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Network Vision/LTE - East Michigan Market (Detroit/Flint/Ann Arbor/Tri-Cities)

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dro1984    86

Good to know!   Thanks Mr. Z!      With 800 work starting on some towers, I'm hoping they put it on all the towers in the area.    I'm wondering if the "Bridge Tower", as I call it, on the North End of town is the 800mHz I pick up at Home Depot?

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rocketr    29

So there was action on my most local cell site yesterday located at 3666 M36, Pinckney, MI. I saw a crew from B&M Tower out of Fenton, MI climbed up on the site doing something with the panels. Not sure what... after the work I noticed a second B25 10x10 carrier lit up. Wonder if they were installing 800MHZ RRU's? This particular site wasn't supposed to get low band until Oct 2018 I heard though. Weird... One can only hope it was! LOL

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Dkoellerwx    7,908

There are no new Galaxy S3s.  It's a four to five year old device.

 

Great model in most ways, though.  SVDO is very impressive.

 

Quoting a post from 2012???

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MrZorbatron    442

Quoting a post from 2012???

How the hell did I not notice that? Well, I guess that's what I get for reading online when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep.

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MrZorbatron    442

Good to know! Thanks Mr. Z! With 800 work starting on some towers, I'm hoping they put it on all the towers in the area. I'm wondering if the "Bridge Tower", as I call it, on the North End of town is the 800mHz I pick up at Home Depot?

Exactly where is this bridge site? Are you talking about the Home Depot on Avon? That place is a pit for cell service.

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dro1984    86

The South-Hill Bridge (Main Street) by the Cadillac Dealer... along the Clinton River...       By the way... it's 8:35pm and the network is acting up again... I only have 1x at the house right now??   WTH??    I don't believe they would be working on towers at this hour as its getting dark....   

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MrZorbatron    442

The South-Hill Bridge (Main Street) by the Cadillac Dealer... along the Clinton River...       By the way... it's 8:35pm and the network is acting up again... I only have 1x at the house right now??   WTH??    I don't believe they would be working on towers at this hour as its getting dark....

I am guessing that you're talking about the site I was talking about earlier, the tall guyed tower north of the river, kind of between Second and the river.

 

Sending message with contact details. I have a couple of people at my limited disposal, both Sprint and Ericsson. They don't work for me, but have been happy to help me so far. Call or text next time. Worst case, maybe meet up for a wine or something. Wife, girlfriend, whatever invited. It's interesting to meet people from the internets to work on real world problems sometimes.

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dro1984    86

Sprint must be in the area servicing local towers in the last few weeks... I've started seeing Band 41x3 on my phone in the last week.   Carrier aggregation is alive and well!   

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jefbal99    1,387
1 hour ago, dro1984 said:

Sprint must be in the area servicing local towers in the last few weeks... I've started seeing Band 41x3 on my phone in the last week.   Carrier aggregation is alive and well!   

That doesn't mean CA, its just a known third carrier that you are connected to

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Dkoellerwx    7,908
2 hours ago, dro1984 said:

Sprint must be in the area servicing local towers in the last few weeks... I've started seeing Band 41x3 on my phone in the last week.   Carrier aggregation is alive and well!   

SCP cannot tell you when CA is active, it can only tell you which carrier you are connected to for the primary channel. B41^3 just indicates you are connected to the third carrier. 

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dro1984    86

Thanks for the feedback.  Regardless, it's nice to see things improving.  Up until recently, there was no 3rd carrier.   It just started showing up recently.  Am glad for improvements happening.

 

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rocketr    29

Looks like more 800mhz action by my house..  this time on a second tower located in Pinckney 1x800 and LTE800 was on for a few hours today then turned off around 5:00. The other tower off us23 I reported a few weeks ago has the 1x800 fully active now. Took some pics while the 800mhz was active earlier. Screenshot_20170913-161602.png

Screenshot_20170913-161619.png

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dkyeager    6,693
3 hours ago, rocketr said:

Looks like more 800mhz action by my house..  this time on a second tower located in Pinckney 1x800 and LTE800 was on for a few hours today then turned off around 5:00. The other tower off us23 I reported a few weeks ago has the 1x800 fully active now. Took some pics while the 800mhz was active earlier.

Screenshot_20170913-161619.png

 

B26 LTE 800 3x3  max speed is 21.7.  Nice

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jefbal99    1,387
14 hours ago, rocketr said:

Looks like more 800mhz action by my house..  this time on a second tower located in Pinckney 1x800 and LTE800 was on for a few hours today then turned off around 5:00. The other tower off us23 I reported a few weeks ago has the 1x800 fully active now. Took some pics while the 800mhz was active earlier. Screenshot_20170913-161602.png

Screenshot_20170913-161619.png

Be prepared for it to get overwhelmed very quickly and basically unusable.  Not trying to be debbie downer, but on the westside of Michigan, B26 has become a joke.  I had to disable it on my Nexus 6P

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rocketr    29
4 minutes ago, jefbal99 said:

Be prepared for it to get overwhelmed very quickly and basically unusable.  Not trying to be debbie downer, but on the westside of Michigan, B26 has become a joke.  I had to disable it on my Nexus 6P

I live in a pretty rural area... I think it will be better then 3G in certain areas. ;)

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rocketr    29
11 hours ago, dkyeager said:

 

B26 LTE 800 3x3  max speed is 21.7.  Nice

I think they are moving up here now that Toledo is almost complete. I live about an hour away. 

