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Interview with Bob Azzi on iDen Shutdown at Fiercewireless


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With iDEN shutdown just days away, Sprint begins 800 MHz refarming for CDMA, LTE

June 26, 2013 | By Phil Goldstein

 

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is just days away from shutting down service on its iDEN Nextel network--the last full day of service will be June 29--but is already looking to the advanced services it will enable on that vacated spectrum.

 

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Azzi said Sprint has already turned on CDMA 1X Advanced voice service in 800 MHz in some markets, and said that technology can be turned up "fairly quickly" across the country. Network Vision radios, which are now live in around 13,500 cell sites, have been tuned to use 800 MHz for voice service.

 

Sprint also plans to deploy LTE on a 5x5 MHz channel in its 800 MHz spectrum in the fourth quarter.

 

Azzi said Sprint has been seeding devices into the market that can take advantage of CDMA 1X Advanced and LTE in 800 MHz, so customers won't have to do anything to use the new services when they are fully deployed.

 

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As of the end of the first quarter, Sprint had around 1.31 million iDEN subscribers left. Azzi declined to say how many of those customers Sprint has been able to move over to its CDMA and LTE networks in the second quarter, but Sprint has forecasted it would "recapture" 30 to 40 percent (393,000 to 524,000) and keep them on Sprint's networks.

 

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http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/iden-shutdown-just-days-away-sprint-begins-800-mhz-refarming-cdma-lte/2013-06-26

 

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I think a lot of the Nextel hardcore users are going down with the ship, then will badmouth Sprint all the way to their local Big Red or Blue store to get f'd on a new device and limited data plan.  Then they will keep badmouthing Sprint as they pay twice as much for data caps and overages.  Somehow, it will be Sprint's fault :)

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Azzi said Sprint has been seeding devices into the market that can take advantage of CDMA 1X Advanced and LTE in 800 MHz, so customers won't have to do anything to use the new services when they are fully deployed.

 

Interesting. Does this mean that some devices have the capability for LTE over 800 and we don't even know about it? I love that he used the word seeding.  I imagine a guy up in a plane dropping phones over the cities. ha

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Interesting. Does this mean that some devices have the capability for LTE over 800 and we don't even know about it? I love that he used the word seeding.  I imagine a guy up in a plane dropping phones over the cities. ha

 

I would say the LTE portion of that is a mistake and it's really referring to CDMA on 800 only.  Since no devices have passed the FCC supporting LTE on that band class, there aren't any out that currently support LTE on 800.

 

EDIT:  Unless they are referring to the hotspots and broadband card that are coming out this summer that support LTE on 800MHz.  

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I would say the LTE portion of that is a mistake and it's really referring to CDMA on 800 only.  Since no devices have passed the FCC supporting LTE on that band class, there aren't any out that currently support LTE on 800.

 

EDIT:  Unless they are referring to the hotspots and broadband card that are coming out this summer that support LTE on 800MHz.  

 

I'd take it to mean the hotspots which have been announced.

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I was wondering about CDMA 800 Voice...  Will our phones automatically use that frequency or do we have to configure something???    I know that in roaming mode, it can use the 800..

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I was wondering about CDMA 800 Voice...  Will our phones automatically use that frequency or do we have to configure something???    I know that in roaming mode, it can use the 800..

You won't necessarily have to configure anything.  Depending on the phone you have, which affects your PRL (i.e. iphone, android), your phone will connect to CDMA 800 according to varying priorities automatically.

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I was wondering about CDMA 800 Voice...  Will our phones automatically use that frequency or do we have to configure something???    I know that in roaming mode, it can use the 800..

Roaming mode is when you roam onto another carriers network. CDMA 800 is activated by PRL updates or by Digi's customized PRL's.

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You won't necessarily have to configure anything.  Depending on the phone you have, which affects your PRL (i.e. iphone, android), your phone will connect to CDMA 800 according to varying priorities automatically.

I have a Galaxy S3... So it will hunt down 1900 first then look for 800???  or does it look for best signal either way???   I let my phone update itself regularly...  And where has Sprint put some of those new 800 CDMA's refarmed from IDEN???    I presume in mostly smaller cities to enhance more limited coverage....

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I have a Galaxy S3... So it will hunt down 1900 first then look for 800???  or does it look for best signal either way???   I let my phone update itself regularly...  And where has Sprint put some of those new 800 CDMA's refarmed from IDEN???    I presume in mostly smaller cities to enhance more limited coverage....

The PRL question, network priority,  would best be answered by someone else, maybe digi.  All NV sites will receive CDMA 800 except those too close to the Mexican or Canadien border due to international agreements.  So the answer to your question is that all sprint towers will have CDMA 800 regardless of city, town, etc.

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The PRL question, network priority,  would best be answered by someone else, maybe digi.  All NV sites will receive CDMA 800 except those too close to the Mexican or Canadien border due to international agreements.  So the answer to your question is that all sprint towers will have CDMA 800 regardless of city, town, etc.

