Jump to content

The Wall

  • entries
    394
  • comments
    5,977
  • views
    4,739,138

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

Entries in this blog

S4GRU
blog-0565598001340814025.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 10:09 AM MDT

 

Speculation is over. Sprint is going to stop blocking LTE connections and launch service in 5 of the 6 announced markets on July 15th. LTE service will be live, on or before July 15th in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio. However, Baltimore is an announced market that is not listed in this new release.

 

It is not shocking to S4GRU readers that Baltimore is not quite ready yet. We are tracking the completed sites in all Sprint markets, and we know that none of the completed Network Vision sites in the Baltimore market even have LTE live yet, as we mentioned in our recent Baltimore schedule update article.

 

Good news for you LTE device holders in these announced markets. Anyone want to hold a nerd riot in celebration on the streets?

 

Sprint to Unleash the Speed and Power of 4G LTE in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio on July 15

 

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announces that new network will deliver faster data speeds with 4G LTE and an improved overall 3G experience; Sprint brings an overall quality experience and unequaled value to customers

 

ATLANTA (BUSINESS WIRE), June 27, 2012 - As summer begins to sizzle,Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse today invited Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio customers to harness the speed and power of 4G LTE on July 15 and to further enjoy the top-rated customer satisfaction experience among all national carriers, according to the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index.

 

To better meet the growing voice and data demands of wireless customers, Sprint is building an all-new, nationwide 3G and 4G LTE network through the Network Vision program. This means that whether a Sprint customer is using a smartphone to share a picture or to check the Web, Sprint 4G LTE will make it faster. Coupling the speed of 4G LTE with the industry’s only truly unlimited data plan for smartphones makes Sprint the best choice in wireless.* Additionally, the new network provides significant enhancements to Sprint 3G service. Customers will experience better signal strength, fewer dropped/blocked calls, faster data speeds, expanded coverage and better overall performance as the improvements roll out across the country.

 

“The performance of both the 4G LTE and improved 3G networks are exceeding our expectations and we are pleased with the progress of the entire Network Vision program,” said Hesse.

With the launch on July 15, Sprint will have debuted 4G LTE to millions of people in five major metropolitan areas with more market launches in 2012 to be announced later this year. By the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have largely completed the build out of its all-new 4G LTE nationwide network – with an enhanced 3G network – covering 250 million people across the United States.

 

The Wireless Industry’s Most Customer-Friendly Data Plans

In today’s competitive wireless market, the value of unlimited has never been more apparent. Sprint’s Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint network, starting at just $79.99 per month for smartphones.

 

Sprint continues the trend of delivering value to customers through its portfolio of 4G LTE-capable devices and unlimited data experience with Sprint Everything Data plans. Sprint has already launched five 4G LTE-capable devices for less than $200 – HTC EVO™ 4G LTE ($199.99); LG Viper™ 4G LTE ($99.99); Samsung Galaxy Nexus ($199.99); Samsung Galaxy S III ($199.99 for 16GB version) and Sierra Wireless™ 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot, the nation’s first to support 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G ($99.99) (all pricing excludes taxes).

 

Over the past several years, Sprint has been working hard to deliver the best customer experience. Recently, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, over the last four years. Building an all-new network is the linchpin to make Sprint the company customers want to do business with.

 

The launch of these metropolitan areas demonstrates the continued commitment by Sprint to invest in its network through Network Vision. For the most up-to-date details on Sprint’s 4G LTE portfolio and rollout, please visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.

 

 

Source: Sprint

S4GRU
blog-0198711001340741161.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 6:00 AM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is The River City...Memphis. The Memphis market has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is expected to be announced in the near future. Perhaps around the time of the first market launches.

 

The Sprint Memphis market encompasses all of the Sprint native coverage in western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and NE Arkansas. This includes the Memphis metropolitan area, Jackson, Dyersburg, Tupelo, Mississippi's Golden Triangle (Columbus, Starkville, West Point), Greenwood and Jonesboro in Arkansas. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson is scheduled to begin mobilizing in this area with its subcontractors in early August. Completed Network Vision sites should start coming online in September.

 

Memphis Market Launch

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Memphis, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Memphis market, it would make the launch month to be December (should the OEM stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be November. You may think that 40% - 50% site completion is not enough to launch LTE service, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_41212.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in November, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market. Some sites will are scheduled to be live in Jackson, Dyersburg and Jonesboro at the time. However, Mississippi sites won't start until early 2013.

 

Schedule details and the bottom line

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Memphis market. It is difficult to try to pick a date now this far out. And we know Sprint won't want to do that. But we will take a stab at it. In looking at the schedule as of today, it would indicate a November market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Ericsson and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates this early in the deployment for this market. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production.

 

Ericsson will only need to hit a production rate of 40 sites per month to stay on schedule. This should be an easy to achieve rate. If properly prepared and equipped, and if backhaul is ready timely, this market shouldn't have problems staying on time. But this is easy to say before they get started.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by February 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.

 

Memphis_skyline_from_the_air.jpg

Photo of Memphis provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0878931001340737797.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 5:09 PM MDT

 

I hear from yous guys all the time, so I know that the Big Apple is ready to take a big bite out of the upcoming Sprint LTE network. So it is with great joy, that the next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...New York City. This market has not been announced by Sprint, but appears to be on the way for a November/December launch.

 

The Sprint NYC market covers all of the New York Boroughs, up into Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley up through Newburgh and Poughkeepsie. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in the New York City market since April and is making good progress. As of this week, there are approximately 30 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are located throughout the market.

 

gallery_1_2_21911.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the New York City market. Approximately thirty Network Vision sites

are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like New York, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the NYC market, it would make the launch month to be as late as January (should AlcaLu stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch some time in November (as we suspect), then the market would be less than 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_54644.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU

has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in November, these are the anticipated sites that would

likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts

of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in the NYC market as currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in June with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A huge backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the New York City market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of October based on reports internally within Sprint. However, after reviewing the schedule, we don't see how they could launch before November unless the market deployment speeds up faster than scheduled, or they lower the percentage for launch to be less than 40%. We will be listening closely when Sprint announces the next round of market launch projections to see if they include New York, or even if they so boldly announce a date.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 31 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is continuing to progress and is planning to increase the production rate up to 90 sites per month from here forward. This seems like a very high rate, but plausible with the right resources allocated to the job.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by May 2013. However, there are several sites that will linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, AlcaLu is currently a little behind schedule, but can recover if they start increasing production to 20+ sites per week in July.

