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  1. milominderbinde's Avatar
    Do you get poor Sprint cellular reception at home?

    The Sprint Airave can be your own personal cell tower.

    The Airave is a "Femtocell" about the size of a book that plugs into your home network router using a standard network Ethernet cable. You must have DLS, cable, or other high speed internet landline. Up to 3 phones can use the Airave at a time as they would any cell tower. The Airave Access Point supports up to 6 users at once.

    Key facts
    Check to see if Airave is available in your area.
    • Get full bars up to 20' away and 25% signal up to 40' away.
    • The Airave must be within 20' of a window so that it's GPS can get satellite reception.
    • The Airave only works in the US (the reason for the GPS).
    • You should still use a wireless router (WiFi) for data.
    • The Airave support up to 3 users at a time. The Airave Access Point supports up to 6.
    Most Sprint cellphones work with the Airave but not Nextel, prepaid or other networks.
    • Call automatically transfer to a local tower when you leave Airave coverage.
    • WiFi based location services may show your location as the ISP's central office

    Save your battery
    One other huge benefit to the Airave is that it can greatly improve battery life. Cell phones use much more power if they are constantly searching for signals or switching from Roam to Sprint. With full power, the cell phone can settle back and relax.

    Cost
    Call Sprint at 888-211-4727 to ask about the Airave. The Airave normally costs $99 plus $4.99 per month for one phone. Up to 3 users is $20 per month. But many users report that if they politely explain that they have had constant issues with poor signal strength at home, they have been given Airave and had their $20 per month fee waived indefinitely. You will have the same cost per minute as you would under your normal plan unless you pay for unlimited Airave minutes.

    Post your success stories in this thread!
    To get the charges waived, you may need to ask for a supervisor or to have your problem "escalated" or better yet, just call the Sprint Retention Department directly: (877)775-4886. Key things to tell them:
    Airave service is verified in your area.
    • This is an ongoing constant problem for ___ months or ___ years
    • You get almost no signal.
    • How far you have to go to get signal (down the street or to a neighbors yard?).
    • You have multiple phones getting low signal (friends on Sprint at your house have the same issues).
    • Friends with other carriers get great reception at your house.
    • Ask, If a customer cannot get signal, does the ETF (Early Termination Fee) still apply in {my state}?

    Setup
    Once you get your Airave, follow the instructions in the Quick Start to connect it to your router. Call Sprint Customer Service at 1-888-211-4727 for activation. The secret direct line is 866-556-7310. Expect at least 40 minutes on the phone. It may take anywhere from 60 minutes to overnight for the Airave to find the satellites and finish it's setup.

    GPS
    One tip, not in the manual: Use the external GPS antenna when you first set up and even run it out a window (pointed to the sky) until it can acquire the satellites. The Airave needs good GPS signal to set up. Once you are set up, still consider using the external antenna if the Airave will not be near a window. Even taping the external antenna to the top of the Airave is better than the internal antenna.

    Use
    • Use your phone as you normally would.
    • When you first connect to the Airave you will hear a beep to let you know.
    • Dial *99 to confirm coverage.
    • Your phone may at first show your location as the phone or Cable company office.

    References
    Sprint Airave main page - lots of great links
    Check to see if Airave is available in your area
    Quick Start
    Getting Started
    User Guide
    Troubleshooting
    Sprint Airave FAQ - Limiting access to others, voicemail, texting
    Sprint Airave: Tell Me More
    Sprint Airave Forums
    TechGeek article
    • 6 User Airave Access Point Pricing

    Threads for Sprint owners:
    Get Your Spint 5-27% EVP Discount
    How to Upgrade Your Sprint Phone Every Year
    Airave: How to Get Great Reception at Home.

    If this helped you, please click ↓
    06-30-2011 02:25 PM
  2. milominderbinde's Avatar
    07-03-2011 08:05 AM
  3. chud's Avatar
    Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to get one for two years now. Mine is being overnighted, all for free.
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-03-2011 10:40 PM
  4. Impulses's Avatar
    I've had my Airave for about a month, got it free of charge w/no monthly fee by calling the Retentions department... I had actually called regular CS around 6 months ago and they didn't give me any option but to pay the monthly fee for it. Worth noting that it's only a $5/mo. fee if you just want it to improve the signal at home, if you want unlimited minutes on it then it's $10 or $20, I forget.

