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Network Vision/LTE - Chicago Market

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Oops, you got me!! Thank you for catching that. Sorry for my error on downtown geography.

 

But I stand by my statement that ChiWestLooper's iPhone 4s will not be able to take advantage of most current and future NV upgrades: First because his phone doesn't support 4G; Second because his phone doesn't support 800 SMR (when that comes into play); And, third because even with the 3G updates that have been installed in and near the Loop, bandwidth has not yet been expanded (waiting for USCC spectrum to free up) and at 1900 Mhz, building penetration has been improved only a small amount.  As the USCC spectrum does become available, and as Sprint subs move off of CDMA for LTE, his speeds will likely improve, but probably not as much as he might like.

 

Conclusion: Let's all go out and support the economy by buying NEW PHONES! :)

Either way though it is nice to see the same NV build out process we have seen in the burbs and city neighborhoods finally hit Downtown Chicago proper (the Loop). 

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Enough is enough.

 

I've been a Verizon customer for the past couple of years.  Since my contract expired last August, I've been wanting to switch to Sprint.  This forum has been giving people false hopes for a long time now.  I literally waiting from last August through this past weekend for things to settle down on Sprint.  I went to the Sprint store last weekend, and the guy is very up front with me.  He says, the network migration in the downtown area is just getting under-way and probably won't be done until August of this year in the best case.  Not only will that cause an unreliable LTE connection, but it also would mean dropped calls and so forth.  His honesty was very appreciated.  No doubt, setting up a new cellular network is no small feat.  At the back of my mind I knew this transition wouldn't reach a steady state for at least 2 years (based on my industry experience).

 

Anyway, enough is enough, so I just went out and bought two Galaxy S4s and stayed on Verizon.  Everything works great... the LTE coverage has been immaculate and I have nothing to complain about.  For almost the same price I'm on a shared data plan with unlimited talk and text.  Also, this includes mobile hotspot, which is an add-on with Sprint.  Data-wise, we average < 3GB month on our old phones.  Lets say that increases up to 4GB with new devices.  With a 4GB shared plan that's still cheaper than Sprint if you get the features I'm getting.  Not to mention a network that's mature.  Even if I up our plan to 6GB a month, that's only $10 more per month.  I know there are many Sprint fan-boys on this forum, but take a step back and get real.  You're paying good money for your service and you deserve service that actually works.  You're NOT paying for a promise for better service in the future.

 

That was my story and I'm sticking to it.

I use an avg of 25-30gigs a month after LTE was deployed im afraid im pretty happy with sprint..verizon network is nice and all..but is shitty in midtown manhattan with no promise of it getting any better anytime soon.

 

Good luck with Verizon, it sounds like it works for you..but if you notice, this thread has slowed down because alot of users are busy using there phones just fine..

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Enough is enough.

 

. . .

 

That was my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

Okay, so you are selling out by continuing to give money and market power to a company that is trying to litigate Net Neutrality and open access requirements into oblivion.  Not to mention, VZ is doing its damnedest to make the US look like the broadband laughing stock of the developed world by halting fiber expansion and seeking to scrap its existing copper network -- all to serve its shareholders rather than the public interest.

 

Well, congratulations, you are just another small minded, short sighted consumer.

 

AJ

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Enough is enough.

 

. . .

 

That was my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

 

Okay, so you are selling out by continuing to give money and market power to a company that is trying to litigate Net Neutrality and open access requirements into oblivion. Not to mention, VZ is doing its damnedest to make the US look like the broadband laughing stock of the developed world by halting fiber expansion and seeking to scrap its existing copper network -- all to serve its shareholders rather than the public interest.

 

Well, congratulations, you are just another small minded, short sighted consumer.

 

AJ

 

Meanwhile I'm enjoying my LTE while I'm on Madison and Wabash as I type lol.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Victory LTE using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Enough is enough.

 

I've been a Verizon customer for the past couple of years.  Since my contract expired last August, I've been wanting to switch to Sprint.  This forum has been giving people false hopes for a long time now.  I literally waiting from last August through this past weekend for things to settle down on Sprint.  I went to the Sprint store last weekend, and the guy is very up front with me.  He says, the network migration in the downtown area is just getting under-way and probably won't be done until August of this year in the best case.  Not only will that cause an unreliable LTE connection, but it also would mean dropped calls and so forth.  His honesty was very appreciated.  No doubt, setting up a new cellular network is no small feat.  At the back of my mind I knew this transition wouldn't reach a steady state for at least 2 years (based on my industry experience).

