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Thread: Update your roaming capabilities

  1. #1
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    Update your roaming capabilities

    Uhhh...i was messing around and did the *228...I selected option #2 which was update your roaming capabilities. What is this?

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    basically updating your roaming capabilities to any new towers in the area...

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    ahh..nice thanks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdpat01
    basically updating your roaming capabilities to any new towers in the area...
    Do you really think that's what *228 does? Will *228 have any effect on service in a VZW area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vatothe0
    Do you really think that's what *228 does? Will *228 have any effect on service in a VZW area?
    yeah...say for instance you haven't done *228 for a while, did you know you can sometimes affect things like text messaging...you may not be able to receive all of the text messages people are sending you...I send temporary passwords via text message for My Account all day long...when people say they haven't received the text, the first thing I check for (besides a text block) is their PRL date...if *228 hasn't been done in a while, I have the customer to do it, power the phone off and restart, and resend the message...they get it! That's also the first thing Tech support will ask a rep for troubleshooting before going any further...

  6. #6
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    *228 will not improve any service on the VZW owned network.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showpost...28&postcount=1

    I would say this post is 100% correct.

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    It loads into the handset, over-the-air, a software "list" of Cellular Systems ("companies"), that your phone is allowed to scan for, "After" it loses or can't find a VZW signal. ("The PRL List").
    This downloaded software "list" is notated to display the proper text tag / and or "triangle" ( "Extended Area" , Verizon Wireless , or "Roam"), for each system.
    The PRL list is set up in area groups, & in a priority order, so for example, in City "A", the phone, after losing a VZW signal, will know to first attempt to find "Alltel" before "Sprint" ect....
    If VZW has a system in the area, it is Always higher in Priority than other companies such as Sprint or US Cellular, & will be looked for first, regardless of weather or not another carrier has a "closer" site to your fone.
    The PRL & *228 Update DOES NOT:
    1 - Have Anything to do with any individual "Towers", or accessing newly built "towers". If a company builds a new tower near your home, that new tower is already part of an existing system ("company"), which either is already listed in the PRL, or isn't. Only ENTIRE system ID's are in a PRL. There is no way for VZW to add or block any individual new or old "Towers" by way of the PRL.
    It kinda seems to me that they are both saying the same thing....aren't towers part of service, and if *228 is updating the PRL list, seems to me that includes towers...??? Maybe the technical wording of it...I think it's all the same, but saying 'towers' is saying it in a simplified way... Idunno ...I was always trained to advise customers to *228 option 2 every 30 days...like I said, anytime there are feature issues, that's the first thing tech support asks if a rep has done before any tier 2 troubleshooting is done...

  8. #8
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    To an extent, updating will help with Verizon native service. If one type of service is just in the 800 band, and added PCS to the same area (and vice versa), then the old PRL won't necessarily see the PCS network unless it's already tagged in the PRL for that Verizon SID. I know that if I were to try and use my old Samsung a650 in SW Michigan, it wouldn't see the PCS network since it still has an old AC1 PRL, and it doesn't have SID 21 with PCS listed. So for that area, it would instead roam on Alltel on SID 244. I don't know what PRL is in that phone, but the last update was done in June 2006, right before I upgraded my phone.

    As far as in native coverage, unless they acquire another carrier in another band, or build out a new network in a different band (usually PCS these days), then updating the PRL won't improve local coverage, as those new towers on the existing network would still be picked up by that phone's PRL. For me, updating my PRL to just use in SID 20 would do me no good, as most of the network is 800 and 1X, and PCS in most of the market is just EVDO.

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    No it's not the same. Updating the PRL (preferred roaming list) updates what list of networks (SIDS - Serivce IDs) the phone looks for, but doesn't affect access to individual cell sites in any way at all.

    For instance, in my area, the phone finds SID 286 first (Verizon Wireless native). If it can't see it, it finds SID 389 (US Cellular) Finally, Alltel SID 1236. SID 286 covers Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City area in eastern Iowa. SID 389 covers Iowa City plus a few surrounding counties. SID 1236 doesn't cover Iowa City but covers a few nearby counties (so, if I drive to Iowa county AND can't get US Cellular, I'll get Alltel service.) If VZW, USCC, or Alltel add new cell sites, I do NOT need a new PRL (preferred roaming list) for my phone to see them -- the sites broadcast as SID 286, 389, or 1236 and the phone automatically picks them up. The one exception to this -- EVDO needs extra info (per SID) to work, so you can have 1X but no EVDO (on a network with EVDO) if your PRL is old.

    That said, I do PRL updates every month or two too.. To be honest, I think the phone reset does more to fix other problems (texting delays etc.) but certainly the PRL update doesn't hurt.

    If you want to see what kind of work the phone's doing when it's looking for service, go to this site: PRL interpretations pick Verizon and pick a recent date -- the number of networks is quite surprising.
    Last edited by hwertz; 05-09-2008 at 09:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdpat01
    It kinda seems to me that they are both saying the same thing....aren't towers part of service, and if *228 is updating the PRL list, seems to me that includes towers...???
    No, because new sites (aka towers) added to an existing SID will automatically be accessible to your phone as long as the SID is already in the PRL. The functions that determine which site your phone can/will lock onto are network-based, not phone based - the phone neither knows, nor cares, nor can even use specific information about which tower to use.

