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T-Mobile LTE & Network Discussion

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http://gizmodo.com/5...-everybodys-ass

 

 

A lot of people wrote T-Mobile off when its big merger with AT&T fell through last year. The pink carrier had no iPhone, no 4G. But with today's announcement of the company's official LTE rollout, it may have just put itself in a position to offer something no one else can.

 

For the past few years T-Mobile has been focusing its efforts on its HSPA+ network, which has data speeds up to 42Mbps. Now, that isn't as high as LTE's theoretical maximum, but in practice we've found that HSPA+ speeds are almost as fast as LTE speed. When testing the Nexus 4 on T-Mo, for instance, we got download speeds of 16Mbps and 2Mbps uploads. Not bad at all.

 

Why does that matter? Because T-Mobile's isn't replacing its lightning quick HSPA+ network with LTE. It's just building it out in addition. That's going to make a huge difference.

 

Say you're on Verizon, enjoying your wicked fast 4G data thanks to its girthful LTE network. Hit a low or no-coverage spot, though, and you get bounced over to its 3G network. That is a major dropoff in speed—typically going from 20Mbps to 1 or 2Mbps. Suddenly, it'll be hard to stream music, and web browsing will crawl by comparison. Even AT&T's HSPA network (HSPA 21Mbps) is only about half the speed of T-Mobile's (HSPA 42Mbps). In other words, T-Mobile's backup is fast enough that you probably won't even notice that you're on the backup, which is pretty awesome. (For a look at how LTE works, check this out.) T-Mobile will offer guaranteed uninterrupted zip, something no other carrier can.

 

We're not there yet, though, unfortunately; T-Mobile's LTE won't be live in until the end of March, it will take the company until the end of the year to cover 100 million people. Your LTE choice is also limited; the only LTE device T-Mobile currently has is the Galaxy Note II, which will have LTE enabled through an OTA update coming this week. Hope is coming, though; theBlackBerry Z10 will launch with LTE, and we expect that the Galaxy S IV and the HTC One will as well.

 

T-Mobile still has a lot to prove but if it can successfully deliver everything it's promising, it will be offering something the other networks can't. Whether that's enough enough to make you switch, of course, is another question entirely.

 

 

 

Thoughts? From what I've read on this forum, people seem to think that T-Mobile's network is the only one of the four major carriers that will really rival Sprint's post-NV network in terms of technology.

 

However, I have some issues with this article; what it seems to be focusing on is maximum throughput as a standard by which to judge all other carriers. From my point of view, T-Mobile seems to be more metro-focused. Most of my friends who have it live in a major city and get usable signal in many more places than I do when I’m with them. On the other side of the coin, when they’re in a more suburban/rural area, they drop down to EDGE while I might still have LTE.

 

I guess I would like to see some hard evidence that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ “fallback” will be used as frequently as Sprint’s EV-DO network when the LTE signal starts getting weak. As far as I understand, T-Mobile will only be rolling out LTE on the 1700/2100MHz band, which would be comparable to Sprint’s 1900MHz band. However, once Sprint rolls out LTE on 800MHz, even if it will not be on every tower, would that be comparable to T-Mobile’s HSPA+ in terms of coverage?

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Technology wise it will be great, but coverage is urban only. You get out of a population area and you are on 2G Edge, good luck downloading apps, streaming music, browsing the web on that dinosaur...

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Technology wise it will be great, but coverage is urban only. You get out of a population area and you are on 2G Edge, good luck downloading apps, streaming music, browsing the web on that dinosaur...

 

 

Agreed. Sorry, I was still editing my post when you added that.

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Technology wise it will be great, but coverage is urban only. You get out of a population area and you are on 2G Edge, good luck downloading apps, streaming music, browsing the web on that dinosaur...

 

This is the problem with so many tech bloggers trumping up T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ 42 network as a great fallback. Judging by the 3G/4G W-CDMA coverage area that T-Mobile has constructed over the last six years, if you find yourself in a native coverage area without LTE, you probably will not have W-CDMA either.

 

AJ

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"People seem to think that T-Mobile's network is the only one of the four major carriers that will really rival Sprint's post-NV network in terms of technology."

 

I can only speak for myself, but with WCS and AWS spectrum respectively, both AT&T and Verizon(especially Verizon) can build plenty fast networks. Both companies have the cash to build out NV style projects whenever they feel they need to. They might limit the modernizations to the cities, but I see LTE on AWS for Verizon having a greater footprint than T-Mobile's entire network. Also, everyone but T-Mobile has <1GHZ spectrum, so really T-Mobile is in a really tough position coverage wise. Price and siding with the evil empires are a bigger issue for me than network potential. Oh and AT&T's current network is crap around here.

