Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

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swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:34 pm

Today is my lucky day. I use Verizon for phone service, and noticed tonight that my signal strength was rather weak (only one bar, instead of the normal 3 or 4). I thought this was a bit odd, because my local Verizon tower (the only one in my area from my house) only has band 13 (750mhz) so I usually have a very strong signal even in my house cause its only about 1.3 miles away. I quickly looked at the cellmapper app installed on my Android phone, and much to my surprise found I was connected to band 2 and band 66! JACKPOT!

It looks like Verizon upgraded my local tower. I had noticed too briefly last week that LTE was out for a while (now I suspect they were upgrading the antennas on the tower then.) They also converted the old CDMA band around 850mhz to LTE (band 5 in LTE terms). So a brief summary of the bands I now have available:

Band 13 (750 mhz)
Band 5 (850 mhz)
Band 2 (1980mhz)
Band 66 ( 2 carriers at 2120mhz and 2165mhz)

I'm like a kid at Christmas! I did a speed test on my Samsung S8 and got 80mbps down and about 15 up. I ordered a Sierra EM7565 so I can get 3xCA on my home setup (All I have right now is MC7455 modems). I have a Verizon sim with the unlimited plan, just haven't been using it for dedicated Internet because the AT&T service here is better even though the tower is much further away. Can't wait test this with this modem. The bands look very under utilized. This is the same bands I've seen Verizon using in downtown Atlanta, and there I was able to get 290mbps down standing right next to small cells. I suspect I'll be able to get over 100mbps down now easily. See this post for my current home setup viewtopic.php?f=37&t=123 The post is a little bit out of date cause I switched those yagis out for the log periodic 10dbi antennas that offer 700-2700mhz so I could take advantage of carrier aggregation that is available in the area.

I also took my SDR to try and see how wide the bands are, but my SDR only goes up to 2ghz unfortunately. I did see that the new band 5 at 850mhz is 5mhz wide and band 2 is 10mhz wide at 1980mhz. I'm suspecting that the two band 66 carriers are at least 10mhz wide hopefully 20mhz wide!

I'll report back my results as soon as Jim ships me the EM7565 :)

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by xdavidx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:38 am

Congratulations!

If the MC7455 modems support those bands, you could band lock a couple at a time to see the widths.

An underutilized bunch of bands just for you! Lucky!

swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:11 am

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:38 am
Congratulations!

If the MC7455 modems support those bands, you could band lock a couple at a time to see the widths.

An underutilized bunch of bands just for you! Lucky!
Thanks, I"m excited at the possibility of having an even faster connection.

the MC7455 unfortunately doesn't support B66, so thats why I ordered a EM7565, in addition to the ability to get 3xCA.

I figured out through cell mapper that B66 is 15mhz wide in this area (B66 is already on some towers in the near by town), so hopefully I'll get 3xCA at 10mhz (B2 ) x 15mhz (B66) x 15mhz (B66).

It'll be interesting to see if I can get 256qam modulation with the external antennas. I seem to be stuck at 80mbps down and 10-15mbps up on my phone, even though my phone has a CAT 16 modem I think my SINR isn't high enough to get higher than 64 QAM modulation at the moment.

swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:04 am

I couldn't resist the temptation to try this before my EM7565 arrives, so I reactivated my pre-paid unlimited Verizon plan and setup my test PI and MC7455 inside my house in my office. The results are super exciting, see below.
Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.22.52 AM.png
That upload!!
Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.21.27 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.21.27 AM.png (40.37 KiB) Viewed 1038 times
My primary carrier here is Band 4 at 2120mhz. There's also a Band 66 available around 2160 but my modem isn't using it, only aggregating with band 5.

Can't wait to get my new modem and try this! Might throw my sim in my outdoor setup to try too. Just my luck that my current setup already basically aims at this Verizon tower too.

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by xdavidx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:11 am

swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:11 am
Thanks, I"m excited at the possibility of having an even faster connection.
Can't imagine why. :D
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:11 am
the MC7455 unfortunately doesn't support B66, so thats why I ordered a EM7565, in addition to the ability to get 3xCA.
Oh yeah. Might still be able to see the bandwidth on the others though. It will be nice when the 5G modems come out and support all the bands.

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by xdavidx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:19 am

swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:04 am
That upload!!
Very nice.
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:04 am
My primary carrier here is Band 4 at 2120mhz. There's also a Band 66 available around 2160 but my modem isn't using it, only aggregating with band 5.
Wow, so you are going to have Bands 2, 4, 5, 13, 66 (times 2), all from one tower?? Now you just need a 6CA modem! :D

Wonder if you would get bands 2 and 13 if you blocked 4 and 5? That 20 MHz band 4 is *nice*. Can't get any better than that for an upload carrier. Well, except if it was one of the 700MHz bands, I guess.
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:04 am
Can't wait to get my new modem and try this! Might throw my sim in my outdoor setup to try too. Just my luck that my current setup already basically aims at this Verizon tower too.
Very lucky. Your outdoor antennas are fairly directional, aren't they? What is the beamwidth on those?

swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:34 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:11 am
Oh yeah. Might still be able to see the bandwidth on the others though. It will be nice when the 5G modems come out and support all the bands.
Indeed. The band 4 for in the status screenshot is 20mhz, so thats a good sign. Band 66 is a extension of Band 4, but the 7455 doesn't support it.

