Tag: 4G

Testing: A Verizon JetPack

If you’re not familiar, it’s a 3G/4G wifi hotspot tied to the Verizon network. The actual device is built by Netgear.

Now in testing I notice it suffers more dead spots than my 4G cell phone from MetroPCS.

Plus it’s a 5GB limit per month on the JetPack where my MetroPCS phone is unlimited.

And looking at coverage paths for both devices the MetroPCS phone wins particularly in northeastern North Carolina.

So the MetroPCS issue automagically fixed itself

The other phone started working so I figured I’d try mine. It worked! Now I don’t know if this was a result of:

a) MetroPCS doing maintenance (Hint guys – you don’t do maintenance during prime time!)

b) MetroPCS took my complaint and fixed the issue

or and highly likely

c) The fact I filed yet another FCC complaint against them.

or it could be a combination of a, b and c!

MetroPCS Service outage again

This is getting to be a recurrent theme with MetroPCS.

This morning Keyron asked me to call his phone because he didn’t think it was working. Lo and behold mine wasn’t either.

The funny part – last time it was voice and net that went out but SMS worked. Now voice and SMS are out but on my phone net service works just fine. I can access the web, facebook, etc. without issues.

I’ve gone through the rigamarole with their tech support – But like it or not, this now impacts both their 4G and 1X networks in Providence. None of this happened before they got bought out by T-Mobil. Once that happened they got to do network upgrades except that it breaks some older firmware on phones.

I think my next action is to file TWO FCC complaints – one for each phone that lacks any voice service. That seems to have lit the proverbial fire under their posterior last time. While there’s not much regulation on mobile phones, there are still fines if one cannot access E-911 services.

Cell phone is now fixed

This morning I did what the customer service droid said to do yesterday. I stopped by the MetroPCS store in downtown Providence.

I went in and asked for the person in charge. Briefly explained the situation, told him that I had registered complaints with both the Federal Communications Commission and the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission. When he hemmed a bit I also told him it was unacceptable that they couldn’t give me an answer as to when my phone would work.

Now I don’t know what factor prompted it but the guy in charge swapped out my phone for a new SCH-R910 they had. It was just the body of the phone. Now interestingly I checked and the firmware version on this one is also v2.2.2 – however I note the hardware version ticked up by one subversion. So perhaps that was the problem with my other phone.

I’m still going to get the Samsung Exhibit though – it has the same processor speed but runs Android 4.1 Jellybean and it is a 4G wifi hotspot too.

The Battle with MetroPCS

I’m sorry to write again but this is REALLY frustrating. I’m paying for service but only getting about 8% of the service on this phone.

So we’ve now moved from the sublime, past ridiculous and into the absurd. One week out and my phone still has no voice service or net service. In addition music and videos stills stored on the phone will load and play but no audio at all. Now if I plug a set of headphones into it I can hear the music and videos. But this defeats the purpose of having the phone.

I’ve been round and round and round again with their customer support people. They’re mostly useless with the exception that they can document your complaints on the record so it’s accessible by store personnel.

The last was yesterday at 3PM. I went into the local store because I received the following sms message “MetroPCS has attempted to send an important software update to your phone. Please go to a MetroPCS store or accept Update prior to 8/11/13 to retain data speeds”

The store did nothing. They just entered my info into a web page – seems this outage only impacts the Samsung SCH-R910 Indulge – my phone. And I know I’m not the only one having the problem.

I called customer service again today on my VoIP phone. I explained that I expect a full replacement phone, most likely a Samsung Exhibit. They told me to go the store and ask to speak to a manager. So I’ll be there early tomorrow morning when they open. I want this fixed.

Because it’s now been over a week with no voice or net service on the phone. This is totally unacceptable.

I’m not leaving the store tomorrow until this issue is addressed.

MetroPCS says 4G service will return real soon now

So I got a voicemail and text message saying to bring my phone in again. Brought it in, they can’t do anything to it. But they do say Metro is well aware of the issue, that some 10 minutes before I got to the store they got an email that this issue impacts the Samsung Indulge SCH-R910 only. They also say they’re working diligently and to take the customers information and 4G service should return soon.

