If you are going down to the USA, PLEASE download NETWORK SIGNAL INFO

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ah727
ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
edited October 2022 in Break Room

At least you will know what's going on out there!

This free Android PlayStore shows you what network you are connected to, whether it's 4G, 3G, or 2G; what frequency band you are connected to, for VOICE or DATA, as well as other information, such as Signal strength, Tower location, and more (note: other apps are available and are also good, choose as you wish). And it's also very useful in Quebec, to see what frequency bands you connect here, and which ones you will be using in your US location.

In this post I will show you screenshots of different networks status in the USA and in Quebec.

LPAnd IMPORTANT: I'm not an expert, I've learned from testing and reading. So if you can help me out, feel free to do so.

1. T-Mobile 2G network connection ( June 2022, Connecticut):

This is a T-Mobile GSM (2G) VOICE connection, with the 2G EDGE DATA connection. They come in pairs, and you can't be 2G for VOICE and 4G for DATA at the same time. Though not indicated, this is a band#2 1900Mhz connection (search Google for additional information), not the best for indoor reception, but it's one of the best available. T-Mobile says it will maintain 2G until January 2023, but has not yet confirmed a closing date.

AT&T used to have band#5 850Mhz which gave better coverage, especially indoors, but the AT&T 2G is gone since 2017, and 3G passed away March 2022.

I'm not sure how much T-Mobile 3G is still in use, probably not much.

Usually, lower frequency bands (below 1000Mhz) are better for indoors (but they are slower). This is why we are now seeing new 4G 700Mhz bands, which will be very useful for indoor VoLTE.

Answers

  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
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    What's going on in Quebec?

    Here's a screenshot outdoors. I'm in Centre du Québec, that's on the south shore of Trois-Rivières. Please note, in other areas, mobile network status may be different.

    Main Videotron frequency is band #4 2050Mhz 4G LTE. Different frequency bands may be available in other areas. If fact here, Fizz uses 2 LTE frequency bands, #4 2050Mhz and #12, 700Mhz (A partition, they call it 700a). In South Florida, I widely used band#12. Some phones don't have the 700Mhz bands (#12,#13,#17) so I wonder what it will be like for them once VoLTE is launched. But iPhone 6 users and up, be reassured, most of these 700Mhz bands are available.

    Some older Android phones don't have bands 12 thru 17.

    LTE BAND #4 2050Mhz


    Once indoors frequency band switches to 4G LTE #12 700Mhz (700a band). As mentioned before, lower frequency is better indoors and will probably be preferred for VoLTE. However #12 4H LTE is much slower for data than #4 LTE.


  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
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    What frequency bands do the US Mobile providers use?

    AT&T:


    T-Mobile:


  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
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    What frequency bands do you use when you are roaming FizzExt?

    FizzExt (probably Bell) uses frequency band #5 850 MHz. It's a low frequency band, good penetration and stability indoors. So 4G LTE may connect better when Videotron band #4 is weak, and you have an older phone that doesn't have band #12 700Mhz.

    If you have trouble with Fizz 1700Mhz 3G band #4 for calls, FizzExt 3G band 850Mhz may be a better choice. But use sparingly, it's roaming. Use it when you definitely need a reliable connection. This is why I sometimes recommend FizzExt in weak signal areas.

    FizzExt 4G LTE band#5 850Mhz for Data


    FizzExt 3G frequency band #5 850Mhz for calls, and 3G HSDPA DATA for weak signal areas (not available in the USA)

    Note: 3G 7.2Mbps data connection


  • Alexsolo
    Alexsolo Posts: 708 ✭✭
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    This is great info @ah727 , thanks so much for sharing!

  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
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    Where are the mobile towers located?

    If you want to see tower locations, try the link below.

    Set it up as you need. I have set up to show T-Mobile's 2G GSM Band#2 1900Mhz transmission towers for non - VoLTE users in South Florida.

    It doesn't say if the tower still works. It's user fed information I believe, and very few people use 2G now, but you can click on the tower to see the last reported information. And T-Mobile says it's holding on to it's 2G..


    https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=310&MNC=260&type=GSM&latitude=26.170926292566335&longitude=-80.13877414090295&zoom=12.09295346142784&showTowers=true&showIcons=true&showTowerLabels=true&clusterEnabled=true&tilesEnabled=true&showOrphans=false&showNoFrequencyOnly=false&showFrequencyOnly=false&showBandwidthOnly=false&DateFilterType=Last&showHex=false&showVerifiedOnly=false&showUnverifiedOnly=false&showLTECAOnly=false&showENDCOnly=false&showBand=0&showSectorColours=true&mapType=roadmap

    Good luck!

  • swatt
    swatt Posts: 3,628 ✭✭
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    Thanks for the information.

  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
    edited October 2022
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    @swatt

    I hope the link works for iPhone users. I heard Apple won't allow CellMapper.

    Sad, it's really fun!

  • ah727
    ah727 Posts: 809 ✭✭
    edited October 2022
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    I'm receiving some feedback from Fizz users in Florida. More people are reporting that calls work versus those that report calls don't work. Strange because people usually report when things go wrong. So I guess T-Mobile's 2G is readily available in Florida.

    Anyways, I will be in Plattsburgh in 2 weeks, and give an update for that area.