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Posted Sep 19, 2012
Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

I've heard talk about how ATT is "working on their network coverage" and plans to provide 3G service in Northeast MI "in the coming months".  Well, now that another 2 year contract has expired, I'm seriously wondering if I would be better off jumping to Verizon.  The EDGE data network up here if virtually useless.  5 full bars, yet extremely poor data transfer.  

 

Can anyone provide an HONEST answer as to when this coverage is planned to be upgraded???  Verizon has had 3G for quite a long while up here...

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Feb 17, 2013
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Scholar

As I said earlier on this thread, when I went to buy my HTC OneX last June, I asked about 4G in the area I was moving to. Yep, 4G was coming by July 30...nanenanea...  Guess what? Still on Edge. This was from an ATT corporate store.  So much for relibable info.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Feb 18, 2013
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Scholar

Thank you for the replies Tpeltz and Lewyman. Hopefully Escanaba gets 3G/4G this year.

A guy that I work with told me last year that he knows the guy who climbs the towers and puts in 3G/4G for AT&T in the U.P. He said Escanaba was suppose to get 3G last year sometime I guess but, AT&T told him to stop and wait for 4G. So if 4G hadn't come out yet Escanaba would of had 3G. lol

 

I have thought about switching to Verizion but they have a very bad signal out where I'm at.

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Feb 18, 2013
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The AT&T people told me that we are to get 4g by the end of June 2013. I wonder how far off 4gLTE is for the eastern UP? I'll just be glad to just get plain 4g.

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Feb 18, 2013
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You are welcome American Ninja. AT&T is misleading about what it calls "4G". Essentially it is an upgraded version of 3G that is on fiber backhaul known as HSPA+. Many areas of Michigan have been upgraded to 4G and is faster on newer phones than 3G, but lacks the true speed and low latency of LTE. AT&T simply does not have the spectrum to deploy LTE in the U.P. at this time. To skip 3G does not make sense because they have to overlay 3G with HSPA+14 or 21 in order for older 3G only phones to access the faster data network.

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Feb 18, 2013
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I hopes that turns out to be true JREwing53. Ah ok, thanks for the info. Lewyman. I didn't know that.

 

coverage

 

That's just sad. :smileysad:

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Feb 18, 2013
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ACE - Master
Even Laingsburg, a small town outside of Perry/Bath has 4G LTE deployed. I used to live in this area and it is a very small town. I was shocked to see that Verizon has their 4G network up and running there.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Feb 19, 2013
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I'm willing to bet that AT&T is waiting for the Merit fiber backbone project to finish up in June of this year. They are running backbone fiber capable of 100GB/s to most rural areas in all of northern MI and the UP. AT&T will be able to tap into this main line by running last mile fiber to their own cell sites. Then pay Merit for use on their backbone network. Merit's prices will probably be much lower than what Frontier or any other competitive local exchange provider could offer since it is government funded.

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Feb 19, 2013
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Scholar

Oh really? I didn't know that.

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Feb 19, 2013
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@Tpeltz
That's interesting. Could that be what Verizon is waiting for in some area's as well? I know it's still only February but to me there should be more towers lit up at this point.

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Feb 20, 2013
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That might be the reason they told me June 29 for the 4G appearance.  Interesting.  Will we be seeing roadside digging on this project?  Those are always signs that something is up.

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Feb 20, 2013
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The backbone itself will either be buried (underground construction) or strung on existing utility poles (aerial construction). They choose what ever method is most economical for specific areas. I believe in the UP most of it is underground, but once it gets into a city they bring it aerial. 

 

Here is the map of where the fiber backhone will be constructed (the dark red segmented/solid and dark blue segmented/solid lines are the important ones).

 

MeritFiber_Buildout

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Feb 20, 2013
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Thank you for the info. Tpeltz.

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Feb 20, 2013
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Good work Tpeltz. Believe it or not, there are more fiber lines installed underground then what people are aware of even in the more remote areas. They are not just in the right of ways of roads or on poles, but along railroad grades as well. Many of them are for government and municipality use only.

