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  1. 12 points
    Tim Yu Sprint 4G Rollout Updates September 28, 2017 - 2:30 PM PDT It has been 6 months since I first learned of and received access to what is now called the GEN1 Magic Box. I wrote up my thoughts about it a few months back. Sprint has now evolved to a GEN 2 Magic Box model. These units are being distributed to customers who preordered after Sprint's announcements. I've now acquired a GEN2 Magic Box myself. Upon opening the package, the most immediate and noticeable difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Magic Box is the absence of an external portable battery. This was useful to lug the Magic Box around and test different locations in order to select the best spot for unit placement. On the surface this may appear to be a way to decrease unit costs. This may be true, but the Gen 2 model contains two CR18650 rechargeable lithium batteries integrated inside of the package for the same purpose. No more using a dongle and a hefty battery pack that could be easily lost! [2nd Generation Magic Box white colored on left, 1st Generation Magic Box black colored on right[ Along with the new internal guts, the external aesthetics and materials were also modified. The Gen 1 model had a super bright LCD display with a black front surrounding by white plastic. The new Gen 2 model has an eInk display with a touch power button below it on the front with the entire exterior being a reflective polished hard plastic. What didn't change is the GEN2 is still an all wireless small cell with no requirement of hard wired backhaul supplied by the user. It still uses LTE UE Relay to acquire an existing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 41 2500 MHz connection from an existing donor site, which is then fed to the small cell unit and broadcasted as a new LTE Band 41 2500 MHz carrier. The new LTE Relay unit supports up to 3 carrier aggregation on Band 41 to the macro donor site. Now to the meaty parts. The performance. Let these screenshots tell the story. Before After [Apps used: Network Signal Guru, Signalcheck Pro, Ookla Speedtest] The extremely significant data speed and signal improvements that were experienced by the original Magic Box still exist with the 2nd generation unit. The GEN2 matches and exceeds the performance of my original Magic Box, especially in the upload category. This is due to the newer LTE Relay module design which utilizes a higher gain antenna. A very satisfactory model upgrade. It upholds the positive impressions I outlined in my original article. These units just can't come out fast enough so that more people can enjoy it! The Magic Box is not a panacea, but is a very good solution in many locations. Now that thousands of these preordered boxes are hitting the streets in countless different deployment scenarios, lots of limitations and bugs are being discovered. With varying impacts. The Magic Box doesn't work for everyone everywhere due to the very nature of its all wireless design. In most places, it works as advertised. Just power up and let it rip. In a few locations there is something lacking which causes units to not fully configure. This results in errors such as the infamous "20% initialization" or "cannot connect to mobile network" screens that pop up. We researched, asked questions and were informed that Sprint's LTE Relay configuration is of the out of band variety. This means that the LTE UE Relay operation and the small cell eNB signal has to operate on different frequencies. So in Sprint's case, a market must have Band 41 High and Low separation in order for a LTE Relay to work. Thus, Sprint must have spectrum in the Band 41 low range (2500-2570 MHz) and the Band 41 high range (2620-2690). If a Sprint market does not have said spectrum with such a separation, the relay link cannot be established and the Magic Box will not work. In markets where such spectrum peculiarities exist and areas where the macro 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz RF signal is not strong enough to establish a LTE Relay backhaul connection for the Magic Box, there exists other alternatives available from Sprint. These alternatives are the Airave 3 LTE and Commscope S1000 NSC which will be offered to subscribers who do not qualify for a Magic Box or in a location where the Magic Box does not work. The subscriber will require a home broadband connection in those instances. (Left: Airave 3 LTE, Right: S1000 NSC; credit: ingenium & pwnedkiller) The Airave 3 LTE is the traditional CDMA + LTE Band 41 + WiFi femto cell. It is the successor the Airaves of old. The Commscope S1000 NSC is a LTE Band 41 + WiFi only femto cell which is in essence the Airave 3 minus the CDMA capabilities. If a subscriber desires voice and data enhancement then the Airave 3 should be what the subscriber seeks. If the subscriber does not need voice enhancement due to sufficient macro voice coverage but need 4G LTE data enhancement, then the S1000 NSC would be a better fit. There is a solution for just about everyone now. There now exists an all wireless self configuring LTE small cell, a state of the art and award winning LTE small cell, and which when paired with a CDMA module produces the newest successor in the Airave family. All of which will bring extreme improvements that Sprint subscribers can realize instantly. The densification of Sprint's network is now beginning and it all begins with one quite magic(al) box. Album of the Magic Box
  2. 11 points
    This is a cool looking Sprint small cell. Nice and compact. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. 10 points
    It will take a year after the merger close to see the higher fees and unlimited going bye bye. I do not favor for this merger, but Sprint and its parent company have been waiting for this. This has been their strategy from the start, but the problem now is they are the seller rather than the buyers. The only thing in their way is the DOJ, but the new administration appointed pro-business lawyers in the antitrust department. Had the Japenese invested on Sprint network from the get-go, they would have been negotiating a merger from strength rather than weakness.
