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disconnected

@snet.net

[Hardware] iDEN Shuts Down; Sprint Network Vision 800MHz CDMA Co

Here's my situation: I have been a satisfied iDEN user for about 9 years. Started with Nextel, then moved to prepaid Boost Mobile, which is on the former Nextel system. That's 816.34MHz that my Mot i450 pings when it powers on. Always have about 4 bars of signal at the house.

Given the pending decommissioning of iDEN, I now have a new Android phone. The LG 730 "Venice." The spec for this phone says it supports 800MHz CDMA and 1900MHz PCS. However, I cannot get service with this new phone. I just activated it the other night and cannot use it to make calls unless I go outside. If I walk 1/4 mile to the tower down the road, I get 6 bars and 3G. However, the signal seems unable to penetrate the foliage/forest. My iDEN phone fares MUCH better, getting 4 bars at the house.

I read a press release from Sprint (Boost Mobile's carrier after Nextel) that talked about their new Vision Network 800MHz system. They showed coverage maps which looked like the difference between PCS and iDEN over hear. One works, the other doesn't. There are more holes than covered areas. Here's the 'jaw dropping' differences:

»www.androidpolice.com/2012/01/13···our-jaw/

Now, iDEN is scheduled to shut down around June 30. My question is whether we'll get this new 800MHz CDMA in Connecticut soon after? My new phone is useless and will remain so until the 800MHz system is enabled here. In the meantime, I'm paying fees to keep my number alive.



swintec
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Re: [Hardware] iDEN Shuts Down; Sprint Network Vision 800MHz CDM

800 Mhz portion of network vision wont be coming for awhile. I suggest you take a look at »s4gru.com to get the information that you need. Also has maps and shows completed / in progress cell sites for much of the country and tracks updates weekly.
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disconnected

@snet.net

Am I correct in ascertaining that this 800MHz is 4G/LTE? My phone is only 3G and CDMA. Either way, that's too bad that nothing's coming out this way for some time.

I'm testing a Wilson cell signal booster, but with poor results. Apparently, up on the roof, I get -98 to -105dB of signal, depending on wind direction. The cell tower is just on the other side of the forest, about 900' south of me. As I drive past that tower on my way downtown, my phone gets service and 6 bars of signal. But at the house it's 1 bar. The thing is, the trees aren't even in bloom!

The Wilson kit has a panel antenna for the exterior and a 'desktop' antenna for indoors. With that setup, I am getting -88dB at the antenna, within 8'. However, downstairs I'm at -114dB, which is no good.

I'm going to look into ordering a high gain parabolic grid antenna from Andrew and a panel antenna for the indoor side. Hopefully that will produce a big enough signal that I can get usable coverage througout the house.



swintec
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Sprint is deploying LTE on 1900 right now. Voice and 1xRTT will be on 800 upon deployment and I believe LTE MIGHT be on there later on.

Are you sure that specific tower is a sprint tower and you arent picking up one further away?
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disconnected

@snet.net

I'm quite certain of it, because it's a MAJOR site. FM/AM and over 50 cell antennas on this 499' tower, plus another 100' self supporting tower in the back woods behind the FM tower, with more then 3 dozen cell antennas there. I think that site was AT&T. But Nextel iDEN is on the big FM tower, and so is sprint, evidently, because standing in front of that tower, and approaching from either direction, I get 6 bars of signal, which decrease rapidly in either direction, north or south of it. By the time I get to the intersection of my private road, I'm down to 4 bars. Then as I drive down my road (perpendicular to tower, so distance remains constant), the signal drops to 1 bar. Boost rep tells me that my area has prime coverage. Theoretically, yes, based on distance, but their map doesn't take into account that trees are blocking the 1900 signal. What a terrible band to put phones on.


bcltoys

join:2008-07-21
Lost today
reply to disconnected

It could be a Nextel only sight,since you get 4 bars on your Nextel phone. If this tower is 900 feet from your house and the wilson amp is not helping that would lead me believe it is indeed a Nextel/iden tower not a sprint tower. They are diff animals.



swintec
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reply to disconnected

I was going to link you to the maps for all sprint towers in CT but they are for sponsors only on that site I linked previously. From there you could zoom into your address and see which tower you are grabbing. It may not be where you think.
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Darknessfall

join:2012-08-17
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1 edit

@swintec
»network.sprint.com/CT/Hartford/

Gives a rough idea where Sprint towers are.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to bcltoys

said by bcltoys:

It could be a Nextel only sight,since you get 4 bars on your Nextel phone. If this tower is 900 feet from your house and the wilson amp is not helping that would lead me believe it is indeed a Nextel/iden tower not a sprint tower. They are diff animals.

I agree, if that location hasn't been "visioned" yet, I fear your iden will vanish the second they move in and re-do the tower base stations, as they will most likely move the iden to the current cdma tower, which is out of range from what you are saying.

I do think they will be overlaying LTE onto 800Mhz before they kill off iden but have no information about which markets... just that they have approval.


swintec
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reply to Darknessfall

said by Darknessfall:

@swintec
»network.sprint.com/CT/Hartford/

Gives a rough idea where Sprint towers are.

Very rough as it will only show towers that are to be upgraded or have been upgraded within last 6 months.
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disconnected

@snet.net
reply to Darknessfall

said by Darknessfall:

@swintec
»network.sprint.com/CT/Hartford/

Gives a rough idea where Sprint towers are.

According to that map, the tower down the road from me is designated a "1" (the legend indicates "voice upgrades"). I get a very strong signal as I pass the tower. Today my wife had the phone in the car while I drove and she read off the dB levels. Upper -60s were the readings as we passed north and south of the tower.

