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Sprint, nTelos, Signal Reception, and NV


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I have a situation with Sprint, nTelos, and signal reception.  I'm wanting to join Sprint to take advantage of the new unlimited plans but apparently my part of their network isn't that good.  Knowing that Boost Mobile is an MVNO for Sprint I bought a cheap Boost phone, the Kyocera Boost and took it to places where I go.  I have 75% to full signal at my house and almost everywhere else I go, except work.  I get about three bars in the parking lot, two at the door going inside the building, but once I get to my desk, I have zero bars or no service.

I live in north central West Virginia, about an hour away from the Pennsylvania border on I-79 which puts me in nTelos land, so I don't believe anything like Network Vision will be here any time soon given how nTelos is dragging their feet with just about everything they do.  On the coverage map, everywhere I go appears covered under the Sprint network.

Boost Mobile is an MVNO but I'm not sure if they are treated exactly like native Sprint phones on the nTelos network, would a native Sprint phone fare any better in testing at my workplace?

The phone I tested was a Kyocera Coast, which is very inexpensive, the phone I'm wanting when it comes out is the Samsung Ativ S Neo.  These are two vastly different devices with different levels of quality.  Would the Samsung device be better at finding a usable signal at work?

If you look at a Sprint Network Vision map, upgrades happen around Pittsburgh and go south on I-79 stopping right at the WV border.  Has Sprint or nTelos mentioned anything about Network Vision in this part of West Virginia?

 

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I have a situation with Sprint, nTelos, and signal reception. I'm wanting to join Sprint to take advantage of the new unlimited plans but apparently my part of their network isn't that good. Knowing that Boost Mobile is an MVNO for Sprint I bought a cheap Boost phone, the Kyocera Boost and took it to places where I go. I have 75% to full signal at my house and almost everywhere else I go, except work. I get about three bars in the parking lot, two at the door going inside the building, but once I get to my desk, I have zero bars or no service.

 

I live in north central West Virginia, about an hour away from the Pennsylvania border on I-79 which puts me in nTelos land, so I don't believe anything like Network Vision will be here any time soon given how nTelos is dragging their feet with just about everything they do. On the coverage map, everywhere I go appears covered under the Sprint network.

 

Boost Mobile is an MVNO but I'm not sure if they are treated exactly like native Sprint phones on the nTelos network, would a native Sprint phone fare any better in testing at my workplace?

 

The phone I tested was a Kyocera Coast, which is very inexpensive, the phone I'm wanting when it comes out is the Samsung Ativ S Neo. These are two vastly different devices with different levels of quality. Would the Samsung device be better at finding a usable signal at work?

 

If you look at a Sprint Network Vision map, upgrades happen around Pittsburgh and go south on I-79 stopping right at the WV border. Has Sprint or nTelos mentioned anything about Network Vision in this part of West Virginia?

I frequent many of the same areas for work, one of which is the border territory of OH & WV (Marietta - Parkersburg) where there are a few sporadic native Sprint towers on the WV side on I-77. The problem I find is that when I'm in a building my phone tries for dear life to hold onto the native Sprint tower, but occasionally it will jump to the nTelos tower which gives a full signal (nTelos SID 4379 vs Sprint SID of 4418). nTelos is recognized as native coverage, but I assume the PRL is designed to prioritize the native sprint signal when both are available. Hopefully once NV rolls through the native Sprint tower & 800 SMR will solve the issue, but until then my phone is basically useless in that office.

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Well, I-77 is on the western side of WV where Sprint does have a little more native coverage.  Out here, between Clarksburg and Fairmont, I would practically be an nTelos customer.  I don't think Sprint has any native coverage here.  I wonder if the PRL is different for Boost Mobile customers on nTelos, if it is, that may explain my coverage issue while testing with the Kyocera.

 

At work, customers on both Sprint and nTelos have a strange relationship with those carriers.  One iPhone user is a Sprint customer, but is roaming here, an nTelos iPhone user is on their network just ten feet away.  These two customers may have different iPhone models, I'm not sure about this.  I wonder if the agreement with nTelos is only for certain frequencies or towers.

