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Network Woes & Fixes


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As people complain about network issues and how terrible the data speeds are there seems to a problem found and solution in the works.

 

It basically seems to be growing pains. As a cell hits 70% capacity it is supposed to automatically request more. Well there seems to have been a software glitch that prohibited towers from doing this nationwide. While NV is the long-term solution, Sprint is working on a near-term fix that is supposed to be finished by the end of July. This all comes from a Sprint corporate employee who was at a meeting with a network engineer and said this was common knowledge.

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Yea they mentioned that here on this site. I think it is in the NV explained sticky (could be wrong). IIRC, Sprint is going to install some more t1 lines on the towers until they can get to it with NV upgrades.

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I'm OK with this thread in general. However, this topic could be rife for trolls to come out of the woodwork. We have a low tolerance for unconstructively negative and/or bashing threads. Please keep the posts as factual and constructive, like it's going so far. Thanks.

 

Robert

 

NOTE: This is more a warning for people who may come along, not for the posts already in the thread above.

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Wow I was not aware of this fact on the legacy towers. I am curious what the fix will be because even band aid fixes are better than nothing until Network Vision hits that market. I wonder how long have they known about this problem.

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Yea they mentioned that here on this site. I think it is in the NV explained sticky (could be wrong). IIRC, Sprint is going to install some more t1 lines on the towers until they can get to it with NV upgrades.

 

I looked on the NV explained sticky and didn't see it. I'm definitely curious to know more about the issue.

 

Wow I was not aware of this fact on the legacy towers. I am curious what the fix will be because even band aid fixes are better than nothing until Network Vision hits that market. I wonder how long have they known about this problem.

 

Yeah, same questions here. Would love to know more about the issue and fixes.

 

Anyone?

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I for one would love to have more information on this issue. Would really make me feel better to know it was a network/ software problem that allowed the network to degrade and not just a "don't care" problem on sprints end.

 

Would also leave room for more hope that band-aid fixes might be a good, working short term solution until NV roolouts reach these areas.

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T1 lines... Do you guys mean the old 1.5mbps T-1 infrastructure? All it takes is one person streaming netflix and the entire T-1 is exhausted, how does this work in application? Or are we talking multiple T1's being bundled?

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T1 lines... Do you guys mean the old 1.5mbps T-1 infrastructure? All it takes is one person streaming netflix and the entire T-1 is exhausted, how does this work in application? Or are we talking multiple T1's being bundled?

 

You would be surprised what a T1 can feed. You also have to remember that the highest data rate of one sector channel is around 3 megabits. And that's at a perfect connection. Real world is much less than that.

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The answer is T1's. And a lot of them. In my overall market which has been heavily neglected they are installing 230 T1's to cover them. So if they're doing that much or more for any of the others that aren't in the immediate NV future we should all start seeing much better speeds soon.

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The answer is T1's. And a lot of them. In my overall market which has been heavily neglected they are installing 230 T1's to cover them. So if they're doing that much or more for any of the others that aren't in the immediate NV future we should all start seeing much better speeds soon.

 

The problem with the temporary T1 fixes, from what I have seen, is this:

 

Site has insufficient backhaul for data demands in the cell and throughput speeds start dropping. As speeds start dropping, usage also starts to go down. As speeds start to drop below 100kbps, all streaming activity stops. Users actually modify their behavior and stop using data so much because the experience is so poor. However, they keep using it enough that the experience remains poor and does not improve.

 

When this occurs, Sprint's network manager (Ericsson) orders additional T1 lines for the site. Usually one or two more. It takes between 3 months and one year for them to get set at the site and punched down for use. Yes, that's right. Sometimes it takes a full year! Once the T1's are punched down, Ericsson comes back out and connects the new T1 lines (and sometimes adds carriers too).

 

Once the additional T1 backhaul is live, speeds shoot right up. 0.9Mbps to 1.4Mbps, on average. Sprint customers start to notice something is different within a few days. People start running speed tests. People start opening their minds to the possibilities of using their 3G data again at the site. People start using their Pandora again. People start streaming Netflix again. And within a few weeks, or a few months, the site is back down in the dumps again. I have seen this pattern happen over and over again. Better performance = more usage, in an unlimited usage network.

