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Thread: T-Mobile and Power Outages

  1. #1
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    T-Mobile and Power Outages

    T-Mobile needs to put generators or large battery backups for their tower equipment.

    Yesterday, a powerful derecho swept through the midwest. I live in its path. My wife has the Fox (T-Mobile MVNO) and I have FirstNet currently. The power was out from 4:30 PM until a little after 2 AM at our residence. My wife lost service during the high winds of the derecho. I maintained full signal with 100Mbps LTE until about 12 AM when my signal went down to 1 Bar and I lost LTE. Either the generator ran out of gas or it was a battery backup. Here is where I have a problem. IF my wife was alone, and say a tree fell on the house and trapped her inside (this actually happened to a local resident, which is why i am using it as an example) she would have had no way to get ahold of emergency services or call me. I dont blame the fox, I blame T-Mobile becuase thats whos tower they use.

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    Cannot say this enough. Everyone here loves to prop up T-Mobile, but when it comes to a major power outage or an emergency T-Mobile fails big time.

    Last week lost power cause of tropical storm Isaias and along with that barely had any sort of service. 1 bar being connected from a tower 5 miles away! When I needed my phone the most it was unusable. Not good T-Mobile.
    Last edited by wildhope; 08-11-2020 at 11:17 AM.

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    T-Mobile and Power Outages

    My local TMO Site as built in 2008 has a back-up generator here in Hurricane prone South Texas on the Gulf Coast, but the other TMO Site that provides Microwave Backhaul to our site does not, so everytime the power goes out to that site its a domino effect that shuts down 5 other TMO sites including mine
    The last power failure at this site lasted 3 days

    Supposedly they have a temporary back-up generator there now as of sometime last year, but I haven’t confirmed it, it only took them 5 years to realize or authorize it

    It seems generators at TMO sites in South Texas are hit or miss, sites you would think really needed one don’t, and others do

    Calling TMO customer service to complain about a lack of generators is a waste of time

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    Not to push any props here, but ... if there was 'any' service, 911 would/should still work.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geekboy1984 View Post
    .... she would have had no way to get ahold of emergency services or call me. .......
    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    Not to push any props here, but ... if there was 'any' service, 911 would/should still work.
    This should work but I've seen some troubling reports of people trying to call 911 when outside T-Mobile service and getting no connection. Apparently Verizon's VoLTE is not compatible with T-Mobile phones, even to the point of not connecting 911 calls. I'd love to see more than just a couple anecdotal reports but what I've seen is worrying.

    Generators are expensive. Not to install but to maintain. They have to run once a week. The tank needs to be topped up every few months. You have to pay a mechanic to come around every now and then to check the oil and coolant, etc.
    Donald Newcomb

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    I haven't been in a situation (yet) to use 911 with Emergency SoS on VoLTE on an carrier - luckily.
    I would agree that there is an issue if VZW VoLTE won't accept 911 calls from non VZW VoLTE devices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    This should work but I've seen some troubling reports of people trying to call 911 when outside T-Mobile service and getting no connection. Apparently Verizon's VoLTE is not compatible with T-Mobile phones, even to the point of not connecting 911 calls. I'd love to see more than just a couple anecdotal reports but what I've seen is worrying.

    Generators are expensive. Not to install but to maintain. They have to run once a week. The tank needs to be topped up every few months. You have to pay a mechanic to come around every now and then to check the oil and coolant, etc.
    Unless you're using an LTE only phone... which I find highly unlikely, wouldn't you connect to AT&T's UMTS network for a 911 call? Or even Verizon's 1x if you have a capable phone, like most iPhones?

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    I haven't been in a situation (yet) to use 911 with Emergency SoS on VoLTE on an carrier - luckily.
    I would agree that there is an issue if VZW VoLTE won't accept 911 calls from non VZW VoLTE devices.
    Remove out the SIM, you can make 911 call
    It doesn't need to be on Verizon , at&t or any network..
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekboy1984 View Post
    T-Mobile needs to put generators or large battery backups for their tower equipment.

