Keep unlimited grandfathered plan with ATT or switch to T-Mobile

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I am in bay area.  Curious if anyone has any experience with Tmobile.  Friends and colleagues tell me, call quality if bad and calls drop frequently but data speed is good.  I am getting mixed reviews.  

I was wondering what others feel about ditching ATT grandfathered unlimited data plan with T-Mobile.  I will save about 40 bucks a month and get tethering. 

 

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I switched from Verizon to T mobile. Data was super fast. Calls dropped a lot at my home. Service drops a lot in rural areas. I switched back to Verizon. Try one of their loner phones for a few days. Then decide.

Sell your unlimited plan!

For me going with an iPhone 6S helped due to the extended network band. I have T-Mobile and the wife has Verizon in New England, never had a dropped call, although poor LTE up. Roth or out of civilization. This is why we have two different networks, as you can't beat unlimited talk/text, 10GB rollover, and bingeon for $40 flat! Can't be beat...

KingJaffey said:   I switched from Verizon to T mobile. Data was super fast. Calls dropped a lot at my home. Service drops a lot in rural areas. I switched back to Verizon. Try one of their loner phones for a few days. Then decide.
  They dont have that loaner program anymore

I know the trend in mobile phone plans is toward unlimited data - but I have had the opposite usage trend. I just switched to Tello, a pre-paid service, and with my current usage I expect my average cell phone bill to be between $15-$20/month. But I rarely use up to 1GB of data, usually closer to 500MB a month, and I have internet at home. I use Google Hangouts Dialer to make free calls while on WiFi.

I had T-Mobile for a long time (or a T-Mobile MVNO running on T-Mobile's network) and had great coverage in the places I needed it. (Tello runs on the inferior Sprint network, but I get good coverage where live and use it.) But not everyone gets good T-Mobile coverage. You have to try T-Mobile or their network and see for yourself. But T-Mobile proper is now $70/month for their unlimited plan - way too expensive for what I use. There are MVNOs like MetroPCS (owned by T-Mobile, runs on their network) that are much cheaper though don't have unlimited 4GLTE data.

I switched from At&t's grandfather unlimited plan to T-Mobile & I don't regret it one bit. I gained ability to Hotspot which I didn't have with At&t. I gained unlimited data around the globe which has come in Handy on 2 international trips & I have Wifi calling through Tmobile that uses my wifi signal at home so I don't worry about coverage at home or work or deep buildings. Wifi is everywhere you go. For whatever it's worth my house wifi provider is AT&T fiber optics (better than Comcast).

I have MetroPCS unlimited ($60) and they only throttle me when I'm over 28GB AND my local tower is busy.

I switched from AT&T grandfathered unlimited data plan to T-Mobile last year in Feb when they had the buy one get one free Samsung galaxy s7 edge promotion. Signal was very weak inside my house. It was excellent everywhere else. They gave me a signal booster for free to keep inside my house and it has been good since then. Never regretted.

For tethering if you get a unlock phone it shouldn't be a problem. As long as its unlocked you can tether. From working with people with T-Mobile they have problems and its just in the san bruno area they get drop calls, slow data, and at time no service for some unknown reason. But overall depends on how you use it ultimately its up to you in the end.

Look at your billing history to determine your usage.

i m with tmobile for 5 years now before that I have sling-ed between att and verizon. Att sucks for service and attitude but verizon is expensive compared to Tmobile. Tmobile was bad when i started out but they have improved a lot on their 4G foot print and service overall. Never had a issue with network in the cities but away from cities like in the mountains signal is very spotty. I had great signal between cities, streamed youtube without issues while travelling. I have used tmobile in SD, LA, SF without issues. I heard verizon is good in the mountains sometimes but not worth it if you are not in the mountains often.

On the side note tmobile values it's customers. It has tmobile tuesdays app which no other carrier has- you get free stuff here and there. They threw in a free Tmobile stock for loyal customers last year which is free $60. Other carriers dont do $H!T. Tmobile was the major carrier who started with no contracts phones, only recently others followed the suite.

