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Network Vision/LTE - Dakotas Market (including Fargo, Grand Forks, Alexandria MN)

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Nothing so far. I was just in Sturgis yesterday. I do recommend the Sturgis Coffee Company, though. Best coffee in the Dakotas. And their white chocolate raspberry scones are to die for!

 

Tmo did not bring up a COW, either, last year. Just VZW and AT&T.

 

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Well crap. So I will just roam on verizon but no roaming data still?

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Well crap. So I will just roam on verizon but no roaming data still?

If held today, yes. But a lot of time between now and August.

 

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If held today, yes. But a lot of time between now and August.

 

Using Moto X² on 

That is true. 

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Not sure about Sprint, but with T-Mobile having native coverage in the Black Hills (Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Sturgis, Rapid City, Deadwood, etc.) by year end I suspect TMobile may have a COW for Rally since they have the spectrum and such here now to do all of that. But it's hard to say at this time for sure.

As for Sprint...who knows. I've seem a lot of crazy speculation online. I suspect they however will still have poor coverage, if any, during the Sturgis Rally this year. I would plan on using at least a prepaid that uses Verizon or ATTs towers. 

TMobile phones will work fine and just use ATTs towers. Voice and texting will be fine. But be aware of data roaming if they are not yet here by then. So you may have very limited data usage unless on WiFi.

 

I live in the Black Hills. :)

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Well crap. So I will just roam on verizon but no roaming data still?

 

What do you mean by "no roaming data"?  Sprint has long had a CDMA2000 voice and data roaming agreement with VZW.  If you are not receiving at least CDMA1X roaming data, then something is amiss with your account or device settings.

 

AJ

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I live in the Black Hills. :)

 

As do I.  :tu:

 

Sprint will have to offer at least 50% population coverage in the Rapid City BEA by March 3rd, 2016.  That is the date they have to meet the FCC buildout requirements of the PCS G-Block.  I imagine it will be a part of the 9,000 site expansion.  The FCC says that the population of the Rapid City BEA is 230k.  So 115k people will need to be covered by March next year.  That's more than just Rapid.  So it will likely be Rapid and the I-90 corridor.  And maybe a few spots in the hills.  And it will need to get moving this year.

 

Of course, we know that Tmo has also announced they are making a big move in South Dakota in the I-90 corridor, Sioux Falls, Rapid and the Black Hills in 2015.  They have also recently purchased 700-A Block spectrum from Dryad Communications in the Rapid City and Sioux Falls BEA's.

 

We have yet to learn how extensive the Sprint build out will be in West River.  But it is exciting that we are going to be moving beyond the duopoly soon.

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Not sure about Sprint, but with T-Mobile having native coverage in the Black Hills (Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Sturgis, Rapid City, Deadwood, etc.) by year end...

 

I would not hold my breath for that.  T-Mobile is being wildly optimistic about native coverage expansion by the end of the year.  I will believe it when I see it.  Even then, if it happens, expect it to be a lot of token footprint for coverage map ego purposes.  It will not be mature, high quality coverage.  Roaming -- if it does not get taken away -- will still enter the equation a lot.

 

Many growing pains ahead for T-Mobile...

 

AJ

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What do you mean by "no roaming data"?  Sprint has long had a CDMA2000 voice and data roaming agreement with VZW.  If you are not receiving at least CDMA1X roaming data, then something is amiss with your account or device settings.

 

AJ

 

Sprint generally loses coverage as you head on I-90 from Sioux Falls towards Rapid City.

 

I've lost count of how many Sprint customers complain about that. I could usually tell they were with Sprint too by the comments they made. lol. That they haven't had coverage in hundreds of miles.

 

I would check their phone and it would allow for roaming so unless their plan didn't. Dunno what else to say. 

 

Sprint USED to have a roaming agreement with Verizon in SD. Verizon dropped them like a bad habit a few years back. Any service you do get with them here right now is sporadic at best. I would not rely on them for service in SD. Let alone in the Black Hills. It sometimes works....but many times also doesn't.

