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Portage signal has improved over the last week, and I'm seeing LTE in more places than before. From Centre to Westnedge it seems to keep a 4G signal. On the other hand, there is a "black hole" in northern Three Rivers/Park Township at the moment. No 3G at all.

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Lansing is still a sea of purple, Samsung is being very aggressive, but seems like we've been forgotten.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Lansing is still a sea of purple, Samsung is being very aggressive, but seems like we've been forgotten.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

 

Same with Ann Arbor. Looks like a certain contractor is not a fan of the 2 major universities in our state :P

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In all seriousness though, what's left in the West MI market to upgrade? Looks like a smidge of BC and most of Lansing. Almost 100% NV complete integration for this market!

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My wife has confirmed my idea that Sprint voice quality has been very poor the last few weeks. I have noticed garbled audio and dropouts at home in Kentwood (southeast grand rapids)... I have an HTC one, and she has the htc evo 4g lte... always the optimist, I'm looking forward to hd voice working someday! Every new device renewal of contract I think "this will be the year it all comes together for Sprint!"

 

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In all seriousness though, what's left in the West MI market to upgrade? Looks like a smidge of BC and most of Lansing. Almost 100% NV complete integration for this market!

 

I can't speak for all of West Michigan, but I'm all over Grand Rapids with Sprint gear, and from my experience there's still some work left to upgrade.

 

Downtown GR is just like the Lugnut in Lansing -- no detectable progress on EVDO, LTE, or 800. Spark devices aren't connecting to EVDO on that site (so if you have a Nexus 5, it's locked to PCS 1X in Downtown, even though EVDO is available).

 

Some of the PCS LTE sites went live without all of the required backhaul in place, so they're marked as "accepted" on the map, but aren't actually fixed yet. Not normally a huge issue, but when they did this in dense areas, it really shows (Specifically, Grandville Ave at Chicago Drive, a strong, outdoor direct-line-of-sight LTE signal from that site results in speeds like http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/660546363 ). Similar problems exist in Easttown / Heritage Hill / South Division / ect.

 

Some of the sites listed on the map simply don't exist? For instance, there's a site listed inside / ontop of the Amway Grand Plaza. (DAS?)  If that site exists, I don't think it's live -- or at least, I'm not seeing it on my Nexus 5 or Zing Hotspot.

 

The "sites completed" map on S4GRU feels slightly misleading to me. A number of those sites claim "3G" or "4G" completed, and while that may be true from a "internal checklist" perspective, it's not true in my experience from an end-users perspective.

 

Not trying to complain about it -- I know they're working on it, and the sites that have been fully fixed are looking very healthy. (Especially ones near the edge of town, like Kenowa and 44th, or Knapps Corner). But if we're talking about completion, there's still plenty of work to do in West Michigan. From a (admittedly totally subjective) opinion, I'd guess that Grand Rapids is about 15-20% behind whatever work the map shows as completed.

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And of course, hours after I write that, I just picked up my first 1x800 service in Downtown GR.

 

 

So, progress is happening :)

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Picked up 4G just north of Three Rivers today. Didn't map it, will try tomorrow.

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Every Site I've connected to on the way to work is on NV 3g, all new BIDs.

 

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Every Site I've connected to on the way to work is on NV 3g, all new BIDs.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

Finally got Lansing integrated??

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Finally got Lansing integrated??

Yup, but the downside is now 100s (maybe 1000s) of triband devices that were only connecting to legacy 3G now can connect to the already overburdened LTE sites in Lansing.  Hopefully Sprint will get some Microwave links up and turn on some more LTE sites until at&t can get their head out of their ass and get fiber run.

 

Still no 1x800

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Lansing:

 

So these towers they just started converting (I counted 11 in service trender), what do you think the ETA would be to actually be up and running? I was talking to one of my m2m reps today and he said that they are "ready to go" but there is a "burn in" time for about 30 days or so. Didn't really make sense to me, I figure once it's built it's good to go, but I'm not a network guy. Have any of you ever heard of this? The tower I'm waiting on is the one off 96 across from shaheen because that tower covers both my store and my house.

 

They also just installed a rack mounted ?Network monitor? that my tech told me was to monitor LTE but the paperwork it came with clearly stated SDC which I took to mean Sprint Direct Connect. Anyone she'd some light on this? There are 4 small antennas and 2 slightly larger.

