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Shentel / Sprint LTE - (was ntelos - West & N&W Virginia)

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My logs for shentel (Harrisburg) show 5 carriers live on different sites(3 carriers on most then 2 carriers on 2 of them).

39874/40072/40978/41176/41374

Sites that had 39874/40072 the GCIs were 0FFFF932/0FFFF93A and 0FFFFC32. Both were by I-83 between 13th and 19th if anyone is looking. Not sure the reason for these 0FFFFXxx sites might be worth looking into.

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5 minutes ago, Flompholph said:

My logs for shentel (Harrisburg) show 5 carriers live on different sites(3 carriers on most then 2 carriers on 2 of them).

39874/40072/40978/41176/41374

Sites that had 39874/40072 the GCIs were 0FFFF932/0FFFF93A and 0FFFFC32. Both were by I-83 between 13th and 19th if anyone is looking. Not sure the reason for these 0FFFFXxx sites might be worth looking into.

I have two band 41 sites near me.  Waynesboro, Pa and Rouzerville, Pa.  They both have 40978 as first carrier and 41176 as carrier 2.  Now Rouzerville has 41324 as a 10 Mhz 3rd carrier.  I will be checking on the Waynesboro site soon. It may have a 3rd carrier too. I have not seen it yet if it does.  Strange how we have 10 Mhz for carrier 3.

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Hm.  I'm wondering if the FFFFx sites are COWs or Mini Macros or something.  I have FFFFD3A and FFFFD3B in my log in Charlottesville near JPJ, both having 41062 as the EARFCN which matches other second carrier GCIs in the area.  (41260 is 31/32/33, 41062 is 39/3A/3B.  No third carrier in my log in TAC 32537, though I see in the MLS data that a 41 sector was spotted since the last time I was there.)

- Trip

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Just probably found 25-25 aggregation on Shentel.  Location, Rouzerville, Pa.  See the attachment.

Note the SCP Screenshot.  On Band 25, PCI 245, DL earfcn 8140.  This is 10x10 in the "A" block.  Then note the neighbor cells. We have band 25 also with PCI 245 at earfcn 8440.  This is probably10x10 also, but I can not prove it yet.  Now look at the LTE engineering Screen.  The PCI flipped on me to another sector(414) but still the same site.   8140 as the DL PCC, 8440 as the SCC1.  I see a difference in the RSRP levels, not sure why.  

I am assuming we have TWO 10x10 carriers aggregated.  For a speed test, I only get about 30 down and 5 up.  Not sure what that proves. The 5 up may be about right as I do not think the upload will aggregate.  I have been successful in seeing this about 6 times today.  One thing strange, I can never catch it with 8440 being the DL PCC.

Also, I posted a photo of the antennas.  Poor quality.  I have 3 antennas on each sector. I think, if my memory is ok, we only had 2 antennas in the past.   The one on the left has a bunch of wires on the bottom, maybe 8 or more.  Has several radios behind it.  The center antenna  might be  a new one.  Has only a few wires feeding at the bottom, maybe 3 or 4. Has a radio behind it. The right radio appears to be an older one, with some radios behind it. Has a curved front.   This setup does not look like MIMO to me unless some of the antennas eventually get removed.

Looking for anybody that can find something wrong with my thoughts & Data. Hard to prove this using only an old Galaxy S7.

Band 25 Aggregation.pdf

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1 hour ago, chamb said:

Just probably found 25-25 aggregation on Shentel.  Location, Rouzerville, Pa.  See the attachment.

Note the SCP Screenshot.  On Band 25, PCI 245, DL earfcn 8140.  This is 10x10 in the "A" block.  Then note the neighbor cells. We have band 25 also with PCI 245 at earfcn 8440.  This is probably10x10 also, but I can not prove it yet.  Now look at the LTE engineering Screen.  The PCI flipped on me to another sector(414) but still the same site.   8140 as the DL PCC, 8440 as the SCC1.  I see a difference in the RSRP levels, not sure why.  

I am assuming we have TWO 10x10 carriers aggregated.  For a speed test, I only get about 30 down and 5 up.  Not sure what that proves. The 5 up may be about right as I do not think the upload will aggregate.  I have been successful in seeing this about 6 times today.  One thing strange, I can never catch it with 8440 being the DL PCC.

Also, I posted a photo of the antennas.  Poor quality.  I have 3 antennas on each sector. I think, if my memory is ok, we only had 2 antennas in the past.   The one on the left has a bunch of wires on the bottom, maybe 8 or more.  Has several radios behind it.  The center antenna  might be  a new one.  Has only a few wires feeding at the bottom, maybe 3 or 4. Has a radio behind it. The right radio appears to be an older one, with some radios behind it. Has a curved front.   This setup does not look like MIMO to me unless some of the antennas eventually get removed.

Looking for anybody that can find something wrong with my thoughts & Data. Hard to prove this using only an old Galaxy S7.

Band 25 Aggregation.pdf

Are those 2 PCS radio / Antennas? If so then it's like 10+10+5 B25 is live. 

Guessing CDMA + B25 on one radio set and the 2x10 MHz on the other set. This way 4x4 MIMO can be used on all B25 carriers without running into port or radio bandwidth limitations. 

Also yes. 10 MHz A (1935-145) + 10 MHz E+F (1885-1895).

o7lpe8m.png

 

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Email I saw about that site (East Waynesboro WA06SH310) states:
Site is now on air with 2 10mhz B25 FDD LTE carriers, 1 800 LTE 5mhz carrier, 2 TDD 20mhz carriers, and 1 TDD 10mhz LTE carrier.


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13 minutes ago, bbostwick8 said:

Email I saw about that site (East Waynesboro WA06SH310) states:
Site is now on air with 2 10mhz B25 FDD LTE carriers, 1 800 LTE 5mhz carrier, 2 TDD 20mhz carriers, and 1 TDD 10mhz LTE carrier.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the verification.  This is exactly what I found. 

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On 10/21/2018 at 3:57 PM, chamb said:

OK, the suspense got to me. I went back and got serious about tracking this down.  Took awhile to get the 3rd carrier again.

When i did , I drove toward the cell site. Signal got better, got worse when directly under the antennas, but that is normal. As I drove away in another direction, it got better again and the PCI changed. again this PCI matched the PCI used by the other 2 carriers.

Then I stopped and did a speedtest and got into Service menu and  then LTE.  Results are attached.

Conclusions, this is a valid 10 MHZ 3rd carrier in Rouzerville, Pa at a Shentel site. Hard to prove, but it appears it is not aggregated with carrier 1 & 2.  Maybe my S-7 is the cause of this or maybe Shentel has not configured it to aggregate yet. I ran some data while trying to see if I had 3 carrier aggregation. I only saw 2 carrier aggregation and that never involved the 3rd carrier.

 

screenshot band 41 3rd cxr.pdf

CA isn't working on the 3rd carrier here either (Woodstock, VA). Maybe someone more knowledgeable can chime in on if that's even possible with two different carrier sizes. I would think it would work, but I could be wrong. 

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Apparently roamed on T-Mobile band 4 In Chambersburg,PA, south end. This area is normally fine with a great Sprint Signal.

Shentel area.

Do not know why I had this roaming and it was fine later when I went back the same way. No roaming on the return trip.Band 4-Chambersburg.jpg

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I've seen it pick up T-Mobile roaming due to short-term drops in signal that otherwise I wouldn't expect to see roaming pick up.  I don't know what triggers it.

- Trip

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Apparently roamed on T-Mobile band 4 In Chambersburg,PA, south end. This area is normally fine with a great Sprint Signal.
Shentel area.
Do not know why I had this roaming and it was fine later when I went back the same way. No roaming on the return trip.1168899740_Band4-Chambersburg.thumb.jpg.f81adfd4516b61ac695217785a9a4036.jpg


Tower or that sector was down most likely.