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I'm on Ntelos, but have the opposite problem.  It wants to hang on to Ntelos signal for dear life before it goes to Sprint signal. Which is understandable.  I'm hoping Ntelos will be bought out by Sprint soon, which only makes sense, instead of spending money building out in all of their area were Ntelos is.  

 

Since Ntelos uses Sprint for everything outside of there region for  native coverage (Roaming on Verizon). Can the phones has Ntelos now be able to use SMR 800 voice now? If not how about in the future?  What do you think will happen when the Sprint Ntelos contract ends?  My bet is that Sprint will be buying Ntelos(Hoping anyways). Especially since Ntelos separated the cable and wireless part of the company.

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Full explanation of all Sprint PRLs can be found in this thread: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4085-current-sprint-prls/

I don't believe Sprint currently allows Boost or Virgin to utilize the 800 SMR signal, so I'd doubt if nTelos customers would be allowed; however Shentel has a similar agreement with Sprint and have been actively deploying 800 SMR through out their region (along with LTE). I'm not sure what or when nTelos plans to do in regards to its relationship with Sprint.

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How many lines are you thinking of adding? Looking at the NTelos site it looks like at up 2 lines in a fam plan you get everything unlimited for a pretty good price ($139.99) . Only when adding 3+ lines is where it becomes a bit more expensive.

 

@l3x

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How many lines are you thinking of adding? Looking at the NTelos site it looks like at up 2 lines in a fam plan you get everything unlimited for a pretty good price ($139.99) . Only when adding 3+ lines is where it becomes a bit more expensive.

 

@l3x

 

Just a single line, I'm also wanting a Windows Phone device which nTelos doesn't carry, so they're a non-starter for me.

 

If Boost or Virgin are not allowed to use the 800 SMR spectrum, that could explain why certain users can get on the Sprint Network.  Does nTelos use this spectrum?  Are all recent CDMA phones capable of using 800 SMR or do I need one that specifically mentions it?

 

Since the phone I'm looking to get isn't out yet, I should be able to use it... I hope.  I also hope that the device has a good enough antenna to get the signal indoors when the $20 Kyocera phone did not.

 

Asking around my workplace, I've noticed the people who are having issues connecting are those using iPhone 4/4S, though, one Android user can't connect either, but another Android user can.  An iPhone 5 user can also connect.  I guess if I can't connect either, we can add a Windows Phone to that list as well.  It seems like Sprint/nTelos coverage varies based on the device you have.

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Why would Boost and VM not have access to 1x 800 when they do have access to LTE and the phones support the band? Given that they don't offer roaming, I don't see why Sprint would further deteriorate voice coverage for their prepaid subs in an artificial manner. A customer on Boost (who, if he's like most people, doesn't know the difference between SMR and PCS) is not going to join Sprint postpaid if he's unhappy with his service- he'll join another prepaid carrier on a different network, like Page Plus or GoPhone. That also wouldn't make sense since several independent Sprint MVNOs, like Ting and Zact, do provide access to 1x800.

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Full explanation of all Sprint PRLs can be found in this thread: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4085-current-sprint-prls/

I don't believe Sprint currently allows Boost or Virgin to utilize the 800 SMR signal, so I'd doubt if nTelos customers would be allowed; however Shentel has a similar agreement with Sprint and have been actively deploying 800 SMR through out their region (along with LTE). I'm not sure what or when nTelos plans to do in regards to its relationship with Sprint.

oh dear god, is this your thoughts (praying to god its that  :( ) or did you have a reason to say that like some document or something because i need 800 smr bad!

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Full explanation of all Sprint PRLs can be found in this thread: http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4085-current-sprint-prls/

I don't believe Sprint currently allows Boost or Virgin to utilize the 800 SMR signal, so I'd doubt if nTelos customers would be allowed; however Shentel has a similar agreement with Sprint and have been actively deploying 800 SMR through out their region (along with LTE). I'm not sure what or when nTelos plans to do in regards to its relationship with Sprint.

