So here's a fun fact: when you look at a carrier's coverage map, you're actually seeing its best guess as to where coverage is strong/weak/dead/etc. It's basically a theoretical map – it's where they should have coverage (but no promises are being made).

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T-Mobile, once again priding itself on being "uncarrier," is changing the way it does its coverage maps, and it actually makes a lot of sense. Instead of just using guesswork to let customers see their coverage area, it's crowdsourcing using real-time customer data. This way, you'll get a real idea of what to expect in terms of service limitations.

According to Team Pink, here's what the new coverage maps bring to the table:

  • Customer-verified coverage based on actual customer usage, resulting in a vastly more transparent and accurate map, showing, for example, exactly where you can expect 4G LTE, 4G, 3G or other levels of coverage.
  • A Verified Coverage icon indicating where the majority of data is provided by T-Mobile customers reporting their actual network experience, providing an added layer of confidence.
  • Data that’s updated twice monthly − compared to data presented on the carriers’ maps, which is already dated by the time it’s printed and published and may be months or even years old.
  • Speed test data from trusted third party apps showing average download speeds from customer speed tests over the last 90 days.

This really seems like a smarter way to gather coverage information, so hats off to T-Mobile for going the extra mile in the name of accuracy. To check out the new maps for yourself, head over to T-Mo's site and hit "coverage."

T-Mobile Newsroom