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Mapping Bandwidth and Band using Field Test Mode [OpenSignal]


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I'm James from OpenSignal. We're trying to map international rollout of LTE, but very few phones can report the band and bandwidth used, so we're hoping people can help us by firing up field test mode and submitting the data to our map - all the data can be downloaded.
 
We've already got a great map of South Korea and China, there's a lot of 10 MHz and 20 MHz bands there, which explains why they're clocking some of the fastest LTE speeds on the planet.
 
You actually need to use "service mode" on Android to do this: 
Type
*#0011#
Into a dialer. 
 
You should see
 
 
GS4_2.png
 
 
Here you can read the LTE stats easily. The Band is 7 (around 2600 MHz), and the LTE Bandwidth for download (LTE DL BW) is 15 MHz. Actually the Earfcn_dl gives a more precise reading of the band, 2825, so if this available use this.
 
 
You can fill in the form here: Google docs form
Your data will appear on a map here: LTE bandwidth map.
 
This won't work for all Android phones, I'm yet to find any other codes that can bring up this info (field test modes & service modes are implemented differently on different devices.  
 
On iOS try:
*3001#12345#*[/size]
 
 
Btw if any admin has the permissions, you can embed the form and map right here:
Form:

If that works fill out this form and your information will be automatically mapped:

All the information is public, and responses are mapped immediately below – you will probably need to refresh this page before your data becomes visible. If it doesn’t appear after that there may be a problem geocoding please email me James (@ opensignal.com) with your observation and we’ll get it up.

Map of LTE bandwidth. Click on a dot to see the observation. Get the raw data here.

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(psst.. html codes are not working took the embed code from your site)

 

Anyhow for Sprint it's quite easy. PCS G LTE is 5 mhz FDD-LTE all throughout the US with the second LTE carrier in PCS A-F also 5mhz. Currently most people are finding LTE eSMR 800 as 5x5 mhz FDD-LTE but there are areas where Sprint will deploy as 3x3 mhz FDD-LTE (border region / spectrum constrained markets). Band 41 TDD-LTE  is 20 mhz TDD in every market that it's deployed.

 

Examples:

Original PCS G LTE Carrier - 5 mhz

 

wHqPyXe.png?1

 

2nd PCS carrier in Midwest Regions - PCS B block 5 mhz

BAIfzgF.png '

 

tvRVupx.png

 

Band 26 LTE 800 5x5 mhz

 

cXxzgvF.png

 

 

6ysbtI2.png

 

TDD-LTE B41 20 mhz TDD

 

yxctDq0.png

 

H4O82zs.png?1

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I'm guessing the dialer codes for LG G2 still are in limbo since the 4.4.2 update that did away with the ability..

 

I'm rooted but still stock ZVC and doesn't appear that any dialer codes, including #*0011#, work.

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You actually need to use "service mode" on Android to do this: 

Type

*#0011#

Into a dialer. 

 

You should see

 

 

GS4_2.png

 

 

Here you can read the LTE stats easily. The Band is 7 (around 2600 MHz), and the LTE Bandwidth for download (LTE DL BW) is 15 MHz. Actually the Earfcn_dl gives a more precise reading of the band, 2825, so if this available use this.

 

. . .

This won't work for all Android phones, I'm yet to find any other codes that can bring up this info (field test modes & service modes are implemented differently on different devices.  

 

On iOS try:

*3001#12345#*

 

A few facts to know...

 

Sprint is the king of the domestic operators for what people variously call debug, engineering, field test, or service mode screens.  While many variants for AT&T and T-Mobile have those screens removed or blocked, basically all Sprint variants maintain access.  However, you need to know that the traditional dialer code for Sprint is ##DEBUG#.  This dates all the way back to feature phones.  The *#0011# dialer code you list for Android is, as far as I know, only for Samsung handsets that are non Sprint variants.  So, it will not work with Sprint handsets.  The iOS dialer code, however, is universal.

 

In addition to being basically ubiquitous among Sprint handsets, the screens are basically standardized for Sprint -- they are largely the same across all Android handsets.  And you will not find, for example, the downlink bandwidth field that you note in the generic Samsung service mode screenshot.  You can see this in the multiple screenshots that another one of our moderators posted in this thread.  So, instructing Android users on Sprint to access these screens to assess LTE deployed bandwidth will not be useful.