    It improved by reception in the kitchen (where I used to get none, kitchen is parallel from where I've got the Airave) and I now get a full set of bars... Three rooms away (thru thick concrete walls) it wasn't as much of an improvement but it still helps, the higher you place your Airave the better it works... I've got to raise mine off the table where it's currently at and it'll probably give me a good three bars all throughout my house.

    Works in Puerto Rico btw.
    Cort and milominderbinde like this.
    07-04-2011 03:19 AM
  5. Impulses's Avatar
    Oh and here's some funny facts about the Airave... The way the connection thru it is routed is pretty curious, the latest version even provides a 3G connection for your phone (which the older version lacked) so even if you don't turn WiFi on at home, your data will still be re-reouted thru your broadband connection... In most cases this is a good thing, broadband's almost always faster (unless you live in a prime 4G location and have a pretty average broadband connection) and it helps even more w/battery.

    More peculiar is the way the connection is routed after it leaves the Airave... Here in Puerto Rico certain online services are blocked because since we're a US territory we exist in some sort of grey area where a lot of companies don't know where they stand legally so they just skip us over entirely. CBS.com clips don't work when you try to access them from any broadband connection on the island for instance, neither did Netflix's online streaming until recently (this very week actually)...

    HOWEVER, those same services have always worked on cell phones (at 'least AT&T and Sprint, dunno about T-Mo or the local carriers), because of the way their 3G connection is routed back thru the US.. Now here's the very peculiar part, when my Sprint phone is connected to an Airave with WiFi off (but 3G being routed thru my broadband) all of that suddenly works... So I get full broadband speeds and the benefit of being able to access a few extra services.

    I can even then turn on WiFi tethering on my phone and access the same services from my computer... It's kinda ridiculous if you think about it. Instead of going PC -> WiFi router -> DSL modem -> Internet, the data's going PC -> WiFi/USB tethered Sprint phone -> Airave -> DSL modem -> Internet... It's all in the way the connection is routed between the Airave and the net at large. I imagine a number of proxy services could accomplish the same thing but I never had enough interest to bother with that.

    But hey, I can now watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother that I've missed thanks to the Airave.
    Cort and milominderbinde like this.
    07-04-2011 03:29 AM
  6. Linkchomp's Avatar
    Will it actually work in a roaming zone? According to a sprint map and my phone's behavior, the 3G/service area is cutoff is like a couple feet from my home.

    Usually about five minutes away, that's when I start getting signal strength and such.

    If I do get it, it'll only be useful for a month since my college area gets strong Sprint signal.
    07-04-2011 11:02 AM
  7. evo4gMN's Avatar
    I callled 1-888-211-4727 and they are sending me my airave free of charge. Also, I am not going to be charged monthly fees. Hopefully this works! I am consistently getting 0-2 bars in my house
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-05-2011 09:48 PM
  8. chud's Avatar
    Did they say anything about them being backordered?
    07-05-2011 10:04 PM
  9. evo4gMN's Avatar
    No, just that it would take 3-5 days to get here.

    Did they say anything about them being backordered?
    07-05-2011 10:37 PM
  10. milominderbinde's Avatar
    Will it actually work in a roaming zone? According to a sprint map and my phone's behavior, the 3G/service area is cutoff is like a couple feet from my home...
    Call and ask...
    07-06-2011 08:23 AM
  11. Cares's Avatar
    I'm sick and tired of Airvana. I ended up unplugging it since it caused more problems than good. The SMS problem with messages being stuck was too annoying for me. I just force roaming on my phone now since Verizon has great reception at my house.
    07-06-2011 09:31 AM
  12. j_grouchy's Avatar
    I callled 1-888-211-4727 and they are sending me my airave free of charge. Also, I am not going to be charged monthly fees. Hopefully this works! I am consistently getting 0-2 bars in my house
    Just got mine on order...should show up in a few days!
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-09-2011 11:43 AM
  13. BlackHawkA4's Avatar
    I have one coming in the mail. Here is my question if someone can answer.

