the T-Mobile network experiment (it was shit)

Recently, T-Mobile has been hyping their network's new 600MHz signal, and in order to drum up interest in the network, T-Mobile is offering a 30 free trial of a WiFi hotspot. T-Mobile calls it their "Test Drive"

At my place, the T-Mobile signal has always been non-existent, despite what their coverage map says. The only provider that has semi-usable signal here, is Verizon. Thus, when I heard about T-Mobile's 600MHz signal, I was eager to give it a go. 600Mhz is a lower frequency than the signal used by Verizon, so the new T-Mobile signal should be quite the improvement.

The Wifi hotspot device arrived a few days after I signed up for the test. The device itself is a Coolpad Surf; and it was shipped with a T-Mobile SIM.

WTF? Why is Verizon getting 6Mbps down, and T-Mobile isn't even getting signal?

Once I finally managed to get the Coolpad Surf up and running, and the account activated, it was time to do some testing. With a few devices in tow, I started walking around to all of the sweet spots where signal is typically strongest. Unfortunately no matter where I went or what I did, the T-Mobile device just couldn't get a signal. The only time the Coolpad every connected to the T-Mobile network was when it was in close proximity to my Signal Booster, and even boosted, the signal was too weak to be of use.

T-Mobile tech support was fairly useless; the agents I spoke to didn't really know much about the Test Drive, and at one point, I had to read the url of the trial's sign up page to the agent.

Finally it dawned on me, maybe the Coolpad can't receive the T-Mobile 600MHz signal because there is no signal. So I called T-Mobile support, gave my location and directly asked "has the tower in my area been upgrade to use the new 600MHz signal?"

The answer, unsurprisingly, was "no, the tower has not been upgraded". Later I found out that the tower might be upgraded by the end of 2020. Woop-dee-fuckin-doo. :/

Ah, the mystery was solved! The device couldn't get the new 600MHz signal because T-Mobile didn't bother to upgrade their network in my local area. Due to my area being fairly rural, it wouldn't surprise me if T-Mo is waiting for a free handout from the FCC before upgrading the towers local to me.

Typical fucking T-Mobile :)