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Thread: Sprint introduces all-wireless 'Magic box' small cell

  1. #31
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    Sprint just approved me for a Magic Box also. (See http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/e...-oh-its-magic/ for a good article).

    Many many people are getting them free.

  2. #32
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    They should be free for everyone. Unless the want to confirm band 41 is in your area!?
    In a world full of Droids, I'm a shiny Apple.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    Sprint just approved me for a Magic Box also. (See http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/e...-oh-its-magic/ for a good article).

    Many many people are getting them free.
    Care to share your thoughts on what factors Sprint uses in determining MB eligibility? A lot of people who signed up on day 1 are still waiting.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by YCGrad View Post
    Care to share your thoughts on what factors Sprint uses in determining MB eligibility? A lot of people who signed up on day 1 are still waiting.
    I would only be speculating. They had nothing more than my account information.

    I do live in an Apartment Community so quite a few nearby may benefit. We do have a lot of tree cover here and reception is neither the best nor the worst. We do have a large Sprint user base here (we were a major WiMax market).

    They typically say when calling that they "have determined that your location would benefit" from the box.

    Someone mentioned that they do not want to place them too close together.

    And/Or random database or timing or marketing factors dould be at play.

    I think a lot of the Magic Box and some other Sprint efforts (e.g. HPUE) are partly really about VoLTE futures planning.

    Densification is a critical Sprint goal. It is critical to them to achieve sufficient coverage density targets in a decent number of areas to be able to turn on VoLTE later in a decent number of places at announcement (not yet of course, although Voice Plus is coming now on a few phones as a partial version of that). Most likely they have computer programs that are working hard on specific densification targets for certain areas. I would guess that this may be a feasible area for them to have an internal target date to have dense enough coverage to turn on VoLTE when they eventually do so.
    Last edited by comintel; 08-12-2017 at 04:00 AM.

  5. #35
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    I still don't understand why they don't include WiFi/Ethernet capability in these boxes. They could partner with Cable and put one inside of millions of homes or customers could buy them for personal use (instead of using an Airrave 3).

  6. #36
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    I received this email today:

    Dear Customer,

    Thank you for your recent interest and registration for the Sprint Magic Box. We have confirmed that your address is eligible for Sprint Magic Box! Contact us today to order your Sprint Magic Box! Call 866-556-7310 , Option 2 then Option 4 between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm CDT (Monday – Friday), 7:00am and 9:00pm CDT (Saturday) or 8:00am and 9:00pm CDT (Sunday) at a time that is convenient for you. Business Customers call: 877-246-3115.

    If you do not call us to confirm eligibility then we are not able to send you a Magic Box – you MUST call us back so we can place your order.

    Sprint Magic Box will boost your Sprint LTE data signal and speed at your business or home. It's a quick and easy solution that is free to use* with no monthly charges and no contract commitment and gives you better indoor coverage. It just requires a power outlet and outside facing window to instantly increase your indoor Sprint LTE data coverage up to 30,000 sq. ft. under optimal conditions for most devices.

    Thank you again for your interest in Sprint Magic Box.

    Sincerely,

    Sprint Customer Care


    I called and after a very long period on hold (there is no prompt to enter the above option numbers) I gave them my information and was told that my Magic Box would be here in 1-2 weeks. I got on the list the day it was announced. I think many people got the email, the guy said they are getting a lot of callbacks on it today.
    I don't feel like a thread-killer...

  7. #37
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    Just got a call from Sprint asking if I wanted a magic box, can't wait to see if it helps in upstate NY

  8. #38
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    So has anyone actually received said Magic Box?

    I got the same e-mail that I was good to to -- so I called and placed my order and was told 1-2 weeks I'd have it.

    A week goes by and I receive a call telling me that my order was put on hold because the shipping I gave was invalid and that it was probably a syntax error. So I called back, gave my address again, and was told it was invalid a week later. I then gave my billing address because that's where the bill goes to -- was told that will absolutely work since it's on file.

