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  1. nicknrm's Avatar
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    nicknrm
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    I just got a Verizon Wireless network extender!

    Well, me receiving this (and having issues with it) decided to make me look at what other carriers have to compare.

    I found the Sprint PCS Airave Femtocell.

    It is a little different but has the same idea, to provide coverage in your area where good coverage doesn't exist.

    The Sprint Airave has some good thoughts in mind, but the Network Extender is probably better. The basic services and features of it are nearly identical to that of Verizon Wireless. These key services include:

    • Three User Channel Capacity
    • 5,000 square feet of coverage
    • Installs in minutes using a Broadband internet connection.
    • Automatically transfers calls to the nearest tower when you leave the femtocell coverage.
    • Works with any of the carriers phones.

    Verizon Wireless allows their Network Extender to work anywhere that they "technically" have coverage available. This means, if you just so happen to be in an area (or canyon) but coverage is really supposed to be there but because of terrain it isn't, then the network extender will work for you. This means, if you're in the middle of nowhere and no network is available for miles, it still won't work! It doesn't create a network from nothing, it still requires the switching station.

    Sprint PCS, on the other hand, has a designated "Airave" coverage area. This area doesn't necessarily line up with their normal "technical" coverage area. For example, we have Sprint PCS coverage in my town, but I entered my Zipcode to see if it would work here, here's the message I got:

    Not yet...

    While we are rapidly expanding the coverage areas for Airave, that ZIP code is not currently eligible for Airave service. We apologize for any inconvenience.
    So, in other words, this product isn't as versatile as Verizon's version. We have standard Sprint PCS service in our area, not roaming/off network, so why won't it work...we'll leave it up to the geniuses at Sprint to determine that.

    Sprint PCS has taken it a step farther as well. Verizon Wireless' unit only costs $249.99 each. Sprint's is a step below that at $99.99 each. Why the price difference? Verizon Wireless charges you NO monthly access. Once you buy the product, it's yours for life...no other associated fees. Sprint has went more indepth and there are fees. Pricing is listed below:

    • Airave coverage charge-required-$4.99 per month per line using the device.
    • Single Line Unlimited Calling Plan (optional)-$10 per month per account.
    • Family Plan Unlimited Calling Plan (optional)-$20 per month per family plan.

    All services above are in addition to standard monthly plan fees.

    Notice that they offer plans with "unlimited calling"! Just add this feature to your account and now when you use the Airave, you're covered! This was a great idea...but what if the Airave ever disconnected? Then you're using minutes that you may not know your using!

    Sprint Airave devices can only be purchased in a Sprint store or online and cannot be used with Nextel devices.

    Here's a cool little Sprint Airave video, designed by Sprint to kinda show you how it works.

    Sprint - AIRAVE Video


    [Sprint PCS | Verizon Wireless]



    See More: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell
    Last edited by nicknrm; 04-10-2009 at 06:11 PM.




  2. #2
    abarchman
    abarchman is offline
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    Beware of the airwave on a DSL connection. On some slower DSL lines, the throughput may not be always consistant. If you experience the lights on the device flashing, it could mean that at the moment the internet connnevtion does not have enough bandwidth available to effectively be reliable. In my case, when the Airwave does not have bandwidth, it makes its signal unavailable for a very short time causing any phone to search for a new tower and then back to the Airwave. This has the phone draing its battery in a short amount of time.

    Also Sprint does have a program where they do not charge any fees for the Airwave, but you must have a history problems and complain alot.



  3. #3
    laurkar2006
    laurkar2006 is offline
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    Ct.
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    I have DSL and really never have any problems with it...I do have the samsung one..older one...it is a great help for my service seeing it would be poor without the airave..
    Nextel and Sprint user for 12 years....combined
    Family Plan 1500 mins...4 lines 129.00 and 15% discount. Free Airave and nites free after 6pm



  4. #4
    flybyspam
    flybyspam is offline
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    I am five miles from the sprint campus and the bad connection and poor sound quality of my sprint phone insures that I spend over half my minutes doing the following:

    ** 1.* Waiting to connect
    ** 2.* Asking the other party if they are still there;* if they heard me; or, if they could repeat what they said.
    ** 3.* Listening to the long drawn-out voicemail IVR message when the calls that I should be receiving go directly to voicemail.

    Sprints last attempt at remediating the problem was to "give," us an "Air-rave."** This thing is supposed to use my broadband connection to improve my call quality.** The problem is......it doesn't work!* The phones still don't work and my broadband is choked down by putting this pos between my modem and router.* I had to take it out.

    *** Is Sprint customer service really getting better?* The reps are polite enough....but the problems still don't get fixed!

    B. Winter



  5. #5
    Abraham Laker
    Abraham Laker is offline
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    thanks for the useful information. The content is too much meanful. I suppose most people will support it. Hope to see more and more threads like this one. Very useful, really!



  6. #6
    cellhelp.org
    cellhelp.org is offline
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    Samsung Transform
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    Sprint PCS
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    Actually, please don't use your zip code only for the search. Is AIRAVE service available at this address? works best when you enter a complete address, by entering the zipcode, if there's one part of that town that wouldn't be covered, it defaults to Not available.

    Also, 99% of the time you can get it for free if you call retention and mention service issues in your home, if you evern cancel , they want you to send it back or pay a $140 non-returned fee.

    In regards to the DSL, it depends on your DSL company and if they throttle your speed (folks in the country usually get jipped on speed). The good news? Call your DSL provider and they can actually flip a switch and usually increase your speed.

    In response above, unlimited minute option but what if the airave drops it.
    1) You supposibly didn't have coverage inside your home, so if it does drop, you won't be on the sprint network, you'll be roaming, so...the airave only does a seemless handoff (meaning you don't notice the difference-keep talking) when you got from the airave to a Sprint tower. If you go from the airave to a nonsprint tower- the call drops... so theres really no risk of an issue there, you'd know if the thing shut off. If not...and you did get a Sprint tower... why do you have the airave again

    They also offer something called Sprint phone connect for $19.99 a month now with unlimited minutes (cheaper than that $25 UNL call addon for the airave... save 6 bucks, and since its wireless itself, it can be one of the 3 that connect to your free airave :P... unless you like throwing an extra $6 away, hey thats most of TEP cost

    If yo're having airave issues (as per the manual), try putting the thing by a window. Glass is a lot easier to get signal through, then say... your wall, or fridge. Often times, even if you simply put the airave by a window the first day, so it can receive all of its updates, etc, it will work better even when moved away from the window later on. It should also come with an antenna extension you can setup if you really need it.

    Be polite when you call, mention service issues at home, possibly looking at another provider, and tell them you have DSL/High Speed internet... the rest of the puzzle should fall together on its own.



  7. #7
    cellhelp.org
    cellhelp.org is offline
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    Re: Sprint PCS Airave-Femtocell

    @ nick, the reason the coverage map differs is the cell site has to have a dedicated T1 line to support the airave traffic. The data is delivered differently and can take more bandwidth. They have to justify droping another $15k T1 connection into the local tower by the # of effected customers in the area. By the way, they track the addresses put in that form, if they notice a spike in address checks for a particular area, it gets targetted for improvements
    You can also call in to have your tower marked. 3 marks in an area = engineer dispatched to review the towers, which could result in improvements depending on the cost and the total customer base in the area. i.e. a downed tower, would get fixed within 24-72 hours within their service levels, a tower needing an upgrade for a capacity issue (too may folks and not enough room) could take a few weeks, up to 6 months as they have to work with PGE to break the concerete to add the T1 lines, and run more power to the tower (increases capacity= increased energy requirements).



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