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Thread: Eastern Iowa coverage?

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    Eastern Iowa coverage?

    I'm curious if there's anyone on here who has T-Mobile, that signed up to it when it was IWireless (they got bought out last year.) For background, IWireless ran a mixture of HSPA, LTE (but no VoLTE*), and still about 50% EDGE coverage (remarkably, the EDGE apparently was kept in decent shape, people reported getting like 150-200kbps on it pretty regularly.) . 1900 and 2100, IWireless didn't buy any 700 or anything statewide (and neither did T-Mo since they didn't have service here.) They were known for their inexpensive prepaid plans (unlimited everything for $50 a month), and even sold airtime cards as small as 3 days . No MetroPCS here since that runs off T-Mobile, IWireless essentially took the place of Metro in the local market. IWireless had rather poor coverage but decent service when they got service. T-Mo bought them last year, and appear to have upgraded the coverage to LTE, and rolled out 600mhz through the western and central portions of the state, as far east as about Coralville and Cedar Rapids; there's 2 600mhz TV stations in quad cities blocking deployment east of that until early 2020. US Cellular also has virtually blanket coverage through the state, so US Cellular roaming pretty well guarantees coverage.

    So, on paper, adding LTE, getting VoLTE up, adding 600, and US Cellular roaming, should be a major improvement in service. How is it in practice? Have in-town LTE speeds gone up? How's the rural LTE speed? If you head west from Iowa City, does the 600 fill in coverage nicely? Does the US Cellular coverage kick in pretty well, or does it cling to the slightest hint of native service? I've got a nice Verizon Wireless plan right now but having 3 strong local carriers rather than 2 will be nice (US Cellular and Verizon Wireless; Sprint and AT&T here are pretty bad)

    *Amusingly, the Des Moines market had VoLTE up before T-Mobile sold it to IWireless since it was the only T-Mobile market in the state; then no VoLTE, since presumably IWireless had no VoLTE-capable switches and such; then VoLTE came back up within days of T-Mobile buying IWireless out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    I'm curious if there's anyone on here who has T-Mobile, that signed up to it when it was IWireless (they got bought out last year.) For background, IWireless ran a mixture of HSPA, LTE (but no VoLTE*), and still about 50% EDGE coverage (remarkably, the EDGE apparently was kept in decent shape, people reported getting like 150-200kbps on it pretty regularly.) . 1900 and 2100, IWireless didn't buy any 700 or anything statewide (and neither did T-Mo since they didn't have service here.) They were known for their inexpensive prepaid plans (unlimited everything for $50 a month), and even sold airtime cards as small as 3 days . No MetroPCS here since that runs off T-Mobile, IWireless essentially took the place of Metro in the local market. IWireless had rather poor coverage but decent service when they got service. T-Mo bought them last year, and appear to have upgraded the coverage to LTE, and rolled out 600mhz through the western and central portions of the state, as far east as about Coralville and Cedar Rapids; there's 2 600mhz TV stations in quad cities blocking deployment east of that until early 2020. US Cellular also has virtually blanket coverage through the state, so US Cellular roaming pretty well guarantees coverage.

    So, on paper, adding LTE, getting VoLTE up, adding 600, and US Cellular roaming, should be a major improvement in service. How is it in practice? Have in-town LTE speeds gone up? How's the rural LTE speed? If you head west from Iowa City, does the 600 fill in coverage nicely? Does the US Cellular coverage kick in pretty well, or does it cling to the slightest hint of native service? I've got a nice Verizon Wireless plan right now but having 3 strong local carriers rather than 2 will be nice (US Cellular and Verizon Wireless; Sprint and AT&T here are pretty bad)

    *Amusingly, the Des Moines market had VoLTE up before T-Mobile sold it to IWireless since it was the only T-Mobile market in the state; then no VoLTE, since presumably IWireless had no VoLTE-capable switches and such; then VoLTE came back up within days of T-Mobile buying IWireless out.
    Unfortunately TMobile will never have B12 in Iowa either because of uscc. Uscc owns the A+B of 700. So att only has 5x5.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Yeah I doubt t-mo even bid on band 12, since they had no service statewide when the auction took place.

    Sent from my BBB100-3 using HoFo mobile app

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    I don't know if T-Mo's going to need band 12 that badly here to be competitive here; VZW has good speeds in town (where they're running band 4, 2, 13, and 5) but out of town a lot of sites are band 13 only (700mhz), and these tend to get like 3mbps. VZW might have a problem here; a lot of these rural sites (that they inherited from whoever put them up in the 1980s) are on some hilltop, covering almost a whole county with 1 site, but these sites aren't actually near anything. Lots of highway and small town coverage is basically that "0 bars" to 1 bar of fringe coverage on 700mhz (band 13) LTE or (if you force off 4G) 850mhz (band 5) CDMA/EVDO from some distant hilltop site. I think if they pop band 4 or 2 onto some of these sites, it may not even reach any highway or town, just cover a few farms nearest the hill.

    T-Mo in contrast, IWireless didn't flesh out their network that well but it is after all intended as a PCS network. So hopefully they can keep most traffic on band 4 and 2, and the 600mhz (even if it's only 5mhz) can stay quick enough to provide that fringe coverage.

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