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Network Vision/LTE - Inland Northwest

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To answer, though.  "Tri-Cites" refers to KPR; Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland.  Three cities at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. 

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Uh oh, you just angered the geography beast. I hope that you never take a meteorologist position in south central Washington.

 

;)

 

AJ

 

I know a number of places refereed to as "tri-cities," I hadn't heard of this one.

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To answer, though.  "Tri-Cites" refers to KPR; Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland.  Three cities at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. 

 

 

Back to your original question (now that I know where you're talking about :P )

 

I would imagine that like other Samsung markets, they are waiting for the majority of sites to be installed, at which point they will start cluster launches of NV 3G, and LTE if it's ready. 

 

The only way we can really know how much progress has been made (before we get acceptances) is for members to do some foot work and see which sites have been upgraded so far. 

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So here's what I've done while waiting for Sprint LTE coverage in the Tri-Cities on my Motorola Photon Q slider:

  1. Buy a couple of prepaid WiFi hotspots from Wal-Mart (T-Mobile and the Verizon $100 prepaid Novatel MiFi).  The T-Mobile device comes with a 5GB "starter" plan; for $15 to Verizon you get 250MB for up to a week, or $60 gets you 3GB for up to a month.
  2. Drive around Tri-Cities testing throughput using Sensorly (Facebook album), confirming that Verizon coverage wins hands down over both T-Mobile 4G and Sprint 3G.
  3. Discover that Talkatone works great for Google Voice phone calls and SMS texts on my iPad through either the T-Mobile and Verizon hotspots.
  4. Ask my wife and parents for a used Verizon Droid 4 as my birthday present.
  5. Move the SIM from the Novatel MiFi hotspot to the Verizon-locked Droid 4. The Droid 4 registers itself with Verizon just fine for data sessions but can't do phone calls or SMS texts (sort of as expected), nor will it act as a hotspot.
  6. Install CyanogenMod 10.1 for Droid 4.  With this ROM the Droid 4 happily acts as a hot spot using the MiFi SIM.
  7. Install Talkatone on the Droid 4. Using the data service it sends and receives both calls and SMS.

Bottom line -- for a couple of hundred dollars in equipment ($100 for the prepaid Novatel MiFi plus about $100 for the used Droid 4 off eBay) and $60/month in prepaid Verizon service I have full 4G LTE service in the Tri-Cities.  If I use up 3 Gigabytes of data service before the end of the month I simply prepay early for the following month.

 

If/when Sprint gets LTE service working here in Tri-Cities (assuming performance and coverage is acceptable) I can simply stop prepaying the monthly $60 to Verizon; no early termination fee or arguing with a Verizon sales droid about why I want to cancel my service.  Either way I end up with a second perfectly functional WiFi smartphone for home while my "away phone" is charging.

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Back to your original question (now that I know where you're talking about :P )

 

I would imagine that like other Samsung markets, they are waiting for the majority of sites to be installed, at which point they will start cluster launches of NV 3G, and LTE if it's ready. 

 

The only way we can really know how much progress has been made (before we get acceptances) is for members to do some foot work and see which sites have been upgraded so far. 

Newbie here; so once I learned we're in a Samsung market, I checked out towers in Richland at Battelle Drive/Stevens, Welsian Way, and near Columbia Center Drive/SR 240.  They all had the Samsung equipment mounted.  And there was a crew working last/this week putting equipment on top of the M Hotel on GW Way.  They said it should all be lit up soon but didn't have any specifics.  For what it's worth, a clerk in the Kennewick store mentioned they thought it would be turned on by the first of the year.

 

The M Hotel site appeared to have NV improvements starting in about August.  I was getting speedtest.net results as high as 2.8 to 3.2MB - is that even possible with 3G?  Most of the results were consistently about 2.5.

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The M Hotel site appeared to have NV improvements starting in about August.  I was getting speedtest.net results as high as 2.8 to 3.2MB - is that even possible with 3G?  Most of the results were consistently about 2.5.

The tower up by Battelle only gets me about 1.5 megabits/second at most. Seems to me that tower is still using an old-style T1 back haul circuit, which could explain why they haven't yet turned on 4G.