 

Instead, as one of our moderators also pointed out, LTE bandwidth is almost entirely standardized across the Sprint network.  Currently, it comes in exactly three flavors:  band 25 LTE 1900 at 5 MHz FDD, band 26 LTE 800 at 5 MHz FDD, and band 41 TD-LTE 2600 at 20 MHz TDD.  In the future, we may see band 26 LTE 800 at 3 MHz FDD in some spectrum constrained markets, and that will be detectable by an EARFCN other than 8763.

 

Alternatively, LTE carrier bandwidth can be determined via spectrum analysis.  I use a handheld spectrum analyzer and often include the sweeps in my articles.  You can view several examples in the following articles:

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-358-sprint-scores-an-800-on-the-lte/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-308-rssi-vs-rsrp-a-brief-lte-signal-strength-primer/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-157-s4gru-first-to-capture-sprint-lte-live-in-the-wild/

 

And, for further reference, you may wish to read a series of articles that I wrote on Sprint variant debug, engineering, field test, or service mode screens:

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-345-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-one/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-347-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-two/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-360-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-three/

 

AJ

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A few facts to know...

 

Sprint is the king of the domestic operators for what people variously call debug, engineering, field test, or service mode screens.  While many variants for AT&T and T-Mobile have those screens removed or blocked, basically all Sprint variants maintain access.  However, you need to know that the traditional dialer code for Sprint is ##DEBUG#.  This dates all the way back to feature phones.  The *#0011# dialer code you list for Android is, as far as I know, only for Samsung handsets that are non Sprint variants.  So, it will not work with Sprint handsets.  The iOS dialer code, however, is universal.

 

In addition to being basically ubiquitous among Sprint handsets, the screens are basically standardized for Sprint -- they are largely the same across all Android handsets.  And you will not find, for example, the downlink bandwidth field that you note in the generic Samsung service mode screenshot.  You can see this in the multiple screenshots that another one of our moderators posted in this thread.  So, instructing Android users on Sprint to access these screens to assess LTE deployed bandwidth will not be useful.

 

Instead, as one of our moderators also pointed out, LTE bandwidth is almost entirely standardized across the Sprint network.  Currently, it comes in exactly three flavors:  band 25 LTE 1900 at 5 MHz FDD, band 26 LTE 800 at 5 MHz FDD, and band 41 TD-LTE 2600 at 20 MHz TDD.  In the future, we may see band 26 LTE 800 at 3 MHz FDD in some spectrum constrained markets, and that will be detectable by an EARFCN other than 8763.

 

Alternatively, LTE carrier bandwidth can be determined via spectrum analysis.  I use a handheld spectrum analyzer and often include the sweeps in my articles.  You can view several examples in the following articles:

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-358-sprint-scores-an-800-on-the-lte/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-308-rssi-vs-rsrp-a-brief-lte-signal-strength-primer/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-157-s4gru-first-to-capture-sprint-lte-live-in-the-wild/

 

And, for further reference, you may wish to read a series of articles that I wrote on Sprint variant debug, engineering, field test, or service mode screens:

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-345-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-one/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-347-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-two/

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-360-whats-the-frequency-kenneth-interpreting-your-engineering-screen-part-three/

 

AJ

 

Could you explain the significance of EARFCN in relation to the channel size?  Unless I am mistaken, I don't believe we have touched on that before.

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Could you explain the significance of EARFCN in relation to the channel size?  Unless I am mistaken, I don't believe we have touched on that before.

well regarding b26 the EARFCN we have seen for 5x5mhz has been 8763. Others slices like 3x3 will have a different EARFCN because the mid frequency is going to lay on a different frequency.
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  The *#0011# dialer code you list for Android is, as far as I know, only for Samsung handsets that are non Sprint variants.  So, it will not work with Sprint handsets.  

 

 

The *#0011# dialer code works on my Samsung Galaxy SIII (SPH-L710)

Screenshot_2014-05-13-03-37-581.png

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It works on the Samsung Galaxy S5 as well.

Nice, I've seen reports of it not working on the S5, but that was only VZW.

 

After a bit more research I've come across a neat trick that can sometimes open service mode without using a dialler code

 

You'll need ADB (Android Debug Bridge) installed, connect your phone,
In terminal type
 
adb shell
am start -n com.lge.SprintHiddenMenu/.sprintspec.Data

 

Clearly this is for LGE phones, anyone know of other codes?

