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Posted Sep 19, 2012
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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 28, 2013 7:06:20 PM
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Yes. I don't remember being on the page to accidently send one.....oops! Have you seen any activity at the tower in McFarland??? It should be very soon now. Crews are installing new panels on the towers around me here downstate.

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Aug 29, 2013 4:17:13 AM
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I live in MIdland but my folks live around exit 202, alger on i75. On my way north its 4g until i get to around linwood and its all edge from there. after leaving yesterday evening around 11pm i walked outside got in the car looked at my phone it said 4g. I thought what? soo i ran a speed test, it was 3.59 down. I shut my phone off  (Note 2) and turned it back on, sure enough back to 4g.  So i continued to drive home south on 75. I kept checking along the way with a speed test around standish, Sure enough still 4g and speeds around 3-4mb. 4g turned to edge around mile marker 182 and came back to 4g around linwood. Still hard to believe but ill be heading up there saturday again and will be sure to see what it picks up.

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Aug 29, 2013 6:23:37 AM
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Awesome!!! Thanks for posting the info on this forum. I travel up there a lot and exit at 202 most of the time so that means they have near continuous coverage along 75. I wonder if its 4G from 202 north to St. Helen? They are rolling.....that's for sure:smileyhappy:

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Aug 29, 2013 6:49:07 AM
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I will post back again saturday and let you know for sure if the 4g is on.

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Aug 29, 2013 7:52:21 AM
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I haven't been back there yet. I'll check it out this weekend. Awesome, good to hear they're working on the towers down by you. Hopefully they'll be up here soon.

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Aug 29, 2013 5:54:31 PM
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Towers on 72 between grayling and kalkaska have been upgraded. Solid 3G signal that whole route.

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Aug 30, 2013 4:11:39 PM
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Very nice!! So glad to see northern MI is finally getting upgraded on a large scale. As of two weeks ago, the towers in Lovells and Mio hadn't had broadband panels installed yet. I wonder if the tower by Kirtland Com. College is lit up?

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Aug 31, 2013 10:42:37 AM
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No change at the tower in Mcfarland.

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Aug 31, 2013 2:11:53 PM
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It won't be long now.

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Sep 3, 2013 10:54:32 AM
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Hey, yes!  I was travelling between Standish and Au Gres, two days in a row, 8-29 and 8-30; and I too saw some 4G action on my iPhone.  

 

It was active in Standish, and stayed with me on US-23 through Omer, until I was North of M-65 a little ways.  It was encouraging to see.

 

But, it wasn't on during my trip down in the morning.  And I didn't see it when I went back through on Saturday the 31st.

 

There was a truck and some work going on, at a tower that was north of Standish a little bit off of US-23.  So perhaps they were just testing it out when I received it?

 

It did work though, I didn't do a speed test, but I did check my email and a few things.  It worked like 4G would it seemed.

 

I hope AT&T turns 4G on up the US-23 corridor.  I live in Au Gres, and work in Oscoda; and I'm getting pretty discouraged to see a lot of the rest of the neglected Northeast area get lit up with 4G, and not us.  

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Sep 3, 2013 11:09:34 AM
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Excellent!!!! That is the first report of HSPA "4G" I have heard about in that area. They are definately working and I would guess it will be on within a week or so.

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Sep 3, 2013 11:28:05 AM
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On a quick note, I heard through the gravevine that 9/30 is the target date for most of the towers to have HSPA service across all of Mi with the exception of a handful of sites that will take longer.

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Sep 3, 2013 12:02:44 PM
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Hope the one in McFarland gets updated between now and then.

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Sep 3, 2013 1:13:23 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Sep 3, 2013 at 1:16:00 PM

I would say in the next few months at the latest. Tower crews are working hard to try and keep up. 

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Sep 4, 2013 8:24:44 AM
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Yes, I hope it is as you say, by the end of September.  That would thrill me to no end!  Then maybe I can start complaining about data caps, just like the folks in the Big City!  lol

 

I saw crews working on the big tower just South of AuGres, for the last couple months.  Putting up new panel ant. and such.  I hope that is part of the AT&T system as well......

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Sep 4, 2013 8:47:19 AM
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AT&T's target date is end of September for a vast majority of sites to have HSPA or 3G. By the end of this year, all of those sites are supposed to be upgraded from that to HSPA+. Fiber Ethernet backhaul will be the issue and that is supposed to go hand and hand with LTE activations.

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Sep 4, 2013 9:20:21 AM
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Edited by American Ninja on Sep 4, 2013 at 9:21:13 AM

I was in Gladstone last night and decided to do a few speed tests. The speed has been lowered a lot than when it first launched in July sometime.

 

IMG_0456.PNG

 

when I did some speed tests back in July I was getting around 5-8.

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Sep 4, 2013 3:30:27 PM
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There is probably a lot more traffic on that tower now that people know about the '4G" and I have noticed the speeds have been a bit slow this past week here as well. I have received confirmation that HSPA+ is live completely along I-75 from the Ohio border all the way to Sault St. Marie. Very Cool!!

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Sep 5, 2013 4:40:08 AM
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I confirmed on saturday between 182 and 202 was solid 4g. Spoke to ATT they said they are working on deploying that area  with 4g and that it should be completed by the first of the year. its looking better!!!!

