T-Mobile says it understated, not overstated, 4G LTE coverage in rural areas

T-Mobile says it understated, not overstated, 4G LTE coverage in rural areas
T-Mobile didn't just go on the offensive against Verizon and AT&T recently, but also the Rural Wireless Association (RWA), a Washington, DC-based trade association dedicated to ensuring rural carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers have a “strong voice” in the nation’s capital.

Obviously, T-Mo went after the RWA for an entirely different reason than its somewhat petty 5G-related squabble with the top two wireless service providers in the US. Namely, “several misrepresentations” made to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a December 10 notice of ex parte presentation.

Complicated legalese aside, the Rural Wireless Association basically pointed the finger at T-Mobile for projecting future 4G LTE coverage in unserved and underserved areas rather than providing an accurate “snapshot” in time of its high-speed cellular service at the beginning of 2018.

In doing so, the nation’s leading “Un-carrier” is accused of stifling network deployment and maintenance by smaller operators in those areas where T-Mobile allegedly overstated its coverage.

In response, T-Mobile has vehemently denied all accusations, turning the tables on the RWA, whose “ongoing pattern of baseless allegations” is purportedly “designed to delay or thwart competition in rural America and deprive rural Americans of meaningful choice for broadband services.”

One of the most interesting points T-Mo makes in its electronic filing with the FCC is that the documentation provided to reflect LTE coverage as of December 2017 may have actually “understated” the footprint of its network rather than overstating it as expansions continued throughout this controversial challenge process.

That’s definitely a bold claim, which the Federal Communications Commission may or may not intend to look into. After all, the names of the “major” carriers under investigation as of December 7 for potential violations of Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) mapping rules were never explicitly revealed, and T-Mobile is quick to point out it has not been contacted yet in relation to these accusations.

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23 Comments

1. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

T-Mobile coverage in rural areas is nonexistent. Period.

4. Acdc1a

Posts: 465; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

You're an idiot if you believe that.

8. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

I've lived it. I see it every day. If you're going to try insult someone, at least come with something stronger than 3rd grade insults.

12. Acdc1a

Posts: 465; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

As you use past tense to describe the present state of a network. Idiot, fool, moron, whatever you prefer.

17. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

My work iPhone is T-Mobile. Once again, you fail to impress me with your replies. All you can offer are weak insults. Maybe your parents should have tried harder.

22. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

What model Iphone do you have? I ask because unless you have a brand new one it does not support the 600mhz band, most of t-mobiles rural build out is in the 600mhz band

2. ZombieHunter

Posts: 264; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

T-Mobile coverage in most Suburban areas is close to nonexistant.

3. djcody

Posts: 211; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Yep and people joining t-mobile just so they can pay for service and can't use it. keep saying it for your self. I been around states florida, georgia, colorado, iowa, wisconsin, minnesota , 95% no problem at all with my 3 year old phone without new LTE band on it (66,71). I'm with tmobile about 10 years. Sure just 5 years ago was diffrent story not any more.

5. Acdc1a

Posts: 465; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

You missed the point of record low churn too. People aren't just switching, they're staying. They wouldn't stay on an inferior network. By the way, the Z3 play supports all the new bands and has been a great phone for me.

23. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Most 3 year old phone do not support those bands and without them the claims of poor service people are making are for the most part true. This is a challenge for t-mobile. I looked and even the regular s8 and s8+ don't support band 71 and only the 2018 iphones xr etc.

6. andrewc31394

Posts: 276; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

speak for yourself, i have better coverage at work then people with verizon or sprint (can't say about at&t though)

15. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Sprint maybe.

18. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

The cool kids with T-Mobile will always argue otherwise. Hard to estimate coverage while sitting in Starbucks, but I digress.

19. andynaija

Posts: 1247; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

So you're assuming that people with T-Mobile sit in Starbucks. Interesting.

7. hazard1

Posts: 230; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

Mileage will vary, of course. I have seen the improvements over the years. Places that had no service in the past now has good service. However, I have also been places where T-mobile claims service, and received no signal. In many places, there is good service in towns, only to drop off to near zero coverage as soon as you leave the town.

20. Greenmule

Posts: 128; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas: Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people; Urban Clusters (UCs) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people. “Rural” encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area. Therefore, per US Census bureau, rural is less than 2,500 people. What wireless company in their right mind is going to invest in the infastructure for 2,500 customers? Gotta be something else there, like first responders or US government installation, of some sort,

9. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Sprint or T-Mobile are a no go for people who like to actually have service outside of an interstate highway or town. So, a merger between the two isn't going to increase coverage at all.

10. djcody

Posts: 211; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

What area you talking about??

16. baldilocks

Posts: 1428; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

It’s called truth. Just the way it is. T-Mobile coverage is like white privilege. It’s made up.

14. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1207; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

No brother. Obviously they will be having common coverage in urban areas and those redundant equipments (after merger) will be moved to new / rural areas where they have no coverage now. So merger will be good for coverage, not immediately - but definitely after the merger.

11. Chris_ABN

Posts: 183; Member since: May 16, 2018

They're maps is bulls**t. Texas is nowhere near as covered as the map says. It's a joke.

13. D34ever

Posts: 210; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

I don't think so, TMO. I'm one of your customers and I still think your coverage sucks.

21. ibap

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

On my street, T-Mobile is still a big fat goose egg. We are not in a major city, but not in the middle of no-where, and not far from a major roadway. No one has great coverage at my house (hooray for wifi calling) but T-Mobile remains a zero. For a while, while I was on Google (then Project) Fi, I would force it to T-Mobile to check on the coverage. Yep, still a zero. None of the carriers covers everwhere. It's been fun, while traveling with family, to see who had signal where.

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