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Site handoffs between markets


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So this is an issue I've had for many years. I live on the Michigan/Indiana border and frequently travel back and forth between the two states. Northern Indiana is a former iPCS market and my part of West Michigan is a legacy corporate market. When I go back and forth my phone does not hand off to the sites in Indiana and vice versa unless I drive so far out of range that it is forced to. And then it drops the call/data connection.

 

A few years back I spoke with an iPCS engineer at HoFo who made some tweaks and it worked better for a while, but over the last year or two it's been just as bad as it was before. It's a little better going from Michigan to Indiana than it is from Indiana to Michigan.

 

Just an annoyance and was curious if anyone had any insight?

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Network Vision may or may not make it better. Yes, you will be on all Sprint corporate Samsung infrastructure, rather than the iPCS affiliate legacy mix that you have now. But you will still live near a PCS 1900 MHz license boundary, not to mention an MSC boundary.

 

For example, in Sturgis, you are in the Detroit MTA, where Sprint holds the PCS B block 30 MHz license. But across the state line, Howe is in the South Bend-Mishiwaka BTA, where Sprint holds the PCS D block 10 MHz license. That means your device must switch PCS carrier channels as it crosses the state line.

 

Moreover, your site in Sturgis is backhauled to the Lansing_MSC_2, while the site in Howe is backhauled to the Fort Wayne_MSC_1. So, in the end, when you cross the state line, you experience an inter frequency, inter MSC hard handoff, and those are almost always hit or miss.

 

You can observe the above phenomenon by watching your engineering screens as you cross the state line. You will see SID, NID, CDMA1X carrier channel, and EV-DO carrier channel change.

 

Now, because of the transaction with USCC, Sprint will soon hold PCS B block spectrum in the South Bend-Mishiwaka BTA. So, the chances are good that your PCS carrier channels on both sides of the state line will be harmonized.

 

Additionally, Sprint holds the same SMR 800 MHz spectrum on both sides of the state line. Thus, eventually, your CDMA1X 800 carrier channel will likely remain a consistent SMR 476. But the MSC handoff between Lansing and Fort Wayne (or vice versa) will remain.

 

AJ

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What an amazing explanation of just one of probably a thousand complexities of a nationwide cell network.

 

AJ, you are truly an asset around here.

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What an amazing explanation of just one of probably a thousand complexities of a nationwide cell network.

 

AJ, you are truly an asset around here.

 

No big deal. I am just trying to put to good use the network operation knowledge and spectrum licensing data that I have accumulated over the years. But I could not speak with any authority about sites on the Michigan/Indiana border 700 miles from me if not for the data extraction and mapping work that Robert and digiblur have so diligently completed. So, give full credit to the team here at S4GRU -- we depend upon and build off the work of each other.

 

AJ

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So this is an issue I've had for many years. I live on the Michigan/Indiana border and frequently travel back and forth between the two states. Northern Indiana is a former iPCS market and my part of West Michigan is a legacy corporate market. When I go back and forth my phone does not hand off to the sites in Indiana and vice versa unless I drive so far out of range that it is forced to. And then it drops the call/data connection.

 

A few years back I spoke with an iPCS engineer at HoFo who made some tweaks and it worked better for a while, but over the last year or two it's been just as bad as it was before. It's a little better going from Michigan to Indiana than it is from Indiana to Michigan.

 

Just an annoyance and was curious if anyone had any insight?

Lol tower hand off here is horrible. If by that when your phone switches to a closer tower. If I stay in an area for 5 minutes, I can often switch between 2 towers like crazy and when I'm driving, I don't. Put if I walk the same road, i switch to a closer tower and my service increases. It's really annoying lol No coverage inside, walk out the door and i get 5 bars
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Amazing post AJ...I always dropped calls on I-88 in the Sterling/Rock Falls, IL vicinity when going from the corp. network to iPCS network. When I talked with the iPCS engineers they knew about the problem and was told it was equipment incompatibilities. The write up above shows the complexity of switching a call between markets. I imagine it is more complex with another party involved such as Nex-Tech or one of the remaining affiliates.

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Amazing post AJ...I always dropped calls on I-88 in the Sterling/Rock Falls, IL vicinity when going from the corp. network to iPCS network. When I talked with the iPCS engineers they knew about the problem and was told it was equipment incompatibilities. The write up above shows the complexity of switching a call between markets. I imagine it is more complex with another party involved such as Nex-Tech or one of the remaining affiliates.

 

Getting the same hardware in a region is just one of many complexities as AJ notes. Has anyone done any testing across NV OEM borders to see if there are any issues like the legacy Motorola equipment saw in Chicago?

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