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    [PSA] Sprint Soft Launches VoLTE

    By lilotimz

    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Wednesday, October 2, 2018 - 9:00 PM PDT Starting right now, October 3,2018 12:01 AM EST, Samsung Galaxy S8, 8+, and S8 Active users can manually download the firmware to remove Calling Plus from their devices and bring forth the VoLTE Opt-In toggle.  Oh yeah. VoLTE is live on the Sprint Network™ as part of the VoLTE Soft Launch in the select markets. The roll out to the soft launch markets will be gradual over the next weeks.  So have at it you folks in the first soft launch markets that are going live! Here are the first 15 initial soft launch markets with more following in the next few weeks.  Atlanta-Athens Chicago Dallas-Ft.Worth Houston Indianapolis Kansas Missouri New York City Oregon-West Washington Philadelphia Pittsburgh San Francisco Bay South Bay Southern Jersey Washington DC And if you're in a soft launch market...
    Source: /u/TheButlershrsmn Discuss Sprint VoLTE on on the forums. 
    • 31 comments
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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 for Sprint

by Josh McDaniel
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 2:30 AM MDT On August 21, Samsung received approval from the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) for a Sprint variant of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, model number SM-T217S (Wi-Fi versions of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 are SM-T210 & SM-T211). According to the FCC authorization docs, the Galaxy Tab has a dual core 1.7 GHz processor and may come in a 16 GB storage size if the picture on the FCC label page is accurate. Specs for the Wi-Fi only version are 3 MP rear camera with a 1.3 MP front facing camera, 1 GB RAM, up to 64 GB of microSD storage, and 7” screen with 1024 x 600 display. (All specs are subject to change before official release, as the processor on the Wi-Fi only model is 1.2 GHz dual core and it only comes with 8 GB storage.)   Here is the antenna diagram:   CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800) LTE band 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks) LTE 3, 5, 10 MHz FDD channel bandwidths 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with hotspot mode on 2.4 GHz only (LTE, EV-DO, and CDMA1X) Maximum RF ERP/EIRP: 22.10 dBm (CDMA 850), 27.11 dBm (CDMA 1900), 24.96 dBm (CDMA 800), 28.30 dBm (LTE 1900, 5MHz FDD with QPSK), 27.20 dBm (LTE 1900, 5MHz FDD with 16QAM)   Although this tablet has a fairly strong uplink LTE EIRP, it is pretty weak on specs with only a dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, low screen resolution, and only single band LTE. For these reasons, this Galaxy Tab should be a budget device. Source: FCC

MacinJosh

MacinJosh

What is a PRL? - Part 2 - EVDO

by Travis Griggs
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 10:15 AM MDT   In Part 1 of the "What is a PRL?" series we covered the the initial basics and building blocks of the PRL which covered the 1X portion of the wireless connection. I encourage you to read the article if you have not already done so. You may have seen the various claims of receiving faster or even slower speeds with the mysterious PRL update procedure that seems to randomly happen to our devices. In reality it could be possible that nothing changed in regards to EVDO at all in the PRL. After a PRL update is applied to the device, whether it is pushed from Sprint or user initiated, the CDMA radio will reset just like when airplane mode is cycled on and off. This causes the device to reacquire with the network which could change the site and/or channel the device was using previously. AJ wrote an excellent article, "Can toggling airplane mode actually improve your 3G data speeds?" explaining the EVDO acquisition process. With all that being said let's jump right in and look at a small piece of the PRL to determine how a device connects to the EVDO network.
 
In a mock scenario, the device scanned and did not find signal for the SIDs 22443, 22430, etc but was able to acquire 4159. The device will then check to see if any data records are associated with the connection. The assn tag field for 4159 is a 5. Any records inside this one geo block are checked for the assn tag of 5. In some Sprint PRL versions, the creators have failed to place the EVDO record in the correct geo creating a type of orphaned EVDO record issue, but this is not the case with this example. Record #279 has an assn tag match for the value of 5. The record is analyzed and it is determined that the device will use acquisition record #59 with a 0084:0AC0 subnet and no roaming indicator. If no EVDO signal can be found in the area with this search criteria, the device will fall back to using 1X for data and periodically scan for EVDO. The EVDO subnet is very similar to a SID, but since it is a 128 bit address scheme it offers more combinations than a SID. If needed, the provider could actually assign different priorities to individual sectors of one cell site using the subnet IDs. You may have already noticed multiple SIDs in this block share the assn tag of 5 along with the same acquisition records. The PRL is designed like a relational database where redundant data is shared to save space. So, how does the device know which channels to scan for EVDO? Let's look at the acquisition records of 2 and 59 used by SID 4159.

The PCS band channels 50, 75, 100, 175, 200, 250, and 25 are used to scan for SID 4159 1X. These are not the only channels that you device will actually use. These are only used to acquire the initial CDMA handshake. The basestation of the site may direct the handset to rest on channel 25 but during an active phone call channel 150 might be used if the other available channels are at capacity. For EVDO, the device will scan 75, 175, 225, and 250 with a subnet of 0084:0AC0. If another carrier's EVDO signal happens to be on one of these channels it will be ignored as the subnets do not match. Just like on the 1X side and explained in AJ's EVDO article referenced above, the channel scan is only utilized for the initial EVDO handshake. The cell site may have a channel available that is not on the PRL list, which your device could end up using based on the basestation configuration. After attempting to digest all of this material you can see how the new PRL file itself is usually not why the speeds decreased or increased. If the spectrum licenses allowed for it in the area, Sprint could add an additional EVDO carrier channel of 300 to all of the neighboring sites and all of the handsets will be able to use it. The users in this area would probably see faster speeds due to this without a single PRL update.

How does EVDO roaming work? In this example the device is connected to SID 4160 which is Verizon Wireless. Using the same analysis explained above, we see a data record of 5 is assigned. "Wait! I thought Sprint used data record 5 already?" This is correct. While your device is roaming on 4160 for 1X connectivity it is also scanning for Sprint EVDO. In order to save on roaming costs, Sprint has designed the PRLs this way. One negative impact on the user is additional battery drain due to this scan combined with the already active scan to find a non-roaming 1X signal. In the standard PRL for residential accounts, EVDO roaming on Verizon Wireless is not allowed. You will only find EVDO roaming on smaller regional CDMA carriers in some areas. On certain corporate accounts, Sprint configures devices with PRLs allowing Verizon Wireless EVDO roaming. While roaming, whether it be 1X or EVDO, the Sprint Terms & Conditions state: "Sprint reserves the right, without notice, to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if off-network usage in a month exceeds: (1) voice: 800 min. or a majority of minutes; or (2) data: 300 megabytes or a majority of kilobytes." Stay tuned for part 3 of the “What is a PRL?” series. We will cover the 800SMR SIDS, 800SMR acquisition records, and the coveted MCC/MNC LTE records shown in the PRL screen shots above.

digiblur

digiblur

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" Interpreting your engineering screen. Part two.

