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Mjrtom7

Explorer

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25 Messages

Wed, Sep 19, 2012 6:57 PM

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...

Responses

Tpeltz

Scholar

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136 Messages

6 years ago

3/31/14 is the target date for all current active UMTS cell sites in NE MI to have enhanced backhaul and LTE live. Moreover, AT&T will be deploying HD Voice over their UMTS (3G/HSPA+) network VERY soon. Training will be this week in Chicago for some AT&T employees. I expect that HD Voice over UMTS will be active by the end of Q1. 

Scholar

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150 Messages

6 years ago

Interesting. What is HD voice? Just higher quality calls?
Tpeltz

Scholar

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136 Messages

6 years ago

Yes, much higher quality calls using the AMR-WB voice codec. Check out this video for a sample of HD Voice: http://youtu.be/LXEIi2JwgR4

 

It doubles the sampling rate of the human voice and reduces background noises substantially. 

jwagger

Teacher

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29 Messages

6 years ago

There have been many different target dates within the last two years and I don't believe ATT hit any one of them.  I don't think many of us will be holding our breath or sipping the kool aid.  Target dates for ATT are arbitrary dates they throw out to keep people happy and have something to look forward to.  Funny thing is it makes matters worse.  People would like the truth and a concrete date rather than being strung along month after month.

Oh and HD Voice is something TMobile has had for the last year, so it's nothing novel that ATT is releasing. .   

Lewyman

Scholar

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391 Messages

6 years ago

Well, target dates that a few of us have given aren't "officially" from AT&T, but rather from people who are actively involved in working on the towers and network buildout. It is hard to say exactly what the hold up is in regards to the majority of 2G only sites that haven't been upgraded yet, but I am guessing it is the backhaul. I agree it is frustrating to say the least.

As far as T-Mobile.....you can't really compare them to AT&T. Their native coverage area, including Metro PCS's assets, only covers about 1/3 of Michigan and not all of their coverage area has HD voice or even 3G. My area (Romeo/Almont) has Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint LTE already but T-Mobile is still 2G only and they roam on AT&T's network in the northern 2/3rd's MI. Lol

Edit: I guess my point is yes T-Mo had HD voice for a while but in limited areas. AT&T will be launching theirs over their entire 3G/4G network which is much larger than T-Mo's. By summer, AT&T's 4G/LTE network should be much larger and faster than it is today:)

 

 

Tpeltz

Scholar

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136 Messages

6 years ago

@jwagger - These are target dates like I mentioned, goals that AT&T's network team wants to reach. The date I posted isn't from a sales rep or store rep. I get my info from network engineers within AT&T.

 

No one claimed that AT&T is the first to offer HD Voice. I was just pointing it out so that people know it will be live soon. It's a great feature and will be much more enjoyable than the current voice codec AT&T uses. Moreover, T-Mobile doesn't even provide service to northeast Michigan like Lewyman stated, so it is a nonstarter. 

jwagger

Teacher

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29 Messages

6 years ago

I am not referring to your target dates specifically.  I am referring to ones the CSR or sales people state or public announcements like "ATT will cover their 2g footprint by end of 2012" or ATT will cover their 2g footprint by end of 2013" or "LTE will be substantially complete by end of 2013".  It is just frustrating.  

 

Yeah tmobile's native network is no where near ATT and I wasn't claiming such either.  For people that spend 90-100% of their time in a metro area it is a better choice than ATT really (faster speeds in general, better voice quality and CHEAPER).  But for Michiganders that travel north or live in some of the more rural areas, it makes no sense with 2g and 50MB of roaming.  However, I would go with them before Sprint.  

 

I just feel I made a mistake on my last re-up as I should've brought the fam to Verizon.  I guess I am mad at myself for getting sucked in and venting here.    

Lewyman

Scholar

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391 Messages

6 years ago

jwagger:

You have some legit points and always feel free to post them here. For what ever reason, there are still a lot of towers on E and AT&T did state that they would have their entire network upgraded to 3G by the end of 2013. Actually, it was supposed to be on HSPA+ "4G". AT&T did years worth of upgrades to their network last year but unfortunately they didn't finish up before winter.

T-Mobile is guilty of falsely advertising their network as a "nationwide 4G network" Lol...... they're not even close to having their own nationwide network.:)

Hopefully, you will have a much faster network in your area this spring.

Scholar

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150 Messages

6 years ago

I did some tests with my phone today. I put it in field test mode and put it by my window. I got -77 while on Edge. Turned on airplane mode then turned it off and got -99 on 4G.

Lewyman

Scholar

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391 Messages

6 years ago

-99 dBm on 4G isn't bad at all considering where the nearest 4G tower is to your general area(according to the coverage map). If you were to get a Wilson cradle booster with an antenna that mounts on the window, I bet you would get a solid 3-4 bars of 4G with no switching back to E.

I haven't heard back from my source regarding the Lathrop site unfortunately. I would be disappointed if they pulled their resources away from the remaining areas of 2G for their LTE buildout.

Scholar

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150 Messages

6 years ago

Oh ok. I still don't know where in getting this 4G signal from.
c0n

Mentor

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43 Messages

6 years ago

I'm thinking this upgrade is going to be like the 2.1Billion that Verizon had in tax breaks in PA in '94 to get fiber to 100% of the state. AKA never going to happen. If Edge would load a basic webpage I'd be happy. I don't stream etc..with my phone. I just want to check my e-commerce site and email without google.com timing out.

 

I can, however, be 2hrs north in the Copper Country at inlaws house in Houghton and have HSPA+ from there to Lake Superior where the family farm sits in the middle of nowhere.  MTU ftw.

 

Still Edge around the entire area until I get to Goodman, Wisc. Roughly 880 people HSPA+.

Crazy.

c0n

Mentor

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43 Messages

6 years ago

the past few days I've noticed that the within 800-1000 feet (or less) from the Hospital is 4g, rest of the town is still on Edge.

Anyone else up this way (Dickinson County) have any new info?

Lewyman

Scholar

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391 Messages

6 years ago

c0n

It is really hard to say what is going on. My source told he that he doesn't have a lot of visibility with the 3G buildout in the western U.P. but has heard AT&T has moved most of the crews to lower MI to work on their LTE deployment. There are still many towers in NE lower MI that are on EDGE as well, so the onset of winter has more than likely hindered backhaul and site upgrades.

The area you mentioned by the hospital and around town appear to be in the "fringe" coverage area, but should be enough to get a fair 3G signal. What kind of phone are you using? The reason being newer phones like the iPhone 5 or 5S, for example, will hold the 4G signal much better than older 3G phones..

When spring arrives, crews will be working to finish upgrading those sites and rest assured....the network up there will be much faster come this summer.....
jwagger

Teacher

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29 Messages

6 years ago

Sounds like they are done or gave up on the U.P. 

I would love to see a map that shows what their coverage will be after completion.

I for one am giving them until early summer to rid of this pitiful Edge service.  If not, I am jumping ship to "Red" with my 4 lines.   

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