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Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Journeyman

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Tomas_ isn't that forcing a monopoly by AT&T, and illegal?  We know they want the market share, but AT&T really sucks!  That would be worse than being cast into a septic tank by god for eternity!  Well, maybe not quite that bad, but pretty close. Just having AT&T as dominant wireless carrier makes me cringe!  My employer provided me with an iphone with AT&T coverage (kind of them, I would say, since I don't have a bill).  If you are basically under their tower the data clips along at about 2Mbps and better.  I had 1 result on my iphone of 3.6Mbps.  That's about the only joy.  You get out of the cities and I can't tell you how many times I get AT&T Edge, or less.  So they are not widespread like sprint used to be.  I have the Sprint overdrive wifi at home (really rural setting) with constant 4 bars.  With my iphone, I have to stand by the kitchen window in hopes of talking to somebody.  Oh, the hazards of technology and coverage!

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Journeyman

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

I have been watching coverage in my area closely as well. I recently found an app called opensignalmaps for my Epic. It is free and it has the ability to show you which tower, signal strength, on and on....lots of stuff. The best part of this app I think is the ability to upload your coverage to a user based map that continually updates. I find it is Much more acurate than anything Sprint has provided. My coverage has gotten absulutely terrible in my home as of late. With Sprint going to court to block the whole purchase of T-mobile I think the writing is on the wall. Anytime a company starts resorting to this kind of "please stop this because it will crush us" type of maneuver in the courts it;s all downhill after.

You can view a pretty good map on opensignalmaps.com

Sadly I will be making the switch to another carrier along with the other line on my account and since I decide who we use at the office those 13 lines will also be going.

The more than one year wait for 4g that was supposed to be available "in the next few months"

Drastically reduced 3g and voice signal in and around my home

Tired of paying the extra 10 bucks a month for "premium data"  (I actually had a rep in the store try to tell me it's because you will be able to use your data faster because the processor is faster) She and 2 other employees did/could not understand that you don't actually get the data any faster....it was comical.

2 More months and we can start the process of non renewal of contracts with a company that continually bombards my phone with tweets about the awards they have won....to that I say........Ben Afleck has an Oscar

Wizard

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

DOUG900 wrote:

Tomas_ isn't that forcing a monopoly by AT&T, and illegal? 

Sadly, no, Doug.

When Verizon was forced by the FCC to divest itself of duplicate coverage as a condition of being allowed to buy Alltel, all the other companies, including Sprint, had the opportunity to purchase that portion of the network and the customers in that area.

It would have been a natural match for Sprint to have bought the Alltel network that was divested, since Sprint already depended on that network for it's sole coverage in those areas, and since it was all CDMA hardware.

We do not know if Sprint attempted to buy all that, all we do know is that AT&T DID, and immediately started changing the tower equipment over to GSM to make it part of their network - and no longer usable by Sprint.

Let's face it, AT&T has vast bags of money laying around compared to Sprint, so AT&T could easily have offered to pay a premium price and outbid Sprint. (There is also the off chance that Verizon could have simply preferred to sell to AT&T instead of Sprint, who is a direct CDMA competitor, in the hopes of forcing Sprint into hugely overpriced roaming contracts - or even just crippling Sprint's availability to it's customers - since Verizon will generally NOT allow 3G roaming by Sprint Customers in its current roaming contracts.)

Anyway, what we see now is what we have to work with. We don't know if Sprint was asleep at the switch or if they were simply beat down by the money the two "Ma Bell" carriers (Verizon and AT&T) had available to them and Sprint didn't.

What is even more upsetting, though, is Sprint not communicating any of the facts to it's customers in any useful or open manner.

SPRINT: You and your customers are both on the same side, we are not your enemies! The better Sprint does, the happier your customers are. Your customers want Sprint to do well, because then we can do well. You have to get over the "them against us" view you have of your customers, and help us help you. This starts with letting us know what is going on.

Tom

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Tom:

Well written post!  I have enjoyed reading your comments on this thread.  They are written clearly and offer detailed facts to support and expalin the issues, both in a techanical stance, as well as in a way newbies can grasp.  Thank you for bringing some clarity to these issues. 

TOMAS_ wrote:

(There is also the off chance that Verizon could have simply preferred to sell to AT&T instead of Sprint, who is a direct CDMA competitor, in the hopes of forcing Sprint into hugely overpriced roaming contracts - or even just crippling Sprint's availability to it's customers - since Verizon will generally NOT allow 3G roaming by Sprint Customers in its current roaming contracts.)

