4G Tower Range???

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  1. nickoakdl

    nickoakdl Well-Known Member

    When a city gets 4G, does anyone know the range that encompasses the 4G ability? I'm wondering because I live 15 miles out of Minneapolis "as the crow flies" and want to know how far the 4G will reach once it gets there later in the year. I live 2 miles from St. Paul so I assume it would cover my area but I really have no idea.

  2. SprintFun

    SprintFun VIP Member VIP Member

    With Minneapolis I would assume it will encompass all of the Twin Cities area, but I don't know. eieio could answer maybe directly for you. But the actual range of the towers is NOT that great. 2 miles may be pushing it realistically.
  3. nickoakdl

    nickoakdl Well-Known Member

    Bummer. Oh well, the next best option is 3G so might as well stick with this phone anyway and wait for 4G to spread.
  4. SprintFun

    SprintFun VIP Member VIP Member

    Don't take my post as fact lol....you never know. And even if you aren't initially covered they will still be expanding the coverage area. You'll probably get 4G sooner than most.
  5. gibsonhtp

    gibsonhtp Well-Known Member

    WiMAX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    31 miles is the max range for Wimax (you'd get almost no speed at that range though). Though it comes down to individual towers on the max range Clear / Sprint wants to put it at depending on factors.

    My guess is that they would want to keep it at 1-2 miles for each tower.
  6. SprintFun

    SprintFun VIP Member VIP Member

    Real world range is probably more like 1-4 miles I think. River of Ice or eieio can offer more solid answers than I.
  7. nickoakdl

    nickoakdl Well-Known Member

    Do these guys have a bat signal or something?

  8. The total coverage depends on number of users, build out finish speed, and physical geography.

    The build out can reach 20-30 miles. Usually if you live with in 30 miles of the build out you are covered. Usually.

    One thing to remember. If your city is on the list to get wimax. It does not stop. Baltimore, Portland, Los Vegas, are all still being built and expanded.

    So if you do not get it at first turn on, it could be only a few months later.

    Looking at the 3g coverage. Anything in orange should be covered in the first round. Because the tower placement wimax is added on to 3g towers. So the area in orange should be covered.

    But that is depend alot of things, but it is a good indicator.

    I can not promise you it will, but more then likely it will.

  9. RTan

    RTan Well-Known Member

    If you bring up the 4G Settings menu in the EVO device, there is a "Network notification" option for you to select. If the device picks up any 4G signal, it will show a message in the notification bar. Here is the network priority list: 4G -> WiFi -> 3G (if you have turned them on).
  10. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member

    I had a couple Q about range you might be able to answer.

    Since WiMax ( cell phone use ) is a 2 way signal, with the tower pushing signal 30 miles out. ( approx.)

    Can your phone push a signal back 30 miles and if so what will that do to your batt. life ?

    Also, we should talk about external antenna options for extended range and/or signal amps, etc.

    mobile powered antenna extends your cell range, whats the best options is what I'm wondering.

  11. Broo2

    Broo2 Member

    Clear/Sprint WiMax also depends on lots of other factors as well...

    I was an early adopter of Clear WiMax (for home and Mobile USB) when it came to Atlanta; for several months I was getting decent speeds (6-8Mpbs)- but now that Spring is here and the trees are filling out, I am getting around 1.5Mbps.

    WiMax is VERY line-of-site; i.e. if there is a building between you and the only tower in your area, you will not get a signal. They usually overlap tower coverage to resolve this, but there are more than a few places in Atlanta where this occurs.

    WiMax speed also drops to 1/2 of normal during a heavy rain.

    One of the Clear reps informed me that if you work in an office building, it is unlikely that you will get a good signal over the 9th floor as the antennas are pointed down.

    WiMax is very spotty, but it is decent if/when you can get it to work. Personally I am staying with a 3G phone until a more reliable option is available- and switching back to DSL for my home (or AT&T U-Verse when it is available!)
  12. It is a 4 way signal not a 2 way. Your cell phone does not push back 30 miles, I can but does not have to. The build out is 30 miles not the tower. Battery life is manageable. The speeds will decrease for a 30 mile tower, deceasing the speed saves battery life more then the distance.

    Broo2 I know you are a lte fan, and love verizon. BUT...

    To get the rain problem, you would have to have more then 10 inches of rain an hour. WE have see a bizarre fog effect, and still are trying to understand that.

    And leaves can effect your signal. But not in a lost of 80%. That would be really hard to do because each leaf would have to be about 4 inches thick.

    Do wimax suffer from poor build out in some areas, yes it does.

    Has clear really messed it up, yes they have. Wimax can bounce off houses not rain or leaves.

    So please have your equipment checked.

    What you are stating is really impossible, and has not been seen it any real life testing.

    If you are truly suffering from these problems, then you need to contact clear, explain the problem so they can build out your area.

    Remember, even if you have a build start in 2007, it is not done. So please help them help you.
  13. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member

    o.k. let me ask the Q a diff. way.

    A Wimax device using signal for say voice calls would have to carry that data both ways wouldn't it ?

