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US Cellular completes LTE deployment, starts implementing roaming


bigsnake49
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US Cellular announce that they now cover 99% of their postpaid customers with LTE and they are rolling out roaming agreements with multiple unnamed roaming partners. Has anybody seen signs of LTE roaming on USCC?

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/us-cellular-completes-lte-buildout-and-begins-lte-roaming-q4-performance-be/2016-02-19

 

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US Cellular announce that they now cover 99% of their postpaid customers with LTE and they are rolling out roaming agreements with multiple unnamed roaming partners. Has anybody seen signs of LTE roaming on USCC?

 

Yes.  This is old news.  The Sprint coverage tool has shown and some S4GRU members have reported LTE roaming on USCC since late last year.

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-401-psa-lte-roam-if-you-want-to-plus-it-may-count-as-native-coverage/

 

AJ

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Yes.  This is old news.  The Sprint coverage tool has shown and some S4GRU members have reported LTE roaming on USCC since late last year.

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-401-psa-lte-roam-if-you-want-to-plus-it-may-count-as-native-coverage/

 

AJ

 

Sorry, I was under the impression that roaming was limited to EVDO.

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Sorry, I was under the impression that roaming was limited to EVDO.

 

No, there is LTE.  That is why you see LTE roaming on Sprint's coverage map.  Wife's Galaxy S6 has seen 700LTE roaming in Washington and NC. It is fast too. :-D Shoot, even the 3G is fast. lol

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I didn't get LTE roaming on USCC in November (only EVDO), but that has been my only experience lately.

I believe that unlocked handsets, like Nexus devices, will not roam on USCC.

 

Using Tapatalk on Note 8.0

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To be clear, USCC EV-DO roaming works fine, just no LTE roaming at this time. We shall see if that changes.

 

AJ

Yes, I was implying just LTE would not roam. Thanks for the clarification.

 

Using Tapatalk on Note 8.0

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Has anybody seen LTE roaming on a Project fi phone?

My Nexus 6 would not roam on LTE in Nebraska on Viaero. But would roam on HSPA+. However my OnePlus 2 with a Tmo SIM would roam on Viaero LTE in the same places.

 

Sprint seems it has not enabled unlocked devices to be able to roam on LTE, even on Project Fi. Whereas Tmo seems to allow it on unlocked devices...except on Project Fi.

 

Using Tapatalk on Note 8.0

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Have any technical reasons been uncovered as to why Nexus devices, or better yet, unlocked devices, can not roam on LTE yet?

Not that I'm aware of. And Tmo does not have the limitation. Seems like it could be done, if desired.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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  • 3 months later...

So, first off, I upgraded to the LG G5 in May which supported LTE roaming.  Finally got a chance to sit in US Cellular territory recently and here's what was seen at my in-laws' house:

 

TH5zoIR.png

 

I had been wondering how the phone would know when to LTE roam and when not to, given the presence of 3G-only areas of the Sprint network.  It appears that whenever I am LTE roaming, SRLTE is enabled, which thus shows 1X and LTE at the same time.  However, the moment the 1X side of things jumps to Sprint, I immediately lose LTE roaming.  My guess is that this is the deciding factor on whether or not a device is allowed to LTE roam--the availability of SRLTE.

 

Of course, this behavior made my in-laws' house very tricky, because every so often the phone would jump to a very, very weak (-105 dBm) 1X 800 from 10-15 miles away.  Every time it did, I would lose LTE roaming, and all other service, until it gave up and went back to US Cellular.  My parents' house, when I visit, should not have this problem, since there is no Sprint service for miles and miles.

 

That being said, it worked very well when connected to US Cellular.  Of course, EV-DO roaming STILL doesn't work, despite the fact that LTE roaming works on this device.  It's very strange.

 

- Trip.

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So, first off, I upgraded to the LG G5 in May which supported LTE roaming.  Finally got a chance to sit in US Cellular territory recently and here's what was seen at my in-laws' house:

 

I had been wondering how the phone would know when to LTE roam and when not to, given the presence of 3G-only areas of the Sprint network.  It appears that whenever I am LTE roaming, SRLTE is enabled, which thus shows 1X and LTE at the same time.  However, the moment the 1X side of things jumps to Sprint, I immediately lose LTE roaming.  My guess is that this is the deciding factor on whether or not a device is allowed to LTE roam--the availability of SRLTE.

 

Of course, this behavior made my in-laws' house very tricky, because every so often the phone would jump to a very, very weak (-105 dBm) 1X 800 from 10-15 miles away.  Every time it did, I would lose LTE roaming, and all other service, until it gave up and went back to US Cellular.  My parents' house, when I visit, should not have this problem, since there is no Sprint service for miles and miles.