 

NYC_wideangle_south_from_Top_of_the_Rock.jpg

Photo of Manhattan provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0095565001340748986.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 4:00 PM MDT

 

It appears that the logjam has been cleared and the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S-III pre-orders by Sprint customers are finally starting to roll. And yours truly has been one of those affected, sitting in backorder purgatory. We informed you all last week about the delay affecting 32GB models reportedly caused by overwhelming global demand that Samsung couldn't keep up with.

 

The sources say that devices started shipping out today, and that customers should see an update at Sprint's website. However, in checking my status just before going to print still showed my device as backordered. Also note that I finished up my pre-order only minutes after the pre-order sent went live.

 

So hopefully this info is legit and the devices are on their way. It appears my wait is nearly over, as well as for thousands of other Sprint customers who boldly stepped out and pre-ordered the 32GB version of the Galaxy S-III. Soon I will be able to write that radio performance article comparing the GS-III, EVO LTE, Galaxy Nexus, Epic 4G Touch and EVO 3D. Stay tuned for that!

 

EDIT: I received a tracking number late tonight and see my GS3 is at the Louisville Airport on its way to me. The end is nigh!!!

 

gallery_1_1_38743.jpg

 

Source: Phandroid, Sprint

S4GRU
blog-0046668001340734998.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 2:40 PM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is the Bold New City of the South...Jacksonville. Jacksonville and Florida's First Coast has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is expected to be announced in the near future. Perhaps around the time of the first market launches.

 

The Sprint Jacksonville market encompasses all of the Sprint native coverage in Northeastern Florida and extends down to even parts of the west coast of Central Florida. This includes the Jacksonville Metro area and the Beaches, Orange Park, St. Augustine, Palatka, Gainesville, Ocala, Wildwood and down over toward Crystal River and Homosassa Springs. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson is scheduled to begin mobilizing with its subcontractors next month. Completed Network Vision sites should start coming online in August.

 

Jacksonville Market Launch

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Jacksonville, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Jacksonville market, it would make the launch month to be November (should the OEM stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be October. You may think that 40% - 50% site completion is not enough to launch LTE service, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_5819.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules

that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in October, these are the anticipated

sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE

coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Schedule details and the bottom line

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" LTE service in Northeast Florida. It is difficult to try to pick a date now this far out, but we will take a stab at it. In looking at the schedule as of today, it would indicate an November or December market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Ericsson and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates this early in the deployment for this market. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production.

 

Ericsson will only need to hit a production rate of 40 sites per month to stay on schedule. This appears to us to be an achievable rate. If properly prepared and equipped and if backhaul is ready timely, this market shouldn't have problems staying on time. But this is easy to say before they get started.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by March 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.

 

800px-Jacksonville_Skyline_Panorama_5.jpg

Photo of Jacksonville skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0134172001340733292.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:06 PM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Charlotte. The Charlotte market has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is expected to be announced in the near future. Perhaps around the time of the first market launches.

 

The Sprint Charlotte market encompasses all of the Sprint native coverage in western North Carolina. This includes the Charlotte Metro area, Kannapolis, Concord, Salisbury, Gastonia, Hickory, Boone and all the way over to Asheville. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent is scheduled to begin mobilizing in this area with its subcontractors any time now. Completed Network Vision sites should start coming online before the end of July.

 

Charlotte Market Launch

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Charlotte, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Charlotte market, it would make the launch month to be November (should the OEM stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be October. You may think that 40% - 50% site completion is not enough to launch LTE service, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_53488.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in October, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Schedule details and the bottom line

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Charlotte market. It is difficult to try to pick a date now this far out. And we know Sprint won't want to do that. But we will take a stab at it. In looking at the schedule as of today, it would indicate an October or November market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Alcatel/Lucent and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates this early in the deployment for this market. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production.

 

AlcaLu will only need to hit a production rate of 50 sites per month to stay on schedule. This appears to us to be an achievable rate. If properly prepared and equipped and if backhaul is ready timely, this market shouldn't have problems staying on time. But this is easy to say before they get started.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by March 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.

 

800px-Charllotte_Douglas_International_Airport.png

Photo of Charlotte Airport provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0101082001340659875.jpg

by Rick Layton

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 4:27 PM MDT

 

As technologies advance, the equipment to use the technology must advance as well. With the upcoming release of 4G LTE in our area (Houston), new equipment will be required to be able to use it. Although Sprint will have numerous data devices to handle the usage by the end of the year, only the Sprint Tri-Band Modem will be available at the rollout of the 4G LTE service.

 

Due to the enormous dependence my business has on accessing data in a mobile environment, plus the great increases in data speed available with 4G LTE, this makes getting access to 4G LTE imperative to me. I depended heavily on the Sierra Wireless data devices when I started this business 7 years ago for my source of a reliable method of mobile data transmission. This relationship continued on until the release of the original Hotspot with the 4G service in my area.

 

At one point, I was so displeased with past models, that I had sworn I would never buy another Sierra Wireless device as long as I live. This conclusion was reached after having numerous issues with previous hotspot models. There were so many problems that it seemed as if the device was never even tested on the networks it was to be used on. Also Sprint actively blocked reviews of the device, likely to not hinder sales in spite of the problems.

 

My need for a new device with both WiMax and LTE capability outweighed my outright dislike of Sierra Wireless products. I proceeded against better judgment, and the Tri-Band modem was ordered even though the possibility of getting a substandard unit once again was always at the forefront of my mind.

 

On with the show

 

gallery_1_2_137123.jpg
The official part number of the Tri-Band Modem is 803S. Along with the modem, I also ordered the SSX7077-V desktop cradle. I had to dig through a lot sites to find the information necessary to make this decision for my business. Much to my surprise, even though I was told the cradle was not available yet, I got a Sprint telesales person who was able to use the part number and find they had it in stock.

 

Upon arrival I unpacked the unit and cradle...while holding my breath. The device that came out of the box was a pleasant departure from the previous Hotspots I had owned. Above is a picture of the device as it was shipped with all components. There was a small user guide as well but to get the real instructions the user guide must be downloaded from Sprint.

 

gallery_1_2_114132.jpg
Gone was the one piece blow molded plastic case which allowed no air circulation and caused the prior Hotspots to overheat quickly. Although the display is still too small for my aging eyes (it is actually the same display size as prior units) the change to the case makes it much easier to see in the interior of my van where the device will mostly be used.

 

In this picture of the front you can see that there is a new button arrangement as compared to the older Hotspots. Also in the picture is the USB cable for use with the charger or to connect a computer, the AC to USB adapter, the battery and the battery cover. I opened the cradle, which was surprisingly inexpensive, and was delighted to find an additional AC to USB adapter which meant the cradle could be left in place without having to move the adapter around.