 

Anyway, enough is enough, so I just went out and bought two Galaxy S4s and stayed on Verizon.  Everything works great... the LTE coverage has been immaculate and I have nothing to complain about.  For almost the same price I'm on a shared data plan with unlimited talk and text.  Also, this includes mobile hotspot, which is an add-on with Sprint.  Data-wise, we average < 3GB month on our old phones.  Lets say that increases up to 4GB with new devices.  With a 4GB shared plan that's still cheaper than Sprint if you get the features I'm getting.  Not to mention a network that's mature.  Even if I up our plan to 6GB a month, that's only $10 more per month.  I know there are many Sprint fan-boys on this forum, but take a step back and get real.  You're paying good money for your service and you deserve service that actually works.  You're NOT paying for a promise for better service in the future.

 

That was my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

Yep, because retail representatives at Sprint stores are always the most reliable source of network information. Anyways...

 

1668660-cool_story_bro_jesus.jpg

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Enough is enough.

 

I've been a Verizon customer for the past couple of years. Since my contract expired last August, I've been wanting to switch to Sprint. This forum has been giving people false hopes for a long time now. I literally waiting from last August through this past weekend for things to settle down on Sprint. I went to the Sprint store last weekend, and the guy is very up front with me. He says, the network migration in the downtown area is just getting under-way and probably won't be done until August of this year in the best case. Not only will that cause an unreliable LTE connection, but it also would mean dropped calls and so forth. His honesty was very appreciated. No doubt, setting up a new cellular network is no small feat. At the back of my mind I knew this transition wouldn't reach a steady state for at least 2 years (based on my industry experience).

 

Anyway, enough is enough, so I just went out and bought two Galaxy S4s and stayed on Verizon. Everything works great... the LTE coverage has been immaculate and I have nothing to complain about. For almost the same price I'm on a shared data plan with unlimited talk and text. Also, this includes mobile hotspot, which is an add-on with Sprint. Data-wise, we average

 

That was my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

*yawn*.....Well good for you. O RLY???? Wat u want..a cookie? Cool story bro. Ill be sure to put my 100% faith in sprint store reps for facts about network vision next time.

 

Sent from my Motorola Photon 4G using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Oops, looks like a Mod deleted one of the posts I was going to quote, the one from the Verizon troll.  I was going to suggest that we return the thread to a sense of decorum and good will -- This should be about how to help things get better, not about name calling and venom.

 

But, enough! Here's my real reason for posting:

 

Has anyone else in the Northwest Suburbs been having problems with apps stopping with error messages and with incorrect dates? Signal Check Pro has stopped on my GS3 numerous times since last Thursday, and at times my phone has firmly planted itself in March, 2013.  Other apps (mail, Google maps, etc.) have also stopped with error messages.

 

My local Best Buy (where I bought the phone, went there because I thought it might be a warranty issue) said that they had heard from "Sprint" that a tower in the area is down, and that they have been getting numerous complaints.

 

My question: Is this a likely explanation? It seems to have some merit, as the apps that have failed all seem to need network information to work properly.  Any ideas?

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Oops, looks like a Mod deleted one of the posts I was going to quote, the one from the Verizon troll. I was going to suggest that we return the thread to a sense of decorum and good will -- This should be about how to help things get better, not about name calling and venom.

 

But, enough! Here's my real reason for posting:

 

Has anyone else in the Northwest Suburbs been having problems with apps stopping with error messages and with incorrect dates? Signal Check Pro has stopped on my GS3 numerous times since last Thursday, and at times my phone has firmly planted itself in March, 2013. Other apps (mail, Google maps, etc.) have also stopped with error messages.

 

My local Best Buy (where I bought the phone, went there because I thought it might be a warranty issue) said that they had heard from "Sprint" that a tower in the area is down, and that they have been getting numerous complaints.

 

My question: Is this a likely explanation? It seems to have some merit, as the apps that have failed all seem to need network information to work properly. Any ideas?

 

My wife has an OG evo and has had the time shift on her phone in that area. I seems like it picks a different time zone. It seems like it messes with the course location in android and switches it to a different time zone.

 

I have never seen the time change that much though, usually it only is an hour or two off. If it is months off the apps are likely not able to communicate because of the ssl certs are not being validated due to the clock issues. You could try and turn off getting the time from the network. It is in the android settings under date and time.

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

 

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My wife has an OG evo and has had the time shift on her phone in that area. I seems like it picks a different time zone. It seems like it messes with the course location in android and switches it to a different time zone.

 

I have never seen the time change that much though, usually it only is an hour or two off. If it is months off the apps are likely not able to communicate because of the ssl certs are not being validated due to the clock issues. You could try and turn off getting the time from the network. It is in the android settings under date and time.

