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Thread: Northern Michigan?

  1. #1021
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    Also, coverage driving down to Grand Rapids from the Charlevoix area via Glen Arbor and M-22 was a complete mess. The phones bounced from LTE to Faux G to nothing and back and forth again basically the whole trip. AT&T has some serious work to do down the western coast, that's for sure!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Also, coverage driving down to Grand Rapids from the Charlevoix area via Glen Arbor and M-22 was a complete mess. The phones bounced from LTE to Faux G to nothing and back and forth again basically the whole trip. AT&T has some serious work to do down the western coast, that's for sure!
    Hope you had a great trip! It is a beautiful area up that way. I haven't been to Charlevoix in years but was recently in Petoskey. You should have seen some B12 in your travels as well in those areas. They now have 10x10 700 they got from Agri-Valley and B12 is live on several of those sites in northwest MI now. AT&T has bands 2,4,5, and 12 running intermittently on the sites in and around Petoskey with many CA combos. I agree, Beaver island should be on Microwave but I'm guessing LTE will be deployed sometime later this year. Same with Drummond Island. The hilly topography plays heck on the coverage along the west side .

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10mm View Post
    Hope you had a great trip! It is a beautiful area up that way. I haven't been to Charlevoix in years but was recently in Petoskey. You should have seen some B12 in your travels as well in those areas. They now have 10x10 700 they got from Agri-Valley and B12 is live on several of those sites in northwest MI now. AT&T has bands 2,4,5, and 12 running intermittently on the sites in and around Petoskey with many CA combos. I agree, Beaver island should be on Microwave but I'm guessing LTE will be deployed sometime later this year. Same with Drummond Island. The hilly topography plays heck on the coverage along the west side .
    Yeah, it really is a gorgeous area! I did not see B12, I didn't realize they had it up there, but I did see B4 and a little bit of B5. I wasn't paying attention a lot of the time, but my phone seemed to stay parked on B4, as around Charlevoix, there aren't too many coverage issues.

    Oh, that's interesting. So I'm assuming that they are going to do microwave when they go to LTE? It would make no sense for AT&T to put LTE on a T1-backhauled site, since HSPA+ can already saturate a lot of T1 lines. Considering TDS only offers speeds up to 15mbps, I'd imagine they could get a lot of people to use MHS or home phone and internet at their places out there. I didn't want to screw with my phone too much, as it has a hard time switching from LTE to UMTS, but it did pop onto LTE a couple of times, so if I had forced it to LTE-only, I probably could have gotten a couple mbps of LTE from the mainland directly.

    Hilly isn't really an issue, we have tons of hills in CT, but the network is much more dense, with a tower every mile or two in most places. There are gaps/weak spots, but they are momentary when driving, not for minutes at a time, and not with lots of Faux G coverage mixed in. It's a matter of wanting to spend the dough to build out a good network. It doesn't look like land or places to put towers is a big problem out that way, other than at Sleeping Bear itself, which had OK LTE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Yeah, it really is a gorgeous area! I did not see B12, I didn't realize they had it up there, but I did see B4 and a little bit of B5. I wasn't paying attention a lot of the time, but my phone seemed to stay parked on B4, as around Charlevoix, there aren't too many coverage issues.

    Oh, that's interesting. So I'm assuming that they are going to do microwave when they go to LTE? It would make no sense for AT&T to put LTE on a T1-backhauled site, since HSPA+ can already saturate a lot of T1 lines. Considering TDS only offers speeds up to 15mbps, I'd imagine they could get a lot of people to use MHS or home phone and internet at their places out there. I didn't want to screw with my phone too much, as it has a hard time switching from LTE to UMTS, but it did pop onto LTE a couple of times, so if I had forced it to LTE-only, I probably could have gotten a couple mbps of LTE from the mainland directly.