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I don't get to follow every thread on here, but I think this is the first I've seen B41 upload CA. I don't recall seeing this posted anywhere. Looks like Shentel added the 3rd carrier 10Mhz (as I posted above) and upload CA as well. Seems cool, but has anyone seen this anywhere else yet? 

20181031_043104.jpg

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NEW SHENTEL/SPRINT SERVICE Between Hancock and Cumberland, Md on Interstate 68.

Found complete coverage on this route tonight.  Previously there was only US Cellular roaming on that stretch. Now we have total Sprint coverage with no drops.  Great job Shentel.   Found both Band 25 & 26.  No band 41 identified, but it probably is doubtful if it is needed. Found band 25 to be 10X10, "A" Block, EARFCN 8140.  Did not see the G block, but it might be active.

Only traveled to Exit 50, Rocky Gap, east side of Cumberland.  Went inside Rocky Gap Casino, found Band 26 LTE at times and LTE from US Cellular at other times.  Band 5 & band 12.  When the Sprint LTE dropped inside the casino, I did have CDMA 1x but with a nTelos Sid(4379). Not sure why the nTelos Sid is being used.  I lost $140  in the casino and went back over the same route towards Hagerstown. Saw some new flashing tower lights in the mountains near the interstate. Perfect LTE all the way.  Another big Shentel win. This had to be difficult. Installing cell sites in the mountains should not be easy.  Also, just a comment, the band 25 coverage was very good.  Considering the weird mountainous terrain,  I was pleasantly surprised to be able to hang onto band 25 and not be dropping to band 26 every time somebody sneezed.

I hated to travel that road in the winter.  Nasty conditions out there in the winter, and while there was some roaming on the route, it was at least questionable if it was going to be adequate if you ever really needed it.

I did not travel into Cumberland City or to the west.  Sorry I could not check this out any further. At least this is very good news even if I could not go further with it.

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Microwave licenses are on file in ULS for much of that area; glad to hear much of it is live.  You don't happen to have an SCP log file for that drive, do you?  I suspect that not all the towers needed microwave backhaul and that some of them are missing from my dataset...

- Trip

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1 hour ago, Trip said:

Microwave licenses are on file in ULS for much of that area; glad to hear much of it is live.  You don't happen to have an SCP log file for that drive, do you?  I suspect that not all the towers needed microwave backhaul and that some of them are missing from my dataset...

- Trip

Trip,

Sent via your rabbitears e-mail.  For some reason, I was not able to attach them to a PM at S4GRU.

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Tidbits from latest Shentel Quarterly results:

From a competitive standpoint, we believe a merger would be beneficial in establishing a stronger competitor against the much larger AT&T and Verizon.

We showed the components of change of our Wireless customer base from September 30, 2017, to September 30, 2018. We had 785,500 postpaid and 255,500 prepaid subscribers at the end of current quarter, for a total of 1,041,000 customers. This includes 54,000 customers acquired as a result of the Richmond Expansion in February 2018 and 34,000 added from organic growth.

This represents growth of 8% in postpaid and 14% in prepaid as compared to the third quarter of 2017 and also a sequential improvement from the second quarter of 2018. At the end of the quarter, 21% of our customers were still on subsidized plans down from 22% at the end of the second quarter. 7.1% of our base upgraded their device in the quarter and of these upgrades, 98% were phones and 2% non-phones. Overall 8.5% of the postpaid base are now tablets and data devices.

We continue to have a positive poured in versus poured out ratio at 1.35 to 1 for the third quarter of 2018. You also see postpaid churn for the quarter of 1.84%, a 35 basis point improvement versus the third quarter of 2017 with churn in our core legacy area at 1.68%. Phone churn was 1.7% and non-phone churn was 3.38%. Our significant progress in churn was aided by the completion of the nTelos migration of subscribers in 2017, but somewhat offset by increases in line level churn as a result of the new Sprint rate card.

