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Inadvertently Blocking Neighbors Sprint Service With Airave???

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Journeyman

Inadvertently Blocking Neighbors Sprint Service With Airave???

A few weeks ago I received an Airave through retentions due to no outdoor/indoor coverage as I have recently moved to an area that keeps my phone in constant roam mode while home. The Airave works great! Our phones sound better while using the Airave than when using an actual Sprint tower (there is none of that heavy codec compression muffled sound quality). Though I think that since I have my unit in restricted mode a few of my neighbors are blocked from making calls on their Sprint phones. Has anyone else had this type of issue? I would be ticked off if it was the other way around and had a neighbor that had a restricted Airave making it so I had to leave the house to make a call. It might not affect neighbors of those living in a house, but I'm in an apartment complex on the top floor. Sure the easy fix is to allow all to the unit, but I don't want the neighbors using it and me or my girlfriend not being able to when there are two or three of them on it making it so we can not use the device (as the limit of simultaneous users is no more than three). Besides that I'm footing the bill for the broadband connection so I don't like the idea of freeloaders using my bandwidth. That's the main reason I locked down my WI-FI years ago. I have read somewhere that users not in the approved user list would be directed to the local Sprint tower. Could it be that since there is no Sprint service in my area that their phones resort to my Airave instead of switching to roam? If that's the case then Sprint needs to be aware and provide some sort of update to the phones of contract and prepay users.

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I first got my Sprint Airave because signal in Mobile home i was living in was very weak so i got sprint airave to fix that problem. since i got it i always leave it open for anyone.

Journeyman

I have heard of this happening before, even though it shouldn't be possible.  Most instances that I've seen are due to a combination of problems.  I've seen one with an Airave and someone with a CDMA high-powered booster causing problems.  As designed, the Airave has a max output power of 50mw (which is about 5 times less output power than most cell phones on the market).  It equivocates out to about 5000 square feet, which is about 37 feet or so in any given direction.  The max power is set by the FCC and requires a very expensive piece of equipment to calibrate, as the FCC doesn't allow for much deviation from the frequency.  I suppose, it's at least conceivable that a malfunctioning Airave unit could be operating on more than 50 watts.

Just some information mining to fix this...

How far away do you have to get before your phone is back to normal?

Do you know where the Airave is located (if you can PM me the address it would be extremely helpful in tracking this down)?

Do you know the name of the person using it?

Normally, we can get an engineer to go in and investigate this.  Most of the time, it just takes a tempering of the power output to fix.

GD

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Journeyman

I live out in the country, so neighbors are not an issue with my Airave.  I do not have a booster.

I could not help but notice you said that the range should be somewhere in the 37' range, assuming a 5k square foot area.

One day I was curious how far I could actually go before losing the Airave signal.  I took the Pre with me when I walked down the lane to the mailbox at the road, it's at least 120' and I had full bars and the *99 confirmed I was within Airave coverage. I made a call and the audio was as good as it is when I'm in the office in my home.

The Airave is located in the center of our home which is 53' long, so I would say the mailbox is approaching 140+ feet from the Airave, plus is going through 2 interior walls plus the wall at the end of the house.

I seldom take the Pre when I'm working out in the field in front of our home, but one day I did and I had to have been 200' or more and the phone rang, the audio was good and I had full bars. I didn't think to see if I was in Airave coverage, but normally we are lucky to get 1 or 2 bars out where we live, so I'm pretty sure the call was coming through the Airave.  To be fair, when I answered the call, I was directly in front of the house and the Airave sits in a room along the front of the house, so it was practically line-of-sight.

I am sure in an urban setting the distance would be less, but in this case, the coverage far exceeds the norm.

Does this mean mine is putting out more than 50 watts?

Thanks!

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Journeyman

Hmmm, according to the specs on the unit provided to the FCC it shouldn't be possible to push the power beyond 50watts.  I know that samsung has to use a very special and expensive oscillator in order to calibrate the units.  The FCC will only allow a certain deviation.  Now, I have run into a situation before where the phone was actually misreporting the signal.  Usually the easiest way to see if you're on an airave signal is if the phone displays 1x instead of EVDO (as most towers as EVDO now, although out in the country it's possible to find a 1x tower hear and there).  It turns out, in this particular situation, the phone was actually jumping to a tower they were testing in the area, but was not officially marked as live.

Although, there is the consideration of the phone as well.  The phone automatically adjusts its power to compensate depending on how much signal is available.  Most phones max out at about 250mw.  I've always felt the 37ft is a little conservative and depending on where you're at, the power level can vary.  It's based on what's around you...proximity to other airaves, towers, etc.  In the end, you want the coverage to cover your house (and possibly around it), but not so much as it's affecting you quality wise.

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Journeyman

I recently am having the same problems with my next door neighbor. I just moved into an apartment complex and the neighbor is complaining that she is receiving a "You are within a Sprint Private Network Message". I unlocked the airave and watched the Network light blink red and then blue. Not a change in her status. Called sprint customer service and was transferred to airave support. Airave support opened the airave from there end. Again the network light flashes red and returns to blue. My fiancé and I can use it without a problem. She cannot, I really don't want her having to free load off of my device.