 

As you look at the modem from the side you can see the antenna ports (the covers are open), the USB connector in the middle and the slot for the memory card. The round hole just right of the left antenna port is the reset button for the unit.

gallery_1_2_112318.jpg

Here is the same view with the battery and cover installed. Notice that the SD card slot is covered by the

battery cover.

 

gallery_1_2_184795.jpg

The opposite side has two switches. The one on the left is a WPS setup button while the one on the right is a slider to mute the unit.

 

gallery_1_2_123876.jpg

 

The unit sits nicely in the cradle and looks to me to be a solution to help keep the USB port for the charger/interface cable from failing. This has been a major issue with the prior Hotspots. The case of the unit also helps support the USB port to take some of the load off of the circuit board.

 

It took quite a bit of digging on the Sierra Wireless site to find out that the antenna ports are for the 4G WiMax band only. The cradle contains 2 5dbi omnidirectional antennas to allow full use of the WiMax network architecture.

 

Initial testing

 

gallery_1_2_110374.jpg
The initial testing of the unit looks promising. The antennas in the cradle for 4G WiMax actually seem to get 3 – 5dBm gain in all conditions tested. The new unit has the ability to search the other bands for signals while staying connected. This allows less downtime between band changes. I notice a lot less disruption when switching bands.

 

This unit has better reception on 3G and 4G WiMax than the previous hotspots and even the U600 USB modem I use as well. 4G WiMax is able to connect quickly even at 10% and the cradle has improved stability of WiMax and decreased ping times. For a short time I had access to Sprint 4G LTE as they were testing the towers in my area. The speeds were incredilbly faster. A 10% 4G LTE signal averaged 8.12Mbps download and 1.85Mbps upload. An 80% signal was able to get 35.8Mbps down on my best test and 22.1Mbps up.

 

The upload speeds was very unexpected, and much higher than Sprint LTE smartphone devices have reported. This is likely due to much stronger transmit capabilities of the hotspot. I also discovered that when the modem is tethered the cable limits the bandwidth to approximately 20Mbps total speed. It will be interesting to see how it works in the 12 to 14 hour days of hot Houston Weather.

 

First week in the field

 

The Tri Band Modem got pressed into service a little quicker than planned, as my main unit went down with a bad transmission and the U600 USB modem with a Cradlepoint that was in this unit appears to have been damaged by the wrecker’s radio which runs on the edge of the WiMax frequency at 5 watts. The units have been sent in to determine cause of failure and for repairs but I think next time I will make sure all electronics are powered off before getting that close to a transmitter (OUCH!!).

 

I am running the same routes in a rental van with the Tri-Band Modem that I normally use the other units on. There is less downtime in the signal gaps I am familiar with and areas where I have had signal problems in both 3G and 4G WiMax are much improved. I have yet to encounter any more 4G LTE signals but am looking forward to the service coming online soon. The unit seems to be running hotter than I would like with a fully charged battery but is actually cooler that the previous Hotspots. The temperature is supposed to soar over the next few days without the cloudiness we have had this past week. So it will be interesting to see if the overheating problems of previous models still occur.

 

Week 2 – The True test

 

The unit is getting worked really hard this week with temperatures outside up near 100 degrees. The GPS is useless with this kind of sun load as the unit will overheat if left in direct sunlight (as the instructions state) in about 20 minutes. The good news is that this is about twice as long as my original Hotspot will last. How anyone can make a unit that requires a clear view of the sky for GPS but can’t handle sunlight is beyond comprehension. A quick check of the Tri-Band’s temperature specs shows that the unit is only rated for 95 degrees. The prior Hotspot was rated well above the century mark but couldn’t even handle 90 degrees for any length of time. The crappiest laptop on the market will handle 105 degrees plus all day long. The true test will be my afternoon calls when the temperatures are high. Battery life has been about 8 to 9 hours which is far better than the prior Hotspots.

 

The unit started overheating one afternoon. I can’t say I’m a bit surprised at that, but what is surprising is that it will run steadily as long as the air temp is below 98 degrees. This is a first for Hotspots as they always overheated well before the rated temperature spec. The bad news is the crappy overheat shutdown doesn’t turn off the unit before damage starts to occur, nor does it turn the unit off completely.

 

Removing the battery cover seems to help air circulation and overheating some. The button lights are flickering after one overheating but the unit seems to be working fine other than this. It will be interesting to see what happens when it really gets hot here.

 

According to the specs 4G LTE takes the least amount of wattage to run so it may not overheat as fast when using 4G LTE. I had the chance to try the modem in the old school 3G EVDO mode as one of my locations is 40 feet underground and that is all that is available at this location. I shut the unit down after 30 minutes as the unit was so hot you could barely handle it even though the temperature underground is around 70 degrees. I would not recommend trying to use this for any length of time if you want the Tri-Band to not overheat!!

 

My Opinion

 

Although Sierra Wireless has made some major improvement in the 3rd generation Hotspot, this is still a unit for the casual user. It is not designed to handle heavy use or outdoor summer temperatures for any length of time. It will be going in my climate controlled cabinet to protect it from the heat next week. I will let you know how it works when the temperature stays below 85 degrees. The improvements in connectivity, reception and stability are worth the investment. As long as you know and adjust your usage for the limitations of the unit.

S4GRU
blog-0460513001340646948.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 12:08 PM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is just about to get moving...the Norfolk and the Virginia Tidewater Region. The Norfolk market has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is expected to be announced in the near future. Perhaps around the time of the first market launches.

 

The Sprint Norfolk market covers basically all of Southeast Virginia and the Hampton Roads, from the Norfolk/Virginia Beach metro area, up through Hampton/Newport News and Williamsburg, on the Virginia portion of the Delmarva peninsula and the Northern portion of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent is scheduled to begin mobilizing in this area with its subcontractors this month. Completed Network Vision sites should start coming online in July.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Norfolk, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Norfolk market, it would make the launch month to be November (should the OEM stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be October. You may think that 40% - 50% site completion is not enough to launch LTE service, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_58046.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in October, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Norfolk market. It is really hard to call at this point, but the schedule as of today would indicate an October or November market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Alcatel/Lucent and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates this early in the deployment for this market. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production.

 

AlcaLu will only need to hit a production rate of 35 sites per month to stay on schedule. This seems like an easy to achieve rate, compared with how other Network Vision markets are progressing. In fact, they may be able to beat this conservative production rate and complete the market early. Here's to hoping!

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by February 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.

