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LTE Discovery App for S4GRU

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-Beta builds have airplane mode cycling on rooted 4.2 and 4.3 devices.  PM Dan for information on joining the beta team:

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/user/17526-danialgoodwin/

 

So as some of you all know, I am an app developer and make mobile applications for Android and Windows Phone. With that being said I actually just got done creating an application for all of us to use at S4GRU. This app will aid all of us in searching for LTE, particularly in emerging markets. I’m constantly reading all over this site about how we drive around toggling airplane mode searching for LTE and two things came to my mind: 1. We can’t look at our phones all the time so we are bound to miss some LTE and 2. Looking at your phone constantly while driving probably isn’t the safest thing to do.

So with that being Simply Advanced (my brand) has developed this application for us to use. You will be able to effectively search for LTE during your entire commute to work and back without ever looking at your phone.

Features include:

1. Toggling Airplane mode automatically every thirty seconds
2. Ringing when it finds an LTE Connection
3. Marking the LTE connections GPS coordinates- so you can find the site later.
4. Later features will include automatically opening Sensorly to map the area.

Of course I am open to any and all suggestions for this app as it was built for all of you to use.
Please keep this in mind when you guys use it you will all be beta testers for the time-being. The app has seen a few bugs, so I would ask for you all to be patient and to send me feedback in the apps built in feedback menu. Tell me the type of phone you are using, what happened when you encountered the bug, whether you are rooted or not, etc.

Note: Since this app only toggles airplane mode every thirty seconds your text shouldn’t be affected too much, but you may miss phone calls that occurred during the transition.

I hope you guys are excited about this. A lot of time went into this, but I am very happy to have begun this project knowing it allows me to make things a little easier for all of you and so that I could help contribute a little more to this site.

Have fun and expect more features to come!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.simplyadvanced.ltediscovery#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDIxMiwibmV0LnNpbXBseWFkdmFuY2VkLmx0ZWRpc2NvdmVyeSJd

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Makes me want to plan my next LTE scouting trip to Texas. Good job!

 

Robert

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Will definitely try this out. And I warn you now as an developer by career and hobby as well I will have quite a few suggestions and comments.

 

I hope the airplane toggling is not done when on 4g.

 

Also when 4g is found a simple ping request should be made to a website to ensure the data connection works and the radio hasn't stalled on 4g.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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Will definitely try this out. And I warn you now as an developer by career and hobby as well I will have quite a few suggestions and comments.

 

I hope the airplane toggling is not done when on 4g.

 

Also when 4g is found a simple ping request should be made to a website to ensure the data connection works and the radio hasn't stalled on 4g.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

Suggestions are very welcome! I may not get around to them until after the holiday however. There is an option to keep searching even after finding 4G, but by default it will chime and stop searching.

 

I will incorporate the ping shortly.

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Crashed on me once. Not sure if the rotation did it.

 

Few things. Toggles way too fast since it doesn't seem to check the status of the network. Sometimes it was toggling before 3g had a chance to handshake.

 

It should also make sure wifi is shut off.

 

The network state should be checked before toggling. Sometimes airplane takes a bit to kick in as it signs off from then tower. If possible it should check.

 

Not sure if this stuff can be done.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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Crashed on me once. Not sure if the rotation did it.

 

Few things. Toggles way too fast since it doesn't seem to check the status of the network. Sometimes it was toggling before 3g had a chance to handshake.

 

It should also make sure wifi is shut off.

 

The network state should be checked before toggling. Sometimes airplane takes a bit to kick in as it signs off from then tower. If possible it should check.

 

Not sure if this stuff can be done.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

Would you recommend waiting 45 seconds before toggling? I was going to make it user defined in a later release. I've seen the crash before and haven't pin pointed it yet. Still very much a beta, but I've field tested it and it does the job.

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Maybe.. I guess that would work. But it just differs by area I am sure.

 

Do you have any logging code so one could do a logcat via adb to pinpoint it?

 

Anyway to check the radio state? Not familiar with writing apps for Android yet. Have lots of books and stuff just no time yet.

 

And very cool idea btw.. Hope you aren't taking any of my posts in a negative manner.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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My own wish is for an app that would log my LTE connections so I can correlate them to towers offline after the survey: The log should include datetime stamp, user lat/lon coordinates, signal RSRP, signal RSRQ, Sector Physical Cell ID integer, and Sector Cell Identity (a 28-bit value) as a hex string.

 

As it stands now, these two forms of LTE sector IDs are available manually on the LTE Engineering screens of different devices. But Samsung devices show only the Physical Cell ID; EVOs show only the Cell Identity values. We need both, so the same LTE tower sites must be surveyed twice -- once by each type of device. An app like this can do it all at once. Boths sets of LTE IDs are available in the Android telephony API for Jellybean, but not earlier Android versions..

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Please don't take this wrong, I'm not criticizing, I'm missing something. Why not just run Sensorly? Does it discover LTE better? My plan was to just run Sensorly when LTE pops up in St Louis and let it plot where its at on their maps. Does toggling airplane mode help that much on a phone like the Note 2 that doesn't have the issues the LTE EVO users report?

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Please don't take this wrong, I'm not criticizing, I'm missing something. Why not just run Sensorly? Does it discover LTE better? My plan was to just run Sensorly when LTE pops up in St Louis and let it plot where its at on their maps. Does toggling airplane mode help that much on a phone like the Note 2 that doesn't have the issues the LTE EVO users report?

 

Sensorly doesn't do anything to "discover" LTE. It depends on the phone itself to make the connection, and just logs whatever connections are present. Running Sensorly or any other app that is sending and receiving data might even interfere with discovering LTE, because the phone may avoid switching to 4G while it has an active 3G data connection in progress. The thing that forces a scan, which then might make a 4G connection if a signal is present, is the workaround of toggling airplane mode.

