As we get to the final business day of 2011, I can't help to think back on the past year. Some of you know my background, and others of you just joined along for the ride at some point in the past few months, or weeks.
At the beginning of 2011, there was no S4GRU. I was just another Sprint customer with his Evo 4G, waiting for 4G service to come to his tertiary market. I bought the Evo on opening day, June 4, 2010. I had been an AT&T customer since they bought out Cingular a few years before. AT&T had great coverage in California and Nevada. But in early 2010, I moved to Northern New Mexico. And AT&T asked me to leave, because I was killing them in roaming costs in my new location.
So in May 2010, I started looking for a new wireless carrier. Sprint had good coverage in my area and I heard they were coming out with a 4G phone. It also appeared like they were aggressively deploying their 4G network. Even before the phone started selling, they already had dozens of markets up and running though Clearwire. I thought it was smart to buy a 4G phone, since my contract would be for two years. I figured it would be crazy to buy a 3G-only phone for a two year commitment. So I chose Sprint and the Evo.
All throughout 2010, Sprint and Clear announced 4G expansions quite readily. So I was largely happy with deployment progress. But just hoping it would pick up a little pace and start getting to secondary markets. However, 2011 started, and the announcements stopped. February, March...nothing.
Then one day in late April, I am sitting at a stop light in Santa Fe, New Mexico and my Evo decides to randomly reboot (which it occasionally did before I installed a custom MOD). When it came back online, the 4G antenna came on and locked on to a signal. What??? So, I pulled into a parking lot and tried using it. First speedtest, and I got 9.1Mbps download. Whoa! This is the real deal. I've got 4G!!! WooHoo!!!
This event caused me to be optimistic that 4G WiMax expansion must be alive and well. But I am a curious guy and wanted to know what was going on. If Sprint and Clear are still expanding service, why aren't they announcing it to their customers? I could see on forums that people were getting angrier and angrier about the state of Sprint's 4G rollout. Why aren't they trumpeting the expansion?
I come across Clear's coverage maps and see little light green blobs in hundreds of locations all across the country. Are these test signals? What's going on? I drove to all the new service areas in my region and tried the signals. They all were up and running, but with varied results. In Las Vegas, New Mexico I couldn't get 4G speeds higher than 1.3Mbps, and in Albuquerque I was able to even get over 10Mbps.
I started hitting about a half dozen forums and proclaiming to everyone who would listen, "turn on your 4G antennas and scan for service! Sprint has unannounced coverage all over the place!" By May 20th, I started posting service updates in assorted forums, telling folks about where Sprint and Clear had unannounced service. And that's when I started to learn the story of Protection Sites. That these sites were deployed by Clearwire to meet FCC buildout requirements for the spectrum and protect from losing it's FCC license. And then it all made sense.
Regardless of why, these signals were usable. And millions of customers would be able to find a meaningful use for them. So I continued my quest to bring updates to the masses, letting them know where new Protection Sites were popping up. In July, we started our Facebook page, and that's when we really took off. In October we added Twitter. In November we added Google+.
We really stuck our necks out there on November 10th when we started our own web page. Not just a simple static page, but a full online social community. A place where I can blog original stories and we can interact with them. We are still in the beta stage.
So, now we are up to the New Year. 2012 lays mere hours away. And there has never been a more exciting time to be a Sprint customer. Granted, it is a painful process. 3G Data rates have been especially excruciating for many Sprint customers. But with Network Vision beginning and LTE deployment under way, 2012 promises to be a rocking year.
One thing is for sure, not matter the outcome, Sprint 4G Rollout Updates will be along for the ride. Bringing you information as fast or faster than even most tech websites. And you won't have to sift through dozens of articles that are not relevant to the Sprint Network and 4G. Straight to the point stories and fast. That's our mission. And lots of geeky details that other websites won't report (or Sprint for that matter).
Don't be surprised if we start selling advertising or do things to help pay for the costs to keep this thing running. But I'm now committed to this experiment for the long haul. I'm very excited to bring this info to you in the most dynamic way I can.
And Dan Hesse, if you should happen to read this, when can I get my exclusive interview? Our fans have a few questions for you!
Happy New Year,
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Follow link for my predictions for 2012: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-109-2012-predictions-from-sprint-4g-rollout-updates/
And a special thanks to my wife Christina. She is the most loving, patient and loyal life partner a man could ever ask for. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on S4GRU the past six months. Thanks for your support.
2011 QUICK STATS:
Total Fans & Supporters, all media: 1522
- Facebook Fans...726
- Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Unique Visitors, not Members*...512
- Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Website Members...133
- Twitter Followers...81
- Google+ Subscribers...70
S4GRU Member Breakdown
- 87% Male
- 13% Female
Top 20 Most Popular Cities S4GRU unique visits from:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Indianapolis, IN
- San Diego, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Tucson, AZ
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Milwaukee, WI
- Wichita, KS
- Tampa, FL
- Lexington, KY
- Louisville, KY
- Des Moines, IA
- Tulsa, OK
- Dayton, OH
- Lincoln, NE
- Detroit, MI
- Knoxville, TN
- Troy, OH
- Elkhart, IN
- Oshkosh, WI
Languages site viewed in:
- 91% English (US)
- 4% English (UK)
- 2% Spanish
- 1% Arabic
- 1% English (Pirate)
- 1% German
Biggest External Referrers to Website:
- Yahoo Mail
Sprint 4G Rollout Articles in 2011: 180
Top 20 Most popular articles:
2,109 Page Views
Sprint deploys first Network Vision cluster in Kankakee, Illinois and promises LTE deployment info early in 2012
1,344 Page Views
New Sprint Network Enhancements & Upgrades Site
1,196 Page Views
Sprint announces first Network Vision tower with CDMA & LTE live
541 Page Views
New Samsung commercial stirring controversies. Really? Get a life.
422 Page Views
Sprint Announces Exclusive Event at CES in January
421 Page Views
Sprint releases slides from today's Network Vision Strategy Update
396 Page Views
Clearwire is Abandoning it's Legacy Pre-WiMax Service
357 Page Views
BREAKING NEWS: Sprint rolling out Network Vision in Chicago right now!
347 Page Views
Sprint not beginning LTE deployment necessarily in WiMax area first
332 Page Views
Sprint 4G Strategy Update Conference - Our Facebook Wall Comments
317 Page Views
Clearwire throws hail mary and ends up with $700+ Million for new TD-LTE network
299 Page Views
Sprint changes LTE device due date from Mid 2012 to Q3/Q4 2012 and controversy ensues
293 Page Views
BREAKING NEWS: Clearwire announces funding deal with Sprint
289 Page Views
Sprint to Offload Commercial Airave's at Your Work and Favorite Destinations
255 Page Views
Seeking Alpha: How Sprint & Clearwire Can Use AT&T to Unlock Billions in Value
251 Page Views
Clearwire's future LTE network and the equity funding it needs to build it
240 Page Views
Sprint VP talks up LTE-Advanced, VoLTE and HD Voice in new video
215 Page Views
Jay Leno Mocks Sprint iPhone on Tonight Show
208 Page Views
Sequans ties with Fujitsu for LTE chips
* These are unique IP addresses who visited more than twice, and the IP addresses are not connected to any known registered Member