Edited by LilTeddyP

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I'm on a LG G2 and am now seeing Marshall and Battle Creek on LTE

Not all of Battle Creek however...seems the downtown tower on top of the Heritage Tower isn't turned on yet.

Speeds are varying between 6-22Mbps down and 6-8Mbps up with pings averaging around 100

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I would put zero stock in Sprint's maps, as they are mostly meaningless in Grand Rapids.

 

The two closest Sprint towers to Creston are on the far opposite ends of the neighborhood:

 

The West tower has been upgraded, and runs 3G EVDO and LTE (site by the Alpine Meijer).

The East tower has not had any upgrades (Fuller and Knapp Water Tower), and still runs 2G EVDO only.

 

When your in Creston, your service quality will depend heavily on which tower you connect to. (It sounds like you are somewhere between the two, but closer to the East tower. When your phone can grab a weak-but-usable LTE signal from the West tower, it does. But when it can't, it falls to the closer tower, which has not yet been touched)

 

 

While your device can have an impact on network performance, I've been through that neighborhood just a few weeks ago, and had similar behaviour you describe.

 

You might get some benefit out of a different device, but I wouldn't expect good LTE performance until the Water Tower gets upgraded, regardless of what device you use.

 

(No matter what phone you have, your probably going to have some coverage issues until the Water Tower gets upgraded -- that site happens to handle a majority of the network traffic for Creston and a lot of North East Citizens Action as well.).

 

 

Seeking out advice again on the status of the Fuller and Knapp Water Tower in NE Grand Rapids. I can't keep shelling out monthly payments for next to no data service. I don't understand how I can live 2 miles outside the center the second largest city in Michigan and have 2g speeds. Should I bite the bullet and pay the early termination fee?

 

Thanks

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Experiencing slower-than-normal 3G data speeds downtown Lansing for about the past week. Not sure why. I really hope they get that Lugnut tower lit up with LTE soon.

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Seeking out advice again on the status of the Fuller and Knapp Water Tower in NE Grand Rapids. I can't keep shelling out monthly payments for next to no data service. I don't understand how I can live 2 miles outside the center the second largest city in Michigan and have 2g speeds. Should I bite the bullet and pay the early termination fee?

 

Thanks

That depends on whether or not you can afford it.  If Sprint isn't meeting your needs then you need to decide what you want to put up with. If the data service is more important to you, then you go with whatever meets your need. I'm not leaving because I have no expectations about using my phone as a high speed data computer. But if that's what you expect, then you should leave if you're not satisfied.

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Seeking out advice again on the status of the Fuller and Knapp Water Tower in NE Grand Rapids. I can't keep shelling out monthly payments for next to no data service. I don't understand how I can live 2 miles outside the center the second largest city in Michigan and have 2g speeds. Should I bite the bullet and pay the early termination fee?

 

Thanks

 

Should you ETF? That's a pretty personal decision for you, that depends on where you go and what you want.

 

It's a trade off. In my opinion, Sprint and T-Mobile both do a below-average job in the Grand Rapids area. They just do it in very different ways. I could write up a giant long description of both carriers strengths and weakness in Grand Rapids, but I've done it a dozen times and I don't think anyone reads them anyway. 

 

- - 

 

To simplify it, you can look at the right side of this map. (link below). Ignore the "HSPA+" label, that's all LTE now. Ignore the date, the map hasn't changed in any meaningful way over the last year.

 

http://i.imgur.com/j1v2Ivt.png

 

 

If you never leave the dark green areas, T-Mobile will probably be a better experience for you (right at this exact moment), as they've executed their network slightly better for data (right at this exact moment). If you head into the light green / yellow areas often, or otherwise want/need good service out there, you'll probably want to wait it out on Sprint. 

 

- - 

 

In the future, it's all up for grabs. Sprint's already committed to running 800 LTE on all their sites, but their sites are spaced so far away in this city in particular, that 800 LTE alone won't be enough to fix things -- they'll still need to densify their sites. Clearwire has much better site density than Sprint in Grand Rapids, so (if Sprint keeps all of the Clear sites, and uses them all for PCS+800+EBS/BRS coverage) then Sprint may get better in Grand Rapids very quickly.

 

On the flip side, T-Mobile just bought 700-block-A in Grand Rapids, and there is zero TV interference here (nearest TV station is Lansing, so no conflicts here), they could have much better coverage without needing any new sites. It could be lit, running and on sold devices by as early as late summer 2014. A lot of that depends on what they choose to upgrade (They don't need any new spectrum to fix Rockford / Ada / Byron Center / Coopersville / Allendale, they could do that today, they just need to upgrade the backhaul and air interface on those towers...)