    Hilly isn't really an issue, we have tons of hills in CT, but the network is much more dense, with a tower every mile or two in most places. There are gaps/weak spots, but they are momentary when driving, not for minutes at a time, and not with lots of Faux G coverage mixed in. It's a matter of wanting to spend the dough to build out a good network. It doesn't look like land or places to put towers is a big problem out that way, other than at Sleeping Bear itself, which had OK LTE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Hopefully somebody sees this, as this forum is kind of dead, but it's definitely Northern Michigan. Before I talk about Northern, I will say that on my way back down, I hit my all time records for my S7 and an S8+ of 118mbps and 137mbps, which was pretty impressive. Over the weekend, I was up in Charlevoix and Petoskey, which are a lot better now that B4 has been activated, as B5 was getting pretty congested. The speeds weren't impressive, but the service was pretty reliable, which was good, as it was the only internet access we had for several days. My grandmother uses it now for her internet at her summer place on the lake, as there is no DSL or cable available (Charter plant ends a mile or two away).

    The only place that was bad was Beaver Island. Apparently, it is one of the last vestiges of the 3G network with copper backhaul. Although reliable with 4-5 bars while we were out there on Saturday, it was rather slow, starting off around 1.2mbps, and degrading to a whopping 390kbps in the afternoon. I will say that the upside of being backhaul limited is that the Faux G air interface doesn't seem to overload and clog up when it doesn't have fiber backhaul, so it seemed much more reliable than the Faux G that I've used in the last year or two, which can be very hit or miss.

    Why hasn't AT&T done anything with Beaver Island? I am guessing that there is not much, if any fiber on the island, as it looks like TDS is microwaving everything over, and AT&T is probably leasing a bunch of T1 lines from TDS, but it looks like a trivial job to shoot gigabit or faster microwave over open water from the mainland, and then on the donor tower, or another tower through a relay, connect it to a 10 gig MetroE line. With that it should be able to support the same LTE bands in use in Northwest Lower. I did the mark the spot app a few times to mark it for AT&T to look at.
    The site on the north end of the island was cut over to a new microwave hop just last week, in prep for LTE that should launch there soon. Not sure yet what the plan is for the site in the middle of the island.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Also, coverage driving down to Grand Rapids from the Charlevoix area via Glen Arbor and M-22 was a complete mess. The phones bounced from LTE to Faux G to nothing and back and forth again basically the whole trip. AT&T has some serious work to do down the western coast, that's for sure!
    Almost every site on that route has LTE already, but coverage is definitely sparse in several places. I doubt those areas see any improvement any time soon, if ever, unfortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanhimself View Post
    Haven't seen you here in a while. Good to see you
    Yeah, I haven't been around here much.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWDude49120 View Post
    The site on the north end of the island was cut over to a new microwave hop just last week, in prep for LTE that should launch there soon. Not sure yet what the plan is for the site in the middle of the island.
    Yeah, we must have been on the one on the north end, as we never ventured out of walking distance from the ferry dock. I was there on Saturday, and it was awfully slow. Was it previously on a really old microwave link, or T1s? I'd imagine any modern microwave link should qualify as Faux G, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWDude49120 View Post
    Almost every site on that route has LTE already, but coverage is definitely sparse in several places. I doubt those areas see any improvement any time soon, if ever, unfortunately.
    There were several places where I was on HSPA+. The map on AT&T's site shows LTE on the entire route, but there are a lot of places where that coverage doesn't exist in reality. It's harder to say if the LTE doesn't exist, since my phone could have been stuck on HSPA+ for some reason. I think I even found a site on M-31 headed towards Grand Rapids that was HSPA+ and mounted on a wooden telephone pole with two sectors just to cover the highway. It was sort of funny looking. Between Point Betsie and Manistee, I was trying to get online to look a couple of things up, and it took me quite a while to get a usable signal, as I would go from no service to a bar or two back to no service, and I finally picked up some decent LTE.

    The coverage was a lot better up around Charlevoix/Petoskey.

  8. #1028
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Yeah, I haven't been around here much.



    Yeah, we must have been on the one on the north end, as we never ventured out of walking distance from the ferry dock. I was there on Saturday, and it was awfully slow. Was it previously on a really old microwave link, or T1s? I'd imagine any modern microwave link should qualify as Faux G, right?



