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On the way back to Austin, noticed that more sites are now running 15x15 B2, which nets speeds like this with 20 MHz n71:

There's definitely overlap between lightly loaded low band NR and unoptimized 40 MHz n41.

EDIT: Also saw 15+20 MHz B41 on the way back, on Sprint (above 2600 MHz). GOt 134/6 going down the highway, so TMo seems committed to providing keep sites with sufficient backhaul.

Back in Austin, B41 from the n71/n41 site seems a bit more reliable now, pulling -102 RSRP and ~130 down, though lack of HPUE on my S20 means I was only able to push ~2 Mbps up (which is I'm sure why B41 isn't prioritized, to the point that last week my brother's g fast sat on B2 even right next to the tower).

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Looks like 80 MHz is not yet universal; the Spicewood Springs and Mesa site is still running 40 MHz, while the Spicewood Springs and 360 (up the hill a bit) site is running 80. The former overlaps bas

I spent Friday evening through Sunday morning in an area with 20 MHz of T-Mobile spectrum deployed: 10x10 of B71, 10x10 of B2. Confirmed when driving back from there (Brackettville) that T-Mobile puts

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Sprint B41 has been moved up so the top carrier is sitting at the very top of the band (2680 MHz center frequency). I'm sure this impacts coverage a little but in return they seem to be back to 2CA here, so I can hit ~150/10 1500' from the cell site again.

TMo really does need to add more n71 sites around here though; a couple miles south of me appeared to be LTE-only, and they have plenty of sites that they could retrofit. Of course, if they're planning on adding n41 and n71 simultaneously to a site or two, fair enough.

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They've dialed in n41 a bit more on the site with it nearest me. Getting the signal back to the cell site appears to be a serious issue, but still, progress!

Forcing B41 at the same exact location gets me about half that speed, and I'm sure n41 is already carrying more traffic than TMo B41, so...not bad, I guess.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

So, all of my nearby T-Mobile sites are offline right now due to blackouts. Closest signal is B12 in the mid -120s...no B71 etc.

Fortunately the Sprint rooftop site near me still has power somehow, and TMo very recently (last hour or two) added back a B41 carrier centered at 2680 MHz, next to the 2660 one, so connectivity is fine as long as you're close enough to the site to get B41. B25 is a mess though...probably 26 as well.

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9 hours ago, iansltx said:

So, all of my nearby T-Mobile sites are offline right now due to blackouts. Closest signal is B12 in the mid -120s...no B71 etc.

Fortunately the Sprint rooftop site near me still has power somehow, and TMo very recently (last hour or two) added back a B41 carrier centered at 2680 MHz, next to the 2660 one, so connectivity is fine as long as you're close enough to the site to get B41. B25 is a mess though...probably 26 as well.

Same in Houston. Areas with blackouts have a lot of T-Mobile sites down even though they have permanent gas generators on site. My guess is backhaul is an issue.

Sprint network is useless in these areas as well as they take on T-Mobile users who are roaming.

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11 hours ago, greenbastard said:

Same in Houston. Areas with blackouts have a lot of T-Mobile sites down even though they have permanent gas generators on site. My guess is backhaul is an issue.

Sprint network is useless in these areas as well as they take on T-Mobile users who are roaming.

Stuff's somewhat recovered here cell network wise, though the Sprint site I was using before is now offline. TMo finally figured out how to run B41 again from the NR-enabled site, which is nice, as that covers a mile or so radius, including a fair number of folks without power.

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:05 PM, iansltx said:

Stuff's somewhat recovered here cell network wise, though the Sprint site I was using before is now offline. TMo finally figured out how to run B41 again from the NR-enabled site, which is nice, as that covers a mile or so radius, including a fair number of folks without power.

A lot of Houston sites have generators. yet they're still going offline with the blackouts. What a huge disappointment on T-Mobile's part. Even now that most of the power is back, sites are staying offline. AT&T kept working even through the blackouts, yet T-Mobile offered absolutely no roaming for basic calling/texting. Total disappointment. There needs to be some type of local and state investigation on the failure of basic communications. It's unacceptable. My guess is backhaul failed for T-Mobile.