    If in the middle of desert, Can 1 tower cover a 30 mile radius ? If in desert with no other towers around and ( without using a external antenna ) can my Wimax phone push it's signal back to tower or how does the connection take place over the modern cell phones standard range of about 4 miles ?

    I would like to clarify this because I think people are confusing 1 tower signal vs build out of many towers covering a 30 mile radius.

    2nd Q : If we use external amplified antenna from our cell phone / device, can we extend Wimax range and what is best mobile set up options ? If cell phone range can be extended considerably by using external amplified antenna, what are the best options for Wimax

  14. Going to divide this into two sections.

    Clear part.

    Question 1.
    No, with your average cell phone, you can not reach 30 miles. The reason make a build out with many towers, is to make a spiderweb coverage. The phones are designed and made to use the spider web system. The spider web system will cover about 30 miles around target city.

    It would be pointless to make a usable cellphone that would have that much range. It would be literally be like using a .50 caliber gun to go duck hunting. It would just be numbing to work it out in a high tower area.

    Question 2
    Femtocell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are also repeaters (sprints overdrive, and clear spot) and other devices. The range is what every the base station is set to usually 5-10 miles. But can be up to 30.

    There will come out a wimax broadband router. That will use wimax connection to repeat both wimax/wifi signal. These will be used for cars and mobile objects.

    I have said it before, I will say it again, and make people mad. Wimax is an extension of wifi. It is made to extend the network from lan (local area network) to Man (metropolitan area network)

    Not clear part
    wimax does not use voice. If it does it is just voip which is data.

    Ok we will just talk theoretical here. Because it does really depend on way too many factors.

    If all limitations where removed. Yes you should be able to do that. In real world the limit is set to about 4-5 miles, for many reasons, because you are dealing with 90 or so base stations in a 30 mile area. Just like modern phones. But you could do it for 30 miles. And I have seen it work with 30 miles. In nomadic mode.

    Your gsm/cdma phone can reach 25 miles. So it is not out of the question.

    The problem with that in no real world area would you want to do that.

    But there is no clear answer to your question.

    There are too many issues. Too many questions. I have seen it done, but only on limited bases.
  15. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member

    Thanks, duck hunting with 50 cal. now I understand :D that's funny.

    Would the FCC allow cell phone next to your head to push out 30 mi ?

    You said, base router would have longer range so I assume the cell phone range was limited for power / health reasons.

    I have femtocell (airave) at home and it works great now that I have faster cable broadband which can support it. wimax wifi router the same type set up.

    I was hoping to use wifi type antenna on vehicle connected to EVO for extended range coverage of wimax vs buying overdrive type device and paying additional fees. any ideas?

    Example: If wimax coverage area is 30 miles and I travel 28 mi out from center, ( less towers ) my speeds will be slower unless I can improve signal on my end with antenna is what I was asking about before. I should also be able to extend range with antenna or powered antenna shouldn't I ?

    used 1 tower and voice example to simplify my Q of 2 way data traffic. but yes voip.

    more later, gotta run...
  16. That really depends. I would not worry. You see a small decrease but not enough to buy extra equipment for.

    antenna for cars is coming.

    Remember you always have 3g. 4g is not the end of 3g . And in some cases 3g will work better then 4g.

    Traveling from 4g to 3g to 4g.

    90% of that trip will be on 3g.

    The last thing, for the most part you are not going to see that much of increase in speed.

    It does take time to get wimax up and running. It does need to be fine tuned.

    Just like 3g does.

    This is not a circle coverage. See map above.
  17. So-Low Da Don

    So-Low Da Don Well-Known Member

    there's a 4g coverage map on sprint if you search it up
  18. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member


    Example: If I lived were the red dot is located on map and wanted to use wimax on my EVO 4G from that location (outside without any land obstructions / buildings between towers. ), are there any good cost effective ways to connect or would I be better off with 3G ? Many people will be asking this Q before long.

    I travel the state and wimax would offer the link I have been waiting for without the higher cost. 4G might not be faster in some cases but if sprint offers unlimited 4G vs cap on 3G there might be some who feel that is enough reason to use external antenna to get 4G. Cost is sometimes a bigger motivator :)

    I was hoping something like this would work if they can figure out a way to connect to EVO that is.


    PS: Off topic but has anybody used a wifi antenna like this ?

  19. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member

    "The allowed maximum transmission power in licensed bands is normally higher than in unlicensed bands. This implies that wider range and higher spectral efficiency can be achieved in principle.

    Yet, in practice the limiting factor in most cases is the client device, where the maximum power is limited by battery drain consideration.

    As a result, the client device transmit power is just as limited in the licensed band as in the unlicensed band."

    ABPs Main Blog | Blog Archive Wi-Fight: New Insights on WiFi versus WiMax | ABP Tech

    This is 1 reason you need 100 towers per city to reduce client device batt. drain which is also 1 of the reasons AC powered modems have a longer range. Depending on location of modem, an external antenna should still help considerably. maybe not as much on EVO because of power restrictions but should help some since a human head would not be absorbing all the signal.