 

However, not all of these speed upgrades being implemented are T1. Some are AAV. On those sites that are getting 2Mbps+ EVDO speeds, the backhaul in those places is AAV and not T1. These sites seem to be much less affected a few weeks and months down the road. Even though T1's are 'right-sized' for EVDO carrier backhaul, modern usage at dense cells just don't provide the performance needed. For Sprint to add more than one or two additional T1's is cost prohibitive. T1's are expensive creatures.

 

The answer, of course, is enhanced backhaul. Like what's being offered in Network Vision. Almost all sites will be going to Microwave or AAV backhaul. Much more scalable ethernet based backhaul solutions. Sprint is getting closer and closer every day to abandoning their old archaic (and expensive) T1 backed backhaul. And I say good riddance!

 

Robert

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The problem with the temporary T1 fixes, from what I have seen, is this:

 

Site has insufficient backhaul for data demands in the cell and throughput speeds start dropping. As speeds start dropping, usage also starts to go down. As speeds start to drop below 100kbps, all streaming activity stops. Users actually modify their behavior and stop using data so much because the experience is so poor. However, they keep using it enough that the experience remains poor and does not improve.

 

When this occurs, Sprint's network manager (Ericsson) orders additional T1 lines for the site. Usually one or two more. It takes between 3 months and one year for them to get set at the site and punched down for use. Yes, that's right. Sometimes it takes a full year! Once the T1's are punched down, Ericsson comes back out and connects the new T1 lines (and sometimes adds carriers too).

 

Once the additional T1 backhaul is live, speeds shoot right up. 0.9Mbps to 1.4Mbps, on average. Sprint customers start to notice something is different within a few days. People start running speed tests. People start opening their minds to the possibilities of using their 3G data again at the site. People start using their Pandora again. People start streaming Netflix again. And within a few weeks, or a few months, the site is back down in the dumps again. I have seen this pattern happen over and over again. Better performance = more usage, in an unlimited usage network.

 

However, not all of these speed upgrades being implemented are T1. Some are AAV. On those sites that are getting 2Mbps+ EVDO speeds, the backhaul in those places is AAV and not T1. These sites seem to be much less affected a few weeks and months down the road. Even though T1's are 'right-sized' for EVDO carrier backhaul, modern usage at dense cells just don't provide the performance needed. For Sprint to add more than one or two additional T1's is cost prohibitive. T1's are expensive creatures.

 

The answer, of course, is enhanced backhaul. Like what's being offered in Network Vision. Almost all sites will be going to Microwave or AAV backhaul. Much more scalable ethernet based backhaul solutions. Sprint is getting closer and closer every day to abandoning their old archaic (and expensive) T1 backed backhaul. And I say good riddance!

 

Robert

 

Wow! A year lead time for a T1 is incredibly long. I call shenanigans and think that the local carriers are playing games. I certainly wouldn't put it past Verizon and AT&T to slow down the process to hamper a competitor. We install T1s all across the country and start kicking and screaming if the install interval passes 60 days. We're normally in the neighborhood of 30-45. The new backhaul will definitely alleviate the issues by cutting the ILECs completely out of the picture and making a more cost effective network. In my experience, the tipping point with T1s is generally 4. Once you need the 5th, it's time to look at other solutions such as fiber or microwave.

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The problem with the temporary T1 fixes, from what I have seen, is this:

 

Site has insufficient backhaul for data demands in the cell and throughput speeds start dropping. As speeds start dropping, usage also starts to go down. As speeds start to drop below 100kbps, all streaming activity stops. Users actually modify their behavior and stop using data so much because the experience is so poor. However, they keep using it enough that the experience remains poor and does not improve.

 

When this occurs, Sprint's network manager (Ericsson) orders additional T1 lines for the site. Usually one or two more. It takes between 3 months and one year for them to get set at the site and punched down for use. Yes, that's right. Sometimes it takes a full year! Once the T1's are punched down, Ericsson comes back out and connects the new T1 lines (and sometimes adds carriers too).

