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Old 02-23-2019, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 75,138 times
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If Google, can find in tech news media reports last year, but I did confirm in the last days with Verizon Wireless's 2nd level tech support, they are planning to take down their older 1x/CDMA network 12/31/2019. If you are yet using 1x for calls like I am (when on a call, 1x instead of 4G appears on the phone status bar), you will lose service on that band on/around that date if VZW plans hold. What this means (forgive the long post, but also sharing information gathered which may be helpful to anyone in a similar situation):

* If have an older VZW, say flip phone, or any cell phone that does not support 4G, one day suddenly no service on your phone.

* If you have a 4G smartphone and am in a weaker signal area, myself in 110-115 dba 1-2 signal bars (if dba number is even higher, you have even less signal), the 4G is not reliable enough to do simultaneous data and have *incoming* calls come through (my experience with that was 85% on calls whereas 1x in my area is 98-99%). This was before a VZW tech suggested to use 1x for my calls and use only the 4G for data (simply turning off HD voice on an Android phone settings) 2-3 years ago. I need the better incoming phone call reliability for an over 80 year old relative with health issues. You can find your phone's dba signal strength on an Android phone, for my LG, Google Settings, Network & Internet, Mobile Networks, Network type and strength where listings for 4G and 1X (if you have a Samsung or another brand, the exact path to get to this may be a little different).

Solutions maybe for you, yet question for myself:

* For those that prefer flip phones, VZW does sell 4G flip phones.

* VZW 4G LTE network extender for weak signals - https://www.verizonwireless.com/supp...extender-faqs/ Within this link, link to accessories Samsung Network Extender 2 at $250 which is not compatible with all 4G LTE phones. Also with the extender, you cannot whitelist which mobile #s use (not good in an apartment building like where I live in with fair amount of foot traffic 10 feet outside my window), plus need good GPS signal (can use Google App GPS Status to give a good idea, app though well rated 4.7, not well documented), also extender will stop working if cable or power goes out. Extender does not need Wifi, just a broadband connection meeting minimum speeds and a good GPS signal. More info in the FAQ link above. May be good for you if good perimeter around your home.

* Signal booster such as one by https://www.weboost.com/products/connect-home-4g which VZW 2nd level tech support mentioned to me, but it requires an outdoor roof antenna which is not going to happen with my apartment building landlord. This is manual for it https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/18867...e4G-470101.pdf . This is their cheapest one at $400, which may work if you can put up a roof antenna on your house or townhouse.

* Wifi calling to improve signal, activating on a Google Android phone with HD voice setting mentioned above, plus need a Wifi router. I do not have a Wifi router and instead have a wired router for security reasons in my apartment building, though expect most of my neighbors are good, I do not know them all well enough.

* Change cell phone carrier for better 4G coverage. T-Mobile signal is non existent in my neighborhood, heavy tree cover in a valley, as Uber/Lyft driver once picking me up with T-Mobile got lost finding me as lost her signal. Currently have had a Boost Mobile backup prepaid phone for years, with as weak as signal as Verizon, which Sprint is preparing to retire their old network, which phone is on and got email from them last month that after April 30 it may no longer work. ATT Wireless may have a better GSM/4G signal in my neighborhood from a previous quick check over a year ago, but I need to confirm further by reactivating an old prepaid backup phone have with them. If went this route, there is always the fun of porting numbers.

* Move home to a better signal 4G LTE coverage area.

Solutions I could see Verizon Wireless doing, since they now have an open ticket from me with the 2nd level tech I spoke with, it is # 6004902938.

* Improve the network extender to accept all 4G LTE phones. If go to this link, https://www.verizonwireless.com/prod...sku=sku2490003, the compatibility list is not fully right. For my LG G7 ThinQ phone bought five months ago, the second 2nd level tech spoke with had the exact same phone as myself and was submitting an update for that because it does work with his phone. Also add whitelisting of phones on the extender by the consumer. The last tech I spoke with said they could do it on they on their server end, but that means, every time I have a guest, I would have to call them to add that Verizon Wireless mobile number.

* Improve the 4G cell tower reception. Even with 10 months to go, not holding high hopes they could improve, awaiting government approvals, etc. even if can find a suitable place to place a tower in largely residential area. I am in a area with over 500 apartments in valley with tree cover. Also 5G may help, but that may be some months or more than a year away depending on the USA Metro area you live in.


Any other solutions for myself? If you are personally affected as a Verizon Wireless customer by this and not have a good solution from above, Verizon Wireless tech support 1-800-922-0204 can add to the ticket number above opened on the residential side. The more they hear from customers to be affected in any way adversely, the more likely additional action from their end that can be taken.