by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 12:35 PM MDT   Welcome back to S4GRU's continuing series focused on understanding many of the signal metrics displayed on your devices' engineering screens. If you missed part one a few weeks ago, that is a good place to start for background info. Last time out, we covered 3GPP2 band class 1 PCS 1900 MHz, in which Sprint has long operated its CDMA2000 network, and 3GPP band 25 PCS 1900 MHz, in which Sprint is currently deploying its LTE network. Today, let us begin with the last of Sprint's current native spectrum usage -- 3GPP2 band class 10 SMR 800 MHz. This is what 3GPP2 also calls the "Secondary 800 MHz band," and we will understand why when we finish up with band class 0 Cellular 850 MHz a bit later today. First, take a look at the following CDMA1X engineering screenshot:     This handset is camped on Sprint's brand new band class 10 CDMA1X 800 overlay, which is replacing iDEN 800 and is currently available in select markets around the country. Now, as we did last time, we can take into account the band class and carrier channel number, then use the appropriate formulas to calculate both uplink and downlink center frequencies:      uplink center frequency (MHz) = 806 + (0.025 × carrier channel)      downlink center frequency (MHz) = 851 + (0.025 × carrier channel) In other words, the spacing in between potential carrier channel assignments in band class 10 is 0.025 MHz (or 25 kHz). This is due to the SMR 800 MHz band's legacy of dispatch and iDEN, both of which conform to 25 kHz channelization. And the band class 10 range of channel numbers extends from 0-719. So, using our formulas, band class 10 carrier channel 476 in the included screenshot has an uplink center frequency of 817.9 MHz, a downlink center frequency of 862.9 MHz. This is the one and only band class 10 carrier channel that Sprint will employ across most of the country. In parts of the Southeast where SouthernLINC also operates in rebanded SMR 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint users will instead see band class 10 channel 526, which has uplink and downlink center frequencies of 819.15 MHz and 864.15 MHz, respectively, just as S4GRU detailed in an article a year ago. As for band 26 LTE 800, well, that should be coming online in the next several months, but no devices are yet available. So, for both of those reasons, we cannot post any engineering screenshots. What we can anticipate, however, based on SMR 800 MHz spectrum constraints, is that Sprint's 5 MHz FDD LTE 800 carrier likely will be centered somewhere in the 821.1-821.5 MHz x 866.1-866.5 MHz ranges, translating to uplink and downlink EARFCN ranges of 26761-26765 and 8761-8765, respectively. I will be out in the field with my spectrum analyzer in the coming months, ready to capture and publish a first peek at the LTE 800 carrier. And expect a follow up article on LTE 800 engineering later this year. Now, let us conclude with a look at Sprint roaming service in 3GPP2 band class 0 Cellular 850 MHz. Or this is what 3GPP2 has traditionally referred to as the "800 MHz band." And that, as I piqued earlier, is why the "Secondary 800 MHz band" name comes into play for band class 10 SMR 800 MHz. In more recent years, the "800 MHz" nomenclature has become problematic, as it makes distinguishing between band class 0 and band class 10 difficult for less informed users. For a good example of this, see the iPhone 4S tech specs, which mislead many into thinking that it supports Sprint's band class 10 CDMA1X 800 overlay. For this reason, I have long advocated using "Cellular 850 MHz" as distinct terminology. That background aside, let us examine a CDMA1X engineering screen of a Sprint device roaming on VZW:     This handset is idling on channel assignment 425. Again, we can use the appropriate formulas to calculate both uplink and downlink center frequencies:      uplink center frequency (MHz) = 825 + (0.03 × carrier channel)      downlink center frequency (MHz) = 870 + (0.03 × carrier channel) So, that VZW channel 425 is centered at 837.75 MHz x 882.75 MHz, which is toward the bottom of the Cellular B block license, as we will see in just a moment. First, in the Cellular 850 MHz band, channelization is 0.03 MHz (or 30 kHz), as that dates back to the original analog AMPS standard, which used 30 kHz FM channels and got us all started on this cellularized wireless network journey. Second, we encounter a complication with band class 0. The above formula works only for a subset of channel assignments, 1-799. For channel assignments 991-1023, we have to use slightly modified formulas:      uplink center frequency (MHz) = 825 + [0.03 × (carrier channel − 1023)]      downlink center frequency (MHz) = 870 + [0.03 × (carrier channel − 1023)] The reason for this complication is complicated itself. When the FCC originally created the Cellular 850 MHz band plan in the 1980s, it was 825-845 MHz x 870-890 MHz, divided into two equal 10 MHz FDD (10 MHz x 10 MHz) licenses: Cellular A block (825-835 MHz x 870-880 MHz) and Cellular B block (835-845 MHz x 880-890 MHz). Each block consists of 333 AMPS channels, A block covering 1-333, B block running 334-666. Not long after, the FCC expanded the Cellular 850 MHz band, but it could not do so by simply adding spectrum exclusively at the bottom or the top of the band plan. Because of spectrum constraints and equal license bandwidth, the FCC had to add a sliver at the bottom of the band plan and two at the top of the band plan. The additions became known as "A low," "A high," and "B high." See my band plan graphic below: Since "A high" (1.5 MHz FDD) and "B high" (2.5 MHz FDD) continue as upper end extensions of the band plan, they follow the original center frequency formula, adding channels 667-799. "A low" (1 MHz FDD) tacked on at the bottom of the original plan is the anomaly. It requires its own center frequency formula and adds channels 991-1023. Also, note the missing channels 800-990. Those are a mystery, unbeknownst even to me. Additionally, because it is only 1 MHz FDD, "A low" is not frequently used for CDMA2000 carrier channels, which are always 1.25 MHz FDD in bandwidth. So, many of the carrier channel assignments in "A low" are invalid, since they would cause the CDMA1X or EV-DO carrier to extend off the lower edge of the band. If "A low" is utilized, the only permissible channel assignments are 1013-1023, all of which cause the CDMA2000 carrier to extend into the original A block. So, if you ever encounter a band class 0 channel assignment in the 1013-1023 range, you have found something of a rare bird. Well, that covers the relationships among bands, band classes, carrier channel assignments, EARFCNs, and center frequencies. Next time, we will turn our attention to another signal metric. I am thinking maybe SIDs and NIDs or PN offsets but have not decided yet. See you then...   Sources: 3GPP, 3GPP2, FCC

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

Mid-range LG LTE coming to Sprint prepaid/wholesale?

by Josh McDaniel
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 9:35 AM MDT   Last year, LG released a mid-range device that made its way from one CDMA carrier to another. This year appears to be no exception. The LG LG870 recently passed through the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) with Sprint LTE and band 10 CDMA2000 on board. If the LG Viper (LS840) last year is any indication, it was released as the Connect (MS840) on MetroPCS, and then as the Lucid (VS840) on Verizon before it came to Sprint. In January of this year, MetroPCS released the Spirit (MS870), and earlier this month, Verizon released the Lucid 2 (VS870). Now, it seems to be Sprint’s turn again. However, it currently appears that Sprint is releasing this handset on its Boost brand under the codename FX1, as the model number is LG870, not LS870. (As of now, the name and that it may be released only on Boost has not been confirmed.) But all previous Sprint LG phones from last year have model numbers beginning with LS. The Bluetooth 4.0 profile supports HSP, HFP 1.6, A2DP, AVRCP 1.3, OPP, FTP, PBAP, SPP, HID, GAVDP, SDAP, PAN, and MAP, according to the Bluetooth SIG, which also lists the phone as “(LG870 (for Sprint/Wholesale)).” Sprint wholesale partner Ting, anyone? As for specs, if this phone is like its 870 model counterparts, it will have a 1.2 GHz dual core processor (possibly Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960) with 1 GB RAM, 5 MP rear camera with 1080p HD video recording, and 1.3 MP front facing camera. According to the FCC authorization docs, LG sent the handset to testing with Android 4.0.4 on board, but according to cloud4sites mtest, it has Jelly Bean 4.1.2 on board. So, hopefully it will be released with 4.1.2. CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800) LTE band class 25 (LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks) LTE 3, 5, 10 MHz FDD channel bandwidths SVLTE support, including SVLTE and simultaneous 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi tether Maximum RF ERP/EIRP: 26.60 dBm (CDMA1X 850), 26.26 dBm (EV-DO 850), 26.53 dBm (CDMA1X 1900), 26.16 dBm (EV-DO 1900), 25.06 dBm (CDMA1X 800), 25.20 (EV-DO 800), 25.11 dBm (LTE 1900, 3MHz FDD), 24.93 dBm (LTE 1900, 5MHz FDD), 24.70 dBm (LTE 1900, 10 MHz FDD) 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi NFC In their FCC OET authorization filings, OEMs customarily request temporary confidentiality regarding internal and external photos of their devices. But in an unusual move, LG has requested permanent confidentiality for, among other things, antenna distance and simultaneous scenarios for SAR analysis. So, no antenna diagram is available at this time, nor maybe ever unless a teardown review is forthcoming.   Sources: FCC, Bluetooth SIG, Cloud4sites mtest

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" Interpreting your engineering screen. Part one.

by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 6:29 AM MDT   A significant piece of S4GRU's educational mission is helping our readers understand what goes on behind the scenes and underneath the hood in the operation of a wireless network. This often requires getting readers to access internal engineering (or debug) screens on their handsets to view numbers and metrics, such as PN offset, Ec/Io, cell identity, etc., as we track the progress of Sprint's Network Vision deployment around the country. So, S4GRU staff thought it long overdue to publish a tutorial on what all of those engineering screen numbers and metrics actually mean. And in this first part of what will hopefully be a long running series, we will examine frequencies, namely center frequencies. First, let us kick things off with CDMA2000 (e.g. CDMA1X/EV-DO). CDMA2000 is divided into band classes. Those band classes basically represent spectrum bands of operation. Some common CDMA2000 band classes familiar to Sprint users include: band class 0 (Cellular 850 MHz), band class 1 (PCS 1900 MHz), band class 10 (SMR 800 MHz), and band class 15 (AWS 2100+1700 MHz). Then, each band class is further divided into carrier channels. These carrier channel numbers represent the actual RF locations -- center frequencies -- of the carrier channels that we use for voice and data services. To illustrate, see the EV-DO engineering screenshot below, specifically the "Channel Number" and "Band Class" fields:     Taking into account the band class and carrier channel number, we can use the following formulas to calculate both uplink and downlink center frequencies:      uplink center frequency (MHz) = 1850 + (0.05 × carrier channel)      downlink center frequency (MHz) = 1930 + (0.05 × carrier channel) In other words, the spacing in between potential carrier channel assignments in band class 1 is 0.05 MHz (or 50 kHz). And the band class 1 range of carrier channel numbers extends from 0-1199. So, using our formulas, the band class 1 carrier channel 100 in the included screenshot has an uplink center frequency of 1855 MHz, a downlink center frequency of 1935 MHz. This FDD paired set of center frequencies falls toward the lower end of the PCS A block 30 MHz license, which is 1850-1865 MHz x 1930-1945 MHz. Next, we can shift over to the 3GPP (e.g. LTE) side, which does things a bit differently. 3GPP sets forth bands, instead of band classes, but otherwise, the functions of bands and band classes are the same. In the US, common 3GPP bands for LTE include: band 4 (AWS 2100+1700 MHz), band 13 (Upper 700 MHz), and band 17 (Lower 700 MHz). But we are most interested in band 25 (PCS 1900 MHz + G block), the band in which Sprint is initially deploying LTE. As with carrier channel numbers in CDMA2000 band classes, 3GPP bands are subdivided into Evolved Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Numbers (EARFCNs). And like carrier channel numbers, EARFCNs indicate center frequencies. However, EARFCNs do so separately for uplink and downlink, as LTE allows for different pairings of uplink and downlink via carrier aggregation. Now, see the LTE engineering screenshot below for its "Band," "UL channel," and "DL channel" fields:     Per band 25, we can enter the "UL/DL channels" (i.e. EARFCNs) into the following formulas to determine again both uplink and downlink center frequencies:      uplink center frequency (MHz) = 1850 + [0.1 × (uplink EARFCN - 26040)]      downlink center frequency (MHz) = 1930 + [0.1 × (downlink EARFCN - 8040)] In this case, spacing between EARFCNs is 0.1 MHz (or 100 kHz). Additionally, the uplink EARFCN range is 26040-26689, the downlink EARFCN range 8040-8689, both for band 25. And in the end, EARFCN 26665 in the included screenshot has an uplink center frequency of 1912.5 MHz, while EARFCN 8665 has a downlink center frequency of 1992.5 MHz. This is an FDD paired set of center frequencies, not a carrier aggregated set, and it resides exactly in the middle of the PCS G block 10 MHz license, which is 1910-1915 MHz x 1990-1995 MHz. In part two, we will take a similar look at center frequencies in the PCS 1900 MHz band's lower frequency cousins, SMR 800 MHz and Cellular 850 MHz. So, stay tuned.   Sources: 3GPP, 3GPP2

