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Thread: Track 4G to LTE to Firstnet to 5G Tower Conversions & Upgrades

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    Track 4G to LTE to Firstnet to 5G Tower Conversions & Upgrades

    Whats the best way to track AT&T 4G to LTE Conversions? I am still trying to figure out why there is so much 4G Coverage still around and the sites have not all been upgraded to LTE.

    I know Randall Stephenson has said they will touch every site with the deployment of Firstnet. Is there a good way to track this build-out?
    https://urgentcomm.com/2018/12/05/at...y-end-of-2019/

    This article seems to say Verizon beats AT&T except when it comes to 3G sites. https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhone...n-coverage-map

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    Maybe my question is whether we should start a thread to track LTE and 5G Upgrades?


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    Track 4G to LTE to Firstnet to 5G Tower Conversions & Upgrades

    To try this another way, are remaining AT&T 4G towers being upgraded to LTE?

    Any sightings of LTE where there was none before?

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    AT&T Track 4G to LTE To Firstnet To 5G Tower Conversions & Upgrades

    That is something that interests me, too, but it is unlikely that I am willing to put much time or effort into it. My best guess is that AT&T has little interest in you knowing, either, because if they did, they would probably have it on their website somewhere. The other, often unsaid thing, is that they don't want you to know exactly where their towers are located. Again, if they did, they would have it on their website and you could enter a location and determine exactly how far you are from a tower.

    Now the tower locations can be determined in a number of ways. Some ways are likely to be more accurate than others. In my way of thinking you have to start with the actual tower locations first, THEN you can determine what bands are being used at a particular tower. Again, there are some cell phone apps that are useful and crowd sourcing websites that help, but they are likely to be far from 100% complete and accurate.

    I suppose if you really wanted to put the time into it, you could use AntennaSearch.com, determine where the cell towers are located and then put in locations near each tower and use the AT&T Wireless Coverage site to determine whether each location has LTE yet.

    In my way of thinking, I would actually want to know far more details, if I went to that much effort, however. For example, I would want to know all of the bands at each tower. That way you might be able to determine more about Carrier Aggregation, etc.

    I did a little bit of that type of "sleuthing" earlier this year. I was trying to determine whether I should switch from Frontier DSL to AT&T Wireless for home internet. I was trying to determine if I should get a Netgear Nighthawk with Band 14 to "future-proof" my purchase. After giving it a bit more thought, I simply decided to buy one with Band 14 now and not over think it.

    I have also wondered if it would be worthwhile to get an optional antenna to connect to my Nighthawk to improve speeds. I did find out where some nearby towers are, drove to some and used a hot-spot to see if speeds within a block of the tower were faster. As it turns out they were not faster, so I decided to not bother with any additional antennas at this point in time.

    At the end of the day, again from my point of view, there are really two things that matter most. They are:

    -Do I have coverage?

    -What data speeds can I expect?

    For people that are really into this stuff, you can then speculate whether either of those things can be improved. Most end user devices don't have a means to readily connect an external antenna to improve coverage. There are some exceptions, of course, some buy/try amplifiers, etc.

    Data speeds, too, are largely dependent on the site you connect to, what the signal strength is and Carrier Aggregation.

    I have been wondering about those things where I go ATVing at. I am on Total Wireless (Verizon), but there are palces where I ride with NO Verizon coverage. So, I bought a used Sonim XP8 and a years worth of AT&T service through Tracfone to supplement what I have. That way I can determine for myself if there is AT&T coverage in the areas that I like to ride.

    I suspect that other factors for many people,at least from what I read here on Howard Forums, is how much data can I purchase and at what price. Anyway, I have probably posted way more than you want to know. Good luck in your endeavor to find out what you want to know.

    http://www.antennasearch.com/default.asp

    https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

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    My question is has anyone noticed a big difference in the network in their area over the last year or so. Im curious how much the first net contract is impacting the regular customer. Recently I read an article that said over the last year they added some 50,000 square miles of LTE and those sites didn't just get band 14, they also got other AT&T bands. I was away from AT&T for several years and recently switched back and the network seems a lot different. AT&T seems to be finally not ignoring upload speeds like they had in the past. I see a lot of band 14 now although my XS Max really doesn't like to connect to it. I almost always get pushed to band 12 instead. I also do still see 4g on occasion over LTE or 5Ge but I'm wondering if that is because the threshold that the network directs me to 4g over LTE is set very conservatively instead of as a last resort/having no service.

    It's also been 2 years since AT&T won the FirstNet contract so we have to be coming very close to when when all the new sites they are planning have been approved and are being built. According to antenna search I have two approved tower sites (one approved in 2016 and one in 2018) within a mile of my house that have not been built yet. The owner is Pittsburgh SMSA Limited Partnership which I know is Verizon but i'm wondering if AT&T will co-locate on the site. Trying to find out from AT&T or Verizon if they plan on building an approved tower is harder than pulling teeth.

