09-11-2013 01:00:35 PM
AT&T expands LTE empire with $1.9 billion spectrum purchase from Verizon
Verizon and AT&T often spar over network reliability, but the two biggest US carriers aren't opposed to helping one another out when the price is right. AT&T has completed a $1.9 billion purchase of unused spectrum from its primary rival, picking up 39 700MHz licenses that it says will help improve service to 42 million people across 18 states. Verizon Wireless also stands to gain from the deal; it's receiving valuable AWS spectrum in five western markets. As LTE smartphones continue to flood the smartphone market, both carriers have had to rethink their 4G deployment strategies. Verizon will likely use the AWS spectrum to complement its existing 700MHz holdings. The company has already snagged AWS resources from cable providers, a deal that by all accounts hinged on its agreement to offload spectrum to a chief competitor. The spectrum purchase was initially announced in January.
AT&T promises to lift the wall between regional carriers and its LTE network
Today, regional carriers are one big step closer to being able to roam freely on larger networks while building out their own LTE device catalog. AT&T has announced that it will start working towards making its 700MHz spectrum interoperable, moving forward in a long-running dispute about large carriers' responsibility to share their networks. In a statement, the company promises to invest "considerable time and resources" in an infrastructure change that will let its LTE network support phones designed for for smaller carriers, while also offering more devices that support those carriers' networks.
Regional carriers like US Cellular have been asking for interoperability options for years, saying that the current system makes it difficult to offer roaming and limits the devices they can support. While many networks use the 700MHz spectrum for LTE, it's divided into multiple bands that require different hardware. For AT&T, that's not a problem. For smaller carriers, though, technical problems have persisted even as courts have guaranteed fair roaming prices. And the problem isn't just roaming. LTE phones and tablets are made with big carriers in mind, so many of them won't work on regional LTE bands at all. AT&T has said it will help fix this problem by working with manufacturers on new devices that support both networks, though no timeline is given.
It's certainly a helpful move, but it wouldn't have happened without heavy pressure from the FCC. AT&T has long resisted interoperability rules, said that changes could cause interference in its networks. "Such mandates would be an unprecedented regulatory intrusion into a carrier's right to manage network and device deployment in a manner best suited to serve its customers," it wrote in March of 2012, after the FCC launched an official investigation of the issue. It's continued to be firmly against legal intervention, but this voluntary deal will hopefully satisfy all parties involved. The FCC has praised the decision, with acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn commending AT&T and others for resolving the issue "after many frustrating years."
09-12-2013 06:38:28 AM
It shouldn't be long now for your area. Is the tower in McFarland the one that will serve your house?? If so, I will try to find out when it will be upgraded. The tower in Mio only had the omni directional antennas the weekend of Aug 17&18. Less than three weeks, it had broadband panels installed and active HSPA/UMTS service on it when I drove through Sept 8. That's pretty good.
09-12-2013 07:33:03 AM - edited 09-12-2013 08:09:08 AM
Yep, thats the one nearest to my house. No 4G yet. I'm on wifi at my house so I turn off my phone's wifi every now and then to see if 4G has been turned on. That would be cool if you could find out when that tower will be upgraded. I found out the tower isnt in McFarland its right before it in Lathrop. Its right across the road from Lathrop 42.25 Lane Rd by M-35.
That's cool the Mio tower got upgraded. Last I checked the Lathrop tower was on August 31st, and it didn't have any panel antennas on it yet.
09-12-2013 07:20:28 PM
OK, I got some info on that tower near you I will pass along. That site along with several others in the western U.P. are scheduled for upgraded service sometime in November, at which time AT&T expects to have their 3G rollout in Michigan pretty much complete....with the exception of those sites that are going to be rebuilt or relocated. Also, several more sites went live this week with more to soon follow and at the same time AT&T is also continuing to upgrade current 3G sites to HSPA+. So it isn't going to be long now before there is pretty much statewide 3G/HSPA/UMTS coverage. Finally!!!!!
Hopefully they upgrade your tower sooner but it definately won't be long now
09-13-2013 06:41:13 AM
Wow, cool! Thanks for the info! I'll keep checking the tower for activity and will post back when they start working on it. 2 months isnt that long to wait. Can't wait!
09-15-2013 09:10:37 AM
Hey now. Just having my lunch here in Oscoda, Michigan, at the old air base. And what should I find on my iphone?
My 4G icon is lit up! Whee! I celebrated by watching two, yes TWO videos.
I was down in the Standish/Omer area on Friday, and the 4G icon is on down that way too, and operational. Video streamed just fine for us. Though it still faded out just before the M-65/US-23 intersection while heading North.
I'll have to see how far south the high speed signal goes when I drive back home at 4pm.
So, that's great news. Finally.