I must say that coverage on the roads is seamless though. I had a conversation that took me through three towns, a car wash, inside stores, and never dropped the call or had it get degraded intelligability. The ONLY place where the phone does not work is at the house.

Noticed another interesting thing. The other day when I measured, it was raining and I had 1 bar at the roof and in the yard. Today it was dry and cold and I had 3 bars in the yard. I even had 1 bar in the front of the house, where all glass windows are facing the tower and was able to continue the call for a bit.

My hope is that they do indeed utilize the 800MHz CDMA capabilities of the LG 730 and give me good service again. 1900MHz is literally line of sight. If you have ANY obstructions at all between you and the tower, you don't get a signal. With the iDEN, the 816Mhz fared MUCH better, even penetrating dense forest.

Sprint is improving, but has a way to go at my house. We've ordered a Wilson dB Pro cell booster and antenna kit. I think it's the only solution that will enable me to use the phone in the house.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by disconnected :

Sprint is improving, but has a way to go at my house. We've ordered a Wilson dB Pro cell booster and antenna kit. I think it's the only solution that will enable me to use the phone in the house.

If you have dsl or cable broadband you could get a contract and they would sell you a femtocell. They don't have one available on their pre-paid brands as far as I can tell.



swintec
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said by dib22:

If you have dsl or cable broadband you could get a contract and they would sell you a femtocell. They don't have one available on their pre-paid brands as far as I can tell.

I believe they allow it on the Ting prepaid brand now. Whether you buy it from them or get a use done on ebay.
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disconnected

@snet.net
reply to dib22

We're shutting off our landline, so no broadband soon. Will be relying 100% on the mobile phone for all voice and internet soon.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by disconnected :

We're shutting off our landline, so no broadband soon. Will be relying 100% on the mobile phone for all voice and internet soon.

Ouch.. bad move. Wired internet is always better than wireless.

Good luck!

applerule

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The fastest landline service I can get (Frontier DSL)
 

Verizon 4g
 

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said by dib22:

Ouch.. bad move. Wired internet is always better than wireless.

Good luck!

Depends on where you live...this is what I can get where I live.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by applerule:

said by dib22:

Ouch.. bad move. Wired internet is always better than wireless.

Good luck!

Depends on where you live...this is what I can get where I live.

It's not the speeds... it's the overage costs.

decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1
reply to applerule

But what is the cost/cap for frontier for that speed? If its even similar to att's dsl cap, i'd hang onto it.. Wireless has been too dang flaky for me... Not to mention the cost to use ratio..



bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL

1 recommendation

reply to dib22

I have a friend on the inside that says they will be deploying 1xA on the SMR frequency. Hopefully that's actually part of it.



disconnected

@snet.net

The big problem I'm having right now is just getting a reliable signal into the house. I have 1 bar (-95 to -103dBm) standing on top of my roof.
I just installed the Wilson DB Pro, which consists of the amplifier, panel antenna for indoors, and directional Yagi for outdoors. The Yagi is mounted on a 10' mast, attached to the chimney. Just enough RG6 cable comes down to connect to the 'amplifier' unit. Another shorter RG6 connects the indoor jack to the panel antenna, on the hallway ceiling. Now the only place where I get a really reliable signal is standing UNDER the panel antenna. Pretty good signal within 8' of the panel. But more than that starts to get marginal.
Downstairs, there is one spot that is okay, directly under that part of the hallway where the panel antenna is.
Outdoors, I found out I get no signal when the Yagi is aimed at the towers down the road. A friend had posited a theory that maybe my 6 bars is a false reading of something out of band from another provider and not the actual phone signal. Although he also pointed out there's a Sprint tower across the lake and at that spot, it's a line of sight shot to that part of the road, so I could be seeing a tower to the west, through a break in the topography of the land. At the house, we're blocked to the west by a 15' rise in the land at the edge of our property. We have a similar hill to the south of us, between us and the towers.
The only direction where I get a signal is facing east/southeast. It's a marginal signal and according to the map, it's a tower in the next town over from us, a few miles away.
I'm having a lot of issues with dead spots in the house. Some areas I get 5 out of 6 bars, but move the phone an inch and it's zero bars. Also, can't put the phone in my pocket--it loses signal. That isn't a problem when I'm driving though. My commute to pick up a family member at her job in another part of the state is solid coverage on this phone. I get good coverage inside of every store, shopping center or public building I've been in, too. My house is the ONLY place where I have poor coverage.
The OpenSignal app shows clusters of antennas within 3-4 miles, but each with a radius of 1/4 mile or so, based on the color coding. The signals literally follow the roads and highways, but a ways off the roads and no coverage shown on the map.

At this point, I'm wondering what I can do to get Sprint onto the tower near me. I know that when the foliage comes back in the spring, our marginal signal is going to go away almost completely. I wish they'd hurry up and make the 800MHz service go live. I never had trouble with 800MHz. Even my old 900MHz cordless phone would work all the way to the end of the road, while my new 2.4Ghz cordless barely work at the other end of the house. It's odd how the industry is moving toward frequencies that are less reliable for penetrating obstructions.



digiblur
Premium
join:2002-06-03
Louisiana
reply to bobjohnson

said by bobjohnson:

I have a friend on the inside that says they will be deploying 1xA on the SMR frequency. Hopefully that's actually part of it.

No need to be on the inside to know that. They are already deploying it in some areas. Chicago, DFW, Baltimore, and North CA so far. More are on the way. The areas that won't get it are the border states dealing with agreements with Mex and CA. A couple states won't get 800 LTE due to Southerlinc hanging on to their licenses there.