Considerable Cell-Reception Problem

I just switched to Ting today after getting a compatible Sprint device. I got the HTC EVO 4G LTE. I have set up my account, activated and completed all the necessary steps required to get my device up and running. And I am super happy! The phone is great and I'm a huge fan of how Ting manages billing and their plan tiers.

However, I have noticed an incredible reduction in my cell service in the area.

I was on an Iphone 4 with Verizon up until today and always maintained a steady 2 to 3 bars, and rarely dipping into 1 bar.

Since Ting offers free roaming through Verizon, I thought beforehand that this wouldn't be an issue. And quite frankly, neither did 3 tech supports I had spoken with.

I am in no way blaming them or Ting, but they were confused about why I was having this issue because both Sprint and Verizon offer decent coverage in my area and no towers were down.

The tech supports at Ting troubleshooted everything either of us could think of, and walked through various steps forward and back, but my service remained at a steady 1 bar, or had absolutely ZERO bars altogether.

So my question is: Is the phone connecting to Sprint even with Verizon towers closer? If so, why, because I have it set to automatically roam.

ANY answers will help me in my situation, and I love Ting, and I want to stay, but as you can imagine, I need service if I want to make calls.

For what it's worth, location and coverage-wise, I am from Dagsboro, Delaware.

Thanks in advance Ting & the Ting Community,

Raymond Justin Satterfield

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Comments

23 comments
  • Wes the 4 bars on your Iphone LTE coverage? Verizon is moving to LTE and using voice over LTE.

    Ting only roams to Verizon's old CDMA service. You should update the Profile & PRL on your phone to get Ting's tower roaming list.

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  • I'm almost certain that it wasn't LTE coverage I was using.

    And I have tried updating the Profile and PRL several times with no avail.

    I'm running out of ideas unfortunately.

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  • You were on a different network, with different towers and tower locations--your coverage and service on Sprint/Ting will not be the same as on Verizon--you can't compare them quantitatively.

    Also, the number of bars being shown on the device between your old iPhone and your new phone are not comparable either--each OS and manufacturer can show different bars vs. the actual dBm the antenna picks up.  The bar reading will even vary depending on the specific OS version of the same.  Do you know someone else with Sprint (or Ting) on a 4G device that you can compare your actual dBm signal in the same location with?

    It's my understanding that how service (and PRL) works is that despite the Verizon roaming voice network that Spring/Ting can use having better signal strength in your area, your device will still connect to a Sprint tower if the phone can make and maintain the connection, no matter how much weaker the Sprint signal is--because you're a Sprint/Ting subscriber.  Roaming voice will typically only invoke when your phone can't connect to a Sprint tower at all, assuming the roaming network is available.

    Is your only concern the low number of bars being shown on your device, or are you having service issues?  Are you reliably connecting to the network and able to use voice/data?  If so, then you're good to go.

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  • first, thanks for trying to help me out here. secondly, there is connection quality issues, big ones.,for the most part I can't send text messages or make calls. my phone will switch back and forth between roaming and just a connection but never gets more than a bar in my location, which may or may not mean anything, all I can say is that call and connection quality is horrid. I had wondered the same thing though, about connecting to sprint even if the connection is weaker. if this is the case is there anyway to only roam?

    and sorry I am just really confused, because when I switched to find, I was under the impression I could roam to the same network I've been using for years in my Ares and experience similar call and connection quality, and this isn't the case?

    thanks again in advance,

    Justin

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  • I don't think there's any way to force roaming on the roaming network when there is an in-network tower in range.  But Ting or Sprint would be able to say for sure.

    I remember other people in other forums talking about having problems with the HTC EVO 4G LTE, and apparently it has a very bad problem with reception, here is a Sprint forum discussion about the exact phone:  https://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/117761

    Perhaps a good decision would be to return the phone (if you can) and get a different phone?

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  • Hey Raymond,

    There isn't a way to force your device to roam on the roaming network unless you root it. You may want to look into getting a Sprint Airave in order to improve the Sprint signal in your home.

