Several days ago I was updating apps on my Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G and the phone did a PRL update which I did not initiate. After the update and the radio reset I could no longer find service on the Sprint network in this area. I turned on the roaming service and it works fine but when I go back to Sprint only, nothing. For the last 6 months I have lived here, I have always had between 1 and 4 bars of service from Sprint and my phone has always been set to Sprint only. The PRL is 60690. Today I drove down to Boone, NC, only about 20miles away, and as soon as I got close my phone pop'd onto the Sprint network without any trouble at all. I did another PRL update and profile update, also checked that my firmware and android sw were up to date (which they are) while I had full coverage and there were no issues. Until I got back to the 28640 area and lost the Sprint network again and had to turn roaming back on. I am really confused as to how I could have had Sprint coverage for 6 months and then after one update, poof. Roaming is not really an issue for me right now since I have unlimited everything, but I live in a Sprint covered area so I should expect to be able to use the Sprint network and not have to roam. I should say that my second line is a Samsung Touch which also has the same problem, same PRL even, although the person using that phone has always had roaming turned on but I did the same test with it and got the same results.
Sorry to hear your having this issue; can you provide me with your nearest cross streets? This will allow us to give you an accurate information and see what type of coverage you have.
Sprint Social Media Care Team
I did some additional testing with my Epic 4G today. It seems that every time I power cycle, after a few minutes it will come up and say that it has connected to the Sprint network. This will last for between 4-8mins each time. During this time I have no bars on the antennae however I am able to use the 3G data network without any trouble. I tested with several apps: Weather Channel, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But even tho the 3G works, I cannot make or receive calls. After that 4-8 min period where it says i'm connected it will drop the network and never reconnect unless I power cycle the phone again.
Like I said before, I can drive down Hwy 221 to the south about 10-15 miles taking me out of the area and I can grab the Sprint network without any trouble. The Sprint coverage map shows that where I live and all along 221 I should have network coverage, and for the last 6 months I have without fail until last week.
Thank you for your responses, I just finished checking your area. Did you know that you're in a fair/extended coverage area? Generally this type of coverage would give you 1-2 bars. I would like to explore some options with you, can you send me a private message? I would need your cell phone number along with your security pin or answer.
Sprint Social Media Care Team
Today I did a test drive up Hwy 221 north all the way to Sparta. All of which is supposed to be "good" coverage on the Sprint network according to the map on the Sprint website. I could not get on the Sprint network the entire way despite seeing several towers. I even went a little ways past Spart on 21 towards Elkin but had to turn around and head back. I set the phone back to roaming for the ride back and roaming coverage, 2-4 bars, the whole way.
You said previously that this was an "extended coverage" area. Does that mean that Sprint actually leases network usage on these towers from another provider? I'm not talking about a roaming agreement, but a network usage agreement. Cause this almost seems like that sort of problem.