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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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Jul 22, 2013
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@willzzz88

 

Actually AT&T has a LOT more 3G/HSPA+("4G") coverage than t-mobile does in MI.  T-mo has absolutely no 3G/4G north of I-69 except two blotches in Grand Rapids and Flint. I live in northern Macomb County and it is still 2G here. Sprint has a decent 3G footprint up north but is spotty in most areas but their LTE is appearing in many areas now as well. Verizon now has all of their towers in the lower penninsula running on LTE:smileywink:

 

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Jul 22, 2013
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I wish Sprint would come to the UP. I had Sprint when I lived in Saginaw and loved it. 

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Jul 22, 2013
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I believe Sprint roams on Verizon's newtork for voice in northern MI as per agreement with Alltel before Verizon acquired them. I also read there is a PRL setting you can change on your Sprint phone that forces 3G roaming on Verizons network as well. Don't know if that is true however.

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Jul 23, 2013
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Lewyman wrote:
I believe Sprint roams on Verizon's newtork for voice in northern MI as per agreement with Alltel before Verizon acquired them. I also read there is a PRL setting you can change on your Sprint phone that forces 3G roaming on Verizons network as well. Don't know if that is true however.

That is true. The problem here is that if you use over 50% of your calls via roaming, Sprint will drop you. I think that is pretty much true for any company. I had a friend in the Thumb area who was on ATT, and he got dropped for the same reason. Too much roaming, and you will get a friendly call from your cell provider informing you that your account will be terminated, but you will not have to pay an ETF.

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Jul 23, 2013
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Well I may have to change my second from last post a bit. It appears that a few spots of T-Mo 3G has appeared on Sensorly in the western part of the U.P. by Ontonagon. Hmmmm??

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Jul 23, 2013
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In MI AT&T won't drop anyone. The problem before was that Northern MI and the UP was Cellular One's network. AT&T bought them a couple of years ago and the entire state is a native 100% AT&T network. The problem now is that AT&T is very slow in UPGRADING the network to modern standards. 

 


I use VZW here in Metro Detroit and the LTE is excellent. A friends company switched to AT&T because they got a better deal and they need global capability to swap SIM cards when they travel. (VZW global phones can do this as well.) Believe me, they were having signal issues in a industrial park in a Metro Detroit suburb at their company location! Can you believe that? An area that is supposedly good by AT&T. 

 

Sigh.

 

 

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Jul 23, 2013
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I think the biggest problem with AT&T is they have too many projects going on at once and not enough $$. Over the last several years they have been expanding their DSL and rolling out Uverse, and trying to upgrade to 3G but was basically forced to an earlier than planned LTE deployment because of Verizon. An AT&T tech told me a few weeks ago they plan on phasing out their DSL, and are in the process of rebuilding and converting their entire wired broadband infastructure over to Uverse. Now I think AT&T has something big planned this next few years. The reason I say that is why would Ford and GM both select AT&T for their OnStar, Navigation, Sync, and Wifi hotspots on their current and future cars?? They must have shown both companies some big plans especially with GM jumping ship from Verizon. Hopefully, AT&T has gotten the message from northern MI....... WE WANT MORE!!!!!!

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Jul 24, 2013
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It's pathetic really.  Looking at the Sensorly maps, SPRINT has a ton more LTE than ATT does!  Sprint started deployment long after ATT and has been broke for a long time, but some how they are LTE darn near everywhere in Michigan on their network.

There is really no excuse for ATT other than they don't give a rats poop maker about their wireless side and customers.   

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Jul 31, 2013
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LOL

 

att.pngVerizon.gif

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Jul 31, 2013
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Well, it's July 31 and no 4G. Since moving to the UP of Michigan 13 months ago, I've been given four dates for 4G implementation in my area.

July 31, 2012

May 31 2013

July 15, 2013

July 31, 2013

Not one of these dates have panned out. Verizon is lighting up with 4G LTE all around here in the last two months, and goodl ole' ATT is still on Edge.

I guess I do have till the end of the day, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Jul 31, 2013
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Wow, thats just sad.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Jul 31, 2013
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Doesn't make sense what they are doing. There was supposed
to be a huge swath of new HSPA coverage by today in NE MI. Don't know if there was but hopefully I can head up to check this coming weekend. HSPA "4G" is considered 3G on Sensorly and it doesn't appear anyone is even mapping the new coverage. Maybe there is nobody left up there with AT&T?? Anyway, I figured out how to make the SIM from my hotspot work in my old phone so I will try to get up there this weekend and do some serious mapping. Kudos to Big Red for getting LTE rolled out across the entire lower and most of the upper in the time they did. I will say with the hills, heavy forest, and decreased cell density there are holes in their coverage as well. I guess same can be said with all the carriers.

 

 

Post Edit: Just talked to a guy in the Gaylord AT&T store. He indeed confirmed that there was another large HSPA expansion in northeast MI yesterday. He couldn't confirm exactly which areas got it but there is new coverage and they are having some issues so service is kinda on and off right now. Tier 2 support told me three weeks ago that Waters, Frederick, Johannesburg, Lewiston, Atlanta, Hillman, and other areas were slated to get it by today.  

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Aug 2, 2013
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Pickford and Cedarville were lit up with 4g off and on yesterday, August 1. We were able to get 4g in areas we have never received before. By the end of the day, our devices were all showing Edge. Maybe we are getting close.

Funny that the big roll of cable is still hanging on the pole.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Aug 2, 2013
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@JREwing53
Hellz Yeh!!!! They are definately testing/working out issues but your area will have it very very soon. That tower south of Pickford must be on microwave of fiber. If it is indeed on fiber that may indicate that Charter will use that roll of cable to tap into it and provide cable service to the area around it. Just guessing but thats awesome.

