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T-Mobile has a Huge Amount of Work to Do
And a Lot of States Have Been Neglected
by Karl Bode 09:10AM Tuesday Dec 11 2012
T-Mobile's recent announcements that they'll offer the iPhone in 2013 and will be getting rid of the carrier device subsidy model has many outlets talking about how T-Mobile's primed to be a more serious competitor next year. However, the company has a lot of work to do if they're really going to start doing battle with AT&T and Verizon.

Click for full size
Conan Kudo pens a piece over at TMONews noting that despite T-Mobile's progress with HSPA+, many areas have no native coverage, and/or remain stuck on EDGE speeds:
quote:
The entire states of West Virginia, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota have zero native coverage. Ostensibly, these markets are covered by the UMTS roaming agreement with AT&T that went active this year. Alaska has zero native coverage, but it served with roaming agreements with local GSM operators in some areas. Geographically, large amounts of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and the New England area are not covered by a native network either.

T-Mobile has spectrum licenses to deploy in these areas. For one reason or another, it has chosen not to. But T-Mobile needs to do something soon about those states, because it has a lot of spectrum that it paid a lot of money to get. If it doesn’t do something with them, it could lose those licenses at the end of the decade.
The piece goes on to note that many markets that do have native coverage, EDGE is the predominant technology available to users. The piece is an interesting reality check after months of talking up T-Mobile's deployment of HSPA+ over 1900MHz and upcoming LTE launch.

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Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop

T-Mobile sucks

T-Mobile's issue is that they don't know how to run a company. Their customer service is horrible and their coverage is non existent.

I will never go back. Ever.
--
My beta Ruby on Rails tutorial site!

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 recommendation

Re: T-Mobile sucks

said by Eek2121:

T-Mobile's issue is that they don't know how to run a company. Their customer service is horrible and their coverage is non existent.

I will never go back. Ever.

In 2010 and 2011, their customer support was ranked the highest. Then the AT&T deal made it all go to crap so now they are at the bottom. I've been with TMo since they were still VoiceStream. I've never had a single problem with their customer support because I've never had to use them. My bills always correct. My calls go through. There's no problem. The only time that I ever call them is to upgrade phones and/or plans. Call, say "Cancel" even though I have no intentions to, talk to retentions since they are the ones that can actually haggle on price/services/plans and they've always practically bend over backwards for me.

As for calling area, yeah, it's limited. If you want service in BFE, they aren't the company for you. 99.5% of my time is in major metro areas where cell coverage is not a problem. If you go in with the expectation that it's not universal coverage, and you're bill is significantly less than the other guys because of it, then it's fine.

I've never left. Ever.

pb5k
Can't Triforce
Premium
join:2005-11-16
Glendale, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: T-Mobile sucks

I have to say that in my experiences, T-Mo's customer service is very good. At one point, I got into a financial bind and needed extra minutes, and they gave them to me - twice! - free of charge.

I doubt that the Death Star, or VZ would have ever been so generous. +1 for T-mobile.
--
"I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human." - John Trudell
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Re: T-Mobile sucks

At least as of 2010 (the last time anyone I know even tried), VZW would gladly give you like "60 bonus minutes" a month for 6 months if you called in and said you were going to go over your minutes.

Most people don't even count minutes anymore, so I doubt this is too much of an issue, but back when minutes were at a premium (I did exactly this a few times in 2002-2005), they would always do it if you just called and politely asked.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX
said by pb5k:

I have to say that in my experiences, T-Mo's customer service is very good. At one point, I got into a financial bind and needed extra minutes, and they gave them to me - twice! - free of charge.

I doubt that the Death Star, or VZ would have ever been so generous. +1 for T-mobile.

your right, Death star or as I call it MA-Bell would never think of doing that for you or anyone else.. they would just rather charge you more.. I know cause having their service still sucks...

don't get me wrong AT&T service is great but per price and data and this whole idea about lets go spend 200 a month on a shared data plan that keeps goin into my mail box every few weeks is frustrating.. I'm goin to T-Mobile after 12 years of service from AT&T and where not gonna look back thankfully thought T-Mobile has coverage in Texas

knighthawktf

@comcast.net
My experience has been exactly the same been with them since Powertel. Not a single problem. Called CS twice in 12 years to upgrade my phone - zero problems and both times I got an extra $100 off phone I was buying\upgrading too cause it had been so long.
99% of my time is in and around atlanta - all my trips to the NE have gone without issue phone wise. I did get a call from them like ~5 years ago it was CS calling to tell me there was a better plan they could switch me too for the same price and no contract extension involved (they were just trying to phase out an ancient plan I was on)
jc100

join:2002-04-10

T-Mobile Can't make up its mind

T-Mobile's still seems shell shocked the merger with ATT failed. Sure, Deutch telecom received a huge cash infusion from the deal falling apart. However, T-Mobile appears to have had no contingency plan in place. Merely, Deutch telecom banked on the notion that the deal was a surefire close and killed all strategic planning. Now that we all are aware of their fate, T-Mobile is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Sure, the idea of unsubsidized phones to save money is inventive, but isn't groundbreaking.