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jefbal99    1,387
5 minutes ago, rocketr said:

I live in a pretty rural area... I think it will be better then 3G in certain areas. ;)

That's what I thought too, but it wasn't the experience.  Just think about any one in their house with a phone in their pocket, or an older home with poor RF reception.  They'll be in the area you'd expect B41 or B25, but they will move to B26, then stay there.

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S4GRU    54,579
1 hour ago, jefbal99 said:

That's what I thought too, but it wasn't the experience.  Just think about any one in their house with a phone in their pocket, or an older home with poor RF reception.  They'll be in the area you'd expect B41 or B25, but they will move to B26, then stay there.

It all will depend on the tower spacing and optimization. B26 performs pretty decently in most of rural Oregon.  However, does not in West Michigan.  It really depends on how many customers are outside B25/B41 coverage. It needs to be as few as possible. And B26 should not be used for capacity. Or CA, IMHO. 

Where the network is set up this way, it seems to work pretty well.  Although, I have to admit Tmo has problems on B12 in places too. Tmo has a B12 site in my county on top of South Mountain.  It covers the whole county. One sector covers 50,000 people.  If you ever end up on B12 in that sector in between sites, you will get no throughput or measure your speed in mere bytes with a ping out of this world.  Network/sector design and optimization is critical on low bands over wide areas.

Think of a Triband site with 3xCA B41 and 2 B25 carriers.  In this example working out from the tower, not counting HPUE, B41 will cover 2 miles out, B25 4 miles out and B26 6 miles out. 

B41 is 12.5 sq mi, B25 is 37.5 sq miles beyond B41, B26 is another ~80 sq miles beyond that.  So the first 12.5 sq miles around the tower is covered in 60MHz of B41.  The second ring is 50 square miles, but the amount outside of B41 coverage is 37.5 sq miles.  Three times more area, but at least still has 10MHz of DL spectrum. Maybe 15 if a 10 & 5 PCS market.

But bad things happen when you get to that outer B26 ring.  That outer B26 ring is 112 square miles around the tower (at 6 mi radius).  When you subtract out the inner rings your left with just under 80 sq miles you are covering with just 5MHz of B26.  Way more area than the other two.  And that if it is optimized.

Even in a well optimized network, there still will be B26 usage inside the B41 and B25 rings too, deep inside buildings, etc.  Also, B26 will likely go beyond the 6 miles in this scenario, picking up even more customers. A lot for one 5MHz carrier to do.  And then consider doing it with 3 MHz.

Sprint must keep B26 purely for "out of ring" customers and "deep penetration" customers. Also, if too many customers end up in the outer ring and performance suffers below a certain threshold, a new macro site is warranted. Or if a major part of the congestion is one part of the outer band, maybe even a well placed small cell.

In a place like urban/suburban Detroit or Seattle, a 3MHz B26 channel might do OK. Because the network B25 coverage is already OK, nearly ubiquitous. B26 can just fill in the shadows and deep penetration.  They will just need to manage it very firmly.  Continued B41 rollout will help.  

It's the rural areas, especially places like Michigan, that have the toughest time.  Out in the West, in rural areas, most people live concentrically around a town. You get 4 miles out of town and density drops dramatically.  However, in Michigan (and many other places), the rural town may have 2,500 people but the surrounding townships and county have 25,000 people all scattered about.  And the tower is in the town. And the concentric circles start from there. Leaving thousands to share their small piece of the spectrum pie. Only in B26.

Posted using Pixel XL with S4GRU Mobile

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jefbal99    1,387
13 minutes ago, S4GRU said:

It all will depend on the tower spacing and optimization. B26 performs pretty decently in most of rural Oregon.  However, does not in West Michigan.  It really depends on how many customers are outside B25/B41 coverage. It needs to be as few as possible. And B26 should not be used for capacity. Or CA, IMHO. 

Where the network is set up this way, it seems to work pretty well.  Although, I have to admit Tmo has problems on B12 in places too. Tmo has a B12 site in my county on top of South Mountain.  It covers the whole county. One sector covers 50,000 people.  If you ever end up on B12 in that sector in between sites, you will get no throughput or measure your speed in mere bytes with a ping out of this world.  Network/sector design and optimization is critical on low bands over wide areas.

Think of a Triband site with 3xCA B41 and 2 B25 carriers.  In this example working out from the tower, not counting HPUE, B41 will cover 2 miles out, B25 4 miles out and B26 6 miles out. 

B41 is 12.5 sq mi, B25 is 37.5 sq miles beyond B41, B26 is another ~80 sq miles beyond that.  So the first 12.5 sq miles around the tower is covered in 60MHz of B41.  The second ring is 50 square miles, but the amount outside of B41 coverage is 37.5 sq miles.  Three times more area, but at least still has 10MHz of DL spectrum. Maybe 15 if a 10 & 5 PCS market.

