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About zodiac12345

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  • Phones/Devices
    Note 5
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  • Location
    Augusta, GA
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  1. Thanks for the link, however, it doesn't help my current situation. Without getting into personal detail, my ETF is unavoidable and one other ETF will have to paid by us regardless. One of the two lines under contract will no longer stay with us when we switch, so no ETF reimbursement by Verizon there. And I don't want any phone Verizon offers now, and wish to wait until the Note 8 comes out. I plan to use a Nexus 6 I have in the interim (so no ETF for me). Mathematically, I would end up paying $300 ($100 for mine, $200 for the other) in ETFs and then have to finance 2 phones from Verizon. Therefore, the price for getting the Verizon plan by myself (plus my $100 ETF) and switching the other 3 lines to the 40 GB plan saves us about $400 until the contracts expire when you factor in the device payment cost. The offer for the 40 GB plan waives device subsidy fees, and is $120 plus tax. After contract expiry or when the remaining lines want new phones under payment plans, the cost increases above the Verizon unlimited plan. As I said before, I can't see the remaining lines using over 40 GB of data. Hence I was asking about certain caveats of the 40 GB plan or if there were any losses to be considered, other than no unlimited data. Edit: I wouldn't say my situation is like most people I read on Reddit or here switching to Verizon now. I still think Sprint will end up hurting badly unless they attract their legacy customers. My situation is so complex that mathematically it makes sense to downgrade to tiered data. Most people would NOT be willing to do this in my opinion.
  2. I have decided to leave Sprint for my line of the ED1500 (4 lines) off my parents' for two reasons: Verizon has unlimited and Verizon is the only carrier that works where I physically found work after college. In rural GA (where I found employment), Verizon is the only carrier. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have non-existent coverage. I will end up paying my ETF to go with Verizon, and handing off my Note 5 to my family for the 3rd line not under contract. For them, Sprint is amazing, and works perfectly, no issues. And even for me, it worked perfectly in NYC and decently in State College until I moved to GA. My family's remaining ED1500 seems costly for 3 lines. I called Sprint (attempting to see options for cancelling and/or getting ETFs waived) and was offered to be switched to the 40 GB plan for $120/month, waived access fee and waived subsidy fee (for remaining phone subsidies) with unlimited 2G speeds afterwards. Obviously my line will still need to be switched off to Verizon due to lack of coverage. However, I can't imagine any scenario where the remaining lines will go over 40 GB and want to pull the trigger, as it will save us money until the contract expires. Will my family lose anything by coming off ED1500 to the 40 GB plan? The rest of the family has 2/3 lines under "promotional" contract until December, 2017 and January, 2018. I am considering switching them over to the 40 GB plan to save money until the contracts expire, then move the lines over to the Verizon unlimited plan with me afterwards. The mathematics does work in my favor until the contract (and phone subsidies) expires.
  3. Sadly, at least based on your location (Mountain Top, PA), it probably won't happen anytime soon. Buildout requirements for the PCS G Block were done based on EAs, or Economic Areas, per the FCC. Here is a map: http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/data/maps/EA_GOM.pdf. Sprint, and any carrier for that matter, must cover a percentage of the population in the area with a given spectrum, not a percentage of the region. Hence, Sprint covered what they wanted to: New York City and its suburbs, and Scranton. Because covering NYC alone probably solved their build out requirements for the EA, they chose to cover what they thought was an economical decision to save money and fund the rest of the country with NV. What Sprint did here, is what other carriers did in other parts of the country, for better or worse in terms of competition. Sprint kept the rest of the state outside the large cities on GMO, and as far as I know, it still is. Erie and State College got GMO LTE right around the buildout deadline, which was March 31, 2016 if I recall correctly. Both were done purely to protect license for the G Block in their respective EA. Erie got most, if not all sites, go up to GMO LTE right before the deadline. State College had one LTE site go up right after the deadline, and the rest of the sites got GMO LTE in midsummer. Why this happened in waves is unknown. Sprint put up GMO LTE for the purpose of protecting their license, and as a result service has improved because LTE has more throughput. Mountain Top, being part of the EA with Scranton and NYC, does not have this requirement as the FCC will not take away a license when Sprint already covered more than the required population percentage. As far as funding goes, there is none. Sprint essentially puts GMOs on the bottom of the list for upgrades, unless there is an actual problem with the tower. Any funding Sprint has goes to small cells and putting up Band 41 where needed. Only time will tell whether this is the right decision, whether it will net Sprint customers, and whether Sprint remains a company. From all these statements, I can easily argue that Sprint probably won't upgrade GMOs anytime soon. Its your decision whether to leave or stay. If service is not usable for you, why keep it? If you can't use your phone for what you want, what's the point of paying for it? There are many MVNOs that use each carrier's network if price is an issue. If you want to have Verizon, go to Total Wireless, for $35/month you get 5 GB of data and unlimited talk/text. If you want AT&T, go with Cricket. And you are more than welcome to try T-Mobile, which should have Band 12 (700 Mhz) up and running. If you just live near a GMO and don't get service in your house, call Sprint and ask for an Airave or use WiFi calling at home. At home, there are many ways to make service bearable as getting signal inside your house is never easy. However, if Sprint isn't great all around where you work, commute, or whatever you do, then by all means switch. As mentioned earlier, why pay for a phone you can't use, no matter how good the deal?
