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What's a PRL? The Answer!

Sprint Product Ambassador

What's a PRL? The Answer!

Attached is a 177 page document from the CDMA Standards body listing everything about your PRL.  Your PRL is the Preferred Roaming list in your phone and it can be updated over the air.  The attached document covers every technical detail about the PRL.

Excutive Summary:

The Preferred Roaming List (PRL) is a database that assists the mobile in the acquisition and selection of a serving CDMA network. The PRL is fundamental for operators since it is through the PRL that the home operator informs their mobile devices about systems that are permitted and any order of preference in the permitted systems and even about any systems that are prohibited.

Retrieved from

http://www.cdg.org/technology/cdma%5Ftechnology/tech%5Fref.asp

Message was edited by: wengla02

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Tags (3)
24 REPLIES
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Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

for those of you who only speak english, this means that the list (PRL) tells the phone what carriers' towers to connect to, and in what order, if/when it is necessary to not use sprint signal.

Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

and in even more clear english. it means if you can hack it you can tell it too use the strongest tower no matter what.

Wizard

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

I've been told that it isn't necessary and even not a good idea to update the PRL, at least not too often. So how do I know if/when I should do it? Where I live I don't have the best signal and from what Sprint support told me, there are only 2 towers in my area and last I heard (about 2 weeks ago) one of those wasn't even working.

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

cpcarroll71 wrote:

I've been told that it isn't necessary and even not a good idea to update the PRL, at least not too often. So how do I know if/when I should do it? Where I live I don't have the best signal and from what Sprint support told me, there are only 2 towers in my area and last I heard (about 2 weeks ago) one of those wasn't even working.

Maintaining an up to date PRL is not detrimental. There are times where a roaming agreement may change and without an up to date PRL you will get no service in that area at all, whereas if it were up to date you would be able to do everything. PRLs have no effect on native Sprint coverage, they are a list of the order a phone should try connecting to roaming towers. So if you lose Sprint signal, it would then look for Company A, then Company B, then Company C, etc. until it gets a usable signal. It then periodically checks back for a native Sprint signal again. All of the current Sprint phones automatically update their PRLs, some more often than others, nowadays you shouldn't have to manually check for a PRL update, running a version that is slightly old won't have an effect for 99% of customers, those that will be effected are only those in the areas where the changes were made since that old PRL.

Wizard

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

Thanks. That clears it up some. So where Iive and spend most of my time I'm not roaming and I have the everything data plan too so do I even need to worry about updating the PRL manually? Is it something I should do when I'm traveling pretty far away from home?

Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

Is there anything like the PRL for CDMA on the iDEN side?

Once in awhile my phone drops calls a lot in a given area and the CS people do what they call "re-provisioning" on their end and walk me through a master reset/browser update on my iDEN phone, then it works OK again. Is that due to the iDEN equivalent of a PRL?

If iDEN has the equivalent of a PRL, does that have anything to do wth the notorious Nextel "signal bouncing" in an area with multiple towers nearby? My experience has been that when standing outdoors in one place in clear weather in a low-density residential area, the signal constantly bounces from four bars to zero bars and all points between, which sound suspiciously like a problem mentioned in one of the previous posts in this thread, which was attributed to an out-of-date PRL.

I know Nextel does not roam in the bulk of the US (certainly not here in California), so perhaps there is no iDEN "PRL". But if iDEN has something similar to the CDMA PRL, it might explain a lot.

Any feedback will be much appreciated.

    - Nxtl4me

Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

You can update to any prl you want. You can get them here

Also to answer your quesion iDEN was developed by motorola. Read about it here

Message was edited by: abadasstanker69

Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

I believe it is ALWAYS advisable to update your PRL when your phone or cell data modem advises you to do so.  It will, perhaps, make a difference if you're in an area with nominal coverage, as it's possible that a new tower has been added or a partnership agreement has since enabled sharing a tower with another provider (e.g., Verizon).

Journeyman

Re: What's a PRL? The Answer!

My Hero will not even perform a PRL update, instead presenting me with error 1012. Is that a concern?

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