 

Norfolk%2C_VA.jpg

Photo of Norfolk skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0786978001340639773.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 7:15 AM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is a place where things are just starting to get hopping...Miami and South Florida. This is the first Second Round market we have written up in this article series. The Miami/West Palm market has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is expected to be announced in the near future. Perhaps around the time of the first market launches.

 

The Sprint Miami/West Palm market covers basically all of South Florida, from West Palm Beach to Key West. Dade, Broward, Monroe and West Palm counties. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson began mobilizing in this area with its subcontractors in May and has been actively working throughout June thus far. To date, there are no completed and active Network Vision sites in the market, but there should be pretty soon.

 

gallery_1_2_114191.jpg

Network Vision work in Miami/West Palm market. A site receiving Network Vision overhaul in Homestead, Florida in June 2012. Photos courtesy of S4GRU Member flycuban.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Miami, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Miami/West Palm market, it would make the launch month to be November (should Ericsson stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be October. You may think that 40% - 50% site completion is not enough to launch LTE service, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_90312.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in October, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Miami/West Palm market. It is really hard to call at this point, but the schedule as of today would indicate an October or November market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Ericsson and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates this early in the deployment for this market. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production.

 

Ericsson will only need to hit a production rate of 65 sites per month to stay on schedule. This seems like a reasonable rate, compared with how some other Ericsson markets are going along. The Atlanta/Athens market has hit rates beyond this. And the Chicago market has been able to hit 50 sites in a week at times, but that market is being handled by Samsung and a different subcontractor base.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by February 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.

 

799px-Moon_over_Miami.png

Photo of Miami provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0881588001340160361.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 12:00 PM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...the City of Angels. Los Angeles, a.k.a. "L.A." The LA Metro market has not been announced by Sprint, but appears to be on the way for a September launch.

 

The Sprint LA Metro market covers all of Los Angeles County. Adjacent counties are in different Sprint markets. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in Los Angeles since March and is making good progress. As of this week, there are approximately 65 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are located throughout the market. Mostly in the SF Valley, Los Angeles Basin and the I-110 Harbor Freeway Corridor.

 

gallery_1_2_206945.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the LA Metro market. Approximately 65 Network Vision sites are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like LA, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the LA Metro market, it would make the launch month to be October (should AlcaLu stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch in September (as we suspect), then the market would be less than 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_195582.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in September, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in the LA market as currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the LA Metro market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of September based on reports internally within Sprint. They will likely announce a launch date for this market, and a few others like Austin, Boston, Chicago and Washington DC around the time of the first market launches.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 65 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is continuing to progress and is planning to increase the production rate up to 110 sites per month from here forward. This seems like a very difficult rate of completion to achieve.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by February 2013. However, there are several sites that will linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, AlcaLu is currently pretty much on time, but may have issues meeting this rate identified in Sprint's schedule.

 

800px-Bunker_Hill_Downtown_Los_Angeles.jpg

Photo of Downtown Los Angeles provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0512823001340157050.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 6:00 AM MDT

 

 

Chicago. Network Vision is nearly infamous among Chicagoans. Chicago has not been an easy market for Sprint so far. We reported in a previous article about some of the challenges Sprint has faced in its Windy City deployment. Even though this market has yet to be announced by Sprint, we are happy to report to you that Chicago appears to be on track for a September launch.

 

The Sprint Chicago market covers most of Northern Illinois and the adjacent suburbs of NW Indiana. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Samsung has been actively deploying in the Chicago market since December and is making good progress. As of this week, there are over 300 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are located throughout the market. But all outside the Loop.

 

gallery_1_2_244757.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the Chicago market. More than 300 Network Vision sites are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Chicago, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Chicago market, September would be the launch month should Samsung stay on schedule. It is believed that Sprint will launch the market earlier, with less than 50% coverage. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_129732.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in September, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in the Chicago market as currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A huge backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

We are getting reports though of S4GRU members in the Chicago area, especially in the Merrillville and Hammond areas, who have been able to connect to 4G LTE for brief intermittent periods. So there are sites that are starting to get LTE capabilities working. They just have not been turned over to Sprint yet from Samsung.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have the formal "launch" date for the Chicago market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of September based on reports internally within Sprint. After reviewing the schedule, we can see a path to get there. Sprint will likely announce a launch date for this market, and a few others like Austin, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles around the time of the first launch.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 307 Network Vision sites complete, which is almost one third. Samsung is progressing very well. It appears that Sprint and Samsung are speeding up the schedule, as it looks like they are now ahead of schedule in this market.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by December 2012. However, there are a few sites that will likely linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, Samsung should have no issues meeting Sprint's schedule completion date.

 

800px-Chicago_sunrise_1.jpg

Photo of Chicago skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0325829001340146366.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 6:35 PM MDT

 

Whether you call it the District, DC or simply Washington doesn't much matter. Soon we will be able to call it a Sprint 4G LTE city. The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Washington, D.C.. This market has not been announced by Sprint, but appears to be on the way for a late August launch.

 

The Sprint Washington DC market covers all of the District Columbia, and the Maryland and Virginia DC suburbs. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in the Washington DC market since March and is making good progress. As of this week, there are approximately 50 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are located throughout the market. Mostly in D.C. and the Maryland side, but sites are now starting to come live on the Virginia side.

 

gallery_1_2_159404.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the Washington DC market. Approximately fifty Network Vision sites are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like DC, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the DC market, it would make the launch month to be September (should AlcaLu stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch around the third week of August (as we suspect), then the market would be less than 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_10407.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in late August, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in the DC market as currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A huge backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Washington DC market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of August based on reports internally within Sprint. However, after reviewing the schedule, it may actually pan out to be late August or the first of September. Sprint will likely announce a launch date for this market, and a few others like Austin, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles around the time of the first launch.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 50 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is continuing to progress and is planning to increase the production rate up to 100 sites per month from here forward. This seems like an impossible production rate to us.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by January 2013. However, there are several sites that will linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, AlcaLu is currently right on time, but may have issues meeting this rate identified in Sprint's schedule.

 

800px-Cherry_Blossoms_and_Washington_Monument.jpg

Photo of Washington, D.C. provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0225692001340158191.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:33 PM MDT

 

S4GRU received some sad news today when we found out that Sprint is experiencing delays in their preorders of the popular Samsung Galaxy S III. 16GB models will not arrive early of the June 21st national launch as originally planned, and at best, will arrive on June 21st. Some may even experience delays of a day or two.

 

However, if you bought the 32GB model (like me), your delay will be until next week...well after the national launch of the device. So much for pre-order. :(

 

See Sprint's comments below:

 

Due to overwhelming demand and limited supply for Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S III, we are running a little behind on deliveries. The 16GB version of Samsung Galaxy S III device will be available in Web Sales and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) beginning on Thursday, June 21. It will be in all remaining sales channels next week.

