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Sprint Airave (Post #1 has a quick "FAQ" for help)

Ok so I got sprint to give me the airave for $18 upgrade fee instead of the $100 normal cost and they are suppose to waive the $4.99 mo fee.

The Airave came today I set it up and I have error lights going on. The sys light is flashing and no GPS. Now it's not activated I wanted to get it setup before calling as it says. Is this the reason I have error messages? Does it need to be activated first?

I plan to call in the morning to get it moving.



EDIT: To make it easier for others to locate valuable "first setup" steps, I have added this information here. Smoke this over and if anyone reading this needs any more support, by all means post here and you will get help. We can add to this quick list as needed, just send me a PM and I can add to or delete if necessary.

BIG BIG BIG "THANK YOU" to member ginglish for taking time to list these steps. Much appreciated!

AIRAVE AND AIRVANA install instructions:
Note AIRAVE is the original device AIRVANA is the newer model with 3G Data support. For simplicity We’ll use AIRAVE unless something specific to either device gets added.

Insure Sprint has activated the device on your Sprint account. They will need numbers off the Box Label. Sometimes it is done before they send the AIRAVE, sometimes you need to call. Check your account on Sprint.com. If activated you will see it listed.

Disregard the install instructions in the manual which calls for the AIRAVE to be connected MODEM/AIRAVE/ROUTER. This order is only needed if VOIP is in use (not currently available via Sprint), or you router is WIFI only. Some users report a significant slowdown of the home internet connection when connected this way.

Preferred and easiest connection order is MODEM/ROUTER/AIRAVE. This assumes you have open wired ports on the router.

Step by step:
Reset your Network (recommended but not absolutely required)
1. Power down your entire network, PCs, Router and Modem.
2. Power up the Modem and wait for lights to go steady.
3. Plug in your Router wait for lights to go steady.
4. Boot up your PCs and verify internet connectivity.

Connecting the AIRAVE
a. Plug in a standard Cat5 Network Cable into an open port on your router like you would for a PC and then connect the other end to the WAN Port on the AIRAVE.
b. Plug in the GPS external antenna into the GPS port on the AIRAVE and place the antenna close to a window where it can see the sky.
c. Plug in the power adapter to the wall and connect to the AIRAVE.
d. Watch the blinking light show. What should happen is that the BROADBAND light should go Steady Green, followed by the GPS light, and then by the MOBILE light going steady. This can take from just a few minutes to overnight.
e. With 3 green lights, check your mobile signal strength. Try making a phone call. You mobile will beep three times to acknowledge connection via the AIRAVE. You should see a blinking Green MOBILE light while on a phone call.

Note: if any of the lights stay blinking amber, reset your network, recheck your connections and check your router QoS settings. QsO off is recommended with no VOIP involved. If still having trouble Call Sprint Customer Services.


#1 Captain Sexy, Jul 9, 2010
I would return it all together and just tell Sprint to credit your acct for the year.

Case in point when I got the Pre i found out sadly that the airave was the only way i was able to get decent service in my apt. Funny thing was if you walked outside full 5 bars. Inside not so much.

Had the first one (yes there were more than 1 sent to me) all free by the way and free of charge each month, working great! Actually gave me a great boost in reception.

Than it went all down hill, the thing stopped connecting, never worked again, 2nd unit came in, same problem, 3rd unit this time it was the newly designed unit thats out now and same problem. Needless to say, Sprint tech level 10 or something, Netgear tech (my wireless router), Airave tech and everyone else you could name couldn't figure it out, be warned as airave and wireless routers sometimes don't play nice which i have a feeling between that and the GPS signal lock which is very weak at times is to blame (also another known issue for users as it puts your location when locked as far as 50 miles away), as everyone blamed everyone for our issues (optimum blamed airave, airave blamed netgear, netgear blamed airave) it was a mess -

They all went back, and I vowed never to use the product again, and for all that trouble they credited me $15 for a year and half ... What a waste of a product .. I hope you have better luck, as its a badly designed product on sprints end, why don't u think you hear anything about them in the product lineup and better yet why do you think they give the darn things away lol ...?!