 

Sprint and T-Mobile both hold plenty of unused spectrum here, so that's not really an issue. They also now both hold three bands, so they'll both be running similar "tri-band" deployments in the future.

 

But that's all just future speculation. I'd only make a purchase decision based on what you want to get today. (You can always switch to/from other providers later)

 

- -

 

For what it's worth, I "fixed" this issue by simply carrying both. T-Mobile and Sprint are both cheap enough that you could carry both with you for less than a typical AT&T/Verizon line, and get the best of both worlds, without having to give any money to the big/evil carriers :D

 

I did it by putting the phone on T-Mobile, and the data on Sprint, and got locked into an awesome T-Mobile Business Plan (before they were killed as part of the Uncarrier switch). If I were to do it again, I'd probably switch that around. (Put the phone on Sprint for the larger voice footprint, 1x800 coverage, and roaming with Verizon. Put the tablet on T-Mobile for the easier SIM card swapping, faster and denser GR data coverage).

 

If I had the free cash sitting around, I'd throw a Nexus 5 on Sprint Framily or Ting, and put a Nexus 7 on T-Mobile. Get the best devices, each on it's native network, and still save $10-$25/month over AT&T/Verizon  ;)

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Should you ETF? ...

A fair comparison in your area. I would only add that Tmo has announced their 700 timelines. They said they would begin deployment and selling 700 capable devices near the end of 2014. They will not even get FCC approval to buy this spectrum until the middle of the year.

 

Additionally, Tmo has also dropped the names of several markets they will begin with, and none of them were Grand Rapids. So they may not do Grand Rapids for awhile after they start 700 deployment. That is an unknown at this time. We also don't know in which markets they will expand 700 coverage outside of major metro areas. Tmo has not committed to expanding 700 over all their EDGE/GPRS sites in areas where it has licenses.

 

Tmo's non urban 700 deployment plans are unclear. They have only made comments like "future" and we will be "expanding coverage". But the scope is always vague. They have never made a commitment to convert the whole network, with or without 700MHz licenses.

 

Sprint LTE 800 will likely fill in all the LTE coverage holes in cities and towns, including Grand Rapids. But the problem will likely be that in the places where you only get LTE 800 signals, the network has a higher chance of getting congested. Grand Rapids needs much greater densification (as you've outlined). The conversion of the WiMax network will help this tremendously.

 

I hope Sprint also converts many of these unique WiMax sites to full Network Vision. Probably the only less dense market in the U.S. than Grand Rapids is likely Baton Rouge.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

 

 

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Everybody and I mean everybody is back to work in downtown Lansing finally, data is back to the pre-holiday/snow storm crawl. ;)

 

I really wish we could find out what the hold up is on getting the backhaul to the lugnut site downtown.  I can only assume that at&t is the fiber vendor, but no one really knows.  There are many mature businesses down there and the area has undergone multiple utility infrastructure upgrades in the recent past.  At&t may be overburdened or there is probably another completely logical reason.

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Everybody and I mean everybody is back to work in downtown Lansing finally, data is back to the pre-holiday/snow storm crawl. ;)

 

I really wish we could find out what the hold up is on getting the backhaul to the lugnut site downtown.  I can only assume that at&t is the fiber vendor, but no one really knows.  There are many mature businesses down there and the area has undergone multiple utility infrastructure upgrades in the recent past.  At&t may be overburdened or there is probably another completely logical reason.

 

I know this cannot be extrapolated across every market, but AT&T has been one of Sprint's better backhaul vendors.  It may have been the best ILEC of all.

 

Robert

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Grand Ledge went live with 4G this morning around 8am! I was wondering if it would ever get here. This is a good day!

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Either sprint/at&t fixed the backhaul at MLK/Holmes site or new sites have come online to share the load. Getting 2.5mbps+ downtown at Romney again. I'm in the middle of Romney, but I don't think it's the Lugnut Site.

 

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I take my entire post back, back to a 1xA crawl on LTE

 

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Today has been crazy weird, i have gotten usable 2mbps+ LTE signals (-95 to -100dBm) and unusable speeds that cause Chrome/Falcon/FB/Google Now/etc to time out.  I really hope that something is going on to make the service around here better, but only time will tell.

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