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

"Magical Mystery Phone Tour"

by Josh McDaniel
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, April 8, 2013 - 1:19 PM MDT   On April 5, the mysterious Samsung SPH-L500 passed thru the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology), indicating that it is now authorized for use in the US on the Sprint network. S4GRU can report only the details that are currently available, but we will update the article as more info emerges. The phone measures roughly 5.24 inches tall by 2.68 inches wide, making it slightly smaller than the Galaxy S3 and S4 and slightly larger than the Galaxy S3 mini that it was originally rumored to be based off of, and comes with a 1.4 GHz dual core processor. As was previously noted from the Bluetooth SIG report in November, this phone has support for Bluetooth 4.0 and the following profiles: HFP1.5, HSP, OPP, A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, PAN, PBAP, HID, and MAP.   As you can see from the antenna diagram, CDMA1X and EVDO share the same antenna path, so SVDO is not possible, but SVLTE is possible. The phone also supports simultaneous LTE and Wi- Fi tether on 2.4 GHz, but not on 5 GHz. Lastly, it is not capable of supporting simultaneous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as they also share the same antenna path. CDMA1X + EV-DO bands 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800) LTE band 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks) LTE 5 MHz FDD channel bandwidth SVLTE support, including SVLTE and simultaneous 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi tether Maximum RF ERP/EIRP: 21.45 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850), 23.11 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900), 23.12 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800), 22.20 dBm (LTE 1900) LTE antenna configuration 1 uplink, 2 downlink (i.e. 2x2 downlink MIMO) 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi NFC with antenna built into battery According to the HTTP header from cloud4sites.com, the SPH-L500 has Android 4.1.2. SXTPdevelopers.com member “sextape” rumored the specs on the phone to be a 4.65” screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720, 8 MP rear camera and 1.9 MP front facing camera, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB built-in memory, and microSD Card slot supporting up to 64 GB cards. The chipset is said to be the Qualcomm MSM8930AA, which is apparently the same chipset found in the new HTC First by Facebook and HTC. If the SPH-L500 is released with these specs, they are pretty decent for a mid-range phone, considering all mid-range Sprint LTE phones up until now have only had 5 MP rear cameras and 4” 480 x 800 resolution displays.   Sources: FCC, cloud4sites, SXTP

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

(UPDATED) A short time from now in a Galaxy not far away...

by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 10:10 AM MDT   Update: The Samsung review embargo has been lifted overnight, and Galaxy S4 reviews are being published around the Web today. Thanks to one of our favorite, highly thorough reviewers, Brian Klug at AnandTech, we can confirm that the Galaxy S4 follows the recent HTC One in providing a removable micro-SIM. So, while two data points do not necessarily a trend make, the One and Galaxy S4 do suggest that removable SIMs for Sprint LTE handsets are here to stay.   Arguably the most hotly anticipated handset of the year, rivaling even the next iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 in its Sprint variant popped up in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database late yesterday, meaning that the next Galaxy is now authorized to operate in the US and is likely just a few weeks away from a Sprint street date. Not a revolutionary overhaul of the very successful Galaxy S3 platform of last year, the Galaxy S4 maintains a strong family resemblance to its older sibling but does generally and for Sprint specifically add a number of evolutionary enhancements, such as a larger 1080p display, world roaming capability, wireless charging cover functionality, and some transmit power increases. Thus, adding to S4GRU's long standing series of articles on the FCC OET authorizations for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Photon Q 4G, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and HTC One is our run through of the RF capabilities of the Galaxy S4: CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800) LTE band 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks) LTE 5 MHz FDD carrier bandwidth LTE UE category 3 W-CDMA bands 2, 5 (i.e. W-CDMA 1900/850) GSM 850/1900 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11n MCS index 7, 40 MHz carrier bandwidth 802.11ac MCS index 9, 80 MHz carrier bandwidth SVLTE support, including SVLTE and simultaneous 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi tether RF ERP/EIRP maximum: 25.39 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850), 23.25 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900), 24.62 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800), 22.83 dBm (LTE 1900) NFC antenna integrated into battery cover CDMA1X/EV-DO Rx antenna diversity Antenna locations: (see FCC OET diagram below) Simultaneous transmission paths: (see FCC OET diagram below)     Breaking down the RF specs, honestly, the Galaxy S4 may come across as a disappointment to many. That is primarily, though, because the reality could hardly live up to the expectations. First, the Galaxy S4 does not support band 26 LTE 800 nor band 41 TD-LTE 2600. Reports are that Sprint will not release any dual band LTE devices and will skip straight to tri band. Those devices, however, are still at least six months off, so like all Sprint LTE devices before it, the Galaxy S4 is limited to band 25 LTE 1900 on the native Sprint network. Additionally, the Galaxy S4's band 25 LTE 1900 is limited to 5 MHz FDD bandwidth. This seems to be largely a Samsung quirk, as Sprint LTE devices from other OEMs are tested and authorized for 10 MHz FDD (or greater) as well. That being said, this will likely be of no consequence, as all Sprint LTE FDD deployment for at least the next several years is apt to remain based on 5 MHz FDD carriers. Also, unlike the recent HTC One, the Galaxy S4 does not appear to be particularly optimized for the Sprint LTE network. Using the FCC OET authorization documents, we can gauge a device's RF prowess by examining its maximum transmit ERP/EIRP and at what frequency that max occurs. This is by no means a perfect simulacrum for both transmission and reception, but we can say that Galaxy S4 LTE is at its max RF wise in the traditional PCS A-F blocks, not the PCS G block 1912.5 MHz center frequency where Sprint is deploying its initial LTE carrier nationwide. Staying on ERP/EIRP discussion, the Galaxy S4 looks to be a rather strong performer on roaming CDMA1X/EV-DO 850 and the now being deployed Sprint native CDMA1X 800. Both show quite high ERP. On the flip side, the EIRP for CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900 is good, too, but oddly less than the ERP of the CDMA2000 airlinks below 1 GHz that enjoy significant propagation advantages. With most other handsets, the transmit power relationship is reversed, CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900 transmit power being greater to compensate for its greater path loss. Furthermore, ERP/EIRP was tested with both the standard battery cover and the wireless charging cover. A definite caveat, the wireless charging cover reduces ERP/EIRP by up to 6 dB. Most likely, the induction coil in the wireless charging cover absorbs some of the transmitted RF, thus reducing the radiated power. For some users, the convenience of wireless charging may outweigh the hit to wireless performance. But S4GRU cannot generally recommend wireless charging due to its inefficiency (much power is wasted as heat) and detriment to RF. As for simultaneous voice and data, the Galaxy S4 does support SVLTE but is the latest in a long line of Sprint LTE handsets now to forgo SVDO. Realistically, this comes as no great surprise, as we have not seen SVDO capability in any new handset since last summer. Either this is a limitation of the Qualcomm MDM9615 baseband modem that has become standard equipment or SVDO is no longer a strong priority as Sprint LTE coverage grows weekly. Regardless, CDMA1X and EV-DO share a transmit path (indicated in the FCC OET diagram above); hence, simultaneous CDMA1X voice and EV-DO data is not supported. As S4GRU has reported in the past, the FCC OET authorization documents are not required to disclose world phone capabilities because those bands are not in use in the US. However, the presence of GSM 850/1900 and W-CDMA bands 2, 5 (i.e. W-CDMA 1900/850) is strongly indicative of the inclusion of international roaming capabilities, too. Indeed, other outlets are reporting that all variants of the Galaxy S4 include at a minimum quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and W-CDMA bands 1, 2, 5, 8 (i.e. W-CDMA 2100+1900/1900/850/900) -- the latter supporting DC-HSPA+ on the downlink and HSUPA on the uplink. While we cannot confirm these reports at this time, they certainly do seem plausible. What also remains unconfirmed at this point is the SIM situation: embedded or removable. As soon as this info comes to light, we will update the article.   Source: FCC

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

 

(UPDATED) All for HTC One, HTC One for all?