Prepaid gross adds increased to 38,500 and net adds increased to 3,400 on the strength of Boost customer additions. We are reaping the benefits of our strategic investments in the Boost brand through local advertising and the continued expansion of Boost stores throughout our service area. Additionally, prepaid churn for the quarter of 4.62% is a 63 basis point improvement over last year’s third quarter and ARPU gained traction as well.

 I'd like to update you on our store expansion. By year-end 2018, we're on track to have 167 branded Sprint stores and 151 branded Boost stores, representing about 21% and 30% increases, respectively, since the end of 2017.

53% of homes past are now capable of an upgrade to DOCSIS 31 and broadband speeds of up to 1 gig per second.

More than half of 2018 capital is allocated for cell site upgrades and the expansion of our coverage in recently acquired territories.

Q On margins and expansion

...With respect to our expansion, we continue to build fiber wherever we can. In fact, we're going to build fiber to over 100 towers this year incrementally. And that does a couple of things for us, it helps grow our fiber footprint and create sales opportunities in the commercial and wholesale space, but it also drives cost out on above-market rates that we're paying primarily related to the nTelos acquisition. So we're pretty proud of the results we've had.

I think the best way to think about that is that, over time, we expect them to remain where they are or grow that, but that could be lumpy because as we've talked about, we like the towers up, right? And then we unleash what is proving to be a pretty robust and effective marketing arm and sales arm, and we spend a lot of time thinking about the timing of those two things, so there's not a lag there. So the opportunity for us is in these expansion territories where the penetration is very low when we acquired it.

As we build it out, it goes – just doing nothing heroic, we're getting that penetration up to what we're at now like 18% or so. I think that gives us a lot of potential upside. And the other part of that is, is that dependent – and obviously, of course, it's dependent on the pricing and the promotions and whatnot from Sprint. But if Sprint letting the promotional – promotions lapse, if that does, we start to see some of the same things that Sprint saw. I think that's, again, more margin expansion.

Q: in the transition of Voice Over IP, have you quantified how much in cost savings you expect to see?

In terms of the VoIP margin benefit, it's in the range of $2 million to $3 million annualized.

Q: Could you talk about the cost savings you had on these switches moving to VoIP facilities? Was this the remnants from nTelos or was this the CapEx program for the entire company?

Now, that was related to some Sprint architecture changes, it's company-wide, system-wide, not nTelos related...

Q: First on the expansion territories, I think you guys have had Parkersburg for a little bit over a year now. And presumably, you've begun kind of selling into that. I just was curious on whether Parkersburg was a meaningful contributor to gross adds? And then, also, if you could give us an update on when you expect to start selling into Richmond, when that network build-out is going to be complete?

Parkersburg in terms of a meaningful contribution to gross activations, I wouldn't characterize it as meaningful. The majority of the capital investment in the Wireless business this year is to wrap up the investments in the acquired nTelos territories. So we're seeing more contribution from legacy nTelos markets than Parkersburg. And with respect to the Richmond sliver, we really haven't begun in earnest our upgrade program in the acquired Richmond geography, and so that's more of a 2019 and 2020 opportunity for us than it is a 2018 opportunity.

Q: CapEx, obviously, came in a little bit lower than previous. You called out some equipment deliveries. Can you help us understand what's going on there a little bit? And then longer term on CapEx, what are your thoughts about 5G spending, particularly as you heard what Sprint's plans might be?

there is not really any meaningful story on CapEx relative to what was budgeted. I think the primary drivers, as noted in the scripted comments this morning, were really better Wireless equipment pricing. And as you can expect with the vast majority of our capital going into the wireless business, equipment pricing benefits that weren't budgeted or expected were meaningful. We had budgeted some fiber RUs, we ended up not needing, which was several million dollars and other just kind of cats and dogs related to timing, but there's no major headline there, so to speak.