 

We are optimistic that we’ll be shipping all Samsung Galaxy S III-16GB pre-orders this week and that they will be delivered by June 21 as anticipated. There is a chance, however, that we may be a day or two late. We anticipate shipping all Samsung Galaxy S III-32GB pre-orders next week. To check the status of your pre-order, please visit www.sprint.com/myorder.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the patience of our customers as we work through this minor delay in availability. We know that many of you are eager to experience the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy series on the only network to provide unlimited data plans to new and existing customers. Should this situation change, we will continue to update this post as we have new information to share.

 

Source: http://community.spr...lability-update

 

Special thanks to S4GRU Member Adrian28 who tipped me to the story in our forums.

S4GRU
blog-0984209001340113382.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 5:03 AM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Boston, Mass. This market has not been announced by Sprint, but appears to be on the way for a late August launch, and work is already well under way in this market.

 

The Boston market essentially covers the entirety of the Bay State, from Pittsfield to the end of Cape Cod. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in the Boston market since late February and has a lot of sites up and running. As of this week, there are approximately 150 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are pretty spread out around the market, from Springfield to Suburban Boston and way out to New Bedford and Cape Cod!

 

gallery_1_2_37498.jpg

Complete Network Vision Sites in the Boston market. Approximately 150 Network Vision sites are complete in the market. The map on the left showing sites with 3G on-air and the map on the right showing 4G LTE on-air.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Boston, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Boston market, it would make the launch month to be October (should AlcaLu stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch around the third week of August (as we suspect), then the market would be less than 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_101544.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in late August, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Until recently, Sprint was not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in Boston have 4G LTE complete, only 3G EVDO. But this weekend, 4G LTE sites started to go on-air in the Boston market. The 140 or so 3G only Network Vision sites will likely start coming live with 4G LTE very soon.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Boston market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of August based on reports internally within Sprint. However, after reviewing the schedule, it may actually pan out to be late August or the first of September. Sprint will likely announce a launch date for this market, and a few others like Austin, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles around the time of the first launch.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 148 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is plotting continual progress from here with production increasing up to a rate of almost 70 sites per month. S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by February 2013. However, there are several sites that will linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, AlcaLu is right on time, and should have no problem meeting or exceeding the schedule.

 

800px-Boston_Twilight_Panorama_3.jpg

Photo of Boston skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0332368001340039057.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 7:53 AM MDT

 

Last Friday, we provided a few tease postings on social media about Sprint 4G LTE sites going on-air in Boston. First 4, then a 5th and later a 6th. Now this morning, two more. A total of 8 sites in the Sprint Boston market now are live with 4G LTE.

 

As most S4GRU followers know, Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been very active in the Boston area for several months. However, until late last week, all the Network Vision completed sites in this market have only had 3G upgrades gone live. These are the first sites to actually have 4G LTE be complete thus far. This is really exciting when you consider that Boston is not even an officially announced market for Sprint.

 

gallery_1_2_12601.jpg

Live Boston Market 4G LTE sites. This is an overview map showing the location of all 8 Sprint sites

with on-air 4G LTE in the Boston Market as of this morning.

 

The first live sites are scattered around the market. A cluster in Lynn/Saugus area sports four LTE sites. Then a 5th one appeared in Dartmouth, just west of New Bedford. Over the weekend, another site in Rockport was discovered and updated in our Completed Network Vision site maps for Sponsors.

 

This morning, we are happy to report to you a site near Burlington and another on Cape Cod near Yarmouth. This is fast progress in two business days. Expect more in the coming days and weeks. Viva la LTE!!!

 

gallery_1_2_48143.jpg

On-Air 4G LTE in North Boston Suburbs. In this map you can see all the Sprint 4G LTE sites on air in the Northern Boston suburbs, including: Lynn, Saugus, Burlington and Rockport.

 

We did have a S4GRU member go out to the sites around Lynn this weekend. He was not able to connect to the sites in that area using his EVO LTE. Sprint must still be blocking LTE connections. If you are able to connect to any of the sites in the Boston market, please let us know about it. Or post it in our confirmed LTE sites forum thread.

 

gallery_1_2_30949.jpg

On-Air 4G LTE in South Massachusetts. These are the two on-air 4G LTE sites in the New Bedford/Cape Cod area of the Boston market.

S4GRU
blog-0292799001339773346.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 12:40 PM MDT

 

S4GRU has now completed schedule updates for all the official Sprint announced markets, but we will keep trekking along with schedule updates on the unofficial markets. The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Austin, Texas. This market has not been announced by Sprint, but it is on the way for an August launch, and work is already under way in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson initially deployed to the Austin market quite early, starting work back in December 2011. Ericsson established their 4G LTE FIT (field testing) areas around Waco. There are already 20 sites in the Greater Waco area with live LTE. And work is just about to begin in other parts of the market, including in the Austin Metro area.

 

gallery_1_2_15633.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the Austin market. Twenty sites are complete in the market around Waco. All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, and many of them are not even being blocked at this time.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, in recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion in many instances. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like Austin, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the Austin market, it would make the launch month in September (should Ericsson stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch around August 1st (as we suspect), then the market would be well under 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_35540.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in August, these are the anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market. Waco coverage would not change. Also, the College Station/Bryan areas are not scheduled to start until October.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is reporting that most of the Network Vision sites around Waco have both 3G EVDO and 4G LTE complete. It is not known at this time if the sites due around Austin soon will have both 4G and 3G complete at the same time. Most of the other Ericsson markets are only reporting 4G LTE live at NV sites at the moment.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Austin market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of August based on reports internally within Sprint. LTE deployment is just about to really take off in the market here in Mid June and into July. Hopefully as these LTE sites complete, Sprint will allow them to be usable by Sprint LTE device holders in the area.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 20 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here with production increasing up to a rate of almost 70 sites per month. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees a November 2012 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, Ericsson may be challenged to complete such a high rate of sites monthly, but it is possible with the appropriate amount of resources.

 

AustinSkylineLouNeffPoint-2010-03-29-b.JPG

Photo of Austin skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0899596001339716307.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 6:33 PM MDT

 

Next stop, Baltimore! S4GRU continues our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series with "The Greatest City in America." I didn't come up with that Motto, but I did read it on Wikipedia. So it must be true! Back in February, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse broke the news that Baltimore will be launched with Network Vision and LTE in Mid-2012.

