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San Francisco Bay Area Network Vision/LTE Deployment schedule update

S4GRU

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by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 12:02 PM MDT

 

The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is the City by the Bay...San Francisco. The SF Bay market has yet to be announced by Sprint, but is the only First Round market to not yet start deployment.

 

The Sprint SF Bay market encompasses all of the Northern San Francisco Bay Area, including the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Solano. This includes the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Antioch, Brentwood, Hayward, Berkeley, Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, Richmond, Napa, San Rafael, Novato, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, San Mateo, Daly City and Palo Alto.

 

Samsung is scheduled to finally start mobilizing with their subcontractors in this market next month and get things moving. The first completed Network Vision sites are will likely start coming online in September. There was a lot of anticipation that this market would start around the times of the other First Round markets. However, S4GRU discovered there were issues early in this market as the start dates for sites pushed out to summer pretty early in Network Vision. It just plain takes longer to get started in a market like Northern California with all of the bureaucratic red tape, planning and zoning requirements and approvals. And the issues Samsung has encountered in Chicago are likely to have played role in the push back too.

 

SF Bay 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 San Francisco, 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 this market, it would make the launch approximately February (should the OEM stay on schedule). If they plan on a 40% market completion for launch, that would be January. 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.

 

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Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in January, 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 the Bay Area. 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 a January market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Samsung 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.

 

Samsung will need to hit a production rate of 75 sites per month to stay on schedule. If properly prepared and equipped and if backhaul is ready timely, this market shouldn't have any problems staying on time to this schedule. But this is very dependent on whether the market will indeed start in August.

 

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

 

800px-San_Francisco_Oakland_Bay_Bridge_at_night.jpg

Photo of the Bay Bridge 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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I am disappointed too that SF wasn't able to make it to the Dec 2012 time frame but Jan 2013 isn't too far off considering the huge amount of delays. I am just glad the first round markets are done with.

 

I can understand why San Jose, Seattle and Portland are pushed so far down the 2nd round list now.

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Update! Yay!

 

Hasn't even started!? Boo!

 

My Galaxy S III came today and will replace my EVO 4G (Wimax), so I guess I'm going to be 3G only for the next six months...

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Yay update for my area on my birthday! BOO for the delay! I am not surprised about SF proper just because of the fricking NIMBY neighbors up there that make it impossible to get towers up, but they couldn't have started anywhere else in the Bay? It's soooo depressing, and it means San Jose is going to get screwed :(

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Yay update for my area on my birthday! BOO for the delay! I am not surprised about SF proper just because of the fricking NIMBY neighbors up there that make it impossible to get towers up, but they couldn't have started anywhere else in the Bay? It's soooo depressing, and it means San Jose is going to get screwed :(

 

It doesn't look like San Jose is that far behind San Francisco launch. My guess will be a March launch time frame for San Jose since Robert is up to January launch markets.

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Will the market hit as many issues as the Chicago market? I've been in Chicago for work for about 3 weeks, and I have to say, Sprint is basically unusable there. My signal will go (without moving) from 5 bars - 1 bar - 0 bar - 5 bars. I'd say more than 50% of the time I don't get phone calls. My phone works perfectly fine when I'm at home in the Bay Area. I really hope there aren't issues like that in the Bay Area deployment.

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Will the market hit as many issues as the Chicago market? I've been in Chicago for work for about 3 weeks, and I have to say, Sprint is basically unusable there. My signal will go (without moving) from 5 bars - 1 bar - 0 bar - 5 bars. I'd say more than 50% of the time I don't get phone calls. My phone works perfectly fine when I'm at home in the Bay Area. I really hope there aren't issues like that in the Bay Area deployment.

 

The issue of the problems in Chicago are explained in this article. It is caused by Motorola legacy equipment not playing with new Samsung equipment. In the SF Bay market, it is a different set up. It's legacy Lucent equipment and new Samsung equipment. Not likely the same problems. The amount of problems in markets other than Chicago are pretty minor.

 

Robert

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Just got Sprint 4G in San Rafael near the Civic Center. Download of 15mb

I also picked up Sprint LTE today in Marin, in Terra Linda, a few miles west of the 101. (Download 8-10mbps) Back to 3G in downtown San Rafael, but then had LTE again in Corte Madera, similar speeds.

 

For a little while, I was also getting an upload speed faster than download! 10 mbps

 

Looks like they're testing towers, prior to official rollout.

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just wanted to update...I live in lower Bernal Heights and am picking up early morning LTE here, it disappears when the sun comes up for some reason. Walk up to Bernal Heights Park and there is strong LTE and fast! Sensorly shows LTE along the 101 and 280 corridor here in the city and a few spots here and there in the districts...

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Has anyone done any Spark testing in SF bay area using S6? Can you post results? Thanks!

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