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What's up with Sprint up here?

Discussion in 'Central US Wireless Forum' started by TWX, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    Hey everybody,

    I was looking at the Sprint coverage up here in my area (Rogers City, Michigan 49779) because I keep hearing that Sprint has good native coverage around my county, but when I look at the coverage maps it barley shows any coverage, and besides that it says the coverage is Sprint Corporate coverage, but everywhere else in the state it's iPCS, and besides that the coverage map says it's Rev.A EVDO!!

    What's going on??

    Thanks,

    Alien. :D
     
  2. cellular_freak

    cellular_freak Senior Member
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    The part of Michigan that you are in is Sprint corporate territory. iPCS territory starts in Saginaw County and goes north. You can look at iPCS' website to see where their native coverage is. They only service part of Michigan. They don't have any of the U.P. or the part of Michigan that you are from. They also don't have anything south of Saginaw. It is also true that since you are in Sprint corporate territory that you will most deffinitely have EV-DO Rev.A towers around you. I somewhat doubt that they have "excellent coverage" by you since they are a PCS carrier. I would say that only AT&T and Alltel would have the best coverage.
     
  3. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    So you're saying you don't think a "PCS carrier" can't have excellent coverage? *rolling eyes*
     
  4. cheddar

    cheddar Senior Member
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    PCS carriers rarely have good coverage in rural Michigan. You get out of the cities very far and you will have problems, especially with PCS. Roaming will help but economics can be cruel.
     
  5. cellular_freak

    cellular_freak Senior Member
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    Actually, yes, that is what I'm saying, LOL. If you look at the carriers that provide PCS coverage in Michigan compared to the carriers that provide cellular coverage, you will notice that the cellular carriers are vastly better than the PCS carriers. If you look at Sprint's coverage, they tend to only stick to the highways and major cities and it would take a LOT of towers to cover rural areas. That's why the cellular carriers cover (at least Michigan) a whole lot better than the PCS ones. Even where Verizon has cellular coverage in Michigan, they cover it so much better than where they have PCS coverage. Same with AT&T.
     
  6. tyler101868

    tyler101868 Junior Member
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    The biggest problem isn't so much that it's PCS coverage, but IPCS. They have been gumming up the works of the Sprint/Nextel merger for ages now. If you had Corporate coverage, you should also have the ability to roam without charge. Not so with IPCS. I sell five different carriers and have a hard time recommending Sprint while IPCS still controls things. I'm located in Central Illinois and deal with the same coverage issues.
     
  7. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    I'd wager it has customer density and their respective amounts of revenue. It just wasn't economical to build out the needed towers to cover there rural areas, it'd take them 30 years to recoup the costs which is 25 years to long to justify. 800 cdma has most of the same problems as 1900 digital, analog on the other is much more tolerant of poor signal conditions. With the analog networks, a lot of the coverage came through via talks like this "We want to cover X, but if we put a site here it will also randomly cover Y, Z and a bit of R" It won't have perfect coverage throughout Y, Z and R but it will be better than nothing. You can assume most of that coverage will go away once the carriers are allowed to go 100% digital as the networks have to be optimized much differently than the analogs were.
     
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  8. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    That is why they have roaming agreements to make up for their gaps.
     
  9. cellular_freak

    cellular_freak Senior Member
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    Very true, but still the fact remains that Sprint in northern Michigan (where iPCS is) is really crappy and could be better. If you look at other places that have PCS coverage, it's not THAT bad.
     
  10. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Speaking from experience I can vouch for the PCS coverage is aweful in Michigan especially north of MT Pleasant when it starts to get really hilly.

    I work on both 850/1900 systems daily and have a few towers that have both. On the same tower with a clear line of sight and only a mile away from the tower I can see a 10 to 15 db difference in the signal levels with the 850 being the stronger of the two.

    Far as iPCS and roaming they have a few bill boards in my area that say Free Roaming.
     
  11. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Random question, are your 800 and 1900 systems putting out the same ERP?
     
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  12. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Yep, 45 watt before the combiner on both systems. The PCS has a higher gain 6 FT panels vs the common 3 foot 800 panels we use. This is only measuring the CCCH not a TCH.
     
  13. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Interesting, at least around here it appears the 800 systems are putting out at least 4 more watts over the PCS carriers. All the PCS carriers are keeping it at 16 watts, before combining per carrier.
     
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  14. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I bet that's exactly what it is and I don't blame them for not wanting to invest money where they can't make a good return. I think a lot of people on the forums have IPCS expectations that are too high.
     
  15. cheddar

    cheddar Senior Member
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    Michigan is mostly rural and PCS carriers have always seemed to struggle because of it. Hopefully , the 700mhz auction will give the rural areas a little more choice.
     
  16. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    interesting, talking to the Alltel techs up here they said their CDMA was running 30 watts per carrier on the Nortel CDMA BTS before combiner.

    We have to style of amps in the field a 30 and 45 watt version. They make both amps for both bands but usually only used on 850 in dual band environment or on 1900 in 1900 only areas.

