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Network Vision/LTE - SF Bay Market

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The market and Castro site just hasn't been touched. And that area just isnt that dense with sites. Especially with twin peaks to the west side and noe Valley to the south. It sucks and there's really no excuse. They could even camp a cow there and it would be very well used.

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The permit for the Sprint site on the Castro Theater was one of the worst. Took 2 yrs 3 mos to get approved. 

 

The notes on the permit approval mention: 

 

 

 

Approved modification to an existing Sprint macro Wireless facility. Increase from 3 roof-mounted panel antennas to 6 roof-mounted panel antennas (relocated to reduce visibility).

 

Sounds like they might have managed to get 8t8r approved with the original permit from 2012. 

 

I know the backhaul was set back by the sidewalk construction. That took forever and was even mentioned in the permit notes too:

 

 

 

8-1-14 A separate permit from the Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping (BSM) is required for work involving alteration, reconstruction or repair of sidewalk, curb or gutter in the City right-of-way.
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Well,

 

The permit for the Sprint site on the Castro Theater was one of the worst. Took 2 yrs 3 mos to get approved. 

 

The notes on the permit approval mention: 

 

 

 

 

Sounds like they might have managed to get 8t8r approved with the original permit from 2012. 

 

I know the backhaul was set back by the sidewalk construction. That took forever and was even mentioned in the permit notes too:

 

Are there any remaining permits that Sprint is waiting for?  It feels like it have taken less time to put up a new tower nearby.  The tower density isn't great, and with this one down, I can't imagine how bad service at Dolores Park on a sunny weekend.

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Well,

 

 

Are there any remaining permits that Sprint is waiting for? It feels like it have taken less time to put up a new tower nearby. The tower density isn't great, and with this one down, I can't imagine how bad service at Dolores Park on a sunny weekend.

Blame your city. Local resistance and regulations for new building permits and new cell sites is one of the most costly parts of new tower/upgrades.

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Well,

 

 

Are there any remaining permits that Sprint is waiting for?  It feels like it have taken less time to put up a new tower nearby.  The tower density isn't great, and with this one down, I can't imagine how bad service at Dolores Park on a sunny weekend.

 

The site on Vallejo St and Battery St had it's permit withdrawn by Sprint:

 

 

 

Building Permit cancelled per applicant email (Maria Miller) on June 19, 2014.

 

The permit for the site on Castro and Duboce on top of the hospital there also hasn't been issued. It's been approved but Sprint hasn't paid the permit fees. $375

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The site on Vallejo St and Battery St had it's permit withdrawn by Sprint:

 

 

The permit for the site on Castro and Duboce on top of the hospital there also hasn't been issued. It's been approved but Sprint hasn't paid the permit fees. $375

And then sprint equipment pops up out of nowhere and the permit expires and a year later another contractor reactivated the permit to do cleanup.

 

Sounds like sprint.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5

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Did they even apply for permits at the Dogpatch site yet?

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I guess I meant whether any more permits are needed to upgrade the Castro&Market tower.

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Did they even apply for permits at the Dogpatch site yet?

Yes, Sprint applied. There is one site in the dogpatch SFDBI has not issued a permit for, and there's no data in the permit database on what the holdup is either. It is stuck with the "CITY PLANNING---ZONING PLAN CLERK" office since 7/24/2013.

 
 

 

I guess I meant whether any more permits are needed to upgrade the Castro&Market tower.

Nope, the permit was issued on 10/3/2014 and it's 3G accepted, which means the NV equipment has already been installed. Probably just waiting for backhaul?

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I guess there's no love for Sprint in SF. Does anyone know the status?

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I guess there's no love for Sprint in SF. Does anyone know the status?

 

Welcome to S4GRU.  Are you still sporting that S3?   If so, you won't see the improvements.  I was in SF couple months ago and was a lot better than last year.  Was on B41 and B26 all over the metro.

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Thanks for the info. I am getting my monies worth until this s3 gives out. I haven't had any problems with my s3 yet. compared to many with power button issues. I look forward to maybe getting the S6 or iPhone. Just waiting for issues to be resolved. Although the S6 active looks intriguing. What kind of results were you getting?

