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Thread: Is T-Mobile planning to expand rural coverage after merger?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    For rural areas... T-Mobile still has a long ways to go, IMHO. Many that live/work in rural communities will most likely not use T-Mobile with these large gaps in coverage.
    Fortunately for those in the rural communities, the Sprint/T-Mobile merger will allow T-Mobile to have the resources to make up these large gaps. And those citizens will have a third choice for cellular service and not be forced to use the duopoly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    Fortunately for those in the rural communities, the Sprint/T-Mobile merger will allow T-Mobile to have the resources to make up these large gaps. And those citizens will have a third choice for cellular service and not be forced to use the duopoly.
    I agree that TMobile will technically have 'no excuses' to not build to compete in rural America. The question will be 'Will they _really_ compete on coverage?' Or slowly build out. They have built up to claim coverage... But it's mostly for show and those passing through. That last 1 to 2% of America by population for usable service isn't cheap but necessary if they truly want rural customers and the nice government contracts

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    I agree that TMobile will technically have 'no excuses' to not build to compete in rural America. The question will be 'Will they _really_ compete on coverage?' Or slowly build out. They have built up to claim coverage... But it's mostly for show and those passing through. That last 1 to 2% of America by population for usable service isn't cheap but necessary if they truly want rural customers and the nice government contracts

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    I decided to bunker up here in the upper desert.

    T-Mobile works great here in the desert cities inside and out. I’m really impressed.

    Really good coverage.

    I agree with the part where Lucerne goes into Big Bear but ATT has bad service there too. Even the Verizon service I have in my car shows LTE in that spot but not even Google Maps will load.

    I plan on driving the back way from Apple Valley to Fawnskin solo since there is nothing else to do. I’m pretty sure there is no service with any carrier on most of that route.

    I found a video of the route on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5ni56ma2W3k

    Stay safe!
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    When you guys are saying spotty or bad coverage in rural areas are you talking about voice calls or data or both? I drive across rural areas in Florida in the swamp areas where you can’t see a building in any direction on the horizon and still have T-Mobile voice calls and goggle maps working. I drive hundreds of miles in Florida and I always have service even in rural areas. The only place I have lost T-Mobile is in some big steel building but no networks work there either. I have seen some rural areas that only had a blinking bar of signal but it still had some data available. I have even been out in a airboat in the Everglades National Park 6 miles from the nearest road and got over 30 Mbps down on speed test.
    Last edited by shilohcane; 03-23-2020 at 09:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    The question will be 'Will they _really_ compete on coverage?' Or slowly build out.
    Well, they have a lot of tasks ahead with the network integration. The faster they get that done and the smoother that goes, the quicker they can focus on rural areas.