by Andrew J. Shepherd Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, February 22, 2013 - 2:55 PM MST   Update: Many hands on reviews of the HTC One are emerging this week. Courtesy of Engadget, we can report that the Sprint variant is one of the very first Sprint LTE handsets to include a removable micro-SIM. Removable SIM cards have long been part of the Network Vision roadmap for 2013, so it looks like that time may have arrived.   S4GRU welcomes you to the first major Sprint handset announcement of 2013. Earlier this week, the upcoming HTC One was revealed at an event in New York City. Not to be confused with last year's HTC One X, the HTC One is the new flagship of the line and will be offered by dozens of carriers around the world, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Last year, Sprint got essentially a customized version of the HTC One X in the HTC EVO 4G LTE. This year, however, another EVO handset is not currently in the offing, and Sprint is joining its fellow carriers in standardizing around a universal HTC One platform. The only notable customization is for Sprint's specific CDMA2000 band classes and LTE band. And that Sprint variant had its authorization documents uploaded to the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database earlier today.   If you have followed our series of articles on the EVO LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Photon Q 4G, LG Optimus G, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, then you know what is at hand. Here is an RF focused breakdown of the HTC One coming to Sprint: CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800)
LTE band class 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks)
LTE 5/10 MHz FDD carrier bandwidth
LTE UE category 3
802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
802.11n MCS index 7, 40 MHz carrier bandwidth
802.11ac MCS index 9, 80 MHz carrier bandwidth
SVLTE support, including SVLTE and simultaneous 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi tether
NFC
Antenna 0 max RF ERP/EIRP: 20.10 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850), 23.80 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900), 19.23 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800), 12.30 dBm (LTE 1900)
Antenna 1 max RF ERP/EIRP: 13.78 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850), 13.58 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900), 14.27 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800), 23.63 dBm (LTE 1900)
Antenna locations: (see FCC OET diagram below)
Simultaneous transmission modes: (see FCC OET diagram below)
    As for analysis of the specs, the HTC One is the world's first handset to include the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. But let us address right away another potential first that has become the so called elephant in the room. The Sprint version of the HTC One is limited to band 25 LTE 1900. It does not support either of Sprint's upcoming LTE bands -- band 26 LTE 800 and band 41 TD-LTE 2600. One or both of those bands are expected to be incorporated in new handsets sometime this year, but the HTC One will not be the first.   The other notable absence is SVDO support for simultaneous CDMA1X voice + EV-DO data, though its omission is growing less and less notable as time goes on. SVDO requires separate RF paths for CDMA1X and EV-DO. The first few Sprint LTE handsets did support SVDO, utilizing separate paths for CDMA1X and EV-DO/LTE. But the last nine Sprint LTE handsets have foregone SVDO, combining CDMA1X/EV-DO on a single path, so SVDO was likely just a temporary measure or a fringe benefit of the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset and will not be a common Sprint handset feature going forward.   In its press release earlier this week, Sprint calls its HTC One an "international" smartphone, and that could be interpreted to mean world roaming capabilities. The FCC authorization documents show no evidence of this, but they are not required to do so, since the FCC is a US authority. What is lacking, though, is any GSM 850/1900 or W-CDMA 850/1900. So, if the HTC One is world roaming capable, it will most likely be limited to GSM 900/1800 and band 1 W-CDMA 2100+1900.   Since the HTC One is really the de facto successor to the EVO LTE, a little bit of comparison would be in order. In our RF rundown article on the EVO LTE last spring, we stated that it "does not look to be a stellar RF performer" based on its low to moderate ERP/EIRP figures. And our prediction proved quite prescient, as the EVO LTE has not been noted for its performance with weak signals. The good news is that, on paper, the HTC One looks to be a notable improvement in this regard.   First, the dual antenna system is optimized for CDMA1X/EV-DO on antenna 0 and LTE on antenna 1. But as long as only one antenna is in use (i.e. SVLTE is not active), the dual antennas can be switched at will to combat an RF fade at one antenna but not the other. Second, LTE max EIRP has been increased by 4 dB over that of the EVO LTE. Furthermore, LTE EIRP has been maximized around the 1912.5 MHz center frequency, 5 MHz FDD carrier bandwidth configuration that Sprint is currently deploying nationwide in its PCS G block spectrum. In short, the Sprint variant of the HTC One has been tweaked specifically for the Sprint LTE network.   Source: FCC

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

Married to it

by Christina Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 3:10 AM MST   Travel back with me a few weeks ago. It’s a cold Saturday afternoon, and I am standing and staring into a gated area near a cell phone tower. My date for this outing is frantically taking pictures and discussing the exciting upgrades to the equipment which have occurred since our last visit. I have no idea what he is talking about, all the mechanical stuff looks exactly like it did a few weeks ago. To me, it happens to look exactly like the 3 other sites we visited today. Not wanting to look totally stupid, I just smile and nod. Yep, this is what I do for fun for my 17th wedding anniversary. I am officially married to a cell phone dork. Since May 2011, I have had many a romantic dinner which usually includes at least a drive-by various cell towers. I have smiled and nodded through countless conversations which are dominated by the words, “LTE”, “Wi-Max” and “backhaul”. I still have no idea what any of this means. I have taken vacations based on the availability of 4G coverage. This past summer our family ended up in Waco, Texas. Not exactly the place one would call a cosmopolitan vacation destination. At least we got to go to the Baylor football season opener. We ran tests in between plays, and my husband would constantly grab my phone to look at an Engineering screen. I have changed hotel and restaurant reservations based on cell tower locations. My kids can spot a cell tower from 5 miles away. Family outings generally include a visit to one. My oldest son understands which panel is which on the cell tower. He also understands the secret language of cell phone technology which my husband speaks. I just continue to smile and nod. Many friends ask me in wonder why I allow my date nights to be interrupted by visits to cell phone towers and discussions about things I don’t understand. The answer is simple; I have the best husband in the world. S4GRU is my husband’s passion. He loves all things Sprint, cell phone, and the technology that goes with it. He is passionate about the site and getting the information to its members. He gives unselfishly to it while still honoring all his work, home and community obligations. When he isn’t working on this site; he is being an awesome dad, devoted husband, faithful employee and a good citizen. The only sacrifice I make is that I occasionally have to smile and nod, so I don’t look like I have no idea what is going on. He sacrifices his sleep, his free time and sometimes his sanity to make sure we are all happy. I couldn’t ask for more than that. Today is Valentine’s Day, the day of romance. I am looking forward to a romantic dinner at my favorite restaurant and maybe a box of Godiva chocolate. There are two things I am pretty sure of. There will be at least one stop at a cell tower during the night, and I will probably be doing a lot of smiling and nodding.  

MommaCiCi

MommaCiCi

Sprint deploys special Ground Mount Option Network Vision sites in some low capacity and high engineering locations