I would say if you get it to connect leave it be, once that thing stops working it can takes weeks for it to reconnect if it does at all-
#2 LisaFitz, Jul 9, 2010
Do you have the unit near a window or did you connect the GPS antenna to the cable and place it near a window so it can pick up the GPS satellite signals?

Mine came pre-activated and didn't work until I placed the GPS antenna near a window.

I have a good signal at home, but at work my office is in an area that blocks good signal reception. Sprint was kind enough to comp me the Airwave and monthly fee.

Works great! Sprint is a wonderful company and has always been good to me.

Edit: I received my Airave after calling Sprint Customer Care and explained the poor reception issue I was having at work and how I could not complete a call without dropping connection. After going through all the troubleshooting steps, they recommended the Airwave as a solution and offered to provide it free with no monthly fee (I never even had to ask). It may have helped that I've been with them over seven years and I always try to be cordial and kind when I speak to the representatives-I know how stressful their jobs must be because few people call in to say how much they love their phone or how much they are appreciated for providing support.
#3 Daddo, Jul 9, 2010
Did you call or email to get the Airave?
#4 freeza, Jul 9, 2010
They actually wanted me to pay for an air rave! I told them go **** yourselves because no service is grounds for cancellation without etf and I am NOT paying you to remain a customer, That's ass backwards!! Only an idiot would pay for this...Mine works fine by the way.
#5 PrO1210, Jul 9, 2010
IIRC, it does need to be activated one you get it. You should be able to do it online. Once it's activated, be sure it is plugged into the internet and near a window to pickup a GPS signal, or plug in the external antenna and put that near the window. Mine works great. Our house is in a low signal area and the radiant barrier decking doesn't help the signal inside the house.
#6 baizej, Jul 9, 2010
If its been over an hour and you're still getting the flashing red lights, it probably needs activation. That's been my experience.
#7 Misbehavin', Jul 9, 2010
They should NIX the GPS thing.
#8 IOWA, Jul 10, 2010

Yeah I agree its completely unnecessary, but I suppose the reason why is that they don't want you to be able to take it over seas and be able to use it. :rolleyes:
#9 ARR22, Jul 10, 2010
It has something to do with using it in areas they don't have FCC or Government clearance or some BS. But that location data can be determined by your IP address more reliably
#10 IOWA, Jul 10, 2010
There are actually good, technical reasons for having it. It's transmitting on the same frequencies as 'real' cell towers and it has to play nice with them. It also helps with the transition between Airave and the cell network, it knows what tower to expect you to hit next.

Complete Rubbish.

EDIT: And here is a perfect example. geolocates to Sterling, VA, but it's actually anycasted in 6 different places around the world between the US, Europe and Asis.. and none of them are in VA.
#11 mynamewastaken, Jul 10, 2010
I had the same reception problems in my house when I got the Pre a year ago...Sprint comped the Airave and monthly fee, and reception is great now. I still have the 800 number for the Airave tech because there were some issues getting it to connect at first. But the tech stayed with it and it only took a day to get it going. It's worked great ever since. Keep calling if you need to...they were great for me.
#12 newswoman, Jul 10, 2010
#13 IOWA, Jul 10, 2010
Test your VOIP using the below links if call quality is a problem. I had problems with slow 1.2 mbps DSL and switched to cable broadband at 20 mbps since using multi devices ( 4-PC, Cell Wifi, Airave, etc will reduce your VOIP numbers.

MyConnection Server network assessment testing, network route performance, VoIP quality testing

8x8, Inc. VoIP and Broadband Speed Test

Mine worked great for about the past 1+ yr. after I sorted out the slow DSL as the problem.