    I havent notice a big change when I bumped the power up 15 watts on 1900 as I have on 850.

    If you have acces to your OMC-r you will see that the switch cuts the handset power back on PCS handset versus 850. Its about a 3db difference on GSM is is fairly minor at power levels that low.

    Speaking of power a few Nextel techs up here are mad because they said Sprint cut back the power on the iDEN.
     
  17. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Speaking from experience iPCS is even poorly build out on main highways. I will have to take some pictures to display where I am coming from.

    Just from an equipment standpoint alone they are hurting. Their main cabinet is Nortel EVDO capable and is similar to the Verizon outdoor units so that is a plus in their favor. In a few area they use repeaters on the highways which is a no no. They are almost alway 100-200 feet lower on the tower than the other carriers and from what I have seen they use lower grade tower feedlines (antenna cables).
    There tower spacing is usually farther apart than that of the other 1900 carriers.

    There are a few sites I know of where there platform on the tower has come loose and is no longer level with the ground but at a diagonal and been that way for awhile.
     
  18. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    This is why I am a firm believer that all carriers need to have at least an emergency channel that can be used by any carrier or technolgy. They should take a 15khz GSM channel based on TDMA which is simple enuff and embed it in all phones for emergency use only.
     
  19. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Former affiliate Ubiquitel (now Sprint corporate) here in CA has used repeaters on I-5 in the Central Valley for years and haven't had any problems that I know of. What's wrong with doing that?

    Wow you must have some huge towers there because most towers here in CA are like 75 ft max.
     
  20. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I can tell you what's wrong with that...Having just come back from a 2,000 Mile Road trip (including parts of I-5 through the Central Valley), Sprint really has a lot to improve on. Network Error Messages and gaps in coverage are unacceptable on such an Interstate Highway.
     
  21. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    Oh yea, there are monsters up here, I very rarley see any monopole towers around here, besides Alpena (bigger city) but other than that they are huge, I have a 820' at&t tower about 400 yards from my house, and a 790' Alltel tower about 200 yards away from my house.
     
  22. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I've tested out Sprint coverage on I-5 and 99 through that whole area a number of times and it's always been fine for me.

    So what are you doing, carrying around your Virgin Mobile phone again?
     
  23. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    No he had his phone forced onto sprint and did field testing the whole way. AFAIK
     
  24. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I've heard that when you're roaming on another network you get lower priority on the network. For example if I force my phone over to Verizon or Alltel I may not get the same call quality and reliability as as actual native customer on that network. Not sure how true this is but it's something I've read from time to time on various forums.

    But anyway I've done my own field testing a number of times and haven't seen these kind of problems. I do know of one stretch of the I-5 through the gravepine near Pyramid Lake that has a dead zone of about 5 miles. But a new site is going up there soon.
     
  25. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Larry,
    I really think that is an urban myth I notice the same results from sprint on my phone now that I did when I was with them. I really have no problems with Sprint in my travels and at work. It was just at my home it was not working that well. In fact I know this is strange but I actually get better sprint coverage at my home on my current phone than when I actually had them.

    I just think that if you are on them you will have the same coverage from the towers with or without service. I would also think a carrier would want roamers to be higher priority because they are making revenue.
     
  26. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I don't maybe one of the network techs on here can give us some more info on this. I've heard Sprint users claim that they didn't get as reliable of service when roaming on Verizon as they did when they actually had Verizon service. Maybe an urban myth. Maybe not.
     
  27. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    You can set different access level on GSM but not sure on CDMA, usually the acess is used to keep people off of a tower not from a roaming standpoint but a network quality one.

    An example we use it is for towers out on island that are too far from the mainland to have a good handoff. We also have test cell sites running that only engineers can get on for testing and they are not designed for coverage and are set at the lowest power settings.

    You also have to take the way the carriers set up the phones. When I drive tested for Verizon I had 2 phones, 1 phone did F1 and F3 and the other F2 and F4. From what the Verizon engineers told us is that the CDMA phone get send out to prefer 2 Freq Carriers but are capable of all.

    Not sure if this is true but some of the CDMA techs can help me out with this.
    Just say you are on Sprint with a F1 and F3 and roaming on Verizon. The tower your on has a available space on both Carriers but has alot of call volume thus the Cell Site would cut back the call quality to prevent a dropped call. Just a guess dont shoot me.
     
  28. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Very good info here thanks
     
  29. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    I try but on the CDMA side im alittle vague It been awhile since I have played with it.

    There is more than 4 CDMA Frequency carriers, this is just an example of what Verizon was using back in 2002.
     
  30. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    That is a joke, right? Pretty sad if Sprint has to prioritize priority because they don't have enough capacity to handle one additional call.

    Say what you will- my experiences are from a few days ago and that's how it was. Check the coverage maps and they will prove my point. Also, Sprint coverage from Lost Hills to Barstow is a joke. They are finally starting to catch up to competition, albeit they have a long way to go.
     

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