I hate to be a consipracy theorist, but this is what I too have concluded.  I think at the minimum Verizon is overjoyed to have divested portions of Alltel to AT&T instead of Sprint.  They know AT&T has capacity issues, spectrum issues and serious customer satisfaction issues.  They know AT&T is not a good competitor in the short term.  I have several friends who were Alltel customers who jumped ship when AT&T took over their area.  Most went to Verizon, some went to Sprint.  Verizon knew that the Alltel loss rate would benefit them greatly if AT&T was the buyer.  Also, your point of the additional revenues of more Sprint roaming customers to Verizon is likely to make them smile, as well.

I still fanatasize how wonderful it would have been if the divested portions of Alltel went to Sprint.  Or better yet, if Sprint had just purchased Alltel themselves in stead of Verizon.  Oh, fantasies...

Robert

Wizard

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

WPBOTZ wrote:

I have been watching coverage in my area closely as well. I recently found an app called opensignalmaps for my Epic. It is free and it has the ability to show you which tower, signal strength, on and on....lots of stuff. The best part of this app I think is the ability to upload your coverage to a user based map that continually updates. I find it is Much more acurate than anything Sprint has provided.

I just checked my local area on their maps and both the coverage and tower information that OpenSignalMaps.com shows is severly lacking when compared to the real world.

I suspect the lack of coverage information is due to not having enough reporting units in this area, but I don't know why they do not show the known towers.

For example, these are the actual Sprint towers that serve me where I'm sitting right now:

google_earth_home_sprint_05.jpg

And this is what OpenSignalMaps.com shows:

opensignalmaps_sprint_tow01.jpg

The coverage areas shown are just as sparse, even though this entire area has coverage.

Tom

P.S. They also don't show the T-Mobile tower on the edge of the apartment complex property - I can see it from here.

P.P.S. I will not be a reporting unit because OpenSignalMaps.com  does not currently support my smartphone OS - nor do they plan to.

Journeyman

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

TOMAS, I am a member of various forums, one being The Purse Forum, which is REALLY large, with alot of "watching" and "restrictions" on what you say. I'm a member in very good standing, with 5000 postings. I don't feel I have said anything on this thread that I would be concerned about Sprint reading. I was just lost when Miles sent a msg about Doug and wanted to know what was up. Doug didn't say anything that I (as a knowledgeable Sprint customer, and now knowledgeable about Verizon/AT&T) would tell someone else. Sprint has been very good to us (after moving our tower in the opposite direction, thus, us losing our service...LOL!). Retention and Escalation were extremely nice people to deal with. I will say, my husband and I did everything before ending up in those areas. We had our phones diagnosed twice at the Sprint store, I called and had several tickets on file, we hooked up the Airave that they sent us and went through a few bumps with it and got it going again with the help of the great (Ft. Lauderdale) Airave CS. I'm basically saying, if a person has issues, do all the necessary things before moving up to Retention! We DID NOT want to get to that point. We DID NOT every want to leave Sprint.

Am I glad we tried Verizon and AT&T after Sprint released us, yes. There is so much hype about Verizon's "great towers all over the place" and "everyone just LOVES AT&T"...yeah, right! Fortunately, we tried Verizon and AT&T and still kept our backup to Sprint. We are now at peace with where we're at with Sprint, thrilled with our Airave, and (as we already knew) we have great service in Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville area.

Sprint has the bast Customer Service, best prices and packages, best phone selection. We're happy and proud to be Sprint Customers!

Thanks for your input about the Sprint Forums, TOMAS.

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced


Tom, you mention " I'm afraid you may be just the first of many once customers realize just how limited Sprint's coverage has become in the real world."

I've since talked to people with Verizon and AT&T with the same tower issues that I experienced. My SIL can WALK to her AT&T store, there's a tower right there. She has an iPhone. She had great coverage in her home, now she doesn't. She's asking AT&T "what happened to the tower???" She and her husband are talking about leaving AT&T and moving to Sprint. A friend in Franklin has AT&T, an iPhone, and has to asked us Sprint users to borrow our phones to make calls. She's waiting for her contract to be up to move to Sprint. I could list others from both Verizon and AT&T, but I think you get my point. It goes both ways.

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

One issue I noticed with Open Signals Maps' Android app is that the tower locations are not always accurate.  Next time you use it, look at the BSID (Base ID #).  Sometimes it will show some antennas with the same BSID #.  In my area, there is a BSID #8082 that shows up in 4 different locations.  One of the four, comes up 50% of the time, the other three about equal split with the other 50%.  I drive to the locations shown on the map, the one that shows up most often is obviously a Sprint tower.  Looks the part in every way.  The other three are misc. antennas.  One is at the power company.  One is in someone's back yard (personal use of some sort).  One is on top of a gas station.  These look like normal single mast antennas that are between 15' and 40' tall.  These do not broadcast Sprint signals.

