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Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Journeyman

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

One thing I have really noticed lately is that my 3G (EVDO) speed has really tanked in the past few months in more urban areas here in New Mexico.  At first, it was just in the evenings.  Now it is all day long from about 8 AM - 9 PM.  It's really bad in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  Most days my download speed is dropping to 100kb-200kb, but upload is staying normal around 1mb - 1.3mb.  I have confirmed in my speed tests that I am receiving an EVDO signal when this occurs. 

I have confirmed the EVDO signal using three sources, Mobile Signal Widget, Antennas app and OpenSignalMaps app.  All say EVDO.  I am running tests using SpeedTest app and RootMetrics app.  I am just wondering why it came on very suddenly.  I know that Sprint has not had a recent skyrocketing increase in new subscribers. 

But then, I put two and two together.  This could be coincidence, but...the slow down started to occur when Alltel towers went to AT&T/Verizon locally.  Is it possible that Sprint was using Alltel to piggy back it's network even in urban areas where it had coverage?  To increase capacity?  I've never heard of such a thing before, but that could explain why it is happening and the timing.  I have also seen lots of posts around the country where other folks are noting the same slow down issues.

Another thing I wonder is if my Evo is using split radios for some reason.  By design or defect.  One for download, one for upload.  I don't even know if it's possible.  But could it be using 1xRTT on the download and EVDO on the upload?  Maybe the EVDO cells are overloaded with use and it is bumping me down to 1xRTT for download.  But since the EVDO upload channels are wide open with light usage, it is allowing me to upload over EVDO?  I would think this would be unlikely, but has anyone ever heard of a phone that can download and upload on separate radios in the device at the same time?

I'm just perplexed by this whole sudden network slow down.  And maybe I think too much.  Fortunately for me, it seems like in the worst areas that are affected by the slow down, I have a 4G signal.  And it's speeds are completely unaffected, no matter time of day (but I imagine usage is light in these unannounced cities).  So that makes me rule out that the backhaul is overloaded.  Because in an instance where the backhaul is choked, it should affect the 3G and 4G on the same tower.  Unless they had separate dedicated backhaul services.  This seems unlikely.

Any thoughts out there?  Tom?

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Yeah, this totally sucks....I've noticed huge "bouncing" of signal, 2 bars where it used to be 5, 0 bars where it used to be 5, etc... Also, I've been having problems with GPS as well.  Got dam it sprint, WHY OH WHY YOU DO THIS TO MEEEE?????

I don't get it.  The turdbags worked on getting their retention better and they did and now they do this?  Sprint keeps going in circles.  They are like their network and signal, they bounce all over the place and have no idea what they want to do. I'd just like to see some kind of consistency.  I'll take even status quo from them but they seem to take 3 steps forward and then 4 steps back hoping the customers will not notice the 1 extra step that they've taken backwards.

well sprint, I NOTICE....

Wizard

Re: Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

nmherron, I really have no idea what is happening at Sprint right now, or what is happening with all those towers they sold to TowerCo, (about 3080 of 'em in 2008) or what their contract maintenance folks (Ericsson since 2009) are doing to the service, but something is not working the way it should.

All I do know is...

  • Sprint does not own the majority of the towers they use (sold)
  • Sprint does not maintain the towers they use (contracted out)
  • Sprint no longer has decent inter-carrier contracts for service/roaming

Even here at home, in a suburban area with six Sprint towers within 5 miles of me, Sprint EVDO service has drastically deteriorated.

Several times recently when I have needed to get some information while out and about (phone numbers, addresses) I have forced my Palm Pre to roam to Verizon 1xRTT service because it was faster and more reliable than the Sprint EVDO service I've been getting.

When I wait a couple minutes for info when using Sprint EVDO in a good coverage area and don't get it, even after several tries, then force roaming, hit Verizon 1xRTT data service and have it nearly instantly SOMETHING IS WRONG with the service from my provider.

Wish I knew what it was, wish there was actually some way to actually report it and get it taken care of, but...

Highlighted
Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

And I laugh because a few of the people I see having trouble here  told me I had a bad attitude etc. Welcome to the club. I will say it  again. This company is going to fail without some huge influx of cash,  and I don't see that coming anytime soon. Just to update I did finally  get the Airave from sprint and it did fix my signal problem at home. Now  if they would just fix the rest of the network in Michigan. it really  is pathetic now. and getting worse. I now have no coverage at all in a  place where previuosly I had coverage. I just hope we don't get sold to  AT&T like the last phone company I was with did. I see all the same  signs now that I did before Centennial wireless got bought out by  AT&T.

