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Topic # 242245 17-Oct-2018 13:55
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I have a question about SIMs for RBI: I'm out in the wops a lot with no phone coverage. If I buy a phone with Band28, will a standard VF SIM access RBI towers, or do I need a special SIM?

 

I'm told VF controls who accesses RBI towers for load balance management, so fixed-location RBI customers technically only pay for access to the tower their antenna points to (carrier aggregation aside), and urban users cannot get access to RBI at all.

 

I'm a WirelessNation customer, and assume I pay a premium for the privelidge of being able to swan around the country with my B525 router, accessing every tower I come across. W/N tell me the SIM in the B525 is locked to work only with my specific router and no other.

 

So all SIMs are not created equal, which to me leaves open the question of whether phone users get access to RBI towers or not? VF help desk's response to the question ("I don't see why not...") was vague and unconvincing.

 

Thoughts, anyone?


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  Reply # 2109756 17-Oct-2018 13:58
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My understanding (from our wholesaler that we buy RBI from), the SIM is locked only to the router. The router is not locked to a tower/area. I don't believe the towers are specifically "RBI towers", they still support normal handset access.


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  Reply # 2109760 17-Oct-2018 13:59
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The SIM may be locked to that device, this is common for almost all LTE based providers.

 

There are a few VF Resellers who allow BYOD, thus no restriction on device the sim can go into.

 

 

 

Last i checked, VF don't have any bands dedicated to wireless so mobile devices can use them.





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  Reply # 2110090 17-Oct-2018 22:14
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Thanks guys, seems I didn't pose my question clearly enough....but let me answer chevo first. A Chorus engineer advised me that RBI/ISPs have to pay for each RBI tower (by "towers" I mean the RBI transponders on towers which usually offer other mobile services) they offer their service through.

 

I had been asking why some RBI/ISPs offer cheaper services than WirelessNation, and the reply was because WN have contracted to pay for bandwidth/service through every RBI tower in the country, whereas a small town ISP offering RBI over a limited area may only need to pay for their use of 2 or 3 towers. So no, routers are not locked to towers, but their antenna(s) had better be pointing to one of the specific tower(s) their RBI/ISP and specific SIM is enabling.

 

Thanks Hio77 - your comments seem to be close to my question, but I don't understand

 

"Last i checked, VF don't have any bands dedicated to wireless so mobile devices can use them."

 

Let me rephrase my question: If I put a standard VF SIM into a Band28-capable phone, and go way out in the wops where there is no other coverage, will that SIM permit use of band28 RBI as a 4G phone service, or is RBI restricted to only those routers with RBI/ISP specific SIMs?

 

Or is a 4G-band28-capable phone not necessarily an RBI device, or lack the hardware to be one? Or is a special SIM required to permit 4G RBI access for a normal 4G-band28 phone?

 

Mighty grateful for any help :D


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  Reply # 2110095 17-Oct-2018 22:25
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If a RBI site is owned by another entity, sure there would be some sort of an agreement.

 

 

 

There are providers who operate LTE networks that aren't the big 3. These are few and far between though.

 

Most are Wifi based service.

 

 

 

Wireless Nation are one of the networks that do operate in CBD over LTE, Quite high frequency though. 

 

B28 spectrum is very limited, to my knowledge none of the wireless operators have any of this space.

 

 

 

to directly answer your question for B28 on mobiles, none of the providers limit this spectrum. It's the king at the moment for Rural LTE Coverage.

 

I'm sitting here with access to both B28 on Spark and VF.

 

 





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  Reply # 2110695 18-Oct-2018 21:44
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Thanks again Hio77 - that confirms what I suspected, altho I doubt Spark has a service on band28.  The documents I've seen suggest VF, who won the RBI contract, purchased the entire band for RBI in Oct 2013, deployed the first 4G services on 700 MHz in July 2014, and have been expanding it since then. I can't see any spare space on 700 for Spark.

 

Regardless, I'm still not sure if we're on exactly the same page - are you 100% sure that if you were way out on the Desert Road somewhere, with no other coverage than RBI, your phone would happily take and make calls, and exchange data?

 

Would you mind popping out there to check? :D ....just kidding....


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  Reply # 2110701 18-Oct-2018 21:54
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tanihera:

 

Thanks again Hio77 - that confirms what I suspected, altho I doubt Spark has a service on band28.  The documents I've seen suggest VF, who won the RBI contract, purchased the entire band for RBI in Oct 2013, deployed the first 4G services on 700 MHz in July 2014, and have been expanding it since then. I can't see any spare space on 700 for Spark.