  4. 9 points
    This is starting to sound pretty real... I really don’t want this to happen.
  5. 8 points
  6. 8 points
    I don't like T-Mobint. How about T-Sproble?
  7. 7 points
  8. 7 points
    Sprint has seriously gotten to work in the last few months eliminating the rest of the 3G-only sites. It should have happened years ago, but we're finally there.
  9. 7 points
    Just a few, what's the easiest way to select and post multiple pictures at once with Tapatalk? Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
  10. 7 points
    Obviously they are keeping up. They are even getting ahead. Because the network speeds are improving still. If they weren't keeping up, it would be getting worse. Some are exploiting Sprint's weaknesses to promote a combined entity. I don't have a crystal ball, but neither do they. Sprint was supposed to go bankrupt 10x since Nextel. And here they are. I'd argue they are in better shape and better run now than ever. I'm not anti merger, necessarily. But I don't think Sprint will go under without it
  11. 7 points
    Since we are asking questions...why are you concerned about 20Mbps being slow?
  12. 7 points
    Cool to hear a Sprint exec specifically mention 5 channel carrier aggregation in Sprint's latest press release (second to last paragraph, if you're having trouble finding it). Down the line pretty far, I'm sure, but nice to see Sprint openly stocking the pipeline. http://newsroom.sprint.com/nationwide-data-speeds-up-33-year-on-year.htm
  13. 6 points
    Hey guys, Sprint’s coverage map received a big update today. USCC roaming is now extended! Additionally the map is now full screen. Native coverage now appears to be more accurate (at least in my market) as well as detailed. Take a peek and see for yourselves!
  14. 6 points
    http://coverage.sprint.com/ Coverage map has been updated. Sure seems like USCC is included with extended coverage and doesn't count against limits.
  15. 6 points
    This merger doesn't need to happen. Sprint is completely capable of being a competitive player in the marketplace without resorting to a merger with T-Mobile. I keep thinking back to AT&T which wanted to merge with T-Mobile... and very similar promises were made about how competition would be preserved. And then that Merger Document leaked and it was clear that the merger was BS. For the first time the letter pegs the cost of bringing AT&T's LTE coverage from 80% to 97% at $3.8 billion -- quite a cost difference from the $39 billion price tag on the T-Mobile deal. The push for 97% coverage apparently came from AT&T marketing, who was well aware that leaving LTE investment at 80% would leave them at a competitive disadvantage to Verizon. Marketing likely didn't want a repeat of the Luke Wilson map fiasco of a few years back, when Verizon made AT&T look foolish for poor 3G coverage. AT&T was willing to spend 10x the amount of money over a network build cost to knock T-Mobile as a competitor off the market. None of this needs to happen here. Sprint has to keep paying down its debt, which over time will free up additional funds for CapEx. Network improves, better customer experience means more customers which means more funds to pay down debt. Repeat. This is already happening and it's why Sprint isn't in a death spiral now. Here's what Sprint needs to do right now: 1) Fire leadership in the marketing department. Sprint's marketing message is inconsistent and incoherent. There's no real brand message/advantage with "1% difference". Sprint should be saying "Great service at a great price"... and deliver that. That's it. 2) Fire leadership in the website department. Sprint's website is a tangle of non-skinned legacy content mixed with skinned-over legacy content. One crappy retail store might affect a subset of people, but a crappy website affects everyone visiting it. Sprint needs a "Tiger Team" to fix this pronto. 3) Sign national deals for Magic Box with major retailers: CVS/Walgreens, Safeway, Target, etc. Place Magic Boxes in every qualifying address/location. Put a sticker on the entrance which says Sprint Magic Box. Make it clear that people will have coverage when they go in the store. More time in the store means more money spent in the store. This should be obvious to the retail partners. 4) Stand up a new profitable division: The Event Coverage Group. This group would have a page on the Sprint website through which event organizers could request COWS/COLTS or perhaps one day "Flying Magic Boxes". Sprint would profit from doing this by charging for the coverage. When the Sprint crews go to events, they need to bring Sprint Branding with them. If it's a music event, get the TIDAL team there. This is branding. This is effective brand messaging. This is exposure. This merger doesn't need to happen for Sprint to succeed in the long run as a viable competitor. Ultimately, the joke will be on us in the form of higher prices if it goes through IMHO.