I have a sneaking suspicion the next notice I get will be that they’ll give me my choice of phone. Because since this only the Samsung Indulge SCH-R910 having the problem, then maybe they should just give us all the Samsung Exhibit which is roughly equivalent. Or a Galaxy S III or IV would do nicely too.

Because it’s now been a full week that I have had NO VOICE SERVICE whatsoever. Net service came on just long enough for me to get my contacts and about 85% of my apps back before it too crapped out.

I’m considering filing an FCC complaint. That usually lights fires under someones ass.

Now five days without cell service

I’m pretty sure I know what broke my phone, it was MetroPCS’s firmware update. My phone was working before I brought it in to be updated. Full 4G service, net worked, voice worked, SMS worked. Now I’m left with a phone that can only do SMS.

I’m pretty sure I know what is wrong. It’s the updated firmware – v2.2.2 – and I’ll just bet when they finally give me a result on the tickets I have open with them I’ll be offered a patch to 2.2.3 or some such.

But when I get paid next week I’m just getting another phone. I’ll probably tear this one down but to be honest I only want the touch screen out of it. Everything else is commodity hardware.

MetroPCS still having problems

So over the weekend I made several calls to their repair folks. None of them could get my phone to even try to look at a 4G network.

Today I tried a different tack – I told the front line droid that I wanted to escalate the issue to a supervisor.

The supervisor had me try the same ##626*, *228 etc. to no avail.

And the reason I called is because I had stopped in the MetroPCS store in downtown Providence this morning. They managed to get 1Xcdma running so I could download my contacts, get the apps I really wanted like Pandora, Battery Saver, Call block, Echolink, Lookout Security, and that’s it.

But then around 4PM today I went to make a voice call and poof – no audio.

So I dialed them up on my VoIP line and got the supervisor. She opened support tickets for me, one for the lack of 4G service, the other for the audio issue. I guess I was able to convince her that something is in fact rotten on their network side.

So we’ll see where this goes. If it fails I’ll buy a Samsung Galaxy S III phone. The S IV’s are out but the key differences don’t warrant spending an extra $200 on a phone when all it gets me is 400MHz in cpu speed, 5mpx more in photo resolution, and a screen that is all of 2 tenths of an inch bigger.

More on the cell phone saga

So today I had my phone upgraded to the 2.2.2 firmware. That’s the RF deck etc. Ok – they told me it might take a couple hours for the 4G service to come up again.

Except it’s been a few hours. And still no 4G or 1x service. I know what happened.

Recall I posted about the outage MetroPCS had? Well – they had applied a patch to the cell sites which broke 4G voice service but didn’t mess up data service.

Now that I’m on 2.2.2 voice and SMS work – but no fucking data. I live and die by having mobile data. So this is a BREACH OF CONTRACT on the part of MetroPCS.

Here’s how I think it went down:

1) They patched/upgraded the cell sites resulting in major outages.

2) They sent out a sneak voicemail to all 4G subscribers asking us to bring our phones in for an upgrade.

3) This is my suspicion, but I think they rolled the towers back to the prior version to get voice and data working again.

4) My upgrading the phone however FIXED the issue, but the towers are rolled back so I get voice and SMS and no fucking data!

The other irritation is that all my contacts and text messages are lost. Gone. Hasta la vista. Plus all the applications I downloaded off Google Play are gone. I believe though that they have my purchases tracked. But without 4G service I can’t get them.

This is tells me that MetroPCS really dropped the ball. And don’t get me started on the upgrade. I went in and they said I had to bring the charger and cord. Back home, get the charge and cord, go back and they say come back in an hour and phone will be upgraded. Except it wasn’t. So I had to wait an additional 30 minutes.

I’m not really happy with MetroPCS right now. I can tell you that. And if the 4G service doesn’t pop on tonight I want a service credit of $15 for each day I’ve had either voice or data outage. The voice outage lasted 2 days, the net outage is in day 1. 3×15 = $45.


Info on the MetroPCS Outage from blog stats

So near as I can gather – I made sure to tag my posts on the outage suffered by MetroPCS on their 4G network.

And something interesting came out of that – apparently this 4G outage was the entire northeast. Hits came from MA, RI, CT and NY for that post.

Kind of sad that you can glean the geographic region of the outage via stupid blog stats.