Cellular data coverage in 2018

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Dan Robinson, May 11, 2018.

  1. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    50
    Don't be fooled, it probably does have 2. A great many of these hotspots actually do have 2 external 4G antenna connections, even if you only see one or none! They're on the board of the unit, and are used for testing on a service monitor. The 4620L was a pretty cheaply-made unit, and it actually surprises me that they even put one antenna port on the outside.

    For example, I use a Sprint hotspot - A Franklin Wireless R850. It features no external antenna ports, but has two of them under some peel-away stickers under the battery door, that can be accessed with an SMK-TS9 connector.
     
  2. James Hammett

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    42
    I believe it...over the years I drilled holes in the back cover of several smartphones that had serviceable external antenna ports that almost no one knew about. Not much mechanical strength but worked great for my purposes.
     
  3. Mark Blue

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    228
    Where on earth did you find the exact dimensions to know where to drill? Ifixit.com has a ton of information but where TS-9 test ports are located under the rear cover - I don’t think so. My luck I’d end up with a Swiss cheese special!
     
  4. James Wilson

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    296
    Just before the Ords Nebraska tornado I lost service just north of there so maybe a dead zone there. I had service most of the day throughout the NE panhandle other than that.

    I use Verizon hotspot and a Fusion Surefire 2 cell booster. I have found I have service in most areas still but it does seem like it is not as good as it once was.

    Note the booster does great but if there is no service there is no service to boost.
     
  5. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    50
    Going to see how well coverage works under the "New Era" at Sprint. Just switched to them yesterday.

    All of their phones and devices are now twin-compatible and roam on T-Mobile's network.
     
  6. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    50
    Best place to start is to locate the service shop technician's manual for your device.
     
  7. Bill Hark

    Bill Hark EF5

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,197
    Likes Received:
    109
    Dan, I still use ThreatNet and it worked nicely out on the Plains this year. I had a few patchy areas of poor service using my Verizon phone in ND/SD but my main issue was RadarScope going out. The GPS function stopped working multiple occasions. Others have had similar issues. During a chase in Virginia last Friday, there were some areas of poor Verizon service SE of Lynchburg. RadarScope again was out but hopefully will work after a quick update of the app.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,025
    Likes Received:
    1,414
    Yesterday, I was out in the same areas I was when I had the 100% data outage southwest of OKC on May 2nd. I had coverage almost everywhere this time. So it appears the 2nd's issue was likely overloaded towers. I have not had many other issues this season, with the sporadic outage here and there.
     
  9. Jesse Risley

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    117
    In the previous case, did you actually have signal and you just were not getting data? As a general rule, if it is overcrowding due to the masses, your RSSI (signal strength) would indicate that you do have service, and you would probably even be able to make voice calls and send text messages without issue. You'll just notice a dearth of data whenever you try to load something online. If I absolutely have poor or no signal whatsoever, then that's generally a coverage issue.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
  10. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,025
    Likes Received:
    1,414
    On the 2nd, it was back and forth between 1x and 4g, but no data pulling anywhere - both on my phone and Jetpack.
     
  11. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    50
    Sprint with T-Mobile's overlay is a bit......disappointing, in the rural areas.

    I just snapped up a WeBoost Drive 4G-S booster with a decent antenna, so I'll have to see if that helps at all.
     
  12. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    112
    Dean, that was something I noticed when I was driving for CR England. I had Sprint at the time, co-driver at the time had T-Mobile. While there were certain areas where his coverage was a bit better than mine, neither of us had squat through Wyoming, except for Cheyenne, and Montana and the Dakotas were both abysmal for both of us. I did better than he did in Nebraska by far due to Sprint's roaming agreement with US Cellular that allowed each carrier to use LTE on the other's towers (I'm not sure how this will be effected by the merger), but by and large there weren't a lot of areas where the two didn't overlap. It seems to me like the merger will help them consolidate resources more than expand coverage, at least in the short term. Long term, I could see it free up capital to expand, but I don't see them being able to roll out 5G AND expand to the extent of Verizon and AT&T in terms of rural coverage
     
  13. James Hammett

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    42
    On my phones I just removed the battery cover, found the connector, and measured where it was so I knew where to drill through the cover.
     
  14. John Moore

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    19
    The Wilson Sleek amplifier I use does not require an antenna connection to the phone. It is built into a cradle, and talks to the phone's radio via very close coupling on the cradle.
     
  15. James Hammett

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    42
    Occasionally on my Verizon Jetpack Mifi data will just stop. Still shows signal but there's no internet connectivity. Either rebooting the device or clicking Disconnect then Connect in the admin interface will fix it. If it happens again @Dan Robinson maybe try rebooting your device?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice