Tuesday 26 July 2011

Echo Bay/Hwy 638 Cell Site Active 26 Jul 11

The new Bell 3G/4G  HSPA became active on the afternoon of 26 Jul 11.
Details about what equipment will work with the site is at the previous blog about the tower.

Friday 22 July 2011

Goulais (Buttermilk) Canopy Service–22 Jul 11

See this entry for updated information.

Tbaytel continues to experience problems with the Goulais (Buttermilk) Canopy fixed wireless site. At the moment an antenna problem is not allowing the site to transmit or receive the wireless signal at the necessary strength. This problem does not affect the either of the cellular sites – the CDMA (Tbaytel/Bell) or the HSPA (Tbaytel/Rogers). They continue to operate normally.
Unfortunately, due to a clerical error the local Canopy installer was informed the site was operational. On a few occasions, including at my residence, he was unable to receive a strong enough signal and thus could not install the service. I am working with Tbaytel to determine if some user sites require a re-rest. 
For the technically inclined, the receive signal has to be stronger than -80 dBm and preferably in the -75 dBm range.
Tbaytel anticipates it will be 2-3 weeks before they resolve the problem.

Lack of Bell HSPA Coverage in North Algoma

As most readers are aware, the technology used to provide cellular telephone and cellular based broadband (high speed) Internet in the North Sault/North Algoma  area and the whole SSM to TB highway corridor in general is a bit of a mess to say the least with Rogers HSPA only (No GSM) available and Bell CDMA only (no HSPA) available.

I recently wrote to my mid-level management contacts at Bell Canada expressing on behalf of the people of the North Sault area our grave concern with the lack of Bell HSPA coverage in the North Algoma District. [Editorial Comment: Experience has taught me it is often better to discuss problems with middle management personnel who can actually do something than to try and get through the firewall of assistants that usually surround the CEO.]

While Bell acts to improve the coverage in the East Algoma and West Sault areas, as explained in the linked blogs, the north seems to be a bit of a forgotten area in terms of overt activity to improve the service with the sole exception of the Deferral Account roll-out in Goulais River scheduled for 2013.

From other sources, I do know Bell management is looking at the situation in considerable detail and I am optimistic that some form of corrective activity may be in place before the aforementioned Deferral Account program.

Friday 15 July 2011

Goulais (Buttermilk) Canopy Update 15 Jul 11

According to a report from Tbaytel today, they have not yet activated the Canopy fixed wireless site at Goulais (Buttermilk) and it is not available for customer service. There are unspecified "technical issues" involved with the site. Tbaytel did not provide a date as to when the site would go operational.

There has been a little confusion over the site as some of the local installers may have received misinformation about the site being available. In addition, the site is emanating a very weak signal that can give the false impression the site is working.

I will provide more information as it becomes available.

Only Batchawana and Searchmont Left for HSPA

With the activation and launch of the Ryan site this month, only the sites at Batchawana and Searchmont are left to receive the HSPA overlay. I have no dates at this time for when this will occur.
This map extract from the Rogers Coverage map shows the approximate coverage area (without Ryan) in red that has 3G/4G HSPA coverage. The major 3G/4G HSPA coverage gap between SSM and Sudbury will be filled by the project previously announced in this East Algoma new site blog.

Friday 8 July 2011

East Algoma Cell Site Echo Bay/Hwy 638

This entry provides an update on the previous blog concerning funding for the new Bell cell site at Echo Bay Hwy 638. As can be seen in this photo  taken 05 Jul 2011, the construction phase is progressing quite well. There is no change in the previously announced in-service date of fall 2011.
Original photo provided by Morry Brown
I remind users that this is a Bell 3G/4G HSPA only site. Older 2/2.5G CDMA phone technology will not be able to access the site. Telus 3G/4G HSPA hardware will work with the site. Users wishing to take advantage of the site need to ensure their hardware is 3G/4G HSAP compatible. The site will work with Smartphones and HSPA data hubs.
Rogers hardware will not work with this new Bell site.

Monday 4 July 2011

Correction for FIDO Coverage

I wish to correct an entry in my comment to Larry Ash dated July 3, 2011 12:22 in this blog entry concerning Rogers’s FIDO flanker brand. I stated “..Fido will also not work due to frequency incompatibility. The North Sault HSPA operates on the 850 MHz band while Fido operates on the 1900 MHz band. “

While FIDO originally and still does operate in the 1900 MHz band, the new FIDO hardware and SIM card also allows operation in the 850 MHZ band. Therefore, FIDO HSPA hardware is technically capable of gaining access to Rogers’s total HSPA network. However, I would verify by actual trial that it really works on the Tbaytel/Rogers network before signing a long term, non-revocable contract.

I apologize for the incorrect information provided previously.