20 dollars a month x 24 months is 480 dollars. Seeing the phone will cost you probably 500 or 600 for the latest model, you're good as locked into their service. That's unless, and highly improbably, they're going to sell jailbroke phones capable of going to another carrier. The odds other carriers are going to support the device is slim.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 recommendation

Re: T-Mobile Can't make up its mind

said by jc100:

20 dollars a month x 24 months is 480 dollars. Seeing the phone will cost you probably 500 or 600 for the latest model, you're good as locked into their service.

It's $20 maximum a month, you're allowed to put as much down as you want, and the balance is divided equally over 20 or 24 months (I forget which it is). For instance, if you buy a generation old smartphone for $400 and put $100 down, it's $12.50 a month extra over 24 months. You're only as locked in to them as you want, and it's no different then previously. If you don't want to be locked in at all, go prepaid and pay full price up front. No lock in, but you also don't get free financing.

That's unless, and highly improbably, they're going to sell jailbroke phones capable of going to another carrier. The odds other carriers are going to support the device is slim.

Tmo has always had a fairly liberal SIM unlock policy. Even with that being the official policy, them bending the rules isn't unheard of if you are a customer in good standing. Just tell them you are going overseas and want to use the phone with a carrier there.

The other carrier supporting it is going to depend on what the phone supports. If the frequencies are compatible, there's no reason why it wouldn't work.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

Re: T-Mobile Can't make up its mind

said by cdru:

said by jc100:

20 dollars a month x 24 months is 480 dollars. Seeing the phone will cost you probably 500 or 600 for the latest model, you're good as locked into their service.

It's $20 maximum a month, you're allowed to put as much down as you want, and the balance is divided equally over 20 or 24 months (I forget which it is). For instance, if you buy a generation old smartphone for $400 and put $100 down, it's $12.50 a month extra over 24 months. You're only as locked in to them as you want, and it's no different then previously. If you don't want to be locked in at all, go prepaid and pay full price up front. No lock in, but you also don't get free financing.

That's unless, and highly improbably, they're going to sell jailbroke phones capable of going to another carrier. The odds other carriers are going to support the device is slim.

Tmo has always had a fairly liberal SIM unlock policy. Even with that being the official policy, them bending the rules isn't unheard of if you are a customer in good standing. Just tell them you are going overseas and want to use the phone with a carrier there.

The other carrier supporting it is going to depend on what the phone supports. If the frequencies are compatible, there's no reason why it wouldn't work.

also T-Mobile seems to be aiming at a place where the other 3 cant aim.. that's value.. sprint can do this but Verizon and AT&T will never.. T-Mobile is wanting to charge less and give more eventually its possible that with the income that they might have comin in every year that will be put back into the network.. with that I can say T-Mobile will def be a good contender against the big 2.. Sprint sadly is to hard to see where they will be in 5 years..
jc100

join:2002-04-10
You've missed my point cdru. You purchase a phone for 500 or 600 at full retail price. You're literally locked into them to recoup your investment as the savings equates to a 2 year contract. 20 x 24 = 480 dollars. Thus, if you buy the phone and jump ship, you're out a boatload of cash and no where to go.

TMO might support unlocked phones but many carriers do not. Therefore, you're 600 dollar tech gadget is now useless unless all other phone companies adopt the same free flow policy (doubtful) of selling unsubsidized devices AND unlocking them.

If locked... then no matter what, you're plain out of luck with a high tech piece of junk unless you jailbreak and find someone to let you take the phone with you to their carrier.
sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

Re: T-Mobile Can't make up its mind

said by jc100:

You've missed my point cdru. You purchase a phone for 500 or 600 at full retail price. You're literally locked into them to recoup your investment as the savings equates to a 2 year contract. 20 x 24 = 480 dollars. Thus, if you buy the phone and jump ship, you're out a boatload of cash and no where to go.

