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Thread: Somewhat BR: T-Mobile Coverage on trails, outside city

  1. #1
    Mojo Slow-poke Austin Bike's Avatar
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    Somewhat BR: T-Mobile Coverage on trails, outside city

    We use Verizon now and have very good coverage just about anywhere in the country.

    However, T-Mobile have worldwide roaming (just spent $10/day in China last week...)

    They seem to have some good deals, they seem to be more flexible and more consumer friendly. But I worry that their coverage is only OK in most of the city and not good out on the trails. Does anyone have any experience with T-Mobile at places like the greenbelt and places like Flat Creek that are more rural?
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all" - Paul Westerberg

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  2. #2
    blah Anita Handle's Avatar
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    Following. I'm also considering switching from AT&T to t-mobile to save some dough. I'm a little concerned about coverage when traveling cross country but more about where I spend 99% of my time.

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  3. #3
    Mojo Slow-poke Austin Bike's Avatar
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    I think I can save ~$300 a year, more when you consider overseas travel. But I posted the same thing on Facebook and I am getting some folks complaining about coverage on the trails. I don't necessarily need data there as much as I need a phone. You can't text 911.
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all" - Paul Westerberg

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    Click HERE for all your Austin Biking information


  4. #4
    MoJo Neophyte sbohrer's Avatar
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    I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile about 4 years ago. Verizon's coverage was better, but T-Mobile continues to improve. You'll have no problem with coverage at Walnut, BCGB, City Park, Thumper, Steiner Ranch, Brushy Creek, Pace Bend, and Muleshoe. There is a strech of 71 when driving to Muleshoe or Pace Bend that I don't seem to get data but my phone shows full bars of "E" which I assume is edge. I've never ridden the loop around Lake Georgetown, but my parents live up there and I get signal on all of the roads around the lake so I would assume that trail is fine as well. Cameron Park in Waco has coverage. North Shore Trail in Dallas has coverage.

    I haven't been to RPR in about a year, but I'm pretty sure I had no coverage there. I don't think I had coverage out at Camp Eagle either. Not sure about some of the other trails. In general, really remote stuff might not have coverage, but I found that to be true with Verizon as well. But if I'm going somewhere really remote, I take a buddy and let someone know where we are going. Personally the trail coverage doesn't bother me that much for that very reason. Everything I ride often has good coverage, and probably other riders and hikers frequently passing. The remote stuff often doesn't have coverage from any carrier, and may not be frequented by others either.

    I'm personally more annoyed when I go on a road trip across West or North-West Texas and hit spots along the way with no coverage. Again this happened with Verizon too, but T-Mobile is worse. For road trips I try to download offline maps before I leave since that is usually what I want for a road trip.

    I think you've already touched on the perks of T-Mobile. It is cheap, you get free data and texts in most parts of the world. Free music streaming and free 480p video streaming. Even the T-Mobile Tuesdays thing is kind of nice. Every Tuesday they give you some stuff, for example free movie rentals, discounts on gas, free food etc.

  5. #5
    MoJo Neophyte sbohrer's Avatar
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    I guess I should add that before I switched I bought a pre-paid sim card to try T-Mobile for a month, but I already had an unlocked GSM phone so the cost was low. I'm not sure how much a burner costs these days if you don't have a phone, but might be worth it just to test the waters.

  6. #6
    MoJo Mother Superior AntonioGG's Avatar
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    I looked into this a while back and it didn't seem to be a huge discount vs AT&T at the time. The unlimited data comes with a caveat though, doesn't it? As far as remote trail coverage, if you do save $300/year, you could get a Spot for emergencies, and still more than break-even in the first year I think.

  7. #7
    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    T-Mobile has been my one and only since 02 or something. Only place is didn't work was Fraser Colorado. It seems that even when out of bars the gps app mytracks still logged the ride somehow. So it has mostly worked everywhere. Whenever I'm out of bars I don't really mind because I'm trying to get away from it all anyways. It also roams so if the tower is gone it will pick up another carrier. Never really had a problem. Sometimes the locals will know such and such won't get a signal out here but it is rare where I go.
    Grab life by the timbales.

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  8. #8
    Mojo Bike Part Terminator Seths Pool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamwa View Post
    T-Mobile has been my one and only since 02 or something. Only place is didn't work was Fraser Colorado. It seems that even when out of bars the gps app mytracks still logged the ride somehow. So it has mostly worked everywhere. Whenever I'm out of bars I don't really mind because I'm trying to get away from it all anyways. It also roams so if the tower is gone it will pick up another carrier. Never really had a problem. Sometimes the locals will know such and such won't get a signal out here but it is rare where I go.
    all of the GPS apps I've ever messed with (strava, trail forks, etc) will work even when you have zero cellular data or service. it only requires data to save/upload your ride once your finished
    Anita Handle likes this.
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  9. #9
    MoJo Bishop Manuels's Avatar
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    T mobile was the worst when I had it (just over a year ago) no service around. LGT or even in leander forget using it on the road always poor signals unless ur in town under their tower, geez just thinking of it all, what a PIA, switched to cricket and was worlds better even in worst areas always have signal and fast connection way cheaper that T-Mobile and any others we checked out, couldn't be happier now


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  10. #10
    MoJo Neophyte joroshiba's Avatar
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    I have Google Fi which is a mixture of sprint and tmobile antenna networks. Has been pretty good everywhere. Super great internationally where you can use data at the exact same cost as locally. Only downside is have to use a google device (pixel, nexus) If you have a google phone, worth a look I think.
    stratosrally likes this.

  11. #11
    sketchiness abounds... stratosrally's Avatar
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    ^^^ Lovin' da Fi!

    As tech-oriented as my job is, I only typically use between .5GB-1GB on my personal phone, which means they credit back money at the end of every billing cycle (I'm on a 2GB monthly plan).

    It's not JUST using Sprint & -Mobile, but also (admittedly tiny) US Cellular AND public WiFi - which encrypts all your info on when using it.

    Uses your home WiFi when you're there, for phone call quality to die for... way better than cellular connection audio, it's VOIP...

    I also love it because it's the only way I could swing getting a Google Pixel XL, the financing is rolled into my plan - pay one bill and it's covered.

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