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

If its symptomatic I would let Sprint know ASAP.  If they dont know how can they address the problem.

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" data-time="1369675435">

 

 

 

If its symptomatic I would let Sprint know ASAP. If they dont know how can they address the problem.

It happened a couple times two weeks ago and when network vision came though it was happening fairly frequently for a few weeks.

 

Both my wife and I run custom roms on our phones and it happened sporadically, for only a couple weeks or so. Not often enough for me to flash back to stock and call it in.

 

I was trying to tell the OP that I had seen something similar in the area he was having the issue and a work around that he could try using.

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

 

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NOTE: I removed the Site ID from your post. Information from the Sponsor section (including Site ID's) are to be kept in the Sponsor section of the site. Thanks!

What if we have the site IDs from elsewhere, like saw them written on the gear at the site? ;-)

 

On another note, did they ever do anything about the Evo 4G LTE signal problems? Half the time the phone is on 3G even though there are 4G towers around the area, and I still have to do the airplane mode flip to get the phone to switch to 4G. I tried setting the phone to LTE/CDMA only but being on 1X is painful and it still happens far too often for me to turn off 3G entirely. The other problem is that when the phone is in 3G mode (especially in the Winfield/Warrenville area and Winfield Road corridor), it's unusable and below dial-up speeds.

 

 

 

I'm wondering if I would solve so many problems if I just upgraded to a Galaxy S4? I am really unhappy with the Evo.

It gets better when you're in an area with solid LTE coverage. I was really disappointed with it, but I've softened that stance.

 

However, I'm happy with 3-6Mbps speeds when I have a mediocre signal. And most people will be too.

As a network operator, I *loathe* clients not at full modulation.

 

According to an interview with one of their engineers posted on youtube, getting leases in new locations can take 18-24 months.

Maybe it is for the cell guys, but if it takes more than two or three months for me to get on a site, I find a new one.

 

How come people are saying Chicago market deployment is a disaster? Aren't you guys almost complete?

It has been a disaster, but then again, so is most of the Sprint network.

 

Okay, so you are selling out by continuing to give money and market power to a company that is trying to litigate Net Neutrality and open access requirements into oblivion. Not to mention, VZ is doing its damnedest to make the US look like the broadband laughing stock of the developed world by halting fiber expansion and seeking to scrap its existing copper network -- all to serve its shareholders rather than the public interest.

 

Well, congratulations, you are just another small minded, short sighted consumer.

 

AJ

 

I actually support all of those things VZ has done. Most consumers are small minded, short sighted. I generally find the more they "know" about technology, the worse they are.

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Oops, you got me!! Thank you for catching that. Sorry for my error on downtown geography.

 

But I stand by my statement that ChiWestLooper's iPhone 4s will not be able to take advantage of most current and future NV upgrades: First because his phone doesn't support 4G; Second because his phone doesn't support 800 SMR (when that comes into play); And, third because even with the 3G updates that have been installed in and near the Loop, bandwidth has not yet been expanded (waiting for USCC spectrum to free up) and at 1900 Mhz, building penetration has been improved only a small amount.  As the USCC spectrum does become available, and as Sprint subs move off of CDMA for LTE, his speeds will likely improve, but probably not as much as he might like.

 

Conclusion: Let's all go out and support the economy by buying NEW PHONES! :)

Thank you for the network and frequency lesson. I honestly thought that the Sprint upgrade was going to benefit 3G customers as well as LTE customers. I guess I will have a crappy connection until September 1st when I will upgrade to iPhone 5. Does anyone live/work in the West Loop area? How is LTE over there?

 

Thanks!!!

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Felt like I should come in here and give a little update. I live over in the West burbs, near Hoffman Estates/Elgin and work in Schaumburg. My wife and I were having MASSIVE issues a few weeks back with people not being able to hear us when we would answer the phone, and all sorts of other issues.

 

I wanted to write and update and let anyone know who may be having similar issues to ditch the Google Voice integration. I'm not 100% this was the sole culprit as it could've been the updates around us being completed, but I haven't had a single issue in the past 3-4 weeks or so. Not one. Not one dropped call, not one person not being able to hear me when I answer their call. Nothing.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the network around where I am is pretty solid. I have LTE probably 98% of the time and the last few times I have been on 3G, it's not only been usable, but fast (1.5Mbps, which I think is pretty darn good for Sprint 3G).

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I honestly thought that the Sprint upgrade was going to benefit 3G customers as well as LTE customers. I guess I will have a crappy connection until September 1st when I will upgrade to iPhone 5. Does anyone live/work in the West Loop area? How is LTE over there?

 

Thanks!!!