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Thanks for the info. I am getting my monies worth until this s3 gives out. I haven't had any problems with my s3 yet. compared to many with power button issues. I look forward to maybe getting the S6 or iPhone. Just waiting for issues to be resolved. Although the S6 active looks intriguing. What kind of results were you getting?

S6 Loves B41! I get b41 more than my S5. During my SF trip I had the S5. S6 does connect to LTE much faster than my S5. S6 probably the way to go.

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Has anyone else noticed poor performance starting around this weekend? My phone started hanging on to B26 all the time, and it's completely saturated and unusable, even at 11pm tonight. I can sometimes get it to hand up but it'll drop back to B26 almost immediately (with a signal of -80 dBm) or go to 3G (which is equally unusable). This is in areas with a strong B25 and B41 signal. Last night at 1am I was right next to a site with B41 but it wouldn't connect to anything except B26, and nothing would load.

 

I'm wondering if Sprint tweaked the load balancing settings, or if it's just a localized problem in the East Bay?

 

The reason I think it may be a load balancing issue is that if I start something bandwidth intensive (such as a speed test), I can force it to hand up to B25 or B41 halfway through before it drops back to B26. So the network seems to be trying to idle me on B26. However, for things that aren't bandwidth intensive and are more latency sensitive (casual browsing, playing a realtime multiplayer game, loading email, basically anything that isn't a large download or video streaming), it doesn't trigger the handup and things are slow or even start timing out.

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Has anyone else noticed poor performance starting around this weekend? My phone started hanging on to B26 all the time, and it's completely saturated and unusable, even at 11pm tonight. I can sometimes get it to hand up but it'll drop back to B26 almost immediately (with a signal of -80 dBm) or go to 3G (which is equally unusable). This is in areas with a strong B25 and B41 signal. Last night at 1am I was right next to a site with B41 but it wouldn't connect to anything except B26, and nothing would load.

 

I'm wondering if Sprint tweaked the load balancing settings, or if it's just a localized problem in the East Bay?

 

The reason I think it may be a load balancing issue is that if I start something bandwidth intensive (such as a speed test), I can force it to hand up to B25 or B41 halfway through before it drops back to B26. So the network seems to be trying to idle me on B26. However, for things that aren't bandwidth intensive and are more latency sensitive (casual browsing, playing a realtime multiplayer game, loading email, basically anything that isn't a large download or video streaming), it doesn't trigger the handup and things are slow or even start timing out.

Same problem we've been having in Orange County except we don't have B26 so we'll drop to 3g or no signal. To me it seemed either like a load balancing change or a software compatibility / provisioning issue.

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No issues for me in sf. I live about two blocks from a b41 site and its been camped per usual. Might be a localized thing.

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I have not seen much activity here recently and was wondering what kind of experience people have been having in the Bay Area now, in particular San Francisco, Marin, and the East Bay (Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley). Are speeds and coverage improving and becoming more consistent when you are on the move?

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I have not seen much activity here recently and was wondering what kind of experience people have been having in the Bay Area now, in particular San Francisco, Marin, and the East Bay (Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley). Are speeds and coverage improving and becoming more consistent when you are on the move?

In my experience, it's been pretty good if the local sites have B41, even if you're on B25 or B26 since B41 handles a majority of the load. But when there's no B41 then the other bands are pretty much saturated. An example would be parts of Emeryville (Bay Street gets B41, but the rest doesn't really. Near Pixar it's mostly unusable during the day). Oakland is pretty well covered in B41, and Berkeley is getting there. Speeds near Ashby BART are poor, but once you go a little further north and cross Ashby Ave they improve. It generally works pretty well around the university, but I haven't checked since school started again.

 

San Francisco is a crap shoot. Some areas are great, but others (like the Castro) are a black hole. The last time I was traveling down Market it was fairly slow and B25 and 26 seemed saturated. It's improving as more sites get B41 though.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6

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Thanks for your helpful detailed observations.

 

 

In my experience, it's been pretty good if the local sites have B41, even if you're on B25 or B26 since B41 handles a majority of the load. But when there's no B41 then the other bands are pretty much saturated.