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    AT&T Track 4G To LTE To Firstnet To 5G Tower Conversions & Upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInPa View Post
    ...Trying to find out from AT&T or Verizon if they plan on building an approved tower is harder than pulling teeth.
    Yup, I agree.

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    One of the largest native AT&T areas lacking LTE, the "Panhandle" of western Nebraska, is being actively upgraded to band 4/5 LTE. One of my family members, running CellMapper under my account, observed within the last two weeks that the first day they were in Chadron, Nebraska there was only Viaero 3G/LTE and AT&T 3G. The next day sometime in the morning one then another AT&T LTE signal showed up, as did another one about 20 miles southwest of Chadron. A few days later AT&T LTE also popped up around Angora, NE and Sidney, NE. The twenty sites that were originally Indigo GSM and have operated as native AT&T 3G sites since acquisition are finally all getting upgraded.

    Band 14 has not shown up yet on any of them, but I would assume B14 antennas are going up too and just need to be turned on in software.

    There has been no sign of LTE activity on the additional 100 3G sites elsewhere in Nebraska that were previously run by Commnet using spectrum leased from AT&T and were acquired outright by AT&T, but AT&T has begun renumbering the cell IDs of those sites so small changes are happening. My assumption is that when the cell ID gets changed it is a sign of base station changes and installation of LTE antennas, but the LTE will not be powered up until more sites have been converted.
    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.

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    Sounds like they are starting to make a push in your for LTE. I guess with rural areas they always come last because the return on investment is so low. With FirstNet they have to upgrade those areas so I’m sure good things are coming.

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    Just a side note. Maybe I just haven’t noticed it or maybe it’s because Verizon is so dense in my market but I have not noticed much of an increase at all with LTE penetration and coverage indoors with the band 14 rollout.


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    Thanks for the comments folks. With all the promotion of FirstNet I would hope we will see the towers get upgraded soon at least my late 2019. If you see new bands, FirstNet and LTE\5Ge? where there was none please update us.


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    Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
    Thanks for the comments folks. With all the promotion of FirstNet I would hope we will see the towers get upgraded soon at least my late 2019. If you see new bands, FirstNet and LTE\5Ge? where there was none please update us.


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    Various upgrades seem to happen in phases. For example, the tower closest to my home does not have B14, but with B2 & B12, I've had max DL in the upper 160s, and UL in the 60s.
    Another tower nearby has B14, but UL varies between 20 and sub-1 depending on congestion.

    This past week, I had a tower that has shown both B14 and "5Ge" for some time drop to B66 and "4G" for a couple of days. When B14 and "5Ge" reappeared, I noticed UL and DL speeds more than double during peak times, so they had definitely been doing upgrades. This was after the recent appearance of several small cells nearby, so I figure the change is related.

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    Work site being worked on currently, looks like other FirstNet sites in the area.




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    Quote Originally Posted by wannabefree View Post
    Various upgrades seem to happen in phases. For example, the tower closest to my home does not have B14, but with B2 & B12, I've had max DL in the upper 160s, and UL in the 60s.
    Another tower nearby has B14, but UL varies between 20 and sub-1 depending on congestion.

    This past week, I had a tower that has shown both B14 and "5Ge" for some time drop to B66 and "4G" for a couple of days. When B14 and "5Ge" reappeared, I noticed UL and DL speeds more than double during peak times, so they had definitely been doing upgrades. This was after the recent appearance of several small cells nearby, so I figure the change is related.

    Sent from my [SM-N960U] using HoFo mobile app
    It seems like AT&T isn’t messing around when they are upgrading a site. In my market it looks like when they upgrade a site they throw all the spectrum they have on it and upgrade the backhaul. They don’t have many small cells at all in my area like Verizon does but they aren’t needed ad much cause AT&T has plenty of capacity in my market. The only thing I wish they would do is turn up some of the lower frequency bands up a little stronger to increase penetration into larger buildings.

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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
    To try this another way, are remaining AT&T 4G towers being upgraded to LTE?
    Any sightings of LTE where there was none before?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This is all AT&T's fault. HSPA anything != 4G. LTE != 5G

    2G = Edge
    3G = UMTS
    3.5G = HSPA
    3.75G HSPA+ / DC-HSPA
    4G = LTE (or WiMax for that matter)
    5G = Well, 5G (not 5GE or whatever ATT is pushing).

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Class View Post
    This is all AT&T's fault. HSPA anything != 4G. LTE != 5G

    2G = Edge
    3G = UMTS
    3.5G = HSPA
    3.75G HSPA+ / DC-HSPA
    4G = LTE (or WiMax for that matter)
    5G = Well, 5G (not 5GE or whatever ATT is pushing).
    HSPA+ and DC-HSPA outperformed WiMax in real world situations on every network they were deployed on. Why do you think HSPA made it globally and WiMax died with Sprint?


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