I hypothesize that these towers must broadcast some sort of signal that my antenna sees, but cannot actually connect to.  That's why the BSID does not change when it displays it on the map.  But for whatever reason, the OpenSignal app thinks it's connected to them. 

When I go to antennasearch.com, these antennas do show up as registered with the FCC.  But they supposedly do not broadcast at a frequency that my Evo antennas should pick up (at least according to the specs).  So you have to take these cell tower locators with this mis-locating information in mind.

Robert

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Great post, Tom! I've wondered why Sprint didn't buy Alltel also??? But, have a feeling the two providers linked with the government and have $$$ had the advantage.

Everytime I read a post like this from you, I get nervous thinking my only lifeline of coverage in my home is my Airave. And, not just Sprint, but Verizon and AT&T can't give me a tower for service. BTW, I DON'T live in the boonies!!! I live in a sub in Spring Hill, TN...2nd year in a row the fastest growing city in TN!!! Average income for Spring Hill is $100,000. (Last census) Spring Hill is a planned community, clean and safe, and is Urban Spawl of Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville. Wouldn't you think one of these providers would have a tower for us here???

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Part of me wonders if Sprint's long term plan for coverage is LightSquared.  If I was head of Sprint, I would have to admit the concept of Coast to Coast 4G LTE coverage via satellite would be alluring.  And in that light, I wouldn't scramble and spend billions on covering the Upper Midwest/Dakotas/Wyoming/Montana in a rush deal, knowing that I would be covering the whole Continental U.S. in the not too distant future.  I sure hope Dan Hesse is cooking something like that up, or otherwise, it just appears he is less than brilliant with the moves being made currently.

LightSquared may need someone like Sprint.  As virtually everyone knows, LightSquared is running into problems with their spectrum interfering with GPS systems.  This is only occuring with their ground stations, not their satellite.  If they sign a deal with Sprint, to use their spectrum and towers, and give Sprint free roaming, then LightSquared's problems are solved.  Sprint becomes the most sought after network in the country with Coast to Coast 4G service.  Verizon and AT&T scramble after the fact to put up their own satellites costing billions.  Plus they wouldn't have the spectrum to pull off the capacity they would need.

Wouldn't this be genius?  They say LightSquared and Sprint are in talks.  But I'm probably just dreamin'!

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

nmherron wrote:

Part of me wonders if Sprint's long term plan for coverage is LightSquared.  If I was head of Sprint, I would have to admit the concept of Coast to Coast 4G LTE coverage via satellite would be alluring.  And in that light, I wouldn't scramble and spend billions on covering the Upper Midwest/Dakotas/Wyoming/Montana in a rush deal, knowing that I would be covering the whole Continental U.S. in the not too distant future.  I sure hope Dan Hesse is cooking something like that up, or otherwise, it just appears he is less than brilliant with the moves being made currently.

LightSquared may need someone like Sprint.  As virtually everyone knows, LightSquared is running into problems with their spectrum interfering with GPS systems.  This is only occuring with their ground stations, not their satellite.  If they sign a deal with Sprint, to use their spectrum and towers, and give Sprint free roaming, then LightSquared's problems are solved.  Sprint becomes the most sought after network in the country with Coast to Coast 4G service.  Verizon and AT&T scramble after the fact to put up their own satellites costing billions.  Plus they wouldn't have the spectrum to pull off the capacity they would need.

Wouldn't this be genius?  They say LightSquared and Sprint are in talks.  But I'm probably just dreamin'!

Obviously, this would rock. Unfortunately, this is what we (Sprint customers) are reduced to in the absence of any guidance from Sprint...speculation, wishes and "...just dreamin'!" Wouldn't it be nice to actually have some idea of what Sprint has in store...if anything?

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

MikeyrInFL wrote:

Obviously, this would rock. Unfortunately, this is what we (Sprint customers) are reduced to in the absence of any guidance from Sprint...speculation, wishes and "...just dreamin'!" Wouldn't it be nice to actually have some idea of what Sprint has in store...if anything?

Actually, there has been a LightSquared development today, but not a good one.  http://sprintconnection.kansascity.com/?q=node/1798.   It appears LightSquared is now talking with AT&T.  If AT&T signs a  deal with LightSquared and Sprint did not, it would be the death knell  for Sprint.  Hopefully LightSquared is doing this to put pressure on  Sprint about their deal.  I hope it's a bluff to get Sprint to be  realistic about it's terms and not actually a walking away from the  bargaining table.

One  interesting thought about all this though is that the Feds may give  AT&T even more grief about the T-Mobile merger if they sign a  LightSquared deal.  Because it would really put Sprint out to pasture.   It would create an unfair overdominant player in the U.S. wireless  industry.

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