 

I didn't mean to be totally negative. Your 3G will improve somewhat with NV: The new 3G panels with RRU's yield up to a 15-20% improvement in signal strength at the phone, and 3G->4G offloading may yield 3G improvement due to less congestion.  But the real payoffs will come from 800 Mhz connections and from 4G LTE.  The iPhone 5 can do 1x800 (voice and text) and 4G LTE, but will not be able to do 800 LTE (no current Sprint phone can do 800 LTE).  Other threads suggest that the phone vendors will release "tri-band" Sprint phones in the fall, with 800, 1900, and 2500 Mhz LTE (as well as 800 Mhz 1x for voice and text).  Consider waiting until one of these new phones is available, as the iPhone 5 (and the Samsung GS4, and all other current phones) will become instantly obsolete the day the tri-band phones are announced.  If we are all lucky, that may happen before Sept 1, but knowledgeable people who have posted about them don't think they will be quite that early.

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This happened to me several months ago in Mount Prospect.  It is a known issue with Sprint, and it seems to be happening where they are cutting over new towers with multiple vendor equipment.  I have not had the problem for a long time.  It would only happen when the phone (mine is a Samsung G3) went into LTE.  It would revert back to the right time when it went to 3G.  I would call Sprint and report the problem.

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Has anyone else in the Northwest Suburbs been having problems with apps stopping with error messages and with incorrect dates? Signal Check Pro has stopped on my GS3 numerous times since last Thursday, and at times my phone has firmly planted itself in March, 2013.  Other apps (mail, Google maps, etc.) have also stopped with error messages.

 

My local Best Buy said that they had heard from "Sprint" that a tower in the area is down, and that they have been getting numerous complaints.

 

My question: Is this a likely explanation? It seems to have some merit, as the apps that have failed all seem to need network information to work properly.  Any ideas?

 

I have never seen the time change that much though, usually it only is an hour or two off. If it is months off the apps are likely not able to communicate because of the ssl certs are not being validated due to the clock issues. You could try and turn off getting the time from the network. It is in the android settings under date and time.

 

If its symptomatic I would let Sprint know ASAP.  If they don't know how can they address the problem.

 

This happened to me several months ago in Mount Prospect.  It is a known issue with Sprint, and it seems to be happening where they are cutting over new towers with multiple vendor equipment.  I have not had the problem for a long time.  It would only happen when the phone (mine is a Samsung G3) went into LTE.  It would revert back to the right time when it went to 3G.  I would call Sprint and report the problem.

 

An update for those of us in the far, far, far Northwest: Sprint Customer Service confirms that CH73XCxxx at Cog Circle in Crystal Lake has 2 failed sectors, which could cause the errors that I am seeing (and more), and estimates correction by Thursday.  The nice Sprint lady was not able to tell me the exact issue causing the outage.

 

This outage concerns me, not so much because the sectors are having problems (stuff happens), but because the equipment on that site is nearly new, shiny, Samsung NV stuff.

 

The tower has been broadcasting 800 SMR for some time (even though it doesn't show 800 accepted on the sponsor map).  Because 800 Mhz has such a broad footprint compared to 1900, this seems to cause some interesting problems.  Using Signal Check (when I am able to), when I am driving around town and my GS3 is on 800SMR, I see the BSID jumping from site to site very often (normal behavior reported in several S4GRU threads), and the offending Cog Circle site is frequently part of the "rotation".  And, I get the app errors and clock/calendar issue quite frequently in this circumstance.  This doesn't happen when I am at home, as I have an Airave (1900 EV-DO) or I am usually connected to the one remaining local non-800 tower (eHRPD).

 

Therefore, I think the problem that I am seeing may be entirely a result of problems with the 800 Mhz equipment at the one site.  But that one 800 Mhz site seems to be affecting a much larger area than a 1900 Mhz site would affect.

 

Hopefully, this is not a harbinger of poor Samsung NV equipment reliability. But it is a concern that a single tower with 800Mhz capability may have a broader impact than a pre-NV tower with only 1900.

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Thank you for the network and frequency lesson. I honestly thought that the Sprint upgrade was going to benefit 3G customers as well as LTE customers. I guess I will have a crappy connection until September 1st when I will upgrade to iPhone 5. Does anyone live/work in the West Loop area? How is LTE over there?

 

Thanks!!!

Looking at the variance between the NV Sites complete Map and Chicago NV Sites map there are four towers in the West Loop.  I am calling the West Loop the area between Ashland (West), Lake (north), i-290 (south), and Canal (east).  Of the four towers in this area, three show on the NV complete map, two of the three show 4G accepted and on.  So the short answer is it should be OK, but not great.  The tower on Washington and Loomis needs 4G acceptance, and the tower on Jackson/Clinton doesn't show anything as of yet.  So there u go.

