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Thread: Nebraska - Commnet, AT&T and Viaero

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelwnelson View Post
    It's been discussed on other threads. They are old Sagir/Indigo sites which were GPRS only until recently, when AT&T bought the Panhandle sites. They are 850 MHz sites so in that terrain, I imagine each site can go 15 miles fairly well (albeit probably very poor speeds) but they'll have to fill in before rolling out LTE.
    I appreciate your optimism and hope I'm proven wrong, because an additional option would certainly be welcome in that part of the state.

    It would be one thing if they were showing coverage between sites that were 30 miles apart--but some of these are 40-60 miles apart and they're showing continuous coverage between them. Keep in mind, these sites were engineered in the 3 watt analog phone days. And unlike flat stretches of central Nebraska where the signal might actually reach 15 miles, these sites in the panhandle can be separated by tall bluffs, ridges, and valleys that limit line of sight.

    From what I have seen, and with maybe one or two exceptions, AT&T hasn't added any sites above and beyond what was there before, which was bad even back when I actually had analog Sagir (Cellular One) service with a bag phone.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jk870 View Post
    I appreciate your optimism and hope I'm proven wrong, because an additional option would certainly be welcome in that part of the state.

    It would be one thing if they were showing coverage between sites that were 30 miles apart--but some of these are 40-60 miles apart and they're showing continuous coverage between them. Keep in mind, these sites were engineered in the 3 watt analog phone days. And unlike flat stretches of central Nebraska where the signal might actually reach 15 miles, these sites in the panhandle can be separated by tall bluffs, ridges, and valleys that limit line of sight.

    From what I have seen, and with maybe one or two exceptions, AT&T hasn't added any sites above and beyond what was there before, which was bad even back when I actually had analog Sagir (Cellular One) service with a bag phone.
    It does look like that's the case. I haven't been out there in a few years now, prior to the acquisition. I was on a trip with relatives, all of which had AT&T. At the time I had an iPhone and was actually connected to Viaero the whole time, but one relative had an older 2G-only phone, an LG I believe, and it preferred the Sagir (Indigo) sites. I know the bluffs and ridges do limit line of sight and the maps aren't accounting for that, but signals also go a long ways down the North Platte valley. The relative who was seeing the Indigo signals did keep them solidly from Mitchell to Ash Hollow before going no service/searching there, and then locking on Viaero.

    I wish I could get out there again to test for myself. I'm assuming that with Viaero's "4G" network also there as a fallback, that if people are travelling their phones might end up still using Viaero's network more, while if someone's staying in one place their phone might get the available AT&T signal if strong enough. My experience in much of Nebraska has been that if a phone locks on Viaero, it stays on Viaero while travelling until losing the Viaero signal altogether, even if driving right past an AT&T site. I've driven out of southeast Nebraska into Missouri or Iowa and passed 3-4 AT&T sites on the highway while my phone (Samsung, now) stays locked to any Viaero signal it can get. So people in the Panhandle will still have service even if the AT&T sites have a much smaller reach than advertised, but AT&T will have to make the network denser if they want to avoid paying roaming fees to Viaero. I guess they'll have to decide which is more cost effective -- paying the Viaero roaming bill or adding sites. Along I-80, it looks like adding sites (via Commnet) was what they ended up deciding, but I imagine it'll still be Viaero roaming in many areas of Nebraska.

  3. #18
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    Just spent a few days in Lincoln, Nebraska. The band 4 LTE there is very poor coverage-wise but speeds are adequate (~10 Mbps) when you can get it. Downtown, I-80 corridor, and anywhere 27th St. is 4 lanes are good, but most of the east side of the city has very weak LTE signals, cell sites spaced too far apart, LTE that can only get a decent signal out for a quarter mile, etc. Downtown, north 27th St., portions of UNL campus (not stadium area), South Pointe areas are good. And that's about it.

    A few sites remain HSPA only and are not putting out any LTE signal. 84th and Pioneers, 70th and Hwy. 2, and in the vicinity of 27th and South are a few such locations.

    Fortunately, the HSPA network in Lincoln is not too bad. That's a good thing, because it's more reliable and all you can count on in some areas. The HSPA reach from each tower is considerably farther than the LTE -- can have 3-5 bars HSPA at the same place as 1 bar LTE or even 'no service' in LTE only mode.

