Six Secrets of the Wireless Industry

Having a cell phone is convenient...until it doesn't work properly. Follow these tips to get the most out of your phone.

If you’re like us, you can’t go a couple of hours without checking your phone. As often as you check it, you’ve probably found yourself hoping your phone (and wireless provider) would just work better. For instance, how many times have you had to wait for pages to load even when you thought you had a good connection? You’ve also probably wondered why wireless providers don’t just offer you the data you need at a price you can afford. Not to worry. Here are the solutions to getting your phone to work harder for you—and to get the service you deserve.

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Problem: You have a good connection but web pages are loading slowly

The Secret: A strong cellular or Wi-Fi connection is important to loading web pages but that alone doesn’t necessarily translate into rapid loading, says Dwight Spivey, a tech expert on how to get the most out of our phones. “Web pages may be slow to load because of heavy traffic on your network, which could be because other folks on the network might be using large chunks of bandwidth for multimedia or online gaming, you have too many web pages open or your phone could be experiencing a software issue.” You may also have inferior service from your wireless provider due to plans that don’t consider your heavy data use.

What You Should Do: If this keeps happening, restart your phone to see if that solves the problem. You should also routinely close all of your open tabs. “Another likely solution may simply be that you need to upgrade your plan or seek out a new provider altogether,” Spivey says. Consider switching to T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan, which gives adults ages 55 and older two lines of T-Mobile ONE for just $70, which comes with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data on America’s fastest unlimited network.

Problem: Your calls keep dropping

The Secret: Unlike landlines, which use fiber or metal wire for transmission, mobile cellular lines use micro waves for transmission, and if an area cell tower is inoperable due to bad weather, software issues, or an overloading of signals, the call may disconnect. Additionally, some wireless providers don’t do a good job giving you the nationwide coverage you need, meaning more dropped calls and poor connections.

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What You Should Do: “Assuming you do have an adequate cell signal, the best thing to do if you’re experiencing excessive dropped calls is to reboot your phone,” Spivey says. “If that doesn’t help, checking in your settings for carrier updates is a good idea. Another option is to enable Wi-Fi Calling, which allows your call to be carried over a Wi-Fi network.” If that doesn’t work, it may mean that you just need to upgrade to a better wireless plan that covers you nationwide. But an upgrade doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out more money. With T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan, you get better coverage in more areas for less money than the competition. T-Mobile has tripled its coverage area since 2015, and that means fewer dropped calls at a price you can afford.

Problem: You love taking pictures, sharing, and communicating with your friends and family, but after a while, your phone is working slower than ever

The Secret: The more photos, music, videos, apps, games, and old texts you have stored on your phone, the slower it may be at performing simple tasks, says Leticia Barr, a tech expert and founder of TechSavvyMama, a website that helps people navigate parenting in the digital age. Some phones come with more storage than others, but, regardless, if you use it all up, your phone will get sluggish.

What You Should Do: There are many services you can use to store your phone’s data off your phone, still giving you access to the content without slowing you down. In other words, back up your data in the cloud, where storage is basically unlimited. Both iPhones and Android phones offer easy ways to automatically back up all your data to Apple’s and Google’s clouds, respectively. If you need assistance with backing up your data, T-Mobile has a Team of Experts ready to give you rockstar treatment whenever you need help. With the Team of Experts, you’ll never be forced to talk to a robot or machine again. When you call or message with a question, you’re routed to your dedicated team, highly trained to handle a wide range of topics.

Problem: Your phone runs out of battery too often

The Secret: Your phone is a lot like any other machine: The more you use it, the more it wears down. That’s especially true for your phone’s battery. It’s complicated, but the way it basically works is that your phone battery has a finite amount of full “charge cycles,” Spivey says. Basically, if you use half the battery today and charge it overnight, then use half the battery tomorrow and charge it overnight again, that’s one full “charge cycle.” “With lithium-ion batteries, the capacity diminishes slightly with each complete charge cycle,” Spivey says.

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What You Should Do: The easiest way to extend your battery charge is to turn off the connection services you’re not using when you leave your home or office, Spivey says. “For example, I try to remember to turn off Wi-Fi when I’m away from my usual hotspots; it’s easy enough to turn them back on when I’m somewhere that has a Wi-Fi connection like a friend’s house or my favorite coffee shop,” he says. “You can also carry a portable charger with you or use a Mophie case to extend the battery charge if you’re often on the road.” Phone batteries are designed to last for 300-to-500 charge cycles. “So, each time you go through a complete cycle, it’s one less time you’ll be able to charge the battery,” Spivey says. “It’s always a good idea to keep a charger connected when you’re able to, which will further preserve battery life by not wasting charge cycles.”

Problem: You keep getting unwanted calls

The Secret: Phone manufacturers and wireless service providers have gone to great lengths to fight unwanted calls, but telemarketers and robo-callers have figured out a way around the default call-blocking features that are installed in all iOS and Android phones.

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What You Should Do: Get a call-blocking app. Some of the better call-blocking apps include Mr. Number, Truecaller, and TrapCall. “I use Truecaller so that when calls come in I can see if it’s spam or not,” Barr says. “It’s a real time-waster answering calls when they’re labeled No Caller ID or Blocked but, then again, I also don’t want to miss an important call from a relative who might need me.”

If you’re with T-Mobile though, you’re in luck. Included for free on all T-Mobile ONE plans is Scam ID which allows customers to instantly see when calls come in from likely scammers. And when you add T-Mobile ONE Plus to your plan, you can use the T-Mobile Name ID app which puts you in control of who can reach you on your smartphone. Name ID delivers premium call control to T-Mobile customers. Features include personal number blocking, reverse number lookup and now control over entire categories of callers-such as telemarketers and political surveyors, enabling you to send all calls from these groups directly to voicemail.

Problem: Your phone makes traveling easier than ever, but it may not work everywhere you go and hidden charges can cost you a bundle

The Secret: The miracle of wireless service to make calls and access data has gone global—but your wireless provider may not be. Some providers don’t give access; some give access but charge big fees; but there’s one that gives you all the access you need with no additional charges.

What You Should Do: If you love to travel but hate hidden fees, switch to T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan, where Americans ages 55 and older get two lines for just $70. In addition to coming with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data, the plan gives you texting and data abroad in over 210 countries for no additional charge. This means you can use your T-Mobile number on compatible phones, tablets, and PCs everywhere you go, including while you’re in flight! With T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan, you get in-flight texting and up to an hour of data on Gogo-enabled flights to, from, and within the United States. Happy trails!

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