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 1:13 AM MST   Often you may see us refer to a GMO site around S4GRU. But, what is a GMO site? GMO stands for Ground Mount Option. Or sometimes, it will be referred to as a GMR (Ground Mount RRU) site. In this article we will explain many points about the Ground Mount Option. In the most basic explanation, a Ground Mount site is one where they are doing a partial Network Vision conversion instead of a full build conversion. A full build site is one where they upgrade all the hardware at a site, including the base station equipment (RBS/MBS), install new multi-mode antenna panels on the tower, add Remote Radio Units (RRU’s, sometimes also called RRH’s), and run new fiber optic lines from the base station equipment up to the RRU’s on the tower. These are the ones most people who follow along Network Vision deployment are familiar with. However, a GMO site will install new base station equipment, with the RRU’s mounted down at the Ground Level, near the new base station cabinets. Then the existing lines running up the tower and the existing panels are reused. These are not to be confused with full build sites with Ground Mounted RRU’s. Those are not Ground Mount Option sites, because they still offer full Network Vision panels, and complete 800MHz and LTE services (where possible). They just are required to mount the RRU’s away from the panels for logistical reasons.   How did Sprint determine which sites were to receive the Ground Mount Option instead of a full Network Vision rebuild? I have had the privilege of talking with several Sprint and OEM employees about the Ground Mount Option the past few weeks. Every one of the 38,000+ Sprint sites in the country had a site survey visit in 2011 to establish logistics and planning for the Network Vision upgrade. Each site is broken down to three priorities, largely based on the traffic and carrier count. See the priorities below: High Priority...site gets full Network Vision upgrade. If site cannot support RRU's and new panels, engineering is done and structure modifications will be made and the site is fully upgraded. Moderate Priority...site gets full Network Vision upgrade. If the site requires minor modifications to support RRU's and NV panels, then it gets fully upgraded. If it requires major attention with full engineering, then a ground mount solution is implemented. Low Priority...low priority sites only get a full NV upgrade with new NV panels and tower mounted RRU's if no structural modification is necessary. If anything is required at a low priority site, the Ground Mount Option is deployed. Also, some low capacity/low priority sites get GMO installs, no matter if the site can support a full install now. At the site survey time back in 2011, each survey team made a judgment call based on their review of the site whether to go full build or GMO, taking into account the priority. And there are anomalies that just do not make any sense. Some markets have no GMO sites at all. And some markets have all GMO sites, like Western Pennsylvania. Also, some site owners will not allow NV full build for various reasons. In these instances, a Ground Mount Option was selected.   What are the advantages of a Ground Mount site? The biggest advantage of a GMO site is these sites are being worked on now and getting Network Vision benefits in the middle of the NV program, instead of at the end of the build out. Many 3rd Round Markets have started earlier because of GMO conversions. 1st and 2nd round markets have mostly full build sites with only a few GMO’s, or none at all. This allows some love for customers that would have been pushed off to the very end of Network Vision to see some improvements now. GMO sites are much faster to deploy with no tower work required. Most GMO sites will require minimal permitting from local authorities, or often no permitting at all. Also, GMO's require less negotiation with the site owner, as it does not materially change the site. GMO site conversions are already under way all around the country, and all of them should be completed before the end of this Summer. There are already 100’s of them with 3G upgrades in place. Ground Mount Option sites also will bring LTE much sooner at many locations. Because LTE 1900 can be run on most GMO sites if the appropriate backhaul is available and Sprint has the OEM install the appropriate number of RRU’s or RRU type. The first LTE capable GMO’s are coming online now. Alcatel Lucent has two live, one in New Bern, North Carolina and another one in the Shentel market in South Central Pennsylvania. Samsung has one live in Dayton, Minnesota. This is just the beginning.   What are the cons of a Ground Mount Option site? There are a few. The first con with the Ground Mount Option, is there will not be any 800MHz service deployed. Sprint is in the process of adding CDMA 800 voice service to full build Network Vision sites. Sprint will also begin deploying LTE 800 service to full build NV sites before the end of 2013. However, GMO sites cannot support 800MHz service, as the existing tower mounted panels do not support 800MHz. In some rural areas, this is a big disappointment as customers have been waiting for 800 MHz signal propagation benefits in the boonies (like me). The second issue, is the availability of LTE. All full build sites get LTE, but some GMO sites will not be getting LTE deployments. Most GMO sites can support LTE through existing panels, so long as there are not too many CDMA carriers installed. However, some higher capacity GMO sites will not get LTE. Also, some of the most backhaul challenged sites in the Sprint network are GMO sites. They will not get LTE initially because Sprint is unable to get sufficient backhaul to the site to support LTE performance requirements, or in some instances Sprint does not want to go through the difficulty of equipping some sites that are a low priority. The last negative detriment of a GMO site is signal propagation benefits of panel mounted RRU’s. A Network Vision full build site with panel mounted RRU’s can achieve up to a 20% signal gain at 1900MHz. However, the full 20% is only realized at very tall boomer sites with little downtilt. Most sites get more like a 5% signal increase. And these GMO’s will not get that extra signal benefit.   Are Ground Mount Options this way forever? Furthermore, at sites where the GMO is implemented, supposedly they will come back at the end of NV and do the engineering and structural modifications. At that time 800 service will be added when the new panels are installed, as well as LTE to sites that can secure appropriate backhaul. I have heard that in some instances (maybe a few hundred), they are using GMO's where they could not come to an agreement with the site owner. Whether financial agreement or logistical/structural. In those instances, Sprint is identifying other adjacent sites that they may move the site to at the end of NV. If no other options can be achieved, it may permanently stay a GMO and never have NV panels and 800 service. My understanding has grown tenfold in the past 2 weeks between talking to the Ericsson tech that's been on site and a long conversation I had with an OEM deployment manager. The most recent conversation I had, the source said they recently heard that more funding is being identified that could go ahead and do more work with GMO sites. Which may include converting them to full builds earlier, or at least changing out legacy panels to NV panels to add support for 800MHz.   Differences between vendors Not all GMO sites are the same. Sprint is using three different vendors to deploy Network Vision. Ericsson, Samsung and Alcatel Lucent. Each of these three OEM’s have their own proprietary equipment. Different base station equipment and different RRU’s. Samsung has two types of RRU’s. 800MHz and 1900 MHz RRU’s. Each of the two Samsung RRU types can do both CDMA and LTE from the same unit, supporting up to four carriers each. At a Samsung GMO site, only one RRU is needed per sector, as the RRU can do LTE and CDMA on the same unit. However, Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent do not have it so easy. These two OEM’s cannot run CDMA and LTE on the same RRU. They need a separate RRU for CDMA and LTE on each sector. This is more work and more cost. S4GRU has been told that Ericsson is finalizing a new RRU that can handle CDMA and LTE on the same unit, but they are not in production yet. These are referred to around the forums as RRUS12. Many Ericsson GMO sites have been spotted with only a single RRU per sector. Unfortunately, these have all been RRUS11 units, which cannot support CDMA and LTE together, only in separate RRU’s. Hopefully many of these will get a second RRU still to support LTE, or maybe be switched out with an RRUS12 unit when they start to hit the streets.   In closing Some of our members have been quite disappointed to learn that their site was selected for a Ground Mount Option. And I have to admit, I too initially was disappointed myself. Especially since my site is one of the GMO’s that will not receive LTE. At least, at first. The thing that we have to keep in mind is these are sites that are either very low priority or very difficult to upgrade. These were always going to be the very last sites to be touched at all, if at all. The majority of GMO sites probably wouldn’t have started until Spring/Summer 2014. For these sites to receive partial upgrades now is a very good thing. Many of us want everything, and we want it yesterday too. This is not practical though. All things considered, the Ground Mount Option is an elegant solution to the problem. Sprint just needs to push the envelope and install LTE on every one where it is physically possible. Oh and Dan, please add LTE to my GMO site (EP03AL506). It just will take two more RRUS11 units, or possibly a prototype RRUS12 unit. Just imagine the good S4GRU publicity you’d get. I will even arrange the backhaul for you!   Ericsson GMO site photo. New Ericsson NV base cabinets in the back and ground mount RRU's on the left. Three CDMA RRU's present here, one for each sector. No LTE at this site initially.   Samsung GMO site photo. New Samsung NV base cabinets at the left and ground mount RRU's directly in front. Three RRU's present here, one for each sector. Samsung GMO sites can run CDMA and LTE if set up that way.   Alcatel Lucent GMO site photo. New AlcaLu NV base cabinets on the right and ground mount RRU's on the center. Six CDMA RRU's present here, two for each sector (one behind each also). AlcaLu GMO LTE sites will require two RRU's per sector.

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint internal correspondence discusses Network Vision Progress/Issues with Employees

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 10:33 AM MST   Today we feature text from internal correspondence that was distributed to Sprint employees regarding the state of the Network Vision deployment and addresses key points that employees often encounter with the public. It is from a Q&A session with Chad Elliott, Sprint's Director of Strategic Technology Programs. Although there aren't really points in the memo that will be surprises for S4GRU Members who follow deployment closely, it is helpful to get some sort of official documentation from Sprint that we can now point to explain what is going on. It is a good and concise reference of many key challenges that have impacted Network Vision, with some vague outlook for 2013. Some things discussed in the memo include that production is ramping up and with more launches more frequently, why smaller towns/cities seem to be being upgraded first, issues going on that are slowing down deployment in some areas, etc. Take a look at the memo below:  

S4GRU

S4GRU

What is a PRL?

by Travis Griggs
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 10:00 AM MST
A PRL file is a Preferred Roaming List. In simple terms, it tells the device how to scan for various wireless cell systems, which ones are native, and which priority to use them in. If there isn't a native Sprint signal available, the PRL defines which roaming partners to scan for, which ones should be used, and in what order of preference to scan for them in. Contrary to belief and what some Sprint reps may tell say, a PRL is not a list of cell sites. You do not need a new PRL update to receive service from a new cell site. Nor will a PRL update result in faster Sprint EVDO (3G) speeds either. Of course there are a few exceptions to these rules with roaming agreements and/or Network Vision in the picture, but we will explain that later. PRL updates have nothing do with 4G WiMax coverage either. On some 4G LTE chipsets such as Qualcomm, the PRL determines if LTE is enabled for the geographic region you are in. So how does a PRL really work? Before I can start to explain the inner workings of a PRL, there are few terms for reference: A PRL is broken down into a three tier system: GEO - Geographic areas (regions), they are commonly referred to as a GEO. SID - System IDs assigned to the various carriers. NID - Network IDs are assigned by carriers to break a SID up. Common wireless bands found in US CDMA PRLs: PCS Band - 1900mhz PCS band in the US (A block, B block, etc) - Band Class 1 or 25 Cellular band - 850mhz cellular band in the US (A and B side) - Band Class 0 SMR band - 800mhz band used previously by Nextel. CDMA 1xA is in active deployment - Band Class 10 Other terms: Channel – assigned frequency within a band (200, 476, 350, etc) Negative (Neg) Network – SID/NID is prohibited (only 911 calls allowed) Preferred (Pref) Network – SID/NID is allowed for acquisition and usage Preferred Only PRL - only the SIDs specified in the PRL are allowed for acquisition When a device is powered up for the very first time, the phone will start at the top of the PRL and start searching through the list of SIDs for a native Sprint signal. This usually happens very quickly. Once your phone acquires a SID in your GEO, the devices will stay within the GEO for any additional searching for SIDs before it goes out looking in other GEOs again. This gives your phone a quicker response time of finding another SID when it needs to. If you have ever noticed it takes a little longer to find a signal when the flight attendant states you may now use your wireless devices, this is your phone searching the last known GEO, the devices then gives up and starts searching the other GEOs until it finds one to acquire. The SID/NID records within the GEO have their various priorities and channel/band scans assigned to them. A SID is the regional number assigned to wireless system. A NID is used by a cellular carrier to break up a large SID into smaller pieces for further localizing scans/rules. For instance a SID that has two large metro areas could have a NID of 51 for one area and 52 for the other area. The record would be listed as 4159/51 and 4159/52. If Sprint needs to apply different rules and/or acquisition channels to either NID it will put a record for each one. If no local rules are needed, the NID is listed as 65535 to encompass all NIDs within the one SID. In the PRL analysis reports, any NID of 65535 is suppressed as it is not needed. It may sound confusing at times but it is a simple three tiered system; GEO area, SID, then NID. In the PRL example above there are 5 SIDs assigned to Geo #4. The first two have a roaming indicator of 0, meaning a native Sprint signal. 22411 and 4159 have a priority of 1. These two SIDs do not necessarily have a preference in which either is used since they are the same priority but the device will scan for 22411 first. If 4159 is acquired, the device will not actively seek another network to use. During various sleep periods and/or timers the device could scan/acquire 22411 though. Once the device finds itself without a usable signal from 4159 or 22411, the scan will proceed into the next priority group. The next priority group of 2 has SID 4279 and a roaming indicator presented to the user. The device will acquire 4279 and notify the network carrier of its presence. The device will actively and aggressively continue to search for a non-roaming signal. Due to this continued scanning this may cause the radio chipset to not enter into the power saving sleep modes causing increased battery usage. As long as SID 4279 is available, the device will not search for SID 4160 with the priority of 3. 85 is a NEG network meaning your phone is not allowed to use this network for any reason other than 911 calls. What happens when Sprint installs a new cell site? I will say it again and again. You do not need a PRL update to use a new cell site, you do not need a PRL update to use a new cell site. Many Sprint reps will swear up and down that a PRL update is required to use new cell sites. This is incorrect! Many Airaves are activated and deactivated everyday but yet we don't see new PRL updates for these everyday. Using the example above, the phone is attached to Sprint 4159/51 using the same cell sites that were active on the previous day. Today the Sprint crews activated a new cell site to extend coverage a few more miles down the highway. Sprint will configure this cell site with the same licensed channels for the area and also configure it as a 4159/51 site. The devices in this area will use this new site without ever needing any type of PRL update. I've only scratched the surface of the various inner workings of the PRL file. Stay tuned for part 2 of this article. The next article will take a more in-depth look on EVDO records, MCC/MNC records for LTE, 800mhz SMR for Network Vision, and much more.

