Verizon 5G Rant

arlo

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Now I don't claim to know much on cell phones. If they work. Good. If not then who knows.
Last week I lost signal. I'm in line of sight to a tower. Rebooted my phone.
I got in the car and drove up to it. No signal. Drove down the hill 5 miles away and got good signal. Called Verizon and basically got hung up on after their automated message.
Drove to another tower and it was fluctuating in and out.
So I get home and locals are on FB asking about if phones were acting up.
Got on Verizon chat on my pc. First denial. Reboot the phone and all of that stuff. I said listen. You need to know that your towers are glitching.
I got chat-transferred to "engineering". Finally got an answer. Verizon is the only provider out here. Good luck with Sprint, ATT.
Seems as if while they are doing the 5G conversion they have to reduce signal so as not to interfere with other cell providers.
You have to hunt to get an ATT signal at all. Sprint.....have a tank of gas.
Later on at home signal went full bars and my phone beeped letting me know there was a signal.
30 minutes of chat and then another 20 after getting somebody who fessed up and let me know what the deal was.
Only thing worse is talking to Dell support. My friend. And a flat Slurpee with stale nachos.
Anybody else experiencing stuff like this on their signal lately?
 

harshness

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The argument about reducing power is poppycock. They don't have to change anything on the 4G side to add 5G. If they were replacing 4G with 5G, that might be a different story but the marketplace is far from ready for that (since Apple won't offer 5G devices until 2021 at the earliest).
 

EarDemon

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That makes no sense at all. I'm not a cell tower engineer, nor do I play one on the internet, but I have a basic concept on how this stuff works, and that explanation does not compute. The only way I could see this sorta being the case is if you live near an international border. You list your location as North East, are you anywhere near the Canada? In my neck of the woods, Sprint could not deploy their 800 MHz LTE (repurposed Nextel spectrum) because my market borders Canada and I live in the International Border Exclusionary Zone. Not saying this is the case, and I'm not familiar with the spectrum holdings of the Canadian providers, but I'm just throwing it out there it is plausible that if you live near Canada (or Mexico for that matter) that something going on, on the other side of the border could impact service in some manner.

Verizon only uses mmWave for their 5G NR, 29 and 38 GHz specifically, AT&Ts mmWave is at 39 GHz and 24 GHz. At those frequencies, you're looking at coverage areas measured in yards, not miles. The highest LTE frequency used by the big carriers is 2500 MHz on Sprint, now T-Mobile. There is no way those could interfere with each other. For LTE, Verizon's main frequency is 700 MHz, with 1900 MHz and 1700/2100 MHz being utilized as well.
 

arlo

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Like I said. I don't know. But the 2 very wide freqs. that show in the 700-800 MHz band very strong normally, that day on my service monitor were dead dead dead. Pass the buck, it's my phone. Well it wasn't obviously.
All I do know (nope a long way from the land of 'eh') is nobody here has ATT or Sprint. If they come here for long and do, that too will pass. I do wonder how many that day made the same call. Turn off your phone wait a minute, try removing and replacing your sim card, ok turn off your phone and we'll refresh your service. The 5g thing was the most plausible explanation.
 

primestar31

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Yeah, that's CSR B.S. to get you off the phone. They make it sound just plausible enough, so you aren't sure, and give them the benefit of the doubt. At least long enough for them to get you to hang up...
 

EarDemon

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If Verizon was using 700 MHz for LTE and NR like T-Mobile is doing with 600 MHz and 2500 MHz and AT&T is doing with 850 MHz, I could see where if they were in the process of implementation or testing the LTE would be taken down temporarily, but that's not the case.

The Verizon tower near where I work has had a few service related issues. In the past year or so on three separate occasions spaced months apart, LTE disappeared for days at a time. Everyone went from decent LTE service to non-usable/barely usable 1xRTT. Having T-Mobile, I was still chugging along at 75 Mbps and able to make and receive calls. Most people have VZW as their carrier for personal phones, the vast majority of our company cell phones are on VZW. AT&T has no coverage at all where I work, so for those few days, me and our service manager who was on Sprint were just about the only people in the company with usable cell phones.
 

TheForce

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From what I heard Apple will have a 5G iphone v12 using the Qualcomm X55 micro chip this Fall. The mockups have already been distributed for 3rd party accessory companies to begin making product for the cases.

The real question is, do we really need 5G? I have an iphone 11 Pro Max with maximum memory that works great everywhere I go. I can play 4K video easily with YT no problem. What do I do on my iphone that requires faster 5G speed? A better question would be what will I need to give up to have 5G service?

My understanding is that 5G will cost more money for the service. That is why the carriers want you to believe 5G is something you must have. They want more money.
So the first thing that comes to mind is I will have to give up more money for the service to do what I am currently doing right now with 4G.

