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Updating your PRL (needed to see new EVDO Towers)

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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6208
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Updating your PRL (needed to see new EVDO Towers) Reply with quote

This tip shows you how to update your PRL.

You need to update your PRL, so your PC card can see any new EVDO towers.
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WirelessGuy
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating your PRL (needed to see new EVDO Towers) Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
This tip shows you how to update your PRL.

You need to update your PRL, so your PC card can see any new EVDO towers.


Actually this is very wrong. A PRL, Preferred Roaming List, is used in CDMA, 1XRTT EV-DO and EV-DV to determine what network the phone is allowed to roam onto. This is done during System Aquisition, where the System ID (SID) is read from the Overhead channels and compared to the table in the PRL. Based on the frequency and the SID, the phone then compares that to a Preferred/Not Preferred flag to see if it is allowed to camp on the system. If you have Sprint, it will only allow to camp on a Sprint system (this can be adjusted in the Roaming Options of the phone, to allow for Sprint Only, or Automatic which then allows Sprint Roaming Partner networks to work as well) but will not camp on Verizon, US Cellular or Cricket CDMA networks. If you do get on a roaming, or Less Preferred network in a particular geographic region set up in the PRL, the phone will periodically scan for the Most Preferred network in that region.

Finding new towers is a process of Neighbor Relations, built into the network performance data. If a new tower comes into an area, the RF Engineer for that company will have to put it into adjoining sites neighbors for your device to be able to scan to the new site. You could lock onto the new one, but then if there is no neighbors you would never be able to scan to another, causing an "island" condition, that leads to out of service conditions and/or dropped calls.

I know this is pretty long, but as a guy who spent 10 years designing, optimizing and teaching CDMA technology for a living, I just like the facts out there to be clear. This one is a bit of pet peave of mine as most sales people use this to make people think they changed something in a bad device by adding new towers by the PRL. Instead they need to properly test, listen to the customer and solve their real issues.
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
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Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello WirelessGuy and welcome to EVDOforums,

We appreciate all input here from all types of people with all types of knowledge - so keep the posts coming.

Over the last few months, I have talked to a dozen different people, who were in a newer BroadbandAccess city and their older PC5220 card was only "seeing" 1xRTT. I find out they have NEVER done a PRL update to the card in a year or two. After doing a PRL update, the card now "sees" the EVDO towers.

So, from a very non-technical point of view, the PRL needs to be updated to "see" the new towers.
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xenophon
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 2033

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRL for EVDO appears to mean something different. There is no such thing as EVDO roaming yet both Sprint/Verizon often update the EVDO PRL. For Sprint, the EVDO PRL release number is different than for cell phones.

It does appear the EVDO PRL updates do allow others to see more towers.
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Zorog
EVDO Heavy User


Joined: 08 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those cases where everyone is right.

However...

The PRL for EVDO is different than the traditional CDMA PRL.

The new PRL format (IS683C) contains the granularity needed to go all the way down to the cell site level using the new subnetID (IPv6) field and mask. EVDO System acquisition is now different than the traditional geo-coded CDMA/1XRTT. If you install a non-EVDO PRL on your device, you will only see 1XRTT.

The new PRL can identify different rating areas, toll areas, private networks, MSC boundaries, or any other subdivision the operator may want to distinguish within what was previously known as the “SID”.

You should not have to “pull” the PRL via OTASP (Over The Air Service Provisioning), your Carrier should be “pushing” the PRL updates to you OTAPA (Over The Air Parameter Administration). Most Carriers routinely push PRL updates to you about once per month, so you probably never even heard of this whole issue.

If you are interested, the CDG (CDMA Development Group) has white papers posted on the changes to the PRL.
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WirelessGuy
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Joined: 18 Oct 2005
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Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zorog wrote:
This is one of those cases where everyone is right.

However...

The PRL for EVDO is different than the traditional CDMA PRL.

The new PRL format (IS683C) contains the granularity needed to go all the way down to the cell site level using the new subnetID (IPv6) field and mask. EVDO System acquisition is now different than the traditional geo-coded CDMA/1XRTT. If you install a non-EVDO PRL on your device, you will only see 1XRTT.

The new PRL can identify different rating areas, toll areas, private networks, MSC boundaries, or any other subdivision the operator may want to distinguish within what was previously known as the “SID”.

