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Network Vision/LTE - New York City Market


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Its finally happened!!!! Sprint overtook Tmobile on Netindex in Manhattan!!     Next...Verizon!!

I was on lunch today at tmobile checking out their plan prices. One of the reps came up and asked what service you on? I said Sprint and she immediately went on this rant on how sprint is slow, ouch

Had an interesting wireless story today... Drove up to Lake Welch NY. We got there way too late and ended up not being able to get in the park due to it being at capacity.   So a bunch of us pull o

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1 hour ago, nexgencpu said:

N41 or B41?

It's jumping back to Sprint proper in moments in signal check then switching back to tmoible this just just started this last day. I have noted n41 is active on some sites in the area I can see the panels on towers that have been updated.

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Walked out side my apartment and connected to T-Mobile B41. Did a airplane mode refresh and connected to N41. Finally all 3 sites surrounding my home has N41. B41 was a single 20mhz channel and was pretty fast 60mbps 4411a106500e73074b625a0382617df2.jpg

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk

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11 minutes ago, mirskyc said:

Walked out side my apartment and connected to T-Mobile B41. Did a airplane mode refresh and connected to N41. Finally all 3 sites surrounding my home has N41. B41 was a single 20mhz channel and was pretty fast 60mbps

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk
 

I'm super jealous! While T-Mobile has started n41 deployments in my neighborhood most of the progress on the sites closest to my house are on Band 71/n71. I now get a super weak 600MHz signal in my home and can get a "fair" signal outdoors. When I joined T-Mobile there was pretty much no 600MHz anywhere around me.

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21 minutes ago, thisischuck01 said:

New n41 deployment in Harlem. First AIR 6449 I've spotted, as well.

Super cool "Layer Cake" site! According to the T-Mobile subreddit, it looks like T-Mobile may be actually revisiting some sites in the NY metro to replace the n41 antennas that they've already deployed with the AIR 6449's.

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3 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

Super cool "Layer Cake" site! According to the T-Mobile subreddit, it looks like T-Mobile may be actually revisiting some sites in the NY metro to replace the n41 antennas that they've already deployed with the AIR 6449's.

I saw that! Strange approach, I wonder if there was some issue with their supply chain. That said, I'm not about to complain about future-proofing sites for >100MHz EBS/BRS deployment!

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8 hours ago, thisischuck01 said:

Spotted LTE-LAA broadcasting from what appears to be a Crown Castle oDAS node. First time I've seen this.

Screenshot-20200916-155659.jpg

eNB ID 127312 on CellMapper.

Confirmed on two other oDAS nodes in my area, 59985 Sector 15 and 59773 Sector 12. Maxed out at 4x CA, with 3x LTE-LAA (though this is probably a device limitation). Speeds weren't especially fast, around 60/20 Mbps. LTE-LAA seemed to be running at super low power, typically ~20dBm lower than the corresponding B2/B66 (even when directly under the node, with B2/B66 ~65dBm).

On 9/15/2020 at 10:24 AM, thisischuck01 said:

New n41 deployment in Harlem. First AIR 6449 I've spotted, as well.

IMG-MJL-20200914-200544400.jpg

Was finally able to connect to B41 on this site after messing around with some modem data on my OP6T. I haven't yet enabled any B41 CA combos, but was able to pull 80/10 Mbps on a single 20MHz carrier. Mapped on CellMapper, eNB ID 134868.

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2 hours ago, thisischuck01 said:

Confirmed on two other oDAS nodes in my area, 59985 Sector 15 and 59773 Sector 12. Maxed out at 4x CA, with 3x LTE-LAA (though this is probably a device limitation). Speeds weren't especially fast, around 60/20 Mbps. LTE-LAA seemed to be running at super low power, typically ~20dBm lower than the corresponding B2/B66 (even when directly under the node, with B2/B66 ~65dBm).

In my testing T-Mobile's small cells are super low on backhaul which may explain the poor speeds despite using 3 Band 46 carriers. There's a T-Mobile small cell near my home that only gives me about 40 Mbps maximum whereas Sprint small cells in the same area regularly gave upwards of 100Mbps on 20MHz of spectrum.

I think it would be in T-Mobile's best interest to rethink their anti-small cell position in a city like NYC. Both Sprint and Verizon have invested heavily in small cells in the city and it paid off for both carriers.

