Dec 29 AT 10:44 PM Christopher Chavez 80 Comments

Sprint users: Get FULL bars in your home with the Airave Airvana

If you are with Sprint and have horrible reception in your home it could be a living nightmare. You’re kind of stuck in this cellular limbo it feels like. Not quite dead… but not quite living either. Well, if you think there’s nothing you can do about it you’re wrong. Dead wrong.

I recently found out about a device and service Sprint offers to its customers living in bad coverage areas and all you have to do it call in and request it. It’s called the Sprint Airave and it can very well be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

The Sprint Airave connects to your broadband modem or wireless router and acts as a mini cell phone tower giving you full bars and top notch 3G data speeds. The beauty of it is if you work in a big office building or live up in the mountains there’s no reason to suffer with poor carrier coverage.

I cannot tell you how awesome it would have been to have something like this on T-Mobile and I really think Sprint should offer some of their biggest accounts the Airave for free, instead of relying on its customers to request or threaten them for one.

Honestly my cellular life has just leveled up. In all my years living in my home the horrible reception was just a reality I had to live with and I honestly thought it would never change. I can’t even begin to explain the impact this has had on me. I make more calls, send more texts and the battery life on my phone has literally DOUBLED.

Now I just got to figure out how to get a second one for my workplace…

Source: Sprint Airave

Chris is a long time gamer and tech enthusiast. His newest passion is Android and its ever growing community. He loves people, food, life and lives by the philosophy that "you choose your attitude." He likes choosing a positive one. =)

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  • http://Website jerry

    isn’t that kinda the same as wifi calling app on g2 and mytouch? cause the 3g speeds would just be using ur broadband the same way

    • PixelSlave

      In fact, I am not even sure why he’s so happy. He’s essentially PAYING the broadband bill to make Sprint usable.

      • http://Website PETER MIKHAIL

        ummmm he said he got it for free…. they waved the charge

      • Christopher Chavez

        Like I said in my video, ALL carriers are unusable in my house. Since I’m with Sprint now, this is a GREAT option that not many people know about.

        If I was on T-Mo I would have made a video about their WiFi calling app that’s only compatible with 2 phones in their lineup.

        • http://Website UMA Fan

          Sorry to nitpick, but actually… three! (if we’re only talking about android phones) There’s the Motorola Defy which does wifi calling as well.

          According to the company Kineto, who created the wifi calling app for T-Mobile, OTA updates for their wifi calling app will be pushed to the myTouch Slide as well as the Vibrant. No one has any idea when these updates will take place. I’m going to guess whenever they get their froyo update.

          • http://Website oscillik

            but the point is that he is making calls using his Cellular connection rather than his WiFi connection and some application. this means that not only do his phone calls improve, but he can also send/receive SMS and MMS messages a hell of a lot better, and it requires no installation of any kind of WiFi routing software.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Yeah, its almost the same. T-Mo’s WiFi calling is great cuz its free and you don’t need an extra router like this to use it. Only problem is it uses your plan’s minutes.

      The Sprint Airave does not use any of your plan’s minutes so calls are unlimited.

      • http://Website Corey

        Sorry but that is not true. You need to update your article.

        The Airave and Airvana units allow you to call over your own network but DO subtract from your wireless plan minutes. If you want to utilize the unlimited calling option with the Airave/Airvana, you need to purchase the unlimited calling feature which is an additional charge. Here is the details from the horses mouth, Sprint:

        “Price plan is for qualified customers only who have an AIRAVE Access Point device. Provides enhanced coverage only and does not include unlimited calling”

        That is the from the $0.00 Retention plan code.

        More proof, from:

        Unlimited incoming and outgoing calls, including nationwide long distance, when using your Sprint phone and initiating your call on the device (requires an AIRAVE unlimited calling plan).**

        AIRAVE Enhanced Coverage Charge – $4.99/mo. (required per AIRAVE unit)**

        Single Line Unlimited Calling Plan (optional) – $10/mo. per account**

        Multi-Line (multiple phones sharing minutes on one account) Unlimited Calling Plan (optional) – $20/mo. per account**

      • http://Website Corey

        Also, T-Mobile has the same ability. Although they may no longer publicly mention it. It’s called HotSpot @Home Unlimited and cost $9.99.

        Best part about the T-Mobile HotSpot @Home (UMA) feature is that you can use it anywhere in the WORLD as long as you’re on WiFi and call back home to domestic numbers. Therefore you are essentially free to roam the globe and not pay international roaming fees or need a temporary phone/sim while abroad.

