1. psf57's Avatar
    Verizon decided to send me a Network Extender (free) because of phone calls. They claim the bars on the phone has to do with Data, which I have 4G LTE and 3-5 bars. Now, the Verizon rep said phone calls and 4G have nothing to do with each other? I thought that is how VoLTE is working? Now totally confused. If I have great 4G LTE and have AC on, why am I needing the Network extender? confusing
    05-21-2015 11:39 AM
  2. Almeuit's Avatar
    The only time you use the extender is due to bad / no signal at your home. If you're using AC then yes 4G LTE does have to do with phone calls as they are routed through the LTE connection. That rep sounds misinformed.
    05-21-2015 11:45 AM
  3. psf57's Avatar
    That is what I was thinking, geeze she had me totally confused. So, I'll have a free Network Extender. As with 3-5 bars of 4G LTE I shouldn't have a problem with calls.
    05-21-2015 12:09 PM
  4. doogald's Avatar
    Verizon decided to send me a Network Extender (free) because of phone calls. They claim the bars on the phone has to do with Data, which I have 4G LTE and 3-5 bars. Now, the Verizon rep said phone calls and 4G have nothing to do with each other? I thought that is how VoLTE is working? Now totally confused. If I have great 4G LTE and have AC on, why am I needing the Network extender? confusing
    She is mostly right. The network extender is used for phone calls (using CDMA) and, if you are close enough, it can also be used to carry 3G data. When you have a connection to the extender, you should see a small flashing house icon above the signal bars (and, when you make or receive calls, you will hear a weird tone when the call is engaged.) However, with my extender at home (I have two, actually - a newer 3G model at home at an older 1xRTT model at my summer house, but this is talking about the 3G one), when I am at the edge of the range I will occasionally see that I have a weak 3G or LTE signal with the tower that's closest to my house.

    VoLTE will only work when you are connected to a Verizon tower carrying LTE data. Otherwise, the phone falls back to normal Verizon CDMA calls. Verizon does not yet have LTE extenders, though (unless I missed something...)

    If you go to settings / More... / Mobile networks / Network type and strength it will show the actual signal rather than using the unreliable bars in the status bar. Right now I am seeing just 1x at -88 dBm from my extender (which is a pretty good signal), but occasionally I will see an LTE signal at something like -128 dBm (which is pretty weak for LTE.) And this is true even though I am connected to my home WiFi - it still shows LTE signal strength, even though the phone is using WiFi to carry data.

    So, again, if you have a weak LTE signal, the Turbo will fall back to CDMA for phone calls, as there is likely not enough bandwidth in the LTE data connection, and that's probably why Verizon sent you an extender. (You're lucky - I had to pay for mine, though I did buy both of mine when they were on a rare sale.)
    05-21-2015 12:26 PM
  5. psf57's Avatar
    My network type and strength: 1X = -120dBm 4G = -92 dBm :: Sat at LTE/CDMA
    05-21-2015 12:34 PM
  6. Phoenix212's Avatar
    Right now I am seeing just 1x at -88 dBm from my extender (which is a pretty good signal), but occasionally I will see an LTE signal at something like -128 dBm (which is pretty weak for LTE.)
    Forgive my lack of knowledge, what is a good/ok/weak dBM for signal strength? I have this issue at my home (and neighborhood) as well, calls constantly dropping and websites not loading due to weak signal.
    05-21-2015 12:45 PM
  7. doogald's Avatar
    My network type and strength: 1X = -120dBm 4G = -92 dBm :: Sat at LTE/CDMA
    The range of the extender is about 35 feet, IIRC, though the more obstructions it passes through (walls, floors/ceilings, etc.), the shorter the range. Mine is sitting right in the middle of my house, second floor, and I generally get a signal anywhere inside.

    Forgive my lack of knowledge, what is a good/ok/weak dBM for signal strength? I have this issue at my home (and neighborhood) as well, calls constantly dropping and websites not loading due to weak signal.
    For CDMA (1x)/EVDO (3G) on Verizon, anything better than -85 to -90 dBm is probably good enough to carry a call. (A lower negative number is better, so -80 dBm is better than -90 dBm.) Between -90 and -100 is a marginal signal; anything worse than -100 you'll probably get dropped calls, stutter, etc.

    Verizon LTE signal is about -23 dBm compared with CDMA for the same signal strength (they are different because they measure different things). So, anything better than about -110 dBm on LTE is decent, anything better than -100 dBm is good, anything better than -90 is excellent, and anything worse than about -120 dBm is pretty bad.
    Phoenix212 likes this.
    05-21-2015 01:10 PM
  8. psf57's Avatar
    The numbers I gave ya are without the Extender. I had thought they were pretty good with the exception of 1X.
    05-21-2015 01:37 PM
  9. doogald's Avatar
    The numbers I gave ya are without the Extender. I had thought they were pretty good with the exception of 1X.
    It's possible that the people who decide these things at Verizon are still thinking CDMA calling. It won't matter much - if you're using WiFi at home for data on the phone, you can still do voice and data with the extender. (It'll be interesting to see if you use VoLTE or CDMA after you get it, though.)
    05-21-2015 02:37 PM
  10. matty032's Avatar
    You could just use your WiFi and use hangouts to make VOIP calls. I never use Verzion CDMA to make calls.
    05-21-2015 02:48 PM
  11. psf57's Avatar
    I'm curious as well. Find out what happens if AC is on, using the NE, will have to try and open up some apps while talking to someone.
    05-21-2015 03:17 PM
  12. Phoenix212's Avatar
    You could just use your WiFi and use hangouts to make VOIP calls. I never use Verzion CDMA to make calls.
    The problem with that is that I get phone calls to my VZW phone number, I rarely get calls to my Google Voice number. Also, when making outgoing calls, my contacts know my VZW phone number but don't know my Google Voice number so they are unlikely to pick up my Google Voice call.