You can also tell that T-Mobile now owns Sprint as that network also failed miserably. Back during Hurricane Ike, Sprint kept going even with the power outage. Not your time around.

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What kind of generators are in use?  Natural Gas fired?  From what I understand, natural gas delivery is also an issue.

 

Diesel?  Gelled up diesel could cause problems as well.  

 

Neither of the above issues would happen during a hurricane.

 

Not making excuses, just pointing out that sometimes even backup ideas fail,

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On 2/19/2021 at 11:01 AM, shaferz said:

What kind of generators are in use?  Natural Gas fired?  From what I understand, natural gas delivery is also an issue.

 

Diesel?  Gelled up diesel could cause problems as well.  

 

Neither of the above issues would happen during a hurricane.

 

Not making excuses, just pointing out that sometimes even backup ideas fail,

Generators in my area are all Natural Gas. I also know that my area never lost natural gas. The natural gas outage was very limited to a few areas in Houston, so it wouldn't have impacted T-Mobile's ability to fire up their generators (it sure didn't affect AT&T).

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Confirmed that the site behind the Randall's at Spicewood Springs and Mesa in NW Austin has n41, as well as some pretty well optimized B2. Will swing by at some point later to get panel shots. 2CA B41 was also deployed but latency/jitter were unreasonably high for some reason.

 

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80 MHz n41 is now live in Austin!

Center frequency is 2607.75 MHz, so the carrier runs from 2567-2647. B41 2CA is below that. That could leave room at the top of the band for one or two Sprint B41 carriers, but the site nearest me on Sprint has been down since nearly two weeks ago so I'm not sure what's there.

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Looks like 80 MHz is not yet universal; the Spicewood Springs and Mesa site is still running 40 MHz, while the Spicewood Springs and 360 (up the hill a bit) site is running 80. The former overlaps basically completely with the bottom half of the latter. Both sites appear to have 2CA B41 deployed right below (as in, eating into guard bands of) the NR carrier (2538, 2558 center freqs).

The site near 360 appears not to be backhaul limited :)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just confirmed that I *can* connect to 312-530 Sprint sites still...got near one, hand-picked, and was good to go.l, including N41, which is still deployed at 2CA here at 2640, 2660, and 2680 MHz, in addition to TMo's 2538 and 2558, in addition to their n41 carrier (80 MHz centered at 2607.75), though I've only been able to get 2CA B41 anywhere.

The bizarre thing is that this means the lowest Sprint B41 carrier basically completely overlaps the top of the TMo n41 carrier. But...I guess that's why I can't actually get n41 at my place anymore. VZW deploys DSS and T-Mobile goes "hold my beer, we're going to cram 180 MHz of band 41 into 160 MHz without bothering to do DSS".

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3 hours ago, iansltx said:

Just confirmed that I *can* connect to 312-530 Sprint sites still...got near one, hand-picked, and was good to go.l, including N41, which is still deployed at 2CA here at 2640, 2660, and 2680 MHz, in addition to TMo's 2538 and 2558, in addition to their n41 carrier (80 MHz centered at 2607.75), though I've only been able to get 2CA B41 anywhere.

The bizarre thing is that this means the lowest Sprint B41 carrier basically completely overlaps the top of the TMo n41 carrier. But...I guess that's why I can't actually get n41 at my place anymore. VZW deploys DSS and T-Mobile goes "hold my beer, we're going to cram 180 MHz of band 41 into 160 MHz without bothering to do DSS".

The overlap is weird, I wonder if someone forgot to push a config change in that area. Here the lower Sprint B41 carrier was shut down about a month before T-Mobile n41 was widened to 80MHz. You'd think someone at T-Mobile would notice the noise and interference on their N41 carrier. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More upgrades!

My nearest n41 site can now hit 500+ Mbps down over its 80 MHz channel.

...and in even more recent news, n71 is live on the site to the south of me (Burnet and Justin are the nearest cross streets). Hit ~200 Mbps down on what appeared to be LTE alone, interestingly preferring B12 as the PCC. When taking advantage of NR, I was able to hit as much as 90 Mbps up!