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  • Thanks for your responses everyone, I'm really happy to see such an active community on here from both users and staff! I am weighing my options at the moment and an Airave is definitely something I want to look into at some point, but after buying my new phone and its accessories I'm left with few options. I am very interested in rooting the device to force roaming with Verizon, but will this effect my service with Ting at all or have any negative affects on my behalf? And this is besides the obvious possibilities of bricking the device while rooting. If I am successful in rooting and forcing myself to roam, am I in the clear?

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  • If you are considering Airave, you need to be sure you are in an area where Airave is allowed. Not all Sprint coverage areas are allowed Airave. See http://www.sprint.com/landings/airave_eligibility/?utm_source=Ting&utm_medium=Device-page&utm_campaign=airave

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  • Raymond, I think its possible you just have a bad phone.  You might take a look at coverage maps and see if you can find a nearby area where Sprint coverage is non-existent but Verizon does have coverage.  I've found that rural highways in my part of the world tend to get Verizon signals where there are no Sprint signals.  If your phone then has the same problems connecting to Verizon, you'll know something is wrong with the phone.

     

    I can't speak for Ting but Sprint has been known to notify users who roam too much that continuing to do so will lead to loss of service.

     

    DC

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  • So Sprint can cancel my service for roaming too much even if I am using Ting? That doesn't make much sense to me..is that true?

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  • I'm not saying that. Ting would have to tell you.  But if you were strictly a Sprint customer, yes that could happen (and has happened to a friend of mine who lived in area with a strong Verizon signal but weak Sprint signal).

     

    DC

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  • Hi Raymond.   Ting doesn't track your roaming and doesn't charge for it and we would not cancel your service because of that.  However, setting up your device to use the roaming towers exclusively could be a concern to that company and they could choose to limit your access.

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  • Everyone has been a really big help! And I'm very greatful :)

    To update everyone on my adventures, I have rooted my phone successfully and I've also forced roaming with Verizon.

    I have chosen various PRLs to connect to trying to find the best one for me and my connection, and I have to say that my overall connection is much better and I have yet to lose service as I had been when using Sprint.

    I have also used modified PRLs to roam in a way that the phone doesn't detect it as roaming, but I think that's pointless because Ting doesn't mind anyway.

    The ONLY issue I'm having is less of an issue and more of an annoyance, is the fact I keep getting Error 67 and my phone frequently says I lose Data Connection (even though I don't).

    So, I am searching for a way to get the message to stop popping up, and no, updating my profile doesn't work, and updating the PRL would be pointless in my situation lol.

    I will see if there is any way to just disable the error message completely, or just make it so I don't have to contend with constantly "Dismiss"-ing it.

    Thanks again for all your help, I will keep working on this!

    Justin

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  • The Error 67 is almost certainly a Sprint-side issue with you using modified PRLs (also happens with bad PRLs under normal circumstances--or any other time when there is a legit data connectivity issue on their network).  I could see the problem where the PRL is telling you to connect to a verizon tower for voice, but otherwise in a Sprint data area (if that makes sense).

    Are you 100% unable to return your phone?  I'd still give that some honest consideration given the general RF reception issues the phone has been reported to have, especially if all other things being equal, you ought to have good Sprint network coverage in your area.  Again, do you know anyone else with a different handset on Sprint where you can compare reception in your area?  That will tell you for certain if it's a network/reception issue, vs a device issue.  It sounds like a pain to deal with modified PRLs and error dialogues on a perpetual basis.

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  • I also occasionally get an error message while I'm roaming on Verizon and the phone tries to use data. I just attributed the error to the fact that data roaming is not available on Ting and assumed the error was to let me know that an attempt to use data had failed.  I can't remember if the error message I get is 67 but that sounds familiar.  Are you saying your method allows data roaming?

     

    DC

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  • I bought the phone online refurbished. Everything about it works to perfection and seems like I would have opened it out of its new box myself.

    I don't want to go through the trouble of returning the phone and being without one for a few weeks or whatever the case may be, it would be more of an inconvenience than anything.