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Looking at the variance between the NV Sites complete Map and Chicago NV Sites map there are four towers in the West Loop.  I am calling the West Loop the area between Ashland (West), Lake (north), i-290 (south), and Canal (east).  Of the four towers in this area, three show on the NV complete map, two of the three show 4G accepted and on.  So the short answer is it should be OK, but not great.  The tower on Washington and Loomis needs 4G acceptance, and the tower on Jackson/Clinton doesn't show anything as of yet.  So there u go.

Thank you for the info! I actually live in the Greektown are so the tower on Jackson/Clinton is precisely the one that will most likely serve my block.

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Thank you for the info! I actually live in the Greektown are so the tower on Jackson/Clinton is precisely the one that will most likely serve my block.

Yeah man, same thing over and over again in regards to downtown.  The NV transformation is just starting to happen like right now. Its all about patience, downtown is obviously last and moves a lot slowly.  It's unfortunate we had to see it to believe it, or know it, but thats the way it is.  Im sure several months from now when its all behind us we won't even remember the bad times.....like Derrick Rose's eventual return.

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An update for those of us in the far, far, far Northwest: Sprint Customer Service confirms that CH73XCxxx at Cog Circle in Crystal Lake has 2 failed sectors, which could cause the errors that I am seeing (and more), and estimates correction by Thursday. The nice Sprint lady was not able to tell me the exact issue causing the outage.

Did she say what two sectors are failing?

 

That tower is garbage right now. Data speeds are horrible. Most of Crystal Lake is waiting for them to fire up the microwave backhaul. If you are at the Walmart on 31 you can't even get Google Nav to load up. The cog Circle tower feeds that area.

 

If that is your home tower I feel bad for you.

 

If you go to the tower by the Lake in the Hills airport data speeds are flying.

 

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

 

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Thank you for the info! I actually live in the Greektown are so the tower on Jackson/Clinton is precisely the one that will most likely serve my block.

That Jackson/Clinton tower now shows up on the NV Sites complete map, not 4G yet though.

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What if we have the site IDs from elsewhere, like saw them written on the gear at the site? ;-)

 

That is permissible. Just reference where you got the Site ID if posting it in a public place. That way our Mods don't think you are quoting it from Sponsor content.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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Did she say what two sectors are failing?

 

That tower is garbage right now. Data speeds are horrible. Most of Crystal Lake is waiting for them to fire up the microwave backhaul. If you are at the Walmart on 31 you can't even get Google Nav to load up. The cog Circle tower feeds that area.

 

If that is your home tower I feel bad for you.

 

If you go to the tower by the Lake in the Hills airport data speeds are flying.

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

Nope, she didn't say which sectors, but one of them has to be BSID 21217, which is aimed to the southwest.  Again, I think the issue is with 800 SMR, because my GS3 goes nutty only when 1X is on 800.  Fortunately, it is not my home tower.  Unfortunately, my home tower has essentially no meaningful upgrades yet, other than pushing eHRPD.

 

And, you are right, the LITH Airport (Pyott Road) tower, which has all three 800 SMR, 1900 CDMA, and 1900 LTE upgrades, is FAST, and routinely gives 30-36 Mbps down, and 12-14 Mbps up.

 

I am waiting with decreasing patience for the backhaul upgrades that you mention.

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I am waiting with decreasing patience for the backhaul upgrades that you mention.

 

Maybe Robert knows why the mw backhaul seems to be lagging in the Chicago area (or if that is even a correct statement). Ethernet connected towers seem to have fired up much faster then mw towers. Large areas like Crystal Lake and Dekalb that have groups of interconnected towers with mw seem to be lagging. Crystal Lake is almost unusable for data.

 

I have seen some towers fire up with microwave, such as the one by 25 and 62, so progress is being made. They all seem to be a mw tower by themselves though and not a cluster.

 

My phone switches to 1x in that area so I imagine that is why SMR service makes that much difference with apps.

 

I understand the frustration. I hope one day you wake up and suddenly it's a different network.

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

 

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I am waiting with decreasing patience for the backhaul upgrades that you mention.

 

 

 

Maybe Robert knows why the mw backhaul seems to be lagging in the Chicago area (or if that is even a correct statement). Ethernet connected towers seem to have fired up much faster then mw towers. Large areas like Crystal Lake and Dekalb that have groups of interconnected towers with mw seem to be lagging. Crystal Lake is almost unusable for data.

 

 

 

I have seen some towers fire up with microwave, such as the one by 25 and 62, so progress is being made. They all seem to be a mw tower by themselves though and not a cluster.

