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Thread: Sprint in US airports: Swing & A Miss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    When is this going to end? Why are we continuing to look at OMGZ!!! TOP SPEEDZ!!!

    You want consistency in a cellular network and the ability to use it whenever you pick your device up. I know rootmetrics attempts to normalize data/text/calls and how fluid all of it is, but do any of us really notice/care if a Tmo and ATT phone are only pulling 15mbps down vs. a VZW phone pulling 45mbps? Nope, I surely don't. I have been on a plane once in I'd say the past 15 years to hit up Hawaii (otherwise I drive as it's much cheaper and most of my travel is to surrounding states so the time savings is minimal). I don't care about airport performance and unless you work there, you aren't inherently going to be using the network for any extended amount of time there.

    Yes, I know business travelers and blah blah - I worked at a hotel and am very aware that's some people's lifestyle/work. It's not the norm and the majority of people maybe travel by plane once or twice a year. Why don't they do stadium standards instead? That'd show us how these companies truly deal with large crowds in small areas. Most international airports are literally miles long and don't have 45k of people in one small spot and while many would use their phone in an airport, phones get pulled out a lot at a sports game to tweet the terrible picture you took of the tiny player on the field.
    Great post! I totally agree. I certainly don't care if I'm getting 10 mbps or 45mbps as long as my phone works as I need it to. Yes sports stadiums are more important to me and some of them do need some work. I'm sure it's very hard to serve enough capacity when you have 50,000+ people in any small area.
    Sprint user since 1997

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    FYI band 25 includes the pcs a-f blocks. Sprint is not deploying band 2.

    Also only a select few markets have the requisite 30 mhz of pcs a-f spectrum. The vast majority of markets do not and most are limited to 20 MHz total. Where they have 30 mhz they are refarming it market wide for a second band 25 carrier.

    I too criticise sprints decision to not refarm pcs quicker but that's another story.

    Sent from my Nexus 5
    Yes, I udnerstand that Band 25 is a superset of Band 2/II but that doesn't change the situation and I know you agree.

    Even with 20 MHz, they'll have enough for 10x10 MHz. Can't CDMA be placed within guard bands?

    I suspect that it's a combination of their multiple MVNOs, prepaid, and lack of network management.

    They really should have gone after that PCS G Block for a wider 10x10 MHz channel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Cortez View Post
    Yes, I udnerstand that Band 25 is a superset of Band 2/II but that doesn't change the situation and I know you agree.

    Even with 20 MHz, they'll have enough for 10x10 MHz. Can't CDMA be placed within guard bands?

    I suspect that it's a combination of their multiple MVNOs, prepaid, and lack of network management.

    They really should have gone after that PCS G Block for a wider 10x10 MHz channel.
    That's the issue. You need separate cdma carriers for voice traffic and EVDO traffic. At 1.25mhz wide you run into the issue of not having enough voice or EVDO capacity in urban areas.

    Unlike WCDMA where even a compressed carrier can give respectable speeds of up to 14 or 21 Mbps while also doing voice, each EVDO carrier is limited to 3. To match the capacity of a single WCDMA you need at least 3-6 just EVDO carriers and that's not counting the additional voice 1x carriers.

    Some sprint sites are set up as what is known as a high capacity setup where an extra radio or extra antenna + radio set is dedicated completely to cdma. Such sites can get to over 10+ cdma carriers which is one of the big impediments to the refarming dealio from what I understand (can't have EVDO or lte broadcasting on the same spectrum anywhere near each other).

    Which comes back to the 20 MHz markets. Just 4 cdma carriers will simply not work. Not enough capacity to go around. hell I'm in 20 MHz market where they deployed all available cdma carriers on many sites and my EVDO speeds are still shite (though pings are nice).

    And can't really go 10x10 on pcs g since it's mostly on an island by itself not to mention a lot of early sprint lte devices only supported 5x5 lte bandwiths...

    Bleh. Sometimes I agree with neal that Sprint shouldve just tore down the cdma network for a WCDMA one when they did the NV deal. Would've made juggling around the spectrum much easier.

