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Thread: Sprint Killing the Airave

  1. #1
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    Sprint Killing the Airave

    Hey all—

    So I got this message today from Sprint:

    https://ibb.co/0jJSrmh

    Not exactly pleased since no, the “enhanced network experience” is actually worse out here than the previous Sprint service — before it was a 1x signal that could at least get a call and a text in and out when I stand in the right place... now it’s 1-2 bars of “LTE or 5G” that just hangs and doesn’t place a call or get data period and kills my battery... WiFi calling never works right here.

    Which is the T-Mobile Airave equivalent? I know they have one which is basically a WiFi router, and one that is a true microcell...

    The assumption they make is absolutely laughable — if they are going to kill the Airave, they should at least ask if the T-Mobile service has been decent — and offer a T-Mobile equivalent.

    N

  2. #2
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    The Sprint Airave was becoming unsupported for the last two years - albeit with no notice.

    I was able to get the Sprint-supported Casa Pebble which, as configured, only works with the Sprint network.

    Now that I have swapped to T-Mo SIMs, I was advised that T-Mo would assess and validate the need for an equivalent WiFi-based mini-cell on a case-by-case basis.

    I take that to mean that there is indeed a solution. Just call, report your issue and see what the resolutions might be. Sprint has been quite responsive for me, including T-Mo post-merger. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I called up, explained the situation. The rep said they would submit a ticket to not shut off my device until I switch to a T-Mobile SIM — at which point we can reevaluate.

    We shall see if this is actually the case... I don’t plan on switching SIMs until I absolutely have to.

    N

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    I called up, explained the situation. The rep said they would submit a ticket to not shut off my device until I switch to a T-Mobile SIM — at which point we can reevaluate.

    We shall see if this is actually the case... I don’t plan on switching SIMs until I absolutely have to.

    N
    I hear you.

    My wife switched her phone over first and we validated the phone quality and connectivity for a week before I switched. Thankfully, the phone worked out as I needed it for work. Data is not great, but I have 30 Mbps WiFi via cable.

    T-Mo will switch back to Sprint if it does not meet expectations. YMMV.

  5. #5
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    The thing is the Airwave takes up valuable 2.5GHz spectrum they need while actually integrating the network thus why they want them gone ASAP.

    Both T-Mobile options CellSpot and CellFi work well.

    If you have unlimited data on your home ISP i recommend the CellSpot as you're not reliant on a sketchy low signal to repeat indoors, if you do not.. then get the CellFi, but remember like the "Magic Box" it will only repeat what it can get where you place the receiver - but with the T-Mobile CellFi being a two piece system, it's actually better than the MagicBox as you can place the receiver upstairs in a far off window that works the best, and the actual transmitter in a central location in the house to cover the interior better.
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT$T: $50 Unlimited Elite Prepaid promo (for more “rural” areas)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    The thing is the Airwave takes up valuable 2.5GHz spectrum they need while actually integrating the network thus why they want them gone ASAP.

    Both T-Mobile options CellSpot and CellFi work well.

    If you have unlimited data on your home ISP i recommend the CellSpot as you're not reliant on a sketchy low signal to repeat indoors, if you do not.. then get the CellFi, but remember like the "Magic Box" it will only repeat what it can get where you place the receiver - but with the T-Mobile CellFi being a two piece system, it's actually better than the MagicBox as you can place the receiver upstairs in a far off window that works the best, and the actual transmitter in a central location in the house to cover the interior better.
    It’s been a while — but I remember T-Mobile sold a Cellspot that was basically just a WiFi router (in fact one was basically just an Asus router IIRC) — I actually want something like an Airave that creates a licensed signal. Which T-Mobile product would I want? The issue I have is that WiFi calling doesn’t work well with my mesh network — and with the low signal, the phone stays searching and the battery dies. With an actual LTE-signal generating device it solves both problems...

    Also the Airave supports Band 25, 26 and 41... I’m sure they could find a spot to park them if 41 is needed. I’ve found that mine hangs between 41 and 26 — it used to stay on 41 exclusively.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    It’s been a while — but I remember T-Mobile sold a Cellspot that was basically just a WiFi router (in fact one was basically just an Asus router IIRC) — I actually want something like an Airave that creates a licensed signal. Which T-Mobile product would I want? The issue I have is that WiFi calling doesn’t work well with my mesh network — and with the low signal, the phone stays searching and the battery dies. With an actual LTE-signal generating device it solves both problems...

    Also the Airave supports Band 25, 26 and 41... I’m sure they could find a spot to park them if 41 is needed. I’ve found that mine hangs between 41 and 26 — it used to stay on 41 exclusively.
    T-Mobile "had" all three products:

    1) CellSpot router - plugs into your ethernet and uses your home ISP bandwidth to make a "licensed" Band 4 LTE signal and works well

    2) CellFi - Has a dual-box setup.. the cellular receiver goes into a window or some high point in the house that gets a usable signal, and the repeater itself goes into a center spot in the house to re-broadcast the "licensed" signal indoors

    3) WiFi router - this was only around for a small blip of time. It was just a rebranded AC68U router. It worked well, and allegedly prioritized WiFi calling - but this option has been long gone.

    CellFi was the "first" thing they ever offered, and they still offer them today, and does not use your bandwidth if that's something you worry about

    CellSpot will use your home ISP, and is a single box since it does not need a receiver placed somewhere else in the house, and to me is more "stable" since landline ISP's tend to offer lower latency than LTE anyway.

    I've used both CellSpot and CellFi depending on where i'm at and both work well.

    CellFi I have at the cabin in Ohio, as there's no wired internet other than DSL from CenturyLink at 10/1 (it was only 1.5Mbps until last summer). I've got the receiver up in the attic window where it gets ~2 bars of Band 12 LTE that's slow (~5-10Mbps) but functions, and the actual repeater is on the wall in the middle of the cabin, broadcasting signal to the building and immediately around it.

    CellSpot I had at my place in Columbus, OH where my 1890 building was a black hole for pretty much all cellular in the center. I had 1000/1000 Fiber there, so I did not care to use my network. It broadcasted on B4, and produced ~120/50 via LTE on a 5MHz AWS channel.

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