 

 

 

My phone switches to 1x in that area so I imagine that is why SMR service makes that much difference with apps.

 

 

 

I understand the frustration. I hope one day you wake up and suddenly it's a different network.

 

 

 

Sent from my EVO LTE

 

 

 

 

I do not the reason of the MW backhaul hold up in the Chicago market. I'm flabbergasted it's taken this long.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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      Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 7:46 PM MST
       
      Since last fall, there had been talk of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus launching on American carriers other than Big Red. Sprint has finally announced several weeks ago that it is the another vendor slated for release in the U.S. Suffice to say, many of us out there, especially those adverse to heading to Verizon and paying its premium prices, are excited about the impending release.
      The good news is that Google could be working on an updated version of the Galaxy Nexus. It has unofficially been dubbed the Galaxy Nexus Plus. There is much anticipation that it will be released before Sprint turns on LTE this summer. It’s not the first time an OEM has refreshed a device and re-released it to the market place, which works to our advantage. It’s rumored that the new Galaxy Nexus will have either a 1.5 or 1.8 GHz Texas Instrument OMAP4670 dual core processor. This would be a significant upgrade from the 1.2 GHz dual core processor found in the current Verizon version.
      We don’t know anything about official specs, but it’s also rumored to have an 8 MP camera. This is a noteworthy upgrade to the 5 MP shooter on the Verizon model (which has been lauded by many techies). We already know that the Sprint model will come installed with Google Wallet, per previous announcements. Some rumors also point to a beefier battery as well. The phone should have all the other features that’s on the current Galaxy Nexus, so now all we have to do is wait.
       
       
      Source: http://androidandme....era-on-the-way/
    • By S4GRU
      by Rick Layton
      Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
      Monday, June 25, 2012 - 4:27 PM MDT
       
      As technologies advance, the equipment to use the technology must advance as well. With the upcoming release of 4G LTE in our area (Houston), new equipment will be required to be able to use it. Although Sprint will have numerous data devices to handle the usage by the end of the year, only the Sprint Tri-Band Modem will be available at the rollout of the 4G LTE service.
      Due to the enormous dependence my business has on accessing data in a mobile environment, plus the great increases in data speed available with 4G LTE, this makes getting access to 4G LTE imperative to me. I depended heavily on the Sierra Wireless data devices when I started this business 7 years ago for my source of a reliable method of mobile data transmission. This relationship continued on until the release of the original Hotspot with the 4G service in my area.
      At one point, I was so displeased with past models, that I had sworn I would never buy another Sierra Wireless device as long as I live. This conclusion was reached after having numerous issues with previous hotspot models. There were so many problems that it seemed as if the device was never even tested on the networks it was to be used on. Also Sprint actively blocked reviews of the device, likely to not hinder sales in spite of the problems.
      My need for a new device with both WiMax and LTE capability outweighed my outright dislike of Sierra Wireless products. I proceeded against better judgment, and the Tri-Band modem was ordered even though the possibility of getting a substandard unit once again was always at the forefront of my mind.
       
      On with the show
       

      The official part number of the Tri-Band Modem is 803S. Along with the modem, I also ordered the SSX7077-V desktop cradle. I had to dig through a lot sites to find the information necessary to make this decision for my business. Much to my surprise, even though I was told the cradle was not available yet, I got a Sprint telesales person who was able to use the part number and find they had it in stock.
      Upon arrival I unpacked the unit and cradle...while holding my breath. The device that came out of the box was a pleasant departure from the previous Hotspots I had owned. Above is a picture of the device as it was shipped with all components. There was a small user guide as well but to get the real instructions the user guide must be downloaded from Sprint.
       
      Gone was the one piece blow molded plastic case which allowed no air circulation and caused the prior Hotspots to overheat quickly. Although the display is still too small for my aging eyes (it is actually the same display size as prior units) the change to the case makes it much easier to see in the interior of my van where the device will mostly be used.
      In this picture of the front you can see that there is a new button arrangement as compared to the older Hotspots. Also in the picture is the USB cable for use with the charger or to connect a computer, the AC to USB adapter, the battery and the battery cover. I opened the cradle, which was surprisingly inexpensive, and was delighted to find an additional AC to USB adapter which meant the cradle could be left in place without having to move the adapter around.
      As you look at the modem from the side you can see the antenna ports (the covers are open), the USB connector in the middle and the slot for the memory card. The round hole just right of the left antenna port is the reset button for the unit.

      Here is the same view with the battery and cover installed. Notice that the SD card slot is covered by the
      battery cover.
       

      The opposite side has two switches. The one on the left is a WPS setup button while the one on the right is a slider to mute the unit.
       

