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Without further ado, here is the official S4GRU FAQ. Hopefully this can answer your questions, a search of the site, or google search may also be able to find the answer to your question if it is not on here. Otherwise feel free to ask the members of S4GRU. The old saying says "there is no such thing as stupid questions" after all. Hopefully one of the other members can help you out.

What are the standards and expected behaviors of this site?
See S4GRU Posting Guidelines thread.
Who are the administrators and staff who run this site?
See S4GRU Staff thread
I haven't posted yet but I want to follow a particular post, thread or map. How can I?
First off, welcome to the forums, second, don't be shy, post in the thread. This way you would automatically get a email reminder when new posts are added to the thread. If you still don't want to post and just follow, then just click on the "Follow this topic" button.
There are way too many map and device threads, is there a directory or index?
Yes, just click on any of the the link to get to the list of…
Directory of All S4GRU Maps
Sprint LTE Device Release Dates
History of Sprint Devices (coming soon)
For Future use
How come I can only see a few maps and not the ones with more detail?
We provide numerous maps showcasing the markets being upgraded to Network Vision. Some of these are very detailed and are only provided to members that have donated to the upkeep of our site. These sponsor and premier sponsor members get access not only to these maps but to other Network Vision threads.
Ok, I love what you are doing here, so how do I become a Sponsor/Premier Sponsor?
Please see the Information about S4GRU Sponsorship levels and how to become a Sponsor thread.
I think a post is inappropriate, what should I do?
Click the report button and leave a comment of why you are reporting it. This will alert the Moderating team, who will address the post.
I am a sponsor but I am unable to access the sponsor forums using Tapatalk. What can I do?
You can add the S4GRU Lounge to your favorites in Tapatalk and access it through the favorites tab , or you can try out the ForumRunner app. Currently there is a problem with Tapatalk and the way they authenticate access to the protected forums, and they have stated that they are not going to fix the problem.
How do I attach a picture to a post?
The thread "Adding images to Posts" shows you how to add images to your posts.
Edited by twospirits
Updated 04/16/2014
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What is Network Vision?
In summary, the first part of Network Vision, or Network Vision 1.0, entails the complete replacement of all of Sprints legacy hardware for new modern equipment from Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, and Ericsson. This allows for the deployment of LTE services PCS 1900 (G block) in addition to CDMA 1xAdvance on eSMR 800 and improved 3G CDMA / 1x on PCS 1900 (A – F).

The second phase of Network Vision, or Network Vision 2.0, is the nationwide deployment LTE of eSMR 800 and TDD-LTE Band 41 2500 mhz. Existing Sprint Network Vision equipment are already capable of LTE 800 services and will in most cases require just a visit by a technician to install additional hardware in the base station cabinets to enable the LTE functionality. The nationwide deployment of TDD-LTE over all existing Sprint cell sites, a number of former Clearwire cell sites, and thousands of new cell sites will consist of new 8T8R (8 Transmit 8 Receive) equipment from Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia Solutions & Networks who replaced the incumbent vendor Ericsson.

What is LTE?
LTE stands for "Long Term Evolution" and is based off the older GSM/UMTS standards which has integrated new modulation techniques allowing for much improved speed and lower use of bandwidth.
I see quite a few acronyms and terms throughout the site, such as TD-LTE and FD-LTE? is that different technology? Is there a list that explains these acronyms and terms?
Please see our Glossary of Forum Terms post.
What version/class/revision of 4G LTE is Sprint deploying?
Sprint is deploying equipment compatible with 3GPP revision 9.
I see numerous images of cell sites and panels. Is there a way to tell which is which?
Yes, please select any of the following "How to Spot" threads...
Clearwire TDD-LTE Antennas & RRUs (Samsung)

Clearwire TDD-LTE / Wimax Antennas & RRUs (Huawei)

Sprint NV Antennas and RRUs (Samsung)

Sprint NV Antennas and RRUs (Alcatel-Lucent)

Sprint NV Antennas and RRUs (Ericsson)

Sprint 8T8R TD-LTE RRHs (Nokia Solutions & Networks)

Sprint 8T8R TDD-LTE RRHs (Samsung)

Sprint 8T8R TD-LTE RRHs (Alcatel-Lucent)

Sprint Outdoor Pico Cells (Samsung)

Sprint Outdoor Pico Cells (Ericsson)

Sprint Outdoor Pico Cells (Nokia Networks)

Sprint Pico Cells (Alcatel-Lucent)

