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Old July 29th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Galaxy S4 on Metro PCS

Metro PCS is promoting the S4 as a phone that connects to either the Metro towers or the T-Mobile towers depending on dominance. Been testing this beast of a phone in my home town where a LG phone previously connected to Metro's 4G network consistently, in solid fashion. The S4 either goes no data connection or a paltry "E" - which I assume is EV-DO and voice bars are 1 to none. T-Mobile in my neighborhood has always been slim pickens; Metro is and always has been the bomb (with various other phones...). In a neighboring town awash in T-Mobile 4G, this S4 works great.

Looks to me that this phone isn't networking switching
for best performance as advertised.
Considering the price, that's a shame.

Anyone else experiencing this type of network connection behavior?
Or perhaps a setting fix?


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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Connection in an area awash with HSPA+ wouldn't actually pass data even though the phone AND Open Signal reported 4G.

The marketing pitch that the S4 switches networks between Metro and T-Mobile is not true - at least not in my signal market. Looks like the S4 is not a Metro compatible CDMA phone.

This "arrangement" is definitely not ready for prime time!

Buyers beware...
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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They never advertised it as a CDMA phone, the only ad for this phone is its running on "Nationwide 4G" the phone doesn't even have a CDMA radio its the same exact model as T-Mobiles only GSM/HSPA/LTE


The phone doesn't even have access to anything Metro not even Metro LTE it all runs on Tmobile
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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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And the E your talking about isn't EvDO its EDGE
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, I am now aware of the "Edge" operation via Open Signal reporting but thanks for pointing that out regardless.

Obviously WCDMA, which is called out in the Network configuration pages, is a variant not currently enabled or compatible with the Metro PCS CDMA.

With regard to what is advertised, prior to purchasing the phone, I was informed not by ONE but in fact THREE different corporate store associates - all promoting that the phone auto switches between the two networks.
Which is obviously completely false and why the website makes no claims in that regard. So technically, there is no "published" advertisement to such functionality but the sales associates ARE extensions of the marketing function and it was their repeated assertions of 4G connectivity on either network that prompted my decision to take the plunge. Live and learn I suppose.

I'm sure the lines get blurred (in the eyes of this particular Corporate Store) as to what constitutes the Metro networks vs. the T-Mobile network. What complicates matters even more is that Open Signal reports the network beacon as "Metro PCS". Phone trickery? Anybody's guess...
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Did they specifically say CDMA though?
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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WCDMA (UMTS/HSPA) is not the same as CDMA-2000 (1xRTT/ED-VO). As for misinformed store employees, that unfortunately comes with the territory these days. They aren't payed well enough to attract people who would actually be experts in the field, so you often get people who are just simply looking for a job.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Did they specifically say CDMA though?
No. They stated that if I had 4G connectivity in my neighborhood on my LG Spirit, then this phone would switch to that as the dominant connection and that I would achieve 4G performance. CDMA as a mode (name) never came up in the discussions. I already knew T-Mobile coverage was a no go in my neighborhood. That is why I specifically asked about the alleged "network switching" of this phone when I called and again when I actually went to the store prior to making the purchase. All the associates parroted the same capability.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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WCDMA (UMTS/HSPA) is not the same as CDMA-2000 (1xRTT/ED-VO). As for misinformed store employees, that unfortunately comes with the territory these days. They aren't payed well enough to attract people who would actually be experts in the field, so you often get people who are just simply looking for a job.
My gut tells me that there was a roll-out on these "Nationwide 4G" phones that wasn't presented well by the regional folks. in other words, sloppy training for the roll-out.
Incidentally, Metro PCS has always advertised nationwide 4G - even prior to the T-Mobile merger. No?

"Nationwide 4G coverage on Select Phones" doesn't describe jack to the average Joe customer and doesn't lend itself to much distinction from the usual nationwide 4G Metro has always promoted.

Doesn't mater much in the final analysis.
If T-Mobile coverage is what you want at slightly more competitive pricing, then it's a solution for some. What these recently added 4G phones are not is a "network switching" option - WCDMA not withstanding.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My gut tells me that there was a roll-out on these "Nationwide 4G" phones that wasn't presented well by the regional folks. Incidentally, Metro PCS has always advertised nationwide 4G - even prior to the T-Mobile merger. No?