    I've read 3 different things and I'm confused.

    1- it doesn't do data
    2- it does 1x data
    3- it uses your broadband data.

    Which is it?
    07-09-2011 04:49 PM
  14. lennyj17's Avatar
    The Airvana does 3G data and it DOES use your Broadband connection.
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-10-2011 10:45 PM
  15. j_grouchy's Avatar
    The Airvana Airave does 3G data and it DOES use your Broadband connection.
    Fixed.
    07-11-2011 10:31 AM
  16. MattMJB0188's Avatar
    I am a new Sprint customer. Got home Saturday to only find I have horrible service around my home. The EVO 3D is awesome but the reception is horrific. Called up Sprint and said I would just cancel on the same day I got the phone and service and they mentioned Airave and are sending me one for free. I also don't have to pay the monthly fee. Should be getting it today according to UPS. I think its kind of cool to have a mini tower in your house. Sprint is awesome for doing this. Shows they care about their customers.
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-11-2011 12:55 PM
  17. Riz1's Avatar
    kinda pathetic that you need this device to help with reception in the house...seems like a lot of customers need this
    07-11-2011 01:33 PM
  18. lennyj17's Avatar
    Fixed.
    The 3G Airave is actually made by Airvana....the 2G Samsung was the original Airave...

    Fixed!
    07-11-2011 08:49 PM
  19. evo4gMN's Avatar
    So I just got my Airvana tonight and the bars have gone from consistently 0-2 up to 4-5. I have noticed a huge increase in signal. I just tested the texting out with my fiance who is in the same room. I sent one text and she didnt get it. However, she got the next 4 i sent her. So i am not sure if it was a fluke or if it can be attributed to Sprints current SMS issues. Anyway, so far I am going to write it off as an accident. I am happy to have more bars in the house!!

    UPDATE: She has sent me two texts and one of them was sent 9 times in a row to my phone. I am going to monitor this SMS thing closely over the next couple of days and report back
    milominderbinde likes this.
    07-11-2011 09:10 PM
  20. BlackHawkA4's Avatar
    kinda pathetic that you need this device to help with reception in the house...seems like a lot of customers need this
    I've had Cingular to ATT, and currently 1 sprint and 3 Verizon phones in my home. Not one of them gets more than 1 bar off and on.

    Outside it's 2-3 bars off an on. A block over is 3-4 bars consistently. My home is a dead zone.
    07-12-2011 11:42 AM
  21. BlackHawkA4's Avatar
    So I just got my Airvana tonight and the bars have gone from consistently 0-2 up to 4-5. I have noticed a huge increase in signal. I just tested the texting out with my fiance who is in the same room. I sent one text and she didnt get it. However, she got the next 4 i sent her. So i am not sure if it was a fluke or if it can be attributed to Sprints current SMS issues. Anyway, so far I am going to write it off as an accident. I am happy to have more bars in the house!!

    UPDATE: She has sent me two texts and one of them was sent 9 times in a row to my phone. I am going to monitor this SMS thing closely over the next couple of days and report back
    Did you purchase this or is this one that Sprint sent you for free to keep you with them?
    07-12-2011 11:43 AM
  22. evo4gMN's Avatar
    Did you purchase this or is this one that Sprint sent you for free to keep you with them?
    They sent it to me for free
    07-12-2011 04:48 PM
  23. BlackHawkA4's Avatar
    They sent it to me for free
    So you have the one that does data? Sprint is sending me one for free as well; and, I was worried it was going to be the old model, lol.
    07-12-2011 04:49 PM
  24. evo4gMN's Avatar
    So you have the one that does data? Sprint is sending me one for free as well; and, I was worried it was going to be the old model, lol.
    They sent me the airvana the one that does data as well. Only 3g of course
    07-12-2011 04:50 PM
  25. BlackHawkA4's Avatar
    They sent me the airvana the one that does data as well. Only 3g of course
    3g is good enough with me. I get nothing at home right now. No 3g and my router is busted so my wifi never works. I always have to unplug it and reboot it several times a day if I want it to work. (Although wired connections work fine). I'll be happy with 3g, lol.
    07-12-2011 04:52 PM
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