 

Once the additional T1 backhaul is live, speeds shoot right up. 0.9Mbps to 1.4Mbps, on average. Sprint customers start to notice something is different within a few days. People start running speed tests. People start opening their minds to the possibilities of using their 3G data again at the site. People start using their Pandora again. People start streaming Netflix again. And within a few weeks, or a few months, the site is back down in the dumps again. I have seen this pattern happen over and over again. Better performance = more usage, in an unlimited usage network.

 

However, not all of these speed upgrades being implemented are T1. Some are AAV. On those sites that are getting 2Mbps+ EVDO speeds, the backhaul in those places is AAV and not T1. These sites seem to be much less affected a few weeks and months down the road. Even though T1's are 'right-sized' for EVDO carrier backhaul, modern usage at dense cells just don't provide the performance needed. For Sprint to add more than one or two additional T1's is cost prohibitive. T1's are expensive creatures.

 

The answer, of course, is enhanced backhaul. Like what's being offered in Network Vision. Almost all sites will be going to Microwave or AAV backhaul. Much more scalable ethernet based backhaul solutions. Sprint is getting closer and closer every day to abandoning their old archaic (and expensive) T1 backed backhaul. And I say good riddance!

 

Robert

 

I wish you'd explain this to my Ericsson area network manager. This is exactly what's been happening in our market. I'm sure not all of the blame can be placed on Ericsson, though. It's reactive upgrading and not proactive like NV.

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Wow! A year lead time for a T1 is incredibly long. I call shenanigans and think that the local carriers are playing games. I certainly wouldn't put it past Verizon and AT&T to slow down the process to hamper a competitor. We install T1s all across the country and start kicking and screaming if the install interval passes 60 days. We're normally in the neighborhood of 30-45. The new backhaul will definitely alleviate the issues by cutting the ILECs completely out of the picture and making a more cost effective network. In my experience, the tipping point with T1s is generally 4. Once you need the 5th, it's time to look at other solutions such as fiber or microwave.

 

You know...the one area where I saw the one year lead time was CenturyLink in the Central Illinois market!!!

 

Robert

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I wish you'd explain this to my Ericsson area network manager. This is exactly what's been happening in our market. I'm sure not all of the blame can be placed on Ericsson, though. It's reactive upgrading and not proactive like NV.

 

The Ericsson contract wouldn't give them the ability to upgrade T1 service to AAV for Sprint on their own, just based on performance. Ericsson can make the recommendation to Sprint and prepare a change order request to do the work. But most likely Sprint would reject that since Network Vision work is forthcoming.

 

Robert

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AAV is industry code for cable operator provided backhaul' date=' correct?[/quote']

 

It can be cable, and often is. It's basically a catch all. AAV (Alternative Access Vendors) typically means all ethernet based backhaul solutions that are not microwave or direct fiber connection. However, even sometimes I have even seen fiber marked AAV when provided from a third party.

 

Robert via NOVO7PALADIN Tablet using Forum Runner

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 14 January 2011

 

I have yet to verify this, and I am very skeptical that it is true. But my wife claimed that she was getting 4G WiMax at her work on the outskirts of St. Cloud. I tried to pick it up in several spots, including her work, and couldn't connect to anything. I think she was mistaken, but I'm hoping...

 

I know what grumpy old men would say about it... wish in this hand and crap in the other and see which gets filled first.

 

Unfortunately that's how things are today in many companies.

I like to refer to it as the pizza buffet syndrome. If you barely have any pizzas coming out people are constantly taking what you put up on the line. As soon as you make a ton of pizzas and throw them up on the line, your buffet looks great. But then people see you have a bunch of fresh pizza, the word gets out and they flock to the line. Now your buffet looks the same as it did before. Exactly what happens with the upgrades. I have seen it first hand with one of the worst towers in my area. They keep throwing an upgrade here and an upgrade there but that one little tower just struggles to serve all the people in our downtown area which includes many state offices, capital, and a couple of casinos as well.

 

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