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Thread: Switching to T-Mobile an option?

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    Switching to T-Mobile an option?

    My wife and I currently use AT&T with our unlocked phones. We would like to consider switching to T-Mobile, but I'm not certain it's a good choice based on our phones. From what I've read my wife's unlocked S9+ shouldn't be a problem, but I have a Pixel 2 (not XL). My understanding is it doesn't support B71.

    I had hoped to stay with the P2 for about another year. Is it going to be an option or does my phone need to be replaced to go with T-Mobile?

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

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    We recommend the upgrade for band 71. It’s worth it in most areas. Consider trading it in for the new pixel.


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    I am assuming that T-Mobile is replacing other bands with B71, not supplementing? And does B71 generally propagate better, like through walls?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    I am assuming that T-Mobile is replacing other bands with B71, not supplementing? And does B71 generally propagate better, like through walls?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Supplementing, not replacing. Band 71 is 600MHz so it goes through walls better than mid band (1700MHz/Band 4, 1900MHz/Band 2) but really no different than other low bands (700MHz/Band 12, 850MHz/Band 5).

    My family has a mix of B71-capable and non B71 devices, and we get by just fine. If you're nervous, the T-Mo coverage maps (https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map) has a toggle to turn on/off "Extended Range 600MHz" coverage. (That's B71.) Check the areas you usually work and play and see if there are any dead spots without B71 and if they go away with 600 turned on. That should give you a fair idea of how important B71 coverage would be to you.

    You'll likely want to have both 600MHz/B71 and 5G on your next phone, so personally I'd slog through another year or two with your current phone and tick both boxes with your next one, if I were you.



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    Thanks for the pointer about checking coverage with/without extended coverage. All the places I checked before show the same either way. Except my home, which shows worse with extended coverage. OTOH, since it shows excellent coverage at my house in either case I'm not going to worry much. It was just the only one I looked at that had any visible change.

    Indeed, I expect to replace the phone within a year, which will give me B71 and most likely 5G (especially since I thought I saw the Qualcomm 865 is always sold with a 5G capable modem).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    My wife and I currently use AT&T with our unlocked phones. We would like to consider switching to T-Mobile, but I'm not certain it's a good choice based on our phones. From what I've read my wife's unlocked S9+ shouldn't be a problem, but I have a Pixel 2 (not XL). My understanding is it doesn't support B71.

    I had hoped to stay with the P2 for about another year. Is it going to be an option or does my phone need to be replaced to go with T-Mobile?

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
    You'll want phones with Band 71. Wait until the next generation of 5G phones with mmWave become available before upgrading phones or moving to T-Mobile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    You'll want phones with Band 71. Wait until the next generation of 5G phones with mmWave become available before upgrading phones or moving to T-Mobile.
    Band 71 is good to have. But waiting for 5G or mmWave is not necessary. You can switch if you have Band 71 or get a band 71 device.

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    So it seems there is no consensus? Some say I need B71, some say it's not mandatory (but good to have).

    Anyone else want to weigh in with there experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    So it seems there is no consensus? Some say I need B71, some say it's not mandatory (but good to have).

    Anyone else want to weigh in with there experience?
    B71 can give you better coverage in less populated areas and also better building penetration in certain areas as well. But it's all dependent on where you're using the device. That's why it's not a consensus issue. Some people can use devices without any B71 at all and get perfect coverage everywhere they need it.

    That's why I said it's good to have and not a must have.

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    If you live in an area that has band-12 (700 MHz) service, band-71 is a nice-to-have feature. In areas where T-Mobile doesn't have a band-12 license, it's much more important. In some areas they've deployed neither and T-Mobile would be a poor choice. Maybe if you told use the Zip Codes you regularly frequent, we could advise you better.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    So it seems there is no consensus? Some say I need B71, some say it's not mandatory (but good to have).

    Anyone else want to weigh in with there experience?

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
    What is the impetus for moving to a carrier with poorer coverage?

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    I've been able to get by without a B71 compatible phone in the 3 months I've been back with T-Mobile. There are a few spots on the interstate where it drops, and I don't know whether B71 would help in these places or not. I've only had my iPhone X for 2 years, and am currently unwilling to pay flagship prices (or near flagship) for a replacement this close to a potential 5G compatible phone next fall.

    I also have a phone on a $5/month Verizon MVNO in case of emergency, so it is less important to have B71 for me right now.
    iPhone X is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Currently prepaid, though would consider postpaid on right plan.

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    Zip codes are 45424 and 33404, and the areas around them.

    Reasons to switch include AT&T signal strength at my home is often -110db or worse. And AT&T doesn't like to do WiFi calling on most unlocked phones. And for my wife, T-Mobile has better options for calling and data while overseas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    Zip codes are 45424 and 33404, and the areas around them....
    Both Dayton and Palm Beach have band 12, so band 71 is not a mandatory requirement. You might want to run a test of T-Mobile using a MVNO like Metro for a month to see how you like the coverage.

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    This will primarily depend on where you live and use your phone. Many areas today have B12. B71 is being deployed, but in many areas is spread thin. E.g. in my area of SoCal, most cell sites than are outdoor and are not lightpole mounted omni have B12. That's about 20 out of 30 sites. B71 is currently on 4. Where you may have issues are in locations where spectrum is B71 and no B12. B12 and B71 have similar characteristics.. And are both deployed in 5x5 MHz. Also to note... Currently devices will use B12 OR B71 but not both at the same time. Eg. You may have B2/B4/B12 or B2/B4/B71 as your phone will use B12 or B71... But not both simultaneously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Berg View Post
    So it seems there is no consensus? Some say I need B71, some say it's not mandatory (but good to have).

    Anyone else want to weigh in with there experience?

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
    Sent from my LM-G710 using HoFo mobile app
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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