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I've been noticing a lot of split eNB's on T-Mobile sites and it's really annoying because what it means is that on some sites, my phone won't aggregate bands that I know are available. For example there is a Band 12/71 eNB split on a site in my neighborhood and because those two bands can't be aggregated my phone is stuck on 5MHz of either Band 71 or Band 12 despite the site that it's broadcasting from having Band 2/12/66/71.

Sometimes these splits last for a few days and other times they stick around for over a year. This can really affect people perception of T-Mobile's network performance. If I were them, I'd be working to control that.

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16 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

In my testing T-Mobile's small cells are super low on backhaul which may explain the poor speeds despite using 3 Band 46 carriers. There's a T-Mobile small cell near my home that only gives me about 40 Mbps maximum whereas Sprint small cells in the same area regularly gave upwards of 100Mbps on 20MHz of spectrum.

IMO, T-Mobile is pretty conservative with backhaul for most of their sites. Not to the point where it’ll start causing congestion issues, but I haven’t seen peak speeds at quite the level as I have on other carriers. Likely something to do with them not being in the wireline business. 

That said, I was testing during rush hour and the engineers may still be working on optimizing these sites. AFAIK LTE-LAA was turned on in the past couple of days (plus they're the first non-macro sites in the city that I, personally, have seen LTE-LAA deployed on) and it was running at super lower power. Additionally, these oDAS sites are pretty limited on antenna diversity. I’ll have to check again, but I believe B46 was running in SISO mode on some nodes.
 

16 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

I think it would be in T-Mobile's best interest to rethink their anti-small cell position in a city like NYC. Both Sprint and Verizon have invested heavily in small cells in the city and it paid off for both carriers.

It's really pretty interesting how different the approach is in every neighborhood. Where I predominantly map (135 to 155), small cell density is pretty staggering - by my count, 22 new nodes have been activated in the past year and a half. The small cell count in East Harlem (specifically 100-110) is equally impressive - I've mapped 10 new nodes in the area over the past 9 months. That said, other upgrades seem to hit Harlem more slowly.

On the other hand, places that I first mapped 2-3 years ago (ie. the East Village and Crown Heights) still have next-to-no small cell roll-out. Here's hoping the roll-out begins to become a bit more ubiquitous over the next year or two. So much congestion and spotty service in areas that small cells are made for, but T-Mobile hasn’t built out as dense. Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Red Hook, and even Gowanus - just off the top of my head. Hell, I haven’t been able to run a speedtest at the Smith-9th St station for three years. 

2 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

I've been noticing a lot of split eNB's on T-Mobile sites and it's really annoying because what it means is that on some sites, my phone won't aggregate bands that I know are available. For example there is a Band 12/71 eNB split on a site in my neighborhood and because those two bands can't be aggregated my phone is stuck on 5MHz of either Band 71 or Band 12 despite the site that it's broadcasting from having Band 2/12/66/71.

Sometimes these splits last for a few days and other times they stick around for over a year. This can really affect people perception of T-Mobile's network performance. If I were them, I'd be working to control that.

Posted on Reddit about this a couple weeks back. Not just happening in the city.

I understand why split eNBs exist when site upgrades occur - there typically have to be alterations to the BTS to allow all bands to operate under a single eNB ID. Sometimes the BTS isn't upgraded at the same time as the antennas, which means that you're stuck with split eNBs for several months. 

However, this seems like a conscious choice. Sites that were previously broadcasting over a single eNB now have split eNBs without any upgrade to the antennas. Would really like to know the purpose of this, myself.

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Spotted Band 41 and n41 near Brooklyn College today. Also spotted some workers wrapping up on an n41 installation today at the T-Mobile site at the intersection of Rogers Ave and Albemarle Road in Brooklyn. I forced my phone to Band 41 and tried to force n41 but my phone would only pick up n71 from the site.

Edit: I forgot I took a pic of it. Here it is.

Ra30H4W.jpg

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Did some more mapping between 110 and 165 yesterday. Connected to 7 new B41 sites, only one of which I was able to locate. Three sites I spotted with n41 antennas several months ago still aren't broadcasting B41 (47004, 43911, 43918). I wonder if they're waiting to upgrade them with 6449s. Also, spotted a site that looked to be recently upgraded (41956) with 6449s that wasn't yet broadcasting B41. B71 had been moved to 140190 on that site (the first 14xxxx eNB I've spotted), so it appears as though eNB splits are still occurring. Including the site on E110 and Lexington I spotted a couple days back, that brings us up to ~12 sites spotted between 110 and 165.

