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Thread: Sprint 800MHz coverage

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    Yeah that's why I was surprised; back when I had T-Mobile I grew accustomed to having spotty 4G in the Central Valley and rock solid 4G in the Bay Area and SoCal. I guess I was expecting the same with Sprint LTE. The good thing is that 800MHz LTE will solve this.
    ...
    What's the longest range of 800MHz LTE that you guys have gotten?
    Not LTE, just voice & text, but distance was 42 miles. Highly unusual, but it was line of sight (no obstructions between me & tower), ideal weather conditions, from a tower that was on a remote mountain peak, I was on a low hill on the coast, north of San Francisco. There are those who will say "impossible", but this was verified at the time by a friend who was a Nextel network engineer, he looked up the iDEN system records for my phone for that day. I was shocked, but he said it did happen occasionally with iDEN, out in the sticks & when conditions were just right. Matter of fact, it happened twice during that vacation trip. Voice calls were definitely broken up, but texts did fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC_01 View Post
    Not LTE, just voice & text, but distance was 42 miles. Highly unusual, but it was line of sight (no obstructions between me & tower), ideal weather conditions, from a tower that was on a remote mountain peak, I was on a low hill on the coast, north of San Francisco. There are those who will say "impossible", but this was verified at the time by a friend who was a Nextel network engineer, he looked up the iDEN system records for my phone for that day. I was shocked, but he said it did happen occasionally with iDEN, out in the sticks & when conditions were just right. Matter of fact, it happened twice during that vacation trip. Voice calls were definitely broken up, but texts did fine.
    We have a few iDEN sites still up and running around here like that where I can pick up from 30+ miles, they are Omni-Directional sites run by a regional carrier.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireless Junkie View Post

    We have a few iDEN sites still up and running around here like that where I can pick up from 30+ miles, they are Omni-Directional sites run by a regional carrier.
    Are you in the Palm Springs/Salton Sea area? I think Airpeak is the only other commercial IDEN network available to the general public aside from SouthernLink... They serve SE California... Airpeak.com - - aside from them, there's ARINC and SpaceData but i think they are strictly government/corporate. Just curious if there are others... I know there used to be a nice little network that covered all the major areas of Montana but they disappeared at some point around 2009 IIRC... Not sure if the network is still around there or if it got pulled up.

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    I noticed that the Sprint website said that I've "Spark" coverage in my city while we only have band 25 deployed. Is it truly Spark if only one of the three bands in the tri-band Spark network is active?


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  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    Are you in the Palm Springs/Salton Sea area?
    I was just at the Salton Sea last week. Nextel had towers all over the area and Sprint converted them all to CDMA except for the one at Bombay Beach on the East side of the sea. But that area is pretty much a wasteland now anyway so I can see why they declined on that one.
    Sprint user since 1997

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by kea5ton View Post
    I noticed that the Sprint website said that I've "Spark" coverage in my city while we only have band 25 deployed. Is it truly Spark if only one of the three bands in the tri-band Spark network is active?

    Are you sure there's only Band 25 in your whole city?

    Typically, a Spark area has a good number Band 41 LTE sites (with it eventually getting onto every cell site). However, Sprint typically has significantly less cell sites per mile than other carriers, and Band 41 is weaker than every other deployed LTE band -- it requires far more cell sites per square mile than any other LTE band.

    Because of that, it's very common to not receive much B41 service (especially indoors, or in areas without visible line-of-sight to the tower) even though many of the towers in your area might be fully upgraded.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxsilver View Post
    Are you sure there's only Band 25 in your whole city?

    Typically, a Spark area has a good number Band 41 LTE sites (with it eventually getting onto every cell site). However, Sprint typically has significantly less cell sites per mile than other carriers, and Band 41 is weaker than every other deployed LTE band -- it requires far more cell sites per square mile than any other LTE band.

    Because of that, it's very common to not receive much B41 service (especially indoors, or in areas without visible line-of-sight to the tower) even though many of the towers in your area might be fully upgraded.
    I agree. Although I will also add that it can be a map mistake. In my region there are areas where they claim Spark (band 41) coverage despite there not being any Spark equipment on those towers. On the other hand, there are towns that have all bands (including Spark) online yet the coverage map shows 3G only... and the maps claim to be updated as of today. So don't always trust Sprint maps... range and network tech are often wrong.
    Carriers I've used: Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon, Page Plus, Virgin Mobile, Movistar, AT&T Mexico, Telcel, Straight Talk, RingPlus.
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  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    I agree. Although I will also add that it can be a map mistake. In my region there are areas where they claim Spark (band 41) coverage despite there not being any Spark equipment on those towers. On the other hand, there are towns that have all bands (including Spark) online yet the coverage map shows 3G only... and the maps claim to be updated as of today. So don't always trust Sprint maps... range and network tech are often wrong.
    Yes, the Sprint maps are very inaccurate... And as far as Spark and even LTE, I have no idea what signal ratio they are using as both of them are WAY too optimistic.

    Think of it this way: if you see even the tiniest speck of purple anywhere around the orange, chances are there is no LTE around that entire area and the orange is just an overlap from sites on either side of the site in question - - even though there is realistically nothing.

    As for Spark it's even worse... The map legitimate should look purple (3G) with islands of orange (4G) then even smaller islands for Spark.

    I think they must be using PCS 1x propagation for their LTE maps - - that's the only way I think they could show that much overlap...