    And you can't paint all of their rural coverage with a broad brush. Many of these desolate areas are already covered very well as others have pointed out. Deficiencies in one area doesn't mean deficiencies in all rural areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
    When you guys are saying spotty or bad coverage in rural areas are you talking about voice calls or data or both? ......
    I'm not a road warrior. I hardly talk on the phone at all. Three minutes is a long call for me. However, I have seen complaints by customers who ported from Verizon, who now find calls dropping all the time on major routes (e.g. I-5 between Seattle and Portland) and are eager to switch back. I think these complaints are valid and caused by T-Mobile's network design philosophy. They angle their antennas downward to sharply cut off service at sector edges. They also employ the minimal transmit power possible to provide usable service. Depending on the individual device, this may create little dead zones between cells. So, yes. I feel people who make such complaints are not just imagining it. There really is a problem with T-Mobile's rural coverage.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I'm not a road warrior. I hardly talk on the phone at all. Three minutes is a long call for me. However, I have seen complaints by customers who ported from Verizon, who now find calls dropping all the time on major routes (e.g. I-5 between Seattle and Portland) and are eager to switch back. I think these complaints are valid and caused by T-Mobile's network design philosophy. They angle their antennas downward to sharply cut off service at sector edges. They also employ the minimal transmit power possible to provide usable service. Depending on the individual device, this may create little dead zones between cells. So, yes. I feel people who make such complaints are not just imagining it. There really is a problem with T-Mobile's rural coverage.
    I have noticed in Minnesota at least T-Mobile likes to put their antennas super low to the ground compared to AT&T and Verizon, along with skipping sites. This behavior I’ve noticed in northeast and central MN. I’m not sure the reasoning behind this, but they likely have lower rent. Their network philosophy is definitely throughput over reliability, which makes for a good experience in urban cores, but not so great outside of them. Just my 2˘.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    I have noticed in Minnesota at least T-Mobile likes to put their antennas super low to the ground compared to AT&T and Verizon, along with skipping sites.
    Low antennas are not good in hilly areas. I am in the CA Sierra-Nevada foothills and TMO carries very badly here. Don't think they are using B71 either. Would think a flat place like Minnesota would be more tolerant, but there is still the tower spacing issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Low antennas are not good in hilly areas. I am in the CA Sierra-Nevada foothills and TMO carries very badly here. Don't think they are using B71 either. Would think a flat place like Minnesota would be more tolerant, but there is still the tower spacing issue.
    I’m also in the CA foothills/mountain area. Tried TMO when they expanded to this area. Found they still have some work to do to cover the area adequately.
    Where abouts in the foothills are you? I’m Sonora/Twain Harte area.


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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Low antennas are not good in hilly areas. I am in the CA Sierra-Nevada foothills and TMO carries very badly here. Don't think they are using B71 either. Would think a flat place like Minnesota would be more tolerant, but there is still the tower spacing issue.
    Thick forestry is not very forgiving either. I wonder if after the merger they’ll begin to put their antennas up higher... could help them a ton in terms of reliability between sites.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sethc0077 View Post
    I’m also in the CA foothills/mountain area. Tried TMO when they expanded to this area. Found they still have some work to do to cover the area adequately.
    Where abouts in the foothills are you? I’m Sonora/Twain Harte area.
    I am well north of you in the Grass Valley area. Similar terrain of tall hills and forested. TMO has not expanded coverage here in a good while. I was surprised when they opened a store a couple of years ago, as the signal goes bad just a short way outside of town. The "tree huggers" here insist on small numbers of short towers, which are not good with the natural obstacles.

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    It's tough for almost anyone bur VZW or possibly AT&T as they deployed back in the early cellular days.in much of that federal/state park land. New builds ob government land isn't typically easy or cheap.


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    Northern MI is much like parts of MN. Typically need a +200' site on the top of ANY hill for range. Here's the diff between TMobile, AT&T and VZW on i75 on MI. TMobile has a huge gap just north of St Ignace with No Service and again between Kinross and Sault Ste Marie. AT&T is pretty solid, and VZW has a weak area near Kinross airport.
    I've taken this many times and bring my work AT&T phone for comparison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Low antennas are not good in hilly areas. I am in the CA Sierra-Nevada foothills and TMO carries very badly here. Don't think they are using B71 either.
    The 2014 Golden State Cellular acquisition was a good move (from a coverage perspective) for Verizon adding Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, including much of Yosemite National Park to its network.

    ROI wise the area probably hasn’t historically been priority 1 for Magenta but because they are serious about expanding coverage I would not be surprised to see them make some serious strides in the upcoming year.

    A few years back (2014) I wound up in Jamestown, CA. and that day only ATT GPRS/EDGE worked while walking through town. I remember using my hotspot which allowed my work T-Mobile UMA powered Blackberry to operate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    The 2014 Golden State Cellular acquisition was a good move (from a coverage perspective) for Verizon adding Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, including much of Yosemite National Park to its network.
    Verizon bought up a number of small carriers back then. Golden State Cellular had it's own network, so there was no new build-out needed by Verizon. TMO will have to put in the infrastructure for such places.

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