Last edited by sprklcl; 02-23-2019 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 75,138 times
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Another option, through cable provider, my case Cox talked with their tech support, is if want to leave the existing wired router intact for laptop/PC internet, can set up another router Wifi dedicated to the 4G smartphone. Doing that through the separate TV cable outlet, w/ a Y-splitter kit and coax cable ($25 or less), another cable modem around $75 and a Wifi router around $75. The not great, paying another $40 per month for Internet with them. Otw thinking could plug in the wifi router into the wired router, somewhat technical instructions https://www.wikihow.com/Connect-One-...pand-a-Network , which could introduce security concerns if not done right. Question - Anyone have any experience with this linked setup? Another option through cable company or Cox is an economy landline for $15 (with surcharges and taxes, expect it to $20-25), not to mention setup/install charges, plus figuring out if can can do call forwarding dial in sequence from VzW mobile -> Cox home # -> Voicemail (separate provider, dedicated # already have).

Should I need an AT&T microcell network extender https://www.att.com/att/microcell/ which great, unlike Verizon Wireless, as a consumer by myself can set up a restricted mobile phone # list, the micocell's going price if not through ATT is $475-500 from multiple Amazon sellers.

If ATTWS can do it with a restricted call list with their microcell/network extender, why cannot VZW do it? Not alone, as seen on VZW community forums and Amazon reviews that at least a few/several customers would prefer this option to keep unwanted people outside their homes from using the network extender which allows 14 simultaneous connections.

Other thoughts? Insights?
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,953 posts, read 3,364,914 times
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I've been concerned about this. I live in an area with weak Verizon signal (-116 if I'm lucky). I'm at home with wifi most of the time and don't want to pay $$$ for cell service. I've had Tracfone using VZW towers for the last few years, but the Verizon service is getting worse. I live near the beach in NC, and in tourist season when there's more congestion on the cell towers, I probably only have cell service 50% of the time. Neighbors who are paying for Verizon postpaid service have also been having problems with it.

I currently have two active cellphones, one using VZW towers; the other using AT&T. I'm comparing them side by side for a couple of months. So far, the AT&T looks like it's going to be the better option for me. The signal is stronger and I almost always have usable voice and data coverage.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:35 PM
 
7,147 posts, read 3,904,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprklcl View Post
Another option, through cable provider, my case Cox talked with their tech support, is if want to leave the existing wired router intact for laptop/PC internet, can set up another router Wifi dedicated to the 4G smartphone. Doing that through the separate TV cable outlet, w/ a Y-splitter kit and coax cable ($25 or less), another cable modem around $75 and a Wifi router around $75. The not great, paying another $40 per month for Internet with them. Otw thinking could plug in the wifi router into the wired router, somewhat technical instructions https://www.wikihow.com/Connect-One-...pand-a-Network , which could introduce security concerns if not done right. Question - Anyone have any experience with this linked setup? Another option through cable company or Cox is an economy landline for $15 (with surcharges and taxes, expect it to $20-25), not to mention setup/install charges, plus figuring out if can can do call forwarding dial in sequence from VzW mobile -> Cox home # -> Voicemail (separate provider, dedicated # already have).

Should I need an AT&T microcell network extender https://www.att.com/att/microcell/ which great, unlike Verizon Wireless, as a consumer by myself can set up a restricted mobile phone # list, the micocell's going price if not through ATT is $475-500 from multiple Amazon sellers.

If ATTWS can do it with a restricted call list with their microcell/network extender, why cannot VZW do it? Not alone, as seen on VZW community forums and Amazon reviews that at least a few/several customers would prefer this option to keep unwanted people outside their homes from using the network extender which allows 14 simultaneous connections.

Other thoughts? Insights?
Why would you need a second router, unless you have very limited bandwidth? WiFi calling doesn’t use that much, and depending on the router you can probably implement QOS (quality of service) to prioritize WiFi calling traffic.

If it’s a coverage issue look at a mesh network like Google WiFi, Orbi or Eero.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:58 PM
 
1,287 posts, read 450,372 times
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Holy 25-year old legacy digital communications technology, they still use CDMA? I thought that would have gone the way of AMPS by now!
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 75,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Why would you need a second router, unless you have very limited bandwidth? WiFi calling doesn’t use that much, and depending on the router you can probably implement QOS (quality of service) to prioritize WiFi calling traffic.

If it’s a coverage issue look at a mesh network like Google WiFi, Orbi or Eero.

Its a security issue, and not a bandwidth issue which have 50mbps home internet (its not satellite service, but by coaxial cable). For my Windows laptop/PC and also in an apartment building with unknown neighbors (expect most of them are good, but never know), have a Linksys business grade wired router to protect the usual sensitive information sometimes transmit over websites i.e. SSN, date of birth, etc. and have layered security on top of that (see my post Is banking on my phone safe? #24 and #25 in that forum thread, at end of that thread at this moment). Any security expert will tell you a wired router is better against hacking than a wifi router even with passwords as need physical access to the jack/port to access (you can Google). For my smartphone however, I do not transmit that kind of sensitive data so ok with a Wifi router for that with a separate (at extra cost, concerning around $40/mo, my cable provider provides) a 10mbps connection (theoretical max speed of my 4G data), agree with you much that Wifi calls use a very small amount of bandwidth).