    You can think of it sort of like someone standing in the middle of a field and shouting for help. They have no idea who might be listening or where they are, but if they get a response, they start yelling back in that same direction.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeG~
    No, because new sites (aka towers) added to an existing SID will automatically be accessible to your phone as long as the SID is already in the PRL. The functions that determine which site your phone can/will lock onto are network-based, not phone based - the phone neither knows, nor cares, nor can even use specific information about which tower to use.

    You can think of it sort of like someone standing in the middle of a field and shouting for help. They have no idea who might be listening or where they are, but if they get a response, they start yelling back in that same direction.
    HMMMMM...So, now in a simple way, how would I explain to a customer? "*228 is updating your roaming capabilities so if losing VZW signal strength, you will be able to pick up the nearest network working in that area or surrounding areas." Is that about the sum of it?

  12. #12
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    Pat: I'm going to call Verizon Wireless Customer Care one day and you'll pick up. I'm going to tell you that my phone is on fire and I'll wait for you to ask me to dial * 228 Option 2 to fix the problem.

    No seriously:

    You can simply say (in a really deep voice): At Verizon Wireless, we're constantly evaluating our voice and data coverage options nationwide. In our ongoing effort to offer our customers the best voice and data coverage available, we team up with new network partners to maximize performance and enhance the customer experience. We offer these updates to our valuable customers free of charge by dialing.....

    Ready for your Moment in History post of the day with a little Verizon dirt? Cool. Me too!

    There was a time when nobody really knew what the heck these OTA updates did. I remember in late 2001, I was sitting in a room with 2 of my colleagues chosen from my retail store to learn about them. We were given BS answers by our corporate trainer. These OTA updates were supposed to be the band-aid of all band-aids and cure all sorts of ailments ranging from poor call quality, dropped calls to creating peace in the Middle East.

    We were told that if a customer was about to defect to our arch nemesis (AT&T Wireless TDMA) due to a network complaint, we were to show them how to "boost," their coverage by helping their phones find the "nearest towers," and lock onto them.

    It got even worse: At my local store, we used to sell dual band 850 MHz CDMA/ 850 MHz AMPS phones without the PCS band. Management, sales reps and customer care alike were telling people that OTA'ing their dual band handsets would make them work like "tri-mode," phones. People believed it and would walk out of our store thinking their phones became more powerful than ever before.

    A lot of times, the OTA update would fail but my fellow store employees wouldn't tell the customer that and customers still ate it up since they had a new turbo powered phone.

    "Ever since I got the new turbo boost to my phone, I no longer have to pull out my antenna and that rash on my arm is practically unnoticeable!!!"

    Sales reps started activating these dual band handsets on National Single Rate plans (this was prohibited) and things got ugly when complaints started coming in.

    If it wasn't for sites like this, many reps would still be dishing out bad information to customers. Believe me, you'll learn more here than you ever will from a Verizon Wireless training brochure. Stay here long enough and you'll know more than those corporate trainers who are supposed to be on top of these things. Just don't let it get to your head, kay?

    Oh yeah: You can start by telling your peeps in Customer Care that "towers," and "cell sites," are not interchangeable nouns.

    Much love

  13. #13
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    There is tons of information here, but if employees would read their e-mails and daily News posted in infomanager they would know that *228 doesnt increase signal strength. I believe there was a e-mail sent like 2 months ago that stole the MythBuster's theme, and broke the many myths about *228.(this is just one of many examples regarding *228)

    Also any tech support rep asking "first" if *228 was done, you can assume they are a clown. Of course there are issues where this is relevant, but not many... and you mentioned SMS. The only thing about *228 that fixes random issues is the phone turning off and then back on.

    After the rep tells me the customers problem the only question I ask is "Is the customer on the phone?" Because asking anything else is pointless.... 25% of the time reps cant even manage to get that correct

  14. #14
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    It can be somewhat confusing that it's called the Preferred Roaming List. The list is used to acquire all systems, with VZW systems not being any different other than being ranked highest in priority. If VZW sets up service in a new area with a new system id (SID), your phone won't use it until it gets an updated PRL to which the new entry has been added. The terminology comes from the distinction between your home system id, which is stored in your phone, and all others, including other VZW systems, which are "roaming", from the phone's point of view. Some phones will check for the home system before looking at the PRL; with 850MHz "cellular", it can probably "tune in" the call without the entry being in the PRL, but for PCS, the phone is dependent on the PRL to figure out how to "tune in" the system.

    Note that PCS is a separate issue from EV-DO. VZW has lots of systems with voice on the PCS (1900MHz) band, and a few EV-DO systems on the cellular band.

  15. #15
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    I have been given to understand (and seen some evidence to back this up) that updating your PRL is necessary to add acess to EVDO service rolled out since the PRL on the device was last updated (for VZW). Other than that, I got nothing
    Anything posted is my own opinion, not authorized by my past or present employers.

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