In terms of our go-forward plans relative to 5G, I think the company has previously disclosed and I would reiterate that the 5G opportunity for us, as well as the threat, is relatively muted just given the geography that we cover and in particular, the fact that Sprint leverages the 2.5 spectrum band for most of their LTE advanced deployments and the 5G opportunity that they see. And that's a relatively small portion of our macro network, it's 23% versus 70% for Sprint in the more urban areas. So you shouldn't expect to see a big increase in CapEx related to 5G for us.

Q: And there's a spectrum lease agreement between Sprint and T-Mobile announced recently. Are you familiar with that, the agreement? Obviously, it's outside of the auspices of the transaction, but will that have any impact on your ability for spectrum?

Yes, we're aware. And no, we don't believe it will impact our spectrum strategy.

source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4218935-shenandoah-telecommunications-shen-ceo-chris-french-q3-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

 

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Found a 10mhz channel of band 41 at the Hagerstown mall. 

196F3199-BF2B-4665-9624-D616AD61CF56.png

B5C4A825-075D-4201-B57B-DC9C6DDD65F1.png

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3 minutes ago, stealth said:

Found a 10mhz channel of band 41 at the Hagerstown mall. 

 

 

Yes, I have been finding this 10Mhz channel at quite a few sites.  Been there for a month or so at least.  Last time I looked at it, the 3rd carrier was not aggregated with the first two.  Not sure if that is still true.

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51 minutes ago, chamb said:

Yes, I have been finding this 10Mhz channel at quite a few sites.  Been there for a month or so at least.  Last time I looked at it, the 3rd carrier was not aggregated with the first two.  Not sure if that is still true.

Per the engineering screens on my xs, the primary carrier is the 10mhz with two 20mhz carriers. 

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As you guys are all excited to find a 10mhz carrier, I found a small cell popping up in the storage room at my office. They replaced the power panel the other day and brought in fiber. Today they are putting the hole in the roof (and patching the leak around the boiler.)

c1563b723915b98dfc175d2edfb3da5a.jpg

c4e377ed1530ed3d2e893d545375bfec.jpg


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4 hours ago, bakedc4 said:

As you guys are all excited to find a 10mhz carrier, I found a small cell popping up in the storage room at my office. They replaced the power panel the other day and brought in fiber. Today they are putting the hole in the roof (and patching the leak around the boiler.)






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Nice Flexi zone we have there! Good find!

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iOS 12.1.1 with carrier bundle 35.0 enabled VoLTE in soft launch areas..

Anybody in Shental area luck getting it to work?

iPhone 8 and up required. 

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iOS 12.1.1 with carrier bundle 35.0 enabled VoLTE in soft launch areas..
Anybody in Shental area luck getting it to work?
iPhone 8 and up required. 



Bummer I have iPhone 7


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VoLTE isn't enabled yet in the Shentel market. I can carry over a call from Wifi calling to VoLTE (voice call continuity), but can't start a VoLTE call straight from LTE. I would think it will come soon, but it's not here yet. I live in the Shenandoah Valley and travel to Allentown, PA quite often so I go through a good chunk of Shentel's original area from Woodstock, VA to past Harrisburg, PA (where the Central PA market and then the Philly market pick up on I-78) and have yet to see it. I've been in the DC and Philly markets though and have used VoLTE and it seems to work well. Hopefully we'll get it soon.  

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VoLTE isn't enabled yet in the Shentel market. I can carry over a call from Wifi calling to VoLTE (voice call continuity), but can't start a VoLTE call straight from LTE. I would think it will come soon, but it's not here yet. I live in the Shenandoah Valley and travel to Allentown, PA quite often so I go through a good chunk of Shentel's original area from Woodstock, VA to past Harrisburg, PA (where the Central PA market and then the Philly market pick up on I-78) and have yet to see it. I've been in the DC and Philly markets though and have used VoLTE and it seems to work well. Hopefully we'll get it soon.  


I was told that soft launch was taking place 12/13 overnight into 12/14 for select devices. (Samsung S8 and above, iPhone 8 and above and LG V30). Coming in OTA update. I can’t verify this... maybe someone else can verify this? VoLTE will need to be enabled in Network settings.


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