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint Marketing Updates 4G LTE City List where work is under way and adds 36 more communities including Louisiana market start

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 10:20 AM MST   In the latest news from Sprint, they have added another 36 additional communities that they anticipate having at least a prelaunch amount of service available to use by its LTE customers in the "coming months." We were not able to confirm any dates for these cities with any of our sources this morning, but I would imagine there will be a usable amount of service in these areas by the end of March. Most of these markets will not be a surprise to S4GRU members, with the exception of the Louisiana market. As this is a new market that we have never announced. In this announcement, Sprint did not identify that these communities will be in a prelaunch stage. However, this will be the case. We here at S4GRU appreciate that Sprint is opening up LTE sites to be used as soon as they are complete. Even though it creates a patchy and non cohesive LTE network over cities that they have prelaunch service, I for one, enjoy being able to use LTE when and where it is available. Most markets will take a long time from prelaunch phase until they have ubiquitous coverage over the whole area. A few months to a year, depending on the market size and deployment rate. See the city list below and their corresponding markets: Abbeville, LA (Louisiana market) Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX (Louisiana market) Blytheville, AR (Arkansas market) Brainerd, MN (Minnesota market) Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk, CT (Southern Connecticut market) Brownsville/Harlingen, TX (South Texas market) Crowley, LA (Louisiana market) Dalton, GA (Nashville market) Duluth, MN (Minnesota market) Dunn, NC (Raleigh/Durham market) Durham/Chapel Hill, NC (Raleigh/Durham market) Eau Claire, WI (Minnesota market) Greenwood, SC (South Carolina market) La Crosse, WI (Minnesota market) Jackson, TN (Memphis market) Lafayette, LA (Louisiana market) Lawton, OK (Oklahoma market) Little Rock/North Little Rock/Conway, AR (Arkansas market) Mankato/North Mankato, MN (Minnesota market) Muskogee, OK (Oklahoma market) New Haven/Milford, CT (Southern Connecticut market) New Iberia, LA (Louisiana market) North Wilkesboro, NC (Charlotte market) Oklahoma City, OK (Oklahoma market) Palm Coast, FL (Orlando market) Pine Bluff, AR (Arkansas market) Ponca City, OK (Oklahoma market) Raleigh/Cary, NC (Raleigh/Durham market) San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA (South Bay market) Salinas, CA (South Bay market) Santa Cruz/Watsonville, CA (South Bay market) Searcy, AR (Arkansas market) Springfield, MA (Boston market) St. Cloud, MN (Minnesota market) Stillwater, OK (Oklahoma market)   EDIT: There seems to be a lot of confusion out there, especially among Facebook readers, that cities have been removed from Sprint's LTE deployment list. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! The list above are "additional" cities being added to the list. Sprint has now announced approximately 150 cities total where work is under way. No cities have been removed. In fact, Sprint will start work in every market in 2013. Sprint is deploying LTE nationwide as a part of its Network Vision upgrades.  

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint Affiliate Shentel to launch LTE on 125 sites in 56 communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania on Black Friday

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 12:55 PM MST   The Regional Affiliate Shentel that provides Sprint service from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley up into Central Pennsylvania is preparing to launch Network Vision improvements and LTE service in a significant portion of its coverage area on Black Friday. Many sites have quietly gone online over the past few months in these areas. However, a source close to the Shentel deployment has now provided S4GRU a list of all 125 sites that are planned to be a part of this formal launch the day after Thanksgiving. In total, there are 56 cities that will receive service in Northwestern Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania. Alcatel Lucent is the Network Vision OEM for Shentel and has been active in the market since June. Cities that will have launchable service by the end of this week include Harrisburg PA, York PA, Hagerstown MD, Martinsburg WV, Winchester VA and Harrisonburg VA and many smaller Shentel communities. There is a complete list below. Although this is a good chunk of Shentel territory that will be enjoying upgraded 3G and high speed LTE coverage, deployment is far from over. This launch only includes approximately 20% of the entire Shentel network. Alcatel Lucent and Shentel will continue with deployment over the next year bringing upgrades to all of Shentel-land. Many of launched areas will receive even more sites converted (for denser coverage and better performance) and the remaining Shentel communities will receive upgrades. Sprint customers with LTE devices can use Shentel's LTE service in the same manner they do in their home markets. Basye, VA (1) Bergton, WV (1) Berryville, VA (2) Bluemont, VA (1) Boonsboro, MD (3) Bridgewater, VA (1) Broadway, VA (1) Bunker Hill, WV (1) Carlisle, PA (1) Chambersburg, PA (3) Clear Spring, MD (1) Clearbrook, VA (1) Edinburg, VA (4) Elkton, VA (2) Enola, PA (2) Fort Valley, VA (1) Front Royal, VA (2) Fulks Run, VA (1) Funkstown, MD (1) Gerrardstown, WV (1) Gettysburg, PA (1) Greencastle, PA (2) Hagerstown, MD (5) Hanover, PA (2) Harrisburg, PA (11) Harrisonburg, VA (9) Hershey, PA (1) Inwood, WV (2) Linville, VA (1) Littlestown, PA (1) Martinsburg, WV (6) McGaheysville, VA (2) McSherrystown, PA (1) Mechanicsburg, PA (2) Middletown, PA (1) Middletown, VA (1) Mt. Jackson, VA (3) New Cumberland, PA (1) New Market, VA (2) Penn Laird, VA (1) Port Republic, VA (1) Quicksburg, VA (1) Sharpsburg, MD (1) Shepherdstown, WV (2) Shippensburg, PA (1) Smithsburg, MD (1) Star Tannery, VA (2) Stephens City, VA (2) Strasburg, VA (3) Summerdale, PA (1) Timberville, PA (1) Waynesboro, PA (1) Williamsport, MD (2) Winchester, VA (9) Woodstock, VA (3) York, PA (8) There is an interactive map with these communities shown in the S4GRU forums, at this link: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/2672-shentel-network-visionlte-launch-black-friday-2012/

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint Marketing Updates 4G LTE City List where work is under way and adds 9 more communities

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, November 12, 2012 - 12:39 AM MDT   In the latest news from Sprint, they have added another nine additional communities that they anticipate having at least a prelaunch amount of service available to use by its LTE customers in the next few months. Based on a source, these are expected to have usable service by the end of January, barring any unforseen conditions.   What's exciting in this list, is it includes not only areas where Sprint is already working (like Oakland/East Bay, Michigan City/LaPorte, Bloomington and Key West), but it also includes some starts in new markets like Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas and South Texas. We have already had S4GRU members seeing activity in the Minnesota market recently. S4GRU has announcedg that work would begin in the Oklahoma market this Winter several months ago. However, the work in Arkansas and South Texas markets represent a move up in the schedule. This is welcome news.   It is no accident that Sprint outlines that the LTE signals that are discovered in these areas are "prelaunch." Sprint is trying to set expectations that these are advance LTE signals that will be usable to customers. It's great that Sprint will allow these sites to be usable pretty quickly after they are complete. But as we have seen around our forums and our social media pages, there is a pretty vocal part of their customer base who expects to have wall to wall coverage immediately upon receiving their first LTE signal. It is important that these people understand that they are getting to use their LTE sites really early, before the whole network is ready. And this is a good thing.   Most markets will take a long time from prelaunch phase until they have ubiquitous coverage over the whole area. A few months to a year, depending on the market. See the city list below and their corresponding markets: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (Minnesota market) Fort Smith, AR (Arkansas market) Ardmore, OK (Oklahoma market) Oakland/Fremont/Hayward, CA (SF Bay market) Michigan City/La Porte, IN (Chicago market) McAllen/Edinburg/Mission, TX (South Texas market) Key West, FL (Miami/West Palm market) Bloomington, IN (Indianapolis market) Eau Claire, WI (Minnesota market)    

