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Thread: Rogers Network getting better in-building signal penetration

  1. #1
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    Rogers Network getting better in-building signal penetration

    Does anyone have experience with both networks?

    I have been on the Bell HSPA network for some time, and am noticing that although the network is pretty solid ... and vast (e.g., it worked in Yellowknife on a trip a while back), I have noticed it to be somewhat "thin" in Toronto.

    1. Inside Massey hall I have no signal to 1 bar. Rogers phones around me had full bars.

    2. Elevator inside my condo (Yonge & Bloor) no bars, Rogers phones have full bars. Inside my condo only have 1 bar. Rogers full bars again.

    3. Deep inside my office building (Brookfield Place), no bars. Rogers 2 bars and can use data (no calls).

    ... Although I don't have many complaints when it is working, it seems that the in-building penetration is much lower on the Bell HSPA network. Anyone else notice the same?

  2. #2
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    Rogers apparently used to have better coverage in the city but who knows. It varies by area. Go with whatever carrier gives you better signal I suppose.

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    Using the same phone?

    With my Vibrant I get decent reception with Bell in all sorts of places, the elevator at home and work, the bathroom here at work .

    If you're using the same phone I guess it could be tower placement, just luck that Rogers towers are closer than Bell's in your common locations. I know my apartment building must be very close to a Bell tower, reception is full blast in the metal-walled elevator.

    Finally if there really is a difference overall, maybe Rogers uses more 850 MHz downtown than Bell does? Fundamentally they're both using the same 850/1900 technology, either they've planned the network differently or maybe different equipment vendors account for it?

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    Yup - same phone. Blackberry 9700.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pnjunction View Post
    Using the same phone?

    With my Vibrant I get decent reception with Bell in all sorts of places, the elevator at home and work, the bathroom here at work .

    If you're using the same phone I guess it could be tower placement, just luck that Rogers towers are closer than Bell's in your common locations. I know my apartment building must be very close to a Bell tower, reception is full blast in the metal-walled elevator.

    Finally if there really is a difference overall, maybe Rogers uses more 850 MHz downtown than Bell does? Fundamentally they're both using the same 850/1900 technology, either they've planned the network differently or maybe different equipment vendors account for it?
    Rogers also has 2G or EDGE network, tends to penetrate a little better and when phone loses 3G it switches to EDGE, don't know why but it saved my *** many times downtown lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by angusou812 View Post
    Rogers also has 2G or EDGE network, tends to penetrate a little better and when phone loses 3G it switches to EDGE, don't know why but it saved my *** many times downtown lol
    Yeah, 2G/EDGE on Rogers certainly seems to penetrate buildings and also seems to work better in basements.

    @OP: check if the Rogers Bold 9700 is switching to EDGE and getting 2 bars with this, or if it's indeed 3G/HSPA. Not sure how this is indicated on a BB, someone else can pipe in if it is possible to check which mode is being used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staeit View Post
    Yeah, 2G/EDGE on Rogers certainly seems to penetrate buildings and also seems to work better in basements.

    @OP: check if the Rogers Bold 9700 is switching to EDGE and getting 2 bars with this, or if it's indeed 3G/HSPA. Not sure how this is indicated on a BB, someone else can pipe in if it is possible to check which mode is being used.
    You could just force it to only run on 2G, then switch to running on 3G as well to make sure it is using HSPA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by angusou812 View Post
    Rogers also has 2G or EDGE network, tends to penetrate a little better and when phone loses 3G it switches to EDGE, don't know why but it saved my *** many times downtown lol
    Yup, this is one advantage Rogers has over Bellus - phones will fall back to the 2g network when 3g is weak or having issues, but Bellus phones can't do this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staeit View Post
    Yeah, 2G/EDGE on Rogers certainly seems to penetrate buildings and also seems to work better in basements.

    @OP: check if the Rogers Bold 9700 is switching to EDGE and getting 2 bars with this, or if it's indeed 3G/HSPA. Not sure how this is indicated on a BB, someone else can pipe in if it is possible to check which mode is being used.

    My phone is in "3G" only mode. It isn't dropping to Rogers EDGE. In Toronto at least, Rogers EDGE has worse building penetration than Wind Mobile or any of the net entrants (try using it inside the Air Canada Center, for example). Rogers 3G however seems to penetrate everything.

    I checked a tower map and it looks like Rogers has more antennas in the downtown core. Hopefully Bell address a few more to beef up in-building penetration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    Yup, this is one advantage Rogers has over Bellus - phones will fall back to the 2g network when 3g is weak or having issues, but Bellus phones can't do this.
    The "advantage" depends on where you live/work/travel. Rogers has zero signal in most of Atlantic Canada while Bell's 3G is pretty much everywhere. The same can be said up north, out west, etc.

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    I think there are a many different factors coming into play (like in-building repeaters) so you really can't say who has better in building coverge overall.

    If you are in a building that has a Rogers in-building repeater, then it's going to "appear" that Rogers has better penetration but it's specific to that building only. I know Bell had many CDMA repeaters installed inside large public buildings in downtown Toronto and they were slowly being converted for HSPA coverage. The building where our office is located was suppose to be one of the early in-building repeaters converted and that wasn't done until like May/June of last year.

    I'm in a building with weak Rogers coverage. From my experiments with Rogers 2G/Edge and Rogers 3G (again assuming Rogers 2G/3G coverage is originating from the same place), 3G seems to have better in-building coverage/penetration. The same phone will be barely usable on Rogers 2G/Edge, but almost work fine on Rogers 3G. It's probably due to TDMA (2G/Edge) vs WCDMA (3G)

    Edit - might also be that Rogers 2G/Edge is 1900 only in that particular cell and 3G is 850/1900 - lots of factors
    Last edited by l69norm; 01-27-2011 at 04:16 PM.

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    GSM does seem to have much better signal propagation for some odd reason. The air interface isn't supposed to matter when it comes to signal but I've seen otherwise. It might have more to do with the phone's antenna though
    Bye!

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    Don't forget that "bars" means very little... Make calls on both networks and walk around during the call to see what your coverage really "feels" like. When you're looking at bars on an idle phone, especially on the 3G UMTS/HSPA networks the number of bars being reported is a little misleading. When idle the phone is only really talking to a signalling channel. When you make a voice call your phone and the network may actually decide to shuffle you over to another frequency as soon as the call setup begins.

    Otherwise, you may have full bars when idle, but when you try and initiate a call the network may boot you right off - or shuffle you to a problematic signal due to capacity issues. It's not as simple as "This network shows more bars".
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    I have been with Bell since they first came to BC, what 5 years now, and last fall I upgraded to HSPA with a Milestone I bought and now a Galaxy Vibrant, but since the switch from CDMA to HSPA, most of my house does not have coverage, and i call weekly from my work location with either no recepstion or dropped calls. In the 5 years prior I had maybe one dropped call on CDMA and now i can get 1-2 every work day, providing i can even get service at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l69norm View Post
    I think there are a many different factors coming into play (like in-building repeaters) so you really can't say who has better in building coverge overall.
    +1

    I heard it straight from the mouth of the CTO himself.
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