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Washington, D.C. Network Vision/LTE Deployment schedule update


S4GRU

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by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 6:35 PM MDT

 

Whether you call it the District, DC or simply Washington doesn't much matter. Soon we will be able to call it a Sprint 4G LTE city. The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Washington, D.C.. This market has not been announced by Sprint, but appears to be on the way for a late August launch.

 

The Sprint Washington DC market covers all of the District Columbia, and the Maryland and Virginia DC suburbs. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Alcatel/Lucent has been actively deploying in the Washington DC market since March and is making good progress. As of this week, there are approximately 50 Network Vision sites that have completed upgrades. These sites are located throughout the market. Mostly in D.C. and the Maryland side, but sites are now starting to come live on the Virginia side.

 

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Network Vision Sites in the Washington DC market. Approximately fifty Network Vision sites are complete in the market.

 

Market Launch and Remaining Schedule

 

It was Sprint's original plan to launch markets when they reached 50% of sites converted to Network Vision. However, it has now been determined that Sprint will move up launches sooner than 50% completion in several markets. This is likely to maintain a Mid 2012 launch in markets that have already been announced. However, in an unannounced market like DC, we don't know if they will resume pushing back market launches to 50%, or if they will now settle on a 30% - 40% completion to be the new normal for market launches.

 

If Sprint waits for 50% completion to launch the DC market, it would make the launch month to be September (should AlcaLu stay on schedule). That being said, if Sprint should launch around the third week of August (as we suspect), then the market would be less than 50% complete. This doesn't sound like enough, but it would provide pretty good coverage. Even Verizon doesn't launch on all sites in a market initially. Usually less than 50%, then filling in with more and more sites every few months.

 

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Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in late August, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market.

 

Sprint is not reporting any of these live Network Vision sites in the DC market as currently broadcasting 4G LTE, only 3G EVDO. According to the NV schedule, these should have started coming online in May with LTE. However, none have shown up as LTE active to date. This most likely means that either the backhaul is not quite ready to service 4G LTE, or the 4G cores that these sites are tied to are not quite ready for LTE traffic. A huge backlog of LTE sites will probably come online in this market suddenly when the network is ready.

 

The bottom line...

 

We currently do not have a date that Sprint will formally "launch" the Washington DC market. We believe they are targeting a launch month of August based on reports internally within Sprint. However, after reviewing the schedule, it may actually pan out to be late August or the first of September. Sprint will likely announce a launch date for this market, and a few others like Austin, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles around the time of the first launch.

 

Sprint's schedule for this market currently has 50 Network Vision sites complete. Alcatel/Lucent is continuing to progress and is planning to increase the production rate up to 100 sites per month from here forward. This seems like an impossible production rate to us.

 

S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by January 2013. However, there are several sites that will linger past the completion. In our estimation of the schedule, AlcaLu is currently right on time, but may have issues meeting this rate identified in Sprint's schedule.

 

800px-Cherry_Blossoms_and_Washington_Monument.jpg

Photo of Washington, D.C. provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

NOTE: S4GRU Sponsor Members can track regular updates of

Network Vision sites completed nationwide. Completed sites are shown in an interactive Google Maps interface. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship

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I am no longer optimistic about a August launch. I think Mid to End of September at the earliest for DC. Baltimore will likely launch before Labor Day, though.Robert

 

My local sprint store said the same thing, shortly after labor day.

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I'm really hoping the September date sticks. 3g is getting unusable in Frederick to the point where I can't go on websites or anything. I need some LTE to come in and speed some things up.

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It's October and I am still experiencing horrible 3g coverage in the chinatown area (Verizon Center). signal keeps jumping back and forth from 3g to roaming on my SGSIII. I was really hoping to have LTE within this first week of OCT.

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It's October and I am still experiencing horrible 3g coverage in the chinatown area (Verizon Center). signal keeps jumping back and forth from 3g to roaming on my SGSIII. I was really hoping to have LTE within this first week of OCT.

 

At this point, I think the best scenario is a soft launch by the end of the month.

 

Robert

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I live practically on a major road near I-66 and I-495 and need an Airave device to get signal in my house. Will these upgrades improve signal as well as improving speed? I seem to be between 3 towers in a bit of a blind spot.