 

I am curious what size blocks does Sprint currently have for B25 and B26 in the Bay Area. My understanding is B26 is 5 x 5.

 

I have heard service in the "flats" of Berkeley/Emeryville/El Cerito/Albany has always been spotty with Sprint. Getting permits in Berkeley is challenging but doable. In fact one concern I have had since NV was announced is that I have seen very few Sprint permit applications listed, disclaimer - I have not checked this in over a year. There is vocal opposition to cell towers, but I think the majority of residents are fed up with restricted service in a community where people work in higher education, science, and technology. I assume there are a few members/visitors to this forum who reside or work in Berkeley and I would welcome hearing more first hand accounts of any progress or black holes that you have noticed recently. It looks like Sprint has done a good job around UC Berkeley, I would be interested if people have noticed improvements and are happy with capacity, speeds, and coverage.

 

I would also like to hear from anyone who has recent experiences using BART particularly in San Francisco and the East Bay. Nothing tests wireless capacity on BART like a ten car train in the tube during rush hour!

 

 

San Francisco is a crap shoot. Some areas are great, but others (like the Castro) are a black hole. The last time I was traveling down Market it was fairly slow and B25 and 26 seemed saturated. It's improving as more sites get B41 though.

Sent from my Nexus 6

 

When you say it is saturated, are you getting dropped calls, unable to make calls, or slow data?

Where there is B41 how well is it holding up indoors?

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I have not seen much activity here recently and was wondering what kind of experience people have been having in the Bay Area now, in particular San Francisco, Marin, and the East Bay (Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley). Are speeds and coverage improving and becoming more consistent when you are on the move?

From my experience in Alameda Sprint has done a pretty good job of creating a pretty usable network. There are still some dead zones like inside most stores in South Shore (especially around Chipotle or anything around that side) and a couple of places along Park St like Julie's Cafe & Tea Garden (but they have wifi so it's not a big deal). I usually forget I have Sprint in most places; which is a pretty good compliment, but becomes really noticeable when it doesn't work. 

 

Because I have an iPhone it takes more work to find out which LTE Band I'm connected to so I usually don't bother to check unless I'm bored and impressed by the speed or that my phones not working and I'm trying to figure out why. Also it's summer so I'm usually at home camping on wifi but I recently got a job in the Oakland Hills and the service at work is beyond terrible. It's like going through NV all over again except rather it being the networks fault of not being upgraded it's just the location (tons of trees +hills + 580 nearby = dead zone) 

 

Overall I'm pretty happy to be a Sprint customer (except at work) and they're holding up pretty well especially since B26 is mostly optimized where I've been around the East Bay.

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Thanks for your helpful detailed observations.

 

 

 

I am curious what size blocks does Sprint currently have for B25 and B26 in the Bay Area. My understanding is B26 is 5 x 5.

 

Both B25 and B26 are 5x5 FDD. There isn't enough spectrum for a second B25 carrier or a 10x10 carrier.

 

I have heard service in the "flats" of Berkeley/Emeryville/El Cerito/Albany has always been spotty with Sprint. Getting permits in Berkeley is challenging but doable. In fact one concern I have had since NV was announced is that I have seen very few Sprint permit applications listed, disclaimer - I have not checked this in over a year. There is vocal opposition to cell towers, but I think the majority of residents are fed up with restricted service in a community where people work in higher education, science, and technology. I assume there are a few members/visitors to this forum who reside or work in Berkeley and I would welcome hearing more first hand accounts of any progress or black holes that you have noticed recently. It looks like Sprint has done a good job around UC Berkeley, I would be interested if people have noticed improvements and are happy with capacity, speeds, and coverage.

 

You're right, the "flats" do need more sites. The sites that exist are also pretty low. Some are on top of 2 story buildings, whereas the surrounding buildings are all higher, so coverage is only a couple blocks for that site. An example is the site near Ashby BART that's attached to the stop of a house (in an enclosure). It's only possible to pick it up within 1 block of the site. The site just off Stanford and Market is the same (doesn't even reach to the Adeline, Stanford, MLK intersection). Interestingly, I'll sometimes connect to sites in the Oakland hills or even high elevation sites in Daly City from Emeryville, Berkeley, and Richmond.