If you ask me, i suggest switching to tmobile by purchasing a extended network phone/s outright. I got a offer to switch plans few years ago(no longer avilable now) - 2 lines for $100 - all unlimited with 7GB tethering/phone. Texts to canada are free, free to receive calls from canada but calling a Canadian number is 20 cents/min. I traveled internationally to Asia, didnt have to buy local sim cards - 4G/3G on some major local carrier worked effortlessly . Needless to say there is a lot to lose in regards to offers, services and monthly bill if you are not with tmobile

i am in south bay area, and use to have t mobile. There call quality was always an issue, few years back i moved to Verizon and did not have any issue with call quality.

Remember, your experience a few years ago with coverage may not be relevant today, especially if your phone didn't have all of the LTE bands T-Mobile now uses (2, 4, 12). I found a few months ago a region where I never got HSPA+ coverage (only 2G/Edge) for years now has great LTE coverage. So had you asked me three years ago, I would have told you that area had terrible T-Mobile coverage, but now with an LTE phone it's great.

TMobile usually has more 'congested' call network than AT&T, that's because they lease most of their call network from AT&T.
LTE on the other hand is a different animal. They 'might' be better for you.  They had to build that out themselves.

How much do you depend on your phone for calls? How much for Data?

Not sure what you mean about T-Mobile congestion. I've never had a problem with that having been on their network (until a few weeks ago) for about ten years. Never had trouble getting/making calls or using data. I'm sure that again is something that varies depending on where you use the phone - but let's not make generalizations.

ahallfatwallett said:   Not sure what you mean about T-Mobile congestion. I've never had a problem with that having been on their network (until a few weeks ago) for about ten years. Never had trouble getting/making calls or using data. I'm sure that again is something that varies depending on where you use the phone - but let's not make generalizations.

I'm not making a generalization if OP is coming from a large metro area.
  
OP is in San Francisco, one of the largest cities.  That's what I define as 'Congestion'. (Many users on the same network)
I'm from SoCal, also a large area, I didn't think it was 'congested' but as I was in charge of cell phone purchasing and I moved everyone from AT&T to TMobile because it's the same network and cheaper, I nearly lost my job over how 'congested' it was.  Dropped Calls, sms's not delivering, things like that.
BTW I'm not contesting 'data'.  That has improved over the last few years.  But Tmobile uses 1900,1700,700 and so does AT&T...that's because it's leased off the lines.

Data on the other hand, TMobile does use 4 which AT&T does not.

 

I have T-Mobile prepaid plan with unlimited everything for $40 a month including tax. I travel all over the USA and never had a coverage problem. Switched a couple of years ago from att because of coverage issues.

forbin4040 said:   TMobile usually has more 'congested' call network than AT&T, that's because they lease most of their call network from AT&T.
LTE on the other hand is a different animal. They 'might' be better for you.  They had to build that out themselves.

How much do you depend on your phone for calls? How much for Data?

  This is wrong. T-Mobile doesn't lease any of their network from AT&T. They run their own network. They do have, last I looked, roaming agreements with each other so where one doesn't have coverage your phone can use the other network but that is different from being a MVNO or leasing their network from AT&T. In most recent third party network testing T-Mobile is beating AT&T's network pretty regularly. On OpenSignal's latest data AT&T didn't beat T-Mobile in coverage or speed in a single region for their testing.

https://opensignal.com/blog/2017/02/16/lte-how-us-operators-stac...

I have no experience with T-Mobile's coverage in the bay area but as others have posted getting the correct phone is an important part of the equation. For the best coverage you need band 12 (700mhz a block) support AND Voice over LTE support. This is uncommon on android phone outside of the T-Mobile branded ones and with out it you won't get the benefit of their "Extended range" LTE network which gives better rural coverage an in-doors. All recent iPhone should be fine and the latest Galaxy phones should be fine but if the OP is wanting to keep their existing AT&T phone this is something to check as it is pretty important. 12 isn't mandatory to get any coverage but is critical to getting the best coverage from T-Mobile.



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