 

Boost/Virgin/Sprint As You Go/etc. DO NOT have Band Class 10 support (800MHz) in the PRLs for some devices. Notably, legacy 1xRTT-only and EVDO devices. I believe the LTE-capable devices do have BC10 support however, I will see what I can find for further clarification, or possibly Digiblur can chime in here since he knows how to actually "read" a PRL.

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oh dear god, is this your thoughts (praying to god its that  :( ) or did you have a reason to say that like some document or something because i need 800 smr bad!

 

Read the thread, and look at the linked Google Doc. It gives you all the info you could want about Sprint PRLs.

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oh dear god, is this your thoughts (praying to god its that  :( ) or did you have a reason to say that like some document or something because i need 800 smr bad!

I'm just going from the document that I referenced which gives the details of what each PRL allows - key word is "currently".  Its only been since April 12th that the Postpaid Sprint customers have been granted access to all markets with BC10, so I would be willing to bet that sometime in the future a PRL would be pushed out allowing pre-paid (Boost & Virgin) customers access as well.  In fact, through using one of Digiblur's testing PRLs many users here have discovered areas where Sprint is still testing the 800 SMR band on a 'hidden' SID, which also tells me that there are more markets with BC10 soon to come to postpaid and most likely pre-paid.

 

In regards to nTelos' use of BC10, I don't know what their future plans are and I don't know what the agreement between Sprint and nTelos allows, but they cannot simply 'turn on' that frequency, it would require additional antennae (is that plural for antenna?) capable of that frequency which would require installation of additional hardware.  Since they have not shown any urgency adding LTE to date, I don't think you'll see BC10 showing up in their coverage area any time soon.

 

The only option I can think of would be if Sprint decided to convert some of the old Nextel sites that they owned. I'm not sure how much native coverage Nextel had in the area, but I do believe they had some and it could be a possibility for Sprint to convert them sometime in the future, but that could also depend on whatever agreement they have in place with nTelos as well.

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The Samsung Ativ S Neo has passed the FCC and I think it has BC0, BC1, BC10, and BC25, along with GSM.  At least that is what it says here at the FCC site:  https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=214359&fcc_id=A3LSPHI800

 

I wonder if there is a way to determine how sensitive or powerful an antenna on a handset is by looking at those testing documents.

 

I can completely understand Boost and Virgin being degraded or lacking access to certain frequencies, Sprint does need something to draw people towards the post-paid plans.  It would also make sense, from a business perspective at least, to have different levels of access on the nTelos network for MVNO's.  In my part of the state, few people like nTelos in that they almost never get anything new, customer service isn't that good, and the company moves very slowly on just about everything.  I wonder if they will be bought out by Sprint eventually.  If that happens, it won't change everything overnight, but at least we would get NV before 2016 or 2017 or have some kind of better service overall.

 

Speaking of nTelos and Sprint, how does the Sprint Rural Alliance work exactly?  Does Sprint own the spectrum and allow nTelos to access it with their equipment in exchange for allowing Sprint customers on their network without roaming, or, is the equipment and spectrum owned by Sprint and nTelos manages it?

 

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oh dear god, is this your thoughts (praying to god its that  :( ) or did you have a reason to say that like some document or something because i need 800 smr bad!

 

You live in Buffalo, which is fully inside the Canadian segment of the IBEZ.  That means no SMR 800 MHz for you, anyway.  Sprint cannot deploy CDMA1X 800 nor LTE 800 where it might interfere with Canadian operations.

 

AJ

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You live in Buffalo, which is fully inside the Canadian segment of the IBEZ. That means no SMR 800 MHz for you, anyway. Sprint cannot deploy CDMA1X 800 nor LTE 800 where it might interfere with Canadian operations.