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Fact is, T-Mobile will be cannibalizing some of its HSPA+ spectrum in AWS to make way for LTE. In some areas, all of it. Now they'll have PCS HSPA+ for backup, potentially DC-HSPA+ 42 Mbps, but in the same amount of spectrum that T-Mobile uses for DC-HSPA+, Sprint can deploy two 5x5 LTE carriers, with 75% more throughput in ideal conditions. In less than ideal conditions, Sprint can hit speeds on 5x5 LTE that T-Mobile takes DC-HSPA+ (double the spectrum) to achieve.

 

But getting back to LTE, T-Mobile will have a nice, fast network once they're done deploying. They'll have 10x10 LTE with similar cell sizes to Sprint's 5x5. Until Clearwire EBS LTE comes online, that probably means that T-Mobile LTE will be twice (or more) as fast as Sprint LTE...remember that TMo has fewer customers than Sprint.

 

That said, AJ is spot-on about T-Mobile's haves/have-nots situation with regard to network enhancements. I'm pretty sure Verizon and AT&T have less 1x-only and EDGE-only territory, respectively, than T-Mobile does, in an absolute site count sense...and T-Mobile's network is much smaller than either. That says somthing about T-Mobile's priorities.

 

For what it's worth, Verizon's upcoming AWS LTE network will probably cover 80% of what T-Mobile's LTE (AWS) network will end up serving, with not GPRS, EDGE or even HSPA+ but actual LTE (in 700 upper-C) serving as a fallback. Now Verizon's speeds may not match T-Mobile's two years from now when both carriers have 20x20 AWS LTE deployed (I won't be surprised when 100M down, 50M up tests roll in from T-Mobile's side), but that's not due to T-Mobile's inherent network superiority. It's because Verizon will have more subscribers using AWS LTE than T-Mobile; Verizon is 3x T-Mo's size last I checked.

 

That said, I don't have a problem with T-Mobile having higher speeds than VZW due to its lower subscriber cou nt. Keeps them on their un-carrier toes.

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Anytime I see Tmobile ads or even forum threads for that matter I just laugh due to their coverage for my area. They could at least cover the interstate system.

 

Sent from my little Note2

 

 

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T-Mobile is great if you live in a larger city. But drive 10 miles out of almost city that has 4G and you'll be on Edge or even GPRS.

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That said, I don't have a problem with T-Mobile having higher speeds than VZW due to its lower subscriber cou nt. Keeps them on their un-carrier toes.

 

I do have somewhat of a problem with T-Mobile's spectrum holdings. It does not make sense for the runt of the litter to have more spectrum per capita than the leading carrier does. If we are really going to allow the industry to consolidate down to just three or four major players, then we need to reconsider our approach to spectrum management. Having the remaining players compete for spectrum fails to take into account actual need. Allow each carrier to buy spectrum proportionally according to its market share. Then, the carriers can compete on factors that really matter: coverage, service, policies, and price.

 

AJ

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I do have somewhat of a problem with T-Mobile's spectrum holdings. It does not make sense for the runt of the litter to have more spectrum per capita than the leading carrier does. If we are really going to allow the industry to consolidate down to just three or four major players, then we need to reconsider our approach to spectrum management. Having the remaining players compete for spectrum fails to take into account actual need. Allow each carrier to buy spectrum proportionally according to its market share. Then, the carriers can compete on factors that really matter: coverage, service, policies, and price.

 

AJ

 

But, if you break the holdings up this way, how can you ever hope to have those market share proportions change?

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But, if you break the holdings up this way, how can you ever hope to have those market share proportions change?

 

Spectrum would be leased from the public to wireless carriers on a yearly basis, then reapportioned annually. Unlike auctions, which create periodic windfalls, this would ensure a steady stream of revenue to the Treasury. And my understanding is that Japan manages its wireless spectrum this way.

 

AJ

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This is the problem with so many tech bloggers trumping up T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ 42 network as a great fallback. Judging by the 3G/4G W-CDMA coverage area that T-Mobile has constructed over the last six years, if you find yourself in a native coverage area without LTE, you probably will not have W-CDMA either.

 

AJ

 

Exactly.... Found it funny that the article talked in very general terms making giant assumptions... Just because you lose X signal type doesn't mean you will fall back to #2 type.... If coverage area for both kinds are the same you'd be skipping #2 all together and jump straight to the 3rd option...

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Say you're on Verizon, enjoying your wicked fast 4G data thanks to its girthful LTE network. Hit a low or no-coverage spot, though, and you get bounced over to its 3G network. That is a major dropoff in speed—typically going from 20Mbps to 1 or 2Mbps. Suddenly, it'll be hard to stream music, and web browsing will crawl by comparison.