With your suggestion, reviewed the Google wifi mesh network. Since my wired router is already plugged into my cable modem (nearly all modems only have one such port and most ISPs will not allow/frown upon a splitter directly from the modem as it also requires a separate IP address), so cannot plug the the Google wifi device into the modem also, and it appears it only works with an existing wifi router. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong here on the Google service.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 75,138 times
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To get a status update on ticket 6004902938 this morning I opened last Friday above with Verizon wireless tech support, 1st level rep said in his words - adding whitelisting to the network extender is not a corporate priority right now, and company's push is toward 5G which he said will resolve a lot of security issues. Even if it were a VZW priority, from own past large company experience, software changes to that scale like on the Samsung router would likely take months including testing. If go with 5G service, that means an expensive new phone (just bought better replacement 4G late last year replacing a 4G starter budget phone with issues that was dying) and 5G from news reports is only to be rolled out to around 30 cities (not say which ones) by the end of 2019 by VZW (can Google at least a few from since last week). The rep did open a ticket NRB folllowed by 12 digits with 3rd level technical support to see if tweaking the cell tower in my area for 4G will work, but that is only for my regional community cell tower, with initial work turnaround of 3-5 days, so should know one way or the other, with perhaps any follow up work and testing, another week or two later or within a month hopefully.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:30 PM
 
26,946 posts, read 33,869,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellise View Post
I've been concerned about this. I live in an area with weak Verizon signal (-116 if I'm lucky). I'm at home with wifi most of the time and don't want to pay $$$ for cell service. I've had Tracfone using VZW towers for the last few years, but the Verizon service is getting worse. I live near the beach in NC, and in tourist season when there's more congestion on the cell towers, I probably only have cell service 50% of the time. Neighbors who are paying for Verizon postpaid service have also been having problems with it.

I currently have two active cellphones, one using VZW towers; the other using AT&T. I'm comparing them side by side for a couple of months. So far, the AT&T looks like it's going to be the better option for me. The signal is stronger and I almost always have usable voice and data coverage.
My BF lives near Kitty Hawk (across the bridge) and is at the beach frequently. He uses Cricket (ATT mvno) and rarely has any issues.
I have Total Wireless (which is a VZW mvno) and honestly I never have a problem down there.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:33 PM
 
26,946 posts, read 33,869,614 times
Reputation: 34196
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprklcl View Post
To get a status update on ticket 6004902938 this morning I opened last Friday above with Verizon wireless tech support, 1st level rep said in his words - adding whitelisting to the network extender is not a corporate priority right now, and company's push is toward 5G which he said will resolve a lot of security issues. Even if it were a VZW priority, from own past large company experience, software changes to that scale like on the Samsung router would likely take months including testing. If go with 5G service, that means an expensive new phone (just bought better replacement 4G late last year replacing a 4G starter budget phone with issues that was dying) and 5G from news reports is only to be rolled out to around 30 cities (not say which ones) by the end of 2019 by VZW (can Google at least a few from since last week). The rep did open a ticket NRB folllowed by 12 digits with 3rd level technical support to see if tweaking the cell tower in my area for 4G will work, but that is only for my regional community cell tower, with initial work turnaround of 3-5 days, so should know one way or the other, with perhaps any follow up work and testing, another week or two later or within a month hopefully.
5G *will* be fabulous...when it gets here. I would bet that it is 2 years away for most cities. That is a LOT in infrastructure to be built.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Inactive
197 posts, read 75,138 times
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Just updates on my original post:
- This Verizon notice found https://www.verizonwireless.com/supp...e-base-218813/ gives more details of the CDMA network retirement. Also it says if you have a 4G phone that does *not* support HD Voice (its a toggle switch under i.e. Google Settings, Network, Advanced Calling, path can be different by phone), it must also be replaced by 12/31/2019.
- Where signal strength is marked dba, that should be dBm.
- The AT&T microcell network extender https://www.att.com/att/microcell/ is no longer sold directly by AT&T learned from their tech support, though available on Amazon. They advised if buy there to confirm with the seller that the microcell is not attached to another AT&T mobile number before buying, with sellers on Amazon being low volume sellers from lower number of reviews received. Their tech support advises if have indoor coverage issue to instead use Wifi calling which can be activated on your account.
- Came across a website that shows the location of cell towers for all of the major wireless carriers for all of their different radio bands, 3G, 4G/LTE, etc. at https://www.cellmapper.net/ which is updated frequently. By clicking on the tower closest you on the map, you can see down to the street level where the antenna is pointed, though that function only seems to work for 4G towers.
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