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Updating tower information

Journeyman

Updating tower information

On the Verizon network, I've been used to being able update cell tower information stored in the phone by dialing *228 and then pressing 2 "to update your roaming capabilities." This updated the phone's awareness of towers, as far as I understand. Is there a way to do this with a sprint phone? I'm currently using a Palm Centro.

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36 REPLIES
Wizard

Re: Updating tower information

For some reason I've been unable to plumb, one must call *2 and ask the Customer Service Rep to flag your number for a "PRL Update." The CSR should do that, and the next time you dial *2 the Preferred Roaming List on your phone should be "automatically" updated.

Tom

Master

Re: Updating tower information

Sadly the only way is to call customer care and have your phone flagged, or you could probably call a corporate store as well, they might do it for you.

I wish there was a specific number to dial to check for updates, but there isn't at the moment. :-(

Also, remember that a PRL (Preferred Roaming List) update only helps for roaming, it should make no difference in regular sprint service. Basically a PRL just says this tower from this provider should be used before these because there is a better roaming agreement, etc. Regular Sprint service should not be affected by an out-of-date PRL listing.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

Thanks. Called CS and they flagged my phone for this after seeing I needed an update. Unfortunately, dialing *2 doesn't perform the update, even after powering off and on the phone. So it looks like I have to take it to a Sprint store to do the update. The CS said that sometimes is necessary.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

That is correct, in a way.
When a new cell site is activated all the Sprint phones in the area will be able to communicate with it. There is nothing extra a customer has to do to be able to communicate with a new cell site (such as doing the PRL update).
Now the PRL update is like what was mentioned above, alisting of non-Sprint cell sites your phone may communicate with if it can not find a Sprint cell site. It's information only, nothing more. It does not improve or service or decrease service on any level.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

I asked Sprint about this just yesterday (I had Verizon previously as well) and I was told that Sprint users did not have to update their towers.
Deb

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

Well, it does improve service if there's a non-Sprint system you couldn't roam on before, and it gets added to the PRL, so now you can.

There is a particular area that I go to regularly where the only CDMA service is US Cellular. Sprint usually roams on USC, but didn't roam onto this one particular USC system until it was (apparently) added in the last PRL update. So for years I had no Sprint service there, now I do. That would be considered a service improvement by most.

The thing is, Sprint does such a poor job of getting PRL updates out to their customers that people get frustrated by an apparent lack of service availability, for which they blame Sprint's poor coverage, when there might well be signal but the customer doesn't have the updated appropriate PRL loaded to take advantage of it.

Sprint needs to understand that getting PRL updates to their customers can only improve customer satisfaction.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

That's the thing though...you aren't getting Sprint service with that PRL update you are getting (name of roamingwireless provider) service, and then through them you may get access to Sprint (although you may not be able to access vm, text, web, pictures, etc while roaming).
Also while roaming we can not garuntee service (it's not happening on our network), and your minutes...wether it's M2M or during N&W time...will come off the daytime minutes in your plan if you have "Roaming Included" in your plan.
Now if there is a problem while roaming we can generate a report for that and escalate it to our network fix agents (who then in turn may escalate that to the roaming provider in that area), however there is a difference between roaming with a Sprint device and using Sprint signal.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

PRL's are not automatic. you actually need to call CS to get it done, and it takes a few minutes. but while Sprint's service may not be improved, better roaming signal strength is very common, and that is what the PRL updates really do.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

Supposedly you have to ask CS to flag your account so that the next time you *2, your account will have updated PRL data. Unfortunately this doesn't work with Centro phones, from what I'm hearing. Tech Support says they have no way to do this update, other than to do it over the air. I have seen discussion in many places on the internet that Centro users can't get PRL updates over the air at all, so they're stuck with old PRL data. I even took mine to my local Sprint Tech Center and the guy there tried for upwards of an hour to get it updated, complete with having Tech Support on the phone with him. He tried resetting the device and also re-provisioning it. He said there's nothing else to do. He and Tech Support have no idea why Centro users are having this problem.

Journeyman

Re: Updating tower information

I am not seeing this in the device known issues list, however if this can not be done over the air, and a tech support rep at a store is unable to do it over the wire I would try getting in touch with Palm technical support as it could be a manufacturer issues preventing this.

Wizard

Re: Updating tower information

Twice in my years with Sprint a PRL update has changed my normal signal strength indication withoug me moving immediately on its application.<br><br>I am not going to pretend at all to understand why this has happened, but it is obvious.<br><br>The most recent was week before last when 50510 replaced 50509 on my phone. The signal indication on my phone is typically two bars higher with the new PRL as opposed to the old, while sitting right here in my recliner. Smiley Happy<br><br>I do not know what changes the new PRL made, but SOMETHING appears to have changed while I am in a fixed location on the Sprint network.<br><br>(One little hint for travelers unable to get a reliable Sprint signal, force roaming on your handset and see if you can get a better signal from a competitor. Most handsets appear designed to try to use a one bar Sprint signal even if there is a five bar "competitive" signal available. As an end user, I don't care WHO's signal I'm using, I want reliable communications, and I will sometimes force roaming if the Sprint signal is unreliable at my temporary location.)<br><br>Another interesting note about my Sprint service at home. About twice a month the signal from the sprint towers service my home will drop to ZERO - just plain vanish (my phone is set to 'beep' when that happens).<br><br>If the Sprint signal does not return in a reasonable time (seems to be maybe 20-30 seconds), my handset will search for another viable signal and lock onto the five bar Verizon tower just down the street. As soon as the Sprint signal returns, though, the phone will immediately switch back to the weaker signal from the more distant Sprint tower.<br><br>Anyway, getting back on topic, a change in PRL can improve service at times even when the handset believes it is still on the Sprint network. I do not know what changes, or why the indicated signal strength can change while still in network just from a PRL change, but in the last few years it has happened to me.<br><br>Very odd.

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