  • http://Website Juan Otero

    Is there anything like this for T-Mobile? I work at the airport and my phone drops out of 3G and into EDGE when I’m in my office. Even though I’m on EDGE sometimes its so slow it seems like I might as well have no connection at all.

    • Sean Riley

      Some of the T-Mobile phones offer UMA calling which performs a very simliar function in that it allows you to make calls from an existing Wifi network. Off the top of my head I know the G2 and MT4G have it, but I don’t believe they are the only Android devices with it on Tmo.

      • http://Website Juan Otero

        I was thinking of something more like a GSM signal booster, repeater, etc… There is no existing wifi network. I’ve heard of devices that allow people to get signals in like basements. Just wondering if anyone knew of any such devices out there.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Yeah, what Sean Riley said. There’s only 2 phones on T-Mobile that allow you to do this using an app called WiFi calling. As far as I know, T-Mo has a patent on that.

      Hopefully they start using it on ALL future Android phones cuz its a great feature from T-Mo..

      • http://Website Juan Otero

        Problem with that is that you need to have a wifi connection. Looking for something that will boost the available GSM signal.

  • http://Website DaveC

    AT&T has something similar. We looked into getting one at work fot our government Blackberries but IT shot it down fot security reasons. I wish there was something I could do about the barely usable Edge signal I get from TMo at my desk.

    • Christopher Chavez

      If you’re on T-Mo you have the option of using their WiFi calling app which would eliminate the need for an extra router like this but its only available for 2 phones in their lineup. The G2 and the Mytouch 4G.

      • http://Website johny

        All T-mobile blackberries have this option as well just a friendly reminder :-)

  • http://Website Ant man

    yeah i’ve been waiting for 1 month for mine to arrive, they really don’t want to give these away

  • http://Website bob

    so its free????

    • Taylor Wimberly

      No they actually charge $99 for the device and then $5 per month, but the customer retention hotline might make you a special offer to keep you as a Sprint customer.

      • http://Website AceoStar

        Could you edit the article to reflect the price? Free is awesome, but I’m impressed with how much cheaper it is than the others. I only wish they’d drop the monthly fee too.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Yeah, so like Taylor said, “to keep you as a customer.” You may have to tell them you’re thinking about leaving to get the router and the service for free.

      It was so easy for me I didn’t even have to threaten and the customer service rep was a great help. =)

  • geniusdog254

    This would be great if I had broadband access -.-

    • http://Website WickedToby741

      Ouch, thats rough.

    • Christopher Chavez

      YIKES! I think there are other options. I think I saw something about a “repeater” that amplifies your cell signal. Haven’t researched those yet though.

      • http://Website R.S.

        I actually have one of those “personal” repeaters (Zboost) but haven’t installed it at my new place.

        It made a world of a difference in cell coverage at my previous home. I went from constantly dropping calls, or not receiving any, and having zero or one bar, to always having three or four. Back then, I didn’t have a smart phone so I don’t know how well it improved my mobile broadband but I know that it did improve it.

        The repeater was dual band so it not only worked for my Verizon phone but also improved family members’ T-Mobile cell coverage as well.

  • Techrocket9

    Wow. I did the following:

    1. Saw this article on twitter
    2. Read article
    3. Called Sprint
    4. Free Airave coming next Monday

    Thanks, AndroidAndMe!

    • Christopher Chavez

      That’s great news! Mission accomplished! =D

  • http://Website WickedToby741

    I’ll just stick with Verizon personally, but to each their own. Sprint would probably be my next choice after Verizon though and this is a good idea.

  • http://Website onlyever

    How long have they had these?
    I know AT&T has had it for a long while, calling it the ‘Network Extender’, and I also remember hearing someting with Verizon to this extent?

  • http://Website tjbj500

    My service went from ok to nothing. I called up sprint and they told me about the airrave. They wanted me to pay for it at first but they eventually gave in and gave me the unit and service for free. I think its supposed to cost $4 a month.

  • http://Website jerry

    tmobile wifi calling app on my g2 free :)

    • Christopher Chavez

      Not to start a “T-Mo vs Sprint battle” here but T-Mo WiFi calling app still uses your plan’s minutes where as the Airave does not. Pretty awesome, right? =)

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    I tried tmo wifi calling an it was horrible maybe because it was tmo. : l

  • http://Website Mark

    Or just use wifi to call…

  • mmitchum

    Sweet! I just read this, called Sprint and had an order processed to receive the Airave for $0.00 and $0.00 per month all in less than 10 minutes! Thanks, Chris! Keep up the great work!

  • http://Website Redeye

    Just called and told them how bad the signal was in my house, 5 minutes later one is on it’s way to my house free and 0 monthly.

