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Sprint scores an 800 on the LTE!

WiWavelength

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by Andrew J. Shepherd

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 2:12 PM MST

 

As most of our S4GRU readers are aware, Sprint is pursuing a three pronged approach to LTE. Tri band 25/26/41 LTE 1900/800/2600 -- the first two bands operating as FDD in Sprint and Nextel PCS 1900 MHz and SMR 800 MHz spectrum, the last operating as TDD in Clearwire BRS/EBS 2600 MHz spectrum.

 

A year and a half ago in the early days of Network Vision, S4GRU was the first web site to offer a peek at a live Sprint LTE downlink carrier. We did likewise in running tri band hotspot field tests upon the emergence of Sprint/Clearwire TD-LTE 2600 in Denver this past summer.

 

But the missing piece in the tri band LTE strategy has been the 800 MHz spectrum and the decisive propagation advantages it brings to the table. Then, three weeks ago, S4GRU was able to start sourcing inside info on a few but growing number of band 26 site acceptances around the country. And today, S4GRU presents an exclusive first look at a live Sprint LTE 800 carrier.

 

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From the spectrum analyzer RF sweep, we can see that this site has achieved SMR 800 MHz deployment completion. On the left is the 1.25 MHz FDD CDMA1X 800 downlink carrier at band class 10 channel assignment 476, which equates to center frequency 862.9 MHz. On this site, CDMA1X 800 was deployed earlier this year just prior to the Nextel iDEN 800 shutdown. But LTE 800 did not follow -- until now.

 

On the right is the newborn 5 MHz FDD LTE 800 downlink carrier. Temporarily, connections to the LTE 800 carrier are not yet allowed, so an exact EARFCN cannot be determined. But frequency domain analysis suggests a downlink EARFCN 8763, which equates to center frequency 866.3 MHz and is smack dab in the middle of the EARFCN 8761-8765 range that I predicted in one of my engineering screen articles earlier this year.

 

In our Premier sponsors section, S4GRU continues to track ongoing band 26 LTE 800 site acceptances, which should accelerate rapidly over the next several weeks and months. Most progress thus far is in the Chicago, Houston, Kansas, Jacksonville, and North Wisconsin markets. However, LTE 800 will continue to sprout up across the Sprint network -- outside of those areas encumbered by IBEZ restrictions with Canada and Mexico. Below is today's snapshot of the evolving LTE 800 site map.

 

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Source: author's field test, S4GRU map data

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And would you believe it, in the five minutes it took me to set up in a parking lot and run my RF sweep, the police pulled into the parking lot.  Fortunately, it turned out that they were there to assist two motorists who had been involved in a small fender bender.  But I thought that I was going to get questioned AGAIN!

 

AJ

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Anyone who is just a Sponsor should really consider upgrading to Premier Sponsor using Robert's Christmas to New Years special of 25% off.  The LTE 800 and LTE 2600 deployment maps are well worth the price.

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Thanks for the plaudits. The spectrum analyzer has come in handy over the past year and a half, has definitely been a worthwhile investment.

 

AJ

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I wonder how long until widespread rollout in the south florida, south georgia area. Those seem to have the most rapid LTE growths the past 5 months

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Is there a student discount for premier? I am poor :/

Yes. Student discount, teacher discount, military discount, conscientious objector discount, senior discount, junior discount, police/fire/EMT discount, Welfare-To-Work discount, SSI discount, Work Opportunity discount, non-profit organization discount; for-profit organization discount, cash discount, credit card discount, loyalty card member discount, clergy discount, union member discount, retiree discount, Mason discount, Order of the Eastern Star discount, DAR discount, medical professional discount, AAA discount, anyone not covered by any of the above discount.

 

$25 off but only until Dec 31. Act now!

 

Edit: Here is the Premier Sponsor discount offer link

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/5198-special-premier-sponsor-offerfor-the-holiday-season-through-new-years-eve/

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US/Mexico IBEZ area has been agreed upon both sides.  Right now there is a 30 month rebanding period that began in August 2013 and has to be complete at the very latest by February 2016.

 

http://www.fcc.gov/document/commencement-800-mhz-band-reconfiguration-along-mexico-border

 

Yes, but that does not mean Sprint will be able to deploy a 5 MHz FDD LTE carrier or even an LTE carrier at all in the IBEZ.  That will still depend upon coordination between Sprint and Mexican operators.  In other words, keep your hopes low so that you will not be disappointed.

 

AJ

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Yes, but that does not mean Sprint will be able to deploy a 5 MHz FDD LTE carrier or even an LTE carrier at all in the IBEZ.  That will still depend upon coordination between Sprint and Mexican operators.  In other words, keep your hopes low so that you will not be disappointed.

 

AJ

 

Well with the band plan that they have presented, it seems like those markets will only be allowed to deploy at most a 3x3 LTE carrier.  I wasn't expecting a 5x5 LTE carrier to deployed anyways. But even a 3x3 LTE carrier is still better than nothing and Sprint should be maximizing its resources whenever possible.  

 

However you are right that we should be keeping our expectations low.  Hopefully Sprint and Mexican operators can work something out where it benefits both sides. 

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AJ, I have a question for you, When 1X is shut down (yes, I know that's a long time from now) could they (where they own the spectrum) add 3 MHz to downlink to make band 26 a 8x5? 

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AJ, I have a question for you, When 1X is shut down (yes, I know that's a long time from now) could they (where they own the spectrum) add 3 MHz to downlink to make band 26 a 8x5? 

 

How the heck can you have a 8x5 when Sprint only has 14 MHz which is a 7x7 configuration (817-824 and 862-869 MHz)?  The most Sprint can do when they shut down 1x800 is either have two 3x3 LTE carriers OR have a 5x5 and a 1.4x1.4 LTE carriers 

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How the heck can you have a 8x5 when Sprint only has 14 MHz which is a 7x7 configuration (817-824 and 862-869 MHz)?  The most Sprint can do when they shut down 1x800 is either have two 3x3 LTE carriers OR have a 5x5 and a 1.4x1.4 LTE carriers 

Yeah I was think 14 MHz total in TDD not FDD, my bad.

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