       
      The unit sits nicely in the cradle and looks to me to be a solution to help keep the USB port for the charger/interface cable from failing. This has been a major issue with the prior Hotspots. The case of the unit also helps support the USB port to take some of the load off of the circuit board.
      It took quite a bit of digging on the Sierra Wireless site to find out that the antenna ports are for the 4G WiMax band only. The cradle contains 2 5dbi omnidirectional antennas to allow full use of the WiMax network architecture.
       
      Initial testing

      The initial testing of the unit looks promising. The antennas in the cradle for 4G WiMax actually seem to get 3 – 5dBm gain in all conditions tested. The new unit has the ability to search the other bands for signals while staying connected. This allows less downtime between band changes. I notice a lot less disruption when switching bands.
      This unit has better reception on 3G and 4G WiMax than the previous hotspots and even the U600 USB modem I use as well. 4G WiMax is able to connect quickly even at 10% and the cradle has improved stability of WiMax and decreased ping times. For a short time I had access to Sprint 4G LTE as they were testing the towers in my area. The speeds were incredilbly faster. A 10% 4G LTE signal averaged 8.12Mbps download and 1.85Mbps upload. An 80% signal was able to get 35.8Mbps down on my best test and 22.1Mbps up.
      The upload speeds was very unexpected, and much higher than Sprint LTE smartphone devices have reported. This is likely due to much stronger transmit capabilities of the hotspot. I also discovered that when the modem is tethered the cable limits the bandwidth to approximately 20Mbps total speed. It will be interesting to see how it works in the 12 to 14 hour days of hot Houston Weather.
       
      First week in the field
      The Tri Band Modem got pressed into service a little quicker than planned, as my main unit went down with a bad transmission and the U600 USB modem with a Cradlepoint that was in this unit appears to have been damaged by the wrecker’s radio which runs on the edge of the WiMax frequency at 5 watts. The units have been sent in to determine cause of failure and for repairs but I think next time I will make sure all electronics are powered off before getting that close to a transmitter (OUCH!!).
      I am running the same routes in a rental van with the Tri-Band Modem that I normally use the other units on. There is less downtime in the signal gaps I am familiar with and areas where I have had signal problems in both 3G and 4G WiMax are much improved. I have yet to encounter any more 4G LTE signals but am looking forward to the service coming online soon. The unit seems to be running hotter than I would like with a fully charged battery but is actually cooler that the previous Hotspots. The temperature is supposed to soar over the next few days without the cloudiness we have had this past week. So it will be interesting to see if the overheating problems of previous models still occur.
       
      Week 2 – The True test
      The unit is getting worked really hard this week with temperatures outside up near 100 degrees. The GPS is useless with this kind of sun load as the unit will overheat if left in direct sunlight (as the instructions state) in about 20 minutes. The good news is that this is about twice as long as my original Hotspot will last. How anyone can make a unit that requires a clear view of the sky for GPS but can’t handle sunlight is beyond comprehension. A quick check of the Tri-Band’s temperature specs shows that the unit is only rated for 95 degrees. The prior Hotspot was rated well above the century mark but couldn’t even handle 90 degrees for any length of time. The crappiest laptop on the market will handle 105 degrees plus all day long. The true test will be my afternoon calls when the temperatures are high. Battery life has been about 8 to 9 hours which is far better than the prior Hotspots.
      The unit started overheating one afternoon. I can’t say I’m a bit surprised at that, but what is surprising is that it will run steadily as long as the air temp is below 98 degrees. This is a first for Hotspots as they always overheated well before the rated temperature spec. The bad news is the crappy overheat shutdown doesn’t turn off the unit before damage starts to occur, nor does it turn the unit off completely.
      Removing the battery cover seems to help air circulation and overheating some. The button lights are flickering after one overheating but the unit seems to be working fine other than this. It will be interesting to see what happens when it really gets hot here.
      According to the specs 4G LTE takes the least amount of wattage to run so it may not overheat as fast when using 4G LTE. I had the chance to try the modem in the old school 3G EVDO mode as one of my locations is 40 feet underground and that is all that is available at this location. I shut the unit down after 30 minutes as the unit was so hot you could barely handle it even though the temperature underground is around 70 degrees. I would not recommend trying to use this for any length of time if you want the Tri-Band to not overheat!!
       