    Nope... just got a call back today -- address was still invalid.

    The rep was very friendly and said this has happened before and got the department on the line who verifies addresses to find an address we could ship it to... mine, my billing, my work, parents and grandparents places all were invalid.

    Needless to say I was somewhat pissed, and she understood so said she'd look into it...

    So she put me on hold for a bit, came back and figured it out. Apparently they have a system called "Glance" that they use to validate magic box availability. If you live within 2 miles of a tower that has carrier aggregation, you are approved.

    However, once the order is actually placed, it runs through a different system -- this one verifies that you don't live in a municipality that requires permits for this type of unit as it can be considered a 'mini cell tower', or live in an area where the 2500 spectrum hasn't been 'refarmed to work with the magic box yet', then the order gets kicked back as an invalid address...

    So apparently I live in an area without reframed 2500 spectrum... I'd say maybe it was the former but we tried a number of addresses including those outside my municipality... so I think it has to do with spectrum...

    So--has anyone received their magic box yet or is this turning into another Sprint joke? From my experience today I'm thinking it may be...

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    So has anyone actually received said Magic Box?

    I got the same e-mail that I was good to to -- so I called and placed my order and was told 1-2 weeks I'd have it.

    A week goes by and I receive a call telling me that my order was put on hold because the shipping I gave was invalid and that it was probably a syntax error. So I called back, gave my address again, and was told it was invalid a week later. I then gave my billing address because that's where the bill goes to -- was told that will absolutely work since it's on file.

    Nope... just got a call back today -- address was still invalid.

    The rep was very friendly and said this has happened before and got the department on the line who verifies addresses to find an address we could ship it to... mine, my billing, my work, parents and grandparents places all were invalid.

    Needless to say I was somewhat pissed, and she understood so said she'd look into it...

    So she put me on hold for a bit, came back and figured it out. Apparently they have a system called "Glance" that they use to validate magic box availability. If you live within 2 miles of a tower that has carrier aggregation, you are approved.

    However, once the order is actually placed, it runs through a different system -- this one verifies that you don't live in a municipality that requires permits for this type of unit as it can be considered a 'mini cell tower', or live in an area where the 2500 spectrum hasn't been 'refarmed to work with the magic box yet', then the order gets kicked back as an invalid address...

    So apparently I live in an area without reframed 2500 spectrum... I'd say maybe it was the former but we tried a number of addresses including those outside my municipality... so I think it has to do with spectrum...

    So--has anyone received their magic box yet or is this turning into another Sprint joke? From my experience today I'm thinking it may be...
    I have received it but it does not work at all yet. I opened a ticket but have not had time to call them back.

  10. #40
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    I received mine a little over a week ago and it's currently up and running. When I first got it and tried to set it up, it would hang at 20%, time out after 15 minutes, and then reboot. I opened up a ticket, but by the time I got a call back a few days later, it had finally gotten through the setup process. I basically just left it plugged in and let it keep rebooting, and one evening I noticed that it was displaying the time, so it worked out its issues all on its own.

    I'm also in an area with no Band 41, so my Magic Box is using Band 25 for the LTE relay to the tower. Speeds are pretty much the same as before (10/5 download/upload on average), but that's only because Band 26 isn't too congested in my area (that's what my phone and hotspot previously connected to inside the house).

    The tech guy that called me back did say they were having issues with some magic boxes, but that it's new tech, and they will eventually work all the kinks out. If your Magic Box isn't getting through the initialization process when you first set it up, just leave it plugged in and ignore it for a couple of days. Worked for me!

  11. #41
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    I called in and they got mine working (it had not been provisioned before).

    Wow - tremendous improvement!

    Now getting 40 down 10 up. Was getting 18 down 2-3 up average before.

    More good news - it does allow Sprint MVNO's lines to connect, including my Tello line.

    Hopefully LTE Calling will be perfect now too on my S8 (or the same for Hangouts VOIP etc.). The connection should be absolutely solid now.