                                

I am beginning to think it is her phone and she needs to work it out with Sprint, as I have made three attempts to resolve with Sprint customer service/ airave support. Airave support said they needed her confirmation before they open a ticket. She gave me a speech about living here three years, without a problem. Alas she has become very difficult to work with as I am the problem in the building. So I doubt to get to talk to her face to face without a confrontation. She also is concerned that others in the building won't be able to use their Sprint wireless phone. I have heard no such complaints, and believe that everyone else is working as I stated earlier me and my fiancé Palm Pres are working fine. I did notice the neighbor’s phone looked old maybe 3+ years old. She live right next door to me, so toning down my signal probably would not benefit her or me all that much. We get 0-1 bar on our Pres without the airave and defiantly need it going forward.

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Journeyman

If your airave is unrestricted, she must be connecting to another airave unit in the area.  She would definitely want to call in so we could check what airave it's connected to.  The solution might be as simple as pulling the battery when she has a better signal from an actual sprint tower.  Furthermore, Airave devices will only do 1xrtt data.  Depending on the device, if she instructs the device to use EVDO only, that might push and keep her on a Sprint tower.

I'm certainly not used to making phones not use the airave as a primary signal.  Usually it's the other way around.  Beyond those suggestions, the customer could always call in and we could get an engineer to investigate.  Multiple airave signals overlapping can be bad for everyone.  Since the network cannot hand-off from Airave to Airave, the closer you get to an Airave that you're not currently connected on, the worse your signal will be as your Airave will be fighting to maintain the integrity of the call.

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Journeyman

Dear Groove Daddy and/or anyone else that can help,

  I am an I-wireless customer that has been given the run around from at least 6 different Sprint representatives who claim to be experts on the Airave.  Up until 3 days ago, I have had perfect service with I-wireless in my apartment complex for the last year.  Now, new downstairs neighbors have moved in and because they have poor Sprint signal in their apartment, Sprint sent them an Airave to use to "fix" the problem.  I have talked to the neighbor and gave him my phone number and the number for Sprint customer service in hopes that he will call and be able to come up with a solution.  I DO NOT WANT to "mooch" off of his service, as many of the members in this post have assumed their neighbors would want to do.  My service was flawless before this device was being used, all I want is to have my phone ignore the signal the Airave is putting out and go back to whatever tower it WAS using beforehand.  I am not even able to use my phone when I go out on my balcony or walk down the three flights of stairs of my building...I still receive the "You are on a Sprint Private Network" message.  God forbid a family member or friend has an emergency and needs to get ahold of me..no such luck!  It is soooo extremely frustrating that I am not able to send or receive calls or messages, my phone is completely useless in my own home!!

  My biggest fear is that if and when my neighbor does call customer service, he will get one of the clueless representatives that I got that had no clue as what to do.  Is there a way for him to disable anyone else from picking up the signal the Airave is putting out?  Like a secure network on a wireless router, just completely block my phone from trying to access the network?   I have a Sanyo PLS-2700, which is sold by Sprint as well...is there anything I can do beside setting my Roaming settings to home (which I-wireless suggested) to prevent my phone from trying to access his network??  I don't want to be added to his user list if there is a way around it...

  Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can give me!!

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Journeyman

Groovedaddy wrote:

If your airave is unrestricted, she must be connecting to another airave unit in the area.  She would definitely want to call in so we could check what airave it's connected to.  The solution might be as simple as pulling the battery when she has a better signal from an actual sprint tower.  Furthermore, Airave devices will only do 1xrtt data.  Depending on the device, if she instructs the device to use EVDO only, that might push and keep her on a Sprint tower.

I'm certainly not used to making phones not use the airave as a primary signal.  Usually it's the other way around.  Beyond those suggestions, the customer could always call in and we could get an engineer to investigate.  Multiple airave signals overlapping can be bad for everyone.  Since the network cannot hand-off from Airave to Airave, the closer you get to an Airave that you're not currently connected on, the worse your signal will be as your Airave will be fighting to maintain the integrity of the call.

If you instruct the device to use EVDO only, you will get no incoming phone calls nor text messages. I don't think this is something that you want to tell customers. EVDO only mode in the config menu's puts the whole phone in that mode and disables 1xrtt for voice/text entirely.

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Journeyman

Ordinarily you would be correct as the phone would not exist on two towers at the same time.  Whether EVDO is available is dependent upon the tower you're connected to.  I've actually been able to exist on both at the same time personally, on an airave.  You can do this with which ever revision (1 or 2) .  It's actually mentioned in the faq under point 22.  They're probably able to make this work since the airave isn't a true tower, just an extension.  I prefer wifi if possible, but EVDO data from a tower and airave handling voice is possible, but for most part we're dealing with a weak signal to begin with,  so, not everyone will have this choice.  Truly, I don't run into many towers that are not EVDO these days unless roaming.  Seems like when Verizon acquired Alltel, they didn't retrofit the towers.  Some of the towers are still using Rev 0, others are on 1xrtt.  But, every once in a while in a rual area I'll find a tower that's not EVDO enabled.

It is possible to build an airave to simulate EVDO, but the FCC is very strict regarding construction of devices like this, since it is a licensed service.  You can actually check this out on the FCC website, as they have to provide documentation to prove the device operates within a certain tolerance.  As we have seen, it is possible to negatively impact other users' service with an airave.  Not to mention, you'd have to transmit with more power than 50mw which is the supposed limit for the airave devices.  I say "supposed" because I've seen some units that extend out like 100+ feet.

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Journeyman

can anyone tell me how to update my towers????? on my sprint phone

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Journeyman

How do you mean, "update your towers"?  Are you trying to increase your signal strength or are you not getting any service while roaming?

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