 

On another note, successfully roamed on Sprint (310-120) yesterday. For reference, my device is an unbranded Android that doesn't have access to either 311-490 or 310-120. Sprint keep site, perhaps?  

Screenshot_20200921-142834.jpgScreenshot_20200921-142450.jpg

 

Regarding upgraded oDAS nodes, maybe I totally missed something but the vast majority of them now seem to be equipped with LTE-LAA. Pulled this off a node on Edgecombe and 162 (59823).

Screenshot_20200922-095857.jpg

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So I've noticed in my roundabout travels that the 5 megahertz frequency on band 71 had been increased in certain areas to around the 10 . It just increased in my area as well. Is this due to that spectrum lease agreement I read about in the news from capital?

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38 minutes ago, transitwatch889 said:

So I've noticed in my roundabout travels that the 5 megahertz frequency on band 71 had been increased in certain areas to around the 10 . It just increased in my area as well. Is this due to that spectrum lease agreement I read about in the news from capital?

That would mean that T-Mobile is leasing 5MHz from Charter in NYC but I don't think that was announced. That's pretty cool if they are.

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3 hours ago, transitwatch889 said:

So I've noticed in my roundabout travels that the 5 megahertz frequency on band 71 had been increased in certain areas to around the 10 . It just increased in my area as well. Is this due to that spectrum lease agreement I read about in the news from capital?

Looks like mine was increased back up to 10Mhz as well! Good catch.

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Just came to post a screen shot of N71 being 10mhz. Only noticed today in Queens. Didn't notice when I was in Manhattan. Could explain my phone on 1x800 and LTE last night with no VOLTE

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk

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Also just noticed my phone is now doing 3x CA with B2/66/71 + N71 5G. It would never do more then 2x CA + N71 before and the LTE bands were always B2/66 and sometime B12.

 

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

6a9f07b04e49688bc74addbf9b0b2e74.jpg

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Glad to see they allocated the 5MHz to NR. It seems like T-Mobile wants their markets to at least have 10MHz of n71 nationwide. They've also affirmed recently that they're going to start launching 80MHz n41 markets this year.

I'm hoping that the next thing T-Mobile does here is some spectrum swaps with that AT&T-owned spectrum speculator that's preventing T-Mobile from going larger than 60MHz on n41 here.

I wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile intentionally bids on a lot of C-band spectrum in NYC during the auction later this year just so they have some leverage when negotiating.

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17 hours ago, mirskyc said:

Also just noticed my phone is now doing 3x CA with B2/66/71 + N71 5G. It would never do more then 2x CA + N71 before and the LTE bands were always B2/66 and sometime B12.

 

Sent from my SM-G988U1 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

6a9f07b04e49688bc74addbf9b0b2e74.jpg

Do you know if this was this on a site where B12 and B71 are split onto a new 13xxxx eNB ID? Been doing a little testing and while I can get B2/B66/B12 CA active on these sites (indicating some form of inter-eNB CA), I can't seem to B2/B66/B71 CA active. Could have sworn I was able to use that combo before the eNB split.

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Found two in-progress n41 site upgrades this afternoon, neither seem to be live at this point. 

1. One of the sites overlooking the Central Park North - 110th St 2/3 station (eNB 45803). B2/B66/B12/B(n)71 --> B2/B66/B12/B(n)41/B(n)71.
2. Site at the corner of W111th and Fred Doug (eNB 45535, see below). B2/B66/B12 --> B2(?)/B66(?)/B12/B(n)41/B(n)71. Workers were actively installing the new antennas as I took the pic. Nice to see further 600MHz densification.

IMG_MJL__20200926_182419613.jpg

Also, found some new B41 around the Smith-9th St station. T-Mobile (along with several other carriers) has been relying on a COW to cover the area for the past couple years, while the NYCHA housing down in Red Hook has been under construction. T-Mobile's COW is totally overloaded, even though it's equipped with B2/B66/B12 you'll be lucky to be able to complete a speedtest most days. I band-locked to B41 while at the station and was able to pull 40/5 at -115dBM on a single 20MHz carrier.

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