Interesting Network Comparisons….

December 15th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, I know, I have not been all that available to update this as frequently as I had liked. I am sorry. Today I did something interesting and was shocked by the Sprint response.

For some of you who know me, they know that I love technology. For those that know even more, I work in cellular technologies. Being I work in cellular technologies, I believe in having network coverage with a couple different companies. I have my work internet and I have Sprint as my personal phone.

Over the last few days I have been presented the opportunity to test a new network in the area, and in doing so I have noticed that I am still not getting the speeds that Sprint has promised. Yesterday I was getting 9 kbps (well below the threshold to call that 3g). In doing some tests then on T-Mobile, NewCore, and Sprint (and not only my phone, but also Brady’s iPhone 5) we were shocked at the results.

NewCore Speed Tests

NewCore Speed Tests

Sprint was getting 9 Р400 kbps and was very sporadic. It was nuts. With two different phones, and two different cellular geniuses, we could see that something was wrong with the network and not our phones. T-Mobile was getting around 5 mbps and the NewCore network was getting about 4 mbps. The other two networks were great, Sprint was having issues.

This morning while at home, I decided to do some more tests. For people that know where I live, I am only about a thousand feet from the tower; I should get great speeds. T-Mobile was getting 173 kbps (Edge network at home), NewCore (Duet Internet & Phone) was getting 3.35 mbps and Sprint was getting 122 kbps.

Lets call Sprint and see what they have to say. So, calling Sprint I spoke to a few different people. The first person was nice and even after explaining my background and that we have tested this with not one, but two phones, she still insisted on testing my phone. After doing a few tested she said that it was confirmed that it was not my phone (yep, I knew that). She then checked on Sprint ReadyNow network; nothing wrong there. She said that I should be getting between 600 kbps and 1.5 mbps. Yeah, okay… so then she recommends transferring me to a supervisor. When Sprint transfers you to a supervisor they try to stay on he line and speak to the supervisor first and then transfer you in. After a while she said that she did not want me to hold any longer and she just forwarded me to her supervisor. So it rings and then I get a message that the mailbox was full and it hung up on me.

T-Mobile Speed Tests

T-Mobile Speed Tests

So, I did some more testing, changing from the application to a web-based speed test, and still showing the same results (actually worse but not much of a difference). So I decided to call back. Speaking to someone else in technical support, she said that I should be getting better speeds and did some checking. She said that I should change some settings in my phone because the LTE towers were not configured in my area. In doing all that (about 6 minutes of work) I still seen nothing for comparisons and had just thought that I would check my early termination fee (ETF) as a result of the poor Sprint network.

So I am transferred to an Account Representative from Sprint and was asked why I would like to cancel when all I had asked was how much the fee was. I explained that I was not happy with the 3G speeds that Sprint had said that they offered and that it was only getting worse it seemed like the longer that I had been a customer. She had told me that Sprint has the best 3G network and that I was making a mistake cancelling. Again, I am only inquiring about the fee, not cancelling yet, but explained my testing. She told me that T-Mobile has the worst network when I had told her that I was doing some comparison testing with the Edge network. When I explained that they were getting faster speeds, she just said that the ETF was $180. I am shocked that it is so high when it is really Sprint that is not keeping their word here.

Sprint Speed Tests

Sprint Speed Tests

Class Action Lawsuit? Has any of Sprints customers thought about doing a lawsuit? Is anyone getting their speeds that they were told? I was told that I would be getting 4G three years ago with the WiMax technology, but since they dumped that and swapped to LTE I am not sure if I am going to get that in October of 2013 like they are promising. When you figure out how much you are paying now, and what they are promising, I think that a refund is in order.

Something to think about…

Also for anyone that is curious, I was using a Samsung Galaxy Note on the T-Mobile network, a Samsung Galaxy s iii on the Sprint network and an iPhone 4s on the NewCore network.

An Android user bites into the evil Apple…

November 21st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

After the personal battle with myself I decided that I needed to learn the iPhone and iOS. As a result I grabbed an iPhone 4s so that I could have the midrange iPhone to which I could learn the system and review applications. The price was about the same of the Samsung Galaxy s III, which I have for personal use.

Pulling the phone out of the box, I was not impressed by the size of the phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy s III and in the past have had a variety different Android phones. I have become accustomed to Android and since I value open source applications truly believe in Android and how it has come about. I knew that the iPhone was going to smaller, but this seemed almost too small to use. With the weight of the phone, it did seem to fit comfortably in my hand.

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Look mom! No phone!

August 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Over the last year smartphones have evolved from something small (mini browsers, a word app, etc) to the point where I can just about do anything. Tomorrow I am even going to play with a half tab (a half phone, half tablet) that can do a lot more than the first Motorola Flip Phone I purchased 15 years ago.

Over the last year I have been learning more and more about different applications that would allow me to text from my computer. Originally I thought to search for this solution after seeing that Google Voice allows you to text from a computer. The only vice with Google Voice is that it is not the number that everyone has from me.