  16. 6 points
    It's really not that hard to use the mobile site... I don't get the reliance on Tapatalk. Yeah it's nice to have... but the forum existed without it before. Hopefully the next update can fix the compatibility issue.
  17. 6 points
    Something happened yesterday morning that caused some critical files on our server to be corrupted. IPBoard tried fixing code by hand, but kept finding a new error somewhere else after fixing another one. They ended up installing a new security upgrade over the site last night and that fixed the issue completely.
  18. 5 points
    A completely useless signal on my s8+ has turned into a usable signal out of my new AU545. I'm not streaming 4k, but I can use BBM and my work apps. Very impressed
  19. 5 points
    This is actually huge news for when I go to visit family in Eastern NC now. It also looks like they finally got around to updating Upstate NY. Most of the interstates show LTE now.
  20. 5 points
    It's also called an Airave not airwave. Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
  21. 5 points
    TAPATALK BACK WORKING!!! I saw a new IP Board security update this morning. Installed it. I figured I would try reinstalling the old Tapatalk update from August with the new IPBoard update from today...and what do you know? It started working again! For those of you using Tapatalk, give it a whirl and let me know if it's working for you too! Robert
  22. 5 points
    Pulled 122 Mbps down and 16 up in Crown Heights just now on an 8T8R site. Those are download speeds slightly faster than my home WiFi.
  23. 5 points
    Just got my Airave 3 LTE in the mail. Setting up, can’t wait to see how much it benefits!
  24. 5 points
    http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprint-magic-box-takes-flight.htm A flying Magic Box... That’s pretty neat!
  25. 5 points
    There are two things about this that bothers me and its 1-Everyone and their mother doesn't value the spectrum that Sprint has at the correct level it should be. Getting Sprint at this market value is a great for T-Mobile but not for Sprint. and 2- Not to get political, but this merger will in due time affect the workers and result in job losses. Whatever happened to that promise that Son did to Trump about bringing 50,000 jobs into the economy.. I smell a a foul order and the fish is not even in the pan yet. TS out
  26. 5 points
    Update... MB is still sporadic at our house. Phones connect to it occasionally. Visiting family in the Ozarks this weekend so I brought the MB along. Phones grab mostly 3G and SOME B26, but never anything else. Plugged the MB in, told it to do its setup and went down to the dock. After 5 minutes, our phones have 3-4 bars and have 10-15mbps download and 1-2mbps upload. This is amazing.
  27. 4 points
    Down to the last week. This is usually when most of the entries come in. We are still not fully funded. Only $550 so far. Please support S4GRU and get your chance to win a new phone. Many of you asked for us to do an open phone promotion where the winner can select the phone. Now's your chance. Please donate and support today! We should be able to make double this time! I really want to be able to upgrade the phone. Thank you to all of you who have donated so far. Good luck! Robert
  28. 4 points
    Looks like a new GCI range on Magic Boxes:
  29. 4 points
    I think you're absolutely right about that. The Mini Macros did help some but what's really needed are 8T8R builds/upgrades or Massive MIMO to be deployed next year. The population density of DC has increased substantially with all the new construction and these 2CA Mini Macros that they've deployed can't get ahead with the traffic demand. I hope Mobilitie is one of those bids too! I believe Sprint's last major announcement about DC's network was for Inauguration Day earlier this year: http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprints-dc-network-ready-to-support-great-american-tradition-presidential-inauguration.htm https://www.rcrwireless.com/20170113/carriers/carriers-network-infrastructure-inauguration-day-tag17 I was up in Downtown Bethesda and Northern Bethesda this past weekend visiting some family I have up there. I have the "Baseline Data Experience" enabled in the RootMetrics Coverage Map App for iOS and I also ran some Speed Tests in the App in area hexes that were reported as 3G (Orange), hexes which didn't have any reports at all, and hexes which had slow LTE reported previously. I was pleasantly surprised at the speeds I saw! I was hitting upwards of 70-80 Mbps for download and 10 Mbps upload. Just doing my part to knock out those Orange Hexes when I can!
  30. 4 points
    They do! Paintsville's site now has B41, B25, & B26! Allen and Prestonsburg have B25. The Pikeville site was still 3G as of last Thursday, I'm heading there tomorrow morning. Curious to see if it changed over the weekend to LTE or the map is just incorrect. And yes, these 4 sites were previous Horizon PCS (Out of Chillicothe Ohio) installations. I am really loving my Sprint situation in East Ky. I have B41 in town, and good Extended LTE via Appalachian Wireless Band 12 pretty much everywhere else.