      My Opinion
      Although Sierra Wireless has made some major improvement in the 3rd generation Hotspot, this is still a unit for the casual user. It is not designed to handle heavy use or outdoor summer temperatures for any length of time. It will be going in my climate controlled cabinet to protect it from the heat next week. I will let you know how it works when the temperature stays below 85 degrees. The improvements in connectivity, reception and stability are worth the investment. As long as you know and adjust your usage for the limitations of the unit.
    • By pyroscott
      Sprint Nextel revealed their second quarter 2012 corporate earnings in a conference call to their investors today and S4GRU was covering for news on Network Vision.
      Network thinning of the iDEN network is complete, taking 1/3 of Nextel towers off air. The Nextel network was built to support 20 million subscribers, but was only supporting 4.4 million subscribers, so it could easily be thinned without [much] noticeable change in street coverage. Sprint also converted 60% of the Nextel subscriber loss into their Sprint subscriber base. Interestingly, they stated that Verizon has been the biggest poacher of subscribers leaving Nextel, grabbing 50% of former subscribers in the last 4 1/2 years. In that same timeframe, Sprint has grabbed 25%, AT&T 20% and T-Mobile 5%.
       
       
      On the Network Vision topic:
      4 additional cities will launch, including Baltimore, by the end of August.*Edit* Cities were disclosed VIA press release following the conference call. They are:
      Baltimore, MD Gainesville, GA Manhattan/Junction City, KS Sherman-Denison, TX  
      Over 2,000 sites are currently online with 12,000 sites to be online by the end of the year
      Network Vision towers are seeing 10-20% additional voice minutes usage per tower, overnight after activating Network Vision. This will equal roaming savings for Sprint, and ESMR will only increase that savings.
      CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that Sprint will be releasing the Motorola Photon Q "in the very near future." It will be a QWERTY slider "with robust business and consumer features." It will also be sporting world phone capability.
      Several hundred Network Vision sites are waiting for backhaul, and will turn on when the backhaul is installed, several hundred more sites have birds nesting on them and Sprint won't be able to turn them on until the birds leave, according to the conference call.
      Sprint sold 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter, even though other carriers saw slowing of sales with rumors ramping up that the new iPhone would support LTE. 40% of the iPhone sales were to new customers. They also stated that iPhone customers require less customer support and are expected to churn less than customers on other phones.
      Mr. Hesse confirmed that Sprint is not looking to change plans in the near future.
      Things are looking up for Sprint. This quarter saw their highest ARPU and their lowest churn rate to date. They posted a larger loss than Q1, but beat their revenue goals for Q2. For more detailed financial information, check the source link below.
       
      Source: http://investors.spr...spx?iid=4057219
      http://finance.yahoo...-141200985.html -Thanks to S4GRU sponsor marioc21 for finding this link!
    • By lilotimz
      Ericsson RRUS31 B25 + RRUS11 B26
      These are the newest and greatest remote radio units to come from Ericsson. 

      The new Ericsson RRUS31  B25 should be fairly distinctive compared to the earlier RRUS11s and now the RRUS12s being deployed by ATT and Verizon. One of these new RRUS31s can do the job of two earlier RRUS11s thus reducing deployment costs for Sprint and complexity in deploying new sites and making it easier for users to spot as there are now 4 jumpers coming out of one RRUS31 rather than two from each RRUS11 that Ericsson originally deployed. 

      All future deployments will be utilizing the new Ericsson RRUS31s. In addition Ericsson are sending crews to their original deployments and swapping out older RRUS11s for these new RRUS31s due to the aforementioned fact that one RRUS31 can do the job of 2 RRUS11s. Weight savings will be significant at sites where there are 4 or 5 RRUS11 B25s that can be replaced by one or 2 RRUS31s. The Ericsson RRUS31 deployment project is known as the 65 Mhz Project. 

       

      Ericsson RRUS11 B26 top and RRUS31 B25 bottom

       

       
      Ericsson High Capacity / 4x4/2 MIMO Deployment
      Note the additional antenna + PCS radio.
      Previously Ericsson utilized additional PCS radios and used RF combiners for high capacity setups where they utilized three or more PCS radios. This new setup will utilize a completey new antenna + radio set just like Samsung and run 4x2 MIMO on the LTE antenna / radio set. 
       

       

       

       
      Ericsson RRUS11 B25 [EOL'd] and B26
      A standard Ericsson Network Vision 1.0 site with 3 RRUS11s where two are dedicated to PCS and one to SMR.  

      This type of setup is no longer deployed or utilized in new sites. Existing sites will be slowly converted to newer RRUS31 B25 via the Sprint 65 mhz project. 


       
      Ericsson NV high capacity site [EOL'd]
      3 or 4 PCS RRUs are present for a total of 4 or 5 RRUS11s per antenna. 


       

       

       
      Close up of Antennas
       

       
      Ericsson cabinets 
      (center)



      All credit to those who took the photographs. They know who they are!
       
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