TMO might support unlocked phones but many carriers do not. Therefore, you're 600 dollar tech gadget is now useless unless all other phone companies adopt the same free flow policy (doubtful) of selling unsubsidized devices AND unlocking them.

If locked... then no matter what, you're plain out of luck with a high tech piece of junk unless you jailbreak and find someone to let you take the phone with you to their carrier.

Not necessarily as T-Mobile will unlock the phone if you request it, just call customer service. Beyond that, what is the point of buying a phone from T-Mobile if you don't plan on using T-Mobiles service?

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by jc100:

You've missed my point cdru. You purchase a phone for 500 or 600 at full retail price. You're literally locked into them to recoup your investment as the savings equates to a 2 year contract. 20 x 24 = 480 dollars. Thus, if you buy the phone and jump ship, you're out a boatload of cash and no where to go.

In the end, how is that any different than any other carrier with ETF? If you jump jump ship before the end of the contract, you're out what you initially paid, plus whatever ETF, and are left a phone that may not fully work anywhere else.

Historically you have ALWAYS paid for a device with any other carrier, even if the device is "free" at the beginning of the contract. What Tmobile is doing is giving you back the $20 a month over the life of the contract what you would have been paying that was the subsidy they fronted up front when you bought a phone. You can turn around and get a EIP to purchase a device from T-Mobile, get an unlocked phone elsewhere, or just use an existing device.

TMO might support unlocked phones but many carriers do not. Therefore, you're 600 dollar tech gadget is now useless unless all other phone companies adopt the same free flow policy (doubtful) of selling unsubsidized devices AND unlocking them.

If locked... then no matter what, you're plain out of luck with a high tech piece of junk unless you jailbreak and find someone to let you take the phone with you to their carrier.

You can't take a Verizon or AT&T LTE phone and go to the other with the exception of the Verizon iPhone 5 which will work with a GSM sim at 3G speeds, but not LTE. Unlocked phones on AT&T and T-Mobile can have SIMs swapped with each other and have at least partial functionality if not full depending on the phones capabilities and frequencies used. There are MVNOs for any of the major networks that will take unlocked phones. And of course you can sell your locked phone to someone who will be staying on the same network to recoup some or all of your costs if you can't take your phone with you to a new network.
tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
Actually I think they may have a plan... and it _might_ be very good. Their post paid customers are dropping like flies. However, their pre-paid customers are increasing (it's an offset). TM has never been a carrier to paid high subsidized phone fees to phone manufactures. In 2013 they will be dropping that completly (they will still offer financing on phones, which is about the same thing) which will allow more choices for customers (lower plan prices). This is what TM is gearing up for with the 1900MHz spectrum for iphones. I can see this as really shaking up how plans work. Other carriers may follow suit and things could really change for the better.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

GSM is a mess

Here in the states, GSM is simply not as prevalent. It doesn't have the same coverage. The coverage that it does have, is barely acceptable at best. I'm continually amazed that it thrives at all. This article seems like proof that large swaths of the country simply don't have the coverage that CDMA based tech does.

Really don't see the point in continuing TDMA based headache inducing (for me anyway...), radio interfering (ever held a GSM/TDMA based phone near speakers when it rings?) mess of a technology.

PhoenixAZ
Get A Mac
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:1

Re: GSM is a mess

said by amungus:

Here in the states, GSM is simply not as prevalent. It doesn't have the same coverage. The coverage that it does have, is barely acceptable at best. I'm continually amazed that it thrives at all. This article seems like proof that large swaths of the country simply don't have the coverage that CDMA based tech does.

Really don't see the point in continuing TDMA based headache inducing (for me anyway...), radio interfering (ever held a GSM/TDMA based phone near speakers when it rings?) mess of a technology.

It's the only option for people who don't want your carrier to completely control you. That's changing slow now with Verizon's SIM card enabled 4G LTE network (they state they allow you to bring your own devices now)- but they won't allow anyone to bring over CDMA devices. Smh

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
I use prepaid GSM, either AT&T or T-mobile and GSM coverage overall is not as bad as you make it sound.

AT&T's GSM coverage is fairly widespread they cover 98% of the population, mostly with 3G or greater.

Only Verizon has more native coverage than AT&T. Sprint's native coverage is closer to T-mobile than AT&T but Sprint roams on the Verizon network.

T-mobile's GSM coverage is considerably less, but it works very well for people in populated suburban and urban markets.
I live in NJ and have no problems with T-mobile coverage and always have 3G/4G.

