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Sprint Roaming Experience


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Last night I was at the Miami Improv and noticed my Galaxy S3 seemed to be fighting to stay on Sprint's network. It appeared to me that I was getting a better and more usable signal from Verizon 1xrtt network but my phone kept switching between the two networks. The phone was practically useless the entire night and the battery life just kept deteriorating. The only solution was Airplane mode in order to conserve battery life until I left the club.

 

I will say however, that this experience wasn't indicative of what I've seen when roaming away from the Sprint's network. When I lived in South Carolina using my Motorola Photon 4G phone in any non Sprint Coverage area yielded great coverage and usability when roaming on Alltel and Verizon without any of the above problems. But I one can only assume that may have been because there were probably no native Sprint coverage for the phone to really fight to connect with.

 

Can anyone explain this behavior or share your own experiences? I do understand it may somehow be tied to how the PRLs are configured and or Sprint wanting to reduce roaming costs. But this experience resulted in an unusable phone the entire night even though there was an alternate network available to roam on. One would think that the having roaming enabled and being in an area covered by one of Sprint's roaming agreements would allow this to work well... But hey maybe it was just my phone or my lack of understanding on how roaming works??

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Your phone was just on the "fence" and kept catching a weak Sprint signal. The thresholds set for when your phone goes to roaming are a bit high I believe.

Makes sense as once outside of the club I was on back on good ole Sprint.
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Last night I was at the Miami Improv and noticed my Galaxy S3 seemed to be fighting to stay on Sprint's network. It appeared to me that I was getting a better and more usable signal from Verizon 1xrtt network but my phone kept switching between the two networks. The phone was practically useless the entire night and the battery life just kept deteriorating. The only solution was Airplane mode in order to conserve battery life until I left the club.

 

I will say however, that this experience wasn't indicative of what I've seen when roaming away from the Sprint's network. When I lived in South Carolina using my Motorola Photon 4G phone in any non Sprint Coverage area yielded great coverage and usability when roaming on Alltel and Verizon without any of the above problems. But I one can only assume that may have been because there were probably no native Sprint coverage for the phone to really fight to connect with.

 

Can anyone explain this behavior or share your own experiences? I do understand it may somehow be tied to how the PRLs are configured and or Sprint wanting to reduce roaming costs. But this experience resulted in an unusable phone the entire night even though there was an alternate network available to roam on. One would think that the having roaming enabled and being in an area covered by one of Sprint's roaming agreements would allow this to work well... But hey maybe it was just my phone or my lack of understanding on how roaming works??

 

Sprint signal is always preferred and unless you force roam, your phone will continue searching for a sprint signal even when it has a strong roaming signal in non-sprint areas. As a result, battery life suffers. This is one benefit to the roam control app, (maybe not for you due to rare circumstances in florida), you can force roam onto the stronger carrier and the phone will not scan for Sprint until you manually enable it again.

 

Like I said earlier due to the coding of the app and your location the roam control app may not work for you. On the Galaxy S 3, the app force roams onto 850 signal which no carriers have in your area except AT&T (GSM, so no roaming). On other supported devices you can roam onto PCS 1900 signal as well as 850 so it would help.

 

The developer for roam control should figure out a way to get PCS roaming working on the GS3, that would help you out.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Like I said earlier due to the coding of the app and your location the roam control app may not work for you. On the Galaxy S 3, the app force roams onto 850 signal which no carriers have in your area except AT&T (GSM, so no roaming). On other supported devices you can roam onto PCS 1900 signal as well as 850 so it would help.

 

The developer for roam control should figure out a way to get PCS roaming working on the GS3, that would help you out.

 

 

For some reason i thought Verizon had 850 every where but i notice there is a lot of locations where they do not. why does Verizon want to move away from PCS if they do not have Cellular in the locations where they have PCS?

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Sprint signal is always preferred and unless you force roam, your phone will continue searching for a sprint signal even when it has a strong roaming signal in non-sprint areas. As a result, battery life suffers. This is one benefit to the roam control app, (maybe not for you due to rare circumstances in florida), you can force roam onto the stronger carrier and the phone will not scan for Sprint until you manually enable it again.

 

Like I said earlier due to the coding of the app and your location the roam control app may not work for you. On the Galaxy S 3, the app force roams onto 850 signal which no carriers have in your area except AT&T (GSM, so no roaming). On other supported devices you can roam onto PCS 1900 signal as well as 850 so it would help.

