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What is up with restricted zip codes?

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Journeyman

What is up with restricted zip codes?

I purchased an Airave at a Sprint store yesterday.  Brought it home and hooked it up.  It worked great for about hour.  I was able to place and receive calls on two different phones.  I unplugged the unit to plug it in on a different power outlet (without moving the unit).  After plugging it back in, the unit comes up with all lights blue, except 'system' light is flashing red.  Rebooted several times with same results.

I called Sprint Airave Tech Support this morning.  Two different techs told me that the engineers pushed through an update to the airave that would not allow it to work in my zip code. After the update was downloaded and the airave was power cycled it stopped working,  OK.

First of all, what is up with the restriction by zip code??  The GPS locks on just fine so 911 can find me.  I have 6 megs of high speed internet and no issues there.  What difference does it make what zip code I am in?  If the unit works fine in my zip code, why 'fix' it so it won't??

Secondly, no one at the Sprint store asked me my zip code nor gave any indication that it even mattered.  The rep saw my zip code and address which she verified with me before selling me the unit.  I would assume the "tech" at Sprint who activated the unit probably also was aware of what my zip code was or at least should have looked at it before activating a unit in a zip code that they don't want it to work in.

I was happy as a lark for about an hour. Now my blood is boiling because I am going to have to drive an hour to the store to return it.

Joe, puzzled by Sprint

9 REPLIES 9
Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

Joe, it seems as though there might be some details you left out of your story, as it makes no logical sense. How long did you leave the Airave on after you plugged it back in? The unit has to go through a whole boot up sequence to work properly and can take as much as a half an hour to an hour. In addition are you using the external GPS antennae that is included with the device or just the built in module?

Lastly, a few more things: what type of account do you have and are you sure you have the correct feature codes on your account in addition to having the unit activated correctly?

There is no such thing as 'Pushing out an update for a Zip Code', that is false.

#WelcomeToTheNowNetwork
Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

The Airave uses Sprint licensed radio spectrum.  Essentially, Sprint has to have permission from the FCC to broadcast signals in the area.  If we don't have a spectrum licence in the area, we cannot broadcast signals.

If the area you are in is not somewhere that Sprint has permission to broadcast, I can see that would be why we had to disable using Airaves in the area.

The Airave is essentially a little bitty cell phone tower.  We'd have the same restriction if we tried to put up a ful size tower in the area.

Sorry that you got caught by this - hopefully we can make it right.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

Mike

I appreciate your response.

You said: "There is no such thing as 'Pushing out an update for a Zip Code', that is false."

That is exactly what the airave tech told me.  The put out an update to the airave last week that would prevent it from working in certain zip codes for which they do not want it working.  Yes that is true. Call them yourself and ask.  While the unit was working it downloaded the update and when it was power cycled, the update took effect, locking the unit from working based on the zip code location provided by the GPS signal.

After I plugged the airave back in, I left it on for 4 hours.  I unplugged it again, connected the external GPS antenna and tried again for another two hours.  The unit locks on to the GPS with or without the external antenna without a problem.

Joe

Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

Thank you for the explanation, that does make sense to me.  There is no Sprint cell tower in my area, only AT&T and US Cellular. I have no Sprint service at home, but use Sprint because of frequent travel and have been very satisfied with my service.  I have been a Sprint customer probably 8 or 9 years now.  It would be nice to be able to use my cell phones at home, since I do have screaming high speed internet.  Oh well.

Joe

Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

What actually determines where an Airave can be used? Billing zip code or GPS location or how?  I have a metal shop building that gets almost no cell signal of any carrier inside and it sits on the line between 2 different zip codes, one is eligible for an Airave and one is not according to the online zip code determinater. My billing address zip code is from a town not in Sprint service about 15 or 20 miles from a Sprint tower. However my shop building is 9 or 10 miles from a sprint tower and I get a week Sprint signal outside. Can I have an Airave for my shop or not?

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

Cat - it's your GPS location.  Since you have a weak Sprint signal at that location, you should be good to go.  Contact Customer Care to be sure.  If you can't get one, I've read good reports about Wilson Cellular building repeaters -- more expensive, but functional.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

Here you can check if Airwave service is avaible in your area

http://www.sprint.com/landings/airave_eligibility/index.html?id12=AIRAVE_Link_AvailabilityChecker

Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

The explanation given for "restricted" zip codes makes no sense.  If they are truly restricted, why does Sprint offer Airave devices to customers from these ZIP codes to improve their coverage? Sounds like they contradict their own statement.  In my case, the device worked (for one evening!) and has no trouble provisioning (all lights solid blue) so I find this explanation baffling.

My Airave experience has been a true frustration; Coverage at my home is predictably miserable (RSSI -100 or worse! guaranteed call drop in <1min); I would have canceled my service in the first 30 days of customer "dis"satisfaction except for taking the bait offered in the form of Airave!

Hello SPRINT!

1. Does anybody on this forum know about concrete plans to add new ZIP codes to the approved list of AIRAVE coverage areas?

2. Is it true that even in all lights are blue on the device, it will not work if the ZIP code is listed as unavailable?

As of now, my AIRAVE is an expensive LED nightlight! I did not want to return it since the rep warned me that I may never get back one (for free! of course)

Journeyman

Re: What is up with restricted zip codes?

We are in the same boat - and fed up!! Sounds like Sprint is hooking customers by claiming to have good reception in areas, and then offering airave as a solution when it is discovered that reception is not good in their area!! And then, after allowing the airave to work (for MONTHS in our case), they are saying that the zip code is not covered for service!! Which means too late to return airave for a refund and too late to switch cell phone service!!!!

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