 

What kind of music app struggles to stream with 1-2 Mbps? I've streamed Pandora on high quality with a little less than that.

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For what it's worth, Verizon's upcoming AWS LTE network will probably cover 80% of what T-Mobile's LTE (AWS) network will end up serving, with not GPRS, EDGE or even HSPA+ but actual LTE (in 700 upper-C) serving as a fallback. Now Verizon's speeds may not match T-Mobile's two years from now when both carriers have 20x20 AWS LTE deployed (I won't be surprised when 100M down, 50M up tests roll in from T-Mobile's side), but that's not due to T-Mobile's inherent network superiority. It's because Verizon will have more subscribers using AWS LTE than T-Mobile; Verizon is 3x T-Mo's size last I checked.

 

That said, I don't have a problem with T-Mobile having higher speeds than VZW due to its lower subscriber cou nt. Keeps them on their un-carrier toes.

Verizon is actually going to have 2x20Mhz AWS LTE this year in quite a few markets. They don't have to wait for any merger to finalize, for refarm to happen, they could deploy 2x20Mhz as a secondary LTE carrier today in NYC for example.

They have contiguous 40Mhz of AWS (A+B block) just sitting and waiting here.

 

So I'm expecting to see 100Mbps, or 150Mbps (with Cat 4 UE) coming from Verizon much earlier than T-Mobile, most likely H2 2013. :)

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This is the problem with so many tech bloggers trumping up T-Mobile's DC-HSPA+ 42 network as a great fallback. Judging by the 3G/4G W-CDMA coverage area that T-Mobile has constructed over the last six years, if you find yourself in a native coverage area without LTE, you probably will not have W-CDMA either.

 

AJ

 

Not only that but T-Mobile has legacy equipment in these rural stations of nothingness, and no SMR like spectrum to deploy. Sure they can buy the 700 A spectrum off VZW and other partners but that's far from a clincher.

 

I also believe T-Mobile should consider buying some rural carriers. MTPCS, Viaero, and MobileNation (currently operating as a Sprint Rural Alliance) would all be on my hit list if I were T-Mobile. I'd also look at King Street and US Cellular spectrum. USCC has a bunch of spectrum in the Carbondale Marion BTA they never built out.

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If you're going to compare T-Mobile's near future plans to Sprint's, then wouldn't a huge point be the 800 mHz LTE Sprint will have? I could care less if a carrier offers me 10 Mbps versus 50+ Mbps average downloads if they have far better in-building reception.

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Adding to that, even sprints lte 1900 will penetrate better than tmobiles lte on aws I would guess. Then again, tmobile has the greatest site density at least in metropolitan Detroit, compared to any other carrier by far. So that may make up for it. As for rural areas though, completely different story. Tmobile is an urban carrier and that's what they seem to be focused on. Att and verizon are really the only options for rural customers, tmobile isnt planning on overlaying their current edge network, but even if they do, there is no sub ghz spectrum for adequate coverage. One day sprint may be a 3rd option for rural customers with smr. But more towers will be needed to fill In the gaps.

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So i just read that Tmobiles 4G LTE would launch later this month and would cover about 200 million Americans. I was just wondering why they would be able to go from 0 to 200 million in 9 months and it is taking sprint longer. I was under the impression that both Sprint and Tmobile had the same kind of revenue flow.

 

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57575712-94/t-mobile-testing-4g-lte-in-more-than-eight-cities/

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I think T-Mobile's plan is very optimistic, maybe if all 200 million people went to work and didn't go home, didn't use the phone on the way to work, slept at work.

 

Sprint's is a little less optimistic than that.

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They should have a bit of a time advantage because they already have fiber to their hspa+ locations speeding up the whole lte process.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2

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Maybe 2,000,000 that's all

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

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T-Mobile has had fiber to almost 100% of their HSPA+ footprint for a while now. Sprint basically has to put fiber or other backhaul at every site that they upgrade to NV.

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i read that open signal found tmobile lte in denver. las vegas kansas city new orleans new york san diego san jose seattle

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I found Tmo LTE in Albuquerque this week. But it would not authenticate.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II via Tapatalk

 

 

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The biggest problem with T-mobile is not the speed of their LTE deployment (which should be faster than Sprint in metro areas as they don't have to wait on backhaul) but is the fact that their LTE will only overlay their HSPA+ footprint. The majority of their network outside metro areas are still Edge / 2g. The difference for a T-mobile LTE subscriber will be immense dropping from LTE to edge whereas Sprint at least has 3g on the rurals and LTE coming soon.

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