    There were several places where I was on HSPA+. The map on AT&T's site shows LTE on the entire route, but there are a lot of places where that coverage doesn't exist in reality. It's harder to say if the LTE doesn't exist, since my phone could have been stuck on HSPA+ for some reason. I think I even found a site on M-31 headed towards Grand Rapids that was HSPA+ and mounted on a wooden telephone pole with two sectors just to cover the highway. It was sort of funny looking. Between Point Betsie and Manistee, I was trying to get online to look a couple of things up, and it took me quite a while to get a usable signal, as I would go from no service to a bar or two back to no service, and I finally picked up some decent LTE.

    The coverage was a lot better up around Charlevoix/Petoskey.
    There are several of those wooden mono sites in northern Michigan which goes back to the Dobson and early Cingular days. Several of them have been upgraded with LTE but the coverage from those aren't very good do the obvious pole height/equipment limitations. Back in the analog days you couldn't beat the coverage up there. I agree....Petoskey rocks from even the last time I was up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10mm View Post
    There are several of those wooden mono sites in northern Michigan which goes back to the Dobson and early Cingular days. Several of them have been upgraded with LTE but the coverage from those aren't very good do the obvious pole height/equipment limitations. Back in the analog days you couldn't beat the coverage up there. I agree....Petoskey rocks from even the last time I was up there.
    I had coverage that was fine from that one, but I believe that was HSPA+. I don't exactly remember, as it bounced back and forth so many times I don't remember what was what. Petoskey was good, not great, same for Charlevoix. I've found that vacation spots and rural areas are never great, as a lot of people are using their phones as their computers while on vacation or tethering for internet. The best towers in MI seem to be suburban, often near strip malls in an area with wired broadband access, and moderate population density.

    It has gotten so much better in Charlevoix over the past decade or so. I remember in 2004 using dialup, in 2008 using EDGE tethering, and now we've got 10mbps+ on LTE, so the technology is coming along, even without cable available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWX View Post
    I'll have an answer for you once I receive my next bill. I just switched to the Unlimited Plus a few days ago.
    So how do your taxes look with the new plan?

    As a reminder, I'd originally asked
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryLaPointe View Post
    Can anyone with a Michigan address AND who switched to Unlimited Plus share how their taxes are on the new plan compared to the old plan (what was your old plan line fees and taxes per line?).

    I'm in Dearborn, MI (Wayne) and paying $4.61 on my Mobile Share Value plan ($15 lines after $25 discount).
    THANKS! I'm looking for feedback from anyone, please post your plan location, just because you live in Michigan, if your plan is based in Tennessee and paying Tennessee taxes, it'd be good to know that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryLaPointe View Post
    So how do your taxes look with the new plan?

    As a reminder, I'd originally asked


    THANKS! I'm looking for feedback from anyone, please post your plan location, just because you live in Michigan, if your plan is based in Tennessee and paying Tennessee taxes, it'd be good to know that.
    Your plan has nothing to do with your taxes, the taxes you pay are determined by your "place of primary use" which can be different from your billing address and can be changed online. I hear Oregon has the cheapest taxes in the country...

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew110 View Post
    Your plan has nothing to do with your taxes, the taxes you pay are determined by your "place of primary use" which can be different from your billing address and can be changed online. I hear Oregon has the cheapest taxes in the country...
    Sure it does! The taxes are ALSO determined by how much I pay, at least the percentage ones are!

    If my lines went from $15 to $20 each, did my taxes increase by 33%?
    Or was I being taxed on the $40 before the $25 discount and now my taxes dropped by 50%?

    People were reporting higher taxes on the new unlimited plans, and there were some billing problems at first so I'm wondering if that ever worked itself out.

    The tax tables that AT&T publish never seem to work out.

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    Yeah the taxes need a number to base the percentage on so plan price makes a difference in that case.
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    LTE activation alert! The Grosinsky road site, west of Hillman MI, has been upgraded and is now running B12!

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    Northern Michigan?

    The site on the north end of Beaver Island finally got LTE today. Looks like a single 10MHz B12 carrier. Great news for customers on the island, for sure.

    Also, the site in White Rock got 5MHz of B5 on the air yesterday. That just leaves Cass City and the site just southwest of Caseville without LTE in the Thumb.

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