 

As do I.   :tu:

 

Sprint will have to offer at least 50% population coverage in the Rapid City BEA by March 3rd, 2016.  That is the date they have to meet the FCC buildout requirements of the PCS G-Block.  I imagine it will be a part of the 9,000 site expansion.  The FCC says that the population of the Rapid City BEA is 230k.  So 115k people will need to be covered by March next year.  That's more than just Rapid.  So it will likely be Rapid and the I-90 corridor.  And maybe a few spots in the hills.  And it will need to get moving this year.

 

Of course, we know that Tmo has also announced they are making a big move in South Dakota in the I-90 corridor, Sioux Falls, Rapid and the Black Hills in 2015.  They have also recently purchased 700-A Block spectrum from Dryad Communications in the Rapid City and Sioux Falls BEA's.

 

We have yet to learn how extensive the Sprint build out will be in West River.  But it is exciting that we are going to be moving beyond the duopoly soon.

All of the good ones do!  :tu: I live in Spearfish.

 

I agree it will be nice to not only have multiple postpaid...but prepaid options now as well. Finally we won't be feeling as remote as we do now. lol

 

 

I would not hold my breath for that.  T-Mobile is being wildly optimistic about native coverage expansion by the end of the year.  I will believe it when I see it.  Even then, if it happens, expect it to be a lot of token footprint for coverage map ego purposes.  It will not be mature, high quality coverage.  Roaming -- if it does not get taken away -- will still enter the equation a lot.

 

Many growing pains ahead for T-Mobile...

 

AJ

I contacted their corporate office directly. They and their network team officially confirmed they will be here by years end. How good is anyones guess. But I do fully believe it will at least be here by then in some capacity.

 

They are showing aggressiveness in getting it here ASAP. So I do believe they will pull it off or be very close to doing so by year end. 

Edited by whitetigergrowl

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Sprint USED to have a roaming agreement with Verizon in SD. Verizon dropped them like a bad habit a few years back. Any service you do get with them here right now is sporadic at best. I would not rely on them for service in SD. Let alone in the Black Hills. It sometimes works....but many times also doesn't.

 

 

Sprint still has a roaming agreement with Verizon.  My Sprint devices still roam on Verizon all over South Dakota outside Sprint native coverage.  The agreement with Verizon covers 3G and 1X, however, Sprint PRL's leave customer roaming on VZW limited to only 1x.  But with a custom PRL, you can roam on the Verizon 3G too.  Just cannot exceed the 300MB roaming limit.

 

I live in Rapid.

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Sprint still has a roaming agreement with Verizon.  My Sprint devices still roam on Verizon all over South Dakota outside Sprint native coverage.  The agreement with Verizon covers 3G and 1X, however, Sprint PRL's leave customer roaming on VZW limited to only 1x.  But with a custom PRL, you can roam on the Verizon 3G too.  Just cannot exceed the 300MB roaming limit.

 

I live in Rapid.

 

 

 

Odd. When I would deal with Sprint customers they usually either showed no service or complained they haven't had service or have had spotty service since around either Cheyenne or Sioux Falls. 

 

When I would check their settings roaming was on. So unless it was something with their plan? 

 

A lot of it was either tourists or oil traffic. Since I wasn't working for Sprint I couldn't call in. But I saw it many times first hand. 

 

Edited by whitetigergrowl

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Odd. When I would deal with Sprint customers they usually either showed no service or complained they haven't had service or have had spotty service since around either Cheyenne or Sioux Falls. 

 

When I would check their settings roaming was on. So unless it was something with their plan? 

 

A lot of it was either tourists or oil traffic. Since I wasn't working for Sprint I couldn't call in. But I saw it many times first hand. 

 

 

If they were on a Sprint prepaid plan or MVNO, they may not have had roaming.  Also Sprint brands Boost and Virgin do not have roaming.  However, Sprint postpaid plans have VZW roaming.  And Sprint MVNO's Republic and Ting also roam on Verizon in South Dakota.