  • http://[email protected] Ray z3r092

    I just called to sprint and tried to order the airwave and they said i wasnt qualified because a near tower wasnt in my area and that was one of the requirements….

  • http://Website Dingle Berry

    I have the new Airvana. Calls are NOT free. Calls made on the Airvana ARE subtracted from your minutes. Better make sure!

  • http://Website watbetch

    WiFi calling is on the DEFY, Optimus T, the new CLIQ2, 9300, 9700, 9780 and a ton of other older Blackberries, G2, MT4G and unofficially: The Vibrant &, Nexus One.

    The Airave is far from news, and it’s problematic. There are lots of problems actually with the Airvana. WiFi calling just works better especially because it’s with your phone and not at home.

  • http://Website AceoStar

    If Sprint drops the first dual core phone that I want, I’ll switch to them because of this. Thanks Sprint!


    I’ve Had This Model For About 6 Months Now, It’s Not Due Out To Retail Sprint Stores Till End Of January.

    Make Sure You Guys Have The Really Fast Broadband Connection Because I Have The “Low” Broadband Plan And When My Roommate Starts Downloading… She Hogs Up The Bandwith And Calls Are Horrible!

  • http://Website jordan fritzsche

    You know Tmobile does the same thing with T-Mobile “@home” Google it, its a cool idea

    • Christopher Chavez

      I just did. Isn’t that just a home phone plan??

      • http://Website UMA Fan

        Actually when T-Mobile first launched wifi calling in 2007 it was marketed as [email protected] and was featured on a few dumbphones and all blackberries. For $10 month whether it be for an individual or family plan, all lines received unlimited calls that originated on wifi.

        You mentioned your parents have t-mobile and could benefit from unlimited minutes through wifi. If they have one of the old grandfathered plans, they should still be able to add the grandfathered unlimited wifi calling feature for $10 to the older family plans. Anything plan pre-2010 should be fine. They should talk to a rep who is a little well versed with wifi calling.

        • Christopher Chavez

          Thanks so much! I’ll be sure to let them know. Like I was saying before, most of their business calls are fowarded to their cell phone which are forwarded to the house phone. But with WiFi calling, it would eliminate the need for a home phone altogether!

          I remember T-Mo offering WiFi calling on this specific flip phone so maybe they can get one of those for super cheap =)

          Thanks again!

    • http://Website watbetch

      I have @Home, it’s not the same thing (it’s cheaper), $5 on my plan for unlimited calls with a regular phone and the account is tied with a sim card like a regular line. Calls made outside the @Home module with the sim will count against your minutes though & they stopped offering it. I believe they are reworking the offering..

      Unlimited calling for the Airave has always been an add-on. It’s not included with the regular service. Maybe that has changed, but that is how it used to be.

      • http://Website Corey

        Two different things. You’re talking about @Home. He is talking about HotSpot @Home.

  • igobyzach

    This is OLD news, I have had a Samsung Airave (never heard anything called the Airave Airvana) for a while now. I also got mine for free and the $5 charge waived for 2 years I think. They do offer a $20/month plan that gives you unlimited calling while on your Airave.

    Also some people have said on here that it gives you “top 3g speeds” this is not correct. The Airave ONLY provides voice coverage- as far as data you will have to use your home wifi.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Are you sure they haven’t changed it? Cuz I did speed tests and I where I was getting 80kbps before the Airave, I now get 1.5Mbps.

      And yes, its old news for some people but I’d say the vast majority of Sprint users have never heard of the Airave or even knew they could potentially get one for free with free service. That was the point of this post.

  • http://Website weirdroid

    Awesome ! Just called and mine is on the way. I love Sprint and they love me, five line family plan, customer for over 10 years. Now I’m gonna get rid of the home phone.

    • Christopher Chavez

      That’s great!

      That igobyzach guy thought this post was irrelevant and old news but I knew that not a lot of people knew about this service and the few that did, didn’t know they could get everything for free. Even you and you’ve been with Sprint for 10 years!

  • Kenny Rhule

    Heard about this a few weeks ago, after searching for signal boosters. Was not aware that they would send one for free. My dad’s company has 100′s of phones on his plan, so we just ordered one got it for free and surcharge fee waived. Thank’s for the info Christopher.

    • Christopher Chavez

      Yeah! Like I told the other guy, the few people that have heard about the Airave never knew they could get it for free with free serivce. I’m glad I could be of service =)

  • http://Website Joe

    Hey Chris,

    Thank you so much for this article!! I only found out about your article earlier today, through a Google Alert that I have setup for ‘Sprint’.

    I called Sprint earlier today and got it all taken care of. The Sprint Airave is on it’s way. They said they would wave the monthly charge and that standard shipping (which they are paying for) would be 3-5 days.