GSM worldwide is much much more prevalent than CDMA, with GSM you get better phone selection and more no contract options because of easily swapable sim cards.
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Don't forget that 3G GSM is WCDMA. CDMA on it's own is now old technologically.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

Re: GSM is a mess

True - but many GSM based service providers still use the older frequencies / channels for calls, esp. and more often in areas as the article describes; where there's no other choice.

On the flip side, CDMA based carriers employ the same tricks - in many cases, voice traffic can be separate from data channel, but not both at once.

As for worldwide coverage, yes, it's the "global standard for mobile" (GSM). Still, I must be sensitive to some of the implementations of it. Serious headaches resulted from use of GSM and/or TDMA based devices, and I don't ever want to deal with one again.

Sure, SIM card idea is neat in that it frees you from caring what device is in use, but it's a double edged sword too - if your phone gets stolen or lost, anyone can pick it up and use their card in it.

PhoenixAZ
Get A Mac
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:1

Re: GSM is a mess

said by amungus:

True - but many GSM based service providers still use the older frequencies / channels for calls, esp. and more often in areas as the article describes; where there's no other choice.

On the flip side, CDMA based carriers employ the same tricks - in many cases, voice traffic can be separate from data channel, but not both at once.

As for worldwide coverage, yes, it's the "global standard for mobile" (GSM). Still, I must be sensitive to some of the implementations of it. Serious headaches resulted from use of GSM and/or TDMA based devices, and I don't ever want to deal with one again.

Sure, SIM card idea is neat in that it frees you from caring what device is in use, but it's a double edged sword too - if your phone gets stolen or lost, anyone can pick it up and use their card in it.

The global IMEI blocking list is going to solve the lost and stolen GSM phone issue. They're working on the America one now, and will push it globally soon. So they can't even ship your stolen phone overseas and have it work.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

Re: GSM is a mess

very true, especially iPhones.. apples servers checks AT&T or what ever carrier the GSM phone is on.. then authorizes.. but with a Global IMEI blocking list apple will check that also and ban any that are stolen.. from working on AT&T or some foreign carrier
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
GSM Buzz only happens in the Cellular band. PCS, which TMo uses, isn't susceptible to that.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

Re: GSM is a mess

Hmm, swear I've got some old blackberries in a box that would say otherwise...
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX
I hate CDMA
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Playing in the big leagues

T-Mobile is making some bold moves, and it looks like they think they can play in the big leagues. That's great, but, in order to compete with AT&T and VZW, you have to have a network that competes with them. Yeah, I know that people will say that T-Mobile users can roam in many places on other networks, so they don't need as much native coverage. Yes, they can, but it's a bad solution for two reasons: first, because that roaming could go away if contracts expire, and second, because, in those areas, T-Mobile can't sign up customers of its own. This second point matters, not only because it limits the numbers of customers T-Mobile can get, but it also is important because families and other groups of people often get the same carrier to take advantage of M2M. If some folks can't get a particular carrier because they don't have coverage, that lessens the chance that others will go for that carrier, even if they could get service.

For many years, T-Mobile has focused on urban areas, but I think they've hit their growth limit for that kind of business model. If they want to become a top-tier carrier, they have to build the infrastructure to match other top-tier carriers.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Playing in the big leagues

There are a number of issues TMO has:

1. TMO frequencies (while they now have MHz) are higher, not the juicy low frew spectrum like T and VZW have, so in rural areas this will require new equipment (like Sprint) to have a shot at similar coverage.
2. Verizon had "clear 700 Mhz" spectrum so it could simply lay out it's LTE and not have to refarm. Every other company has to do the juggling act, even AT&T. Impact: cost, time to market
3. TMO has to shift from 1700 to 1900 for 3G so it can then have roaming agreements w/ T in areas that it does not cover (or wont for a while) Even when that is done, 1700 will still need to retain 3G for backward compatibility, and that will slow LTE bandwidth for a number of years.
4. MetroPCS will give them the spectrum to cover the northeast adequately, so it will need to shut down the CDMA network ASAP. Put bluntly the NorthEast is where they can make the most revenue and it is the smallest landwise, so they will concentrate on that.
5. Customer service - Lipstick on a pig. To make the company look more valuable for AT&T, they lowered opex cost, and that means customer service went into the sh**tter. It's an easy fix, $$$.
6. As to roaming agreements, as part of the breakup T is FORCED to allow roaming agreements, so they know what those timelines are.

