As innovative as the '#uncarrier' T-Mobile has been, it remains faced with one challenge that no amount of clever marketing and promotions can solve.
It is the nature of radio signal propagation at work - lower frequency signals travel further, and are better able to penetrate obstacles along the way like walls and trees.
This makes low-frequency spectrum exceedingly valuable to cellular companies - it is absolutely essential to covering sparse rural areas in particular, as well as for penetrating into the interiors of buildings.
This also obviously makes low-frequency spectrum of critical interest to RVers - we tend to go places off the beaten path and away from cell towers. T-Mobile may rock the house in urban areas, but drive a bit outside of many towns and the T-Mobile signal fades away fast.
More low frequency spectrum is the only fix - but there is only so much low frequency spectrum available. And unfortunately for T-Mobile, what little that exists has been dominated by the big two (Verizon and AT&T).
No amount of additional cell towers can make up for the severe handicap imposed by the cruel laws of physics.
Historically, Verizon and AT&T have had an advantage that T-Mobile just can not equal, no matter how much it spends on building out new towers.
How we got into this situation makes for a fascinating story, with some very interesting implications for the future.
And whatever you do - do not buy a new T-Mobile phone, tablet, or hotspot until you understand the implications.
- Frequency? Spectrum? Bandwidth?
- Bulldozing Away UHF TV
- Bad Neighbors Spoil the A Block
- T-Mobile's Band 12 Bet
- A 600MHz Bonanza?
- 600MHz At Work
- High Frequency Hyper-Drive
- Band 12 Tomorrow, But What About Today?
- Concluding Thoughts
We are honored to be funded by our community - allowing us to provide free basic content on this resource center.
We do not resell products, gear or plans and do not accept sponsorships or 3rd party advertising - our goal is to be an unbiased informational and educational resource.
In thanks for their support, our premium members get access to the more in-depth portions of this guide- and first access to new content created.
If you're a member, please log in for full access to this guide - or if you're not yet:
Other benefits of a premium membership include:
- Product Reviews
- Mobile Internet University (our classroom) & Book
- Special MIA Newsletters & Alerts
- Discounts (which can save you more than the cost of membership!)
- Private Q&A forums & Interactive webinars
- A community of fellow nomads relying on mobile internet