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Thread: Why would AT&T allow a cell site to be degraded for six years?

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    Why would AT&T allow a cell site to be degraded for six years?

    This is not a joke. -- There is a rural cell site in Pennsylvania that serves a few thousand people each day, that falls apart almost all day long. Constant timeouts, high latency, dial-up data, calls drop after 30 minutes during busy hour for no apparent reason. -- Other times the speeds are tolerable.

    All of the other cell sites in the area may have been upgraded to LTE. -- This site had HSDPA put on it in 2012.

    I do not have an exact address of the site. -- It's serving the intersection of PA-6 and 29, 18657. -- Google Maps may report this as "Bridge Street." Or for an exact address reference, let's use a CVS -- 50 Bridge St, 18657

    The reception fades down to unusable going South, and in fact it's so bad that small cells were installed inside a certain big box store a few years ago. -- Ironically if you were to buy AT&T service inside, you would be guaranteed to drop the call while leaving the parking lot!

    Even if the comical parking lot issue remains the same -- I do wonder when that site will actually get LTE. -- It's got to be this summer....

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    That is just weird because inside the St.Louis Galleria Mall is a HSPA+ only iDAS.

    Sent from my LG-M150 using HoFo mobile app

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    Well inside the store it is only HSDPA. -- The devices are gray boxes with wiring stick out of them, with an almost saucer-shaped dome underneath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dctmpeg View Post
    Well inside the store it is only HSDPA. -- The devices are gray boxes with wiring stick out of them, with an almost saucer-shaped dome underneath.
    Most of the iDASs around St. Louis are LTE B2 and B12 and B5 HSPA+. I haven't seen any B4, B5, and B30 LTE iDAS yet.

    Sent from my LG-M150 using HoFo mobile app

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    You should try reporting it via the AT&T MARK THE SPOT app or by FB Messenger (which they actually get most reports and tickets submitted by).

    Sent from my LG-M150 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsalisbury0 View Post
    You should try reporting it via the AT&T MARK THE SPOT app or by FB Messenger (which they actually get most reports and tickets submitted by).

    Sent from my LG-M150 using HoFo mobile app
    Good suggestion. Also keep in mind that At&t doesn't own all of the towers that it utilizes for it's customers and sometimes it is up to the site owner to service the towers. Without "Mark the Spot", they might not have been aware of the issue.
    If I'm annoyed and you're annoyed, does that make us a paranoid ??

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    It's quite possible that they do not own the actual tower in question. -- Funny you should bring up Mark The Spot though as I think I have gone a bit overboard with my submissions on that one. -- Not really related to that, but back in 2014 Customer Service indicated that it was degraded.

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    att is becoming the new sprint, they just want to save as much money as they can so they can pocket the money...this one road that u ride on for a good 15 mins with out any cell service at all..it used to be 2G but even since the big kill switch for 2G ive havent had any service since 2G..my area was 50/50 with LTE and 2G...i knew where i was going lose LTE but was ok with it cause voice/text still work and thought that att would have things upgraded..so now i have no 2G for voice/text and still no data in thoses areas

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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket101 View Post
    att is becoming the new sprint, they just want to save as much money as they can so they can pocket the money...this one road that u ride on for a good 15 mins with out any cell service at all..it used to be 2G but even since the big kill switch for 2G ive havent had any service since 2G..my area was 50/50 with LTE and 2G...i knew where i was going lose LTE but was ok with it cause voice/text still work and thought that att would have things upgraded..so now i have no 2G for voice/text and still no data in thoses areas
    Definitely. I let all of my att services go after things went South. Went to too many spots with no coverage it just wasn't worth the price any longer

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    Off topic to a point, though the degraded cell site does do this stupid stuff:

    The other thing I have never been able to figure out -- as it seems to happen on a cell site by cell site basis -- Some of the updated sites do not do this. Others do. All over the Eastern side of Pennsylvania, granted I have not tested it elsewhere. I suspect I saw something like it somewhere in Illinois when I was on the Amtrak Southwest Chief, but that's another story.

    (1) Place a unbranded phone on the network and make a voice call, thus on UMTS. From there, take another phone on another network and call your phone. From there, cause the signal level to dip down to almost nothing on the AT&T line. -- The off-network device should suddenly play Message-1.