    And I'm saying since I have changed to a Verizon PRL, my service for Voice and Text/Media has been a major improvement and I can maintain calls and text like I had before with Verizon.

    For giggles I switched back to my Sprint PRL and lost service completely again, haha. Not switching back again.

    The only problem I'm having is the "error 67" pop-up, which is cosmetic...and I think you were onto something when you said it had to do with roaming data and Ting not supporting it.

    I have to also say, after changing to a Verizon PRL I am unable to use data, other than through wifi.

    I'm not sure exactly why, or if I need to keep trying PRLs until one works for me...but I have great voice and texting and all, but data is completely unavailable unless I use a Sprint PRL or update mine from the phone.

    This bugs me because I love listening to Spotify and all, but I mean, I'm not using data sowith Ting, I'm not really paying for it so I can't complain much...lol.

    I will do my best to find a fix myself and get all of this worked out.

    In all, I'm still very happy with where I'm at, and I love the phone, as well as Ting, despite a few bumps on the road.

    Will keep updated, and thanks all again!

     

    Justin

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  • UPDATE

    I have found that I can't use data...and I can't believe it just hit me now.

    Ting doesn't allow data while roaming, and I forced my PRL to be with Verizon.

    So I am constantly roaming and therefor can't use data, only voice/text.

    I am glad to know what it is now, however I'm still upset...

    Because now I have this amazing cell service I had with Verizon, but at the expense of not having any data.

    And if I want to use data on the fly, I have to sacrifice and settle with mediocre cellular service as well as constantly dropping signal in my area.

    I'm in between a rock and a hard place you could say lol.

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  • You mention using a Sprint PRL. You should be using Ting's PRL. It is different than Sprint's. If you use a Verizon PRL, you are likely costing Ting more than they anticipated per user. I do not know how they handle situations like this.

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  • Well right now I'm using the PRL that I get from updating from the update menu.

    And how would using a Verizon PRL cost them more money?

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  • I assume that Verizon charges Ting more for minutes than Sprint does, otherwise Ting would have chosen Verizon as their main carrier. I know Ting has said that Verizon roaming data would cost them at least 10 times the cost of Sprint data.

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  • @Raymond.  Keep in mind that Sprint has yet to complete the build out of their new network so unless you live in some weird area, your Sprint reception is likely to get much better as they complete their upgrades this year.  Visit this web site  http://s4gru.com/   and check out the Network forums for more information.  Those guys over there might also be able to tell you the status of upgrades in your area.  Ting might even be able to tell you the status of upgrades in your area but you'll probably have to open a help ticket for that.

    @Bruce.  I might be wrong but I believe that Ting roams on Verizon for voice and texts using Sprint's existing roaming agreement with Verizon so there is no additional cost to Ting for that roaming, it's just part of their "package".  However, Sprint's data roaming agreement with Verizon comes at a price that doesn't make sense for Ting.  I do wish we had the option to data roam on Verizon even if the cost is higher.  There might be times when it would be convenient or even necessary.

    DC

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  • AFAIK, Bruce is right; while Sprint works out voice roaming on Verizon's network, it's assumed that the subscriber will not be spending a majority (or otherwise significant amount) of their time on the roaming network.  I don't see a peep in Ting's TOS that explicitly addresses voice roaming, so I assume there are no formal rules on Ting's side.  But as Martin mentioned, if Verizon cares about how much time a Sprint subscriber is spending roaming on Verizon's network, they probably at least have the ability to cut off that user in some fashion.

    This Sprint community forum post discusses roaming on Sprint's network; I don't know if the explicit numbers trickle down to Ting subscribers:  https://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/86060  So while Ting may not cancel your service because you roam, it doesn't mean that your service won't be interrupted if you roam excessively.

    Nothing wrong with waiting and seeing though.

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  • It is doubtful that Ting is using Sprint's roaming agreement or else I would expect most Sprint MVNOs to have roaming. I believe Ting has stated they negotiated roaming agreements with Verizon, US Cellular, and perhaps others.

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