    Thanks again Bro!!!!!!!!!


    • Christopher Chavez

      You may even get it sooner than 3 days! (I know I did) =p

      Enjoy your bars, my friend! =)

  • http://Website Martel Lango

    Thank you for the heads up. I called Sprint and I will receive my Airave for free.

    Thanks bro
    HTC EVO 4G

    • Christopher Chavez


  • Kai

    I absolutely luv the fact that you continue to mind your comments section and respond\reply when you feel the need. Nice to know if we ask a smart question (or a dumb one!) you’ll likely get back to your readers. Much continued blogging in the New Year….

    • Kai

      Btw, just spoke to someone over the phone and was told they are out of stock and the stores no longer carry them :(

    • Christopher Chavez

      Thank you, sir! I try my best =)

      And you called Sprint and they said they were all out of stock on the Airave? =O
      Maybe too many people saw this video and made a call….. =/

  • ZRod

    PThey are not advertising this device due to limited production but production is being ramped up. That is why Sprint is hesitant to offer this and also why it won’t be in stores till the beginning 2011.

  • http://Website James

    There’s a fair amount of bad info in this thread. I’ll try to correct some of it:

    The old “AiRAVE” was made by Samsung. It was 1xRTT only, which is pretty bad for smartphones, as it means if you’re sending or receiving data (which these phones do a lot in the background), any incoming calls go straight to voicemail without a ring.

    Sprint also used to charge $99 to purchase the device, with a $5/month fee. Minutes were used normally whether on the AIRAVE or not. There was an option to pay another $5/month for unlimited calling while on the AIRAVE.

    In many cases, Sprint would waive either or both the fees, but you often had to convince them.

    In the last 6 months or so, Sprint finally released their 3G AIRAVE, made by Airvana. It’s a different product, and it does 3G data, which is great not just for the speed, but because if you get a phone call while sending or receiving data, it stops and your phone rings. No more straight-to-voicemail calls.

    The new Airvana AIRAVE has no purchase price, and no monthly fee. It’s not a part of their system. You don’t have to convince them to waive the fee, you just have to convince them to give you the thing in the first place. If they do, then it’s free with no service fee. Additionally, since the new AIRAVE is not purchased (for the previous $99) by the subscriber, it’s still owned by Sprint. That means you’re ready to return it to Sprint if you cancel your service. No big deal since it was free anyway!

    The one fee you might pay with the Airvana AIRAVEs now is device activation fee ($18) when it’s turned on, but that can sometimes be waived if you ask. They should only be giving out Airvana AIRAVEs now (no more Samsungs), but if you want to be sure just make it’s a “3G Airvana AIRAVE”.

  • http://Website James

    One more bit: the stores no longer carry them because Sprint no longer sells them. The Samsung AIRAVE was a product for sale. The Airvana AIRAVE is a Sprint-owned device loaned to you for your usage. AFAIK there’s no plans to carry them in stores (since they’d never try to make a sale on it), preferring to just centrally ship them out, but that could always change..

  • http://Website Whoamanwtf

    You should add that the device is 100 dollars and 4.99 a month after. This is a 100 dollar non refundable purchase price no matter your reception. If you did not notice the charge yet just wait for your next bill!

    • Christopher Chavez

      Did you not read the article OR watch the video? Or even read the post from James, the guy above you?

      Its FREE if you ask/threaten and the monthly fee was waived also (if you ask/threaten).

      • http://Website aphonics

        AWESOME info. I have known about this for quite awhile but never thought they would give it for FREE!
        Just got off phone with CS, only took 2 transfers and my new and FREE unit is on the way. Yes I did verify that no charge whatsoever, Unit/Monthly/Activation (NONE). COOL, no more standing on the porch in the cold with one leg raised pointing towards the tower.

  • http://N/A Jon

    I have had the Samsung version of the airave and I await the Airvana version now that I just ordered yesterday. There are bunches of people in this post who plainly don’t know what they are talking about and aren’t reading what’s been said here. Byte airvana DOES DO 3G speed and the airvana is totally different from the Samsung airave that I’m returning to sprint when my airvana arrives.

  • http://Website Kat

    I just got my free Airave and was told that if you have Vonage it will interfer, it takes a month or two I was told.
    Has anyone had any problems?

  • http://Website Bonetti

    This simply didn’t work for me on Feb 8th. My new EVO was ‘roaming’ in my own kitchen and 3G kept dropping out, so called customer service and said I had heard about the Airvana .. long story short and three transfers later, the rep asks me if I want to buy one! To which I said, err no not exactly, I just want to leverage a service I’m already paying for. To which the response was, “then just return the phone”, so I did and they just lost out on what would have been at least 23 x $80 a month ( $1840 ) for the balance of a two year commitment. Crazy!