And speaking of money- My current iphone 11 Pro Max with 512 storage and cloud storage is working flawlessly. I never complain. It works the same as a lightbulb in my house.

The little talked about secret is also the debate on coverage vs. speed? I know a little about radio. I know that 5G by it's very nature doesn't have great coverage and can't penetrate walls like 4G. So, coverage reliability will be a real complaint and a surprise to many who buy into it not knowing this. Cities will need many times the number of "radio locations to cover as opposed to current cell phone towers. In the country, is a real problem. First we'll get build out along the interstate highways but off the interstate may take 20 years before enough radio locations can cover the other roads. So while a perfect 5G location will get a user faster speed, these locations may not be available for several years. Finally, while the iphone 5G may be here in 2020, does my city have 5G, Does my street? What hardware do I need in my house to get the signal to my iphone? Too many unknowns at this point.

So- do I need speed or coverage? my conclusion today, is I prefer coverage of 4G, not spotty coverage at 100 times the speed of 4G that I won't be using.


What could change in my future that 5G would benefit assuming coverage is resolved? If any of you used Zoom where 10-15 videos are being received and you are transmitting your video at the same time for a virtual classroom or conference, or town hall meeting. This will benefit from 5G as the bandwidth of these meetings can consume much more than 4G can do. But today, the most I do is Facetime and 4G works fine here for Facetime.


What intrigues me more about the iphone12 is the cameras. This part of the iphone keeps getting better. Plus I have this deal I bought 2 years ago that allows me to upgrade to the same class iphone every year and all I have to do is keep paying the monthly amount for a renewed 2 years. I took advantage of it last year for the 11. I may do the same for the 12 just for the new camera features which is supposed to have LIDAR too. But, I don't think the Qualcomm 5G modem is of interest to me this year.



I do recognize that there is a huge market for 5G around the world and so I am interested in investing in 5G technology companies that make the chips and equipment for the buildout. I believe this has far more benefit to me than using 5G in my iphone.
 

TheForce

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Speaking of speed vs coverage debate- the Starlink service being installed for consumer internet will offer a gigabyte per sec of data rate at 25 millisecond latency, and global coverage when complete including all the oceans for ships at sea. Not as fast as 5G but as I said who needs all that as a consumer? The main issue here is what sort of receiving antenna will be required. If like siriusxm receiving antenna that can work in a cell phone. I haven't looked into Starlink much yet but I suggest this technology may be worth spending some time learning more detail.
 

arlo

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Speaking of speed vs coverage debate- the Starlink service being installed for consumer internet will offer a gigabyte per sec of data rate at 25 millisecond latency, and global coverage when complete including all the oceans for ships at sea. Not as fast as 5G but as I said who needs all that as a consumer? The main issue here is what sort of receiving antenna will be required. If like siriusxm receiving antenna that can work in a cell phone. I haven't looked into Starlink much yet but I suggest this technology may be worth spending some time learning more detail.
Not quite as small as a SXM antenna.
1595293202924.png
 

TheForce

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One such antenna is intended for mobile use:

1595309376856.png


There is another design that is a flat disk with an array covered by a dome that Elon Musk says will be for a roof top Home installation. The mount will be designed with remote control motor to maximize signal with adjustment to perfect vertical so it can adjust for different roof pitches. The size will be like a "pizza box" And be solar powered amplifier.
 

TheForce

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Not quite as small as a SXM antenna.
View attachment 146462
This is the picture from the SpaceX beta test solicitation. I believe there are two more launches for the final collection of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) before the beta program begins.
More here:

Unboxing the beta system: (Poster violated the Starlink NDA so this YT video may be pulled from YT)

More:

 
Last edited:

TheForce

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The beta kit YT video:
For those who missed it, sorry. It was a young girl doing an unboxing of the beta kit and the antenna was different from the other pictures. It was a flat disk on a small mast. There was a router I believe that was to transmit wifi 2.4Ghz / 5 Ghz to the home. The girl plugged it in and claimed it started working right in her house.

For those who haven't signed up for the beta program- you will get an email thanking you and stating you may be contacted when the beta foot coverage expands top your location. I took this to mean as they add more satellites to cover more parts of the Earth SpaceX will add to the beta locations but that is my opinion.
 

arlo

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The beta kit YT video:
For those who missed it, sorry. It was a young girl doing an unboxing of the beta kit and the antenna was different from the other pictures. It was a flat disk on a small mast. There was a router I believe that was to transmit wifi 2.4Ghz / 5 Ghz to the home. The girl plugged it in and claimed it started working right in her house.