S4GRU

S4GRU

(UPDATED) Sprint-USCC spectrum deal: Sprint gets 20 MHz broader in the "City of Broad Shoulders"

by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 1:10 PM MST   Update: Six weeks later, Sprint and U.S. Cellular have finally filed their PCS 1900 MHz license assignment applications in the FCC ULS database. From the filing, we have learned that USCC will not relinquish all of its PCS spectrum in Springfield and Champaign, so the primary market spectrum table below has been updated to reflect that clarification. In a nutshell, Sprint will acquire a consistent PCS B block 20 MHz partition and disaggregation in all affected counties in the Chicago MTA and a consistent PCS A block 10 MHz partition and disaggregation in all affected counties in the St. Louis MTA. For a complete list of the counties included in the spectrum transaction, see this spreadsheet from the FCC filing.   Yesterday, Sprint and U.S. Cellular announced an agreement to transfer PCS 1900 MHz spectrum and subscribers in several midwestern markets -- notably, Chicago, St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, South Bend, Springfield (IL), and Champaign -- from USCC to Sprint. While this transaction does entail that USCC will exit its largest and home market, Chicago, it is not a merger. Overall, USCC will give up 585,000 subs but will retain over 5 million current subs, and the deal involves no transfer of wireless infrastructure. Rather, the existing USCC CDMA2000 infrastructure in the affected markets will be retired within approximately two years, as subs are transitioned to the Sprint network. The exact boundaries of the PCS licenses and subs to be transferred from USCC to Sprint have not yet been revealed on a county by county basis. So, this article will be updated once the FCC assignment applications are filed or any other further info arises. In the meantime, know that this is a spectrum transaction, bar none. Chicago is Sprint's largest market in which it holds only 20 MHz of PCS A-F block spectrum. In nearly all other top 10 markets, Sprint holds 30 MHz of PCS A-F block spectrum. And Ft. Wayne is a proverbial red headed stepchild market -- Sprint's only top 100 market with only 10 MHz of PCS A-F block spectrum. So, most importantly, this transaction provides a 20 MHz PCS injection into Sprint's spectrum holdings in both Chicago and Ft. Wayne. For a look at the five largest markets included in the deal, see the spectrum table below: Moreover, Sprint's existing PCS D block 10 MHz and PCS E block 10 MHz licenses in Chicago are non adjacent. As such, Sprint has to run an extra set of guard bands -- one set of guard bands for each license. Those extra guard bands take up valuable spectrum, limiting Sprint to only six instead of seven CDMA2000 carriers in its 20 MHz of spectrum and leaving more sites in Chicago spectrum constrained than in any other big market. Synergistically, though, the PCS B block 20 MHz license that Sprint will acquire in Chicago is directly adjacent to its existing PCS D block 10 MHz license, giving Sprint a fully 30 MHz contiguous swath of PCS spectrum, which will allow Sprint to deploy additional CDMA2000 carriers and larger LTE bandwidth (10-15 MHz FDD) when the time comes to add LTE capacity. See the license contiguity in the band plan diagram below: Speaking of LTE, that is one of the key reasons why USCC is willing to part with its Chicago market. In most of its markets, USCC holds some combination of Cellular 850 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, AWS 2100+1700 MHz, and Lower 700 MHz spectrum. But in Chicago, USCC controls only the aforementioned 20 MHz block of PCS spectrum. USCC entered the Chicago market just 10 years ago when it acquired PrimeCo, which had been divested as part of the merger that created Verizon Wireless. Since then, USCC has been unable to acquire additional spectrum in Chicago, leaving it effectively incapable of deploying LTE in its largest market while continuing its CDMA2000 operations. So, the deal with Sprint provides an exit strategy for Chicago in what was otherwise a dead end market for USCC. In the other five of the six markets detailed above, USCC likely could roll out LTE, as it holds additional AWS 2100+1700 MHz and/or Lower 700 MHz licenses in those markets. It should be noted, however, that those non PCS licenses are not being transferred to Sprint in this deal. But as it exits those markets, USCC will almost surely look to sell the other licenses, too, with VZW and T-Mobile being likely buyers for the AWS spectrum, AT&T a strong possibility for some of the 700 MHz spectrum. Sources: FCC, USCC, Sprint

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

Sur la tablet: Apple iPad 4, iPad mini add Sprint LTE support

by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 12:05 PM MDT   Over the past six months, Apple's iPad 3 has racked up millions of sales, yet Google's (and Asus') Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface tablets have grabbed the headlines over the summer and into the fall. Yesterday, Apple struck back by not only rolling out iPad 4 the same year as iPad 3 but also introducing the long rumored iPad mini. S4GRU readers will recall that Sprint was left out of the iPad 3 sweepstakes, Sprint's nascent LTE network making its debut a few months after iPad 3's announcement. Certainly, some will bemoan that iPad 3 has been replaced in only half the usual yearly upgrade cycle, but Sprint users definitely benefit, as Sprint is fully in the fold this time with LTE support on the VZW/Sprint/global versions of both iPad 4 (A1960) and iPad mini (A1955). As soon as Apple's announcement event concluded yesterday, authorization filings for the new Sprint compatible iPads (iPad 4, iPad mini) started popping up in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database. So, joining our series of articles on on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Photon Q 4G, and soon to be released LG Eclipse and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is an RF capability focused look at Sprint's first two iPads: CDMA1X/EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X/EV-DO 850/1900/800) EV-DO Rev B Multi Carrier (i.e. 2xEV-DO, 3xEV-DO) LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25 (i.e. LTE 2100+1900/1800/850/750/1900) LTE 1900 1.4/3/5/10/15/20 MHz FDD carrier bandwidths W-CDMA bands 1, 2, 5, 8 (i.e. W-CDMA 2100+1900/1900/850/900) DC-HSPA+ (i.e. Dual Carrier) GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Wi-Fi hotspot (2.4 GHz only) support for all cellular airlinks Maximum RF ERP/EIRP (iPad 4): 23.10 dBm (CDMA1X 850), 22.90 dBm (EV-DO 850), 30.12 dBm (CDMA1X 1900), 29.08 dBm (EV-DO 1900), 23.30 dBm (CDMA1X 800), 23.40 dBm (EV-DO 800), 29.78 dBm (LTE 1900) Antenna gain (iPad 4): -1.58 dBi (Cellular 850 MHz), 2.44 dBi (PCS 1900 MHz), -2.24 dBi (SMR 800 MHz) Antenna locations (iPad 4): (see FCC OET diagram below) The inclusion of EV-DO Rev B Multi Carrier and the imposed limitations -- Cellular 850 MHz only, no 64-QAM -- are a bit curious. But these limitations will have no ramifications for use in North America, where EV-DO Rev B has not been deployed. All told, though, both iPad 4 and iPad mini look to be solid RF performers. Not surprisingly, since they share the same Qualcomm MDM9615 modem with iPhone 5, both iPads carry over basically the same airlink capabilities from the Sprint compatible iPhone 5 -- see S4GRU writer Ian Littman's article. And it should be noted that iPad mini, despite its diminutive size, does not lag behind its larger sibling. All ERP/EIRP figures are within ~1 dB between both iPads. In fact, for both EV-DO 1900 and LTE 1900 maximum EIRP, iPad mini trumps iPad 4 by ~0.5 dB. Furthermore, both iPads in their high ERP/EIRP outputs are less like power and size constrained handsets, more like mobile hotspots. Indeed, both iPads appear to be very capable hotspot devices.   Sources: FCC, Apple

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

Network Vision/LTE Deployment is starting now in Providence, Upstate NY Central, Southern Jersey and Delaware Markets ahead of schedule

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 2:50 PM MDT Four more Sprint markets that were slated to begin Network Vision/LTE deployments in 2013 are beginning early. Good news for Sprint customers in the Providence, Upstate NY Central, Southern Jersey and Delaware markets. S4GRU has been able to confirm that Network Vision is now under way in these four markets, all of them being deployed by Alcatel Lucent. This past week, AlcaLu has completed 3G upgrades in a small handful of sites in each of these markets, with 4G yet to come. First LTE signals should start appearing sporadically in these markets in the next 30-60 days. We currently do not have detailed schedules for these markets, so we will not be able to offer projected launch dates or completion dates at this time. However, near some of the first to be converted sites, Sprint customers can look forward to seeing improved 3G speeds and maybe even some testing/prelaunch LTE signals a few months earlier than originally planned. You can join us here at S4GRU and track these depoyments. We have a thread we titled the Network Vision Deployment Running List where you can see a summary of all the Sprint markets currently under deployment. Additionally, we offer even more info where we track the completed sites to date on Interactive Maps in our Sponsor section. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship   Sprint's Providence Market. Alcatel Lucent is starting Network Vision/LTE deployments in the Providence market. Cities that will be a part of this deployment include Providence, Newport, Cranston and Warwick. With only 144 sites, the market may wrap up relatively quickly. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's Upstate NY Central Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the Upstate New York Central market. The market includes Syracuse, Utica, Rome, Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca and Watertown. 257 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's Southern Jersey Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the Southern Jersey market. The market includes Trenton, Camden, Atlantic City, Princeton, Cherry Hill, Vineland, Millville and Cape May. 302 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's Delaware Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the Delaware market. The market includes Wilmington, Dover and the entire state of Delaware, and the small NE corner of Maryland. 139 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint "brings" LTE service to Greater Chicago and Other Communities

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 11:00 AM MDT   Today, Sprint announced in four separate Press Releases that they have brought 4G LTE Service to the Chicagoland area, as well as Wichita Falls Texas, Hutchinson and McPherson Kansas, New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts. It is probably no accident that Sprint selected to use the phrase "Sprint brings 4G LTE" in lieu of "launched." Don't misunderstand though that this is good news. LTE service in these newly announced areas has actually been active for awhile (in some places several months). Sprint only announced the outer suburbs of Chicago as being live, but actually Sprint LTE service is live over 80% of the metro area. However, the more urban sites in Chicago need to have service bolstered up even greater before Sprint sticks their neck out and claim the service is live. Even in non launched areas of the Chicago market, LTE service is still usable where sites have been completed.   Chicago Sprint LTE Coverage Map. This is the LTE coverage map showing in Chicago as of today. Coverages shown are a little generous with their modeling. This map would indicate coverage is nearly total, but we think it's more like 80%, using a very liberal estimate. In both Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas, each of those cities now has two LTE sites operable. For McPherson, that covers most of the area, only leaving one more site to upgrade. In Hutchinson, they have two of five sites broadcasting LTE, which covers most of the city pretty well. Service will get even better when full LTE density is achieved. Over in Wichita Falls, Texas, Sprint LTE is usable from three sites out of sixteen. So site density is very thin at this point. Sprint overly optimistically shows very good coverage on their maps saturating the entire Wichita Falls area. Service should be decent when near these three sites, otherwise you will likely only be able to get coverage outside. LTE performance will drastically improve as more and more coverage is added in the next few months. In Southeast Massachusetts, Sprint LTE is also live around Fall River and New Bedford. The first New Bedford LTE site went online about five weeks ago, and the service has been growing since. Currently both New Bedford and Fall River have three LTE sites a piece working. Which is about one third of the total sites in the area. So coverage is OK now, but will get even better over the next few months. On another note, our members discovered the new coverages show up Friday night on the Sprint website and figured out Sprint would be making these announcements on Monday. Clever group we have here at S4GRU.   NOTE: In our Sponsor Section, we have interactive maps that show all the completed sites to date, including the sites in the markets referenced in this article. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Network Vision/LTE Deployment is starting now in East Kentucky, North LA, Upstate New York East and VT/NH/ME Markets ahead of schedule