    Sent from my Nexus 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    That's the issue. You need separate cdma carriers for voice traffic and EVDO traffic. At 1.25mhz wide you run into the issue of not having enough voice or EVDO capacity in urban areas.

    Unlike WCDMA where even a compressed carrier can give respectable speeds of up to 14 or 21 Mbps while also doing voice, each EVDO carrier is limited to 3. To match the capacity of a single WCDMA you need at least 3-6 just EVDO carriers and that's not counting the additional voice 1x carriers.

    Some sprint sites are set up as what is known as a high capacity setup where an extra radio or extra antenna + radio set is dedicated completely to cdma. Such sites can get to over 10+ cdma carriers which is one of the big impediments to the refarming dealio from what I understand (can't have EVDO or lte broadcasting on the same spectrum anywhere near each other).

    Which comes back to the 20 MHz markets. Just 4 cdma carriers will simply not work. Not enough capacity to go around. hell I'm in 20 MHz market where they deployed all available cdma carriers on many sites and my EVDO speeds are still shite (though pings are nice).

    And can't really go 10x10 on pcs g since it's mostly on an island by itself not to mention a lot of early sprint lte devices only supported 5x5 lte bandwiths...

    Bleh. Sometimes I agree with neal that Sprint shouldve just tore down the cdma network for a WCDMA one when they did the NV deal. Would've made juggling around the spectrum much easier.

    Sent from my Nexus 5
    Thank you for the reply. I'm not very familiar with CDMA carriers but I do see the quandary. With that said, slowly migrating people over to LTE and refarming Band II for LTE is and was plausible. Especially with the NV 1.0 disruption.

    And I wasn't aware that the detective made such a statement but I 100% agree. In fact, Sprint should have moved into UMTS (W-CDMA) back during the WiMAX days. But even after that snafu, NV 1.0 should have been the time to go to UMTS (W-CDMA). The benefits alone outweigh any cost involved. Sprint would even have had VoLTE by now due to the eSRVCC and eCSFB safety nets.

    And while we're at it, Sprint should have adopted the FDD (Band 7) plan for their 2.5 GHz spectrum as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Cortez View Post
    Thank you for the reply. I'm not very familiar with CDMA carriers but I do see the quandary. With that said, slowly migrating people over to LTE and refarming Band II for LTE is and was plausible. Especially with the NV 1.0 disruption.

    And I wasn't aware that the detective made such a statement but I 100% agree. In fact, Sprint should have moved into UMTS (W-CDMA) back during the WiMAX days. But even after that snafu, NV 1.0 should have been the time to go to UMTS (W-CDMA). The benefits alone outweigh any cost involved. Sprint would even have had VoLTE by now due to the eSRVCC and eCSFB safety nets.

    And while we're at it, Sprint should have adopted the FDD (Band 7) plan for their 2.5 GHz spectrum as well.
    What is done is done unfortunately. Would it have been really nice to have WCDMA band 2? No doubt about it. so many possibilities if it happened but now it's just the past. Thankfully the LTE adoption on sprint and Verizon is way up there so I'm hoping that the capacity demand subside enough to the point that just 4 cdma carriers will be enough in most areas but then reality hits and I'm sad it's no doubt years away.

    Band 7 is actually pretty interesting but with how the federal government licensed out EBS and BRS, TDD LTE is not that bad of a choice(hell it's the only choice ). Too bad the Canucks up north are only deploying band 38 for home Internet services. Would've been quite the thing if they deployed band 38+mfbi band 41 along with refarming for band 25 and 26 (srsly this needs to be done like right now).

    Sent from my Nexus 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    When is this going to end? Why are we continuing to look at OMGZ!!! TOP SPEEDZ!!!
    I'm not sure how TOP GUN SPEEDZ! came to the picture..
    Just enough to load the boarding pass on the phone..because what normally happens is SOMEBODY is fumbling to get their boarding pass loaded up on their smartphone, track the status of my flight or enough to stream audio.

    If I want TOP GUN SPEEDZ...then I have a home internet connection for that..