  4. Sure, NYC has improved. But to be fair, NYC was never bad for Sprint. The moment I got my triband LTE device, I would not let go of Band 41. Even if it was somewhat slower, as in 10 mpbs, it worked very well for my needs and that of my family. But the reality is that service was either bearable or great. Northern NJ was always hit or miss. Near the city I never had issues. Driving from the Lincoln Tunnel to the PA border always yielded decent connections. But the further away I got from NYC to NJ, it dropped to 3G or even 1x back in 2014. Now, LTE right up to the border on my drive. Improved? Definitely, but it took a while. Now, on PA. PA is at a stand still, especially in areas with GMO. Sure Stroudsburg is great, and so is Philly, Shentel, Scranton and Pittsburgh. But the rest of the state is all GMOs. Most of the interstates were 1xRTT up until 2012, where GMO upgrades brought them up to 3G. But between then and now, nothing has changed. East of Scranton on I-84, its all GMO land. And that is the real dilemma with Sprint, its decent in cities, but the moment you leave the city its hit or miss. I mean really, T-Mobile came in and did GMO LTE and added Band 12 (where they can) throughout the state of PA, while Sprint is on 3G with no future upgrade in sight. And on another front, old areas have decent service, but new suburbs that were formed recently are served by one or two towers that were fine when there was farmland or nothing. When I visited a friend in the Philly suburbs that were built in the 1990s or early 2000s, I had poor service because Sprint hasn't added any new sites. How would someone choose Sprint when it doesn't work in their brand new home? One thing I will say that I think will be positive for Sprint to make capital is Sprint's new plans. They are the first plans since ED1500 that I can actually explain to non-tech savvy people about how much it will cost and how it works. Most of this forum and Reddit complain about Net Neutrality, but for the average Joe this is a non-issue. Explaining that you'll get worse quality when streaming youtube but still getting unlimited data is perfectly fine. Framily was confusing to understand, and the data buckets or the 50% off weren't great either, with the 50% off having many limits on plans, etc. But Sprint Unlimited Freedom truly is easy to explain. And while its not as great as ED1500, it is a step in the right direction. I truly think that this plan will help Sprint attract new customers and get families to switch. If ED1500 dies soon, I wouldn't mind switching to the new plan.
  5. I'm not arguing that high pings are unbearable. Its just that it was the first thing I noticed. Loading a webpage on Sprint and T-Mobile was instantaneous, with Cricket it took a little longer. It really is just a preference. If you can deal with high pings, Cricket offers a lot of value. But for me, I've been spoiled by such low pings that I knew this MVNO wasn't for me.
  6. Except Cricket's pings are way slower than Sprint. When I tested the network, I never had below 200 ms pings. Meanwhile on Sprint GMO 3G, the worst pings I'd ever have are low 100's. Usually I get pings of 30s in New York City on either 3G/LTE, 60s in State College on GMO LTE, and 80s on GMO 3G in rural PA along the interstate. While the pings may not be a dealbreaker, I've never experienced such high pings on a constant basis. With T-Mobile I usually get below 50 ms and with Sprint I get below 100 ms. To me, the pings made the AT&T/Cricket test unbearable and not worth it. On another note of MVNO talk, Total Wireless (Verizon MVNO) has 5GB of data, unlimited talk/text for $35/month. Data is throttled to 5 Mpbs on LTE. Extra data can be purchased for $10/3GB of overflow data until you cancel the line.
  7. 2nd GMO LTE site is live in State College. The location of the site is near where College Ave. and University Dr. intersect. I mapped out part of it on Sensorly. Edit: At least one more GMO site is live in the State College area, as I was driving on Interstate 99 North, I noticed my Note 5 / Signal Check kept showing an LTE signal. While PCI's are a nothing special, I was able to notice that it was a different site. I will try to pinpoint the exact towers while I am doing a final move out from the university. But overall, GMO LTE sites are a much needed improvement over the 3G only sites. And also, the hand off between the GMO LTE towers was quick and painless. The Note 5 takes forever to scan and authenticate with EV-DO after it loses LTE.
  8. Visited the observation deck when I was back home from college around Thanksgiving of 2015. Service was very bad, if I recall correctly I latched onto 1x800. No EvDo and no Band 26 to be found, and if I did latch on it was around -115 dBm for both. WiFi was free, and WiFi calling worked like a charm.