 

The Baltimore market essentially covers all of Maryland, except for the portions in the Sprint Washington DC market and Western Maryland which is mostly served by Sprint Affiliate Shentel. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in the Baltimore market since March and is making good progress. As of this week, there are approximately 55 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are pretty spread out around the market, from Inner City Baltimore, out to the suburbs, one in Annapolis and even three out on the Eastern Shore!

 

gallery_1_2_31228.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the Baltimore market. More than fifty Network Vision sites are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, in recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced...like Baltimore. If they waited for 50% now, it would delay launch until September. In the case of the Baltimore market, should Sprint launch by Mid July, they would only be complete with approximately 25% to 30% of all NV sites. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

gallery_1_2_81127.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in Mid July, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in Baltimore are currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A huge backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Baltimore market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of July based on reports internally within Sprint. Currently Sprint continues to block LTE connections by its customers with LTE devices. Hopefully by the time LTE is ready at these Baltimore sites, Sprint will have stopped their LTE blocking schemes.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 55 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is continuing to progress and should increase the production rate up to 60 sites per month from here forward. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees a December 2012 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, it appears that Alcatel/Lucent is only slightly behind in the market and looks good to completing on time.

 

 

Bmore-Skyline1.jpg

Photo of Baltimore Inner Harbor provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0068080001339704841.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 12:59 PM MDT

 

S4GRU keeps rolling on with our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series. Now we want to tell you what we know about the Kansas market, which makes up the KC Metro Area, Western Missouri and the State of Kansas. Back in February, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told us all how the Kansas market will be launched with Network Vision and LTE in Mid-2012.

 

Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson has been steadily deploying around the Kansas market. As of this week, there are approximately 30 Network Vision sites broadcasting a LTE signal. These sites are all around the Kansas City area and extending out to St. Joseph and Sedalia, Missouri.

 

gallery_1_2_1542.jpg

Network Vision Sites in the Kansas market. Thirty sites are complete in the market. All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, but being blocked from accessibility by Sprint.

 

30 Live LTE Sites, but still being blocked by Sprint

 

Despite the good news of these live LTE sites, Sprint is still actively blocking LTE connections. They originally planned to allow sites converted to Network Vision standards to go live immediately upon completion by the OEM Contractor. This is still the case with 3G EVDO and even CDMA 800 sites when they are completed. In Sprint's original Network Vision plans, they were also planning to allow 4G LTE signals to be handled the same way. Turn them on and allow them to be discovered prior to the formal market launch at 50% site completion.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

In recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced...like Kansas City. If they waited for 50% now, it would delay launch until September. In the case of the KC market, should Sprint launch by Mid July, they would only be complete with approximately 25% to 30% of all NV sites. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_44521.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in Mid July, these are the anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites are currently broadcasting EVDO, only LTE. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May. However, none have shown up as NV 3G active to date. We know the new backhaul is in place at these sites since they are broadcasting LTE. That most likely means that the Switch Center is not ready for these sites. A huge backlog of 3G sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Kansas market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of July based on reports internally within Sprint. However, we hope that they will actually remove LTE blocking before the launch, since there are quite a few active LTE sites that can be used now in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 30 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here with production ramping up to a rate of almost 60 sites per month. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees a December 2012 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, it appears that Ericsson is behind in the market. But with the rate the schedule is supposed to pick up in June, Ericsson can certainly finish on time.

 

We don't know how much longer Sprint LTE device holders will be denied access to active sites. However, we hope that Sprint lifts the connection ban for you soon.

 

Downtown_from_Top_of_Liberty2.jpg

Photo of Kansas City provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0388352001339401826.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:01 AM MDT

 

In our continuing Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series, S4GRU brings you the latest information for Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Sprint announced to the world early in Network Vision that the DFW market is one of their first LTE launches. Sprint boasted to the world that the Dallas area would be enjoying LTE and Network Vision enhancements by Mid 2012.

 

Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson has been steadily deploying around the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. As of this week, there are approximately 40 Network Vision sites broadcasting a LTE signal. These sites are all around the market from Waxahatchie to Sherman.

 

gallery_1_2_20232.jpg

Network Vision Sites in DFW. Forty sites are complete in the market. All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, but being blocked from accessibility by Sprint.

 

40 Live LTE Sites, but still being blocked by Sprint

 

Despite the good news of these live LTE sites, Sprint is still actively blocking LTE connections. They originally planned to allow sites converted to Network Vision standards to go live immediately upon completion by the OEM Contractor. This is still the case with 3G EVDO and even CDMA 800 sites when they are completed. In Sprint's original Network Vision plans, they were also planning to allow 4G LTE signals to be handled the same way. Turn them on and allow them to be discovered prior to the formal market launch at 50% site completion.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

In recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced...like Dallas. If they waited for 50% now, it would delay launch until September. In the case of the DFW market, should Sprint launch by Mid July, they would only be complete with approximately 30% to 35% of all NV sites. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_3043.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market on Mid July, these are the anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites are currently broadcasting EVDO, only LTE. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May. However, none have shown up as NV 3G active to date. We know the new backhaul is in place at these sites since they are broadcasting LTE. That most likely means that the Switch Center is not ready for these sites. A huge backlog of 3G sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Dallas/Ft. Worth market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of July based on internal Sprint documents. However, we hope that they will actually remove LTE blocking before the launch, since there are quite a few active LTE sites that can be used now in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 39 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here with production ramping up to a rate of almost 70 sites per month. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees a November 2012 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, it appears that Ericsson is slightly behind in the market. But with the rate the schedule is supposed to pick up in June, Ericsson has ample opportunity to finish on time.

 

You Sprint LTE device holders will have to ride it out there in North Texas for a little while longer. Hopefully Sprint will lift the LTE Blockade soon. LTE everywhere, but not a bit to spare...from Sprint at any rate.

 

Downtown_Dallas_from_the_Trinity_River.jpg

Photo of Dallas skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0692620001339398961.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Sunday, June 10, 2012 - 11:59 PM MDT

 

In our continuing Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series, S4GRU presents to you the latest regarding Houston, Texas. Sprint announced to the world early in Network Vision that the Houston market would be one of their first LTE launches. Sprint committed to a Mid 2012 LTE launch in Houston at the beginning of the year.

 

Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson has been steadily deploying around the Greater Houston/Galveston area. As of this week, there are approximately 60 Network Vision sites broadcasting a LTE signal. These sites are all around the market.

 

gallery_1_2_22881.jpg

Network Vision Sites in Houston. Sixty sites are complete in the market. All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, but being blocked from accessibility by Sprint.