 

 

I would also like to hear from anyone who has recent experiences using BART particularly in San Francisco and the East Bay. Nothing tests wireless capacity on BART like a ten car train in the tube during rush hour!

 

The BART DAS in Oakland hasn't been upgraded yet, so it's EVDO or 1x only for now while underground. When you're above ground though it works. Half of the SF BART DAS has been upgraded (south of Glenn Park or so), so you'll get a good usable B25 signal south of there. North of there the DAS doesn't have LTE yet.

 

 

When you say it is saturated, are you getting dropped calls, unable to make calls, or slow data?

Where there is B41 how well is it holding up indoors?

 

 

By saturated, I'm referring to data. There are too many users on it, and the speed is sub megabit with very high latency, or connections just time out all together. Basically what 3G was like before NV 1.0 started. Calls work fine.

 

B41 seems to be good indoors if I can pick it up outdoors. But the indoor locations I've been (in the east bay anyway) that have B41 have been pretty close to the site (~1-2 blocks away), so I would expect it to be good inside. The other locations I frequent don't have B41 on the local sites. Again though, if the site has B41 then a majority of the traffic will be on that band, freeing up B25 and B26 to provide coverage instead of capacity.

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Seems the network throws you on B41 only when it thinks it can give you good service, and it seems to make that choice correctly most of the time. I've also seen a lot of B41 second carrier almost every time I'm touching B41. Otherwise you are on B26 or 3G. 

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"I recently got a job in the Oakland Hills and the service at work is beyond terrible. It's like going through NV all over again except rather it being the networks fault of not being upgraded it's just the location (tons of trees +hills + 580 nearby = dead zone) "

 

 

 

Glad to hear things are moving in the right direction in Alameda. Shame you may not be able to surf the web while your eating lunch, but hopefully things will continue to improve and that will get taken care of. It would be interesting to know how big the B41 pipe is in Alameda. Excuse me if I am using incorrect terminology, I am sure someone here can correct me, but if it is currently single carrier which I guess would be 20 x 20 B41 and that is increased then is it possible those indoor areas will get reception.

 

I am frequently in the hills over by the Claremont Hotel and 13/24 interchange. Rush hour  overwhelms every carrier's capacity, particularly when UC Berkeley is in session which increases the population of Berkeley by 30%. You have everyone heading south out of Berkeley on 13 and everyone in Contra Costa County returning home from work on 24 through the Caldocot Tunnel.

 

I will post some picts of the towers over by Lake Temiscal if anyone is interested, if it has not been done already. I assume Sprint has towers there as well as by the tunnel. TMobile has an antenae on top of a power pole in the 100 block of Tunnel Rd. too. That one looks pretty basic, but I would think Sprint could place one or two in the same general area which would help with capacity in a high traffic zone. I think those antenaes that attach to the top of the telephone poles are perfect, as far as having a small footprint and not being too obnoxious. I supect that TMobile antenae was picked up from ATT and has been there for a long time.

 

At any rate the hills are a case that require 700/800 MHZ spectrum and I am afraid Sprints 5 x 5 B26 is not enough. Between the politics and the terrain I think at least 10 x 10 600MHZ in combination with the B26 and B41 densification is what it will take to change things. If Sprint needs someone to get the neighborhood(s) behind a B41 pole top antnenae give me a shout. The neighborhoods in this area are well organized and know how to get things done.

 

........ especially since B26 is mostly optimized where I've been around the East Bay.

 

In what way is it optimized?

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"

In what way is it optimized?

After Band 26 is enabled, it's usually left on full downtilt and low power to prevent interference with other nearby B26 sites which have the potential to reach much further than B25). Network techs then need to go through and market and manually tune clusters of B26 sites to increase the transmit power and tilt up the antennae, so that B26 does its job and penetrates more without interfering with other sites.

 

Until optimization, B26 can be as bad if not worse than B25 at range and building penetration. Which can be...frustrating.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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