    Plus I am performing a public service for the apartments!
    Last edited by comintel; 09-14-2017 at 10:52 PM.

  12. #42
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    So, I got my magic box(es) today. They send me couple of them. Not sure why? I did put in 2 requests with different addresses where I would be using the box (one home, one work). I have hooked up one, the other is still in the box. Not sure if I should return it or keep it if the first one goes kaput.

    Anyways, I tested it at various windows and the max I can get is a strength of 87. Setup took about 10 minutes. On my iPhone 6, the signal strength went to around -49, I generally get around -110 around my house. But, I did notice an oddity. I tested my download data speed 3 times with the device powered on (used Ookla, FCC speed test app and testmy.net). I got around 25 Mbps. I turned off the device completely and tested the speed again (3 times) at the same location (near the device) and I got around 45 Mbps. It seems as if the device delivered slower speed. Is there a better way to do a more scientific speed test?

    The screenshots look like these on the device:

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    Do these numbers look ok? (It seems like that LTE screen shows the number of devices connected to the device in the last row. It showed 1 originally (my phone), but then showed 0. I just looked at it again and it is showing 1 again).

    I went into the field test mode on my phone and looked at the Serving Cell Info. The "Freq Band Indicator" value is 41. I am located in San Antonio, TX.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbdoshi View Post
    So, I got my magic box(es) today. They send me couple of them. Not sure why? I did put in 2 requests with different addresses where I would be using the box (one home, one work). I have hooked up one, the other is still in the box. Not sure if I should return it or keep it if the first one goes kaput.

    Anyways, I tested it at various windows and the max I can get is a strength of 87. Setup took about 10 minutes. On my iPhone 6, the signal strength went to around -49, I generally get around -110 around my house. But, I did notice an oddity. I tested my download data speed 3 times with the device powered on (used Ookla, FCC speed test app and testmy.net). I got around 25 Mbps. I turned off the device completely and tested the speed again (3 times) at the same location (near the device) and I got around 45 Mbps. It seems as if the device delivered slower speed. Is there a better way to do a more scientific speed test?

    The screenshots look like these on the device:

    Name:  20170916_022816395_iOS.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  56.3 KB Name:  20170916_022833042_iOS.jpg
Views: 327
Size:  56.3 KB Name:  20170916_022852581_iOS.jpg
Views: 328
Size:  46.3 KB

    Do these numbers look ok? (It seems like that LTE screen shows the number of devices connected to the device in the last row. It showed 1 originally (my phone), but then showed 0. I just looked at it again and it is showing 1 again).

    I went into the field test mode on my phone and looked at the Serving Cell Info. The "Freq Band Indicator" value is 41. I am located in San Antonio, TX.
    Band indicator is useful to know what band it's on, but it doesn't really help you know whether you're actually using it. I believe that was your other concern. If you can obtain your PCI (Physical Cell ID) from your phone with the unit off and again with it on. They should be different. The PCI is a non-globally unique identifier (sorry if you already know all of this, just trying to help). That ID needs to be changing when you connect to the Magic Box. If it doesn't, your phone may be ignoring your Magic Box in favor of a weak, but more preferred signal from the distant macro.

    Hopefully some part of this rambling might prove useful for you.

  14. #44
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    If the signal strength is -49 dbM, versus -110 dbM ordinarily, you are connected through the box (or at least have a much better connection - I suppose the phone could be switching bands along the way to complicate things). . I would just be sure that the signal strength was that good when you actually took the speed tests. Sometimes the phone does not switch to the box right away.

    I am surprised if you get 45 Mbps at a signal strength of -110 dbM. Are you sure it was not on wifi? That is a high speed for that signal level.

    But anything is possible with all the variables involved....including random fluctuations or a problem with the box.

    Otherwise, if you get 45 Mbps all the time without the box, I guess you may simply not need the box. For example, maybe you get a really great Band 26 connection where you live that the box does not support.

  15. #45
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    If Sprint has UE 2.5 spectrum in an area it can run band 41 or use band 25 for magic box.

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