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Aug 2, 2013
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At 9:30 am, only Edge in the downtown metroplex area of Pickford. As of 10:15 am, showing 4g. August 2. My friend is showing 4g in Cedarville. 

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Aug 2, 2013
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Here are the speeds I'm getting

Download: 2903 kbps

Upload: 1270 kbps

Ping: 166 ms

External

Is this good, bad, or average.

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Well its been a LONG time coming but it is finally happening. Now I can say I believe that AT&T will truly have the entire state upgraded by the end of the year. The guy I talked to earlier this week that works at the AT&T store in Gaylord, said the techs and engineers that come into the store have said the first launch is basically HSDPA 7.2 (3G) followed by HSPA/HSPA+ 14 or 21. They will have that first layer of "4G" complete by years end and start working on LTE in northern MI next year.

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Aug 2, 2013
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Those speeds are to be expected for a short time. Then you should see them in the 2-5 MB/s down and 1-1.5 up. When they upgrade to the next layer you should see up to 10-12 megs on the download.
 
Edit: You should be the first to map the new coverage on Sensorly. You can download their app from the play store.  

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Glad to hear you finally got "4G"!

 

I wonder if ATT added a new tower around the Perkins or Gladstone area? I used to get around 2-3 bars in Perkins and as I got closer to Gladstone my signal would improve to 4 then 5 bars. I noticed when I went into Gladstone Tues and Thurs I get 5 full bars now Right when I get into Perkins and stays that way all through Perkins and Gladstone.

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Aug 2, 2013
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@American Ninja
Sounds like they did.

Looking at the tower locations near Pickford and in Cedarville, I am wondering if they lit up the towers in Goetzville, Detour Village, and Drummond as well.

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Aug 2, 2013
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As of this afternoon, August 2, there is no data showing on our devices. No Edge or 4G. Wonder what's up?

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Issues in the circuit most likely. I would guess data will be back on within a day at the most. The phantom data that is showing in Pickford right now probably exists but your phone won't connect to it because AT&T devices are locked to automatically connect to the best signal. I have observed this with my hotspot. At the northern end of the Detroit LTE market, you can actually be 4 miles within the LTE coverage area but not be able to connect to LTE because there are too many non-LTE ....4G towers which the device will stay connected to. That's one big complaint I have is the fact AT&T does not allow you to manually toggle between 2G/3G/4G like Verizon does.

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Aug 2, 2013
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Teacher

Sounds like maybe they are working their way across the U.P.(hoping anyway) as it sounds like the lower is done for now.  Another post said 3g was active in Curtis this morning too so...

AT&T has people by the nads when everyone is happy that 10+ year old technology is being deployed.

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@jwagger
I don't think the lower is completely done yet as I would say there is still a lot to do. Agreed 100% that AT&T 3G/HSPA isn't as fast as Verizon LTE but when they upgrade the entire state to HSPA+14 or 21, they will have better coverage than Verizon. Now, with AT&T on the move in northern MI, that will give Verizon incentive to kick it into getting more cell sites up in the in-between areas. Everyone wins:smileyhappy:

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It seems to me they upgraded the eqiptment (very important, it's Ericsson/Alcatel-Lucent SingleRAN, basically the hardware can do ALL the technologies up to LTE and even further with software upgrades) but not the backhaul. They will go back and run the backhaul with GigE fiber (this is where the HSPA+21 speeds come in). When this is done they can light up LTE next year. They are using the latest multi-modal antennas that support all the technologies from EDGE to HSPA+ to LTE. This is similar to what the Canadian carriers have done YEARS ago in their entire network. (Fiber or Microwave to Fiber backhaul). I guess it's all backhauled to their global MSC in Southfield (Metro Detroit). The West side of the state probably goes to Chicago.

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Aug 2, 2013
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@lewyman
I was saying they were close to done since you had mentioned the Gaylord store said they lit many more locations.
There is no doubt Verizon 3g is terrible but at least it's not Edge. Most people would be happy with "4g" since it would be in the 3-10 mb, depending on signal and congestion of course. Or at least that's where i was at prior to LTE.
I and everyone else would be happy if they stopped when there was ZERO peach color on their coverage map across the U.S...and do it in this decade please.

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Aug 2, 2013
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Since about 4:00, we have had consistent 4g here. Been running some speed tests. Ranging from 1.998 - 3.779 download speeds. Anything over 3 is pretty good for 3G? Upload speeds running from .602 - 1.081. Noticed that the latest tests are the fastest. Tried two different servers. 

 

Update: Here is a snapshot of some of my speedtests

Screenshot_2013-08-02-20-58-47.png

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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Still Edge in Rock and McFarland, Michigan.

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@JREwing53

Yes that is decent. That first layer of HSPDA 7.2/UMTS (3G) can run up to 7 Mb/s down depending on how close you are to the tower. Just arrived in Lewiston MI. AT&T "4G" is live here as well but only one bar so there must be some issues. Also, complete 4G coverage on I-75 from around exit 225 all the way through Gaylord. Mapped it on Sensorly and will be hunting more new coverage this weekend.

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Aug 2, 2013
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Lewiston, Frederick, Waters, Atlanta, and Johannesburg all have HSDPA*(3G), but some of them are running on low power with a weak signal. I would guess they are now around 80% finished with upgrading the network in the lower peninsula which is a lot further than it was 4 months ago.Still EDGE on I-75 from mile marker 177 to 225 which is suprising.

@jwagger* Agreed. It's too bad they have lost so many customers to Verizon when they did their complete 3G upgrade years ago but at least AT&T is doing large scale upgrades now. Its going to be very interesting to see how they rollout LTE up here when they currently don't have the spectrum to deploy on 700MHz. Hope the deal with Centurytel is approved.

Re: Will Northeast MI ever receive 3G?

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