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Getting LTE right now in Kennewick!

 

The tower up by Battelle only gets me about 1.5 megabits/second at most. Seems to me that tower is still using an old-style T1 back haul circuit, which could explain why they haven't yet turned on 4G.

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Yep. Very exciting.  I hooked the tower on Canal and 395 from way over at Burden/68 in Pasco at a stoplight.  Speed test was 1.5 down/8.5 up.  Then I switched to the Richland Way tower and went back to 3G for .02 down/ .08 up.  This cannot come fast enough.  I could send data by pigeon faster than that.

 

Don't know if anyone else has noticed... Tri-Cities is dead last for any type of tower completions, let alone LTE.  All of the remaining towers in the entire Inland Northwest remain here (except one on I-90 by George); three in Pasco are untouched (I've visited, they will be my main towers at home), Three in Richland unaccepted, and Seven left in Kennewick (although the LTE hit today means at least one is going live) and a couple on the outskirts.

 

I was giggling like a little kid when that phone lit up "4G LTE", though.

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This is great news. My sister is on Virgin Mobile and got a message from them preparing her for the network instabilities as it switches over soon. I haven't seen my Ting phone connect to the tower yet. This will be so great for me, as I'm a mobile IT guy in the Tri-Cities. I got spoiled by a Virgin Mobile WIMAX phone before switching to this Galaxy Nexus on Ting. The 3G gives me enough connectivity to run credit cards, but I so desperately want LTE.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

 

 

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Just got back into town this morning. Confirmed LTE over by Costco and the Columbia Center Mall, plus downtown Richland.

 

Download speeds with Sensorly started out at about 8 megabits/second but stabilized right at 5. I wonder whether Sprint has implemented per-flow queuing tricks to throttle us would-be bandwidth hogs? :-)

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Got about 10 up & down on Williams near GW Way about an hour ago. Traveled 30 minutes into S. Kennewick and maintained 4G the whole time.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

 

 

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Looks like the towers near 10th and Kellogg or Southridge in Kennewick isn't switched over yet.

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I was looking at my SignalCheck Pro and it reported I was connected to 800mhz from the Railroad tower north of Pasco.  This is where I get hopeful.  The 1900 LTE signals have been horribly spotty in their recent roll-out here.  I know 800 doesn't mean 800 LTE (and I'll need something besides my s3 to get 800 LTE anyway), but it's the first step.  800 LTE, for me, is where I will be happy.  This 1900 is slower than all the other providers, and 800 LTE should at least be everywhere and stable if I have to settle for slower than everyone else.

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So the Inland Northwest is 100% complete with NV upgrades right? So why are my data speeds still horrible? Im lucky to pull .18 Mbps down with 4 bars and signal strength at -87dBm. Im in Walla Walla, could it be a backhaul issue? Or is the 100% complete incorrect?

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So the Inland Northwest is 100% complete with NV upgrades right? So why are my data speeds still horrible? Im lucky to pull .18 Mbps down with 4 bars and signal strength at -87dBm. Im in Walla Walla, could it be a backhaul issue? Or is the 100% complete incorrect?

 

Network Vision equipment upgrades are 100% complete.  If a site does not have LTE live, then it is still awaiting backhaul.  3G will not improve until the new backhaul arrives.  Then both the 3G and LTE will be fired up at the same time.  This will happen one site at a time as new backhaul arrives.

 

In the town so nice, they named it twice...I believe CenturyLink is the backhaul vendor.  Hopefully they will get fired soon and someone else can quickly complete the work.  CL has been an utter failure for Sprint.

 

Robert

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Network Vision equipment upgrades are 100% complete. If a site does not have LTE live, then it is still awaiting backhaul. 3G will not improve until the new backhaul arrives. Then both the 3G and LTE will be fired up at the same time. This will happen one site at a time as new backhaul arrives.

 

In the town so nice, they named it twice...I believe CenturyLink is the backhaul vendor. Hopefully they will get fired soon and someone else can quickly complete the work. CL has been an utter failure for Sprint.

 

Robert

Awesome! Thanks for the info! So once the backhaul is in place, LTE should be active as well right?

