Review by Network Guy
Good "Overall good data and voice network.. Good customer service"
- Location: New York
- Cost: $30 per month (month by month)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "Mediocre indoor coverage"
Overall "Very good bang for the buck"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
+++ UPDATE 6/16/2014 +++
I made the leap to a Samsung Galaxy S4 from T-Mobile. This phone supports the LTE band as you may know.
The phone is spectacular compared to the HTC Sensation 4G that I used previously, but this would be an obvious understatement given the different generation technologies between the two.
Average download speeds on LTE are 20 Mbit/sec, uploads hover around 8 Mbit/sec. Some places it will fly like an eagle well above that, some others there's apparent congestion. Overall, there's a night and day difference in network response and performance. T-Mobile's shiny new LTE network really does have well-deserved bragging rights.
Other than cutting my SIM down to a micro SIM so it fit the new phone, nothing special needed to happen to get LTE working when I migrated from the HTC Sensation to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The phone found the network right away, and I was able to browse the Internet just as quickly.
Phone calls via Google Voice and SIP also sound remarkably clearer.
I still enjoy the monthly prepaid $30 plan with 5 GB data allotment, 100 minutes and unlimited SMS. I have yet to hit the data cap, but with this kind of Internet speed it will be much easier to do so. Tread carefully.
Fast network, no BS, no silly nickel and diming. T-Mobile continues to do what it does best, and I am a happy customer.
I subscribe to T-Mobile's $30 prepaid cellular monthly plan. This plan includes 100 minutes of anytime national minutes, unlimited text and multimedia messaging, and up to 5 GB of full-speed 3G Internet after which is throttled to 2G speeds. After you eat through your minutes, additional national minutes cost ten cents per minute; excluding international of course. I could not say what actual speeds it throttles down to after consuming the included 5 GB as I've never exceeded this limit.
There are two $30 plans, and T-Mobile purposely make it challenging to subscribe to. There is a 1500-minute or text plan that includes 30 MB of data and the 100-minute plus unlimited texting and 5 GB of data plan. The former plan you have to activate at a T-Mobile store; the latter you can only activate at Walmart or purchase a SIM kit online from T-Mobile and activate it over the phone. All other plans you can purchase and activate online at T-Mobile. For the price, I didn't mind this slight inconvenience.
The voice portion of the service is excellent. Calls sound very clear for what one would expect from a GSM carrier. I do most of my phone calls through Google Voice and a SIP client so the included minutes are mostly for urgent or emergency calls as needed.
The data portion of the service is very good. I use a smart phone that operates on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network with typical peak speeds up to 3.5 MBps down and 2.7 Mbps up. The fastest speeds I've experienced are 6.7 Mbps down and 3.7 Mbps up. You can improve your actual speeds by using a handset that operates on T-Mobile's LTE network which is much faster. But for my purposes, needs and cost, this brings excellent value.
My only gripe with T-Mobile is indoor coverage. There are places where there is no signal even above ground while other carriers work. I've researched this thinking perhaps I need to switch phones, but general consensus seems to conclude the frequencies that T-Mobile use don't penetrate buildings very well. Where I happen to use my cell phone most; work and home; service works very well and there is plenty of reception.
T-Mobile is a BYOD-friendly carrier. As long as the IMEI hasn't been blacklisted, you can activate and use any GSM phone you want as long as it supports their cellular network band. As of this review, T-Mobile operates 3G HSPA+ on the 1700 MHz UMTS band.
For my particular needs; inexpensive service with very good data network and unlimited texting as an added plus; T-Mobile works well for me.
member for 14.1 years, 5973 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 129 days ago