Actually only 80% of the towers are getting 800Mhz/SMR service due to overlap or perhaps the ability to get backhaul to remote locations

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Actually only 80% of the towers are getting 800Mhz/SMR service due to overlap or perhaps the ability to get backhaul to remote locations

Well then...  so if the local tower has both frequencies of CDMA Voice, which one will my phone use???   I only ask this because in my office in Charlotte, I sometimes get a Sprint voice signal ( don't need to worry about data since I use my office WI-FI) but I often revert to a very strong roaming signal... How do you know what kind of signal you are getting??

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Actually only 80% of the towers are getting 800Mhz/SMR service due to overlap or perhaps the ability to get backhaul to remote locations

 

Actually, all full build network vision cell sites will have SMR 800 service at least for CDMA 800 1x. Not necessarily all cell sites will have LTE 800 activated initially though but they can when the need for capacity arises. Thank goodness for remote downtilt systems for all the antennas in the antenna enclosure. 

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Well then...  so if the local tower has both frequencies of CDMA Voice, which one will my phone use???   I only ask this because in my office in Charlotte, I sometimes get a Sprint voice signal ( don't need to worry about data since I use my office WI-FI) but I often revert to a very strong roaming signal... How do you know what kind of signal you are getting??

It all depends on the PRL config.  For most Android devices, SMR and PCS are the same priority, so it will pick which ever is stronger and stick there until it needs to scan again or you lose connectivity.  The iPhone 5 is odd in that PCS is a higher priority than SMR and that device won't switch to SMR until PCS is not available and it conintually looks for PCS at that point.  The current PRL for the Note 2 has no SMR at all due to a possible calling issue.

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It's somewhat interesting that Azzi pitched "seeding" SMR capable phones as a new thing; phones supporting CDMA 1x in SMR have been available for a few years now, despite the lack of a network to back them up. Heck, my dad's Samsung m370 flip phone can connect to the network once it's available (which will give Sprint the best-coverage CDMA network in central TX because Verizon is PCS-only there and the local carrier has abandoned CDMA and has fewer towers than Sprint anyway due to spacing for CLR).

 

But hey, the fact that probably 80% of Sprint's customers will get an immediate service boost when SMR 1x goes live in their market (the notable recent exception being iPhones less than the 5) is absolutely great. And LTE following relatively shortly thereafter will be just wonderful.

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Well then...  so if the local tower has both frequencies of CDMA Voice, which one will my phone use???   I only ask this because in my office in Charlotte, I sometimes get a Sprint voice signal ( don't need to worry about data since I use my office WI-FI) but I often revert to a very strong roaming signal... How do you know what kind of signal you are getting??

download signalcheck pro from the play store, it was developed by someone from these forums and will tell you if you are connected to CDMA 800 or 1900

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Since it is related, I will remind everyone that the latest PRL version released June 4th added nationwide 800 SMR, not just specific areas like with previous updates. This is obviously in anticipation of the iDEN shutdown in a few days so that essentially with a flip of a few switches signal will improve at almost all upgraded sites, and all future sites can have it enabled at acceptance time. If there is a site within range of your phone as it scans for a signal (i.e. when turned on or toggling airplane mode) it will connect to it, regardless of which area of the country you are in.

 

All current PRLs (xxx97 and xxx15) have 800SMR support built in. The iPhone PRLs are unique in that 1900MHz is prioritized over 800 SMR, and the Note II has SMR missing entirely due to a calling issue. Otherwise, all standard PRLs are nearly identical and have 1900 and 800 frequencies at the same priority level.

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4085-current-sprint-prls/

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It all depends on the PRL config.  For most Android devices, SMR and PCS are the same priority, so it will pick which ever is stronger and stick there until it needs to scan again or you lose connectivity.  The iPhone 5 is odd in that PCS is a higher priority than SMR and that device won't switch to SMR until PCS is not available and it conintually looks for PCS at that point.  The current PRL for the Note 2 has no SMR at all due to a possible calling issue.

 

Close but PRLs do not choose networks based on signal strength.  All based on the priority levels and the order of the SIDs defined in the PRL.

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It all depends on the PRL config. For most Android devices, SMR and PCS are the same priority, so it will pick which ever is stronger and stick there until it needs to scan again or you lose connectivity. The iPhone 5 is odd in that PCS is a higher priority than SMR and that device won't switch to SMR until PCS is not available and it conintually looks for PCS at that point. The current PRL for the Note 2 has no SMR at all due to a possible calling issue.

 

 

Close but PRLs do not choose networks based on signal strength. All based on the priority levels and the order of the SIDs defined in the PRL.

So if SMR and PCS are equal priority in the PRL, what decides which frequency to lock on to if both are available?

 

Sent from CM10.1 Galaxy Note 2 using tapatalk 4 beta

 

 

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So if SMR and PCS are equal priority in the PRL, what decides which frequency to lock on to if both are available?

 

Sent from CM10.1 Galaxy Note 2 using tapatalk 4 beta

 

SNR (signal to noise ratio), or capacity?

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-348-what-is-a-prl-part-2-evdo/

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