 

Another question. If we have a wimax protection site, is it likely that we will get 2500 LTE sooner rather than later?

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Awesome! Thanks for the info! So once the backhaul is in place, LTE should be active as well right?

 

Another question. If we have a wimax protection site, is it likely that we will get 2500 LTE sooner rather than later?

Yes, LTE and better 3G will likely arrive about the same time. WiMax Protection Sites do have to have their Huawei equipment removed per the federal approval of Sprint buying Clearwire. What is not known is if Band 41 LTE will be added at that time or not. We believe so, but it is not confirmed at this time.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

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Yes, LTE and better 3G will likely arrive about the same time. WiMax Protection Sites do have have their Huawei equipment removed per the federal approval of Sprint buying Clearwire. What is not known is if Band 41 LTE will be added at that time or not. We believe so, but it is not confirmed at this time.

 

Robert via Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Awesome! Thanks again! Hopefully things get better soon!

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Been awhile since there has been any activity here... I haven't noticed many changes in the Tricities.  North Richland (work) and West Richland (Home) still don't have 4G (LTE).  Anyone have any further info on when we might see the upgrades? 

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I think we are just waiting on backhaul. Towers are all set to go.The speed of the LTE part of the rollout has been hideous, though. Without leaking secrets, I keep a close eye on the progress meters across the country, our local backhaul installation is some of the slowest around. The locations aren't hard, they are urban, the vendor just refuses to go do the work with ant initiative. I am so frustrated. I know what the new network means, but we are just sitting here with patchwork. We have new stuff using legacy backhaul, which isn't any real advantage over the tower upgrades never having been done. We are at six months since the first LTE showed up here (in Tri-Cities, Spokane and even Yakima have fared better)and we've had one or two additional towers to that LTE locally, that is in a redundant area to the prior LTE coverage. Additionally, again without revealing secrets, a tower that services Pasco (and is mapped as such on sprints coverage page) is overly optimistic by light years in lte coverage and rarely connects even from North pasco. There is also a site I drive by every day that sits with a ground mount option for no apparent reason, I don't think it'll get lte and, even though I'm close I rarely connect to it. If you look on sprints tower upgrade map, not S4GRU's, again revealing no secrets, this is a tower that sits in the heart of pasco and should service most of pasco and north Kennewick.

So I think we are stuck for a very long time waiting for backhaul for most of the tricities & waiting for sprint to get around to actually rebuilding the gmo site.

Then again, if 800lte comes along, since I've got my S5 now, I will be golden. That is, of course, if the device ever kicks over to that band... I know 800 voice is here, and even with zero bars locally I still rarely kick over to 800 voice. But when I do, it's like I have a real, honest to goodness, cell provider.

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This is news...

Kennewick Building permit number BLD-2014-01050 (I saved an image of it but couldn't figure out how to attach it here) states that the rooftop facility at 6 W 6th will receive a 2.5 ghz equipment array.  Applied for on 04/14/14 and to be finished by 10/11/2014.

 

Someone who knows may be able to say whether 800mhz LTE usually comes with an 2.5 install...???

 

Also, while looking through permitting, I found some Clearwire sites that are in waaaaay more optimal locations around here.  Can I get some speculation on whether those sites will be transitioned to full build Sprint towers on Clearwire shutdown?

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I got some new pics of a site on 16th and 8th street in Lewiston ID. The guy is working on a small round antenna on the left of the tower.  It was not there before and now LTE is enabled.  What is the small antenna on the left?

Thanks,

 

IMG_7199.jpg

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I got some new pics of a site on 16th and 8th street in Lewiston ID. The guy is working on a small round antenna on the left of the tower. It was not there before and now LTE is enabled. What is the small antenna on the left?

Thanks,

Microwave backhaul

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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I was in Walla Walla last month.  Even 3G sucked hard and I was constantly kicked down to 1x.  There are some real data issues going on in that area.  Even along HWY12.  On the way to Burbank picked up some LTE and that is when things got better. 

 

Even I84 from Hermiston to Portland offered better services than HWY12 into Walla Walla.  Even picked up LTE on some places on I84. 

 

Connected to 1x800 here and there as well, but not in Walla Walla. 

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