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Kansas City, MO

There is hope... but it takes patience.

Just an update... an area that I frequent that has had really bad performance > 2 miles away from the tower in a rural area has been fixed.

The issue was that when you were on the tower it would perform well (1meg down 600k up) but if you moved more than 2 miles away from it the download would fall to 56k and the upload would rise to 800k. This occured on VM and Sprint accounts.

The problem started around Feb 2010 and was fixed Aug 2011.

There were several power outages in the area the night the fix occured... wonder if it was a simple power cycle that did it


Portland, OR
How can I find out where my local tower is? Because I almost always get dialup speeds on the download and much higher on the upload.


said by Papageno:

How can I find out where my local tower is?

I started by looking for Sprint towers on a map. I forget what the tower lookup site is.

There may be a more scientific way to do it, but in my case I drove to a likely suspect and parked under it and observed full strength in the VM app.

My final config is a grid antenna pointed at Likely Suspect #2 and this was easy to confirm by twisting the antenna back & forth while observing signal strength.



1 recommendation

reply to dib22
Bumping this thread for the subject/title: For the VERY FIRST TIME since September of 2010, my Virgin Mobile service re-activated yesterday entirely on its own!

In every other case, at "renewal" time, and despite that from Day 1 I asked the service to auto-update and charge my CC at the monthly renewal date, it failed to do so. In early cases I had to call VM to get reactivated. In recent months I would get bounced to their website and have to fiddle with it, turn the modem off/on, replug etc. etc. to get it to work again. But yesterday it renewed with no lapse in service, or action required on my part, at all.

Is there hope? Has patience paid-off after one year? Still grandfathered-in to the $40/mo 5Gb unlimited service here! Finally, a good day!


Winona, MN
reply to dib22
I wonder if they had the download throttled down to improve the upload throughput. If upload is over saturated connections to server will fail. I am experiencing a similar problem.

Download 700+kbps, upload 0.02Mbps in the day. While this was happening the tower went out, after Upload was back to a stable 0.45Mbps...for a week. Then problem happened again. Using Millenicom 50GB plan.


Kansas City, MO
said by Dexter1992:

I wonder if they had the download throttled down to improve the upload throughput. If upload is over saturated connections to server will fail. I am experiencing a similar problem.

I don't think any throttling was intended... I think the tower was just malfunctioning. You could get full downloads speeds no matter the time of day if you were very close to the tower... it just had no range to it (falling to 56k past 2 miles). Upload remained good (500k or better) from any range.

The saddest part is that we reported it every-time we were at that location with a sprint card (around once every 2 months for a year give or take as we rotate sprint and vm cards as our backups depending on what is in use at the time), and it took a year to get fixed.

We gave up reporting it to the VM side since they don't seem to have the ability to report tower issues to sprint (or they choose not to, still not sure which it is ).

Our primary cards are att and that area was an edge area for att... so we would still break out the sprint or vm card to upload large files / attachments even with it malfunctioning the 500k upload was much superior to the att edge upload speed (always less than 90k).


Winona, MN
Well I think I may have figured out an issue. Over the past week my PS3's online gaming performance has been bad. High latency, a lot of lag, also nothing seemed to really be registering.

Here are the results from recent tweak test on a windows 7 laptop.

1. Your Tweakable Settings
Receive Window (RWIN): 64240
Window Scaling: off
Path MTU Discovery: ON
RFC1323 Window Scaling: OFF
RFC1323 Time Stamping: OFF
Selective Acks: ON
MSS requested: 1460
TTL: unknown
TTL remaining: 112
TOS flags: none set

2. Test Download
Actual data bytes sent: 1063421
Actual data packets: 730
Max packet sent (MTU): 1500
Max packet recd (MTU): 1458
Retransmitted packets: 27
sacks you sent: 205
pushed data pkts: 106
data transmit time: 12.877 secs
our max idletime: 524.7 ms
transfer rate: 75868 bytes/sec
transfer rate: 606 kbits/sec
transfer efficiency: 96%

4. Notes and Recommendations
Input line speed for RWIN recommendation
Looking good

Upload packet less than your MTU (FAQ #1492)
Good data stream (no/few rexmits)

What I have been noticing is my Max packet recd (MTU) is 1458. Alright when I first got my service the tweaktest would show this value as 1492, when I got my upload issue it was 1472, and now it's 1458. For some reason the network is changing. Now on my PS3 I can manually set the MTU or set it to Automatic. I had it on Automatic.

Well when playing an online game I would, stutter, not move, and hit detection would not register much. It was if I could not upload packets, or *packets were being re-transmitted or lost. Well this tweaktest thing made me think. I know my router has the MTU set at 1500, Windows is set to 1500, yet I can only receive 1458. So where are the other 42 packets going that I am sending? Are they getting lost into oblivion?

I know that number should be not 1458 but 1500. The network has an issue thus my upload problem. This was the only explanation, and I can not explain it. Anyway, I set my PS3 to 1500 as if automatic was detecting the 1458, then my shooting or sending packets are getting lost as my router is set to 1500. Well I set my PS3 manually to 1500 for MTU and holy crap night and day difference. I had great ping, my connection was great and everything was smooth and spot on.

I did a connection test on my PS3 and upload was at 24.6kbps, after I changed the MTU I got 169kbps upload, and 600kbps download. Best I have had all 2 weeks.

My upload is getting worse as the max packet MTU received is getting lowered. I am receiving less packets and my router is sending 1500 causing a my network issues.

I am hoping dib22 you can actually tell me if that could have been the issue, because you seem to have the most knowledge about networking around here. My gaming has been amazing ever since I changed the MTU to 1500 manually the PS3 must have been detecting a value that was causing my PS3 problems.

I think Sprint is messing with the network.