    Quote Originally Posted by larryt510 View Post
    Yeah the two I use are John Wayne (Orange County) and LAX and Sprint had good results at OC. In my experience coverage at both is very decent.
    The data gathered for LAX (and maybe SNA) would be of interest to me since I usually use LAX and did use SNA a lot.
    Any other data for airports (aside from a handful of airports) or the averages for the entire Rootmetric score, I wouldn't be interested in since it groups in scores for airports I don't use anyways. Naturally, speaking I would be looking at Rootmetric scores for those airports, which thankfully they did include those scores so I can skip the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27

    When is this going to end? Why are we continuing to look at OMGZ!!! TOP SPEEDZ!!!

    You want consistency in a cellular network and the ability to use it whenever you pick your device up. I know rootmetrics attempts to normalize data/text/calls and how fluid all of it is, but do any of us really notice/care if a Tmo and ATT phone are only pulling 15mbps down vs. a VZW phone pulling 45mbps? Nope, I surely don't. I have been on a plane once in I'd say the past 15 years to hit up Hawaii (otherwise I drive as it's much cheaper and most of my travel is to surrounding states so the time savings is minimal). I don't care about airport performance and unless you work there, you aren't inherently going to be using the network for any extended amount of time there.

    Yes, I know business travelers and blah blah - I worked at a hotel and am very aware that's some people's lifestyle/work. It's not the norm and the majority of people maybe travel by plane once or twice a year. Why don't they do stadium standards instead? That'd show us how these companies truly deal with large crowds in small areas. Most international airports are literally miles long and don't have 45k of people in one small spot and while many would use their phone in an airport, phones get pulled out a lot at a sports game to tweet the terrible picture you took of the tiny player on the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by larryt510 View Post
    Great post! I totally agree. I certainly don't care if I'm getting 10 mbps or 45mbps as long as my phone works as I need it to. Yes sports stadiums are more important to me and some of them do need some work. I'm sure it's very hard to serve enough capacity when you have 50,000+ people in any small area.
    Let's not be dismissive of airport metrics and base it all on stadium metrics, because that is just an excuse to "paper over" Sprint's dismal airport performance. Not to mention, no one seems to have any "stadium statistics" for mobile phone performance, which is probably a good thing for your argument because if history is any predictor, Sprint would be in last place in stadiums, just as Sprint is in last place across the US as a whole.

    Why consider airport stats the more significant, you ask? The statistics show that LAX processed 70+ MILLION passengers in 2014, which averages out to 191,000 per day, not including staff, taxi drivers, family members dropping off passengers, etc., etc. No, it's not 50,000 people sitting on their arses for 2-3 hours straight as happens in stadiums, but in total LAX, as just one example, serves orders of magnitude more customers than any stadium ever will. How many stadiums can you name that process 70,000,000 fans per year? And what is more important, tweeting play-by-play to friends, sending the aforementioned photos of the playing field, or letting family/friends/business associates that you've arrived safely, or are delayed, or whatever. I would argue that airport performance is more important than stadium performance, on multiple levels.

    Also, the report doesn't just talk about top speeds, it also mentions failure-to-connect and loss-of connections, another metric in which Sprint was the worst performer:
    "Sprint’s results were actually a step back from the previous RootMetrics testing ...a 100% connection rate at just four airport locations; and a 100% staying connected rate at just five locations."
    Compare that to AT&T: "RootMetrics noted that while using AT&T Mobility’s network, it was able to connect more than 97% of the time at 47 of 50 locations ... and maintained connections more than 97% of the time at 42..."
    And Verizon: "RootMetrics found Verizon Wireless was “nearly perfect” in connections, with the testing able to connect to the network more than 97% of the time at 49 of the 50 airports, and it was able to maintain a connection in Web and application testing at least 97% of the time at 46 of the 50 airports."

    Yes, stadiums are difficult to service adequately due to the density & total number of customers, and it's true, consistency/reliability of connections is more important than top speeds, I sincerely doubt that anyone will take exceptions with those two points. But the bottom line is, Sprint failed on both counts in Rootmetrics recent report on airport performance, just as Sprint is always ranked in last place overall in its network performance across the US as a whole.

