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Posted Sep 19, 2012
11:57:40 AM
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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Aug 13, 2013 6:43:01 PM
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If it was on and off they are testing. Shouldn't be long now.

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Aug 14, 2013 7:04:13 AM
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JREwing53

 

Hmm. Looking at AT&T's map the 4G coverage is almost non existant between Cedarville and De Tour unless the tower in Goetzville was lit up for a brief time when you drove through. Or...maybe the signal is carrying better than what is depicted on the map. It was reported on HoFo that Drummond is getting a new, taller tower. Awesome! 

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Aug 15, 2013 1:42:47 PM
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3G went live in Munising today.

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Aug 15, 2013 10:29:38 PM
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Nice!

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Aug 16, 2013 3:26:59 PM
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Edited by American Ninja on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:31:11 PM

Ok, I stopped by the McFarland tower here are some pics. Saw this after I got in the driveway:

 

ground

 

 

Here is the tower:

 

tower

 

 

If you want the bigger sizes here are the direct links:

 

http://i.imgur.com/hOJbNA8.jpg

 

http://i.imgur.com/o9OVG9c.jpg

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Aug 16, 2013 5:09:42 PM
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American Ninja

 

Those orange tubes coming out of what appears to be PVC.....or conduit....are not fiber optic lines, but rather corrugated HDPE...or High Density Polyethylene which is typically placed iside of existing innerduct. This makes it very easy to run the fiber optic line through and also provides protection from crushing or binding. They've got it taped up to help prevent water from getting down inside the pipe. You can't tell from the pic if the fiber has already been ran through, but if not it's getting close. By looking at that tower, you can see that the broadband panels have not been installed yet so AT&T cannot fire up 3G/4G.  I am uploading a pic of the tower in Red Oak. When the tower looks like this....it will only be a few weeks, or less before they fire it up. :smileyhappy:

 

P1130864_Red Oak.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 16, 2013 7:13:56 PM
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Yeah I noticed no panel antennas yet. I'm hoping the fiber cable has already been run but, like you said it's hard to tell. At least they have that stuff setup, hopefully it's not too long now.

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Aug 16, 2013 8:20:36 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:27:26 PM

I heard most of the towers should be upgraded by early to mid September. AT&T supposedly activated a bunch of new towers on Aug 12th. I bet your tower will be upgraded soon. Probably waiting on the tower climbers.

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Aug 18, 2013 1:28:08 AM
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Ok I retract my earlier statement from AT&T about slower HSPA+. AT&T 4G IS HSPA+21 as confirmed on another forum. It's just my area (Metro Detroit with a urban cell site 0.5 miles from me) only delivers 3-4Mbps indoors because the network is so congested. You guys should be getting MUCH better speeds out in the rural areas. Though I don't know how many HSPA+/UMTS carriers AT&T is deploying, with 10MHz (2x5MHz UMTS) minimum. I hope it's at least 2, hoping for 3. AT&T has 5 (max allowed) in NYC and Los Angeles I've read. Each carrier is 21Mbps. 

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Aug 18, 2013 7:10:09 AM
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I know when AT&T upgraded their towers in northern Macomb and southern Lapeer counties with true HSPA+ (fiber backhaul), I was seeing download speeds in the 12-16 Mbps range in the evenings. Now, 3-7 is average and 7-10 is about max but now the uploads are reaching 2-4 which tells me they must be throttling their downloads speeds just like Verizon. I was informed by someone that the AT&T towers in northern MI that are getting new 3G service are in fact still on T-1 backhaul. They are pushing to get all their towers upgraded by a certain target date and will be also working on fiber Ethernet backhaul. Apparently the equipment that is being used is capable of much faster speeds over copper than what was seen a few years ago.

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Aug 19, 2013 5:51:31 PM
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Was in Saginaw today. Amazed that the 4G LTE download speeds were worse than the 3G speeds here in Pickford. Would the reason for the slow speed there be congestion on the network? I did a speed test. The upload speeds are definitely higher. I get 509-972kbps here versus 1848 in Saginaw.

2013-08-19 12.17.02.png

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Aug 19, 2013 6:16:28 PM
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wow, when I was in Ann Arbor I was getting 40MB down and like 12MB up.

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Aug 19, 2013 6:46:55 PM
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The Saginaw slow speeds are most likely congestion I would say. I read somewhere online that for LTE AT&T and Verizon REQUIRE fiber backhaul to every single BTS or transmission site. Or it is high capacity microwave in rural areas to a location with access to the global fiber backbone (most likely the nearest city with a "lit" CO being transported to their Mobility MSC).

 

Ann Arbor and other major metro areas have high speeds because AT&T is densifying the network by installing more and more cell sites within a limited amount of space. A2 is in some ways a global tech hub with the University of Michigan and I've personally seen an AT&T cell site on the top of a downtown parking structure.

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Aug 19, 2013 7:19:00 PM
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I would also say the slower speeds are partly do to congestion and quite possibly not all of their towers have active LTE on them in the Saginaw area yet. AT&T is doing a lot of work to their network right now so that may also have a bearing on it. Here is a Verizon LTE speedtest taken yesterday south of Almont. Their network has been very quirky as of late.

 

 

Screenshot_2013-08-15-17-39-37.png

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Aug 20, 2013 11:41:46 AM
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Tutor

In places like Detroit, Flint, GrandRapids, etc,at&t is deploying LTE on 20 mhz of spectrum which allows 10mhz for the downlink and another 10 for the uplink. Unfortunately in saginaw at&t only holds enough 700 mhz spectrum to deploy lte on 10mhz of spectrum or 5mhz for downlink as well 5 mhz for uplink.  That being said, lte in Saginaw is more prone to slowdowns during peak times (Think less lanes of traffic on the expressway).

