Jump to content
Deval

LTE Network Buildout - A Comparison between carriers

Recommended Posts

Deval    2,868

I didn't see a thread outlining this in this sub-section, so I figured I could start one and have some good discussion.

 

Being the tech sponge that I am, and my role at Sprint today, knowing the technical ins and outs of everyone's LTE network, including ours, is key.

 

That being said, with the collective geniuses that live on the board, can we have a dialog on each of the carriers' LTE plans, spectrum holdings, buildout model, etc.

 

I know Verizon is building out 10x10, with LTE rev 8 (I believe), and they are doing it per market, per site, by rolling a truck, bolting on the new equipment (base station, antenna, etc.) and leaving.

 

We all know what Sprint is doing with Network Vision, so what about everyone else?

 

Thoughts? Comments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ericdabbs    1,931

AT&T is also rolling out a 10x10 configuration in markets that they can thanks to the acquisition of the Qualcomm 700 MHz spectrum. Everywhere else AT&T plans to launch a 5x5 configuration at 700 MHz.

 

Tmobile is planning to rollout LTE in 2013 and they are planning on a 10x10 configuration on their AWS spectrum in their top 25-50 markets. I would assume for the rest of the markets it would use a 5x5 configuration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
S4GRU    54,568

AT&T is also rolling out a 10x10 configuration in markets that they can thanks to the acquisition of the Qualcomm 700 MHz spectrum. Everywhere else AT&T plans to launch a 5x5 configuration at 700 MHz.

 

Tmobile is planning to rollout LTE in 2013 and they are planning on a 10x10 configuration on their AWS spectrum in their top 25-50 markets. I would assume for the rest of the markets it would use a 5x5 configuration.

 

Also noteworthy is that AT&T is deploying no LTE in one third of the country at this moment where they have no 700 spectrum. For AT&T it roughly breaks into thirds. One third 10x10 LTE 700, one third 5x5 LTE 700 and one third no LTE 700. Presumably AT&T will try to cover that last third with LTE AWS. However, AT&T doesn't much care about that last third. Because rural and tertiary markets are of no concern of AT&T.

 

Robert

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
irev210    1,192

AT&T is also rolling out a 10x10 configuration in markets that they can thanks to the acquisition of the Qualcomm 700 MHz spectrum. Everywhere else AT&T plans to launch a 5x5 configuration at 700 MHz.

 

Tmobile is planning to rollout LTE in 2013 and they are planning on a 10x10 configuration on their AWS spectrum in their top 25-50 markets. I would assume for the rest of the markets it would use a 5x5 configuration.

 

Qualcomm's 700MHz "Mediaflo" spectrum is unpaired. Not sure I understand the part about Qualcomm 700MHz spectrum they can roll out 10x10 config?

 

Fierewireless actually had a good special report on it about a year ago:

 

http://www.fiercebroadbandwireless.com/special-reports/carrier-aggregation-how-att-will-use-qualcomms-mediaflo-spectrum-double-lte

 

According to that, it is just being aggregated - and not to 700MHz B/C block due to interference issues.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
S4GRU    54,568

Qualcomm's 700MHz "Mediaflo" spectrum is unpaired. Not sure I understand the part about Qualcomm 700MHz spectrum they can roll out 10x10 config?

 

Fierewireless actually had a good special report on it about a year ago:

 

http://www.fiercebro...trum-double-lte

 

According to that, it is just being aggregated - and not to 700MHz B/C block due to interference issues.

 

This is my understanding as well. The Qualcomm spectrum will not be used with their current LTE 700 deployment. It is going to be some time before AT&T can figure out how to use that with LTE Advanced.

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
irev210    1,192

This is my understanding as well. The Qualcomm spectrum will not be used with their current LTE 700 deployment. It is going to be some time before AT&T can figure out how to use that with LTE Advanced.

 

Robert

 

Seems like AT&T is actually pretty screwed, at least compared to Verizon. AT&T's arrogance seemed to get the best of them when they thought they could acquire T-Mobile.

 

If I had to guess, AT&T will buy Dish's 40MHz S-Band for gobs of money. That's probably their best bet.