So all can complain, but there is significant work to be done, and DT still needs to run the numbers because there will be 4 MAJOR carriers competing for POPs, and that is too many. One of them will go away, and Softbank is not going to allow that to happen, so who is left? For those who study economics, it is VERY rare the more than 3 competitors in a commodity (which this is) market survive in a steady state.

Also, if TMO harmonizes frequencies w/ T on 3G they can shudder their 3G network faster (roaming agreements) and concentrate on rolling out LTE and in fact they will be rolling out LTE-advanced which is one step ahead of the other carriers, so watch out. It's a shell game. The next battle will be to have phones that can carry all of these LTE frequencies and LTE types.
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Reviews:
·Callcentric

Re: Playing in the big leagues

Not sure about that considering various international markets have 4 to 6 carriers and a plethora of resellers.

The problem with our market is that its become an oligopoly. Tmobile is only a few dollars cheaper than the rest of them or is going down the unlimited equals value route too, that so many of our budget carriers are obsessed with.

In fact, when it comes to prepaid, Tmobile is very expensive. When AT&T and Verizon MNVO offer cheaper rates, the management should realize that they have strategy and pricing problem. Heck, in Tmobile's case, have they learned nothing from their other divisions like the UK.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

1 edit

Deutsche Telekom

They still think they are still in Europe with a small mass of land to cover.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Dutch Telecom

said by brianiscool:

They still think they are still in Europe with a small mass of land to cover.

Not sure who Dutch Telekom is. Deutsche Telekom, however, is a large multinational company with networks all over the planet.
xmarklive

join:2012-07-10
Lansing, MI

tmobile phones

It seems to me that since t mobile no longer subsides phone, they will sell less because people will be less willing to upgrade on the installment plan or will just get att phones of eBay and use them on mobile .
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC

Re: tmobile phones

I think selling loans for phones will be a good replacement for subsidies, and maybe make them some more money.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: tmobile phones

Selling the zero interest loans for phones is actually over the course of a contact cheaper for the customer and T-mobile.

It's a very good alternative, more carriers should provide it as an option, but most other carriers won't give up the extra cash they make on higher monthly bills that come with phone subsidies.

•••

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by xmarklive:

It seems to me that since t mobile no longer subsides phone, they will sell less because people will be less willing to upgrade on the installment plan or will just get att phones of eBay and use them on mobile .

The value plans are $20 cheaper than the classic plans. The most they finance is $20 a month. See a connection there? The net bill at the end of the month is the same or less for a customer without the subsidy then it is if they were subsidized on the current classic plan.

The benefit by going without subsidies is that it simplifies their plans by getting rid of 1/2 of them. If a customer wants to keep their own phone, not finance it, or get it from a 3rd party, they are able to and save.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
xmarklive, Customers can pick up a phone cheap at Walmart. They recently had the Samsung Galaxy S-II on sale for $299 but there are others cheap as $39!

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

East Central Iowa

The part of Iowa I grew up in does not have native T-Mobile coverage, it is covered by a subsidiary called Iowa Wireless (now called iWireless) and if you travel outside the IWS ares, you roam on T-Mobile.

Verizon, Sprint, AT&T along with US Cellular have native coverage in that area. VZW even has good coverage outside of Cedar Rapids city limits (Robins area, which is very rural) as we had to go all the way there on the school bus to drop my friend off before coming back into town and VZW had good coverage there (this was back in 2001-2002 when I was in high school and cell phones only had voice and text-only messaging). My phone back then was a VZW prepaid Nokia 5185 and I had a Green Bay Packers faceplate on it (I still have the faceplate somewhere in my junk but the phone has since been discarded). I am wondering if that area today is covered by LTE or if it is EVDO-Rev A or even still 1xRTT considering the rural nature of that area. I used to go to camp at Camp Courageous of Iowa (special needs camp) and it was outside of Monticello, IA (I am willing to bet that the cell reception there is very spotty, especially on national carriers or is extended network). It is near Pictured Rocks county park.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: East Central Iowa

Not sure I catch what your point is. TMO and iwireless users have coverage over the entire state.

T-Mobile has left everywhere but Des Moines and Ames for iWireless to deal with. iWireless has most of the state covered, as well as parts of Nebraska and Illinois, but (in my experience) iWireless' network isn't as strong as it should be when compared to T-Mobile deployments in neighboring Minnesota and Missouri.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

T-Mobile knows what they are...

...and it's not AT&T or Verizon.

T-Mobile owns spectrum in two bands: PCS and AWS. Neither is good for rural coverage. Sprint has done an admirable job using their PCS in some rural markets, but T-Mobile has never gone heavily after those markets, and unfortunately I don't think it'll start doing so any time soon.