"Nationwide 4G coverage on Select Phones" doesn't describe jack to the average Joe customer and doesn't lend itself to much distinction from the usual nationwide 4G has always promoted.
No they had nationwide coverage through a roaming agreement with Sprint. They would've been stupid to market nationwide 4G with the 14 initial markets they had and note the coverage map below it for the said nationwide 4G ad
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Doesn't mater much in the final analysis.
If T-Mobile coverage is what you want at slightly more competitive pricing, then it's a solution for some. What these recently added 4G phones are not is a "network switching" option - WCDMA not withstanding.
WCDMA is simply just HSPA
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicblaze View Post
My gut tells me that there was a roll-out on these "Nationwide 4G" phones that wasn't presented well by the regional folks. in other words, sloppy training for the roll-out.
Incidentally, Metro PCS has always advertised nationwide 4G - even prior to the T-Mobile merger. No?

"Nationwide 4G coverage on Select Phones" doesn't describe jack to the average Joe customer and doesn't lend itself to much distinction from the usual nationwide 4G Metro has always promoted.

Doesn't mater much in the final analysis.
If T-Mobile coverage is what you want at slightly more competitive pricing, then it's a solution for some. What these recently added 4G phones are not is a "network switching" option - WCDMA not withstanding.
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No they had nationwide coverage through a roaming agreement with Sprint. They would've been stupid to market nationwide 4G with the 14 initial markets they had and note the coverage map below it for the said nationwide 4G ad
I was going to say it had to be roaming agreements, because there is no Metro presence in my area. Last I saw, they actually owned spectrum in my area, but never actually used it. But I would probably be inclined to agree that it was either sloppy training or a lack of caring by the employees.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No they had nationwide coverage through a roaming agreement with Sprint. They would've been stupid to market nationwide 4G with the 14 initial markets they had and note the coverage map below it for the said nationwide 4G ad
You've gone off on a tangent now. It doesn't matter much how they got their market spectrum in various markets, leased or whatnot, my point was simply that they've promoted nationwide 4G long before the merger so the "new devices" thing and how they provided actual coverage is simply fuzzy math - to the average consumer - IMHO.

I've learned a lot though, here and hands on, and I've come to appreciate Metro's primary, CDMA based network. It's outstanding throughout northern California.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You've gone off on a tangent now. It doesn't matter much how they got their market spectrum in various markets, leased or whatnot, my point was simply that they've promoted nationwide 4G long before the merger so the "new devices" thing and how they provided actual coverage is simply fuzzy math - to the average consumer - IMHO.

I've learned a lot though, here and hands on, and I've come to appreciate Metro's primary, CDMA based network. It's outstanding throughout northern California.
The only nationwide coverage metro ever marketed was MetroUSA which was the 1x roaming agreement with Sprint
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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But I would probably be inclined to agree that it was either sloppy training or a lack of caring by the employees.
I would have to say that the three associates I spoke with all came across as professional at their grade level, so to speak. And the explanation by three separate associates at three different times was consistent. So in my mind, it wasn't a lack of caring, but rather a simple matter of misinformation;
intentional or not from higher ups.

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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The only nationwide coverage metro ever marketed was MetroUSA which was the 1x roaming agreement with Sprint

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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would have to say that the three associates I spoke with all came across as professional at their grade level, so to speak. And the explanation by three separate associates at three different times was consistent. So in my mind, it wasn't a lack of caring, but rather a simple matter of misinformation;
intentional or not from higher ups.

Lmao you'd be surprised with metro employees
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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The only nationwide coverage metro ever marketed was MetroUSA which was the 1x roaming agreement with Sprint
Maybe that is the way you saw it in Florida, but out here they've been advertising nationwide 4G for quite some time. At least a year - which predates the T-Mobile marriage by quite a bit. But I'm not going to split hairs with you on semantics; you are obviously a career Phandroider.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Lmao you'd be surprised with metro employees
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