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  1. #21  
    I really wonder how Sprint Nextel will eventually price 1xEvDo. IMO that is the most important thing. I realize that it will be more expensive than vision, but I do not want to pay ~40 bucks or something for it. Afterall, cheap data rates is basically the only reason why I've stayed with Sprint soo long...
    Last edited by Gaurav; 06/30/2005 at 10:32 AM.
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  2.    #22  
    ^Good question. I don't think EVDO will come down in price until adopted by the masses. Sprint/Verizon are targeting businesses at the moment, not consumers. Once VoIP over EVDO becomes common, EVDO will have to be cheap.

    Verizon might have a tough time. They already have a high load factor on their towers - user/tower ratio is poor compared to Sprint and Sprint will add many more with Nextel acquisition. Sprint has much more bandwidth/spectrum to deal out so might be able to target the massess sooner, bringing down prices.

    Don't expect $15/month for EVDO anytime soon but maybe $20-$30/month in a year or so.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe
    That same source says the CDMA range says "you will need a car kit...to achieve these numbers." Is a car kit just an external antenna or some sort of powered antenna I wonder?

    In any case, I'm inclined to agree that the radius is something larger than 2.5 miles. With 18 sq mi per tower, there's no way providers could claim the coverage they do with only 20,000 towers.

    (BTW, 18 miles is ~29 km, not 110 - that would be 66 miles.)

    Hi,

    I just noticed your posting. I hope this will help your questions regarding cell tower coverage. Theoretical path loss for a PCS signal at 18 mile radius or 28km is roughly 178dB. This means signal level will be way to low for cell phones to detect.

    Hope this helps.

    rfzenyen
    RFZENYEN
  4. #24  
    Thanks for the response, but it doesn't add much to the discussion. Since you've volunteered so far, would you mind answering the following:

    - What is the unobstructed range you would expect to receive a cell tower signal with a cell phone?
    - By "PCS" do you mean CDMA?
    - What is the starting signal dB at a broadcasting tower?
    - What is the minimum signal dB a cell phone needs to be useful?

    As you can see, only posting a single, signal attenuation number without any other context doesn't really contribute to calculation of coverage.
  5. #25  
    [QUOTE=xenophoniteWhen looking at Sprint tower maps, 20-40 mile spacing does look common in relatively flatter rural areas. Obstruction and load on towers is apparently more of a factor than radius of coverage. Therefore towers would need to be carefully placed based on obstructions such as mountains, tall buildings, etc. And then of course a quantity would be needed in high density areas to cover the load.[/QUOTE]

    You are absolutely right, xenophite. Suprisingly, obstruction factors more than load on a tower's ability to broadcast. Areas in Atlanta with a great number large brick and concrete structures have more towers than areas without as many environmental obstructions -- even though many of these areas have identical populations.

    Just as a reference, I live in a new apartment complex built only last year. I have no idea what they built the walls with, but I drop two bars of signal the moment I get in my apartment -- even though I have the full five when right outside my door. A great number of things can block cell service, but the technology we use on Sprint towers has proven itself to broadcast further, better and with more stability than Cingular or Verizon.
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    Meghan Edmonds
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    Sprint PCS, Brookwood
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  6. efudd's Avatar
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    #26  
    pcs cdma has much less range then cellular cdma. I think it might be becasue the licenses limit PCS to less power.(poking around the fcc website it says pcs USUALY uses less power but i cant find if they are allowed to use the same or not) But I KNOW the freqency differnce makes a big deal in the real world too.

    cellular (800 mhz ish) is something like a broadcast tv signal (i think it was a UHV TV station at one time) which you can get through walls in your house to the rabbit easrs on your tv. PCS (1900mhz ish) is closer to DBS satellite which needs line of site and cant even go through trees with leaves. It's not quite as bad as satellite tv but its alot closer to the high frequncies of DBS then cellular is. I dont know if this affects the distances too (i think it may as moisture in the air can effect those higher frequncies to a degree) but certainly real world it makes a big deal. That's why cellular has better coverage inside buildings then pcs does. So in areas where vz is using old cellular frequencies (like the northeast were they inherited nynex and bellatlantic from years ago) they will provide better service with the same or even maybe less amount of towers.

