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NV/LTE in Non-Sprint operated areas?


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I go to school at Virginia Tech, which I believe is in the Roanoke, Virginia market. I've been told that Sprint phones operate on the U.S. Cellular network out that way, unlike my home Richmond and nearby Norfolk/Hampton Roads markets. I'd like to know if it is even a possibility for NV/LTE to even deploy or rollout in that area, even if it is a couple years out, or if I should sign up for a U.S. cellular or Verizon hotspot to take advantage of their 700MHz LTE coverage if I'm not going to see any Sprint LTE at all out there.

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I can attest that US Cellular is awesome for service. They have the best network in the areas they serve. If you can live without unlimited go with USCC, their 3G always runs at or near the theoretical max speed of EVDO (1.5~2.7mbps). I haven't used their LTE yet but I hope that Sprint has an LTE roaming agreement with them by the time it gets rolled out to my area.

 

With regards to sprint adding new coverage, that generally will only happen if you are just outside of the current network footprint and the new 800 spectrum is enough to reach your area. This is unlikely as your market is probably pretty large (at least 30000) and Sprint skipped it on purpose.

 

EDIT: It looks like VA Tech is in Blacksburg, VA which has native Sprint coverage through a strategic rural alliance partner, Robert may be able to elaborate on which, but some SRA members are deploying LTE right now. If this is one of them it is worth it to stay with Sprint.

 

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I can attest that US Cellular is awesome for service. They have the best network in the areas they serve. If you can live without unlimited go with USCC, their 3G always runs at or near the theoretical max speed of EVDO (1.5~2.7mbps). I haven't used their LTE yet but I hope that Sprint has an LTE roaming agreement with them by the time it gets rolled out to my area.

 

USCC LTE devices thus far are quad band: Lower 700 MHz (band 12), AWS 2100+1700 MHz (band 4), Cellular 850 MHz (band 5), and PCS 1900 MHz (band 2). That said, USCC appears to be rolling out primarily LTE 700. Thus, unless USCC deploys any LTE 1900, Sprint devices will not be compatible with USCC LTE roaming.

 

AJ

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I go to school at Virginia Tech, which I believe is in the Roanoke, Virginia market. I've been told that Sprint phones operate on the U.S. Cellular network out that way, unlike my home Richmond and nearby Norfolk/Hampton Roads markets. I'd like to know if it is even a possibility for NV/LTE to even deploy or rollout in that area, even if it is a couple years out, or if I should sign up for a U.S. cellular or Verizon hotspot to take advantage of their 700MHz LTE coverage if I'm not going to see any Sprint LTE at all out there.

 

Actually, there is no Roanoke market. The area along the I-81 Corridor from just north of Bristol, VA all the way up into Pennsylvania is controlled by a Sprint affiliate called Shentel. This includes Blacksburg, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Staunton, Harrisonburg, etc. In that area, your phone will run on Shentel as native service everywhere you get a Shentel signal. Shentel has pretty good coverage. When you are off Shentel, you may roam on USCC (for 1x and possibly 3G).

 

Shentel is rolling out Network Vision and LTE with Alcatel Lucent. They are already under way. They will have approximately 40% of their sites live by the end of the year. They will finish the other 60% in 2013. Sprint LTE devices will run on Shentel's LTE service as native.

 

Shentel's sites are going to be mostly fiber backhaul. They should run very well. It will probably be better in the Shentel areas than in Sprint areas.

 

Robert

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So basically you're in for an upgrade network wise at VA Tech.

 

 

USCC LTE devices thus far are quad band: Lower 700 MHz (band 12), AWS 2100+1700 MHz (band 4), Cellular 850 MHz (band 5), and PCS 1900 MHz (band 2). That said, USCC appears to be rolling out primarily LTE 700. Thus, unless USCC deploys any LTE 1900, Sprint devices will not be compatible with USCC LTE roaming.

 

AJ

 

Still hopin for a miracle here.

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Still hopin for a miracle here.

 

Future Sprint LTE devices that include SMR 800 MHz (band 26) will add a second opportunity for roaming compatibility, since band 26 is a superset that incorporates Cellular 850 MHz (band 5).

 

When USCC starts deploying LTE in Kansas, I will scope a few live sites on the spectrum analyzer to see exactly which spectrum band(s) USCC is utilizing.