 

Now hspa+ (which has been confirmed on this thread to be live in Pickford like you stated), is also deployed on 5x5 blocks of spectrum. Each 5x5 block is called a carrier. It is likely that there is more than one hspa+ carrier deployed on the tower. 

With less loading and room for several carriers in Pickford, it isn't surprising your speeds in saginaw are lower. When at&t deploys lte on wcs spectrum a couple years from now this issue should be resolved.

 

 

A side note: 2mbps on lte is still going to feel faster than 2mbps on hspa+. Thank lte's low ping times for that. 

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Aug 20, 2013 1:12:28 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Aug 20, 2013 at 1:35:21 PM

I was told from someone with inside information that AT&T will have their entire network covered with LTE by the end of 2014 with most areas getting it sooner, rather than later. I would like
to know how they are going to deploy LTE in the thumb area, like Huron and Tuscola counties for example, when AT&T has neither the 700 MHz or AWS spectrum. A refarm of their Cellular or PCS perhaps?? LTE on WCS won't happen by next year so I am really curious. Now as far as LTE in northern MI......after their Ethernet fiber backhaul is completed, they plan on launching LTE on their AWS spectrum. Tpeltz confirmed that they have installed multi-modal 1700/2100 MHz panels and equipment  on a tower near Rogers City.

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Aug 20, 2013 9:28:55 PM
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Edited by American Ninja on Aug 21, 2013 at 7:06:40 AM

Just saw this in my RSS feed:

 

AT&T 4G LTE COMING TO 50 ADDITIONAL MARKETS THIS YEAR

 

21. Battle Creek, MI
22. Jackson, MI

 

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/21/att-to-bring-lte-to-50-more-markets-by-the-end-of-2013/?utm_mediu...

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Aug 21, 2013 8:06:37 AM
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Lewyman, do you know if this new panels that support AWS have remote radio units installed? Was recently up north and seen new panels on towers in grayling and in bounce city. Curious to if these were AT&T towers.

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Aug 21, 2013 12:38:24 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Aug 21, 2013 at 12:43:14 PM

It's hard to say, not knowing who's towers those are but I don't think AT&T has any RRU's mounted on their panels yet with the exception of possibly Detroit and/or a current large LTE market in Michigan. The brand new antennas on the tower in Red Oak have small boxes mounted on the backs of the panels, but I found out those are TMA's or Tower Mounted Amplifiers mainly used on the 1900 band and possibly the 850.  Verizon has started swapping out their new 700 MHz panels with RRU's in large cities like NYC and Chicago, so I think it's safe to say it will be a while yet before areas like Grayling or Boyne get them.....but then again you never know. Now there is a tower in Presque Isle county that currently has new active 3G/HSPA+ service and has newer panels as well. This tower appears to have multi-freq/multi-modal GSM/HSPA+/LTE/AWS panels installed. This is a close up pic of the equipment installed at the shelter, which supports all of their GSM and UMTS bands 850/1800/1900/2100 (all except 900 which isn't used) including 700 and AWS. I can't say if this equipment is installed on every tower, but I would bet that it is. Again it's really hard to say exactly what they are going to do but AT&T has gotten serious about northern MI!! 

 

 

IMG954988.jpg

 

**Just a quick note** This pic was sent to me by a very good source.

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Aug 22, 2013 10:07:32 AM
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There is a big tower in Perkins. I dont know what its for but on the ATT coverage map it doesnt show it for voice or data. Next to the tower is an ATT building. The name of the road its on is Tower 29.5 Lane. lol I'll have to take some pics of it sometime. It has some weird antennas on it.

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Aug 22, 2013 10:24:34 AM
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Nice. That might possibly be a new site in the works. Can't wait to see it:smileyhappy:

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Aug 22, 2013 7:45:29 PM
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It's been there since I moved up here around 13-14 years. I don't know what its used for. Hopefully I'll get some pics soon.

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Aug 23, 2013 8:40:49 AM
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Edited by American Ninja on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:44:39 AM

Hmm... I wonder if the McFarland tower is getting worked on today? I had no service for a while today and now it shows the signal strength but they are empty bars and an E. Here is a screenshot:

 

IMG_0417.PNG

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Aug 23, 2013 8:48:01 AM
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Possibly. They power the site down when tower crews are working because of safety reasons. Even with EDGE there are still RF hazards.

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Aug 23, 2013 9:08:32 AM
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I reset my phone and now it's back to normal. Maybe that's what was wrong. Oh well false alarm I guess. Lol

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Aug 25, 2013 6:21:00 PM
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Looking on Sensorly, I see a new spot of Sprint LTE in McMillan (Central U.P.) Lol.

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Aug 26, 2013 12:04:44 PM
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AT&T is now using band 5 in Bloomington IL to deploy their LTE network. This is a good sign for northern michigan because at&t doesn't have any 700 mhz spectrum to deploy it on. 850mhz lte will travel further distances than aws 1700/2100 will. 

 

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1757531-AT-amp-T-4G-LTE-Latest-markets-launching-and-spec...

 

 

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Aug 26, 2013 12:57:49 PM
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Nice catch!!! I didn't think AT&T was ready to launch on 850. Don't quote me on this, but I think the iPhone 5 is one of the only phones to have that LTE band.

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Aug 28, 2013 11:10:00 AM
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Aug 28, 2013 3:46:05 PM
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Empty post? lol

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