    There is actually only one site in downtown Lincoln, 371113. (CellMapper shows 3 but I believe the 371907 and 371906 sites come from the west side of the tracks -- not really where they're shown; I didn't have time to drive farther west to investigate further). I can only imagine how bad things must get at football games or PB Arena events unless there are temporary CoW sites or an indoor DAS in those venues. There's no way that one 371113 site can handle all the traffic for downtown Lincoln during any kind of event.

    You can see my recent mapping results here: http://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=31...851982&zoom=13
    Be sure to turn 'Group Towers' off, and 'Show Low Accuracy Towers' on. 351275 in Mahoney Park (city park, not state park) is erroneous; it was logged due to a radio glitch due to losing LTE while walking in the park and my phone taking a bit of time to fall back to HSPA. A few other estimated site 'pins' are wrong but the actual locations should be somewhat obvious from the coverage patterns.

    The AT&T LTE network in Nebraska isn't good until you cross the Platte into Sarpy County. Once in range of Omaha area towers, it becomes excellent. The difference really is night-and-day. The Lincoln area (which is everything south of the Platte) will only improve when AT&T has more spectrum to work with in that area.

    Finally, I did also pick up a couple of the Commnet/AT&T sites in far southeast Nebraska. HSPA only as others have said, but identifying as 310-410. The LAC is 37911 which distinguishes these sites from 37901 which are the original AT&T sites in Lincoln/Omaha and adjacent Iowa counties.

    Probably won't make it back to Lincoln until sometime in 2016 so hopefully improvements will have happened between now and then. If anyone reading this is in the Lincoln area, has an Android, and is on AT&T, feel free to install CellMapper and drive around to improve on what I recorded and mapped.

  4. #19
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    The Gophone map now shows the new Nebraska network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfguygg View Post
    The Gophone map now shows the new Nebraska network.

    Interesting. It shows as available to Gophone, but yet not postpaid voice or data. Odd.

    Almost looks like Union in Wyoming and Colorado is available to GoPhone now too.
    AT&T customer since 2007; Alltel 2004-07. Android user since 2014 and will never go back to Apple.
    I recommend and use CellMapper for testing and mapping signal coverage and have contributed extensively in the greater St. Louis region and surrounding states.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelwnelson View Post
    Interesting. It shows as available to Gophone, but yet not postpaid voice or data. Odd.

    Almost looks like Union in Wyoming and Colorado is available to GoPhone now too.
    Hopefully they're starting to enable domestic roaming on GoPhone.

  7. #22
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    I think anyone putting their hopes into carrier maps being any reflection of reality on the ground, is setting himself up for some major disappointment.

  8. #23
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    My GS4 using a GoPhone card saw and tried to use some Commnet in northern New Mexico last week. It was north of Taos into Questa. I say tried to use because data was non-existent. Data service returned once we got to Red River, where AT&T roams on a Commnet site there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    My GS4 using a GoPhone card saw and tried to use some Commnet in northern New Mexico last week. It was north of Taos into Questa. I say tried to use because data was non-existent. Data service returned once we got to Red River, where AT&T roams on a Commnet site there.
    So you were able to roam onto Commnet successfully with GoPhone?

  10. #25
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    Nebraska - Commnet, AT&T and Viaero

    Quote Originally Posted by dnywlsh View Post
    So you were able to roam onto Commnet successfully with GoPhone?
    I didn't try making a call or using data. I just noticed the Commnet name pop up on the display for a few miles. It's rare that that ever happens on an AT&T phone, native or not they usually always just display "AT&T".


    via the HoFo App

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    I didn't try making a call or using data. I just noticed the Commnet name pop up on the display for a few miles. It's rare that that ever happens on an AT&T phone, native or not they usually always just display "AT&T".

    via the HoFo App
    Or "Off Network", if AT&T has enabled that tag on your account for using 100MB or more data while roaming.

  12. #27
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    Horvath Towers, which is the company that built the ATT/Commnet network last year is putting another 4 or 5 towers in Nebraska. I'm assuming they're for ATT again...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprke81 View Post
    Horvath Towers, which is the company that built the ATT/Commnet network last year is putting another 4 or 5 towers in Nebraska. I'm assuming they're for ATT again...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Where are the new towers (if you know)?

  14. #29
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    Overton, Orleans, Hampton, Bruno & Milford NE are a few. Hoping they fill in the area nw of Lincoln.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfguygg View Post
    Overton, Orleans, Hampton, Bruno & Milford NE are a few. Hoping they fill in the area nw of Lincoln.
    Thanks, was coming here to post those towns. Do you know for sure if these are ATT/Commnet sites? Did any of the sites last year have LTE or where they all HSPA?

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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