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Old 09-11-2015, 14:37   #1
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T-Mobile in the Bahamas

There were previous threads about cellular connections in the Bahamas and T-Mobile's international plans. We have been in the Bahamas for a couple of weeks using T-Mobile and just switched to Batelco.

T-Mobile rides on the Batelco network and states that their Bahamas speed is 128kB/sec. While this is not fast, it would have been fast enough for our needs and the connectivity is the same as Batelco since they use their towers and network. The price would be cheaper too, and we would get to keep the phone number and the very easy web-based account management.

However, we have not found speeds to exceed 20kB/sec - and that mostly during off-peak times. This is not fast enough for our needs, although it would work mostly fine for one person - particularly during off-peak hours.

Quite a disappointment. So off to Batelco to pay 35% more for data, but it is performing well. They advertise it as "5G", but it is really 3G speeds. The account management website is a nightmare.

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Old 09-11-2015, 15:52   #2
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

I believe that you can pay a little bit more to T-Mobile to get the faster speeds. I went through this before in NZ and Australia.

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Old 09-11-2015, 15:57   #3
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Eyeback View Post
I believe that you can pay a little bit more to T-Mobile to get the faster speeds. I went through this before in NZ and Australia.

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Yes, for some countries they have a plan where you can pay more for higher LTE speed data, although those plans seem expensive to me. The Bahamas is not one of these countries.

The real problem here is that their stated speed in the Bahamas is 10x faster than the actual speed experienced in practice.

This could be Batelco intentionally degrading their access below that which was negotiated, or it could be a marketing lie, but the fact remains that it is unusable for more than email and very simple web browsing. And it is expensive for that.

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Old 09-11-2015, 22:11   #4
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, for some countries they have a plan where you can pay more for higher LTE speed data, although those plans seem expensive to me. The Bahamas is not one of these countries.

The real problem here is that their stated speed in the Bahamas is 10x faster than the actual speed experienced in practice.

This could be Batelco intentionally degrading their access below that which was negotiated, or it could be a marketing lie, but the fact remains that it is unusable for more than email and very simple web browsing. And it is expensive for that.

Mark
What device were you using?

I'm very interested in how you researched this problem. Did you contact T-Mobile? They should have been able to connect to your phone to diagnose the issue. Where were you in the Bahamas? I found that when we were there they were using a mishmash of different switches, so it could have been a localized issue.

Were you using a booster?
Did you try dialing #RON# on your phone?
Did you update your APN?

BTW, we also used BTC when we were there and found that pretty fast.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:37   #5
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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What device were you using?

I'm very interested in how you researched this problem. Did you contact T-Mobile? They should have been able to connect to your phone to diagnose the issue. Where were you in the Bahamas? I found that when we were there they were using a mishmash of different switches, so it could have been a localized issue.

Were you using a booster?
Did you try dialing #RON# on your phone?
Did you update your APN?

BTW, we also used BTC when we were there and found that pretty fast.
Well, it wasn't exhaustive research.

I contacted T-Mobile to cancel the account and told them why. They didn't seem very interested in the problem, and seemed to accept that the Bahamas would be a slow connection. They offered to send me to a technician, but I declined as we had already set up with Batelco.

The SIM card was tested in an iPhone 4S, an iPad Air and a Huiwei MiFi device. None of them had any better luck.

All of the testing was in the Abacos - from Walker Cay to Marsh Harbor. We probably passed through 8 or so different tower areas, with some of them so close as to have an extremely strong signal - no booster necessary.

Yes, the APN was updated to the one T-Mobile recommends.

I did not dial #RON# on the phone - I don't even know what that is or what it does.

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Old 10-11-2015, 06:18   #6
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

We noticed last year when we visited Conception island that we had a real cruising experience of years past. Everyone visiting around in dinghies spending a lot of time walking and socializing on shore during all parts of the day.

No cell service at conception.....
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:25   #7
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

I did not dial #RON# on the phone - I don't even know what that is or what it does.

Mark
Hmm... well that sucks. I was looking forward to trying T-Mobile in the Bahamas.

RON turns on data roaming on some devices. Didn't know which ones you had tried. Were your devices bought for Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile?

The question about the booster was more to see if you had been using one AND new how to properly use it. Not that you necessarily needed one. I was going to recommend you turn it off.

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Old 10-11-2015, 07:42   #8
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

Can I get a clarification of the 20kB/s? Big B means bytes per second. If my memory serves T-Mobile int'l data roaming is suppose to be 128kb/s. Small b meaning bits per second. To convert from bits to bytes divide by 8. So that would be 16kB/s which is darn close to your 20kB/s. That is my confusion.

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Old 10-11-2015, 07:43   #9
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

Is T-mobile roaming in the Bahamas less expensive than using a native BTC pre-paid sim?
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:47   #10
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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Is T-mobile roaming in the Bahamas less expensive than using a native BTC pre-paid sim?
I thought T-Mobile recently added them to the free roaming program they have.

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Old 10-11-2015, 08:46   #11
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

Have you heard of Viber? www.viber.com Works off any wi fi network. Both parties have to have wi fi at the same time. Used it when my daughter was in St. Barths and I in South Carolina last summer. Worked great. Just download the app. It's all free.
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:34   #12
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyBoy View Post
Can I get a clarification of the 20kB/s? Big B means bytes per second. If my memory serves T-Mobile int'l data roaming is suppose to be 128kb/s. Small b meaning bits per second. To convert from bits to bytes divide by 8. So that would be 16kB/s which is darn close to your 20kB/s. That is my confusion.

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Ah, you may be on to something - I didn't pay attention.

Well, it seems that 128Kbps is too slow for us.

So I apologize to T-Mobile, since it appears that they may be providing the service they claim.

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Old 10-11-2015, 13:34   #13
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

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Is T-mobile roaming in the Bahamas less expensive than using a native BTC pre-paid sim?
Yes, by about 35%. However, it is much slower.

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Old 10-11-2015, 13:36   #14
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwmullins View Post
Have you heard of Viber? www.viber.com Works off any wi fi network. Both parties have to have wi fi at the same time. Used it when my daughter was in St. Barths and I in South Carolina last summer. Worked great. Just download the app. It's all free.
That's all fine and good, but completely irrelevant to the topic here. We are discussing cellular data service, not wifi telephony.

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Old 11-11-2015, 10:21   #15
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Re: T-Mobile in the Bahamas

You can also use google compression to really reduce the size of web pages... this is good even if you ARE using BTC as it will save you a lot of data...

http://google.com/gwt/n
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