On the same site, it appears VZW has mmW, though I'm not sure if it's active yet. Ordered a Visible SIM to check further. No CBRS from what I can tell. VZW definitely has a sweet spot where you can hit 200 Mbps from them as well. Also confirmed that they're running n2 at 15 MHz DSS there. No n66, which makes sense as apparently both they and TMo only have 2 10 MHz channels to play with.

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I was able to hit 200+ Mbps on B41 LTE from the site at Banister and 290 on the south side. Pretty impressive since I've never achieved these speeds on B41 in Houston or Galveston.

One thing I have noticed about Austin is that a lot of towers aren't doing CA properly. In East Texas my phone will always attempt to aggregate at least three carriers, no matter how weak of a signal I have. In Austin, getting a weak signal usually mean no CA at all which leads to awful service.

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43 minutes ago, greenbastard said:

One thing I have noticed about Austin is that a lot of towers aren't doing CA properly. In East Texas my phone will always attempt to aggregate at least three carriers, no matter how weak of a signal I have. In Austin, getting a weak signal usually mean no CA at all which leads to awful service.

This is likely due to HPUE. Carrier aggregation gets disabled when HPUE comes on so maximum RF power laws are not exceeded.

It's possible HPUE is enabled on sites in Austin but not in east Texas. 

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6 hours ago, RAvirani said:

This is likely due to HPUE. Carrier aggregation gets disabled when HPUE comes on so maximum RF power laws are not exceeded.

It's possible HPUE is enabled on sites in Austin but not in east Texas. 

I'm talking about Band 2/4/66/12/71 aggregating. My bad, I should have specified I wasn't talking about a weak B41. 

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Swung over to Fredericksburg to get vax'd yesterday. Looks like there are now multiple n41 sites SE of town, including the one that went live in December or so. 40 MHz centered at 2653.35. speeds are 250-280/15-20 because they're usually anchored by 5 MHz B2 or B66. CA with 20x20 n71 there should let things break 300/30 easily.

Interestingly, they figured out how to cram in a 20 MHz Sprint B41 channel centered at 2626 MHz. This is a bump from the 15 MHz I saw previously. Assuming 5% guard bands on each side exist on TDD like they do on FDD, that means they have a 350 KHz guard band between NR and LTE. Maybe they have to do some PRB blanking as well, but NR and LTE aren't broadcast from the same site so maybe that helps.

312-250 is rather widespread there, with B25 in the G block and either 5 MHz at 1953 or 10 MHz at 1955 depending on which tower you're on. CDMA is in another non-contiguous block (1940-1945, looks like), while TMo B2 is 1970-1975. In short, PCS is a mess for TMo. AWS isn't really any better in terms of what they've deployed: 10 MHz in AWS-1, plus another 5 MHz in AWS-3 I'm pretty sure. Not sure if they own any other AWS there.

By contrast, VZW has the same 4/66+66+13+2 setup as in Austin, at 10+10+10+15, with 4CA, but without n2 DSS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The spectrum Tetris continues!

T-Mobile now has 20x20 B2 LTE here (centered at 1955 MHz), using their 25x25 contiguous block from 1945-1970. CDMA is down to 1x-only, one channel wide (plus 1x in 800 I assume). GSM is at the top and bottom of the band, plus maybe a channel that overlaps 1x somehow. I assume H+ is in between the LTE channel and the 1x channel; spacing seems right, and TMo doesn't have H+ in AWS here.

I believe this also subsumes Sprint's secondary B25 carrier here, which was just 5x5 anyway; I'm seeing 10x10 on Sprint, including PCS-G. B41 is still live, but when I connected it wouldn't give me CA.

Will be interesting to see when stuff gets reconfigured again. If I had to guess, the next tweak will be when CDMA goes away, at which point they could start running 2/25 MFBI/MOCN on the big B2 block, and switch the old Sprint B25 carrier to n25 entirely. Depends on what % of their customer base are on 5G phones at that point I guess...and whether any sites can even do n25 right now (guessing the new L1900 equipment can).

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