AT&T Reception/Consumer Reports Survey from Feb 2022 Issue

I have been a RW customer for quite a while now, but I have concerns about RW’s new underlying carrier (AT&T). Consumer Reports surveyed readers and AT&T Wireless got the lowest score for reception. I have a GSM SIM card and am, therefore, on the T-Mobile network.

I have two questions. Have existing RW customers on the T-Mobile network who switched to a new plan regretted the switch because of the poor reception of AT&T? Will I be forced to switch to a new plan eventually, and, If so, when? I realize that I will have to get a new plan if I get a new phone, but my current phone is not that old.

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AT&T reception is superior in the areas I travel to (it’s pretty equal in my home, but data speeds are much better).

If you have a GSM SIM, not for the foreseeable future.

I would also be interested in finding out if those who switched to a new plan have experienced poor AT&T reception. Although technically AT&T is a provided network in my area, it has poor reception in my house–we used to have to make calls from the street before I moved our service to RW.

I’m thinking the best thing to do is let my current contract run out & then switch to a month-by-month new plan so it would be easier to exit if poor reception is the issue. However, we have 2 Moto x4 phones that are limping along w/text issues & need to be replaced. Ugh!

That’s good to know! Thanks for your reply.

I switched from T-Mobile to AT&T and it took me from 0-1 bars to full bars so I’m a happy camper. It all depends on where one lives with respect to carrier towers.

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My very first cell phone carrier was AT&T and my experience was not a good one. Hopefully their service has improved since then. Thanks for your reply.

Unless you were a really late adopter the experience wouldn’t be anything similar. In fact depending on when it was the AT&T name may have been being used for service by a company completely unrelated to the AT&T of today.

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Yes, I have. AT&T is somewhat worse than T-mobile in my area, and, what’s worse, won’t admit it. I often have effectively no coverage at work, but my phone still proclaims that I have “5GE”. Won’t send a text or connect to any data, but it says I have strong service.

Of course, this is highly variable based on where you are. I suggest using RootMetrics’ map to see what it would be like in your area. I have found it to be more accurate than the coverage maps.

Yes, I sure hope AT&T has changed since then. Besides AT&T prepaid, I have had Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile Prepaid, and finally RW. I miss my tiny Sanyo flip phone and ringtone I had with Virgin Mobile. Every time I buy a new smart phone, it is slightly larger than the previous one, That has to stop, or everyone is going to see my phone sticking out of my pants pocket. :grinning:

I suggest using RootMetrics’ map to see what it would be like in your area. I have found it to be more accurate than the coverage maps.

Sorry to hear that your coverage decreased when you switched. I checked out the RootMetrics map and it appears that I would have decent AT&T coverage for my residence. Thanks for the tip.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can follow up here, but is it possible that a given phone that worked well with the underlying TMO network might not work as well on the new AT&T network, not because of coverage, but because that phone isn’t optimized for the bands involved/required, for example in this 4G LTE list:

AT&T – 2,4,5,12,14,17,29,30,66
T-MOBILE – 2,4,12,66,71

In other words a phone that doesn’t have bands 14, 17, 29, and 30 would necessarily be deficient, and lead one to (incorrectly) believe that the AT&T network is inferior.

As an example of a lack-of-bands phone (for both networks) is the Moto G100, and even though Motorola is selling it in the US, from what I can tell, based on their specifications, this is not a phone anyone in the US would want.

Edit: To be fair to this analysis, one coverage issue that involves bands (again please someone correct me if I’m wrong) is that Band 71, used by TMO (exclusively), running at a much lower frequency (600 MHz), has the capability of reaching further into remote areas because the lower frequency travels further, leading one to (correctly) assess that the old RW <4.0 TMO based plans have better coverage because it used Band 71 and RW 5.0 doesn’t.

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As you know, Band capability of the phone is important. It’s why the Band 71 column was a specifically listed column here: Detailed My Choice (4.0) Supported Phone Features When T-Mobile began expanding coverage years ago they started with B12, and a lot of the phones didn’t have it. Once manufacturer’s added B12, then expansion began in B71, and again, a lot of phones didn’t support that. So this is a constantly moving target. Eventually the vast bulk of available 5G speeds on AT&T (and Verizon) will be on n77, n78, n79. Very few phones (the iPhone 13 and Pixel 6) have these bands and entry level 5G phones currently being sold often still aren’t including them.

Now, as far as whether a phone that worked well on T-Mobile, won’t on AT&T. If you’re talking about the 4.0 compatible phones, those from the last couple of years had all the AT&T bands. Earlier phones (like the Moto G4) lack B30. but that’s not a huge deal because B30 isn’t used to provide primary coverage, it is always coupled with another LTE Band for extra bandwidth, rather than coverage.

So, that is to say, if the phone was Republic 4.0 compatible the coverage with AT&T won’t be impacted by the bands available on the phones. That said, A LOT of other things, like wifi calling, may not work. The community is building a chart here: Hands-On Testing of Phones on 5.0

No No No. No. That’s comparing apples to pineapples. FAR FAR FAR more important than frequency is towers. AT&T just has to be on more towers. (Digression: One could argue that T-Mobile bought big in the B71 auction because they were being cheap, they didn’t want to have to lease more towers to get better rural coverage. But that leaves people in B71 only areas with terrible speeds.) Because AT&T doesn’t use B71 does not make their coverage worse. (BTW - B71 is low frequency which makes it slow! For coverage it helps for experience, it is awful). AT&T has long enjoyed a fairly large lead over T-Mobile in rural coverage. Eventually T-Mobile may catch-up if it converts all the Sprint towers (but who knows). Bottom Line – What Bands one company uses versus another have nothing at all to do with comparative coverage.

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Last night I couldn’t sleep thinking about my stupid apples vs oranges analysis, and now I find out that oranges are actually pineapples. This is so embarrassing.

Speaking of bands like that, I see on Motorola’s website that the Moto G Stylus 5G includes 77 and 78… can RW confirm that the Moto G Stylus 5G that they are selling has the same spec? I’m running out of excuses not to buy it – will I get a shipping tracking number?

Edit: And (apparently) the Motorola Edge 2021 also has bands 77 and 78.

Yes, the Moto G Stylus 5G sold by Republic supports n77 and n78.

I switched to TMobile due to my inability to contact a live customer service rep at RW. HIRE SOME MORE AGENTS!