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4G ALERT! You cannot connect to Sprint 4G signal if your phone is roaming!!!

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Journeyman

4G ALERT! You cannot connect to Sprint 4G signal if your phone is roaming!!!

A month or so ago when I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico my Evo would not get out of roaming mode (which happens occasionally), even though I had traveled into a Sprint coverage area.  So as I wandered into a 4G service area I tried to connect to the 4G tower, and it wouldn't.  It would see the signal, then go "Connecting to Sprint".  Then it would go back to "Scanning".  After a few seconds it would try to connect again, but would not.  Repeating the same thing over and over again.

After about 10 minutes of that, I cycled my Evo through airplane mode so it would stop roaming and pick up the native Sprint signal.  Sure enough, once I was no longer roaming I was able to connect to the Sprint 4G tower in Santa Fe without any problem.  From this experience I started to wonder if we Sprint users could not connect to a Sprint 4G singal when our phones are roaming, even if we are getting a signal.

Since then I had read in a message board at AndroidCentral.com where someone in Billings, Montana and Bismarck, North Dakota could not connect to Sprint 4G towers that are active there.  They said they had the same problem I had, where their device could see the towers and try to connect, to no avail.  In both of those cities, Sprint does not have native voice service anymore and Sprint users roam.  However, Billings has two Sprint/Clear 4G towers and Bismarck has one.

So, I decided to drive to the nearest city in my region that has no Sprint voice service, but has a Sprint/Clear 4G tower.  In my case, that city is Alamosa, Colorado.  Sure enough, I get in the city, turn on my 4G antenna and scan for service.  It sees the the tower and says "Connecting to Sprint."  But it cannot connect and starts scanning again.  It repeated this over and over for 45 minutes.

So based on all this, I am concluding, YOU CANNOT CONNECT TO A SPRINT 4G SIGNAL IF YOUR DEVICE IS ROAMING.

This is a major bummer.  Sprint (and their 4G partner Clearwire) now have 4G WiMax service to dozens of Western, Upper Midwest, Alaska and other Rural communities that do not have Sprint phone service.  In these areas, we will not be able to use the 4G service.

SPRINT, PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SOON!  It's a huge waste of money to be pumping out a signal that cannot be used.  Hopefully this can be done through a software update.

2 REPLIES 2
Wizard

4G ALERT! You cannot connect to Sprint 4G signal if your phone is roaming!!!

Hello

While Clearwire is our 4G partner, we do have seperate coverage maps for 4G service just for these sort of reasons. In all of these locations you have listed as getting coverage, Sprint.com/coverage does list them as not having coverage, even if Clear.com does.

If you get coverage in a location that isn't official, great! But we can't be held responsible for it not working where we say it won't work.

Journeyman

4G ALERT! You cannot connect to Sprint 4G signal if your phone is roaming!!!

JPSquared wrote:

Hello

While Clearwire is our 4G partner, we do have seperate coverage maps for 4G service just for these sort of reasons. In all of these locations you have listed as getting coverage, Sprint.com/coverage does list them as not having coverage, even if Clear.com does.

If you get coverage in a location that isn't official, great! But we can't be held responsible for it not working where we say it won't work.

Well, you may want to look into your FCC licenses for these CMA's.  They will disagree with you.  The reasons for these towers going active in these areas is because Sprint and Clear are trying to preserve their FCC licenses in these CMA's.  If the service cannot be used, then I would argue to the FCC that they are not providing service, even though they are broadcasting from a tower.  If this is going to be Sprint's response, that I should feel privileged to get what ever I get, maybe then I have no choice but to complain to the FCC.  However, I know that Sprint will provide a better customer service response in the letter I wrote to Dan Hesse today.

You can try to distance Sprint far from Clearwire, but it won't work.  Sprint gave up a lot of it's FCC licenses to the Clear joint venture.  Sprint owns many of these licenses in question.  Like in Billings, Montana and Fairbanks, Alaska.  So you can say Clearwire, but it's Sprint's license.  Another thing, as we all know, Clear is 54% owned by Sprint.  To Sprint's customers, the two are synonymous.  Also, Sprint's deal with Clearwire allows us to use Clear's network as native.  ALL OF IT.  It does not exclude Montana, or any location for that matter.

The issue why we cannot connect to 4G while roaming is not a strategic decision by Sprint, it is a software glitch.  Sprint needs to focus on solving these issues when we customers bring it to their attention, instead of just saying we should be happy where we get unoffical service.

Also note in my post that it happens every time we roam, even in Sprint coverage areas.  There are other reasons why sometimes people roam in coverage areas.  Because the Sprint network is down, or sometimes their device gets stuck on roaming (happens to my Evo all the time).  So in these instances, you would not even be able to connect to 4G even in "official" 4G areas, like Overland Park, Kansas.

This is a bug and Sprint needs to fix it!

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