 

AJ

AJ, that statement can't be carte blache, just look at the Cleveland accepted sites. Yes, Cleveland is a Legacy Motorola market so from what I understand Sprint will try to offset the handoff from legacy to NV equipment issues that the Chicago market faced by offloading voice & 1x traffic to 800 MHz, but Cleveland is well within the IBEZ and has been actively deploying SMR, just in a powered down state. Even in this powered down state we have members recording 10-15 dbm increased signal while indoors. Point being, Sprint is able to deploy 800 MHz within the IBEZ, just not without some power restrictions.
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AJ, that statement can't be carte blache, just look at the Cleveland accepted sites.

 

Cleveland is a far different situation.  Yes, it is inside the IBEZ, which is based on the position of the international boundary.  However, actual landmass Canada is all the way across Lake Erie.  And that is why Sprint has somehow gotten special dispensation to deploy CDMA1X 800.

 

Contrast that with Buffalo.  It is also inside the IBEZ, but the most populous region of Canada is right across the river.  That is not even remotely like the Cleveland situation.

 

Barring a miracle, Buffalo is out of luck unless/until a new treaty is worked out with Canada -- assuming that is even possible with Canadian public safety and Telus Mike iDEN operating right across the border in places such as Niagara Falls and Windsor.

 

AJ

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Cleveland is a far different situation.

Barring a miracle, Buffalo is out of luck unless/until a new treaty is worked out with Canada -- assuming that is even possible with Canadian public safety and Telus Mike iDEN operating right across the border in places such as Niagara Falls and Windsor.

 

AJ

So you're telling me there's a chance...

 

 

 

If Lloyd Christmas could hold onto optimism, then I think our friends in WNY shouldn't give up all hope. I had all but thrown in the towel for Cleveland to get 800 any time soon, but it happened / is happening. Yes, we have Lake Erie to buffer what is the actual border whereas Buffalo and Detroit have but a mere river, but the Cleveland market is proof that "special dispensation" can occur.

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Rubbish!!! Buffalo seems like one of the last markets place to get any (even 3g) updates (even rochester is ahead) we never got WIMax we wont get cdma or lte 800.... No wireless love :( damn Canada! 

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Rubbish!!! Buffalo seems like one of the last markets place to get any (even 3g) updates (even rochester is ahead) we never got WIMax we wont get cdma or lte 800.... No wireless love :( damn Canada!

Well, it's not that you're never getting 800.... it's just not any time soon unfortunately. If/when an agreement with Canada can be reached, it'll be updated. We just have no idea when that'll be.

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Cleveland is a far different situation.  Yes, it is inside the IBEZ, which is based on the position of the international boundary.  However, actual landmass Canada is all the way across Lake Erie.  And that is why Sprint has somehow gotten special dispensation to deploy CDMA1X 800.

 

Contrast that with Buffalo.  It is also inside the IBEZ, but the most populous region of Canada is right across the river.  That is not even remotely like the Cleveland situation.

 

Barring a miracle, Buffalo is out of luck unless/until a new treaty is worked out with Canada -- assuming that is even possible with Canadian public safety and Telus Mike iDEN operating right across the border in places such as Niagara Falls and Windsor.

 

AJ

 

This is not 100% however. A lake is not unique, putting a site at the edge of the border and directing panels away from the border would result in very little RF interference transitioning across that way. The majority I would imagine would be from reflections off buildings, etc.

 

Most of Tucson, AZ is scheduled to receive 800 upgrades. Hell, even sites that I know for a fact are well within the IBEZ and on the very southern end of Tucson are scheduled for 800 upgrades. Other sites within the city itself aren't scheduled for them (I'm assuming because of proximity to other 800 sites).

 

There are a series of different criteria for every single site located within the IBEZ zones. We can guess all day which specific criteria are used to determine upgrades but the fact is that none of us really know. We can make educated guesses, but there can be any number of reasons a site within the IBEZ would be upgraded, or a site outside of theiBEZ would not be.

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Does the change over to 800 MHz. require a new antenna or can it be done in software?  How is it typically deployed?

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