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Test driving T-Mobile's LTE network, one year later

Derek Walter | Oct. 19, 2015
Last year, we took T-Mobile's Test Drive challenge to scope out its LTE coverage. This year, we tried it again. Here's how its coverage stacks up.

It’s a problem T-Mobile knows about, which is why the company has its eyes on an upcoming spectrum auction. T-Mobile needs more low-band spectrum, which is better able to penetrate into buildings. Until then, even those in larger cities, which generally have excellent T-Mobile coverage, may continue to run into the same problem.

The verdict

When the seven days are up, you’re required to hand over your iPhone and all the materials into a retail store. (Though in the interest of sanitation, they let you keep the earbuds, which is a nice $30 gift.)

I diligently submitted my test iPhone on the seventh day, and was greeted by a pleasant and enthusiastic T-Mobile representative. I shared my experience, and got a few head nods when I described where I drove and the challenges of losing signal indoors as if they’d heard this story before.

To the company’s credit, the rest of the process was low pressure. I was thanked for trying it out, with a gentle pitch about how the company is constantly working to improve its network. 

I hope this turns out, as even though some of T-Mobile’s antics are a little on the gimmicky side, they’ve done great things for the industry and offer great plans. T-Mobile is what I want, but right now it just isn’t what I need.


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