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nugget3

join:2011-02-08

3G shuts down every day at noon

I've had my broadband card for about 2 years, and for a year or so it worked just fine. About 6-8 months ago, I noticed that around noon every day, the connection speed would drop dramatically. I've spent hours and hours on the phone with tech support, but all they succeeded in doing was completely hosing my network and connection settings, and turning my old modem into a brick. I've since bought a new hard drive and started over with a new modem, but the same problem still happens every single day - after 11 a.m., I'm lucky if I can crawl to google.com once in an while, let alone actually send emails or do work, despite the fact that it shows "EVDO Rev A" and full bars.

I tried Clear 4G service, but it wouldn't connect. They told me I was "above the tower" and that was why it didn't work on a regular basis, despite having full bars and connecting and getting good speeds on two days out of 8. My office is located on the 7th floor of the building, they said that people can't get their 4G above the 4th floor.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be causing this or how I could fix it? I'm located in the Chicago area, and am using the Sierra 598U. What could possibly causing me to get decent speeds in the morning, but awful in the afternoon?

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
While the symptoms were different in my case (it only destroyed my upload speeds), in May of 09 I started experiencing major interruptions in speed. They would occur with the suddenness of a switch being turned on and off.

Eventually, after almost a month of the usual wasting of time, Sprint finally actually sent someone to my home. He verified the problem, and then began a week-long survey in my area --

-- AND FOUND IT.

It was a mobile phone, operating out of spec. The owner was notified, the problem was corrected, and that was that.

In other words, it takes real elbow grease, initiative, and a genuine motivation to figure out the problem and solve it. Won't often happen, unfortunately.

nugget3

join:2011-02-08
reply to nugget3
How'd you get them to come out? That's amazing. I begged them to send someone out after about the 15th hour I spent listening to the tech support staff tell me to reinstall smartview and restart my computer, but no dice.

It looks like it's the network latency that goes up - at the slowest time yesterday (4:00 p.m.) the ping test showed 1536 ms, .58mbps down and .01mbps up.

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
I got them to come out by insisting constantly for two months on full credit for my service, and calling not only Tech Support but two other departments repeatedly, Customer Care and Billing (they will tell you it's one and the same department, but they're NOT).

You need to really make yourself a pain in their butt, until they're so sick of dealing with you they'll do anything to shut you up.

nugget3

join:2011-02-08
reply to nugget3
Tried calling in yet again, and their "tier 2 support" said they couldn't issue a ticket for the tower because I didn't have exact times that the card was down - saying that it stopped working at 11:30 and wouldn't work by the time I left work every day wasn't exact enough for them. This awesome support analyst didn't know what network latency was, and therefore could not even guess why I went from 100 at 8 a.m. to 1500 at noon every day.

Hung up with that person on a promise that she would "contact her coach," then called billing and asked them to credit the 50% of the day each day that I couldn't use the card. They said they couldn't do that. So I canceled the account.

At least with a Virgin card I can get the same crappy connection and service for $20 less each month.

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
I just reviewed Virgin's offering, Broadband2Go, at $40 a month.

I have a few questions, if I may:

Are they using the Sprint or Verizon Wireless 3G network?

What are their throttling/overage arrangements? I just reviewed their posted Terms of Service, and got nowhere. Are they truly unlimited? If not, where is their cap? 5 gigs? 10 gigs? 20 gigs? 50 gigs?

If they are truly unlimited, and if they use the Sprint network, why does it appear that the consensus on this forum is that Millenicom's 50 gig $70 deal is better, even though it's $30 more?

If they are truly unlimited, and if they use the Verizon Wireless network, why does it appear that the consensus on this forum is that Millenicom's 20 gig $60 deal is better, even though it's $20 more?


joeam
Got any bugs?

join:2005-02-27
Saint Clair, MI
reply to nugget3
You are describing exactly what is happening here! I have been on and off the phone with Sprint Tech support since early 2009 as well. They don't seem to have a clue as to whats happening here.

I am so glad I found this thread. Now I know this isn't just my area. And I can bring this up the next time I call in a problem.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to criggs
Sorta off topic but:
said by criggs:

Are they using the Sprint or Verizon Wireless 3G network?

Virgin Mobile USA is just a pre-paid brand of service (like boost) wholly owned by Sprint. They use the sprint towers but the network isnt exactly the same. They use some form of proxy that keeps you from being an actual IP on the internet (aka you cant host any standard services without some workarounds).

said by criggs:

What are their throttling/overage arrangements? I just reviewed their posted Terms of Service, and got nowhere. Are they truly unlimited? If not, where is their cap? 5 gigs? 10 gigs? 20 gigs? 50 gigs?

When you asked this question they truly had $40 for unlimited.. however since you have asked the question the TOS have changed now:
$10 for 100 megs over 30 days
$20 for 1 gig over 30 days (only devices purchased from wal-mart)
$50 for unlimited over 30 days (throttled to 256k down after 2.5 gigs)

if you had the $40 unlimited plan you also have access to
$40 for unlimited over 30 days (throttled to 256k down after 5.0 gigs)
this plan will vanish if you switch to another plan or let your account expire (accounts expire 12 months after the last plan is used).

said by criggs:

If they are truly unlimited, and if they use the Sprint network, why does it appear that the consensus on this forum is that Millenicom's 50 gig $70 deal is better, even though it's $30 more?

Before the changes if you needed to host a vnc server (or any other standard type of server) you couldn't do it with virgin mobile due to the network translation they use. Millenicom's offerings are a true sprint connection which technically allows this (even if the tos forbids it). Also many presumed it was too good to be true (looks like it was ) Also the technical support at Virgin Mobile is pretty much like talking to a wall when it comes to network issues. I suspect there is much infighting at sprint about this division (sure feels like it) and so if you have an issue with the network the only way to get it reported is to find someone with a contracted sprint account and get them to report it. Millenicom can actually submit trouble issues to sprint while sprints own company cant (or wont).

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by dib22:

When you asked this question they truly had $40 for unlimited.. however since you have asked the question the TOS have changed now:

Which means, I guess, that nugget can no longer get the same service from Virgin Mobile as he would from Sprint. Which leaves him with more reason to keep pushing on Sprint.

Nugget, another possibility, if you're interested in cheaper 4G, is to get the 4G Sprint only (no 3G) from Millenicom for $40.

Personally however, before you go through the hassle of breaking in another 4G Sprint connection, I would look into either 1) redoubling your efforts to get your Sprint connection fixed or 2) getting a more reliable, less frustrating 3G connection instead.

criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to nugget3
said by nugget3:

How'd you get them to come out? That's amazing. I begged them to send someone out after about the 15th hour I spent listening to the tech support staff tell me to reinstall smartview and restart my computer,...but no dice.

And you'll be pleased/frustrated/envious to find out that I've gotten them to come out to my own home AGAIN.

As some of you may recall, my Sprint 3G connection became unusable in the spring of 2009, I asked for full credit for two months running which they gave me, and then, after my repeated requests, they finally sent someone out who took a look at what I was experiencing for all of five minutes --

-- and got the problem fixed 48 hours later.

Well, as some of you may also recall, my Sprint 3G connection suddenly became unusable again on September 28th, 2010. After over FOUR MONTHS of diddling and dawdling, and me forcing the issue with repeated credit requests, they have FINALLY agreed to send someone out again. I have a 2PM appointment this Tuesday with a representative from one of their tower vendors, Ericsson.

This should be interesting; I'll keep you posted!