    (2) Call setup failures on UMTS --> Message 1 or 6. (As in, phone has virtually no signal, but the network tries to initiate it anyway?)

    (3) Call setup failures on UMTS after ringing, phone loses contact with the network -> Message 1 or 6.

    Interesting enough, on occasion I have seen this with branded devices.

    No other carrier has these issues from what I can see. (The exception being a pretty funny failure on the now end of life Verizon CDMA having to deal with placing the phone in airplane mode right as you're intentionally placing a call to it. ). Back when AT&T was Cingular, their 2G network would do this with a fast busy signal. -- No rhyme or reason. Why would this not be fixed in 15 years? Something in the core? I know it probably does not happen on VoLTE, but many of us are stuck on UMTS because of the draconian policies that AT&T currently has with unbranded devices!

    On topic: T-Mobile USA filled in coverage holes for AT&T here before they lost the former Dobson / CellularONE 2G roaming. Pretty funny. Granted, AT&T still has more coverage than them...

    Interesting enough I was able to repeat this for a little while with a number based halfway across the country.

    This is why I am not an engineer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket101 View Post
    att is becoming the new sprint, they just want to save as much money as they can so they can pocket the money...this one road that u ride on for a good 15 mins with out any cell service at all..it used to be 2G but even since the big kill switch for 2G ive havent had any service since 2G..my area was 50/50 with LTE and 2G...i knew where i was going lose LTE but was ok with it cause voice/text still work and thought that att would have things upgraded..so now i have no 2G for voice/text and still no data in thoses areas
    ATT is letting the network rot in Northern California. Practically no new macros in over 10 years which means most newer developments are having to rely on far away towers which causes a degraded experience for all users. It used to be ok here, but in the past year service quality has plummeted. In the meantime Verizon and T-Mobile are densifying all the time and bettering themselves. At this rate, AT&T will slip to number 3 sooner than later. The only place I’ve heard good things about AT&T is in Texas, everywhere else is starting to seem like the beginnings of a dumpster fire.

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    I see the backhaul on the Osterhout Mountain site (eNB 2374) still has not been modernized. If you are not able to hand off to the Prospect Hill site, then good cell service is still going to be a challenge in Tunkhannock. There is no evidence that AT&T has any intention of linking microwave backhaul to the mountain. Sprint put a microwave link on their site on the mountain last year and is now running band 25 LTE. Nobody likely wants to build a fiber optic link up there.

    AT&T has been finishing sites in the area with LTE. Pike county was completed a few months ago. A lot of sites run on microwave backhaul. There are still a few sites along I-81 that don't have LTE yet and signal (HSPA and LTE) drops out in some places. No macro sites added since mid 2000s in the area AFAIK. Though many sites are running extra bandwidth beside band 12/17. Most sites seem to be load balanced well in the Poconos, though sometimes I run into performance problems in Scranton and up town from there in the valley.

    Does Indigo still run a GSM network in Wyoming county?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alj96z View Post
    ATT is letting the network rot in Northern California. Practically no new macros in over 10 years which means most newer developments are having to rely on far away towers which causes a degraded experience for all users. It used to be ok here, but in the past year service quality has plummeted. In the meantime Verizon and T-Mobile are densifying all the time and bettering themselves. At this rate, AT&T will slip to number 3 sooner than later. The only place I’ve heard good things about AT&T is in Texas, everywhere else is starting to seem like the beginnings of a dumpster fire.
    you are 10% right about that..att with swap with t-mobile, i say give it 3 years max...

    att seems to like mexico alot tho..they bought mexico nextel (IDEN) and replace it with their crap of a gsm/lte network..they spent alot of money doing all this and prob the reason why the USA att is so jack up?....

    i got rid of all my att lines but i did keep the car connect unlimited hotspot $20 plan


    my brother has a few lines, he seems fine with it but hes not a tech geek like me/us....me i notice alot of things

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    Yes, Indigo Wireless is still up and running. Actually they seemed to have boosted their coverage in a few places. -- I am sort of amazed they still exist, yet alone have done anything to their network... Case in point: Factoryville. It reaches pretty deep inside a few buildings, which is impressive... A few years ago it was useless. Furthermore the EDGE speeds are about as fast as EDGE can handle. Perhaps they did it to get some more roaming from T-Mobile? (T-Mobile's site does not cover the town well at all... But their map would not tell you that.) -- Indigo Wireless in Tunkhannock has EDGE that seems to work fairly well for what it is.