One poster mentioned mobile-to-mobile. M2M is dead. Unlimited voice to anyone is so cheap for the networks to provide that they're doing it to everyone...T-Mobile's Go Smart Mobile brand is offering unlimited voice and text for $30 per month. Verizon and AT&T include unlimited voice and texting on their shared plans. Sprint does not, but as a user of a Sprint smartphone plan, I hardly use any minutes because calls to any cell phone don't cost me.

In any case, T-Mobile is primarily an urban carrier. They have a lot in common with CricKet or MetroPCS, except they're national rather than regional. If you want coverage in semi-rural/rural markets (which includes all of Alaska, ND/SD, etc.), you'll be roaming. Now one can debate what that roaming should entail (I say that T-Mobile should lease, for cheap, their spectrum to their roaming partners in those areas so that it isn't going to waste), but the fact is that T-Mobile can't build a rural network to its standards (lots of backhaul, cell spacing tight enough to support AWS LTE) in anything more sparsely populated than a suburb.

Do I like this model? Sort of. As a customer, not really...I can't switch to T-Mobile because they've got GPRS where I spend 10-20% of my time (west of Austin, north of San Antonio). They could have 20x20 LTE in Austin with unlimited everything for $70 per month (plus phone costs...I don't care because I'd just get a Nexus 4) and it'd still be a hard decision. But, for folks who stay in cities 95% of the time it's not such a big deal, and that's why T-Mobile has the number of customers that it has now. And, thanks to the iPhone and network upgrades, they'll get more.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: T-Mobile knows what they are...

Completely agree, T-mobile's spectrum is best suited for more urban markets. I think they should continue to focus on the more populated areas, like the Northeast where their coverage is good and they can probably steal some iphone users from Verizon,AT&T or Sprint. And were upgrades are more likely to net them more users per mile covered.

Once they get back on their feet, maybe they can look into lower frequency spectrum and rural coverage, but to focus on that now would just be a waste of money and resources.

Although, Due to the quality of the 4G network I wouldn't put them in the same boat as metropcs or boost as their networks tend to be very unimpressive.
I get speeds from 6 - 12mbps normally, which is a night and day difference from carrier's like metropcs. T-mobile does know who they are and for users like me, they are a great value.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

well

Well, would be nice if they actually started building out for sure.. Having ATT/Verizon as the two main providers in my area sucks.. Sprint has roaming for voice, but data is a no go at this station...
ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA

I-80 in Nevada

Dunno who wrote this report and mention Nevada and Utah, but AT&T prepaid has absolutely no GSM coverage on I-80 in Nevada; T-Mobile does have native coverage, and AT&T post-paid customers indeed roam on T-Mo there. Not UMTS, but better than nothing; plus, it's not like that many people live there to warrant the expensive upgrades; EDGE would do for now, they could as well skip UMTS, and go straight with LTE on I-80 in Nevada (once other markets go live, that is).

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO

Re: I-80 in Nevada

Also in Moab, UT. Hope they go all the way down US 191.

Since I don't care about speed, I've been buying unlocked European phones from Amazon. TMO service was good enough to help with a Galaxy Apollo.
ArizonaSteve

join:2004-01-31
Apache Junction, AZ
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·CenturyLink
The map on OpenSignalMaps show that AT&T does have 2G coverage along I-80 West of SLC across most of Nevada but not on the mountains near Winnemucca until you get down past Toulon lake. There seems to be a mixture of 2G some places and 3G other places. AT&T and Verizon both have coverage along most interstate highways and in a lot of little towns in the middle of nowhere but Vz seems to have a bit better coverage in remote areas of Nevada.

bbrlogue
Learning New Things Daily
Premium
join:2003-12-07
Alexandria, VA

Don't put your eggs in one basket

Just switched my primary phone back to T-Mobile after 2 years on Sprint SERO. Gave the line SERO to my teenage son, and have AT&T backup data only prepaid. My wife ported back to T-mobile also, while my youngest is on Boost 10c/day. When traveling, we take a PagePlus phone. With these, we have all four providers.
Max Greene

join:2000-12-22
Bayonne, NJ
Reviews:
·Boost Mobile

Recent convert to Tmo and happy

I live minutes from Manhattan and had VZW for years paying sky high prices and got tired of that so went to Boost which was terrible. After a few months I moved to Tmo and I cant complain at all other than a small dead spot I hit in Jersey City on the light rail, its been spot on.