Category: CARRIERS

How to improve wireless cell coverage at home

Filed under: CARRIERS - Nov 24 2016

Do you have poor wireless cell coverage at home due to wireless carriers having trouble locating their cellular transmission antennas, towers and poles in residential neighborhoods? Resident complaints that cell towers will decrease property values or become eyesores within the landscape have persuaded elected officials to deny the permits needed to construct new cell sites.

Fortunately there are a few solutions that will improve wireless cell coverage within the home or other small-to-medium size buildings where coverage is weak. All four major U.S. wireless carriers now offer Wi-Fi Calling, which is available on many of the latest smartphones. Alternatively, the carriers also offer a small device that connects to your home broadband internet connection technically called a “femtocell” – which improves the wireless signal to cell phones located nearby. Each carrier has their own branded femtocell – links for the individual carrier’s femtocell offerings follow:

Wi-Fi Calling can be a better alternative – it uses the existing wi-fi connection in your home to connect your phone to the wireless cellular network through your home broadband internet connection. When connected, calls and text messages will typically be as clear and reliable as your wi-fi connection. Check with your carrier and/or smartphone manufacturer for instructions on how to setup Wi-Fi Calling.

The advantage of Wi-Fi Calling vs. getting a femtocell is that if you have a compatible smartphone and a Wi-Fi router, there is no extra cost to setup Wi-Fi Calling. A femtocell can cost up to a few hundred dollars, however carriers will sometimes discount or fully subsidize the cost for the device for their more profitable customers.


Verizon adds 3 more cells sites in the Reno area since July, relocates one

Filed under: New Cell Site Active,Verizon Wireless - Oct 30 2016

Verizon has launched three new cell sites since July and relocated one due to road construction. The new sites include:

  • Lemmon Valley – next to the water tower off Patrician Drive
  • Wooster High School – replacing one off the light poles on the football field
  • Summit Mall – a monopine located at a self-storage facility behind the mall

In Sparks, a cell site near Pyramid Way and Queen Way was relocated to a new church tower to the east due to the construction and widening of Pyramid Way.

Verizon Wireless continues to add new cell sites in the Reno area

Filed under: New Cell Site Active,Verizon Wireless - Jul 28 2016

Verizon Wireless continues to outpace other wireless carriers in the construction of new cell sites in the Reno area. Since February 2015, Verizon has added 4 new cell sites:

  • McCarran & Neil – atop the office building across from Meadowood Mall
  • East Lincoln & Howard, Sparks – a monopole near the Sparks Marina
  • Greenbrae Shopping Center, Sparks – a monopine behind the Post Office
  • Las Brisas Blvd. near N. McCarran – a monopine near the NV Energy power substation

Verizon currently has at least 7 additional cell sites in the planning, permitting or construction process.

T-Mobile adds new cell site near South Virginia & Patriot

Filed under: New Cell Site Active,T-Mobile - Jan 01 2016

T-Mobile has added a new cell site near South Virginia Street & Patriot Blvd. The site is co-located on an existing monopole which is also occupied by Sprint.

Reno ranks second-to-last in June mobile network test of 125 most populous metro areas

Reno ranks 124th of the most populous 125 metro areas in the United States in testing of overall mobile network performance according to a recent RootMetrics report.

Data for the Reno metro area only shows a virtual three-way tie between T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T for overall network performance. Individual tests of Network Reliability, Call and Text are virtually tied between the 4 major carriers which include Sprint. According to the report Verizon is the Award winner in terms of Network speed and Data, while Sprint falls short of the other 3 carriers in those categories.

Cricket Wireless old CDMA network to be shut down by mid-September 2015

Filed under: at&t,CARRIERS,Cricket - Feb 27 2015

Fierce Wireless has reported that the Cricket Wireless CDMA network will be shut down by mid-September 2015. AT&T bought Cricket in 2014 and has been transitioning customers to AT&T’s GSM/LTE network.

It’s possible that once the shut down is complete AT&T will transition the old Cricket cell sites to AT&T LTE sites and help fill-in coverage gaps in AT&T’s network.

Verizon adds 6 cell sites in the Reno area during the past year

Filed under: New Cell Site Active,Verizon Wireless - Feb 23 2015

Verizon recently completed construction on 6 new cell sites in the Reno area, mainly improving coverage in existing coverage areas. Those sites include:

  • Mately Lane – Co-located on a tower with other wireless carriers near the intersection of Mill Street and Terminal Way
  • Montello & 7th – Co-located on a tower with other wireless carriers near the intersection of Sutro and 6th Street
  • Moya Blvd. & Lear Blvd. – New monopine in the Stead industrial area
  • N. Virginia & W. Golden Valley Rd. – New monopole near the Raleigh Heights subdivision
  • Pyramid Lake Hwy & Sha Neva Rd. – New 100′ monopole covering the north part of Spanish Springs
  • S. Virginia & California Ave. – atop the Ponderosa Hotel

AT&T buys Cricket, advantages for both carriers

Filed under: at&t,CARRIERS,Cricket - Mar 14 2014

AT&T has completed the purchase of Cricket. AT&T will gain additional spectrum to improve coverage and capacity. Cricket users will have access to AT&T’s 4G LTE network. It is unknown at this time if AT&T will utilize some of Cricket’s cell site locations for improved coverage in poor coverage areas. Read more here:

New Verizon cell site near Mill & Edison is active

Filed under: CARRIERS,New Cell Site Active,Verizon Wireless - Jan 01 2014

Verizon recently added a cell site near Mill Street and Edison Way in Reno.

Verizon Mill at Edison

Photo courtesy K. Albright

Reno’s 4 major wireless carriers have launched LTE data: Why Networks Want to Move to Voice Over LTE

Filed under: at&t,CARRIERS,Sprint PCS,T-Mobile,Verizon Wireless - Aug 20 2013

Now that Reno’s 4 major wireless carriers have launched LTE data coverage, their next update will likely be moving voice traffic to LTE. Here’s an interesting article about Why Networks Want to Move to Voice Over LTE.

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