T-Mobile’s next-gen coverage maps pull data from real-time customer usage



T-Mobile’s strange-looking coverage maps used to be the inside joke of the wireless industry, but the company has made significant strides to improve their network in the past couple of years. With LTE, much-improved coverage, a forward-looking approach to network design and overall better network stability they’ve set themselves up for a nice future, and now they’re looking to flaunt it with their “next generation” coverage map.

The map uses crowd-sourced real-time data points to give users a clear — and, more importantly, accurate — idea of how strong T-Mobile’s network is in their area. They also use public speed test results to show you an average of the types of data speed users experience in any given area. Here’s the full breakdown of what their new coverage map brings:

  • Customer-verified coverage based on actual customer usage, resulting in a vastly more transparent and accurate map, showing, for example, exactly where you can expect 4G LTE, 4G, 3G or other levels of coverage.
  • A Verified Coverage icon indicating where the majority of data is provided by T-Mobile customers reporting their actual network experience, providing an added layer of confidence.
  • Data that’s updated twice monthly − compared to data presented on the carriers’ maps, which is already dated by the time it’s printed and published and may be months or even years old.
  • Speed test data from trusted third party apps showing average download speeds from customer speed tests over the last 90 days.

It’s nothing other apps haven’t been trying to do for years to help customers make informed decisions about finding the right carrier for them. Carrier Coverage is one app that looks to fill that need. But this is the first time a carrier has taken it upon themselves to create a coverage map based on crowd-sourced data and provide more than just pretty colors on a meaningless map. We’d love to see the other big 3 follow suit. You can check it out for your area right now by heading to T-Mobile’s coverage website here.

[via T-Mobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Oh great, now their coverage maps will be even less reliable.

  2. well it doesn’t seem to be working…

  3. kind of cool to read about it….kind of not cool that its not working though….

  4. I’m sorry folks..but this doesnt mean much anymore.
    Coverage is great and all….but its to the point where BANDWIDTH is more important.

    How many people have been in a situation where you have full bars but your connection is slow as hell?? Its cause while you near a tower, that tower is maxed out from so many connections you might as well be on dialup.

    And the carriers know this..they have spent years hammering into the public mind that coverage means good speed. Coverage and Speed are to very different things. These carriers need to invest as much into the increasing bandwidth as the number of towers..

    1. THANK YOU!!! Going through downtown in the day my lte data is so slow it may as well be edge.

    2. Smart man. Oh u have unlimited data tell me how that works out on your speed when you have thousands using Netflix with nothing to deter them

    3. I have never had that issues here in my city of Detroit, on LTE but H+ can’t do squat

    4. I think it depends on the carrier and location. I was with T-Mobile and Coverage was important as their bandwidth was great in my area. I switched to Verizon for the coverage, but their speeds are 20x slower than T-Mobile.

      I guess no carrier has it all.

  5. Poor Appalachia…

    1. mountains are stupid….unless you are a bear I guess ;)

      1. Roar… :/

        1. AW SMILE! I kid I kid, mountains are great =)

      2. Or a skier…

        1. or a skying bear!

          1. Oddly enough, the word is “skiing”. Yes, those two I’s are weird. LoL!! Welcome to English: Where every word is made up or stolen from another language. LoL!!

          2. LMFAO I hate that, I correct people all the time. Nothing beats getting beat! ;)

          3. LoL!! I’m like “Skying”? I thought you meant Sky Diving or something.

          4. nah just completely brain farted all over the article haha

          5. Like this?

          6. haha YES! skying….wtf is wrong with me haha

  6. My son was at my house 2 nights ago with a T-Mobile iPhone (I know, I didn’t raise him right). He had no bars, no reception. This new map shows 4G LTE for my home.

    1. Have him turn on wifi calling by going to settings then phone then wifi calls and toggle on. I know this wasn’t the point you were trying to make but at least regular calls and texts will be usable for him provided you have wifi at your house.

  7. I personally have sensorly installed.

  8. Well, I checked the map and can confirm, it’s not accurate. They have my area blanketed with LTE with words like “typical indoor signal”. I could barely get 3G signal in my house and 2G (1G, believe it or not) in my town that shows LTE on their map. I wish that was the case, because I left them for Verizon and want to come back to fast speeds and unlimited data. :(

    1. How long ago did you leave? Maybe this is updated. Though you still may feel scarred. LoL!!

      People say Sprint has gotten better. Ha!! I doubt that. Worst experience of my life.

      1. Left last December. I guess anything is possible. I have an LTE tablet on their 200MB/mo free plan that still shows the poor coverage, though the Nvidia Shield Tablet doesn’t have the best radios.

        I left Sprint for T-Mobile years ago. Definitely the worst carrier of them all, at least in the Southwest…

        1. I’ve got a Shield Tab, too. I get 1-2 bars of LTE, same as my fiancee’s OnePlus One, on TMO where my Z3 gets full signal. It’s the tablet. And NVIDIA won’t fix it even though they admit its an issue. Its a good thing the LTE was an after thought for me.

          1. Same here. Wanted 32GB more than LTE… thus the free 200MB plan. ;)

            I do get 1 bar LTE in my house with the tablet, so maybe they have actually improved things a bit.

    2. Impossible 1g is analog no modern phone has the radios and the fcc required those networks to be shut down. I’m sure you saw “g” in the signal bar meaning you are on GSM still a 2g network

  9. Didn’t hit reply…

  10. T-mobile has a map of lies. Twice I have tried to purchase service from them (in different towns), and twice I have been unable to make calls within my house despite being in an “Excellent” signal area. No. No more. Never again. MAP OF LIES

    1. They have test drive for this very reason. No other company lets you try out the network with an unlimited data plan for FREE.

  11. Finally they separate 3g, 4g(h+), and lte on their map the map does look like they have made huge progress considering they only started the lte rollout 2.5 years ago I would say another two years at this rate and they will have a full lte network

  12. Like if full bars really means something ugh…

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