    Cingulair inherited the rest of the original cellular (original analog) frequencies in the northeast from att who got them from I believe mcGaw/cellular one/metro one

    So sprint needs more towers in general but since they started all digital they are in a much better position to upgrade with the times. (verizon and cingulair are required to keep analog alive until some point in 2007 although verizon at least intends to overlay 100% digital by year end- so they will be required by law to waste resources on analog becasue some fool might be using his circa 1989 backpack amps only phone.) Then toss in that cingulair has a crazy hodge podge and didnt pick cdma and they have a lot tougher row to hoe to upgrade.

    Also verizon does have a MUCH higher digital user per tower ratio then the others- but it's not clear if they are over loaded or not- it just may be that sprint needs closer towers bacuase of hte poor 1900 mhz propigation- so they happen to have less users per tower. I dont have a clue one way or the other.

    Meghan- thanks for sharing you technical knowledge- but can you explain how the technology you use is any differnt then verizons? I was under the impression you were both just buying the same nortel or lucent or moto equipent- just that all of yours is 1900 and some of vzw's is in the better propigating 800mhz band? I suspect that is you could get an 800mhz signal you wouldnt drop 2 bars just walking inside the door.
  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by xenophonite
    ^Good question. I don't think EVDO will come down in price until adopted by the masses. Sprint/Verizon are targeting businesses at the moment, not consumers. Once VoIP over EVDO becomes common, EVDO will have to be cheap.

    Verizon might have a tough time. They already have a high load factor on their towers - user/tower ratio is poor compared to Sprint and Sprint will add many more with Nextel acquisition. Sprint has much more bandwidth/spectrum to deal out so might be able to target the massess sooner, bringing down prices.

    Don't expect $15/month for EVDO anytime soon but maybe $20-$30/month in a year or so.
    I doubt EV-DO would be that cheap in a year. Maybe in two...but certainly not one!
  8.    #28  
    I just heard that Sprint plans to offer EVDO on smartphones for $30/month. Apparently DUN to laptop will be enabled on some EVDO smartphones. But an EVDO Treo will not come out until 2006. Sprint does have some Samsung EVDO smartphones coming soon with the $30/month EVDO rate.

    I've also heard that unfortunately the next Treo will not have Cobalt OS, it will be OS5. Ugh. Palm has basically dumped Cobalt and is heading towards a micro Linux kernel. Palm has got to get their shlte together if they want to stay ahead.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  9.    #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by efudd
    cellular (800 mhz ish) is something like a broadcast tv signal (i think it was a UHV TV station at one time) which you can get through walls in your house to the rabbit easrs on your tv. PCS (1900mhz ish) is closer to DBS satellite which needs line of site and cant even go through trees with leaves.

    Read this article. The problem was solved years ago with bidirectional amplifiers. There is apparently no longer a need for a higher number of towers for 1900 vs 850mhz.

    http://mrtmag.com/mag/radio_filling_nulls_pcs/


    Sprint also consistently outperforms Verizon EVDO even indoors in a concrete building so 1900 doesn't seem to be an issue.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
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    #30  
    i'll need to go read the article. but my first thought is no matter what you can't change the laws of physics. the same power in 1900 will NOT propigate as well through stuff as 800. it just won't.

    now perhaps sprint has better technolgy to overcome the limitation of their frequencies but if you could measure the power of the signal itself 800 would win over 1900 evertime if all the other variables were the same....

    My friend cells tower gear for lucent so that much I do KNOW

    that said there are tons of variables- differnt antenna sites being a big one. And maybe sprint can use a more specific technology since they are universally 1900 whereas vzw is a bunch of cobled together 800 and 1900. That's what i'd like to hear about- how does sprint do better technologically....
  11.    #31  
    ^Yeah, good points. And I'd be interested to know what % of Verizon's network is 850 vs 1900. I've read that Verizon plans on only converting 75% of its network to EVDO. I wonder if it's because 25% is 800 or 1900 and they only plan to rollout EVDO at one frequency? Just guessing.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
  12. #32  
    I have activated my sprint and am keeping it, does anyone want to swap the referral credits?
  13. efudd's Avatar
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    #33  
    Read that link- I don’t read it to say anything that 1900 works as well as 800.

