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This is a sub-selection from Question is though


Apache Junction, AZ
reply to clone

Re: Question is though

Clone said: "T-Mobile's 3G and 4G service are exactly the same service/network/cell sites, etc. The "4G" service is just a term their marketing department is using to describe their HSPA+network. HSPA+ is just software revision of their original 3G standard. So if your phone is compatible with T-Mobile 4G, it is also compatible with T-Mobile 3G."
That seems to be a myth a lot of people are spreading but is Absolutely NOT TRUE! Use the OpenSignalMaps site or the Android app and you can see the different locations of 3G and 4G towers.
In the Phoenix area 3G and 4G are on different towers even though both are on 1700Mhz and 4G is only available near T-Mobile stores while 3G is not! 3G uses HSPA+ while 4G uses WCDMA. There are 6-7 2G and 3G towers around me but only 1 4G tower about 2 miles away so it's too weak to pickup. Note that OpenSignalMaps says T-Mobile 4G is 3.5G.
My 4G Samsung Exhibit II gets only 4G with WCDMA and CANNOT get 3G using HSPA+ even though they are both on 1700Mhz. Yes, I know they are similar protocols but certainly not interchangeable.


Portage, IN
·T-Mobile US
Please, do some research before you make yourself sound any more uninformed. Not to get into a pissing match, but trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

UMTS, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (link)

Specifically, see the releases at the bottom. HSPA+ is the name of a revision of the data protocol. WCDMA is the air interface that protocol (and all of the UMTS family protocols) use.

Pro Tip: OpenSignalMaps data is garbage. I can force my phone to "GSM ONLY" mode (or have a European Android phone that has no USA 3G bands on it), then be the only person who has reported signal from a given cell site. Now, according to OpenSignalMaps, that is a "2G" tower, even if in reality the site is also an HSPA+84 site. (Just an example of how the data can be skewed.)

If your phone shows that you are getting "4G", that is 3G HSPA+. Marketing departments have utterly confused you (and most consumers).

Bahamut X
Fort Worth, TX
reply to ArizonaSteve
said by ArizonaSteve:

Use the OpenSignalMaps site or the Android app and you can see the different locations of 3G and 4G towers.

If I use that site sitting at home... or work... or any other place I happen to travel west of downtown Fort Worth, then by THEIR site, I should have 0 signal. Nothing at all, be it 2G or 3G based services (UMTS, HSPA of any flavor, et al).

I'll sit here and believe my phone and my tablet, which is telling me that it has access to HSPA based speeds, over a 3rd party site that tells me I should have nothing at all...

Or better yet, the T-Mobile engineering map (which the link is liberally posted around here), which also shows I should be able to max out whichever device I have sitting around me.

@clone: This gentleman (ArizonaSteve) has had many times been shown how his information can be... flawed, but yet, continues to state that somehow his UMTS based device can only get "4G" service, can fall back to EDGE, but cannot somehow access "3G" towers, despite the fact that both the marketing "4G" and the factual "3G" are the same thing. One example can be found here where, once facts started coming out, esp comparing frequency bands on various phones, he kinda... disappeared.

Facts are facts. Marketing says the new stuff is "4G" (although true 4G comes next year... wonder how they'll spin it, even though it's just 3G with a supercharger attached), but it all uses the same base UMTS setup on the AWS spectrum (and soon PCS spectrum). There is no differing "3G" and "4G" towers, though it could be possible a tower has not been upgraded from 7.2 mb/s standard to the newer HSPA+ standard, but even then, the phone would still show potentially only a "4G" signal (unless rooted, then Cyanogen might show either "H" or "3G", I've seen both on my rooted Galaxy S2).
I work at T-Mobile. I play games and enjoy time off of work. I've been a member here longer than I've worked there. I have my own opinions, they do not hold anything to T-Mobile USA, etc etc etc...