 

60 Live LTE Sites, but still being blocked by Sprint

 

Despite the good news of these live LTE sites, Sprint is still actively blocking LTE connections. They originally planned to allow sites converted to Network Vision standards to go live immediately upon completion by the OEM Contractor. This is still the case with 3G EVDO and even CDMA 800 sites when they are completed. In Sprint's original Network Vision plans, they were also planning to allow 4G LTE signals to be handled the same way. Turn them on and allow them to be discovered prior to the formal market launch at 50% site completion.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

In recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets already announced like Houston. If they waited for 50% now, it would delay launch until September. In the case of Houston, should Sprint launch by Mid July, they would only be complete with approximately 30% to 35% of all NV sites. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_7432.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules

that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in Mid July, these are the

anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good

LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites are currently broadcasting EVDO, only LTE. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May. However, none have shown up as NV 3G active to date. We know the new backhaul is in place at these sites since they are broadcasting LTE. That most likely means that the Switch Center is not ready for these sites. A huge backlog of 3G sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Houston market. We believe they are targeting a launch date in July based on internal Sprint documents. However, we hope that they will actually remove LTE blocking before the launch, since there are quite a few active LTE sites that can be used now in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 58 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here with production ramping up to a rate of almost 70 sites per month. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees a February 2013 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, it appears that Ericsson is slightly behind in the market. But with the rate the schedule is supposed to pick up in June, Ericsson has ample opportunity to finish on time.

 

For the time being, your brains are being bombarded with Sprint LTE all over the Houston market. But you just cannot connect. We hope Sprint soon lifts the blockade and allows all of us who have purchased LTE devices to be able to use the network.

 

800px-Panoramic_Houston_skyline.jpg

Photo of Houston skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0646910001339192790.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 9:14 PM MDT

 

In our continuing Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series, S4GRU would like to bring you up to speed in San Antonio, Texas. Sprint announced to the world early in Network Vision that the San Antonio market would be one of their first LTE launches. Dan Hesse announced that we can expect it to be launched by Mid 2012.

 

Since the announcement last December, Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson has been steadily deploying around San Antonio and environs. As of this week, the are more than 30 Network Vision sites broadcasting a LTE signal. These sites are all around the market.

 

gallery_1_2_40099.jpg

Network Vision Sites in San Antonio. Over 30 sites are complete in the market.

All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, but being blocked from accessibility by Sprint.

 

30 Live LTE Sites, but still being blocked by Sprint

 

Despite the good news of these live LTE sites, Sprint is still actively blocking LTE connections. They originally planned to allow sites converted to Network Vision standards to go live immediately upon completion by the OEM Contractor. This is still the case with 3G EVDO and even CDMA 800 sites when they are completed. In Sprint's original Network Vision plans, they were also planning to allow 4G LTE signals to be handled the same way. Turn them on and allow them to be discovered prior to the formal market launch at 50% site completion.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

In recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in San Antonio. If they waited for 50% now, it would delay launch until August. In the case of San Antonio, should Sprint launch prior to the end of June, they would only be complete with approximately 35% to 40% of all NV sites. This doesn't sound like a lot, but it would provide pretty good coverage. A little known item is not even Verizon launches on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

gallery_1_2_47957.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules

that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market on June 30th, these are the

anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide pretty good

LTE coverage over the market.

 

At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of well performing 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites are currently broadcasting EVDO, only LTE. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May. However, none have shown up as NV 3G active to date. We know the new backhaul is in place at these sites since they are broadcasting LTE. That most likely means that the Switch Center is not ready for these sites. A huge backlog of 3G sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the San Antonio market. We believe they are still targeting a launch date before the end of the month based on internal Sprint documents. However, we hope that they will actually remove LTE blocking before the launch, since there are quite a few active LTE sites that can be used now in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 32 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here with production ramping up to a rate of almost 40 sites per month. S4GRU has poured over the schedule in this market and sees an October 2012 completion date. In our estimation of the schedule, it appears that Ericsson is behind in the market. However a production rate of 40 sites per month is achievable, but a much greater pace will need to start to occur in June to see this to conclusion.

 

In the mean time, San Antonians are bathing in a Sprint LTE signal that they cannot use. Hopefully, Sprint will soon end your misery and allow you to connect your brand spanking new LTE devices in high speed!

 

Rio_del_pasio_05.jpg

Photo of San Antonio provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU
blog-0508808001338939117.jpg

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 8:44 AM MDT

 

In the first article of our new Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series, S4GRU brings you to Atlanta, Georgia. Sprint announced to the world early in Network Vision that the Atlanta/Athens market would be one of their first LTE launches. Slated for the end of June 2012.

 

Since the announcement last December, Sprint's Network Vision OEM Ericsson has been busy with deployment. As of this week, the Atlanta/Athens market has over 150 Network Vision sites broadcasting a LTE signal. These sites are all around the market.

 

gallery_1_2_60662.jpg

Network Vision Sites in Atlanta/Athens Market. Over 150 sites are complete in the market. All of these broadcasting Sprint LTE, but being blocked from accessibility by Sprint.

 

150 Live LTE Sites, but still being blocked by Sprint

 

Despite the good news of so many live LTE sites, Sprint is currently blocking LTE connections, as most of our S4GRU readers already know. Sprint has put the decision of when to allow their LTE signals that are currently being broadcast over Northern Georgia in the hands of their "Business Teams." Now with the EVO LTE apparently selling like gangbusters and with the announcement of the new LTE capable Samsung Galaxy S-III, hopefully Sprint will allow their LTE network to open to connections soon.

 

gallery_1_2_1312.jpg
Sprint originally planned to allow sites converted to Network Vision standards to go live immediately upon completion by the OEM Contractor. This is still the case with 3G EVDO and even CDMA 800 sites when they are completed. In Sprint's original Network Vision plans, they were also planning to allow 4G LTE signals to be handled the same way. Turn them on and allow them to be discovered prior to the formal market launch at 50% site completion.

 

Sprint did start releasing 4G LTE sites initially after they started coming online in April, but soon changed their mind about allowing customers to connect to them. Several S4GRU members were able to use 4G LTE and were posting impressive 30Mbps download speeds. However, since then Sprint decided to shut down access to LTE and started actively blocking. Now it is believed that Sprint may hold all LTE connections in a market until formal launch. We hope they allow it sooner.

 

It seems to be a terrible waste to have a LTE signal being broadcast all around you that your device is not allowed to connect to. There have been many speculations why Sprint may be blocking access, including possible LTE connectivity issues with the new EVO LTE, but none have been confirmed at this time. Sprint can end this conjecture by just opening up their LTE network to existing LTE device holders.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

In recently seen correspondence, Sprint has decided to move up launches sooner than 50% completion. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch. In the case of Atlanta, should Sprint launch prior to the end of June, they would only be complete with approximately 35% to 40% of all NV sites. And even though this sounds like very few, keep in mind that Sprint's Atlanta/Athens market is all of Northern Georgia. With over 1,000 sites total.