    The beginning specifically talks about the OLD rule of thumb that it takes 4 1900 towers to equal one 800 tower.

    The rest of the document seems to talk about adding repeaters to get the same coverage. Adding repeaters to structures where 1900 cant penetrate. And also using repeaters for open areas like highways. It suggests instead of using 4 full cell’s to equal 800 that instead you would use one full cell tower and then add 3 repeater towers. So perhaps its cheaper but you still need multiple times the amount of towers to equal 800mhz.

    I found a more recent study from a document dated 2003 (as opposed to 2000 of the other link.) http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/vwapj/microcell-com004-02.pdf/$FILE/microcell-com004-02.pdf

    Basically it’s from a document that a wireless provided submitted to the Canadian version of the fcc disputing that 1900 is equal to 800- so the fees should be the same. Based upon their study, (see page 26 of the pdf linked) comparing apples to apples it takes 1.3 times as many cell towers along level highway and 1.5 times in a city and possibly more when the terrain is not flat and level. Further along it says when you start to build bigger systems and have to factor in the realities of not placing all your towers at the periphery and cant always place them in the optimal location (because of NIMBYs or whatnot) then the actual ratio could go as high as 2.0 to 1.

    So it seems clear to me that 1900 compared to 800 on a tower-by-tower basis would be inferior.

    BUT there are a lot more involved: antenna locations, the ability to roll one seamless technology, etc. Also the Canadian numbers probably are not dealing with populous areas like much of the US. In a more populous area- the providers would need to space their towers closer anyhow in order to have enough connection points- so they wouldn’t be spaced at the maximum anyhow- so the numbers mean much less. (e.g if you need twice as many towers to give people enough connection points then it doesn’t matter if they can only cover ˝ the space anyhow- you are forced to double up for capacity.)
  14. efudd's Avatar
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    #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by xenophonite
    ^Yeah, good points. And I'd be interested to know what % of Verizon's network is 850 vs 1900. I've read that Verizon plans on only converting 75% of its network to EVDO. I wonder if it's because 25% is 800 or 1900 and they only plan to rollout EVDO at one frequency? Just guessing.
    I believe the 800mhz spectrum belongs to the first 2 providers in any one market. If I remember correctly one of the original carriers in each market was the local bell and the other had to be a non-bell. So in the areas where verizon came to be from Nynex and Bell Atlantic by way of BANY Mobile they definitely own are one of the two 800mhz players. So basically I think from Washington DC north along the east coast they are 800mhz (but they also seem to have a decent amount of 1900 here too- probably bought to increase capacity?)). In the places where they were originally GTE I don’t know if they had one of the original 800 mhz slots or not. If areas where they weren’t originally the local bell or the GTE then I would assume they are most likely 1900. My experience here in the northeast leads me to believe they have 1900mhz just about everywhere but also have 800mhz where they used to be the local provider also. Just totally guessing though. I was just shocked to see that they I get 1900 signals somewhat regularly when I check the debug screen. It looks like the phone tries for 800 first and then will go 1900 if 800 doesn’t work.

    I think cingulair has the best 800 mhz coverage because they got the remounts of 2 other local bells PLUS ATT got mcgaw/cellular one /metro one which was the competitor 800mhz in many markets. Unfortunately for them they have a mish mash of different technologies and their earlier digital technology is not upgradeable but rather has to be totally redone. (but I guess that might be a blessing in the long run for their users- since so much of their equipment needs to be trashed anyohow why not just go for the best available now)