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Phones won't actively switch up to 4G while 3g is actively sending or receiving.

 

Not sure on the Note2 though as it is physically capable of listening for LTE while evdo is working due to the different setup of transmission paths. Now whether it is coded in software to do that is unknown to me.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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Maybe.. I guess that would work. But it just differs by area I am sure.

 

Do you have any logging code so one could do a logcat via adb to pinpoint it?

 

Anyway to check the radio state? Not familiar with writing apps for Android yet. Have lots of books and stuff just no time yet.

 

And very cool idea btw.. Hope you aren't taking any of my posts in a negative manner.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

Not taking them negatively at all. Everything seems constructive to me! I'd really like to make this an app that S4GRU would like to recommend to help other people find LTE in their area and everything you are saying helps me get there. As of right now no logging code.

 

What exactly do you mean by checking the radio state? It should be displaying the network type in real time? I think I just misunderstanding you here.

 

 

My own wish is for an app that would log my LTE connections so I can correlate them to towers offline after the survey: The log should include datetime stamp, user lat/lon coordinates, signal RSRP, signal RSRQ, Sector Physical Cell ID integer, and Sector Cell Identity (a 28-bit value) as a hex string.

 

As it stands now, these two forms of LTE sector IDs are available manually on the LTE Engineering screens of different devices. But Samsung devices show only the Physical Cell ID; EVOs show only the Cell Identity values. We need both, so the same LTE tower sites must be surveyed twice -- once by each type of device. An app like this can do it all at once. Boths sets of LTE IDs are available in the Android telephony API for Jellybean, but not earlier Android versions..

 

I actually am planning on adding many values to the the GPS log. Date/Time, signal strength, and as many others as possible that would be useful. I don't mind setting the minimum API to Jellybean since most of the people who would want to use this app will be on that anyways.

 

Please don't take this wrong, I'm not criticizing, I'm missing something. Why not just run Sensorly? Does it discover LTE better? My plan was to just run Sensorly when LTE pops up in St Louis and let it plot where its at on their maps. Does toggling airplane mode help that much on a phone like the Note 2 that doesn't have the issues the LTE EVO users report?

 

If you are running Sensorly continuously while on 3G it wont search for LTE since the 3G will continuously be active. It's best to run Sensorly after LTE pops up, which could take awhile since the phones aren't constantly scanning for new LTE sites. Some estimates are for one scan every 30 minutes. This app will help you connect to LTE sites you haven't found before by continually scanning for them. Once you connect you can run Sensorly and map as usual. After you connect to that particular site too, you won't need this app to help you connect quickly to it. Your phone will remember it and scan for LTE faster when you are on that tower.

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Phones won't actively switch up to 4G while 3g is actively sending or receiving.

 

Not sure on the Note2 though as it is physically capable of listening for LTE while evdo is working due to the different setup of transmission paths. Now whether it is coded in software to do that is unknown to me.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

Maybe a plugin for CM can be written to accomplish that once the AOSP base gets completed.

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Phones won't actively switch up to 4G while 3g is actively sending or receiving.

 

My understanding is that this is a protocol limitation. With an active data session, LTE will hand down to eHRPD. But with an active data session, eHRPD will not hand up to LTE. I would love to be proven wrong, however.

 

AJ

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My understanding is that this is a protocol limitation. With an active data session, LTE will hand down to eHRPD. But with an active data session, eHRPD will not hand up to LTE. I would love to be proven wrong, however.

 

AJ

 

I have experienced it exactly as you've outlined.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II via Tapatalk

 

 

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I have experienced it exactly as you've outlined.

 

Robert, was your experience with any specific device, more than one device? As digiblur notes, the configuration of transmit paths could play a role. So, I am interested in determining if my understanding is correct, that this is a protocol limitation -- or if like SVDO, it can vary from device to device.

 

AJ

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I definitely remember it being an issue on the GS3 in Waco, but I didn't notice it on the Note in Wichita Falls.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II via Tapatalk

 

 

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I definitely remember it being an issue on the GS3 in Waco, but I didn't notice it on the Note in Wichita Falls.

 

The thought just occurred to me: Robert might be the Sprint LTE handset "polygamist" to rule them all. And I mean that in a good way.

 

:P

 

AJ

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I hope I can test this in a few weeks. Would be cool if it does.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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Phones won't actively switch up to 4G while 3g is actively sending or receiving.

 

Not sure on the Note2 though as it is physically capable of listening for LTE while evdo is working due to the different setup of transmission paths. Now whether it is coded in software to do that is unknown to me.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

Not to be a complete noob but Ive been downloading an app on my Note 2 and have it show 3g then switch to LTE while downloading.....is that different then what you speak of?

 

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

 

 

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Not to be a complete noob but Ive been downloading an app on my Note 2 and have it show 3g then switch to LTE while downloading.....is that different then what you speak of?

 

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note II

 

Yes, that is what I am talking about. The test would be downloading a big 200 Meg file on 3g, then travel into 4g coverage and see if it automatically would switch to 4G while actively receiving on the 3G side.

 

Sent from a little old Note 2

 

 

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I'll try it when St Louis is announced.

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I'll be around San Jose and the Bay Area next weekend and will test it out then, thanks!

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I downloaded the app and turned it on for a bit while I was in Raleigh. No 4G popped up, and it seems like the one tower where it was active before has been turned off for now.

 

Also, I experienced a crash with the app. I set the phone down on the console while I was driving and picked it up at a light. I didn't notice any screen rotation, but when I picked up the phone the app crashed.

 

Looking forward to using this...I've been wanting an app or some way to get notified when I switched to 4G.

 

Thanks for the app!!!

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      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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