 

Personally, I think Sprint's spectrum position with Clearwire is probably the best in the industry, at least in the long-term. When Sprint can have Clearwire deploy all of their spectrum in small urban cells, I don't think AT&T or Verizon will be able to match that. Sprint finally can deploy their ESMR spectrum so people actually have good suburban/rural coverage, PCS spectrum will be the mix of capacity and coverage, and ERS/BRS will be the overflow in the very small percentage of square miles that has extremely dense populations (IE: major cities).

 

Seems like high frequency spectrum that doesn't propagate well is almost a positive in an urban environment - more opportunity to recycle spectrum and deploy more small cells - and with LTE-Advanced it should be fairly invisible to the end user. And in Urban settings, when people are in office towers, ESMR and PCS should still provide great coverage.

Edited by irev210
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deval    2,868

AT&T is also rolling out a 10x10 configuration in markets that they can thanks to the acquisition of the Qualcomm 700 MHz spectrum. Everywhere else AT&T plans to launch a 5x5 configuration at 700 MHz.

 

Tmobile is planning to rollout LTE in 2013 and they are planning on a 10x10 configuration on their AWS spectrum in their top 25-50 markets. I would assume for the rest of the markets it would use a 5x5 configuration.

 

Does that mean T-Mobile will repurpose their PCS holdings (which is significant), for HSPA+?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Deval    2,868

Seems like AT&T is actually pretty screwed, at least compared to Verizon. AT&T's arrogance seemed to get the best of them when they thought they could acquire T-Mobile.

 

If I had to guess, AT&T will buy Dish's 40MHz S-Band for gobs of money. That's probably their best bet.

 

Personally, I think Sprint's spectrum position with Clearwire is probably the best in the industry, at least in the long-term. When Sprint can have Clearwire deploy all of their spectrum in small urban cells, I don't think AT&T or Verizon will be able to match that. Sprint finally can deploy their ESMR spectrum so people actually have good suburban/rural coverage, PCS spectrum will be the mix of capacity and coverage, and ERS/BRS will be the overflow in the very small percentage of square miles that has extremely dense populations (IE: major cities).

 

Seems like high frequency spectrum that doesn't propagate well is almost a positive in an urban environment - more opportunity to recycle spectrum and deploy more small cells - and with LTE-Advanced it should be fairly invisible to the end user. And in Urban settings, when people are in office towers, ESMR and PCS should still provide great coverage.

 

I have one major problem with this... Sprint's spectrum position with Clearwire which annoys me to no end. Sprint is building their own LTE network, and hopefully Clearwire will have some $$ to build theirs. If they don't, what will happen to all that spectrum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9erHater    11

Does that mean T-Mobile will repurpose their PCS holdings (which is significant), for HSPA+?

 

Yes, T-Mobile is going to do a network upgrade also. I don't think it's to the same lavel as Sprint, but they'll be using integrated radios on their towers.

 

With the spectrum they got from AT&T as part of the breakup and their own surplus PCS spectrum, they'll have about 10MHz of PCS spectrum for HSPA+. The main benefit is that they will be able to support AT&T unlocked devices with HSPA+ (like the iPhone). The T-Mobile native devices will continue to use HSPA+ on AWS. Once that refarm has been done, they'll be able to deploy 10x10 LTE in the freed AWS band.

 

http://www.fiercewir...rica/2012-03-01

Edited by 9erHater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChadBroChillz    298

AT&T is also rolling out a 10x10 configuration in markets that they can thanks to the acquisition of the Qualcomm 700 MHz spectrum. Everywhere else AT&T plans to launch a 5x5 configuration at 700 MHz.

 

Tmobile is planning to rollout LTE in 2013 and they are planning on a 10x10 configuration on their AWS spectrum in their top 25-50 markets. I would assume for the rest of the markets it would use a 5x5 configuration.

 

They said they would deploy lte in the vast majority of the top 50, but I do not remember them saying how many or how much spectrum, and they only mentioned that they would deploy 20mhz in 75% of the top 25 markets.