    Besides, if I'm paying VZW to use my VZW phone number in an area that is supposed to have excellent service, why should I have to use a different number? To get on my high horse for a minute ... I am paying a lot of money every month to VZW and I should be able to use what I am paying for. [dismounts horse and sits down]
    05-21-2015 06:26 PM
  13. psf57's Avatar
    I have a google number, but use that for odd one time things, where they request a phone number and you know you will never do business with them again. Also, I use it for like charge accounts, and stuff that might want to call and make a pain in the arse out of themselves with "special" sales. lol
    05-21-2015 06:57 PM
  14. vzwuser76's Avatar
    Just thought I'd post a couple things here since I've had experience on this recently. I have 2 Network Extenders (2 buildings) and mine are the original 1X version. After the Advance Calling update, a curious thing started happening. After a couple months I noticed my bills started going up in price. I went to look at them to see who on our share plan was running up the minutes (still on a grandfathered UDP). The problem was on my line. Almost every call I made had a duplicate call happening at the same time to multiple number with the same Texas area code. I called Verizon and we started a ticket on it. Between my investigating and theirs, we found out that the NE doesn't play nice with AC. Every time a call was placed when connected to my NE with AC turned on, those duplicate calls to Texas were placed, which meant that all of my calls that shoulve been free (M2M, nights & weekends, and friends & family) were being counted against our allotment, and any peak calls were double charged. Verizon said it was working on the issue, and a latch was planned for mid April, so I was instructed to leave AC off until they contacted me. However I haven't heard from them yet, so I don't know if the issue is fixed or not. Since I don't know what kind of plan you're on, I can't say if this will affect you or not (if you have unlimited minutes it shouldn't affect your bill, but if you're on an older an with a limited amount of minutes, it will). So it might be a good idea to check before you use the NE too much.

    As to Doogald's question, they don't currently have an LTE Network Extender available, and depending which tech I talked too, there may not ever be one. The first level 2 tech I talked too during the above issue told me that an LTE NE would be available by mid 2015. The next one I talked to said they weren't doing an LTE NE and were going to instead use WiFi calling to make up for the lack of signal. So I don't know for sure, I think I'd prefer WiFi calling rather than having extra pieces of gear that also use up my ISP connection like my NE does. At least then it would only use the connection during a call. But I'd imagine that would mean no VoLTE HD calling with WiFi, but I'm not entirely sure about that. I also don't know if WiFi calling will work with any WiFi router or if it needs a specific model.
    psf57 likes this.
    05-21-2015 09:22 PM
  15. doogald's Avatar
    I think most people these days have capped data plans with unlimited voice minutes so, while the duplicate calls is an issue for you and obviously shouldn't be happening, it wouldn't matter terribly to me.

    I'm sort of interested in an LTE network extender not for volte but so that people who come to my house with Verizon phones can have both good signal for calling and LTE speed for data, rather than telling somebody my WiFi password if they come to visit once. And, since more Verizon phones than not can do voice and data with LTE, they'd be able to do that, too. They can't do that with the current 3G data extender.
    05-21-2015 09:43 PM
  16. jerrykur's Avatar
    I think most people these days have capped data plans with unlimited voice minutes so, while the duplicate calls is an issue for you and obviously shouldn't be happening, it wouldn't matter terribly to me.

    I'm sort of interested in an LTE network extender not for volte but so that people who come to my house with Verizon phones can have both good signal for calling and LTE speed for data, rather than telling somebody my WiFi password if they come to visit once. And, since more Verizon phones than not can do voice and data with LTE, they'd be able to do that, too. They can't do that with the current 3G data extender.
    I just have a guest WiFi that is separate from my WiFi.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    05-21-2015 09:47 PM
  17. doogald's Avatar
    I just have a guest WiFi that is separate from my WiFi.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    I could have that, too, but I'm not going to leave it open and I'm not all that interested in giving everybody who comes to my house a WiFi password. If they're lucky enough to have Verizon, they can use my network extender, though.

    (I'm not talking about friends or family, but service technicians, plumbers, electricians, our landscapers, etc.)
    05-21-2015 09:56 PM
  18. psf57's Avatar
    That's what is so weird here. I have GREAT 4G LTE, but the calls........1/2 the times go to voice mail, so they are coming through. Then during the night, my phone totally loses signal. Goes from 5 bars to 0 for anywhere from 1/2 hour to 4 hours. This is the middle of the night. Now, if they would tell me they are updating towers or something I could understand. But that is the reason for the NE. I still think it's the phone, but they say although I am in a 4G LTE zone, it's moderate coverage? huh? So, I'll take the free extender, hook it up and see what happens, just for the heck of it.

    I have the single mobile phone plan, 1 GB. Mainly have wifi around all over and I'm lucky if I use 500 mb a month. Heck even hospitals have wifi now, lol.
    05-22-2015 07:49 AM

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