    Once again, here's the takeaway: Despite beating their chests about having America's newest network, despite the billions of dollars spent, despite the significant customer pain for 3+ years of rip-and-replace activity with "Network Vision"...despite ALL of that, Sprint is, overall and by a wide margin, dead-last in overall network performance across the US. If the past decade of dismal performance on all fronts, while the competition has flourished during the same period, against the same impediments/odds that Sprint has had, if that isn't iron-clad evidence of Sprint's deep-seated incompetence, then I've got some nice beach-front property in Colorado I'd like to sell you...
    Last edited by SDC_01; 07-25-2015 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Added quotes WRT connection performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC_01 View Post
    Let's not be dismissive of airport metrics and base it all on stadium metrics, because that is just an excuse to "paper over" Sprint's dismal airport performance. Not to mention, no one seems to have any "stadium statistics" for mobile phone performance, which is probably a good thing for your argument because if history is any predictor, Sprint would be in last place in stadiums, just as Sprint is in last place across the US as a whole.

    Why consider airport stats the more significant, you ask? The statistics show that LAX processed 70+ MILLION passengers in 2014, which averages out to 191,000 per day, not including staff, taxi drivers, family members dropping off passengers, etc., etc. No, it's not 50,000 people sitting on their arses for 2-3 hours straight as happens in stadiums, but in total LAX, as just one example, serves orders of magnitude more customers than any stadium ever will. How many stadiums can you name that process 70,000,000 fans per year? And what is more important, tweeting play-by-play to friends, sending the aforementioned photos of the playing field, or letting family/friends/business associates that you've arrived safely, or are delayed, or whatever. I would argue that airport performance is more important than stadium performance, on multiple levels.

    Also, the report doesn't just talk about top speeds, it also mentions failure-to-connect and loss-of connections, another metric in which Sprint was the worst performer:
    "Sprint’s results were actually a step back from the previous RootMetrics testing ...a 100% connection rate at just four airport locations; and a 100% staying connected rate at just five locations."
    Compare that to AT&T: "RootMetrics noted that while using AT&T Mobility’s network, it was able to connect more than 97% of the time at 47 of 50 locations ... and maintained connections more than 97% of the time at 42..."
    And Verizon: "RootMetrics found Verizon Wireless was “nearly perfect” in connections, with the testing able to connect to the network more than 97% of the time at 49 of the 50 airports, and it was able to maintain a connection in Web and application testing at least 97% of the time at 46 of the 50 airports."

    Yes, stadiums are difficult to service adequately due to the density & total number of customers, and it's true, consistency/reliability of connections is more important than top speeds, I sincerely doubt that anyone will take exceptions with those two points. But the bottom line is, Sprint failed on both counts in Rootmetrics recent report on airport performance, just as Sprint is always ranked in last place overall in its network performance across the US as a whole.

    Once again, here's the takeaway: Despite beating their chests about having America's newest network, despite the billions of dollars spent, despite the significant customer pain for 3+ years of rip-and-replace activity with "Network Vision"...despite ALL of that, Sprint is, overall and by a wide margin, dead-last in overall network performance across the US. If the past decade of dismal performance on all fronts, while the competition has flourished during the same period, against the same impediments/odds that Sprint has had, if that isn't iron-clad evidence of Sprint's deep-seated incompetence, then I've got some nice beach-front property in Colorado I'd like to sell you...

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Even people who don't run speed tests every second of the day rely on their mobile phones when traveling. Anyone who walks through an airport terminal occasionally understands that when people travel, they rely on their phones the most to call loved ones and check things online (everyone is on their phones in airport terminals). Sprint's network experience at U.S. airports is lacking and with the types of failure rates noted in this report, even those not running speed tests will take note at issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    Airports are tricky to work at with all those security clearance one need to do infrastructure work especially with regards to DAS system
    setups and electrical/wiring stuff.

    Doesn't help that not many DAS systems that are deployed supports band 41 either.

    Improvements needed for sure.