I was able to snoop with my SDR and see that band 2 carrier at 1980mhz is 10mhz wide, but my modem isn't connecting or aggregating to it for some reason.

swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:19 am
Wow, so you are going to have Bands 2, 4, 5, 13, 66 (times 2), all from one tower?? Now you just need a 6CA modem! :D

Wonder if you would get bands 2 and 13 if you blocked 4 and 5? That 20 MHz band 4 is *nice*. Can't get any better than that for an upload carrier. Well, except if it was one of the 700MHz bands, I guess.

Very lucky. Your outdoor antennas are fairly directional, aren't they? What is the beamwidth on those?
It's actually band 2,4, and 66. My cell mapper app was showing it as band 66, but my 7455 shows it as band 4. It's just semantics, but it's because band 66 is an extension of band 4, so the naming is kind of confused.

I really wish Sierra had a Cat 16 modem which supports 4xCA, but even then I'm not sure I'm going to get that. I went by the tower over lunch break (since its so close to my house) and ran a speed test but still only got 80mbps on my phone, even though it sees Band 2,4, and 66 (I have no way to tell what my carrier aggregation setup is on my phone unfortunately, those settings are locked out on Verizon phones.)

My antennas are these: https://ltefix.com/shop/antennas/4g-lte ... l-antenna/ I think the beamwidth if I recall correctly is somewhere around 60 degrees on those.

Regardless, I'll probably aim them in the future (albeit they are only 10 degrees off at most from the AT&T to the Verizon tower) because as you probably know with antennas the signal is strongest in the center of the beam.

xdavidx
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:04 pm

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by xdavidx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:57 pm

swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 pm
It's actually band 2,4, and 66. My cell mapper app was showing it as band 66, but my 7455 shows it as band 4. It's just semantics, but it's because band 66 is an extension of band 4, so the naming is kind of confused.
I thought in you original post you mentioned 13 and 5 too?

Band 66 is a superset of Band 4. Are you saying that you have 3 chunks in there that you can access once you get the EM7565? What you are accessing now in band 4 and then 2x15 MHz of additional spectrum?
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 pm
I really wish Sierra had a Cat 16 modem which supports 4xCA, but even then I'm not sure I'm going to get that. I went by the tower over lunch break (since its so close to my house) and ran a speed test but still only got 80mbps on my phone, even though it sees Band 2,4, and 66 (I have no way to tell what my carrier aggregation setup is on my phone unfortunately, those settings are locked out on Verizon phones.)
Yeah, I wish the EM7565's qualcomm modem would have been supported fully by Sierra. The think the internal modem is a Cat 16 modem, but they are using it as Cat 12.
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 pm
My antennas are these: https://ltefix.com/shop/antennas/4g-lte ... l-antenna/ I think the beamwidth if I recall correctly is somewhere around 60 degrees on those.
Oh, interesting. You went back to those. What was the reasoning for going back to those? I almost went with those for my setup, but I was worried about foliage or other possible obstacles, so I went with the panel antennas.
swwifty wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 pm
Regardless, I'll probably aim them in the future (albeit they are only 10 degrees off at most from the AT&T to the Verizon tower) because as you probably know with antennas the signal is strongest in the center of the beam.
At least the two towers are from different providers. I have the problem of multiple towers in the same 60 degree swath, so I have even aimed away from the tower I want in some cases, so that I don't pick up another tower to one side of my target.

You know, you *could* get a bandwidth aggregating VPN service and run the AT&T and Verizon at the same time. :D Did you ever change out the 100 Mbps bottleneck in your Pi setup?

swwifty
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: NE GA Mountains

Re: Local Tower Upgrades (Verizon)

Post by swwifty » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:26 pm

xdavidx wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:57 pm
I thought in you original post you mentioned 13 and 5 too?

Band 66 is a superset of Band 4. Are you saying that you have 3 chunks in there that you can access once you get the EM7565? What you are accessing now in band 4 and then 2x15 MHz of additional spectrum?


Yeah, I wish the EM7565's qualcomm modem would have been supported fully by Sierra. The think the internal modem is a Cat 16 modem, but they are using it as Cat 12.


Oh, interesting. You went back to those. What was the reasoning for going back to those? I almost went with those for my setup, but I was worried about foliage or other possible obstacles, so I went with the panel antennas.


At least the two towers are from different providers. I have the problem of multiple towers in the same 60 degree swath, so I have even aimed away from the tower I want in some cases, so that I don't pick up another tower to one side of my target.

You know, you *could* get a bandwidth aggregating VPN service and run the AT&T and Verizon at the same time. :D Did you ever change out the 100 Mbps bottleneck in your Pi setup?
Yeah sorry I'm confusing here. There's Band 13 (10mhz) Band 5 (5mhz) Band 2 (10mhz) Band 4 (20mhz) Band 66 (Not sure channel size yet) I'm hoping I can get some aggregation of those larger bands with the EM7565.

I went to those log periodic antennas for a few reasons.

1. They had a radome for ice protection. The yagis got iced up a good bit last year, and I wanted to avoid that this next year. We get a lot of ice where I live in winter.

2. The yagis only supported band 2, and I wanted antennas that could support CA (since band 12 and band 2 were available in my area and band 12 comes in much stronger due to the range and obstructions).

3. I wanted antennas that had mounts that supported being mounted at +/- 45 degrees to match LTE antenna polarizations on towers. I found that mounting them that way made a slight difference in signal strength.

Edit Forgot to mention too that I went to a wide band antenna cause I was getting a lot of multipath destructive interference on Band 2 which was effecting throughput. I wanted to be able to use Band 12 as well.

I ended up putting the Verizon sim in my outdoor setup to test, and not too surprisingly the results aren't that much better than the simple 3dbi omnis, although the upload does look better. I'm still looking forward to seeing what CA of which bands with the EM7576. Hopefully not just Band 4 and Band 5.

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