    I don’t have a clue why VZW would only go partial EVDO- but I would GUESS a couple things- Sprint is the only one who started CDMA and to my knowledge has been blessed by the ability to just do minor upgrades (swapping cards rather then whole shed loads of equipment) at their towers to progress along the CDMA upgrade path. VZW wouldn’t be so lucky with some of their stuff originally AMPS. The government is requiring them to maintain AMPS for years (although they plan to have CDMA also at every tower by year end if the rumor I heard is true)- so its possible that they could glue on CDMA 1x onto analog but to go EVDO they need to jettison the analog and they just are not permitted to do that yet in the areas where they have an 800mhz license. So your guess about them only going evdo only on 1900 makes a lot of sense since they wont have that problem there.
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    #35  
    Wow I read some more in the Canadian filing – pages 28-30 get brutal about 1900 sucking compared to 800. They have opinions form cingulair, the 2 Canadian providers, nokia, the Canadian FCC thingie, etc all saying that 800mhz is vastly better.

    They really make it sound like PCS sucks. I had Sprint for about 7 years and recently switched to vzw and I can tell you from my experience has been that Verizon does slightly better inside buildings and in a couple fringe areas between sites, but mostly I thought sprint was “good enough”. Had the sprint rate plans been able to scale up as my business has grown to keep VZW from being tons more I would have stayed SPCS. FO rhte last 2 years I had the roam unlimited on verizon option and if We ‘used 8 minutes a month our of 3000 minutes that would be a lot. So clearly for my needs SPCS has very close to VZW.

    I don’t think real world there is that much difference, myself. VZW is somewhat better but its not 2 times better by any stretch. Just isn’t.
  16. #36  
    I'll swap with you Howitzer
  17.    #37  
    Sprint has apparently been on a massive cell site rollout mode adding 3-5 sites per market per month. In some markets it is up to 10 sites per month. I heard that the Nextel merger is considered to be so cast in stone that Nextel is already allowing Sprint to add cell sites to Nextel towers.

    RadioShack is also apparently adding Sprint cell sites on some of their stores as part of lease agreements with strip malls they lease from. RadioShack has become focused on being a serious wireless player.

    Sprint and Verizon have about the same number of towers/cell sites (about 21K each) but Sprint will likely significantly pass Verizon by next year.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
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    #38  
    Radio shack is so weird. I thought I read years back that they had a deal to be an offical sprint/earthlink store or something but the one by my house has the verizon phones more predominantly displayed. And I'm in an area where Sprint is the local wired provided too.

    Sprint opened a store 3 blocks away though- so that will teach 'em <chuckle>.

    It will be very interesting how the whole sprint nextel merger works- to see if there is a massive improvement in the sprint nextwork. You'd think there would be, although i cant see how it can get tons better. Flip side- at lunch today we wer talking about ATT / cingulair and the consensus is they still suck and you'd think they must have the most towers of anyone at this point- since they both had GSM- they only had to update software or PRL's and bammo instead double sized network.

    So it will be interesting.

    I hope they get super better- the others will all be forced to keep up or die.
  19. #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by efudd
    It will be very interesting how the whole sprint nextel merger works- to see if there is a massive improvement in the sprint nextwork. You'd think there would be, although i cant see how it can get tons better.
    I couldn't see service getting much better myself. But the radios in the 600 and 650 are stronger than the ones in other phones. Non-Treo phones will prolly benefit a lot more.

    But as has been mentioned before. I think what we'll (as in Treo users) will start seeing more of is WiMax attention and progression. In this respect, Sprint is soooo far ahead of the game it's unbelievable.
  20.    #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by efudd
    ...talking about ATT / cingulair and the consensus is they still suck and you'd think they must have the most towers of anyone at this point- since they both had GSM- they only had to update software or PRL's and bammo instead double sized network.
    Cingular will probably be OK as a voice provider but they are screwed as a data player. They will have to do significant/costly upgrades to keep up with Sprint/Verizon. Cingular's high speed HSDPA is way behind schedule and they will have a hard time rolling it out nationwide with their varied GSM technologies. Hell, they are STILL rolling out last gen EDGE.

    I predict Cingular will slowly shrink over the next few years but still be a major player in the voice only arena.
    Sprint Pre, Mugen 2800mah battery
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