  • pepe

    Awesome information. I was surfing the net before yesterday and had the luck to watch this video. Yesterday when I called Sprint CS and described the problem of drop calls I was very well treated. Transferred me to another girl and ready. It not only offered me the AIRAVE Airvana, offered me overnigth delivery mail for free. I received this morning Airave Airvana. Already installed and ready. Incredible as it improved the mobile signal. Now I have a full bar signal on my Evo 4G even when I’m in my backyard. In some parts of my house that I had a bar or no signal bar, now I have a full bar signal. WOW. All for free. The AIRAVE Airvana’s great. Thank You very much. Bravo, AndroidAndMe!

  • bob

    I own a airave in a so called great coverage area. purchased all new eqiupment. (evo 4gs) and still dropped calls 100 percent of txts come back undeliverable from anywhere near my house dont waste your money, and yes its hooked up right have a tech come to my house to troubleshoot it can find nothing. I TROUBLESHOOT MY HIGH END SPRINT EVO FROM A LOW END CRIKIT PHONE WTF

  • Worried Sprint Custumer

    I tried to call and no luck.. I told them about how I have been a sprint custumer for a long time and they mentioned about the airave and I said my “friend” had one they called and said what I said and they got one with the price waived and they said they have never done it and asked me if I knew what department my “friend” was transford too? Please help I already called and had my home phone disconnected because I thought this would work.. :((((((

    • Shelly

      I’m moving to a place that has zero coverage & I called Sprint & asked if they would let me out of my contract without a penalty fee because I need wifi calling – which I had on tmobile & wasn’t aware Sprint did not offer wifi calling – I originally got sent to the tech support – who said we checked your address & since you don’t even get roaming I’m going to send you to (I swear she said accounting, but I thought that was odd, do maybe accounts?) to see about getting the cancellation fee waived. When that dept answered, they said instead of canceling, we would liked to send you airave 2.0 (airvana) at no charge to you and then explained what it was because I hadn’t heard of it. UPS tracking shows it should arrive in 2 business days.

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  • thechad

    good article thanks

  • Kimberly Griffith

    Okay, so I know this article is old but I say something about this on Sprint’s website just now. I get horrible service in my home but so does every other carrier. My husband is in the military and is currently deployed. We do have a home phone but if he calls me while I am out and I come home and walk in the house, I loose him which sucks and I can’t just call him back since he is in Afghanistan and he can’t always call me back. Right now they are completely free. you just pay regulatory fees every month which she said would equal to about $3. If this boosts my cell coverage like they say it will, I will love them forever :) We just made the switch from Verizon. We were with them a long time but they were getting way too expensive. Hoping this works so I can finally get rid of the home phone!!

  • Kimberly Griffith

    Okay, so I know this article is old but I saw something about this on Sprint’s website just now. I get horrible service in my home but so does every other carrier. My husband is in the military and is currently deployed. We do have a home phone but if he calls me while I am out and I come home and walk in the house, I loose him which sucks and I can’t just call him back since he is in Afghanistan and he can’t always call me back. Right now they are completely free. you just pay regulatory fees every month which she said would equal to about $3. If this boosts my cell coverage like they say it will, I will love them forever :) We just made the switch from Verizon. We were with them a long time but they were getting way too expensive. Hoping this works so I can finally get rid of the home phone!!

  • Ollie Jones

    Hey, nice writeup on the Airave.

    This thing actually has a history. The original Airave was a Samsung product. Apparently it connected to a Samsung-operated gateway system to relay calls from the intertoobz to the Sprint voice network. At any rate sometime in August 2013, I believe, Samsung exited the business. This made my Airave worse than useless: it seized outgoing calls but then didn’t route them anywhere.

    Turning it off fixed the problem. But then I only had coverage on the top floor of my house.

    Recently Sprint sent me a replacement Airave, this time by Airvana. It works fine. This one connects between my broadband router and my cable modem.

    Sprint has never charged me a dime for this equipment (other than ordinary monthly fees and occasional overage minutes).

    I hit a problem with my internet traffic, though. DNS lookups were very slow with the Airave in the path. I just suffered with slowness for a while, until I got sick of it and decided to investigate.

    Here’s what I found out. The Airave has a DHCP server in it that tells my broadband router that the Airave’s internal DNS relay is the DNS to use. But that DNS relay is unpleasantly slow.

    So, I looked up the DNS servers for my broadband provider, and put them into my router explicitly. Problem solved.

    I hope this helps somebody else.