 

The developer for roam control should figure out a way to get PCS roaming working on the GS3, that would help you out.

 

 

 

Does that require modding the phone? I go to the mountains sometimes where theres no sprint and would like to conserve battery while still using the verizon signal if I need it.

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Does that require modding the phone? I go to the mountains sometimes where theres no sprint and would like to conserve battery while still using the verizon signal if I need it.

 

I roamed for a week in South Dakota where there is no Sprint service and had no reduction in battery life on my GS3. I think the scan interval increases if it cannot find a Sprint signal after so long. I was on Verizon the whole time.

 

However, if you are in a fringe area of service, your device is always scanning for a better signal. And then it is increasing its power consumption when it does connect to a weak signal when it "screams" to the distant site it's connected to.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 on Tapatalk

 

 

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(Remembers when roaming wasn't free and once you had it, it seemed magical)

 

You could try switching it to "sprint only" short of getting roam control to work. It will still use battery trying to hold on to the sprint signal, but it might not go as fast as bouncing between networks.

 

What u doing on the phone in the club anyway? Haha

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Welcome to my world this is what I go thru all day when I'm home. I guess it's normal if you live on the edge of the network.

Maybe you should contact Sprint customer service to see if they can get you an AirRave. Our company purchased one for my coworker who lives in a terrible area for Sprint coverage and every since he's gotten it he has had no issues.
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Maybe you should contact Sprint customer service to see if they can get you an AirRave. Our company purchased one for my coworker who lives in a terrible area for Sprint coverage and every since he's gotten it he has had no issues.

I have the newest one but I don't use it because when I'm on a phone call the other person on the line can hear a beeping noise when my screen goes off on my EVO LTE. But I haven't tried it out after the JB update.

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However, if you are in a fringe area of service, your device is always scanning for a better signal. And then it is increasing its power consumption when it does connect to a weak signal when it "screams" to the distant site it's connected to.

 

Why isn't any cell maker or company trying to address this problem I wonder though.

 

Have the phone spot a pattern, it should know it will kill the battery if it the pattern continues.

Have an option in the phone settings where the user can select "don't turn my phone into a pocket warmer", be more conservative about selecting roam-not roam-roam-not roam.

 

I put my phone on 'home' only unless I'm driving around where I know I'll have it powered by the car most of the time.

 

When a phone's battery can die over a period of less than 2 hours, there is a problem with the phone.

 

I wish they'd test the phones more, or at least a little bit in less than perfect cell conditions. :(

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Why isn't any cell maker or company trying to address this problem I wonder though.

 

Have the phone spot a pattern, it should know it will kill the battery if it the pattern continues.

Have an option in the phone settings where the user can select "don't turn my phone into a pocket warmer", be more conservative about selecting roam-not roam-roam-not roam.

 

I put my phone on 'home' only unless I'm driving around where I know I'll have it powered by the car most of the time.

 

When a phone's battery can die over a period of less than 2 hours, there is a problem with the phone.

 

I wish they'd test the phones more, or at least a little bit in less than perfect cell conditions. :(

 

Phone manufacturers obviously know about this situation. I'd guess the simple solution isn't worked on because carriers care more about their roaming bills than your battery life. Gotta watch the bottom line, nawmsayin?

 

Sent from mobile

 

 

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(Remembers when roaming wasn't free and once you had it, it seemed magical)

 

You could try switching it to "sprint only" short of getting roam control to work. It will still use battery trying to hold on to the sprint signal, but it might not go as fast as bouncing between networks.

 

What u doing on the phone in the club anyway? Haha

Good point didn't even think about doing that

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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I'm in an Sprint Roaming Alliance area quite a bit and while it acts like Native Sprint coverage, with even better speeds sometimes in excess of 2 Mbit, the battery life is attrocious with being able to drain the battery twice as fact as in normal coverage since it is roaming.

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Just got a work phone, an ATT Nokia Lumia 920, great signal, great network, with no signal in rural areas, the battery doesn't go flat... feels weird. Even on Edge, its perfectly usable. The voice quality is amazingly clear. LTE is crazy fast, the other 4G is fast too.

 

The Windows 8 Mobile OS on the other hand though, I can see it is almost there, a lot better than iOS IMHO.

I feel that is in the middle of iOS and Android. There are a lot of things I don't like about it, I like it more than iOS though.

 

I feel that having a Sprint smart phone for so long, really lowered my expectations of a cell network. I hope to see Sprint improve over the next few months in Seattle with their 800 Mhz signals being enabled. We shall see.

