Monday, January 27, 2014

Sprint LTE: +40 = 340 locations

Sprint continues to make progress on LTE implementation, adding 40 more locations.

The locations seem odd but it looks as though they're just on the way to converging with other implementation paths.  The University of Oregon and Walmart central country (Northwest Arkansas) have Sprint LTE now.

I'm amused that the person who wrote the press release missed the mistake with Mobile, Alabama.  Besides that, where are they finding these new state abbreviations?

At least, a few of the smaller metro areas have gone live.  Hopefully, they're able to learn from the implementations and make the upgrades go more smoothly.  It would be good if they could make them go more quickly but accuracy is more important.  What good is a quick implementation if it's down after they go live with it?

I'm still expecting this area to go live in 3-4 months with Dayton and Eaton, Ohio already showing some LTE (even where the cows and horses roam), along with parts of the Cincinnati area but with the bitter cold (-14 to -18 degrees F tonight), I doubt much is being done.  Hopefully, they installed the new antennas/antennae during the summer, since it's much easier to work in the climate-controlled electronics room.

Even after they go live, they need to finish what they started, as it's hardly complete.  If they can go live and issue a press release on only 30% coverage, they certainly need to do a lot to finish.  Still, with the data upgrades on it's easy to see that they're making quick progress before they are ready to go live with anything.  As I've seen in certain locations, they seem to be re-distributing old equipment in order to increase 3G/EVDO coverage instead of remaining with 1xRTT in certain backwoods locations.

Update 2014.03.15: I've seen more of Indiana and Ohio lit up with LTE, at least in test mode.  Coverage is mixed, meaning a few feet can mean a huge difference.  I was trying to use Yelp in a parking lot and couldn't get anything and it was showing 3G on the phone.  As I was leaving, at the stop light on the main road, I had LTE and while it was slow, it was responding.  I was surprised that I had a call dropped yesterday, but of course, it was at a critical time and the indicator showed 1 bar and 1xRTT.  I can count the number of dropped calls in 13+ years on one hand, and most of those were on the other end.  This time, the other end was a land line.  I wonder if most of Ohio will have LTE by summer.  It looks as though southwestern Ohio and the adjoining areas in Indiana will, although coverage will be variable, as always.  There aren't enough towers.

I checked coverage for two areas I have frequented in Indianapolis since LTE went live there.  One is in a strong area with several tall buildings.  Performance is bad.  The other area, including the Sprint store, is in a weak part of the coverage for some reason and it's only a few miles apparently, but it's bad enough if you happen to shop in the area.

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