What about 800 SMR LTE?
eSMR 800 LTE is now being deployed nationwide outside of the International Boundary Exclusion Zones along the border regions of Canada and Mexico. Rebanding has begun in both areas but it is highly unlikely enough spectrum will be cleared and green lighted for LTE 800 services till at least 2015 and onwards.
With all this talk about spectrum such as 800 SMR LTE, what spectrum does Sprint have and how does it compare to others?
This thread explains the Sprint spectrums and its' competitors.
When will CDMA on 800 SMR be rolled out?
CDMA 800 is already being deployed nationwide in areas where the spectrum has been cleared for use. Areas such as the International Boundary Exclusion Zone along the borders and areas where public safety is still rebanding are the outliers.
When will my city get 4G LTE?
Please see the Network Vision / LTE Deployment Running List Thread.
What if my market is not on that list?
The list was compile in early 2013, so please search the forums for your particular market as there may be a thread already posted for it.
I have a complaint about my data speeds being bad, should I create a post to tell everyone?
No, call Sprint's customer care number, or *2 from your Sprint phone. Or you can report it via the Sprint Zone app.
Is 4G LTE different from the previous 4G (WiMax) offered by Sprint?
Yes, they are completely different technologies. Until April 2012, Sprint used WiMax for it's 4G technology. Sprint devices launched since April 2012 are 4G LTE compatible.
Will my "4G" phone work on the new network?
In order for a phone to be compatible with the 4G Network Vision upgrades, it must be a 4G LTE phone. All other 4G phones will continue to operate on the 4G WiMax network that Sprint contracts from Clearwire.
With Sprint moving to LTE, will my WiMax phone be without 4G now?
Sprint has committed to providing WiMax to customers until 2015 over the existing 4G WiMax footprint. 4G WiMax coverage has not been expanded since 2011 and no additional WiMax coverage will be deployed in the future.
How long does it take to upgrade a cell site to Network Vision standards?
From start to finish, it takes about three weeks to upgrade a site, several crews are doing the base cabinets, several different crews are doing the antenna panels and radios, other crews are running cable runs and other crews are connecting routers to backhauls and doing testing. So, work is not continuous for three weeks, but on average, it takes three weeks minimum to complete.

Now having it go live and broadcasting LTE will depend on the immediate progress of the cluster and backhaul (high speed internet connections) being deployed to the site. Sprint cluster launches NV 3G first in order to get sites eCSFB compliant so tri-band Spark devices can utilize said technology to connect to LTE and access voice services when required.

Within the timeframe to upgrade a cell site, when does eHRPD get turned on? And once eHRPD is turned on, what steps remain before LTE is turned on for that site? Basically why have many NV sites apparently been broadcasting eHRPD for a very long time without LTE lighting up?
Please see this for further explanation.
I read that TDD-LTE (aka Band 41) will only be put in the top 100 markets. What about the rest of the network?
Yes the rest of the network will get it, according to Softbank's CEO and Sprint's Chairman Masayoshi Son plans, of a nationwide TDD-LTE Band 41 roaming network for international users. This means every site in every market in every state in which Sprint serves.
Is Sprints LTE type LTE-Advanced ready?
Yes, the equipment Sprint‘s contractors are installing for the Network Vision project can be upgraded to release 10 (LTE Advanced) with a software upgrade.
What frequencies does Sprint use and how are they expected to perform?
1900MHz PCS

Currently used for CDMA 1x for voice services, EVDO rev A for data, and LTE for data.


Currently used for CDMA 1xA for voice / slow data and FDD-LTE (3mhz / 5mhz) for data services.

2500 / 2600MHz EBS / BRS

Now wholly owned by Sprint after Clearwire was acquired last year, Sprint has committed to deploying Band 41 TDD-LTE over its entire existing network in addition to about 7000-8000 former Clearwire sites and approximately 5000-8000 additional future sites. Current deployment (as of 2013 to about mid 2014) will be over the former Clearwire wimax network via equipment software upgrades or physical radio head upgrades.Deployment over the Sprint network sites will utilize brand new 8T8R Radios and Antennas from Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia Solutions & Networks with the first confirmed site deployment (Samsung) being found on the first week of April 2014.

With all the great tools and info on the site, I believe I know where I am connecting to on my device. It lists the following...





operator ID 310 04120 sprint

base ID (BID) 9714

network ID (NID) 5

system ID (SID) 4120

Lat/Long/Address 33.06024206255555, -96.72503361365555>

So how do I go from the info above to identifying the actual tower identifier/site ID, like for example AB12CD345?

Note: Site ID and GPS cordinates in example are made up.

There is no cross-reference table that neatly correlates the Sprint's own tower ID on the S4GRU project maps (DA60XC903 in this case) to the radio IDs you are capturing in the field using an app such as CDMA Field Test. But with the S4GRU Sponsor maps in hand, you know where all the towers are. So the correlation is by nearby geography (the lat/lon coordinates). Unfortunately this is not simple, but it can be done with some work.

