If you’re interested in T-Mobile, please refer to the 2012 T-Mobile 4G Review. This review is dated.
T-Mobile’s Wireless Broadband gets 3 out of 5 stars. They excel in customer service and provide the cheapest wireless broadband among major carriers. However, they lack 3G speed and coverage seen with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
T-Mobile 3G Plans
Unlimited Data for $50
Unlike other carriers, T-mobile offers one 3G plan for broadband cards:
- T-Mobile Total Internet for Data Cards | $49.99
The only drawback to T-Mobile plans is found in their terms and conditions:
“Improper use includes…Excessively high volume data transfers or bandwidth consumption”
Depending on your outlook, it might be like driving the Autobahn and being pulled over for going too fast.
T-Mobile Data Speeds
GPRS, EDGE & WiFi. 3G Not Yet Available
With the current EDGE (2.5G) speeds currently available nationwide, it would be difficult to use it ‘excessively’ as outlined in their terms and conditions.
As such, don’t bank on using it for nationwide coverage. For now, it will be best to determine if their EDGE speeds are fast enough while supplementing your data needs with their WiFi hotspots.
T-Mobile HotSpot WiFi (Partner Locations)
“T-Mobile HotSpot is supported by a full T1 connection to the Internet, enabling transmission speeds of up to 2 Mbps”.
These speeds are comparable to what’s being offered on competitors 3G networks. Similar to others, you can expect to:
- Download email with ease
- Stream music
- Stream video
- Download individual songs
- Surf the internet
- Use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) such as Skype and Digital Phone Service
Don’t expect to:
- Download movies
- Play online games
- Use BitTorrent or any P2P software (i.e. Limewire)
For the most part, it’ll feel like you’re using your cable or DSL connection at home. In EDGE and GPRS areas, however, the speed is most suited for viewing light web pages and email.
I’ve personally used T-Mobile’s EDGE network to do limited Google mapping. I’ve found it to take significantly longer but can still get the job done if you need directions and you’re in a bind.
If you’re in the market for mobile broadband, note that their EDGE and GPRS network speeds are quickly falling behind the times.
T-Mobile 3G Coverage
Available In 25-30 Markets Upon Launch
As T-Mobile has yet to launch their 3G network, you’ll be looking for data coverage via either their WiFi hotspots, EDGE or GPRS networks.
The T-Mobile WiFi network, (marketed as T-mobile HotSpot) has about 8,900 hotspots that you can connect to using any WiFi enabled device.
This is a definite advantage that T-Mobile (and now AT&T) has.
“T-Mobile HotSpot U.S. locations include Starbucks coffeehouses, Borders Books and Music stores, FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Centers, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Red Roof Inns, Sofitel and Novotel Hotels, the airline clubs of American, Delta, United and US Airways, and select airports”.
If you are looking T-Mobile hotspot coverage, check below to find a spot that works for you.
T-Mobile’s EDGE/GPRS network is available just about anywhere you have a cell phone signal.
EDGE, is available along most major interstates for a faster connection than GPRS.
T-Mobile Customer Service
T-Mobile Customer Service has a 71% first-call fix rate. In college that’s a C for satisfactory. In the real world though, that’s incredible among phone companies.
While Sprint has a 53% first call fix, T-Mobile blows them out the water with only 1/3 of the amount of Customer Service Reps.
J.D. Power and Associates did a survey showing how T-Mobile customer service measured up to the other carriers.
“Customer satisfaction with major wireless carrier-branded stores is based on four factors. In order of importance, they are”:
- Sales staff (51%);
- Store display (17%);
- Store facility (16%);
- Price/promotion (16%).
In other words, Sales staff is most important, and T-Mobile has second to least problems in that department.
Sounds pretty good.
Following closely in line with that study are figures posted on The Consumerist for churn rates (customers defecting to other carriers). T-Mobile also has the second lowest in that category.
In yet another survey, T-Mobile had “fewest drop calls” in most places (contrary to AT&T’s marketing claims).
Not bad at all.
Customer Service: A-
Not Sure About T-Mobile?
Check out our Postpaid Mobile Broadband Comparison