09-15-2013 10:37:36 AM
09-16-2013 04:38:11 AM
4G was on for me Oscoda to Tawas; with about three miles roughly halfway where it was still "4G", but the speeds dropped terribly, down to .28 mbps. But in Oscoda, and Tawas, speeds were up around 2 - 3 mbps.
4G hung on going South on US-23 to about Alabaster, where it dropped back into the Edge Network.
I'm hopeful of more tower upgrades. But this is fantasically better for around here, truly.
09-17-2013 07:10:30 AM
09-17-2013 09:38:22 AM - edited 09-17-2013 09:45:36 AM
cool. They must have just updated it because I checked earlier this morning and it was the same old map. Still on edge out here.
09-19-2013 09:19:44 AM
Had a nice suprise last night at my house in Au Gres. The 4G was lit up as I sat in my driveway. And it worked pretty good too! So kudos to them for that, definitely. I didn't think Au Gres was going to see it for a while yet, since we are so small.
I'm going to have to switch to complaining about data charges soon I bet, since I can't complain about the coverage much anymore.. :b lol!
Thanks AT&T. This makes my big monthly bill a little easier to swallow now at least.
09-19-2013 10:54:52 AM
09-19-2013 11:02:31 AM
That tower in Lathrup has 4G already? Wow it was only a few weeks ago you checked and the broadband antennas weren't installed at that time. That was super fast! Or could the signal be coming from that other tower you mention that wasn't active?
09-19-2013 11:17:29 AM - edited 09-19-2013 11:30:06 AM
Yeah that was super fast! I think its the Lathrop tower. Looks like they may be doing some tests because I usally get 4 bars when I set my phone by my window and I'm only getting 2-3 at the moment. Plus the weather here is cloudy and foggy at the moment so that could be why as well. Ill go check out the tower this weekend though.
Yeah, they must still be working on it. Its switching back to No Service, E and 4G.
09-19-2013 11:59:43 AM
09-21-2013 08:02:35 AM - edited 09-21-2013 08:03:11 AM
Looks like the 4G isnt at full power yet. When I get a 4G signal I only get 1-2 bars but, when it connects to E I get 4-5 bars.
09-21-2013 08:53:44 AM
09-21-2013 10:30:47 AM - edited 09-21-2013 11:48:55 AM
Hmm..I dont know of any other AT&T tower around here besides the one in Lathrop. I'll be checking the tower out this weekend. I put my phone in field test mode and the signal I'm getting on E is -81 and on 4G its -104. And I never had a 4G signal here until the other day. I'm too far away from the tower in Gladstore so I know its not that one.
Something interesting, I put my sister's fiancé's iphone 4S in field test mode and he doesnt get the 4G signal but I do on my iphone 5. He is getting a -86 on E. also my firend who has a S3 cant get the 4G signal either.
09-21-2013 12:53:18 PM - edited 09-21-2013 12:54:48 PM
Wow that is wierd!!! I really don't know because if the tower in Lathrop is live all of those other phones should be lit up with "4G" as well. If there are no broadband antennas on the Lathrop/McFarland tower then that will be very interesting, because your iPhone 5 has by far the best antenna out of those other phones. Maybe.....just maybe....AT&T has activated a new cell site somewhere in the vicinity
09-25-2013 09:15:17 AM
09-25-2013 02:01:37 PM
I havent had a chance to check the tower yet. If not tonight I will tormorrow. I agree its weird because the 4G signal is very weak 1-2 bars comapred to 4-5 bars I get on Edge.
09-25-2013 02:30:52 PM
09-27-2013 08:17:02 AM
Just got back from the tower in Lathrop. No change there. I dd get a 4G signal on the way there it was beween 1-3 bars never got any higher. So a new cell site might have been activated or they increased the signal power from a tower further north or something is what I think.
09-27-2013 08:42:16 AM - edited 09-27-2013 08:44:46 AM
Thanks for the info. That is really a mystery!! I just looked at the map on my work computer and I can't figure out where the signal could be coming from. You are too far for the signal from Gladstone.....maybe Trenary but that tower was active a month ago. The towers to the north/northwest possibly but they are quite far away from Rock. There must be a brand new site, or their signal is getting out further than what the map is depicting. At any rate it won't be long for the Lathrop tower now and there should be awesome coverge when that tower goes live!!
09-28-2013 09:51:50 AM
Something interesting, when I connect to that 4G signal and do a speed test, I get like 2mbps the first time. Then if I do another test it drops down to like 0.44 mbps. Must be some type of throttling or something?
09-28-2013 10:12:41 AM
On a side note, AT&T has fired up LTE in Mt. Pleasant
09-28-2013 10:54:42 AM
That's what I was thinking. They activated a tower out that way. Cool to hear about Mt. Pleasant getting LTE. Do you know what the estimated time frame for the U.P. getting LTE is? I know we are barely just getting 4G. lol I thought I heard 2014 for around here.
09-28-2013 11:52:03 AM
you know you are a ways from that tower.