 

That being said, it worked very well when connected to US Cellular.  Of course, EV-DO roaming STILL doesn't work, despite the fact that LTE roaming works on this device.  It's very strange.

 

- Trip.

 

It's good to see LTE roaming working, but at the same time it does sound like it's a battery killer.  Still better than nothing.

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When I've been in some roaming territory, the battery drains a little faster, but it isn't much and the phones don't get hot.   

 

I haven't tested on my wife's phone if EV-DO works on USCC because her LTE works fine and its always fast, but on my BYOP USCC 3G works very well and is always 1~2.5Mbps.

 

The only thing I have noticed, at least on my phone, when entering USCC territory is that CDMA doesn't work at all.  I get the exclamation mark and even talk/text don't work.  I have to reboot my phone and then all is fine.  Now, this could maybe just be a Android N issue?  But I didn't have to restart my phone for BlueGrass Cellular or Appalachian Wireless.

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I had been wondering how the phone would know when to LTE roam and when not to, given the presence of 3G-only areas of the Sprint network. It appears that whenever I am LTE roaming, SRLTE is enabled, which thus shows 1X and LTE at the same time. However, the moment the 1X side of things jumps to Sprint, I immediately lose LTE roaming. My guess is that this is the deciding factor on whether or not a device is allowed to LTE roam--the availability of SRLTE.

Isn't it just that whenever it is connected to Sprint, it will not roam at all? Since you're on the Sprint network? I would be surprised if you could roam on USCC LTE while connected to Sprint 1x.

 

Back when I monitored CDMA networks extensively, it used to be that when you were roaming on 1x, you could connect to Sprint EVDO too, if it came in range. But you could not be connected to Sprint 1x and roam on EVDO. The rule basically is, if you can get a Sprint native 1x signal, then no roaming. The network considers you home.

 

I would guess it's not so much the device knows no SRLTE is available and thus stops roaming, but rather the CDMA stays in scan while LTE roaming (SRLTE mode), and if it finds and connects to Sprint network (even if just 1x), the LTE roaming session ends because the device is now native. That could appear as if SRLTE was shut down at that time.

 

Just a hypothesis on my part. But I have no way to check myself.

 

 

Using Tapatalk on Note 8.0

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Isn't it just that whenever it is connected to Sprint, it will not roam at all? Since you're on the Sprint network? I would be surprised if you could roam on USCC LTE while connected to Sprint 1x.

 

Back when I monitored CDMA networks extensively, it used to be that when you were roaming on 1x, you could connect to Sprint EVDO too, if it came in range. But you could not be connected to Sprint 1x and roam on EVDO. The rule basically is, if you can get a Sprint native 1x signal, then no roaming. The network considers you home.

 

I would guess it's not so much the device knows no SRLTE is available and thus stops roaming, but rather the CDMA stays in scan while LTE roaming (SRLTE mode), and if it finds and connects to Sprint network (even if just 1x), the LTE roaming session ends because the device is now native. That could appear as if SRLTE was shut down at that time.

 

Just a hypothesis on my part. But I have no way to check myself.

 

 

Using Tapatalk on Note 8.0

 

You're missing my point.  Normally, my phone shows me LTE only--no 1X.  However, while I was roaming, I was continually seeing both 1X and LTE.  So I believe this is the way the phone determines whether or not it should be LTE roaming.

 

- Trip

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You're missing my point.  Normally, my phone shows me LTE only--no 1X.  However, while I was roaming, I was continually seeing both 1X and LTE.  So I believe this is the way the phone determines whether or not it should be LTE roaming.

 

- Trip

 

I think you're both saying the same thing, just different ways.

 

Anyway, my experience has been the same. While roaming on NexTech in Kansas, I see 1x and LTE at the same time the entire time. The first time I was able to connect back in January, SCP showed 1x800 Sprint and NTW LTE at the same time, but I think that was an error. This month on the I-70 drive, I saw NTW 1x and NTW LTE. Anytime the 1x signal latched onto Pioneer or United Wireless, I would disconnect from NTW LTE. 

 

Additionally, I noticed that every time I switched sectors, sites or bands LTE would disconnect. My theory was it was re-authenticating the connection every time something changed. Got rather annoying.

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I've still yet to connect to US Cellular LTE with my Note 5.

 

No kidding.  Still nothing with the Nexus 5X either.  Not real happy about it, especially since the maps were updated to show that it can.

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