Texting has evolved from sending a message to a friend to this is a product that is used in the business world. With more and more people having mobile offices; emails and phone calls have become a thing of the past. When I need something it would take five minutes for the salutations whereas if I send a text I can send the text and get the message if they are on the phone, in a meeting, etc. The same is for the data needed for sending and receiving emails. Text messages are something that has become simple, easy, and free for many cellular carriers.

I have found a few solutions that offer something close to what I envisioned. Nothing seemed to be complete and flawless, but I found a solution that I prefer.

Google Voice would be nice if I had already given my number to everyone. If not I would have to explain to everyone that my number has changed. I also noticed that the Google Voice does not have the best voice quality. Would I tell everyone to call one number but text another? Also I do not get any notification that I have an incoming text on the Google Voice website.

Samsung has the Kies Air product that allows me to transfer photos, documents, etc. and also allows me to text. The product is nice as in that it is robust, even though the appearance is not quite there. It works but it is not meant for texting. The conversation is not saved as a conversation or by contact. It is all one text at a time. When I was trying to hold a conversation with multiple people, even I would get lost in the conversation. The solution is a free product so who can really complain?

MightyText was the first application that I have found and tested. Some of the things that I was not happy with was that it added a tag into my contact record. Also I noticed that at one point it had also mixed up some of the contact records and to my surprise it was sending my messages intended for one person to someone completely different. That is when I noticed the tags. Also the computer application seemed to not be as functional as what I was hoping for.

BrowserTexting for me has caught my eye. It seems like one of the fastest, most reliable, systems that are out there. This is the system that I would recommend.

The positives are simple! To start using BrowserTexting you just have to download the app from the Google Play store and then scan the QR code on your computer from the website with your phone. You will then get a message that you are connected. The system is clean, easy to use, and I think that I could have someone that is cellphone illiterate using the system in a couple minutes. With how fast the system is I am able to send many more text messages and hold many more conversations than normal. As a result I have taken this application not only as a personal application but also a business application.

I did find a couple negatives though. While they offer a free service, if you are serious about texting (and send 14,000 texts a month) like me you will want to pay the $14.99 for the Premium Unlimited. It is not that expensive, but I think for a phone application it is higher. I have also never really liked subscription services but rather something where I purchase the application. After speaking with one of the developers, I understand that they have taken the payment portion away from Google Play as a result of their fee of 30% profit. Also at times it is really slow using my home internet on my phone. I am not sure if it is a bandwidth issue or if it is something from my internet service provider. I do not have the best internet living in a rural area, but I make due and just turn off the wifi.

Feel free to check out the different applications. I recommend BrowserTexting and will continue to use this application. Enjoy!

Where it all goes! National Weather Service

May 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on Where it all goes! National Weather Service § permalink

The National Weather Service is offering tours today and the ability to poke around their offices in the Chanhassen, Minnesota office. Being the National Weather Service is a federal office, tours are always fun to see where our funds are going. Loving the Emergency Management field, I made a couple calls to find someone to go with.

A friend of mine from a neighboring community had the day off due to foul weather, what a perfect opening! Come on Paul, let’s go!

The National Weather Service Forecasting office did not look anything like I had imagined, even my guest Paul said that. We pulled up to a nice Minneapolis suburb with cut grass looking for towers only to find none. You pull up to the building and you can see the standard federal sign, NO TRESPASSING!

At the National Weather Service office I was greet by some friends. It was nice to see everyone again, but I was curious to see the toys. Inside the building I was surprised to see all screens and really felt like I should just move right in. Honey, I am home!

With a brief explanation of some of the toys I ventured off for photos. I really enjoyed seeing where I chat with when I radio the National Weather Service. This gives explanation to everything that I do.

Rounding off the day with winning a couple stickers and a ruler made the day. Heading off with Paul for the hour long drive home we grabbed a Wendy’s Frostie and recapped the day and our purposes in our lives with emergencies.

If you liked the photos, I have more in the photo gallery.

It is alive! Jam3s!

April 2nd, 2012 § Comments Off on It is alive! Jam3s! § permalink

So my I decided to create a tag…

Jam3s... the coin!

This tag was specifically made for everything that I am excited about…

I am a technology geek…

1) Android phone… I love Android and value the open source properties of the software and being able to change the ROMs, kernels, etc.

2) Laptop… this is self explanatory. I am a geek and I like various websites, open source applications, and anything non Mac.

3) QR (Quick Response) Codes… These are something that I have come to love, but I am seeing that it is a fading trend. I have seen some stores that are using these and I have a cache puzzle that was made off of QR codes.

4) Tornadoes… yes, I am a storm chaser and I love it. I can’t wait for the day that I get a call, email or text asking if I am ready to go. I am also a Metro, NWS, Stearns County, etc… Storm Chaser / Spotter.

5) The radio… based off of emergency management since I value the programs. I started a degree in Emergency Management from the Emergency Management Institute but I have not made it to a finish as of yet. The radio could also be construed as a HAM (Amateur Radio) of which I currently have an active call sign and have for many years. You will also see the emergency management within the color Red, the color of emergencies.

So, as you can see… this tag represents me!

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