T-Mobile's Coverage Maps: Accuracy?

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  1. SEMIJim

    SEMIJim Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    Trying to get a feel for how accurate/honest are T-Mobile's coverage maps. They claim "3G/4G Smartphone Signal Strength" everywhere I'd expect to be day-to-day is anywhere from "Excellent" to "Very Strong," with a little bit of "Good" here-and-there. They indicate all of the out-state areas I'd likely to be are covered either by them or by "2G/Voice" "Service Partners."

    In your experience: Are TMO's coverage maps pretty honest (i.e.: conservative), hopelessly optimistic, a crap-shoot or what?


  2. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female

    You can always check Open Signal Maps, but keep in mind that it's user submitted data (ie: just because an area doesn't say T-Mobile doesn't mean there's no coverage. It may also mean no one is in that area on T-Mobile using the app to submit data).

    OpenSignalMaps - Cell Phone Tower and Signal Heat Maps

    There is also this article, which I would think is quite accurate.

    Fastest Mobile Networks | PCMag.com

    FWIW I have T-Mobile, and they're pretty awesome in my area.

    AH, almost forgot this one! You can use this now to see how T-Mobile rates in your area: Carrier Coverage
    GalaxyNexus likes this.
  3. SEMIJim

    SEMIJim Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, Petrah.

    I don't know as the exact question was answered. I don't know as the exact question can be answered. But your follow-up did contain very useful info. Here are the (surprising, to me) things I gleaned from those three links:
    • I saw far more TMO reports for my area on OSM than I did for my current carrier, Sprint
    • The PCMag article puts TMO second to VZW in wireless data speed, except in north central, where it's in third place. (Caveat about coverage noted.) Even more surprising, and somewhat oddly, they claimed TMO was actually the best in suburban and rural areas?
    • The carrier coverage app, if it's saying what I think it is (confidence is not high) is placing VZW first, TMO second, for my area? (The "for my area" part is what I'm not certain of.)

    In any event: It looks almost certain that, with TMO, I'd not only save a lot of money, over what I'd pay with Sprint, but I'd get better coverage and faster data speeds.

    Oh: And carrier coverage also rated the Samsung Galaxy S II third, behind a pair of (VZW) Droids. (Again: Don't know if that's location-specific.)

  4. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female

    For my area, the Carrier Coverage app rates the Huawei Glory as the top device. I'm not really surprised though because Cricket is the second highest carrier for coverage in my area.
  5. mogelijk

    mogelijk Well-Known Member

    For my area, T-Mobile is number 1. The Galaxy S2 is the top phone (the Nexus #4). Sprint is #5 in my area and Cricket isn't listed.
  6. Carolina Media

    Carolina Media Well-Known Member

    The maps are pretty accurate. I notice in the areas where they have the darkest green (strong 3G/4G), I can get around 25mbps download speeds on the HTC One. In some of the lighter green areas like where my house is, the speed is more around 8-10mbps.
  7. The111

    The111 Well-Known Member

    Why do they not separate 3G and 4G on the maps? Is there really "strong 4G" available everywhere there is dark green on the map, or is there just "strong 3G or 4G?"
  8. Joshb101

    Joshb101 Well-Known Member

    Because their 4G is really just ramped up 3G, just speed levels will change considering how strong your signal is. I imagine when they start deploying LTE the maps will actually show a difference between LTE and 3G/4G.
    The111 likes this.
  9. The111

    The111 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Josh, I found similar info myself after doing some searches, but I appreciate the confirmation. I have Sprint with 4G right now which is very limited in where I can get it. The ramped up 3G sounds more appealing, because it looks more widespread, and from the reports I've seen, the speeds more than compete with my Sprint Wimax speeds.
  10. Joshb101

    Joshb101 Well-Known Member

    T-Mobile's speeds can be just as fast as the other carriers LTE services, of course this all varies from place to place. But honestly once you get past a certain speed its just about bragging rights.
  11. jeffspenny

    jeffspenny New Member

    Hello, from the beginning let me appologize for my ignorance of any and everything related to a cell phone. With that said, I have found myself in the position of needing a smart phone. Basically, for several functions that an idiot phone like I now have, does not have. I don't go online or download anything from the internet but do see the need for phone GPS app and checking weather in certain areas of the country.
    My question is about T-mobile. My office is within the coverage areas but most of my wor takes me out of the area. Since I don't "do the internet", is taking advantage of T-mobile's good prices through Walmart beneficial to my needs, mainly voice and text? Thanks from the confused.:confused:
  12. Joshb101

    Joshb101 Well-Known Member

    Just have to use the coverage map to see if where you go is covered or not.
  13. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member

    In my area the map is very accurate. I can literally walk the line between "Excellent" and "Very good" all the while seeing changes in signal and data speed.
  14. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

    If this is the case, get on T-Mobile's network by becing a Straight Talk, or Simple Mobile customer. If you are getting an Andorid based phone, to utilize "Google Maps", once an area is displayed on a map, the map area is cached on the device, so internet access would not be required, unless you need location specific info (e.g. business operating hours, ratings, etc). If maps and texting are all you use, you would also be able to get by with Edge speeds, with little perceived delay vs. full 3G/4G.
  15. chong67

    chong67 Well-Known Member

    I use Sensorly: https://play.google.com/store/apps/...251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5zZW5zb3JseS52aWV3ZXIiXQ..

    Coverage is map by your phone as you move.

    There is a app that does the tower base on science fiction and triage and that didnt work properly.

    I did look at Open Source Signal map and Verizon just have more towers than others. Its too bad they just dont use SIM card. Life is good if you dont travel overseas or have 2 phones.
  16. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    Be aware that roaming coverage shown on T-Mobile's map will be nil for both voice and data. Roaming agreements between T-Mobile and AT&T and others do not apply for customers of Straight Talk, Simple Mobile or other 'discount' services. You also do not get T-Mobile customer service, among other benefits. Discount services are a little cheaper for a reason.

    However, the so-called 'WalMart' plan is genuine T-Mobile so you *do* get full coverage, T-Mobile customer service, etc.

    Linux user #266351. Android since v1.0
    chong67 likes this.
  17. chong67

    chong67 Well-Known Member

    So any of the prepaid plan I buy from Walmart is genuine and its like post paid?

    I went to Walmart site to look and they have the $30 plan with 100 min but it say unlimited data and text. Unlimited data ??? At what speed? I could not find this.
  18. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    The 'Walmart' $30/mo plan is available directly from T-Mobile. You don't have to deal with Walmart at all.

    It is truly unlimited data but only 2GB at 4G. After that it's 2G until your billing cycle resets.

    Linux user #266351. Android since v1.0
  19. chong67

    chong67 Well-Known Member

    Tmobile website had it listed at 5GB limit for $30 and it say available on 3 website including Walmart.
  20. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    Oops... My mistake...

    Linux user #266351. Android since v1.0
  21. eljefe0000

    eljefe0000 Well-Known Member

    on the $30 plan its 5gb at 4g speeds then you get throttled down
    Fuzzy13 likes this.
  22. eljefe0000

    eljefe0000 Well-Known Member

    just get a sim from tmo and a phone you wanna use
  23. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member


    Sim kit is 99 cents from Tmobile. Get it, activate it and sign up for the $30 plan. It's the only time you can get it so choose it when you sign up.

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