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 7:00 AM MDT   Four Sprint markets that were slated to begin Network Vision/LTE deployments in 2013 are beginning early. Good news for Sprint customers in the East Kentucky, Upstate New York East, North LA and Vermont/New Hampshire/Maine Sprint markets.   S4GRU has been able to confirm that Network Vision is now under way in these blessed locations. Three of these markets are being deployed by Alcatel Lucent (Upstate NY East, North LA & VT/NH/ME) and the East Kentucky market is being deployed by Ericsson. In fact, AlcaLu already has completed 3G upgrades in a small handful of sites in these markets, with 4G yet to come. Ericsson is just now beginning in the East Kentucky market and do not quite have any sites complete yet.   We currently do not have detailed schedules for these markets, so we will not be able to offer projected launch dates or completion dates at this time. However, near some of the first to be converted sites, Sprint customers will start to see improved 3G speeds and possibly even some prelaunch LTE signals.   You can join us here at S4GRU and track these depoyments. We have a thread we titled the Network Vision Deployment Running List where you can see a summary of all the Sprint markets currently under deployment. Additionally, we offer even more info where we track the completed sites to date on Interactive Maps in our Sponsor section. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship   Sprint's East Kentucky Market. Ericsson is starting Network Vision/LTE deployments in the East Kentucky market. Cities that will be a part of this deployment include Lexington, Frankfort, Danville, Somerset, London, Corbin. With only 119 sites, the market may wrap up relatively quickly. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's North LA Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the North LA market. The market includes Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. 219 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's Upper NY East Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the Upper NY East market. The market includes the Albany metro area and Saratoga Springs. 216 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.   Sprint's VT/NH/ME Market. Alcatel Lucent has begun Network Vision/LTE deployments in the VT/NH/ME market. The market includes all of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and NE New York. 362 sites total. Click on Map to Enlarge.

S4GRU

S4GRU

Deal worked out for Japan's SoftBank to purchase 70% stake in Sprint Nextel forming a "New Sprint"

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 2:39 AM MDT Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank and Sprint Nextel formally announced a new venture called "New Sprint" that includes the foreign carrier taking a 70% stake in Sprint. The $20 Billion deal was revealed in the middle of the pre-dawn morning here in the United States as it was timed to be better for the business day where the event announcement was held in Tokyo. The stage was co-hosted by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. Notably absent in remarks during the announcement or from the Press Releases is clarity for the outcome of Clearwire. There has been speculation about how Clearwire would shake out of this deal. Clearwire's fate is not yet, clear (sorry for the pun). Some believe that Sprint will take it's large cash infusion from SoftBank and purchase Clearwire outright to make their spectrum apart of the SoftBank/Sprint long term strategy. Formally in the Press Release, it says that Sprint is not required to take any action. But the door is left open that they indeed could do that with proceeds. The boards of both SoftBank and Sprint have approved the transaction. The deal is anticipated to close in Mid 2013 and will be subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. It seems to us that regulatory approval in the U.S. should be relatively easy. Japanese companies have not received the scrutiny that Chinese companies have in the past. Most often citing security concerns. The New Sprint will stay headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas and Dan Hesse will stay on as the CEO of the new venture. Only three existing Sprint board members will be on the new 10 person New Sprint board. S4GRU Members have been discussing this in our forums for the past week since the rumors first surfaced that SoftBank and Sprint were in talks. The Press Release with more details is below:    

S4GRU

S4GRU

Sprint Marketing Updates 4G LTE City List where work is under way and adds 20 more

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, October 12, 2012 - 8:19 AM MDT   On this Friday morning, Sprint's marketing cranked out a new Press Release adding 20 additional communities that Sprint anticipates having at least a prelaunch amount of service available to use by its LTE customers before the end of the year.   All of these appear to be in areas where Sprint is already working. But just expanding out to other communities within those markets. A couple are a repeat from the previous 100 city list from Sprint, like Warsaw, Marion and South Bend, Indiana and Sebring, Florida. However, I know there are a lot of Ft. Wayne customers who are now happy to see they will not get left behind their Hoosier State counterparts in South Bend.   It is no accident that Sprint outlines that the LTE signals that are discovered in these areas are "prelaunch." Sprint is trying to set expectations that these are advance LTE signals that will be usable to customers. It's great that Sprint will allow these sites to be usable pretty quickly after they are complete. But as we have seen around our forums and our social media pages, there is a pretty vocal part of their customer base who expects to have wall to wall coverage immediately upon receiving their first LTE signal. It is important that these people understand that they are getting to use their LTE sites really early, before the whole network is ready. And this is a good thing.   Most markets will take a long time from prelaunch phase until they have ubiquitous coverage over the whole area. A few months to a year, depending on the market.   EDIT 8:44 AM MDT: After further review, Joplin, MO is the first city in the Missouri market. So there is one new market where deployment is now expanding to. This should be taken as good news that work will also be starting in St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia and Jefferson City in the not-too-distant future.    

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Big enough for everything (except SVDO)

by Andrew J. Shepherd Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, October 5, 2012 - 2:00 PM MDT   Earlier this week, the Samsung SPH-L900 authorization filing hit the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database. Judging by the handset's expansive 150 mm x 80 mm dimensions, S4GRU firmly expects this device to be the upcoming Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 "phablet." In keeping with our previous articles on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Photon Q 4G, and yet to be released LG Eclipse, here is an RF focused breakdown of the presumed Note 2's FCC disclosed tech specs: CDMA1X + EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X + EV-DO 850/1900/800)
LTE band 25 (i.e. LTE 1900; PCS A-G blocks)
LTE 5 MHz FDD carrier bandwidth
LTE UE category 3
W-CDMA/HSPA band 2 (i.e. W-CDMA/HSPA 1900)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1900
GPRS/EDGE multislot class 10 (i.e. max 4 downlink, 2 uplink, 5 total timeslots)
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
SVLTE support, including SVLTE and simultaneous Wi-Fi tether (2.4 GHz only)
SVDO support absent
Maximum RF ERP/EIRP: 20.03 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850), 24.46 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900), 20.25 dBm (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800), 28.35 dBm (GSM 850), 25.05 dBm (EDGE 850), 29.44 dBm (GSM 1900), 24.13 dBm (EDGE 1900), 21.41 dBm (W-CDMA 1900), 19.63 dBm (LTE 1900)
NFC antenna integrated into battery cover
CDMA1X/EV-DO Rx antenna diversity
Antenna locations: (see FCC OET diagram below)
  Besides the incorporation of GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1900 and W-CDMA/HSPA 1900 capabilities, the most notable feature of the Note 2 is the lack of SVDO capability. That absence appears to be related to the inclusion of W-CDMA/HSPA, which coexists on a transmit path with LTE. In typical SVDO capable handsets, CDMA1X/EV-DO has one transmit path, but EV-DO has a second possible transmit path that it shares with LTE. That is not the case with the Note 2, as can be seen in the antenna locations and simultaneous transmission paths diagrams:     Within each transmission path, only one airlink can be active at any given time. This is a hardware restriction that precludes SVDO but allows SVLTE. Additionally, some other simultaneous transmission scenarios that are technically supported by the hardware (e.g. CDMA1X voice + W-CDMA data) are locked out in software. For all of the possible and permissible simultaneous transmission scenarios, see the included table from the FCC filing:     In conclusion, if SVDO truly was sacrificed in order to include W-CDMA, that is a curious compromise, especially for a handset otherwise geared (e.g. band class 10 CDMA1X, band 25 LTE) specifically for Sprint.   Source: FCC

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

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  • The Wall Comments

    • LTE if you like, this uses the signal from the tower to supply data to the MB to rebroadcast a clean, local signal. I haven't heard of these being options. Sounds like you got a newer one. Neat! If you have a WiFi network you would like to use, give it a try. You can always reset these things. 
    • Hi! Newb to the magicbox. I just had one delivered. Easy set up. Under the settings though, it gives me the opinions of: LTE Backhaul WiFi Backhaul Ethernet Backhaul I’m at a loss of which to choose. Ethernet is out because I can’t get to it. I haven’t found anywhere explaining why I would choose LTE vs WiFi.   Help?
    • The unverified rumor floating around reddit is that iPhone 8 and higher will get the ability to enable VoLTE when Apple releases IOS 12.1.1.  There were changes made to the iPhone hardware components between the iPhone 7 and 8 models and the new IOS carrier bundle only has Sprint VoLTE code in it that works on that newer hardware.  It is possible to enable VoLTE on older iPhones as other providers have done so but they did so when those older iPhones were current.  Since the majority of Sprint iPhone users have a phone released in the past 2 years, a special update just for the older iphones seems unlikely when they have to spend time working to get VoLTE rolled out for other newer phones.  Phones without VoLTE should continue to work for a while as Sprint previously said they are not planning on completely shutting down CDMA for a couple years.
    • Will Sprint enable VoLTE on older iPhones such as the 6 or 6s?
    • https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/t-mobile-inks-533m-reciprocal-long-term-spectrum-lease-deal-sprint Coverage has gotten better the past couple weeks. Must be why
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