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If they were on a Sprint prepaid plan or MVNO, they may not have had roaming.  Also Sprint brands Boost and Virgin do not have roaming.  However, Sprint postpaid plans have VZW roaming.  And Sprint MVNO's Republic and Ting also roam on Verizon in South Dakota.

 

Sorry for the delayed response on this. Been busy.

 

These were people with contract phones in most cases. I dealt with them directly because Sprint isn't here couldn't call them for help.

 

I saw first hand in Spearfish just how wonky and unreliable they were on Verizons towers here. I almost got the impression they were using only some of the towers and not all of them. There was a Verizon tower across the road from where I worked and yet if they did pull signal it was weaker and likely from the tower across town. Because it was usually full bars where I worked.

 

That being said, I know I have yet to see any indications they are in any sort of hurry to get here. What happens if for whatever reason they don't hit that build out deadline? T-Mobile when I talked to their corporate and network mgmt team still claim to be arriving here year before year end but likely not until after Rally. No clue how they will pull that off if they plan on building a ton of new towers. Sprint will likely be in the same boat. 

 

Great to see this stuff happening but I sometimes have been getting the feeling and impression that even if the movement does happen, it won't be quite as fast as they are saying. But I dunno. :\ 

 

I'll just be glad to eventually see them here though. We will feel like we aren't as far in the sticks anymore. lol

 

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Sorry for the delayed response on this. Been busy.

 

These were people with contract phones in most cases. I dealt with them directly because Sprint isn't here couldn't call them for help.

 

I saw first hand in Spearfish just how wonky and unreliable they were on Verizons towers here. I almost got the impression they were using only some of the towers and not all of them. There was a Verizon tower across the road from where I worked and yet if they did pull signal it was weaker and likely from the tower across town. Because it was usually full bars where I worked.

 

That being said, I know I have yet to see any indications they are in any sort of hurry to get here. What happens if for whatever reason they don't hit that build out deadline? T-Mobile when I talked to their corporate and network mgmt team still claim to be arriving here year before year end but likely not until after Rally. No clue how they will pull that off if they plan on building a ton of new towers. Sprint will likely be in the same boat. 

 

Great to see this stuff happening but I sometimes have been getting the feeling and impression that even if the movement does happen, it won't be quite as fast as they are saying. But I dunno. :\ 

 

I'll just be glad to eventually see them here though. We will feel like we aren't as far in the sticks anymore. lol

 

 

I assure you, I roam on all Verizon sites in the region, on an unmodified device.  CDMA doesn't work the way you suggest.  The PRL will allow all in the region or none.  AT&T and Tmo in the GSM world will often pick and choose specific sites or LAC/TAC's for roaming, but Verizon and Sprint don't work that way.  A CDMA PRL breaks down into two dozen regions, and every carrier that is allowed in that region for you to roam will be programmed in the PRL, and a channel list of the channels for your device to scan for that carrier, for 1xRTT and EVDO.  That's it.  No ability to limit by tower, just provider (and possibly frequency via channel scan restriction).

 

Now what could be happening is that some Sprint devices, especially older Samsungs, had problems roaming on PCS 1900 or 850 Cellular.  And if someone was using a device that had roaming band limitations and was in an area where the roaming provider used a band they couldn't access, then that could be an issue.  But the last device I recall that happening with was the Galaxy S3.  No Samsung devices since then should have that problem.

 

As for the build out deadline, if they don't meet it, they will be subject to having their license for the BEA revoked and returned to the FCC.  I don't believe Sprint has ever not met a FCC build out requirement in its history.  But even still, neither Sprint nor Tmo or going to have coverage rivaling AT&T nor Verizon.  It will be the I-90 corridor only, with density added in Rapid and a few sites possibly in the Hills.  If numbers start to climb, they may add additional coverage in the next 2-3 years.

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I would not hold my breath for that.  T-Mobile is being wildly optimistic about native coverage expansion by the end of the year.  I will believe it when I see it.  Even then, if it happens, expect it to be a lot of token footprint for coverage map ego purposes.  It will not be mature, high quality coverage.  Roaming -- if it does not get taken away -- will still enter the equation a lot.