    RiverOfIce: I've noticed some of your post appear to be copy/pasted as I have done above. So you shouldn't mind if I don't attempt to repeat everything first hand. This WiMax thing is new to me and I'm trying to catch up. The same basic principles should apply when it comes to sending / receiving signals. (please don't split hairs, about statements in a non tech type forum)

    Since you appear to be the best WiMax / WiFi authority we have here and chose to avoid my external antenna Q, I would like to ask. Do you have experience with external WiFi / Wimax antenna use on Client devices ?

    I gave an example as to why I asked the Q and don't plan to use the antenna all the time, just looking for options. Any suggestions ?

    I'm guessing the blue WiMax coverage area does not stop at the edge of blue line. Therefore using large antenna to gather weaker signal should allow for extended range beyond the blue area because of deflection,etc. I understand signal is pointed downward so range beyond that blue line may be very limited, just looking for options.

  20. steveholtam

    steveholtam Member

    I don't know much about the fine details, but I know that the height of the antenna makes a big difference. I found this map showing the difference between what I think is normal tower height or even ground level, and then 115ft. Quite a change!

    stkshooter likes this.
  21. stkshooter

    stkshooter Well-Known Member

    Does anybody know min. signal strength required for clear to show coverage on map ?

    I've proved myself that sprints voice coverage map is way off and needs to be updated. I imagine we will see the same thing with WiMax / WiFi depending on signal meter set up.

    Example: you have this large pc of private property or public land without roads or locked gates. Company won't have easy access to test signal and may decide to show as non coverage area. I seriously doubt you would have coverage all around that one area on map except for some little square. Could be a gated community they didn't verify.

    Map gives you a better idea of just how many WiMax antenna will be in an area. I have noticed a lot of new towers going up and my sprint voice signal is 4-5 bars in most places now. If all those new towers have WiMax just waiting to flip the switch, I'll be a happy customer soon.
  22. To be honest, I do software. I have forward the message to some people.

    To give an unofficial answer. The base station is programed to deal out x signal to y devices over z area. Allowing to increase strength x signal power, if y devices fall under w speed, in z area.

    The system is made to act as a web. Each tower acts as a smart signaler. Telling the other towers to expect you and increase the signal strength based on the area.

    There is a chance that if you fall out side of the z area, the base station may just ignore you. It is only made to look after the devices in z area. If it thinks you are out of z area, it will try to pass you off to another tower.

    You can hit the point where the stations will just ignore you. Because you are out of range. To maintain consistent coverage, it has to be this way.

    On the wimax thread I posted an video of wimax coverage and how it works.

    I will post when I get any more information on your question.
    stkshooter likes this.
  23. djdisturbed

    djdisturbed Well-Known Member

    you would be surprised on how little power it can really take to reach 30 miles, being a HAM radio operator I have used handheld 5watt VHF radios reach close to 100 miles (in good conditions mind you w/ tuned attenna's). and HF ham radios reach the other side of the world on 50watts of power. I know our cell phone down even use a fraction of that ammount of power on higher feq.'s BUT just like w/ ham radio repeaters, you can have one higher power transmit tower transmitting data TO your phone and have a smaller reciver/repeater closer to you transmitting data back to the higher power transmitter or lan connetion to the main site (not saying this is how clear does things, but it can be done like that). or like i do at my apt (which is in a cell phone dead area to almost all the diff providers) Have a femtocell to help the signal in local bad areas b/c if someone has one in there home it will cover for a area around it as well (though not very far, i can get like 150 feet outside my apt before i lose it, BUT they dont have 4g compatable ones out.... yet)
  24. Rigmaster

    Rigmaster Well-Known Member

    I read an article about a company in NYC that installed towers in Manhattan and Brooklyn to cover a wide part of the NYC metro area. I believe they said max range was 30 miles under ideal conditions and with limited obstacle blockage/building penetration but they installed towers in 15 miles radius/interval for the area they wanted covered.

    As with current 3G, I think Wimax and LTE both still are impacted by building/obstacles and topography as will almost all signal devices.

    The company said they've been able to provide high-speed access to their clients with speed and costs advantages. They also mentioned that tower permits and regulations were difficult because of the amount of radiation the units produce but those same towers are typically placed several hundred or up to a thousand feet high to account for the additional risk.

    One reason I've wondered about the Walmart or other store-based tower scenario is that ideally the Wimax towers would be at least 2-4 times higher than current cell towers. I don't see local codes being too friendly to that.
  25. jmcging

    jmcging Active Member

    I've been searching for a thread like this and thanks to everyone who has been involved. From a site whose URL I can't recall, I found I live .7 miles from 3 identified Clear 4G antennas but live at the edge of a bubble of non 4G (per the sprint maps) and there is by maybe 2 tenths of a mile between my house and the closest identified 4G. Hoping that there is some slop in the coverage maps or maybe these Clear antennas might not be on or fully deployed.

    Lots of trees here, the terrain is mildly hilly but in winter I know I could see 2 of these 3 antenna locations (water tower and 9 story building) from my roof :)

    So close yet so far....

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