 

AJ

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Can anyone confirm that shentel covers all of York County PA? That is my understanding but I haven't found any evidence. If this is true York will be sitting pretty with wimax and lte coverage fairly early in their respective time lines. (Another thread mentioned that the shentel rollout is focused on the I-81 corridor for starters.)

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Does this site include NV sites completed by Shentel?

 

No it does not. If we ever come up with a source within Shentel, then Robert may incorporate their completed sites, but may just keep their maps separate.

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Actually, Virginia Tech is in a wholesale market controlled by nTelos, not Shentel (really, Shentel ends at Harrisonburg; once you get to Staunton, you're in nTelos territory all the way south on I-81 to Marion or so where Sprint native towers start up again). In nTelos' latest conference call, they said they might have something to say about LTE in the future but no announcements yet. (They also talk about trying to get more fiber backhaul to support Sprint 3G.) Nobody asked specifically about Network Vision though.

 

http://ir.ntelos.com/Cache/1500042718.PDF?D=&O=PDF&iid=4110676&Y=&T=&fid=1500042718

 

Verizon has LTE locally, although I haven't tried it. No idea on USCC.

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If I remember correctly, ntelos is one of sprints rural alliance partners, they do not use sprints spectrum or towers but do have reciprocal roaming agreements. Shentel uses sprints spectrum and leases the towers, runs retail stores and maintains the network themselves. Sprint receives payment and use of the network as native coverage, and Shentel gets to keep the profits much like a franchise restaurant. If ntelos does not decide to deploy LTE in the PCS or cellular band, sprint devices will most likely not be able to roam as they will already be supporting 3 bands (800/1900/2500) and more would be an over complicating factor...

 

No matter what, it will not be a NV deployment unless they are coordinating with sprint to upgrade their networks as well.

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The plot thickens! I didn't see anything on Shentel's website about any of their wireless network and I can't find anything from nTelos and Sprint besides a 2007 press release with only vague locations. I'm new to this kind of digging around the web!

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  • 1 month later...
Well' date=' I'm in Blacksburg now and the network is nTelos. I'm hoping to get in touch with them to see if they will be upgrading their sites to be Sprint NV/LTE compatibility.[/quote']

 

How does nTelos 3G perform?

 

Robert via Samsung Galaxy S-III 32GB using Forum Runner

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From what I recall before I moved away from Charlottesville 3 years ago it was decent. and at the time ATT and Verizon didn't yet have 3G service in the area so it was the fastest way to go.

 

Way better than Sprint 3G here in the Tampa Bay area.

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How does nTelos 3G perform?

 

Robert via Samsung Galaxy S-III 32GB using Forum Runner

 

Not bad. Better than Sprint in Richmond over the summer if I'd guess... Except when there's a football game of course!

 

I have a buddy who work in the Ntelos IT department, not wireless operations, but I will see if he can shed any light. I know they did LTE trials with Lucent about a year ago.

 

Based on this PR, I don't know if the LTE they trialed would be compatible with Sprint. AWS is 1700 and Sprint is on 1900, right?

http://connectedplanetonline.com/3g4g/news/nTelos-exploring-LTE-0407/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any more info? I tried calling Sprint and they told me to call nTelos. Then nTelos wouldn't tell me anything.

 

I have no information about nTelos and their plans. I hadn't even heard of them until this past summer. They are not even a Sprint affiliate. I am not hopeful.

 

Robert

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Actually, there is no Roanoke market. The area along the I-81 Corridor from just north of Bristol, VA all the way up into Pennsylvania is controlled by a Sprint affiliate called Shentel. This includes Blacksburg, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Staunton, Harrisonburg, etc. In that area, your phone will run on Shentel as native service everywhere you get a Shentel signal. Shentel has pretty good coverage. When you are off Shentel, you may roam on USCC (for 1x and possibly 3G).

 

Shentel is rolling out Network Vision and LTE with Alcatel Lucent. They are already under way. They will have approximately 40% of their sites live by the end of the year. They will finish the other 60% in 2013. Sprint LTE devices will run on Shentel's LTE service as native.

 

Shentel's sites are going to be mostly fiber backhaul. They should run very well. It will probably be better in the Shentel areas than in Sprint areas.