Edited by JoeJoeJoe
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Just got a work phone, an ATT Nokia Lumia 920, great signal, great network, with no signal in rural areas, the battery doesn't go flat... feels weird. Even on Edge, its perfectly usable. The voice quality is amazingly clear. LTE is crazy fast, the other 4G is fast too.

 

The Windows 8 Mobile OS on the other hand though, I can see it is almost there, a lot better than iOS IMHO.

I feel that is in the middle of iOS and Android. There are a lot of things I don't like about it, I like it more than iOS though.

 

I feel that having a Sprint smart phone for so long, really lowered my expectations of a cell network. I hope to see Sprint improve over the next few months in Seattle with their 800 Mhz signals being enabled. We shall see.

 

I disagree about EDGE. I get frustrated going from blazing 4G speeds down to 2G all the time in rural areas on T-Mobile. It's like hitting a wall. I can use Tapatalk on EDGE, and that's if the thread doesn't have pictures. I don't know what EDGE latency is on ATT, but on Tmo it's between 800ms - 1400ms. Ouch.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 on Tapatalk

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I disagree about EDGE. I get frustrated going from blazing 4G speeds down to 2G all the time in rural areas on T-Mobile. It's like hitting a wall. I can use Tapatalk on EDGE, and that's if the thread doesn't have pictures. I don't know what EDGE latency is on ATT, but on Tmo it's between 800ms - 1400ms. Ouch.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 on Tapatalk

 

Try moving from DC-HSPA+ to GPRS. It literally does nothing for 10 to 20 seconds before loading at <10kbps.

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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I really hope that in the near future Sprints data roaming agreements change. It would be nice to roam on 3g while on verizon, but I must say for loading simple web pages 1x is fine for me. I travel to what Michiganders call the "thumb" of michigan quite often, and sprint roam on a local company called thumb cellular. Unfortunately only Verizon users have the privilege to use their 3g network while sprint users are stuck with only Voice coverage. Thumb Cellular is a part of Verizon LTE in rural america program so that could be a possiblity. Either way it is nuisance not having access to data while I am up there.

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I'm in an Sprint Roaming Alliance area quite a bit and while it acts like Native Sprint coverage, with even better speeds sometimes in excess of 2 Mbit, the battery life is attrocious with being able to drain the battery twice as fact as in normal coverage since it is roaming.

 

That is the way it is supposed to be. Those SIDs are marked in the PRL as native coverage so your phone has no idea it is using another carriers site. It's much like the VZW modded 00001 PRL where someone took all the VZW SIDs and marked them as native. They also took all the International SIDs and marked them as native! DOH!! DOUBLE DOH!! So when you're phone picks up that Canadian or even worse a cruise ship cell system thats still on by accident, it will use that network just like it was Sprints and never warn you one bit. But of course Sprint gets the bill and then in turn passes on the international charges to you. I hate that 00001 PRL with a passion ;)

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I really hope that in the near future Sprints data roaming agreements change. It would be nice to roam on 3g while on verizon, but I must say for loading simple web pages 1x is fine for me. I travel to what Michiganders call the "thumb" of michigan quite often, and sprint roam on a local company called thumb cellular. Unfortunately only Verizon users have the privilege to use their 3g network while sprint users are stuck with only Voice coverage. Thumb Cellular is a part of Verizon LTE in rural america program so that could be a possiblity. Either way it is nuisance not having access to data while I am up there.

 

Actually, Sprint has a 3G roaming agreement with VZW. They just choose to limit who uses it by PRL. You can eat up 300megabytes on EVDO pretty quickly if the tower isn't saturated. Not so much on 1X.

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Some days my phone yells at me that I'm roaming over and over. I'd say over 100 times a day on those occasions. I'm in a metropolitan area, so that shouldn't ever be the case.

 

Mine does the same. Some areas are just bad.

 

-- "Sensorly or it didn't happen!"

 

 

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Some days my phone yells at me that I'm roaming over and over. I'd say over 100 times a day on those occasions. I'm in a metropolitan area, so that shouldn't ever be the case.

 

Worst part about this is that it was introduced with ICS. Even if you disable roaming notification, the damned triangle keeps popping up. Absolutely hate it.

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Worst part about this is that it was introduced with ICS. Even if you disable roaming notification, the damned triangle keeps popping up. Absolutely hate it.

 

I agree with that. Drives me bonkers. In drive in and out of the Sprint network all day long in rural New Mexico.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 on Tapatalk

 

 

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