    Yesterday, a powerful derecho swept through the midwest. I live in its path. My wife has the Fox (T-Mobile MVNO) and I have FirstNet currently. The power was out from 4:30 PM until a little after 2 AM at our residence. My wife lost service during the high winds of the derecho. I maintained full signal with 100Mbps LTE until about 12 AM when my signal went down to 1 Bar and I lost LTE. Either the generator ran out of gas or it was a battery backup. Here is where I have a problem. IF my wife was alone, and say a tree fell on the house and trapped her inside (this actually happened to a local resident, which is why i am using it as an example) she would have had no way to get ahold of emergency services or call me. I dont blame the fox, I blame T-Mobile becuase thats whos tower they use.
    Fair enough. But rather than blame T-Mo or "The Fox", why not blame yourself for choosing a cheap wireless carrier? I'm a T-Mobile subscriber, and I have absolutely no illusions as to the quality of service I'm paying for. I'm buying on the cheap, fully informed.

    I figure mankind has made it roughly two million years, 99.999999999999% of which cell phones didn't exist. I'll take the chance that this phone in my hand is more of an object of convenience than a life preserver.

    If I did think this phone was the only thing standing between my life and my death, I'd frankly own a better phone *and* use a better network!

    Kidding aside, after this storm, you've been put on notice- T-Mo can't be trusted in your area in times of disaster. So, the real question is, do you switch your wife's carrier before the next big one, or take the calculated risk that the cheap rates of this Fox of yours are worth more to you than a hardened network is...



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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    Unless you're using an LTE only phone... which I find highly unlikely, wouldn't you connect to AT&T's UMTS network for a 911 call? Or even Verizon's 1x if you have a capable phone, like most iPhones?
    Well UMTS calling will work on AT&T if it's available.

    Even if a phone has Verizon's 1X bands built in, I don't know if they're always ready to go with a T-Mobile SIM inserted like UMTS on AT&T would be. On some phones that were unlocked for Verizon, the device wouldn't activate those CDMA bands until a Verizon SIM is inserted.

    But still again, with Verizon's LTE very prevalent, it's an interesting question if the VoLTE incompatibility would be an issue. And maybe Androided's solution of removing the SIM card would at least solve the issue of the device looking for any available band. I'm not sure I would have the little tool in my car to remove the SIM door if I needed to do that. But that could be easily resolved if I knew that SIM removal made the device more compatible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    And maybe Androided's solution of removing the SIM card would at least solve the issue of the device looking for any available band. I'm not sure I would have the little tool in my car to remove the SIM door if I needed to do that. But that could be easily resolved if I knew that SIM removal made the device more compatible.
    That last part becomes more of a current issue. IF you're in an emergency (reason for 911), finding something that will work as a SIM tool may not be that easy. People just want 911 to work

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    Apparently ATT went out in Chicago in areas where T-Mobile still had service.

    Losing service after a big storm is not a phenomena unique or specific to T-Mobile.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ATT/comment...tm_name=iossmf


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    I guess most of you are too young to remember when roads (snow), electricity, gas, and landline phones would all be unuseable from time to time. IF one is really paranoid -rather than put all family phones on one plan/carrier - pay the big buck$ and put them on separate services. Question which goes out first in major storm? I would say landline.
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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    Apparently ATT went out in Chicago in areas where T-Mobile still had service.

    Losing service after a big storm is not a phenomena unique or specific to T-Mobile.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ATT/comment...tm_name=iossmf


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    Yup... doesn't always have to be 'power', as a fiber/trunk cut, aggregator outage or 'computer' back end issue can take down large(r) areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    I'm not sure I would have the little tool in my car to remove the SIM door if I needed to do that. But that could be easily resolved if I knew that SIM removal made the device more compatible.
    I have a few on my keychain. Never have to worry about looking for one and use them frequently when I’m testing T-Mobile and Verizon out and about.


    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    Apparently ATT went out in Chicago in areas where T-Mobile still had service.

    Losing service after a big storm is not a phenomena unique or specific to T-Mobile.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ATT/comment...tm_name=iossmf


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    If you’ve ever been there and used AT&T (I have) this would not color you surprised at all. AT&T is not the network to use in NWI.


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