Please note: Some members have noticed that in some markets the BSIDs did not change when NV was completed. They have noticed that they were not sequential nor follow any sort of pattern determined at the time of observance.

The Operator ID, System ID, Network ID and Base Station IDs you are capturing are all part of the hierarchy of IDs that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level. They are broadcast by the site radios. There typically are 3 (rarely just 2) sector radios per tower to cover the full compass around the antenna site, and Sprint's practice is to assign BSIDs sequentially. So if you travel around a given tower site, you usually will log 3 BSIDs numbered in sequence.

The coordinates you are capturing are broadcast by the base station radios, but they are not necessarily the location of the tower. (Please see this thread in the Sponsor section) Towers always seem to fit one of two patterns:
- All sector radios (each with a BSID) squawk identical coordinates, which are the actual tower site. In this case, finding the right tower is simple: The coordinates will be very close to the coordinates on the S4GRU project map, subject to somebody's GPS or GIS plotting errors.
- Each of the sector radios squawks unique coordinates that are offset some distance away in that sector, apparently along the axis of the antenna's directional lobe pattern, at a distance ranging from a hundred feet to several miles, depending on the engineered cell size. Thus, they form a triangle with the physical tower somewhere inside it. In this case, to be sure, you may have to discover all three sector coordinates and map them, then look for the S4GRU-mapped tower inside that triad.
Using this method of analysis. You will be able to correlate the Sprint IDs with the CDMA radio IDS.
answer above originally provided by member: boomerbubba
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What phones will support CDMA on 800 SMR when it is rolled out?
All new phones released after September 2012 will support CDMA 1x RTT on 800 SMR.
Ok, but is there a list of phones that support CDMA on 800 SMR before September 2012?
The following phones prior to September 2012 also support CDMA 1xRTT on 800SMR.
Apple iPhone 5 LG Rumor Reflex
BlackBery Curve 9350 LG Viper
HTC EVO 3D Motorola Admiral
HTC EVO 4G LTE Motorola Photon Q LTE
HTC EVO Design Samsung Array
Huawei Express Samsung Conquer
Kyocera Brio Samsung Epic 4G Touch
Kyocera DuraCore Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Kyocera DuraMax Samsung Galaxy S III
Kyocera DuraPlus Samsung Galaxy Victory
Kyocera DuraXT Samsung M370
Kyocera Milano Samsung Transform Ultra
LG Eclipse 4G Samsung Trender
LG Marguee ZTE Fury
LG Optimus Elite
The iPhone 4/4S says it supports 800MHz CDMA, will it support CDMA on SMR?
The iPhone 4/4S only supports CDMA and EV-DO in the 850MHz cellular band, so it is incompatible with Sprint's 800MHz SMR. This has been changed on the iPhone 5, which now supports CDMA 800 SMR.
What apps or commands can I use to map the cell site to which I am connecting, see the signal strength, etc.?
Debug screen

For Channel/Band information, ##DEBUG# in the dialer for most devices. *#*#DEBUG#*#* in the Galaxy Nexus.

CDMA Field Test

For 1x/EVDO signal information, including SNR and Ec/Io ratios, and determine the site location and roaming carrier identity.

(Note: does not determine LTE site location)


To determine the site location and roaming carrier identity. (Note: does not determine LTE site location)


By OOKLA, To test your connection speed.

FCC Broadband

also by OOKLA for the FCC, To test your connection speed.


Collects data about signal information to compile coverage maps based on real world coverage.


Both a Lite and Pro version in the market. Allows you to check the true signal strength of your connection.

On the iPhone

go to the phone number dialing screen and enter *3001#12345#*

I would like to understand the internal engineering (debug) screens on my device. Is there a primer?
Yes, just click on any of the Wall Blog links (preferably in order)
Interpreting your engineering screen. Part one.
Interpreting your engineering screen. Part two.
Interpreting your engineering screen. Part three.
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1xRTT = 1x (single carrier) Radio Transmission Technology

The first in a family of cdma2000 1x digital wireless standards designed to extend and replace the IS-95 CDMA standard. 1xRTT is sometimes referred to as a "2.5G"standard.

1x800 = 1x (single carrier) Radio Transmission Technology 800 MHz

CDMA-based voice and low speed 3G data on Sprint's 800 MHz SMR network.

AAV / AAV BACKHAUL = Alternative Access Vender

In most cases, AAV vendors are usually cable companies. But they may be a local utility, ISP and in some cases the local ILEC. It's basically a catch all term to mean all backhaul that is not T1, Microwave or direct fiber connections. In some cases, AAV backhaul may be fiber except for the last connection point from the street to the site base cabinets.