You should not have to “pull” the PRL via OTASP (Over The Air Service Provisioning), your Carrier should be “pushing” the PRL updates to you OTAPA (Over The Air Parameter Administration). Most Carriers routinely push PRL updates to you about once per month, so you probably never even heard of this whole issue.

If you are interested, the CDG (CDMA Development Group) has white papers posted on the changes to the PRL.


Thanks for the update. I knew about the changes, however most carriers I know are not using the IS683C PRL, they are just using the capability messages to allow the EV-DO modems to know that the sector supports EV-DO. If Verizon has switched over, then that is great news as it will allow mobiles to be faster at determining what network it should be monitoring.
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Michael
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as a followup to this thread.

We had at least 5 people come to our booth at MacWorld and they said, I thought San Francisco was a broadband city, we are only getting 50Kbps speeds here. Most, were running the older PC5220 and they were not aware that you can easily update the PRL (hold down option key while clicking on signal strength indicator in menu bar and selecting Activation, any other card, just do an activate in your VZAccess software).

After doing the Activation (or PRL update), all those people who were getting 50Kbps speeds, were now getting 600Kbps (or more).

So, remember update your PRL (or subscribe to our free notification lists up here and we will tell you when it is time to do the update).
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netnut
EVDO User


Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,
Can you please post instruction on how to update the PRL on Sprint S620 using the latest version of the Sprint PCS connection Mananger? 3.01.007 is the latest version available.

I looked at the link in the referring article and cannot find valid info fo doing so with the current version of the Sprint software.

Thanks,
Bryan
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csill
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject: Update S620 PRL Reply with quote

I am new to the forum and just want to say that I have learned a lot over the past few weeks with all the info contained within. Thanks.

Question. How do you get the Sprint Merlin S620's PRL updated. I have contacted Sprint Data Support and was told that PRL updates were not required on these conection cards. Is that correct? If not, then has anyone had success in getting a new PRL update for the S620, and what was the process.

Many thanks in advance.
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xenophon
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 2033

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I called into Sprint and talked to a tier 2 tech on updating PRLs for EVDO cards. The tech said it is not necessary. I asked then why is there a PRL update for EVDO phones but not for EVDO data cards - the voice/1xrtt PRL is different than EVDO PRL. He had no decent explanation.

It's easy to update the PRL on Sprint EVDO phones by dialing *2 but for cards he said you have to take it into a store, but that the card can find new towers on its own (according to whomever he checked with). This may be the case as I've never had problems with EVDO in areas claimed to have coverage and I've been able to get EVDO in areas not even marked for future coverage.

My S620 card is at PRL 20212 but there are EVDO phones with 20217 and the tech validated there are S620 cards with 20215. Anyone have a data card with PRL higher than 20212? I had a Sierra card very early on with Sprint and If I recall, I think it updated after doing an Update Profile. Doesn't work with S620.

So the question is still up in the air, at least for Sprint. Is a PRL update really necessary for EVDO?

BTW, if you want to drill a tech person, Tier 2 support is at...
1-866-818-1944
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Michael
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my understanding (may be wrong, so someone in the know, please correct me).

PRL = Preferred Roaming List

Verizon EVDO really needs this, because they acquire different providers and since these start off as different networks - require a PRL to glue all the networks together.

Sprint EVDO doesn't need to change PRL (have they at all?), since they build their own network and they do not require the PRL update to work with new areas - since it is their network.
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Nexx9
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 27 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRL 20218 here, on my Sprint Merlin S620.

I never checked my PRL before today's firmware and software update (to s'ware 3.04.001, f'ware 1.55) so this may be as of today.

By the way, I'm getting better speeds, and while my SigStrength at home in the same exact spot was usually around -83, now it hovers around -72 to -74, and the RSSI which used to be around 26 is now 30 to 32 most of the time. Nex
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netnut
EVDO User


Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like they have finally addressed the Auto-update issue. It actually works now. I am downloading the new version through it now! Yea. Homepfully this will have the system select option (RTT, DO, Hybrid).
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jeb
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads-up! Though it may be obvious to most, use the Connection Manager update menu to download the update of the software & firmware.
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ralphsears
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: Updates when Using KR1? Reply with quote

How do I keep my PRL updated when I'm using a KPC650 with a KR1 on a desktop computer, (OS X)? Rolling Eyes
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