Ugh!

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Botz, so you didn't have many problems before they lost the roaming agreements, correct?  something is def awry.  I don't have to do any fancy tests to know because my signal's have been bouncing and weak when it hadn't been previously.  Lucky for me i live in chicago so I have not completely lost signals but when i drive to rural suburban areas, the signals are def. weaker. 

I have not yet gotten to the point where im ready to switch carriers, YET and I hope I never hope to but I feel for people in the rural area.  You may have to go with verizon.  They have the best network, period, barnone. But you will also have to pay for it. 

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Tomas,

Sprint just did a $15 Billion deal with LightSquared for their 4G LTE services.  It's supposed to cover 260 Million people by 2015.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think Sprint is trying to narrow down on their contracts with other broadbands and voice.  They extended their contract with Clearwire until 2012 for their 4G WiMAX services (although they own 54% of the company).  I'm not sure about their contract with their voice services, but they might be either talking with other companies, or investing far too much into 4G for their bigger markets like NewYork, San Francisco, etc. 

Khushrenada

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Same story here in Wichita, KS.  Our 3G speeds have tanked in the last month or 2.  Off peak is still decent (1000+), but on peak drops to 100kbits/s or less.  Absolutely pathetic.  I just bought the Evo 3D, but after finding this thread, I'm wondering if I should return it.  I feel a carrier switch in my future.

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

You could possibly just sell your 3d with enough to buy out your contract and have close to enough to buy a new phone on some other service. You return it you'll still have to fork out cash for a new phone.

Sprint Product Ambassador

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

Well, I just did a 4,500 mile drive test through the Northern Rockies (google maps link) with my Evo.  Other than known zero coverage areas (National Forests, National Parks, etc) I only had problems in one place -- North and South of Lewiston, ID.  I was on digital roaming almost the entire time but was able to use data services (Google Maps, Nav, Facebook, Exchange etc) without issues.

In the panhandle of ID, I received multiple 'Error 67' error codes because there are no data services there.  While the map is ugly, I found that Sprint service through the roaming areas is perfectly usable.  I was able to navigate using Google Maps, clear email from my work account and maintain phone calls for

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

That's what i've found as well, (Evo shift) but it won't help our non-android friends.

Wizard

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

wengla02 wrote:

Well, I just did a 4,500 mile drive test through the Northern Rockies (google maps link) with my Evo.  Other than known zero coverage areas (National Forests, National Parks, etc) I only had problems in one place -- North and South of Lewiston, ID.  I was on digital roaming almost the entire time but was able to use data services (Google Maps, Nav, Facebook, Exchange etc) without issues.

In the panhandle of ID, I received multiple 'Error 67' error codes because there are no data services there.  While the map is ugly, I found that Sprint service through the roaming areas is perfectly usable.  I was able to navigate using Google Maps, clear email from my work account and maintain phone calls for

Map looks like you had a nice wander through some beautiful areas in my part of the country.

Coverage of any sort gets pretty flaky in northern Idaho, as you found, but most of the rest of that route should have been pretty decent other than occasional dropouts (at least from my experience).

The big difference, Will, between your experience and folks with non-Android devices is the navigation: Sprint Nav won't work, and Google Nav isn't available.

Sort of fits with the response in Sprint stores these days when looking for any smartphone other than an Android phone. When all is said and done it's pretty much "Go Android or go away" from the Sprint folks.

Hope you had a great trip!

Tom

Journeyman

Voice and 3G coverage being drastically reduced

"All of hte negatives you listed above are the same for every carrier when dealing with roaming."

FalseSprint has draconian limits on roaming that, as far as I know, no other major carrier has:

---

Sprint reserves the right, without notice, to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if off-network usage in a month exceeds: (1) voice: 800 min. or a majority of minutes; or (2) data: 300 megabytes or a majority of kilobytes. The display on your device may not always be on and will not indicate whether you will incur roaming charges.

---

This means that even if the other carriers can "get away with" maps that include roaming coverage, Sprint cannot (morally, and perhaps not legally either).

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