    Sent from my Nexus 5
    This is an absolute farce. You do not need a security clearance to work at an airport. And airports should have been started getting worked on 3 years ago. The towers around air ports should be adjusted the best they can to provide the best signal and coverage possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    They spent more money and time and had the fortune that they have a lot more FDD lte spectrum. Sprint placed DAS last as a priority and as such DAS vendors did not get TDD LTE capable DAS systems into the market until starting last year and thus are limited to band 25/26 5 mhz carriers.

    Hell even the super bowl DAS didn't even have b41. Sucks but it is what it is until sprint ponies up the cash to modify the DAS systems for band 41. Project management was never a great point for sprint so compound that with airport restrictions and... Yeah. Fun stuff.

    Sent from my Nexus 5
    Sprint placing the DAS as last priority shows how out of touch they are. When traveling your phone becomes even MORE IMPORTANT, not less. Airports should have been a major priority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    Airports are tricky to work at with all those security clearance one need to do infrastructure work especially with regards to DAS system setups and electrical/wiring stuff.
    Airports are tricky, but not because of this. It's because they're usually operated by governments and once you play on their own court, you play by their rules according where the DAS will go, landside or airside. It's probably easier to set everything on the landside since all you really need to do after everything is said and done is pay for parking (or they give the installers free parking space). But they will probably bill the wireless carrier if they have to close roads or parking lots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDC_01 View Post
    Let's not be dismissive of airport metrics and base it all on stadium metrics, because that is just an excuse to "paper over" Sprint's dismal airport performance. Not to mention, no one seems to have any "stadium statistics" for mobile phone performance, which is probably a good thing for your argument because if history is any predictor, Sprint would be in last place in stadiums, just as Sprint is in last place across the US as a whole.

    Why consider airport stats the more significant, you ask? The statistics show that LAX processed 70+ MILLION passengers in 2014, which averages out to 191,000 per day, not including staff, taxi drivers, family members dropping off passengers, etc., etc. No, it's not 50,000 people sitting on their arses for 2-3 hours straight as happens in stadiums, but in total LAX, as just one example, serves orders of magnitude more customers than any stadium ever will. How many stadiums can you name that process 70,000,000 fans per year? And what is more important, tweeting play-by-play to friends, sending the aforementioned photos of the playing field, or letting family/friends/business associates that you've arrived safely, or are delayed, or whatever. I would argue that airport performance is more important than stadium performance, on multiple levels.

    Also, the report doesn't just talk about top speeds, it also mentions failure-to-connect and loss-of connections, another metric in which Sprint was the worst performer:
    "Sprint’s results were actually a step back from the previous RootMetrics testing ...a 100% connection rate at just four airport locations; and a 100% staying connected rate at just five locations."
    Compare that to AT&T: "RootMetrics noted that while using AT&T Mobility’s network, it was able to connect more than 97% of the time at 47 of 50 locations ... and maintained connections more than 97% of the time at 42..."
    And Verizon: "RootMetrics found Verizon Wireless was “nearly perfect” in connections, with the testing able to connect to the network more than 97% of the time at 49 of the 50 airports, and it was able to maintain a connection in Web and application testing at least 97% of the time at 46 of the 50 airports."

    Yes, stadiums are difficult to service adequately due to the density & total number of customers, and it's true, consistency/reliability of connections is more important than top speeds, I sincerely doubt that anyone will take exceptions with those two points. But the bottom line is, Sprint failed on both counts in Rootmetrics recent report on airport performance, just as Sprint is always ranked in last place overall in its network performance across the US as a whole.