Then when they added a new tower in the area which increased my interior cell signal from 0-1 bars to 1-3 bars I had problems with Airave dropping calls when switching from tower to Airave and then back.

Example would be walking past a large window and stop, phone switched to tower and then as you walk closer to Airave inside center of home area the phone attempts to switch back to Airave and drops the call.

Phone was set to sprint only (per tech) and still did this.

I turned Airave off, problem solved. Phone Batt. life is reduced because signal is weaker but no more dropped calls due to switching signal.

I would like to say with higher speed broadband and 0-1 signal inside home it worked great most of the time compared to nothing. I have tested Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, Alltel and they are no better. Maybe worse inside home. So I stuck with Sprint because they gave me the Airave which solved my problem and the lowest priced plan.

Good Luck!
#14 stkshooter, Jul 10, 2010
I will say this much, the airave made my horrible experience with Sprint somewhat better(I have a verizon version as well now)

I also had some issues with the setup...if you are still getting the reddish/pink light then you need to call customer service.

Idk what returning would do exactly?

you got it at a great deal...i had to pay the full 100 bucks...

but call because they have to activate it on your account and apply the charge and what not(although u did say they were supposed to waive the fee)

but still...
#15 carmendiva, Jul 10, 2010
Getting my acct credited is not going to bring a signal inside.
#16 Captain Sexy, Jul 10, 2010
It is near a window on top of a dresser with the GPS Antenera running accross the window sill.
#17 Captain Sexy, Jul 10, 2010
I emailed CS they told me I had to pay for it. I bitched, and then called CS and bitched. They told me I have to call tech support to get it free. They said not corp store. Went to Corp store, they said no retentions is the only one that can do it.

Long story short, if you want an airave call CS complain about the reception so it's on record then call retentions and they will give it to you. The guy was very nice he tried to do it all only for the taxes of $1.74 but I still had to roll with the upgrade fee. If i can get it working i'm ok with that.
#18 Captain Sexy, Jul 10, 2010

Ahh now this makes some sense to me. I have a radient barrier all through out the attic maybe that's why the 5 towers can't get signal in my house. Course Verizon did so maybe not.
#19 Captain Sexy, Jul 10, 2010
The Airave GPS has been a problem for many, some say the external GPS antenna helps.

I use it and it works great. No where close to Sprints saying 5,000 square feet for reliable signal..Maybe in an open field? Give -80 to -90 signal inside. Outside it sometimes hangs onto the Airave beyond where a reliable call can go through.

With the Airave & Wifi in the phone I have a cell tower at home! :)

Without it, service would be 1 bar..that would ruin the smartphone experience!
#20 DHAndroid, Jul 10, 2010
Anycast - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And if you don't believe anything you read on Wikipedia, go read RFC 4786.
#21 mynamewastaken, Jul 10, 2010
I live on a mountain top - basically all of the near by cell antennas are below me, and I'm completely surrounded by trees, many of which are 100ft tall... and that doesn't make for good reception for anything. I would have absolutely no signal on any carrier if it were not for the Airave.

This device is what kept me with Sprint when it came out, because they were the only ones to have anything like it. At the time I was seriously considering going over to T-Mobile because of their voice-over-wifi phones, but I didn't like that you were limited only to phones that supported it, and I didn't actually like any of the phones that did.

Sprint even gave it to me for free with no fee, and, I couldn't be happier with it's performance. Their small investment has brought them much business since.
#22 mynamewastaken, Jul 10, 2010
Still doesn't mean it wouldn't work reliably as a locater, considering it would route you to the nearest IP address, not to mention IPv6 would work just fine.
#23 IOWA, Jul 10, 2010
I had some things come up and didn't get a chance to get it activated today, but I still have red lights and the GPS ant ext is on.
#24 Captain Sexy, Jul 10, 2010
My airave is sitting up in my attic...never had a problem with it
#25 Admission:Regret, Jul 10, 2010