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4G was there... It was just hiding!!!!


4G was there... It was just hiding!!!!

I had been happy to get 4G coverage in the San Jose, CA area. Except it wasn't "there." When trying to switch over from 3G to 4G, it kept telling me "no network available."

Huhn. The map shows coverage. Calling Sprint said that I was covered. So why wasn't I getting any signal. Not from home. Not from work. Not from the local burger joint.

Typical Sprint tech support call. "Hardware problem, take it in..." Only wait!

In Sprint SmartView, under "Preferences," on the hardware preferences, the "WiMAX" selected setting was set to "Automatic," andthe status was "Off." So was the line underneath that read 4G WiMAX (en4). Both "Off."

So I changed that to "Manual," and lo and behold -- 4G was now findable when I switched over from 3G to 4G. 5-bar signal too!

Suddenly, on 4G, my tested download speeds changed from .30 Mbps (300 kilobits per second) to 7 Mbps... About Ethernet speed, and 20x faster.

The odd thing is that now in the Settings, WiMAX is Selected "Automatic" and Status "Off," while 4GWiMAX (en4) is Selected (checked on), and the status is "On."

So rather than a typical "hardware problem, go take it in," it seems it is more likely some sort of software issue... Or some interplay of software and hardware that has a workaround.

FYI: I am using a Mac laptop, Mac OS X 10.6.6., with the Sprint 3G/4G 250, and SmartView version 2.50.0097.0.

Hope this helps some of you, and hope to hear more of a response from Sprint in a week.


And, half-a-day later, the 4G is "missing" again. Last night, I was in the middle of pounding an opponent in Civilization V, and the G4 network disappeared completely. Now, even trying the "manual" system does not seem to be working. Not sure why it is offline.

I am still not convinced that it is a "hardware" problem per se. I'll see if it comes-and-goes with any pattern. But I will check into getting a replacement.


And... we're offline.... and.... we're back!

For some reason, the 4G takes about a minute before it realizes it's "there." I had to call Sprint support again, since I had been trying for a good hour or more to connect. While I was explaining what was going on with the tech, and they were having me reset SmartView (to no obvious avail) the network suddenly "appeared." So the problem isn't gone. It's intermittant. Still don't know for sure if it's a hardware or software problem, but the code they gave me to reset the device doesn't seem to work on the Mac Sprint SmartView client. It does nothing, and provides no feedback.

However, letting the card idle on 4G, with "No network detected" as the message, seems to work after about 2-5 minutes. Strangeness.


Today's 3G: 350 kbps.

Today's 4G: 7.85 Mbps.


Got off the phone with Sprint today. They are escalating the issue.

  1. It takes up to a minute to find the Sprint 4G network. Before that it says "no network found." Then the network becomes available.
  2. No way to do the reset on the Mac client.
  3. No idea whether this is a firmware issue or a hardware issue to resolve, or whether "that's just the way it is."

I've had 4G available for some time in Los Angeles and get up to a 10 megs as clocked using the speedtest app.

The problem is that for a service we pay an extra $10/month, it isn't worth much.

The biggest problem is that some apps don't recognize 4G and say there's no network.

4G sucks extra battery juice, so I tend to use 3G since it's on most of the time and fast enough.

I am not familiar with smartview as described in the post. Is that just menu/settings?


He's not using a phone Bob. The smartview he's talking about is on his laptop.

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