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Feb 20, 2013
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Tutor

Why do you think this happened?
Higher prices for crap service at first which eventually got better and people stuck with overpriced services until it finally got good. This is the only reason they are so big and plus their customer service isn't too pleasent either.

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Feb 20, 2013
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Welcome aboard electroshock.

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Feb 25, 2013
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One thing that's interesting is that GM announced this week that they have picked AT&T over Verizon to provide in-vehicle LTE service starting next year. That is unbelievable considering the current huge difference in current LTE coverage from both carriers. AT&T must be making the refarm of their spectrum a reality for nationwide LTE coverage.

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Feb 26, 2013
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I saw that new story. I couldn't believe they picked AT&T as well.

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Mar 5, 2013
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3/5/2013.   Another new updated AT&T coverage map put up today and NO new 3/4G coverage anywhere in Michigan. Very Very sad but..... REALLY GLAD TO SEE THAT JUNEAU ALASKA NOW HAS AT&T LTE!!!!! 

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Mar 7, 2013
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Scholar

Lol, I saw that. weird.

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Mar 7, 2013
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The AT&T tower that is supposedly to be upgraded by June 29 is just south of town (Pickford).  It has a long gated driveway that is full of snow and has not been bladed off all winter. So obviously no activity on upgrading to 4G this winter.  Hope to see some activity soon.

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Mar 7, 2013
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Mar 8, 2013
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With AT&T trying to play catch up with their LTE buildout, I think upgrading rural areas to HSPA+ are on the back burner now. They announced a while back that they will be dropping their 2G(EDGE) in 2016 but I bet they push it back 5 years or so. Heard from a distiguished member of this forum that his reliable source is telling him that Verizon LTE will go live in Gaylord and the surrounding areas by the end of this month.

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Mar 8, 2013
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Not sure what is going on here. Today, I was driving south on 129 from Sault Ste Marie, and they were trenching underground lines heading south. They had around five miles done with another five miles of orange flags,

I wonder if this is a line to the ATT tower south of Pickford. And then may be laying line on down to Cedarville, and east to Drummond Island?

Curious to know what's happening.

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Mar 8, 2013
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Was the line they are putting underground orange?? If so that is fiber. If you get a chance stop and ask. Usually those guys are pretty friendly and will tell you where they are running it. I would think they would have ran a fiber line to Drummond years ago instead of copper to ensure they would never have any capacity issues in the future.

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Mar 9, 2013
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Yes, it was orange. They were moving right along with laying the line. My guess is that they want to get the line run while the ground is fairly froze so they don't have to work in the mud in a few weeks.

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Mar 9, 2013
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It is indeed fiber. The contractors that run the lines move along pretty good and I bet they will be done long before AT&T upgrades the equipment and antennas on the tower. They are investing a lot of money in Michigan this year on their wireless network.

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Mar 13, 2013
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There is one tower near Onaway, Michigan in NE MI that now has active HSPA+ "4G". Also, Alpena is being tested by Alcatel-Lucent engineers and should have active HSPA+ within on month. There have been problems with hand-offs on the UMTS/GSM fringe areas.

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Mar 14, 2013
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Interesting that they would upgrade one tower near Onaway and not build out from other areas of existing 3/4G service. I wonder if N.E. Michigan could now be a test area for AT&T using refarmed PCS and Cellular spectrum which could account for the UMTS handoff issues in that area. Those areas won't be seeing LTE anytime soon but their HSPA+ is a huge improvement for everyone up there. I also heard from a distinguished member on another forum that Verizon is testing LTE in the Gaylord area and should be live soon:smileyhappy:

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Mar 15, 2013
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Drove to Saginaw yesterday down I75.  Was on Edge from just south of Gaylord all the waY to just north of Bay City. Wow, that's 100 miles of basically no data coverage. My Onex would not even load a web page. 

I am hearing some rumblings that the Eastern UP will be getting some big time expansion from Verizon this summer. Combined with the rumored AT&T expansion, we may finally be getting some decent data coverage. Fiber lines are laid from Sault Ste Marie to M80. Hopefully they cross the highway and keep heading south.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Mar 15, 2013
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ACE - Guru
That area should have much better coverage with all that is going into it by the summer.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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