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I work in DC and my phone have never show any LTE signal although last week I went to Dallas, TX and my GS3 taste the power of 4G LTE and It was awesome almost 30 mbps downloading...also my phone have the 25006 PRL I didn't have to update my current PRL to connect to LTE....

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I work in DC and my phone have never show any LTE signal although last week I went to Dallas, TX and my GS3 taste the power of 4G LTE and It was awesome almost 30 mbps downloading...also my phone have the 25006 PRL I didn't have to update my current PRL to connect to LTE....

 

The 25XXX series PRL will run on LTE just fine on the GS3.

 

Robert

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Soooo Happy!

So I have been tracking the three Sprint towers around my house hoping to notice an upgrade team of some other kind of action going on. By tracking, I mean checking them out when I drive by them but also staying abreast of the Sprint "Network Vision" update site and also this site.

So today, I am driving by the closest tower to my house on my way back home and I see 3 Lucent - Alcatel trucks parked at the tower. I have a few minutes to spare so I stop by and see if I can speak to the guys. Turns out, yes, I can and they are sooooooo nice, and soooooo informative. Heres what they told me.

They ARE installing 4G LTE for Sprint. This tower is "exclusively" Sprint (was not aware of that) and Sprint has vowed internally to have LTE up in this area (DC Metro / So. MD.) by "black Friday". They told me specifically that Sprint is NOT waiting to turn the whole market up at once and when a tower is ready, they make it live cuz they are already behind schedule. They told me "my" tower would be ready in approx 4 days and if I wanted 4G to go ahead and buy a phone now.

I feel almost giddy....:-))

==sec0pz

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Soooo Happy!So I have been tracking the three Sprint towers around my house hoping to notice an upgrade team of some other kind of action going on. By tracking, I mean checking them out when I drive by them but also staying abreast of the Sprint "Network Vision" update site and also this site.So today, I am driving by the closest tower to my house on my way back home and I see 3 Lucent - Alcatel trucks parked at the tower. I have a few minutes to spare so I stop by and see if I can speak to the guys. Turns out, yes, I can and they are sooooooo nice, and soooooo informative. Heres what they told me.They ARE installing 4G LTE for Sprint. This tower is "exclusively" Sprint (was not aware of that) and Sprint has vowed internally to have LTE up in this area (DC Metro / So. MD.) by "black Friday". They told me specifically that Sprint is NOT waiting to turn the whole market up at once and when a tower is ready, they make it live cuz they are already behind schedule. They told me "my" tower would be ready in approx 4 days and if I wanted 4G to go ahead and buy a phone now.I feel almost giddy....:-))==sec0pz

 

Lucky Dog!!!

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Soooo Happy!So I have been tracking the three Sprint towers around my house hoping to notice an upgrade team of some other kind of action going on. By tracking, I mean checking them out when I drive by them but also staying abreast of the Sprint "Network Vision" update site and also this site.So today, I am driving by the closest tower to my house on my way back home and I see 3 Lucent - Alcatel trucks parked at the tower. I have a few minutes to spare so I stop by and see if I can speak to the guys. Turns out, yes, I can and they are sooooooo nice, and soooooo informative. Heres what they told me.They ARE installing 4G LTE for Sprint. This tower is "exclusively" Sprint (was not aware of that) and Sprint has vowed internally to have LTE up in this area (DC Metro / So. MD.) by "black Friday". They told me specifically that Sprint is NOT waiting to turn the whole market up at once and when a tower is ready, they make it live cuz they are already behind schedule. They told me "my" tower would be ready in approx 4 days and if I wanted 4G to go ahead and buy a phone now.I feel almost giddy....:-))==sec0pz

 

Black Friday as passed and no LTE!! Guess you were lied to..

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Wow...Must be tough, gettin no 4G love sony007. I got it here at the house. Tower is 3300 ft. away. 5800 kpbs down, 3300kbps up. Not bad for out in the woods in Southern MD.

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sec0pz, it sucks to be in Montgomery County where Sprint LTE coverage is either non existent or they have not turned it on. One of the towers near my house is shown to have received speed upgrade but no LTE signal in sight... :-(

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I'm getting LTE in the Adelphi/College Park area.Still needs to spread over to Bethesda/Rockville, though.

 

Need to add Frederick to that also! I did see sensorly showing coverage near 355 and Montgomery Village avenue and a stretch of 270 in gaithersburg.

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