    With AT&T -- I sort of figured it was an issue with the [lack of] fibre, but yet AT&T managed to get LTE running on an even more remote (?) site than that. -- I believe a nearby road intersection would be 29 and 292. -- The site is on a mountain. I have no idea if there is even a paved road to it!

    Quite interesting. -- No wonder Verizon Wireless chose to build where they did. They appear to be right behind the emergency management building, and with line of sight they reach just the right spots in town.

    How does AT&T intend to cover Tunkhannock for FirstNet? -- Time to Co Locate with Verizon? It's been overdue since the day they bought Dobson Communications in 2007... (Though Dobson did not even build the 2G network AT&T inherited. -- I believe it was another company known as Endless Mountains Wireless which lasted about six months, before being fined by the FCC for failing to provide analogue cellular, then it was sold to Dobson, and the rest is history.)

    The other mystery: T-Mobile USA filling in a hole for AT&T in Meshoppen. -- The coverage maps are a total lie for AT&T. Time to bring back "moderate" and "no service." -- Again, FirstNet... There is no coverage there unless you stand outside with a repeater or something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dctmpeg View Post
    This is not a joke. -- There is a rural cell site in Pennsylvania that serves a few thousand people each day, that falls apart almost all day long. Constant timeouts, high latency, dial-up data, calls drop after 30 minutes during busy hour for no apparent reason. -- Other times the speeds are tolerable.

    All of the other cell sites in the area may have been upgraded to LTE. -- This site had HSDPA put on it in 2012.

    I do not have an exact address of the site. -- It's serving the intersection of PA-6 and 29, 18657. -- Google Maps may report this as "Bridge Street." Or for an exact address reference, let's use a CVS -- 50 Bridge St, 18657

    The reception fades down to unusable going South, and in fact it's so bad that small cells were installed inside a certain big box store a few years ago. -- Ironically if you were to buy AT&T service inside, you would be guaranteed to drop the call while leaving the parking lot!

    Even if the comical parking lot issue remains the same -- I do wonder when that site will actually get LTE. -- It's got to be this summer....
    AT&T is committed to building and relocating towers. I don’t know specifics on this tower. I have had issues for a long time in NYC in one location which AT&T admitted and they told me approximately by this June for additional antennas and/or additional towers. AT&T has an executive customer care line you can contact for specifics on your tower via their website which is how I contacted them on my own issues. But I do know overall, AT&T on their own infrastructure is improving even further with faster speeds, increased coverage and coordination to reduce tower expenses as well. New contracts were signed where more towers are getting built out.

    AT&T is definitely no Sprint at all and compares favorably to Verizon. T-mobile still has worse coverage overall even if it has pockets of very fast speeds. Obviously each carrier excels in certain markets.

    If that rural tower has microwave or non fiber optics backhaul, migrating to LTE would be an overkill expense. AT&T still has HSPA coverage in some smaller rural markets, either natively or through roaming partners.

    I was on Amtrak Auto Train for instance and used my AT&T ipad. Some smaller more rural communities picked up on HSPA. Since then, AT&T has obtained a contract with CitySwitch which owns a ton of railroad rights of way where they will be using them as a partner for new tower buildout in lots of communities. So in the future, more towers will be available with greater coverage and more towers will be on LTE. Change doesn’t happen overnigt and won’t happen to all towers as some towers are just too rural to get fiber optics connectivity and economic cost is too great. Powerline or wireless and other technologies can help close the gap. AT&T has a huge amount of nationwide coverage and partners. Verizon tends to be the best overall with AT&T second, Tmobile third and Sprint fourth and each carrier has markets where they are better than others.

    It is ironic that Sprint started with fiber optics on railway rights of way where now AT&T seems to be committed to these for new tower builds in addition to others.

    One is free to shop carriers and for me AT&T cost and value is unbeatable and coverage works well enough and will get better over time.

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