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The *#0011# dialer code works on my Samsung Galaxy SIII (SPH-L710)

attachicon.gifScreenshot_2014-05-13-03-37-581.png

 

Ah, but that is the generic Service Mode screen, not the Sprint specific Service Mode set of screens.  Try ##DEBUG# to open the latter.  Still, I am intrigued that the generic Service Mode screen is also present and accessible.

 

AJ

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After a bit more research I've come across a neat trick that can sometimes open service mode without using a dialler code

 

The easiest way is to use a shortcut maker app, such as AnyCut.  As long as it can pull up hidden activities, then it can create home screen shortcuts to all sorts of hidden APKs.  See examples from two of my handsets:

 

opwe4p.png

 

wl0so.png

 

AJ

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Could you explain the significance of EARFCN in relation to the channel size?  Unless I am mistaken, I don't believe we have touched on that before.

 

EARFCN allows you to approximate a maximum channel size in relation to band size. For instance, Band 26 (minus the cellular 850 range which Sprint doesn't own anywhere) downlink frequency ranges from 859-869 MHz. In many areas, Sprint uses an EARFCN of 8763, which has a center of 866.3 MHz. You can see that this is exactly 2.7 MHz away from the edge of the band, which means that, based on allowable LTE carrier sizes, this carrier can be a maximum of 5 MHz wide (with a guard of 200 KHz at the end of the band).

 

You can review which range of spectrum is available in various markets and plot the detected EARFCNs against it to determine the largest possible carrier size.

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EARFCN allows you to approximate a maximum channel size in relation to band size. For instance, Band 26 (minus the cellular 850 range which Sprint doesn't own anywhere) downlink frequency ranges from 859-869 MHz. In many areas, Sprint uses an EARFCN of 8763, which has a center of 866.3 MHz. You can see that this is exactly 2.7 MHz away from the edge of the band, which means that, based on allowable LTE carrier sizes, this carrier can be a maximum of 5 MHz wide (with a guard of 200 KHz at the end of the band).

 

You can review which range of spectrum is available in various markets and plot the detected EARFCNs against it to determine the largest possible carrier size.

 

Thanks for the explanation! You learn something new everyday.

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Ah, but that is the generic Service Mode screen, not the Sprint specific Service Mode set of screens.  Try ##DEBUG# to open the latter.  Still, I am intrigued that the generic Service Mode screen is also present and accessible.

 

AJ

And just for reference the lock code on Samsung devices for the ##DEBUG# screen is 777468

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The map is a bit confusing for myself. I can' tell how the carriers and bandwidth and such is separated. I think that separate maps need o be created or there needs to be a key of some sort to explain the colors and such.

 

Edit: I realize that the different colors correspond to the bandwidth amount. However, I think that there should be separate maps for each carrier as well as a lost of carriers and LTE bandwidth sizes and such. This map could easily get cluttered with incorrect info.

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It works on the Samsung Galaxy S5 as well.

 

And the S4 (SVLTE version) too. Curiously, it is the only place where I've found the PLMN properly displayed. Everywhere else it's just reported as 310-000, which combined with the fact that Android reports my carrier as "Samsung" precludes me from using Sensorly :( Although I don't know if it's actually reading that value or if it's bugged or programmed to never change.

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  • 2 months later...

Dear James,

I am glad to see OpenSignal begin to step forward to LTE while you are success in GSM/WCDMA already.

I believe while you said China, in this post, it is metioned for China HK, since July, Now All 3 China Mainland Operators, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, start their 4G jourery to mass commercial so fast. I am one of 4G lovers, interesting on the 4G coverage in RF bands.

I think I can contribute the data for South China cities such as in Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou,Huizhou.

I also have some workmates in Shanghai, Ningbo,Chengdu.

I am expecting your next generation app can works for 4G, both in LTE/GSM Auto Mode,LTE(TDD)/TD-SCDMA/GSM Auto Mode,  LTE only Mode,LTE/CDMA Auto mode for China Operators.

I know there is firmware issue in Chipset vendor Qualcomm current Platform,let us both push Qualcomm to make it better.

I will send you another mail for some attachment for Some 4G MNC,GCI Coverage in China Mainland.

 

 

 

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James, very pleased to "meet" you. Who would have thought that my joining here would open a door?

 

I'd love to help drive OpenSignal in South Africa. To date I've had limited success using your app and can never get *any* cell info for local base stations. All locations I've checked are way off.

 

Furthermore, the built-in speed test cannot even be compared to speedtest.net, yielding nonsensical results.

 

(I'm an iPhone user)

Edited by Azimuth
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