    Once again, here's the takeaway: Despite beating their chests about having America's newest network, despite the billions of dollars spent, despite the significant customer pain for 3+ years of rip-and-replace activity with "Network Vision"...despite ALL of that, Sprint is, overall and by a wide margin, dead-last in overall network performance across the US. If the past decade of dismal performance on all fronts, while the competition has flourished during the same period, against the same impediments/odds that Sprint has had, if that isn't iron-clad evidence of Sprint's deep-seated incompetence, then I've got some nice beach-front property in Colorado I'd like to sell you...
    If you read much of my past posting, I'm rarely behind Sprint, but this speed game has to stop. I'm not dismissing dropped connections and Sprint's network issues by any means, but root metrics and its ilk need to stop with the top speed game overall. Are airports busy? Yes, but as I pointed out Americans are flying less. Here are 2 stories with surveys showing people aren't flying as much (they are both within a year old so pretty recent):
    http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/06/1...ake-the-train/

    https://www.yahoo.com/travel/survey-...127375527.html

    So, I don't know if numbers are down at stadiums, but I used to fly a lot as a kid and that's when my parents had less money. As a teenager and into adulthood now, I've flown once to Hawaii, simply because driving wouldn't really be an option. My mom still flies as much, but my dad hasn't been on a plane in about as long as I had. Even my wife, when we'd started dating, used to fly to Texas to visit her friend who lives there, but as that became more expensive and hard she just drove the last few times.

    These reports cater to business travelers, not the common person. Maybe just saying stadiums was short-sighted on my end, but any big event. I've been at all the major sports arenas in my town in the past year and knowing how well your phone works there is more important to me than junky airport stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Airports are tricky, but not because of this. It's because they're usually operated by governments and once you play on their own court, you play by their rules according where the DAS will go, landside or airside. It's probably easier to set everything on the landside since all you really need to do after everything is said and done is pay for parking (or they give the installers free parking space). But they will probably bill the wireless carrier if they have to close roads or parking lots.
    Could certain airports be signing deals with only one or two carriers to host cell sites? I can remember back in the early days when wireless systems were first being built and certain carrier's were able to get a site while others couldn't due to exclusive agreements. It was like this at many college/universities as well as convention centers, stadiums, etc. For example PacBell/Cingular/T-Mobile has/had an exclusive agreement with a department store at many local malls here in So. Cal while Sprint got an exclusive at the Long Beach convention center. This could be the case at some airports too but I am not sure. I don't believe there is any law that every airport has to allow cell sites from all carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    Yes, but as I pointed out Americans are flying less. Here are 2 stories with surveys showing people aren't flying as much
    I have absolutely cut way back on my flying. It's just too hard these days with the extra security in place as well as the fact that ticket prices have skyrocketed compared to what they were 7-10 years ago. Airlines started nickeling and diming you for everything and the seats in the planes have become more cramped and crowded as planes have become smaller.

    Here's a good example. I can remember when many So. Cal people used to fly out to Las Vegas instead of making the 4 hour drive. Not anymore as it's too complicated and too expensive now. You're way better off driving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larryt510 View Post
    Could certain airports be signing deals with only one or two carriers to host cell sites? I can remember back in the early days when wireless systems were first being built and certain carrier's were able to get a site while others couldn't due to exclusive agreements. It was like this at many college/universities as well as convention centers, stadiums, etc. For example PacBell/Cingular/T-Mobile has/had an exclusive agreement with a department store at many local malls here in So. Cal while Sprint got an exclusive at the Long Beach convention center. This could be the case at some airports too but I am not sure. I don't believe there is any law that every airport has to allow cell sites from all carriers.
    It could be, but if I were to suspect this it could be that LAWA (the owner of LAX, ONT and VNY) could of made such an agreement with AT&T and Verizon Wireless since I know for fact that both these wireless carriers have three cell sites each in the CTA (at the top of certain parking garages) at LAX. Sprint has a cell site, but they have their equipment affixed to the sides of the building on PCH/Sepulveda just outside the airport.

    I can't speak if the relationship with AT&T and Verizon Wireless is real or if the it also applies to ONT and VNY. It's just fishy that I haven't been able to find anything for either T-Mobile or Sprint at the airport itself, that or LAWA charges outrageous prices just to block off 4-5 parking spaces for a cell site and the only ones willing to pay or don't care are AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

    I'm not sure of SNA since AT&T and T-Mobile (on the level with the ticket counters) seemed to work fine when I used that airport when I lived The OC. Since I don't see anything around other than Verizon Wireless near the south runway and the 73 and another one near Red Hill Ave and 405.

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