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Sep 5, 2013 6:06:49 AM
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Edited by Lewyman on Sep 5, 2013 at 7:10:36 AM

Post edited:

 

Ok that's what I heard too pretty much from Tier 2 C.S.  The person that gave me the info yesterday oversees work on the towers in MI and said that there is now complete coverage along I-75 across MI. AT&T is working hard to get 3G overlay on most of the sites within 1-2 months with the exception of some of those old wooden mono poles  (former Dobson sites) that cannot be upgraded and will have to be rebuilt. What AT&T told you is what they told me as well, which is their entire network will have the first layer of 4G or HSPA+ by the end of the year. All the new coverage in northern MI right now is 3G and mostly on T-1 backhaul, and even though your phone might say 4G or H+.....that means those sites are HSPA+ ready. I will be traveling up this weekend so I will get to see if my info is correct.

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Sep 5, 2013 7:49:39 PM
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Lewyman,

 

What I suspect from what you say is that the air interface (software on the cell site) is 4G UMTS/HSPA+21, aka the latest GSM 3G technology. But the backhaul from the cell site to the switch/MSC is still on T-1. This solves the voice capacity problem but data will still be slow until Fiber Ethernet goes into the cell site. By then they can also activate the LTE mode on the cell site.

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Sep 5, 2013 8:33:18 PM
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Basically that is correct. Their goal is to have 3G overlay within a few months first, followed by HSPA+ by the end of the year. Then LTE on all sites by the end of 2014. I am skeptical however that they will have E.B. to all of their rural sites by years end.

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Sep 6, 2013 7:29:56 PM
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Traveled up north tonight. Had solid 4G on 75 from Bay City straight through to the St Helen exit (222) and mapped it on Sensorly. Someone else has mapped new 3G coverage in Tawas City/East Tawas area.

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Sep 8, 2013 2:10:22 PM
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Edited by Tpeltz on Sep 8, 2013 at 2:10:50 PM

I know around NE MI (Presque Isle county, Cheboygan county, and Alpena county) AT&T had Frontier run fiber to all of their cell sites. None of the sites in those counties are using T1's now. This was finished back in June. 

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Sep 8, 2013 8:03:45 PM
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NE Lower MI update:

 

Towns that have new HSPA/UMTS service that's not on the map yet: Sterling, Alger, West Branch, Hillman, Lachine, Mio, and Rose City. 

 

Note: The Lovells tower still does not have broadband antennas installed yet:smileysad:

 

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Sep 9, 2013 11:05:28 AM
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Come on Att! Get that Lovells tower going! I'll be up there first of Oct, hopefully its done by then.

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Sep 9, 2013 8:21:36 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Sep 9, 2013 at 8:28:59 PM

MNelly420

 

I have received some news regarding the tower in Lovells, and unfortunately it's not good. That tower is an old RFB Cellular site, and there are some transport ( T-1) issues preventing AT&T from launching 3G/HSPA+ on that site at this time. From what I heard,  the projected launch on this tower in sometime in March 2014...possibly sooner or even later. That is probably why Tier 2 support didn't have any information regarding a network upgrade on this site when I talked to them back in July. All of the other sites around it now have HSPA/UMTS:smileyhappy:

 

The one good thing I was told , is this site will have Fiber Ethernet backhaul to it when they launch HSPA+ and will also allow them to launch LTE on it sometime next year. For what ever reason, AT&T has opted to not use Microwave backhaul on this site. Sorry I don't have better news.

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Sep 10, 2013 6:30:06 PM
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Oh well. Hopefully by next summer then, or sooner for the locals sake. Doesn't sound like I'd have to go far though. We go into Lewiston regularly.

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Sep 10, 2013 7:55:11 PM
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Edited by Lewyman on Sep 10, 2013 at 7:56:23 PM

 

Personally,  because that tower covers such a large area I think it will be upgraded sooner. The biggest factor is waiting for fiber backhaul to the site.

 

Now.... because they opted not to go with Microwave, that could be a very good thing for the residents in the area and I am guessing they will use Frontier for the fiber backhaul. If in fact they do, Frontier will more than likely bring highspeed internet into Lovells. I don't know if they have any source of broadband there.... but Verizon's 3G service is pretty much non existant.

 

On a side note...AT&T's "4G" is pretty decent in Lewiston.

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Sep 11, 2013 7:43:58 AM
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Saw this today:

 

AT&T agrees to LTE interoperability with smaller US carriers

 

Numerous regional US carriers have called for AT&T to support their 700MHz bands, which would give them the LTE devices and roaming coverage they need to compete with national rivals. These networks may soon get their wish: as part of an FCC-led deal, AT&T has agreed to support LTE on the 700MHz A Block frequencies held by smaller providers. While AT&T is short on details, it's already modifying its network to support the additional bands. Compatible devices will arrive in a "reasonable time frame," the telecom giant says. The commitment doesn't address LTE interoperability problems with Verizon and other major US networks, but it should help at least a few tiny carriers stand a fighting chance in the 4G era.

 

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/11/att-agrees-to-lte-interoperability-with-smaller-us-carriers/

 

 

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