BACKHAUL = Backhaul

In wireless networks, the connection from an individual base station (tower) to the central network (backbone). This is the internet connection to the cell site. It could be fiber optic, microwave, Ethernet etc.

BASE ID / BID = CDMA Base Station ID (hex value in parenthesis)

Part of the hierarchy of IDS that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level. Further explanation can be found in this post.

BSL = CDMA Base Station Location

This indicates the address of 1X site or sector.

CDMA = Code Division Multiple Access

This is the core technology that Sprint has used for wireless communication. CDMA is used by Sprint and Verizon, and is the competing technology to GSM, which is used by AT&T and T-Mobile in the USA and internationally.


A GSM Cell ID (CID) is a generally unique number used to identify each Base transceiver station (BTS) or sector of a BTS within a Location area code (LAC) if not within a GSM network.

COW = Cell On Wheels

This is a mobile cell site that consists of a cellular tower and electronic radio transciever equipment on a truck or trailer, designed to be part of a cellular network.

CQI = LTE Channel Quality Indicator

This indicator is computed on the fly in LTE systems and used to try to optimize resource allocation among the various user end devices that are requesting service. For additional info please refer to this article.

DAS = Distributed antenna system

This is a shared-infrastructure or neutral host model for expanding a wireless network footprint by adding coverage and capacity in hard to reach areas. It basically is a way to deal with isolated spots of poor coverage. For additional info please refer to this article.

DCF = LTE Downlink Center Frequency

Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.

EDGE = Enhanced Data for Global Evolution

EDGE is a data system used on top of GSM networks that provides faster data speeds than GPRS, the technology it makes obsolete. It has a theoretical maximum downlink data rate of nearly 475Kbps, which qualifies it as a 3G technology based on ITU guidelines, even if typical implementations are configured for non-3G speeds. Generally, it is referred to as 2.75G.

eHRPD = Enhanced High Rate Packet Data

A software overlay that allows for smooth handoff between EVDO and LTE Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.



= Effective Radiated Power / Equivalent Isotropically Radiated power

EIRP and ERP are similarly defined as the product of the power supplied to the antenna and the antenna gain (when the power and gain are represented in linear terms). The primary difference between them is that for ERP, the antenna gain is expressed relative to an ideal half-wave dipole antenna whereas with EIRP, the antenna gain is expressed relative to an ideal (theoretical) isotropic antenna. Additionally, FCC required testing uses ERP for low band spectrum, EIRP for mid/high band spectrum. And the relationship between ERP and EIRP can be expressed using this formula:

ERP = EIRP - 2.15



= EVolution Data Optimized

Originally stood for "EVolution, Data-Only", but later was also referred to as "EVolution, Data-Optimized" It is a 3G standard for CDMA-based networks. As a 3G technology, it focuses on bringing high-speed data to CDMA networks.

FIT = Field Integration Test

Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung each upgraded a smallish city with the Network Vision equipment they were supplying for the network vision project. By completely upgrading one city, they were able to test the real world application of the equipment they supplied instead of only laboratory tests.

FD-LTE = Frequency Division Long Term Evolution

Part of the data transfer from the tower to your device & from your device to the tower In FD-LTE, there are specified frequency allocations for all communications from the tower to the phone and another different frequency allocation for communication from the phone to the tower.

GCI = LTE Global Cell Identity

uniquely identifies an LTE site and sector within the network.

GPRS = General Packet Radio Services

GSM-based 2G data.

HSDPA = High Speed Downlink Packet Access

GSM-based 3G data.

HSUPA = High Speed Uplink Packet Access

GSM-based 3G data.

HSPA = High Speed packet Access

GSM-based 3G data.

HSPA+ = Evolved High Speed Packet Access

GSM-based 3G data (sometimes referred to as 4G).

IBEZ = International Boundary Exclusion Zone

This refers to the roughly 70 mile area from the Canadian and Mexican borders (there's varying accounts of the actual area, but 70 miles is what I've seen the most of). The US and Canada / Mexico must reach an agreement for the use of the 800 MHz SMR spectrum that Sprint owns before Sprint can fully deploy that spectrum, otherwise there will be interference with the owners of the same spectrum on the other side of the border (Telus Mike on the Canadian side). The SMR (800 MHz) spectrum is what Sprint obtained from Nextel and is far better at building penetration and traveling distances than the 1.9 ghz PCS spectrum Sprint operates on now.

ID = EV-DO Sector ID


LAC = GSM Location Area Code

A location area code (LAC) is a 16 bit number thereby allowing 65536 location areas within one GSM PLMN (public land mobile network).

LTE = Long Term Evolution

A standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It succeeds 3G WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA/CDMA. The actual name of the standard is called 3GPP Release 8.


Part of the hierarchy of IDS that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level.Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.


Part of the hierarchy of IDS that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level. Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.

PCI = LTE Physical Cell Identity

Identifies an LTE site and sector.

RRU/RRH = Remote Radio Unit/Remote Radio Head

The RF front-end functionalities of the cell site are split off and RRU’s are mounted behind the antennas to process the radio signals without the signal loss from sending the RF signal through coax cable from the antenna to the base station, resulting in improves signal quality at the UE.

RSRP = Reference Signal Received Power

The average received signal power over the resource elements that carry cell-specific reference signals within certain frequency bandwidth.

RSRQ = Reference Signal Received Quality

This indicates the quality of the received reference signal.

RSSI = Received Signal Strength Indicator

Is a measurement of the power present in a recieved radio signal.

SNR = Signal to Noise Ratio

Is a measurement that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise.

An expanded explanation can be found here.


Part of the hierarchy of IDS that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level. Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.

TAC = LTE Tracking Area Code

This is the location area and routing area. A tracking area is a set of cells. Tracking areas can be grouped into lists of tracking areas (TA lists), which can be configured on the User Equipment (UE). Tracking area updates are performed periodically or when the UE moves to a tracking area that is not included in its TA list.

TD-LTE = Time Division Long Term Evolution

Part of the data transfer from the tower to your device & from your device to the tower In TD-LTE, the same frequency is used for both phone to tower and tower to phone communication, but there is a handshake between the phone and tower, where an upload time slot and download time slot are specified to prevent both sides from attempting to talk at the same time. TD-LTE, also known as Sprint Spark, will run with 20 mhz TDD carriers over Sprints network and the former Clearwire network. Equipment that will be deployed are new 8 Transmit 8 Recieve which are the first of its kind in North America. Existing Spark depoyments utilize old Cleawire Huawei software upgraded equipment or an older model dual mode Samsung Wimax / TDD-LTE RRH.

TOY = Small cell technology

A TOY cell site is a small scale macro deployment site that is used by Sprint for internal for testing and training purposes. It is not accessible/usuable outside the building or by the public. Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.

UCF = LTE Uplink Center Frequency

Part of the hierarchy of IDS that define the CDMA connection down to the sector level. Please see this forum article for a detailed explanation.

UE = User Equipment

Generally, it describes whatever device you are using to access the network.

W-CDMA = Wideband Code Division Multiple Access

GSM-based 3G data.

WiFi / Wi-Fi = Wireless Fidelity / Wireless High Speed Connection

Is a technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using microwaves in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

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This post for future use.



Please note:

Posted comments are allowed only for corrections or additions to the FAQ. Once the addition or correction is inserted into the FAQ, the posted comment will be removed.



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This is a great update.  Congratulations and Thank You to those who worked on it.


Would it more beneficial to move it to the Home Page in the banner with The Wall, etc so it is only a click away instead of pinned in this forum?  Might get seen more and eliminate some redundancy of questions.

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The forums button has moved to the right and and information kiosk is all glitchy!





The Forums tab has moved back to where it belongs. That is where it used to be prior to an IP Board update about two years ago. Also, we are aware of the checquer pattern that appears after clicking on one of the tabs. We are looking into that bug. Thanks.



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The Forums tab has moved back to where it belongs. That is where it used to be prior to an IP Board update about two years ago. Also, we are aware of the checquer pattern that appears after clicking on one of the tabs. We are looking into that bug. Thanks.



Now I need to get out of the habit of clicking on where "The Wall" now sits because I'm so used to "The Forums" being in its place :P



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Is the menu (tabs) missing for anybody else?

Right now, if you are using a mobile browser, you will see a blue menu banner in place of the navigation tabs. Click the button on the right side and your menu options expand. We are going to try and get rid of the blue mobile menu bar as soon as we can figure out what made that appear. Hopefully there is a setting in there somewhere.

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Right now, if you are using a mobile browser, you will see a blue menu banner in place of the navigation tabs. Click the button on the right side and your menu options expand. We are going to try and get rid of the blue mobile menu bar as soon as we can figure out what made that appear. Hopefully there is a setting in there somewhere.


I am using Firefox on Windows 7 (desktop).

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You're not on the default skin. You've somehow selected the IPBoard skin. Look through your profile settings and see if you can find a place to change your skin to S4GRU or S4GRU1.


If you don't figure it out, I'll look it up when I get back in front of a computer later today.

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