  9. Here is a picture of the tower, or rather one sector of the tower, with live LTE in State College. Here is a zoom in of the antenna array And finally, here is a comparison between two of the four antennas and the Samsung NV panels from this thread on Equipment Spotting. They appear identical to me, but I am not an expert in this matter and would prefer more experienced users to provide input. Are the two antennas boxed in red NV Samsung panels? Or are they legacy antennas? Edit: Both of the antennas boxed in red have been present at this sector since at least September 2015.
  10. As for North Eastern PA in GMO territory, Sensorly has mapped out LTE on the I-84 corridor for Sprint LTE. The two circles are where Sprint has towers. The red circle, while appears to have LTE live, does NOT have LTE. I attempted to force my phone to LTE near the red circle, and nothing. The yellow circle I cannot confirm. I have visited both towers in previous years. Could this be Sprint testing GMO LTE? This appears very similar to the North Dakota situation where Robert drove up and found nothing. Or do we assume the two instances are a result of spoofing or Sensorly errors? Edit: Just noticed the image is overall blurry. The bottom says "February 2016", and it is "Sprint 4G". The exact location is at the interection of Route 739 and Interstate 84. South of here is a full NV iDen conversion, with Band 25/26 live. However, this iDen conversion is too far to reach this area.
  11. I know band 25 is PCS A-G only. However, when I walk by the tower there are two different sets of antennas per sector. Two are smaller and beige in color. The other two are bright white, are larger, and appear newer. The bright white ones look very similar to the antennas in this thread (specifically the one with the yellow arrow pointing to it that says NETWORK VISION). I had some hope for a possible full NV conversion. I'll take a picture of the sector and post it tomorrow. I probably didn't compare them as closely as I should have.
  12. LTE is live in State College. It is GMO LTE, I disabled Band 25 via dialer codes and was shunted to EHRPD, so PCS G Block only. There is a blip of LTE on Sensorly maps, I'll map out more during the week. So far it seems limited to one tower at the corner of W Calder Way and S. Burrowes St. I'll try to see if more sites are live as well as visit the WiMAX protection site to see if Band 41 is live. The tower itself was always very congested, so hopefully Sprint enabled GMO LTE on high use sites. CSFB appears to be working, calls came in and went out fine. SMS/MMS also worked fine. Below are screenshots of a Speedtest and Samsung "Enginerring".
  13. Was the LTE rollout a cluster? As in are all the sites around Erie turned on for GMO LTE, or is it just one site? Curious because State College as of now is still in EV-DO only. I did get a peculiar message yesterday on my phone, screenshot below. I'm not sure if it has to do with an imminent LTE rollout. Should I expect a GMO LTE rollout? Or is Sprint riding on the fact that Shentel built out most of the BEA, except State College?
  14. No, XDA is wrong, as usual when it comes to networks and the way the network side of phones work. No Sprint phone can do SVLTE, the last to do so was the Note 3. Every phone since then falls back to 1xRTT for voice, with no data. Just for future advice, do not listen to XDA for Sprint support. I have seen many threads that made me cringe. This one specifically just goes to show how XDA can be garbage. The thread itself mentions that if a Sprint Note 5 doesn't have the spinning spark logo in the status bar, that the phone doesn't connect to "Spark LTE", insinuating that Sprint disabled band 41 on the device after the first software update. It further tells the reader how to flash back to the old firmware to get a logo back! SVLTE will not be possible until VoLTE becomes active on the Sprint. This will not happen for a while, due to areas with no LTE, areas with poor LTE, and just simple characteristics that 1xRTT travels farther than LTE. Sprint's plan is to continue using CDMA as the voice backhaul for some time.
  15. Any update from Samsung on GMO LTE or full-build conversions? Was that test site in Erie finished/launched? Being in State College, its 3G GMO only. And I honestly have no issue with it being 3G only so long as I can use the 3G. However, some places in downtown State College have abysmally slow 3G (much slower than Sprint's rated 600 Kbps), while others max out the theoretical throughput (consistent speeds of 2 Mbps). With the former I can't even load webpages, and the latter I can stream 1080p. I tried calling Sprint to complain, and again, I usually state that I don't care that its 3G only and there's no 4G. I just state data is unusable at certain locations. From access to the sponsor maps, I know where the towers are located, and I know that different sectors of the same tower are overloaded, with others not overloaded. One sector gives speeds of 1 Mbps, the other sector gives less than 200 Kbps. Is there anyway I can tell Sprint about the issue? From what I have noticed, simply calling them and complaining isn't working; the CSRs pretty much say 3G is slower than 4G, and you shouldn't expect fast speeds. This ignores the issue that 3G is not usable. Is there a way I can contact Samsung (the vendor for the region) or a higher up Sprint representative who will look into the issue and attempt to fix it? I'm not expecting Sprint to come in and install LTE, I just want a somewhat usable EV-DO connection as Sprint outlines on their website.
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