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General 700 mhz building penetration

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rwells2, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. rwells2

    rwells2 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello all,

    I have been waiting patiently like the rest of you for Verizon's first 4g phone. The 4g capability is what first drew my attention to the Thunderbolt. I work in a very big and thick building and I am in the center of it. I will occasionally drop in and out with one bar of evdo and usually 2-3 bars of 1x signal. But the majority of the time I have no 3g, only 2g which as I understand is displayed as 1x which is 800 or 850mhz. With that being said, since 700mhz should have better building penetration than 800+ do you think I would undoubtedly get 2+ bars of 4g signal? Also I am well within a 4g launch market and there is a verizon tower about 300 yards away from the building which hopefully will be supporting lte..

    Thanks in advace for the help and all the info you guys post in these forums!!


  2. michaelkahl

    michaelkahl Android Enthusiast

    It's really tough for anyone to answer this post. I'd like to say sure, it'll pass though easier. This is probably true since the freq. is lower, but doesn't mean that you'll get usable signal. You say that you are located 300 yards from a tower and struggle to get signal now? I highly doubt that the addition of the new spectrum will help much.
    Where I work we just got a new building and it sucks for cell signal...for all carriers. We have a Verizon tower close to us as well. I can normally hit around 2 to 2.25mbps down and 1mbps up sitting in my office, located in the original building. I walk 30 yards to the new building and it starts going to $%^$. When we get into the networking closets Verizon is the only carrier that can keep you connected, but even it can struggle and sticks to 1x.
    I almost think that the contractors built the building with the intention of blocking cellular signals. Anyway, I think that it'll penetrate better with the lower freq but wouldn't say it'll be night and day different.
    I hope I'm wrong, which is possible ;-)
    rwells2 likes this.
  3. rwells2

    rwells2 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I struggle to get evdo. I always have 2 bars on 1x, sometimes 3. Also I should mention that I can walk outside of my office about 40-50 feet and get 2 bars of evdo. I am in the dead zone for cell and wifi.

    But it sounds like you are saying that yes, I should get the same signal if not a tad better with 4g vs 1x in theory. But it may not translate into a usable signal. I am hoping that the worst case would be that I get signal but just have an inconsistent speed.
  4. mobile1

    mobile1 Member

    Higher frequencies are attenuated less than lower frequencies in buildings.
  5. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Android Expert

    Other way around.
  6. TheDanimal

    TheDanimal Member

    If you're that close to a site and getting bad coverage you might be either on the edge of a sector or it may not be pointed at you at all and you might be getting your coverage from a completely different site, or it could just be the building if the walls are thick enough or have a lot of metal blocking it.
  7. dyezak

    dyezak Well-Known Member

    Correct, lower frequencies are better for penetration. Which is why the CB band is so highly lauded...21mhz. Mmmm, CB even gets the benefit of ground waves and ionic refraction which means NIVIS antenna's are possible.

    (yes, I was an RF engineer and studied radio wave propagation in the Army and ran base station USA1 for 2y)
  8. jayishere

    jayishere Android Expert

    so what you're saying is, they should build the 5G* network on 21 mhz? ;)

  9. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Android Expert

    No.... one of the downsides is the lower the frequency the less bandwidth available.
    The other is that propagation distance increases.. in this case that is a downside.

    The citizens band is also from 26.965Mhz to 27.405Mhz, not 21Mhz.

    Lower frequencies are okay for voice transmission and low speed data, which is what they are used for now.
    Anything that needs bandwidth is going to be UHF or greater.

    700Mhz is around that 'sweet spot' where propagation is as good as you want and has the bandwidth available as well as decent penetration into structures.

    This is why T-Mobile using the AWS band for their 3g network has such poor building penetration, and why your wifi doesn't work well thru more than a few walls.

    What people are going to find is that where they had mediocre 3g service in a building will have much better 4g service in the same location.
    This will be a selling point that they can use against someone like T-Mobile since your lucky to get in-building coverage from them now.
  10. dyezak

    dyezak Well-Known Member

    Correct on both accounts. Not only that, but a proper antenna for a CB is like 4 foot long, which puts it out of the reach of a cell phone ;-)

    I just like using *extreme* examples when making a point so it is ez to understand.
  11. dajogejr

    dajogejr Member

    I don't know how relevant this is...so bear with me.
    I just got 3 LTE USB modems in yesterday.
    I activated and set them up.
    Normally, at my desk (OLD building, Detroit Suburb) with an old 3G air card (Pantech UM175) I would get 1-2 bars at best. Sometimes I would even have to go into the lobby to test and/or use the card.

    From my desk, I got 2-3 bars of LTE coverage and my speeds were absolutely stunning.

    Now, how relevant that is to you, LTE USB Air Card vs. an actual phone...good question.
    By the way, the LTE air card is the LG VL600. They are big 'ol cards, that's for sure.
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