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Los Angeles Cellular Service

Los Angeles Cellular Service

Old Nov 2, 14, 3:58 pm
  #1  
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Question Los Angeles Cellular Service

My son just moved to LA and I'm jealous... He has an iPhone 5 with T-Mobile which worked perfectly in San Francisco, but is now frustrating him with dropped calls and slow data. An internet search for the best cellular service in LA seems to indicate that all carriers have problems.

Which carrier has the best cellular service in LA? Or perhaps more appropriately,
which carrier has the least worst service in LA?
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Old Nov 2, 14, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
Which carrier has the best cellular service in LA? Or perhaps more appropriately, which carrier has the least worst service in LA?
Verizon has the best coverage. AT&T is a close second. Stay away from Sprint (I recently left them for Verizon mid-contract and should have done so much sooner).

Make sure that your son checks the quality of service in the areas where he anticipates using the phone most with friends and acquaintances. Even with the more reliable carriers, there are gaps in coverage, especially in the mountain and canyon areas.

(link, link 2, link 3)

Last edited by TWA884; Apr 20, 16 at 11:19 am Reason: Restore links
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Old Nov 2, 14, 7:45 pm
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I would agree with no Sprint. I have Sprint. Have had it for 14 years (not leaving since I have a great unlimited everything contract) but they've got a lot of problems in my hometown. Even at my place, which is just 1 block from a major blvd. in Westwood, my service is 3G, at best. Downtown Santa Monica is about the worst for Sprint. Slower than old dial up internet service.

I rarely get dropped calls, though. My big beef is with 3G and 4G LTE service.
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Old Nov 2, 14, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by CalItalian View Post
I would agree with no Sprint. I have Sprint. Have had it for 14 years (not leaving since I have a great unlimited everything contract) but they've got a lot of problems in my hometown. Even at my place, which is just 1 block from a major blvd. in Westwood, my service is 3G, at best. Downtown Santa Monica is about the worst for Sprint. Slower than old dial up internet service.

I rarely get dropped calls, though. My big beef is with 3G and 4G LTE service.
I was with Sprint for 12 years. I had a great unlimited everything plan and a generous corporate discount to boot. What good is it when the data constantly switches between 3G and 4G and calls regularly drop (especially in the Sepulveda Pass and hilly terrain)?

On the rare occasions that it did work, Sprint's 4G LTE was about one sixth to one tenth as fast as Verizon.

I now have unlimited voice and texts with Verizon and more data than I ever need or use. Including all taxes and fees, I pay Verizon ~ $7 a month more than I did at Sprint, mostly because Sprint's junk charges are three times as high as Verizon's. Verizon's network reliability is worth every penny of those $7 and then some.
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Old Nov 3, 14, 5:22 am
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Verizon is best in the LA area. I've tried all the others at some point within the last 5 years.

Verizon is also most expensive by a noticeable amount.
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Old Nov 5, 14, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by op487062 View Post
Verizon is best in the LA area. I've tried all the others at some point within the last 5 years.

Verizon is also most expensive by a noticeable amount.
But going to Verizon, OP's son will have to change his phone. If he could get the phone unlocked, he could switch to AT&T without changing phone.
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Old Apr 5, 16, 4:57 pm
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T-Mobile Service at LAX = Terrible

Before you all say that T-Mobile is terrible everywhere, let me say that for me, for where I normally go, it's great. But I know there are haters.

But at LAX? Terrible. Shockingly awful.

I've now twice been basically stranded (OK, hyperbole) because I can't get Lyft or Uber to work. I've had to go inside, find a good Wifi signal, and use that. And LAX Wifi is certainly not great, so it's not a good backup.

T-Mobile is a little better outside at Departures, but downstairs at Arrivals, especially outside of terminals 4 and 5, it's really almost non-existent. Sometimes I get lots of bars but no action; other times I get the wonderful "no service."

It's a real drag to get off a plane and not be able to deal. I see cell towers all around on the LAX property. Can't T-Mobile buy a little more space?
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Old Apr 20, 16, 11:12 am
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Looks like I'm not alone here:

http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...No-Data-at-LAX

and I saw a thread here on FT about problems with T-Mobile at DTW.

In the HoFo thread, someone mentions what I suspected in the FT DTW thread: that the problem may be that airports charge a lot for cell providers to mount their towers there and T-Mobile may be unwilling to pay this.

But they do clearly target travelers with their free on-plane texting and their international roaming, so you'd think solid airport coverage we be a good idea.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 3:53 pm
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I've got ATT in LA and it's been fine just about everywhere.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 5:21 pm
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Here are links to coverage and signal strength maps, and reviews on OpenSignal, Sensorly, and DeadCellZones:
OpenSignal

Sensorly

DeadCellZones
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Old Apr 29, 16, 5:23 pm
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Supposedly, new towers came online recently for T-Mobile in LAX, but I was there for a while this morning, and still there were several dead spots, especially in TBIT.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Michael Ad View Post
Supposedly, new towers came online recently for T-Mobile in LAX, but I was there for a while this morning, and still there were several dead spots, especially in TBIT.
Here's a link to Sensorly's map of T-Mobile 4G coverage in the LAX area as measured in April 2016. The red marker is the TBIT upper level shuttle stop.
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Old Jul 24, 16, 6:56 pm
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At LAX again today. T-Mobile is still useless.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 9:33 am
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BTW, my brother just found out he can't play Pokemon Go at Santa Monica with his Tmobile... AT&T just fine.. just saying.. LOL
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Old Jul 27, 16, 4:51 am
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As others have mentioned, Verizon has the best coverage in LA (and several other cities). But you get what you pay for. Id say a good 25 to 30 percent higher than carriers like T-Mobile.

I had Verizon for years when I had an old unlimited plan. With my kids growing up, I needed a plan with unlimited text and moderate data, and T-mobile was the clear winner (3 lines for $120). Verizon wanted closer to $200.

I too was surprised at T-mobile's iffy coverage at LAX. Mostly 4G but not LTE on the departures level, and 3G down on the arrivals level. I had to go to the top of one of the parking garages near T-4 to get reliable LTE. Very surprising.

The only other place between LA and San Diego where I noted degraded T-mobile coverage on my drives was near Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano along I-5.
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