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Kansas Network Vision/LTE Deployment schedule update




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.



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.



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.



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

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so excited! Can't Wait, i can finally use my evo LTE to its full potential!

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    • to me rural coverage matters most....because i like being able to make phone calls and send texts in remote areas of the country ...i dont care about speeds i just care about per square mile coverage and over all usability and reliability
    • Tell us how you really feel @MrZorbatron!

      I think that most cellular players exaggerate their coverage. Yes, I suspected a long time ago that T-Mobile was one of the most egregious. Now according to the merger presentation, they will end up with 85,000 macro sites. That will be enough to match the coverage of pretty much everybody.

      Like you, I appreciate not having dropped calls or undelivered texts. In my area on my T-Mobile MVNO, I don't get any but can't say it won't happen elsewhere. Once Charter offers service via their Verizon MVNO, I think I will move my 4 personal lines there. My business line will stay on Sprint/T-Mobile, well, because I can't control that.
    • I do not welcome any part of this.  I don't think T-Mobile really cares about doing anything they say they care about.  I have seen how truly bad their network is in the ways that matter for essential communication, and I want nothing to do with it.  Say what you want about Verizon, but the one thing they have in common with Sprint is that they have historically built out a solid network before trying to make it extremely fast.  I don't care about 50 Mbps to my phone.  I care about calls that don't get disconnected constantly.  I care about that stock trade getting through when I send it, even if carried by EVDO, because EVDO still gets it through. Sprint's "Outdoor coverage" maps might seem exaggerated to some, but T-Mobile's maps are a complete joke.  Maybe Michigan is a bubble, the only state where this is true, but it really is very true here.  T-Mobile is the network of dropped and undelivered calls, mysterious disconnection, and "call failed" error messages. If this goes through, look for me at the nearest Verizon store because price to me is absolutely irrelevant.  I see two things happening if this merger goes through:  1:  Sprint spectrum is used to bolster capacity at T-Mobile sites, and 2:  As much of the current Sprint network as possible goes away, even if it means losing sites that would provide valuable fill-in density.  I saw the latter happen with Sprint and Nextel, after they insisted that all Nextel sites that could serve to increase Sprint coverage would be used.  Similarly, there were locations T-Mobile could have used MetroPCS locations to improve their own coverage but didn't, even where it left holes in their network.
    • Not when Verizon just bought 1GHz of mmwave spectrum. Those were the policies of the past. If it does not get approved, it would the loss of jobs and the fact that it might not be good for consumers. Although when I look at the table on this page, comparing unlimited plans, it is already evident that the other three are not really competing and Sprint's lower prices are not working since they did not manage to steal anybody from the other other three. To me it is evident that were Sprint to remain independent they need massive investment in their network since competing on price is not enough anymore and low prices just deprive their network of investment.
    • And I would definitely say that merger probably or probably not won't be approved. If not I would have to say it would be on the grounds of cellular asset divestiture.