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    Are you in the Palm Springs/Salton Sea area? I think Airpeak is the only other commercial IDEN network available to the general public aside from SouthernLink... They serve SE California... Airpeak.com - - aside from them, there's ARINC and SpaceData but i think they are strictly government/corporate. Just curious if there are others... I know there used to be a nice little network that covered all the major areas of Montana but they disappeared at some point around 2009 IIRC... Not sure if the network is still around there or if it got pulled up.
    I am actually using SouthernLINC . I'm in Georgia now outside of Atlanta however in rural Alabama and GA there are plenty of iDEN sites like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireless Junkie View Post
    I am actually using SouthernLINC . I'm in Georgia now outside of Atlanta however in rural Alabama and GA there are plenty of iDEN sites like that.
    Speaking of SouthernLINC, I went to their site the other day... Looks like they pulled down any mention of their nationwide PTT network via T-Mobile, and the Motorola XT626 dual band IDEN/GSM phone that made it work. Coverage maps only show native coverage now as well.

    Assuming it was a total flop, or did Motorola just never decide to update that phone? Are they still selling it but not promoting it? Looks like they only have a couple phones listed now too - - I mainly went just to see what sort of new IDEN phones had been released since they did start getting some new ones after Nextel - - but those are all gone as well...

    Everything looks pretty spartan. I realize they are a business carrier, but for a while they had a nice enough phone selection plus the XT626 with nationwide coverage as well as some of the more 'stylish' IDEN phones (i1/2/3 etc) to pass for a consumer carrier for families of employees/people who absolutely needed their coverage - - but now the only way a consumer would sign up is if there is just no other option for coverage... Not even a smartphone there.

    I wonder if they are working on something with Sprint again since they are going to be roaming partners again with LTE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    I wonder if they are working on something with Sprint again since they are going to be roaming partners again with LTE?
    I don't think Southern Company really cares that much. They don't advertise much. If Southern Linc works for your company, well and good, if not, it doesn't bother them that much. They didn't build the network for their Linc customers. It's for their line crews. They just sell surplus capacity to offset the cost of building and maintaining the network.
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  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    I agree. Although I will also add that it can be a map mistake. In my region there are areas where they claim Spark (band 41) coverage despite there not being any Spark equipment on those towers. On the other hand, there are towns that have all bands (including Spark) online yet the coverage map shows 3G only... and the maps claim to be updated as of today. So don't always trust Sprint maps... range and network tech are often wrong.
    The CC rep said there was 5x5 Band 25, but they may be wrong. The map online shows my house to be the "best" for Spark coverage. I and almost everyone here has Verizon, so our 10x10 band 13 is slow. If I could get band 41 around places I frequent, it could be great to switch to Sprint.

    My real concern is that my friend, who has an iPhone 6 on Sprint, sent me a speed test showing only 3mbps.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireless Junkie View Post
    I am actually using SouthernLINC . I'm in Georgia now outside of Atlanta however in rural Alabama and GA there are plenty of iDEN sites like that.
    i really wanted them to buy Nextel and kept a nationwide coverage wonder why they dont build out thie IDEN network?, IDEN PTT system can not be beat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kea5ton View Post
    The CC rep said there was 5x5 Band 25, but they may be wrong. The map online shows my house to be the "best" for Spark coverage. I and almost everyone here has Verizon, so our 10x10 band 13 is slow. If I could get band 41 around places I frequent, it could be great to switch to Sprint.

    My real concern is that my friend, who has an iPhone 6 on Sprint, sent me a speed test showing only 3mbps.


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    That sounds normal if there's only 5x5 band 25 in your area. Remember that a ton of Sprint customers have unlimited data, so they can watch all the videos they want. That and their prepaid customers have generous data amounts to use.

    5x5 will only allow 37Mbps - share that with 10 people at the same time and you're already in the 3Mbps range. In my 5x5 1900MHz LTE only town I've never seen over 10Mbps. During off peak times I get near 10Mbps, but during very busy times (afternoons/evenings) I can go as low as 0.5Mbps. In cities with Spark I've gotten over 15Mbps often even during afternoons/evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    That sounds normal if there's only 5x5 band 25 in your area. Remember that a ton of Sprint customers have unlimited data, so they can watch all the videos they want. That and their prepaid customers have generous data amounts to use.

    5x5 will only allow 37Mbps - share that with 10 people at the same time and you're already in the 3Mbps range. In my 5x5 1900MHz LTE only town I've never seen over 10Mbps. During off peak times I get near 10Mbps, but during very busy times (afternoons/evenings) I can go as low as 0.5Mbps. In cities with Spark I've gotten over 15Mbps often even during afternoons/evening.
    Exactly right... This goes to show just how much Sprint needs to invest in Spark density.

    Right now I'm sitting in an area with a so-so Spark signal (-107 showing 1 bar) and just ran a speed test on my HTC M8 - - a pretty decent 31 megs. Also have my iPhone 5S (no Spark) currently with a -96 PCS LTE signal (from the same site - - right in that -10 to 12 ballpark difference between PCS and 2.5) and it's pulling in 5 megs.

    I've said it too many times to count, Sprint NEEDS to add density to the 2.5 network. The capacity it just so much higher - - and it does work much better with much weaker signals than a lot of people think - - the issue is that although 31 megs is more than acceptable with a -107 signal, I can put the phone in my pocket, or walk inside even the lightest indoor area, and my phone will jump right back down to PCS LTE, and more often than not 3G, and then sit there... And then sit there some more, since it likes to take forever to scan for 2.5 again if it goes without it for more than about 5 minutes. I realize what's going on - - but the average consumer does not.

    The other thing they should do is reduce the sensitivity of the phones so that they 'hang' on 2.5 (but only 2.5) a lot more to reduce this scanning... Right now once I hit about -115 I drop to PCS or 3G - - even though a -115 Spark signal still gives me 15-20 megs... If the phones stuck with it til about -121, you would still get a 5-10 meg signal on Spark, which is still better than PCS in most cases (definately better than -110 PCS LTE), your phone would make it between Spark cells easier, and would free up more capacity on PCS where it is limited, and keep more connections on Spark where the capacity is...

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