S. flagships to carry T-Mobile's 600 band later this year.

      Delete
    3. True, but like with Band 12, the vast majority of phone models being sold and in use simply won't have 600 Mhz for years to come.

      Delete
  14. Ha ha last report said TMobile has fastest speeds. Must be really good 2g speeds then lol.

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    Replies
    1. T-Mobile had fast speeds in this report because it was designed with a bias to exclude data points with slow speed. In other words, no validity.

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  15. I used to have an "unlocked" phone that complained about T-Mo coverage. Once a got a T-Mo branded phone that supported all of their bands, then coverage became incredibly good, even better than my AT&T work phone. Only a very few unbranded phone supports all of T-Mo' bands, i.e, Pixie.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The unbranded phone Pixie? Actually spelled Pixi, the several models of Pixi phones are indeed branded from the Alcatel company.

      If you are referring to the Pixel phones, these are indeed branded, in fact by one of the world's most recognized brands.

      Not that I am complaining about capitalism, but in our capitalist world there is no such thing as an unbranded manufactured consumer product. Phones just don't grow from trees, ripe for the picking, or wash up upon the shore, disgorged by Poseidon, ready-to-use.

      Leaves and seashells are unbranded. Consumer products are branded.

      Delete
    2. When I say branded, I mean carrier-branded. As in a phone designed specifically for the carrier, to support the carrier's allocated bands. Even as of right now, only the very high-end unlocked uncarrier-branded phones truly support worldwide bands. I work in the industry, so I know this for a fact... All I am saying is that T-Mo has improved dramatically, don't judge them until you get a phone that can support all of their bands.

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    3. Ah it makes sense now.

      At least I learned about the Alcatel Pixi phone. I had no idea it was a big deal at all.

      Delete
  16. I have the unlimited talk text and 2G data plan. Even though I only have 2G data, with T-Mobile. When I use my SIM card in a 4G LTE phone, I'm actually getting 4G speeds I can download a 2-hour video on Netflix or YouTube in less than a second. That's fast.

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  17. Plenty of areas in New Hampshire still on the older system. My phone tells me exactly the WCDMA, HSPDA. LTE frequency the phone is using. Hopefully T-Mobile gets out to those areas one day.

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