 

Regardless, I'm still not sure if we're on exactly the same page - are you 100% sure that if you were way out on the Desert Road somewhere, with no other coverage than RBI, your phone would happily take and make calls, and exchange data?

 

Would you mind popping out there to check? :D ....just kidding....

 

 

I'd argue spark have a much larger rollout of B28.. based on experience not statistics.

 

 

 

 

Based on spectrum, Spark have plenty more. and they make full use of that!

 

There are very few LTE towers that do not have 700 at a minimum. 

 

 

 

 

 

Document on the 700mhz auction: https://www.rsm.govt.nz/projects-auctions/pdf-and-documents-library/recently-completed-projects/digital-switchover-and-the-digital-dividend/700-mhz-auction/700-mhz-auction-notice-of-results

 

 





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  Reply # 2110928 19-Oct-2018 12:23
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Sweet! - thanks Hio77, for putting me right on that!  I think the documents I read a few years ago now) predates yours, and I prob should have checked the registration database too.

 

If you ever can definitely test whether or not RBI is a service that phones can also use, pls let me know either way. Cheers!


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  Reply # 2120270 5-Nov-2018 14:49
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I *suspect* you're thinking about this the wrong way around.

 

RBI is a marketing name for a specific series of plans and initiatives run over various networks, including 4G. It's not a technology, network, or spectrum on its own.

 

It's not so much your phone using the 'RBI network' as parts of the RBI service being delivered via the phone network.




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  Reply # 2121153 6-Nov-2018 21:14
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Thanks SS - my question was about band 28 more than the structure of RBI.

 

Specifically, I'd had a conversation with a Chorus engineer from which I understood that band 28 bandwidth is precious and access to it is managed to minimise tower overloading with consequent loss of RBI speed.

 

So I wondered, is 4G on band 28 so precious that it is restricted to RBI customers only?  And if so, is that achieved by special SIMs that enable band 28 in RBI routers only, that phone users don't get?

 

Or, does everyone with a 4G band28 phone get the advantage of the extended coverage with a standard VF SIM?


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  Reply # 2121169 6-Nov-2018 21:55
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Everyone has access to it.

The chorus fella is spreading a few misstruths.
B28 is major for rbi, this also comes into play for the likes of black spot towers.

B28 is the smallest option bandwidth wise right now.
Other bands are layered on top to increase capacity.

To take Vodafone as the example. They call B28 "4g extended"


It's not uncommon for vf to upgrade a ruralish tower with just b28 for mobile Lte coverage.




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  Reply # 2121174 6-Nov-2018 22:06
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If you look at the table above. Spark have 20mhz to play with (its fdd remember)

Vf have 15mhz
2d have 10mhz

At an assumption of 2x2 64qam that equates to
At 10mhz peak of 75/25
At 15mhz peak of 112/37
At 20mhz peak of 150/50
Those numbers change a bit depending on deviceand network support (eg do you have downstream 256qam or upstream 64qam or mimo configurations)

I can't really speak for what all the networks do overall or individually on a single tower.

There could be a constraint that means they cant do full bandwidth mimo etc..

As a end user you would wanna snatch up that bandwidth when you want. If there are a ton of b315s camping on b28 running a home that could run out fast.

That's where all the overlaying helps.

Is also assuming best case... What's to say that there isn't a cell edge customer pegging out at 16qam. That's where the real strain comes from not a mobile that uses a few gb a month!




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  Reply # 2121599 7-Nov-2018 14:52
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I've seen B28 on a VF phone with just a prepay SIM. Was well out in the wops though.


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  Reply # 2121624 7-Nov-2018 15:32
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SomeoneSomewhere:

 

I've seen B28 on a VF phone with just a prepay SIM. Was well out in the wops though.

 

 

my vf sim is camping on B28 right now, it's around places.

 

 

 

I'm siting in spark building :)





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Reply # 2121809 7-Nov-2018 21:32
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Many thanks guys....that's exactly what I need to know.

 

Certainly the Kaiaua tower (west side of the Firth of Thames) was recently upgraded with B28 enabling us on the west Coromandel Peninsula across the Firth who can't see the Orere Point or Te Puru towers to get an RBI signal for the first time.  Now I can look for a B28 phone for better coverage at home too - I didn't want to buy one only to find it was locked out somehow.

 

To be fair, the Chorus guy was doing his best in a conversation mostly about why we would never get fibre.

 

Super - I can't thank y'all enough.... 


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