 

gallery_1_2_9704.jpg

Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market on June 30th, these are the anticipated sites that would have LTE complete at that time. This would provide pretty good LTE coverage over the market.

 

Verizon did not get 100% of their total market coverage complete before launching in Atlanta. Maybe a hundred sites at first, then adding more incrementally. Sprint will do something similar. At market launch, some areas will be well covered with LTE, and others may be kind of spotty. However, more sites will come online every week until the whole market is complete. And even with one or two bars of LTE signal on your device, you will still get speeds that are double to triple that of 3G EVDO in most instances.

 

And speaking of 3G EVDO, Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites are currently broadcasting EVDO, only LTE. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May. However, none have shown up as NV 3G active to date. We know the new backhaul is in place at these sites since they are broadcasting LTE. That most likely means that the Switch Center is not ready for these sites. A huge backlog of 3G sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Atlanta market. We believe they are still targeting a launch date before the end of the month based on internal Sprint documents. However, we hope that they will actually remove LTE blocking before the launch, since there are so many active LTE sites that can be used now in this market.

 

Sprint's Network Vision schedule for this market currently has 152 Network Vision sites complete. Ericsson is plotting continual progress from here until the last ones complete around Mid December 2012. Production is ramping up to turn over approximately 150 sites per month through the end. Although it was difficult for S4GRU to quantify looking at this complex schedule, it appears that Ericsson is a little behind schedule in the market, but not more than can be made up before scheduled market completion in December.

 

Pretty much the last piece of the puzzle unknown at this time is when is Sprint going to light this thing up for customers? C'mon Sprint, we are waiting!

 

MidtownATLNW.JPG

Photo of Atlanta skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

WiWavelength
blog-0804251001338614600.png

by Andrew J. Shepherd

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Friday, June 1, 2012 - 11:58 PM MDT

 

Update: Sprint has scheduled an exclusive Samsung event for the evening of June 12 in Boston. It looks like the Samsung Galaxy S3 coming out party has been set.

 

Just as the HTC EVO 4G LTE is setting up for its delayed national street date tomorrow June 2, it may sooner than expected be getting another high profile cousin in Sprint's burgeoning line up of Network Vision ready, LTE capable devices.

 

First, word leaked this afternoon that Sprint is prepping landing and pre-order web pages for its version of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Then, this evening, S4GRU uncovered the Samsung SPH-L710 (aka Galaxy S3) exhibits that had hit the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database earlier today. So, the ball seems to be rolling toward an imminent launch for the Galaxy S3. And, as we did with the EVO 4G LTE a few weeks back, here is an RF focused technical rundown of the upcoming Samsung flagship Sprint handset:

  • CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800)
  • LTE band 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks)
  • LTE 5 MHz carrier bandwidth
  • LTE UE category 3
  • SVDO and SVLTE support, including SVDO or SVLTE and simultaneous 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi tether
  • Maximum RF ERP: 17.78 dBm (CDMA1X 850), 20.77 dBm (EV-DO 850), 24.05 dBm (CDMA1X 1900), 23.85 dBm (EV-DO 1900), 17.21 dBm (CDMA1X 800), 17.56 dBm (EV-DO 800), 22.01 dBm (LTE 1900)
  • NFC antenna integrated into battery
  • LTE antenna configuration: 1 Tx, 2 Rx (i.e. 2x2 downlink MIMO)

16baatc.png

 

 

All in all, the Galaxy S3 does not present any really big technical surprises. As RF capabilities go, it follows very closely in the footsteps of the EVO 4G LTE. One of the few notable differences is that the Galaxy S3, like its Galaxy Nexus sibling, supports only 5 MHz x 5 MHz LTE carriers, while the EVO 4G LTE can do both 5 MHz x 5 MHz and 10 MHz x 10 MHz LTE bandwidths. However, Sprint has no definite plans to deploy 10 MHz x 10 MHz LTE during the typical lifespan of either of these handsets. And, otherwise, the Galaxy S3 does appear to have the general edge in RF transmit power.

 

Sources: FCC, Inside Sprint Now

S4GRU
blog-0537255001337278440.png

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 12:06 PM MDT

 

It appears Sprint is moving forward with a revised launch date of the EVO LTE on Wednesday, May 23rd. Our source yesterday said that Sprint was working toward the 23rd. The blog Inside Sprint Now is reporting that the 23rd appears to be a go.

 

In an e-mail to one of our Sprint sources for more information, he did confirm that May 23rd is being said internally, but he has no details about the specifics of the authorizations from Customs or the supply chain. We will release more details with updated information about the EVO LTE deliveries as we know more. However, S4GRU Members who purchased from Best Buy are starting to get updates about a May 23rd delivery. Fingers crossed...

 

Source: Inside Sprint Now, Sprint Internal Source

 

UPDATE 12:30 PM MDT: Inside Sprint Now is reporting that they are working on shipping pre-orders earlier to arrive prior to the revised launch date of May 23rd. Our source was unable to confirm that at the time of this update.

S4GRU
blog-0317066001337130468.png

by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 6:59 PM MDT

 

Earlier today, S4GRU.com reported that shipments of the new EVO LTE are being delayed. We took a lot of heat from folks that thought we were full of it. But I had so much faith in my source that I ran the story anyway taking the shots on the chin. Not 100% sure even myself, but knew this source was solid. So I pulled the trigger and hoped it panned out. And now The Verge is reporting the cause of the delay...customs.

 

Those sneaky bastards at Apple have apparently been able to get customs to hold the EVO LTE and the HTC One X from getting through customs. The grounds for holding the devices are due to them possibly infringing on Apple patents. Supposedly, the hold is indefinite. This may take weeks to resolve. Sprint is now taking down the Pre-Order ability on their site. However, it is possible that if the devices are not found to be in violation, that they make it back into the supply chain with just a few days delay. And it's not known if all are being held, or if some made it through.

 

According to our internal Sprint source that told us about the delay this morning, Sprint management is meeting first thing tomorrow morning to come up with a mitigation plan and what and how they will communicate this to the public. However, now, and until further notice, Sprint employees are no longer allowed to reference the May 18th launch date.

 

Sorry folks for being the bearer of bad news. But once again, S4GRU.com broke the story first. We just had it so early, that we didn't know all the details.

 

Source: Internal Sprint Source, The Verge

 

EDIT: Fixed a typo...evidently, deplayed is not a word. Thanks Odell!

×