But bad things happen when you get to that outer B26 ring.  That outer B26 ring is 112 square miles around the tower (at 6 mi radius).  When you subtract out the inner rings your left with just under 80 sq miles you are covering with just 5MHz of B26.  Way more area than the other two.  And that if it is optimized.

Even in a well optimized network, there still will be B26 usage inside the B41 and B25 rings too, deep inside buildings, etc.  Also, B26 will likely go beyond the 6 miles in this scenario, picking up even more customers. A lot for one 5MHz carrier to do.  And then consider doing it with 3 MHz.

Sprint must keep B26 purely for "out of ring" customers and "deep penetration" customers. Also, if too many customers end up in the outer ring and performance suffers below a certain threshold, a new macro site is warranted. Or if a major part of the congestion is one part of the outer band, maybe even a well placed small cell.

In a place like urban/suburban Detroit or Seattle, a 3MHz B26 channel might do OK. Because the network B25 coverage is already OK, nearly ubiquitous. B26 can just fill in the shadows and deep penetration.  They will just need to manage it very firmly.  Continued B41 rollout will help.  

It's the rural areas, especially places like Michigan, that have the toughest time.  Out in the West, in rural areas, most people live concentrically around a town. You get 4 miles out of town and density drops dramatically.  However, in Michigan (and many other places), the rural town may have 2,500 people but the surrounding townships and county have 25,000 people all scattered about.  And the tower is in the town. And the concentric circles start from there. Leaving thousands to share their small piece of the spectrum pie. Only in B26.

Posted using Pixel XL with S4GRU Mobile

So much great information here, thanks for the long reply :)

Few notes/additions:

1. West Michigan Tower spacing is terrible, the network was originally built by iPCS before being acquired by Sprint.  The layout was at max spacing for phones with external antennas.  It has gotten better, but still needs a great deal of densification.

2. Sprint is not doing a good job of keeping users in the B25/B41 rings off from B26.  Not sure if it is due to a lack of capacity on B41, but my Nexus 6P would never use B25, it was always B41 or B26, until B26 was disabled.  I would be outside walking and see one or two macro sites in Lansing, MI, would never touch B25.  Something with the load balancing or priority is funky.  I've tried to work with Sprint support a few times, but it never leads anywhere.

3. Towers in West Michigan follow the freeways for the most part, so if the town/city is a mile or two from the freeway, B41 is under utilized.

4. 10x10 B25 seems to be under utilized in this region, always great performance when on that carrier

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RAvirani    759
15 minutes ago, jefbal99 said:

So much great information here, thanks for the long reply :)

Few notes/additions:

1. West Michigan Tower spacing is terrible, the network was originally built by iPCS before being acquired by Sprint.  The layout was at max spacing for phones with external antennas.  It has gotten better, but still needs a great deal of densification.

2. Sprint is not doing a good job of keeping users in the B25/B41 rings off from B26.  Not sure if it is due to a lack of capacity on B41, but my Nexus 6P would never use B25, it was always B41 or B26, until B26 was disabled.  I would be outside walking and see one or two macro sites in Lansing, MI, would never touch B25.  Something with the load balancing or priority is funky.  I've tried to work with Sprint support a few times, but it never leads anywhere.

3. Towers in West Michigan follow the freeways for the most part, so if the town/city is a mile or two from the freeway, B41 is under utilized.

4. 10x10 B25 seems to be under utilized in this region, always great performance when on that carrier

If you’d like, I can connect you with an upper level network engineer in your area that will work with you to resolve these issues. Send me a PM if you’re interested. 

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jefbal99    1,387
1 hour ago, RAvirani said:

If you’d like, I can connect you with an upper level network engineer in your area that will work with you to resolve these issues. Send me a PM if you’re interested. 

rgr

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TimS    68
2 hours ago, jefbal99 said:

*** 3. Towers in West Michigan follow the freeways for the most part, so if the town/city is a mile or two from the freeway, B41 is under utilized.

This is the biggest problem most carriers.  The game has changed and they, for the most part, have not adapted.  It kills me when some of these towns turn down towers being built within the city limits.  

Verizon has started re-spacing their towers in my county.  They have built 6 new towers in the last year.  That is an impressive investment for a rural county.  

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dro1984    86

Sprint is working to address many issues.... but I wish they would address a long time "black hole" in their coverage.   

65 S. Livernois in the Kroger plaza... almost "0" signal especially in the store.   3G at best (1 or 2 bars outside in  parking lot).   Quite sad.  Worse yet, Rochester High School is right across the street.  You know there are many Sprint phones in the kids possession M-F (maybe... maybe not anymore...).    I've used the Sprint app to report, but after 10 or 12 years, it's odd nothing gets done.    T-mobile, my other phone, went from and indoor fair signal to nearly full bars in the last couple of years in the same locale...    Ahh.... yeah....   Perfect spot for a Magic Box or 2 or 3....    

Edited by dro1984

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