For those who haven't signed up for the beta program- you will get an email thanking you and stating you may be contacted when the beta foot coverage expands top your location. I took this to mean as they add more satellites to cover more parts of the Earth SpaceX will add to the beta locations but that is my opinion.
From her video I believe I caught that the dish started moving in her house, not necessarily that she got signal.
Pricing will definitely crush the big Internet ISP's but not compete with local cable/fiber providers.
I wonder about signal drop off due to sats not being geostationary. But as the sky is populated with more sats perhaps the plan is to overlap orbits (aka cellular service) where signal threshold diminishing will enable the dish to track another sat.
I've signed up for the newsletter. It will be interesting to see how Elon's venture develops.
 

rvvaquero

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With Starlink, there will be three satellites in your sky at all times. The receiver will choose one of those, supposedly based on signal quality. Of course, at any time two of them may not be visible. Anyway, due to lack of bandwidth, this is not supposed to be particularly useful in populated areas. That would make it not so competitive with cable/fiber ISP's or any other dependable high speed source in populated areas.

It will be a real improvement for many rural locations and/or small towns, assuming they don't have to share a satellite with a highly populated area and that pricing is affordable.

Here is an interesting perspective Satellite Internet Update: Starlink Is Exciting, But Reality Check Needed For RVers and Cruisers - Mobile Internet Resource Center
 

EarDemon

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The little talked about secret is also the debate on coverage vs. speed? I know a little about radio. I know that 5G by it's very nature doesn't have great coverage and can't penetrate walls like 4G. So, coverage reliability will be a real complaint and a surprise to many who buy into it not knowing this. Cities will need many times the number of "radio locations to cover as opposed to current cell phone towers. In the country, is a real problem. First we'll get build out along the interstate highways but off the interstate may take 20 years before enough radio locations can cover the other roads. So while a perfect 5G location will get a user faster speed, these locations may not be available for several years. Finally, while the iphone 5G may be here in 2020, does my city have 5G, Does my street? What hardware do I need in my house to get the signal to my iphone? Too many unknowns at this point.

So- do I need speed or coverage? my conclusion today, is I prefer coverage of 4G, not spotty coverage at 100 times the speed of 4G that I won't be using.
It’s not a secret, It’s basic physics. At it’s core it has nothing to do with 4G v 5G, it has to do with frequencies used. The higher the frequency, the shorter the distance the wavelength travels, the faster the potential maximum speed is, the faster the speed dissipates over distance and the poorer the in building penetration is.

Verizon and AT&T are focused on deploying mmWave 5G at 28 and 39 GHz. Speeds have been clocked at 2 Gbps, but have so much as a tree branch or awning in your way between your device and the macrocell and the speed nosedives. T-Mobile is focused on deploying their 600 MHz low band 5G, which won’t provide speeds anywhere near 2 Gbps, more like 200 Mbps on a good day, but the signal is measured in miles not feet. T-Mobile uses 600 MHz for both LTE and NR, all things being equal, the range and building penetration should be the same for both technologies, but NR will provide faster speeds. They are in a pretty good position. They are laser focused on deploying low band n71 for coverage, from almost day one they have been working on rolling out the mid-band n41 they acquired from Sprint for a mix of coverage and speed and they have spectrum holdings for mmWave n260 and n261 just like Verizon and AT&T for speed.

It’s really no different than current LTE. I can get over 300 Mbps on band 66 LTE w/CA on T-Mobile outdoors, move 100 feet in either direction and I get about half that. Go inside the building and I drop down to band 12 and get maybe 30 - 50 Mbps
 

harshness

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Starlink will have a clientele, but I'm not sure it will reach many of the potential customers that many think it must. I've seen enough satellite dish pointing non-options posted here to know that a great view of the sky isn't something you're guaranteed in a non-urban location.

We're well aware of the issues with geography and vegetation that come with the frequencies that are half of what's involved here. As EarDemon pointed out, Physics is a harsh mistress and she always gets her way.
 

arlo

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422 satellites up so far including the 60 just sent up. Pretty impressive.
Some areas 'up here' SXM spends more time acquiring then playing when you're out for a Sunday drive.
Talk is also since the rural co-op has just strung fiber all over the place, that as the local cable/isp providers infrastructure is in need of a revamp they (co-op) will lease their provisions to the cable company. In many places the hard line looks like Elmer Fudd's shotgun after a trigger squeeze with Buggs' finger in the muzzle.
The cable ISP is already pushing Roku and Fire streamers instead of decoders/dvr's.
Look at a Viasat/Hughes install manual. Look at all those dish struts. Pretty precise dish aiming to hit the right TP you're assigned to or you're SOL even if you do have top notch signal from the wrong TP. Crazy stuff. RVers certainly couldn't plop a dish out on a tripod and grab an email before they ate up their data.
Maybe Elon has used a sat phone just one time too many, maybe he's experienced one too many signal drops. Maybe he's come up with a better, more reliable, less expensive way for those with lean options. Hmmm?
 
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