 

Robert

 

Robert, I may have to disagree with you in that part of Virginia, I am pretty certain Sprint rides on Ntelos' pcs 1900 ev-do network. See attached IR presentation

 

http://ir.ntelos.com/Cache/1500036160.PDF?D=&O=PDF&IID=4110676&Y=&T=&FID=1500036160

 

The good part is that large portions of Ntelos' CDMA EV-DO network is being upgraded to fiber back-haul (because its sister company Lumos Networks provides this tower backhaul as it is the largest regional fiber network in that part of the country).

 

Shentel operates as a Sprint Affiliate further north in Virgina along i-81 up to parts of Pensylvania. Shentel is mirroring a Network Vision build out over its entire footprint. Ntelos on the other hand has yet to complete its negotiations with Sprint as to how its network will migrate to LTE (whether using Sprint's G-block or on Ntelos' own PCS spectrum and how 800mhz SMR spectrum can be deployed in Ntelos' footprint - or not at all depending upon how the two parties evolve their relationship).

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Robert, I may have to disagree with you in that part of Virginia, I am pretty certain Sprint rides on Ntelos' pcs 1900 ev-do network. See attached IR presentation

 

http://ir.ntelos.com...&FID=1500036160

 

The good part is that large portions of Ntelos' CDMA EV-DO network is being upgraded to fiber back-haul (because its sister company Lumos Networks provides this tower backhaul as it is the largest regional fiber network in that part of the country).

 

Shentel operates as a Sprint Affiliate further north in Virgina along i-81 up to parts of Pensylvania. Shentel is mirroring a Network Vision build out over its entire footprint. Ntelos on the other hand has yet to complete its negotiations with Sprint as to how its network will migrate to LTE (whether using Sprint's G-block or on Ntelos' own PCS spectrum and how 800mhz SMR spectrum can be deployed in Ntelos' footprint - or not at all depending upon how the two parties evolve their relationship).

 

I was already corrected about this further up the thread. I had never heard of nTelos before, and thought all that area covered by nTelos was part of Shentel coverage. However, if you want to join the chorus, it's fine. :)

 

Robert

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How does nTelos 3G perform?

 

My experience was a bit more variable. Up in the mountains in Blacksburg, nTelos was decent outside but if you got inside one of those Hokie Stone buildings on the VT campus you might as well be in a Faraday cage. My apartment was half-underground and 3G signal was usually in the -95 to -110 dBm range on my OG Evo, occasionally getting kicked onto 1X (which was horrid).

 

If I had to guess on what happens regarding nTelos, it probably involves a Sprint buyout in 2014 or so, or at the very least getting subsumed into an affiliate relationship like Shentel; I could also see Shentel taking them over with Sprint's blessing. They have some nice chunks of 15+15 PCS that could be useful for LTE expansion once customers are moved onto Sprint's overlapping PCS holdings, even without touching the AWS they have (which could probably be dumped off onto T-Mobile or someone else).

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Long time lurker here, from the Roanoke, VA Area.

 

During nTelos second quarter earnings call, they were asked about their LTE plans. They did not want to comment, at the time, but said that they would unveil their road map for LTE very soon, as they are putting their resources into upgrading their mobile backhaul. I know this isn't exactly what we wanted to hear, but at least we know that there is a plan. Here's the link to the transcript :

 

http://ir.ntelos.com/Cache/1500042718.PDF?D=&O=PDF&iid=4110676&Y=&T=&fid=1500042718

 

There is also the fact that they will be carrying the iPhone 5. Apple tends to be very bullish about what they expect from carriers, so I'm guessing that they had to offer a concrete road map to LTE, in order to get apple to allow them to resell it.

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Long time lurker here' date=' from the Roanoke, VA Area.

 

During nTelos second quarter earnings call, they were asked about their LTE plans. They did not want to comment, at the time, but said that they would unveil their road map for LTE very soon, as they are putting their resources into upgrading their mobile backhaul. I know this isn't exactly what we wanted to hear, but at least we know that there is a plan. Here's the link to the transcript :

 

http://ir.ntelos.com/Cache/1500042718.PDF?D=&O=PDF&iid=4110676&Y=&T=&fid=1500042718

 

There is also the fact that they will be carrying the iPhone 5. Apple tends to be very bullish about what they expect from carriers, so I'm guessing that they had to offer a concrete road map to LTE, in order to get apple to allow them to resell it.[/quote']

 

Excellent. Thanks for the info and welcome to S4GRU!

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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