  31. 4 points
    Tested CP(beta) on an S8. IMHO works better than expected. Only really tested the receiving end (was listening to the movie hotline while driving out in the country, where LTE is marginal), so not sure if the opposite party would have heard me as well as I heard them. What is a bit iffy is the WiFi Calling handover where I tested it. Seems that the building you are in and connected to WiFi must have pretty good overlap of LTE and WiFi. So, if inside your building, LTE is weak or nonexistant, it won't usually handover in either direction. But, I was able to coax some handovers by finding areas with good overlap. Will run a test at home, where I have a -38db LTE signal from tower in my backyard. Vs. Verizon Advanced Calling 2.0 I would say that VZW will drop an VoLTE call very quickly, but Sprint will tolerate more LTE signal gap before dropping. At one point, I heard a CP call hang on through about 5 seconds of silence in a weak signal area, then it came back just fine. VZW will drop in that situation.
  32. 4 points
    Tapatalk is working again....I don't use computers very often and just use mobile or tapatalk. Check about once a week with mobile browser but everyday with tapatalk and Tapatalk notifications. Calling plus worked great with my limited tests before I sold my g6. Highly recommend to test it out..... Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
  33. 4 points
  34. 4 points
  35. 4 points
    I just came back from Vegas after spending a week there for work. Few things did improve. I was staying at the Mandalay Bay and almost 90% I was on Wifi there automatically. Phone automatically connected me to Wifi called 'CDOBM connected via Mobilitie Wi-Fi' Several areas on the strip are still horrible for data.
  36. 4 points
    Yeah, people assume this is a foregone conclusion. I'm not so certain. Govt approval may not be a slam dunk.
  37. 4 points
    I hear you on that I feel the same way. But honestly we all saw this coming. Son wants to merge Sprint and we had a few years to mentally prepare for this. With the current state of the network and the minimum improvements we’ve seen, is it really enough that screams I’m going it on my own as a carrier? To me it looks like hey I’m just doing enough to maintain until we get scooped up. Sprint is not getting droves of people switching. Hell they’ve been giving away the service for free that lasts for a year. If that doesn’t tell you that Sprint has given up I don’t know what does. The brand as a whole is weak and just never recovered fully. It’s a sad reality because we know that Sprint has the toolbox to bring serious competition. I hope no one takes this post as being anti Sprint but more so as a small retrospective that the writing was on the wall that Sprint was going to be folded into another company at some point.
  38. 4 points
    Boingo WiFi is pretty fast in Logan Airport in Boston. My phone connected automatically too.
  39. 4 points
    I feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop on this merger... right after the iPhone X launches. I really don't want it to happen. Sprint is completely capable of making it on its own and I don't want to see T-Mobile running things.
  40. 4 points
    Good news: the VZW/Sprint spectrum swap in the Seattle market has finally happened. Now Verizon is running a single 10x10 PCS LTE carrier and Sprint has enough contiguous spectrum to turn PCS LTE up to 15 MHz FDD. On an unrelated note, Verizon turned 5x5 B5 LTE on market wide this week, squeezing all of their CDMA into just 5 MHz FDD.
  41. 4 points
  42. 4 points
    Verizon needs some help with their discounts system! I thought this was too funny not to post.
  43. 4 points
    If history is any indication, it won't play well. One doesn't even have to look too far, just look at what happened to Sprint and Nextel. Got bigger, but the service and everything with it went to hell. Nextel went the way of the dodo. Sprint has slowly gotten better but is still in too much debt. I feel that Sprint will soon join Nextel in the afterlife due to blunders and mergers that should not have happened. At least that's the way I see it.
  44. 4 points
    Yup, this is my biggest concern. 1 yr for the merger to get approved and 1 yr to integrate the two companies before they start building the network out would be annoying.
  45. 4 points
    If a merger is announced, I'm concerned about what that means for Sprint's network investment, service quality and customer service until that merger is completed.
  46. 4 points
  47. 4 points
    Mass consolidation of consumer business goods/services are mostly only good for corporations/shareholders taking over, his stance on this is far from polarizing. Say what you will about John Oliver, his delivery is almost always spot on. Good writers+good pitch man is the only way shows like these work, and Last week tonight has delivered in spades.
  48. 4 points
    How about Expletive Skinny Jeans Dancing Millennial Effeminate Color Mobile? Oh, wait, T-Mobile by itself already has all that covered. AJ
  49. 4 points
    Std-Mobile Which has double meaning. Sprint T-Mobile and Dish Mobile and STD, since having the other two will be like having a STD.
  50. 4 points
    A horizontal merger like this is good for one entity... Shareholders. Tens of thousands will potentially lose jobs, prices will go up, unlimited will go bye bye (unless you are willing to pay). Dont forget how powerful the big 2 are in the US government. They will win major concessions in the merger too. Which is another point, the larger a company becomes the less responsive they are to the consumer because ppl become a statistic rather than valuable. Look at equifax's or Comcast's treatment of customers.