 

Many growing pains ahead for T-Mobile...

 

AJ

Quick follow up on this. 

 

It's obvious there will be pretty decent coverage in the Black Hills. Could there be some roaming? Sure, when you go into the Black Hills. But it should be much less if they put an antenna or something on Terry Peak. Which i suspect they will or are.

 

But judging from what I and others are seeing they will either meet their year end goal or come close to meeting it. Which I must admit even up until a month ago I was pretty skeptical on too.

 

Although I am still curious on Sprints strategy now for the Black Hills. Pretty sure they could just do some minor updating to the Nextel towers in Rapid and call most of it a day here. lol

Edited by whitetigergrowl
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Quick follow up on this. 

 

It's obvious there will be pretty decent coverage in the Black Hills. Could there be some roaming? Sure, when you go into the Black Hills. But it should be much less if they put an antenna or something on Terry Peak. Which i suspect they will or are.

 

But judging from what I and others are seeing they will either meet their year end goal or come close to meeting it. Which I must admit even up until a month ago I was pretty skeptical on too.

 

Although I am still curious on Sprints strategy now for the Black Hills. Pretty sure they could just do some minor updating to the Nextel towers in Rapid and call most of it a day here. lol

 

Any update on the coverage here? I am visiting Rapid City in May so it would be great to have usable service to look things up.

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Any update on the coverage here? I am visiting Rapid City in May so it would be great to have usable service to look things up.

I provided a detailed response in the Swiftel/South Dakota market thread. But I will add more Rapid City detail here. Sprint is working with Golden West Wireless to setup an LTE Protection Site network around Rapid City. They just received FCC authorization to share the spectrum.

 

Golden West has six sites around the Rapid City metro area. And Sprint has one WiMax site already in Rapid. If they end up deploying on all seven sites, it will just be enough to fully cover the city with an outdoor B25 LTE signal. We only know that GW is deploying B25. If they also deployed B26 too, it would provide solid coverage around the metro area.

 

Golden West also owns all the BRS spectrum in Western South Dakota. And Sprint owns the EBS. So it's possible they could deploy B41 too. But nothing is confirmed other than B25.

 

Sprint has to meet a buildout deadline of 3/3/2016 for PCS G Block. So, at a minimum, Golden West will likely fire up B25 as a GMO LTE on their existing PCS antennas really quickly. I live in Rapid City, so I check my spectrum analyzer every day for any activity. Golden West uses utility sheds for most of their sites, so GMO install activity will likely not be noticed. The signal will likely just appear one day.

 

I believe that by May time, we should have some sort of Sprint network live around Rapid City. But how much coverage and which bands beyond B25 is a complete unknown. But stay tuned. I will be posting about it as it happens. This is the best thread to watch for updates: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/3703-potential-sprint-rural-buildout-by-2016/

 

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Was at a buddies watching football in south moorhead, mn last night and noticed my phone idling on band 41 @110-120, multiple times. Hopefully a good sign for the area. I may have been without the mental faculties to do any testing last night though.

 

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post-25264-145636576618_thumb.png

 

 

 

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I'm guessing that's from the Clearwire protection site..

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Actually I don't think so, a few weeks earlier I began picking up band 41 in South moorhead by the old clearwire site. This is being broadcast from North moorhead behind Cashwise. Only been active 2 weeks now.

 

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Actually I don't think so, a few weeks earlier I began picking up band 41 in South moorhead by the old clearwire site. This is being broadcast from North moorhead behind Cashwise. Only been active 2 weeks now.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

 

You can tell based on PLM-NID via Signalcheck pro or engineering screen.

 

Sprint is 310-120 while Clear is 311-490 or 311-870

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post-25264-145636847848_thumb.png

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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I was in Fargo and you are right, I looked at my signal check logs, the site by the EastTen Mall is running band 41.

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Great things are coming, can't wait to see this network mature. Here's to hoping for a busy spring.

 

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Found 2 more band 41 sites in Fargo today. Nice seeing it all come together finally.

 

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