 

 

I agree irev. I think sprint is in the best position. If they wanted to expand their coverage, they could cover large amounts of areas with less towers using their esmr, and in cities, they can configure using pcs to have more towers for better capacity.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lynyrd65    831

Qualcomm's 700MHz "Mediaflo" spectrum is unpaired. Not sure I understand the part about Qualcomm 700MHz spectrum they can roll out 10x10 config?

 

Fierewireless actually had a good special report on it about a year ago:

 

http://www.fiercebro...trum-double-lte

 

According to that, it is just being aggregated - and not to 700MHz B/C block due to interference issues.

 

Now this is interesting

 

Carrier aggregation is in the next release (of the LTE standard) and gives us the opportunity to take disparate spectrum to get a 2 x 10 spectrum configuration even if you have a split like 700 MHz and 850 MHz," explained Rinne. "MediaFLO spectrum is one-way spectrum, and we would use that aggregation capability to add that and use it from an asymmetrical standpoint.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
irev210    1,192

Now this is interesting

 

I just assumed that ment TD-LTE + FD-LTE via LTE-Advanced. From the sounds of it, they are doing the exact same thing Sprint is doing. The difference is, Sprint has clearwire with 150MHz+ of spectrum in the largest markets, AT&T has 6MHz nationwide and a handful of markets with 12MHz (D+E) to run TD-LTE.

 

I dunno, maybe I don't know AT&T's plan... but not sure what else they could do besides TD-LTE with mediaflo spectrum.

Edited by irev210

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lynyrd65    831

It looked to me like they might try to do 700mhz uplink then 850 downlink as a carrier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ericdabbs    1,931

Does that mean T-Mobile will repurpose their PCS holdings (which is significant), for HSPA+?

 

Yes Tmobile is planning to repurpose most of its PCS holdings for HSPA+

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
irev210    1,192

It looked to me like they might try to do 700mhz uplink then 850 downlink as a carrier?

 

Their Cellular spectrum is already paired - wouldn't really make sense to do that?

Edited by irev210

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WiWavelength    31,432

I just assumed that ment TD-LTE + FD-LTE via LTE-Advanced. From the sounds of it, they are doing the exact same thing Sprint is doing. The difference is, Sprint has clearwire with 150MHz+ of spectrum in the largest markets, AT&T has 6MHz nationwide and a handful of markets with 12MHz (D+E) to run TD-LTE.

 

I dunno, maybe I don't know AT&T's plan... but not sure what else they could do besides TD-LTE with mediaflo spectrum.

 

No, LTE Advanced carrier aggregation supplemental downlink should not be confused with TD-LTE; it is still entirely LTE FDD.

 

AJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WiWavelength    31,432

It looked to me like they might try to do 700mhz uplink then 850 downlink as a carrier?

Their Cellular spectrum is already paired - wouldn't really make sense to do that?

 

The Lower 700 MHz D/E block 6 MHz unpaired licenses cannot be used for uplink, only downlink. And Cellular 850 MHz spectrum is inherently paired -- it already has both uplink and downlink that cannot be changed. So, carrier aggregation supplemental downlink could, for example, bond Lower 700 MHz unpaired spectrum to Cellular 850 MHz downlink spectrum to form an asymmetric uplink x downlink pair (e.g. 12.5 MHz x 18.5 MHz).

 

AJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lynyrd65    831

The Lower 700 MHz D/E block 6 MHz unpaired licenses cannot be used for uplink, only downlink. And Cellular 850 MHz spectrum is inherently paired -- it already has both uplink and downlink that cannot be changed. So, carrier aggregation supplemental downlink could, for example, bond Lower 700 MHz unpaired spectrum to Cellular 850 MHz downlink spectrum to form an asymmetric uplink x downlink pair (e.g. 12.5 MHz x 18.5 MHz).

 

AJ

 

Cool. It will be awesome to see this happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MacinJosh    3,988

 

Does that mean T-Mobile will repurpose their PCS holdings (which is significant)' date=' for HSPA+?[/quote']

 

T-Mobile is already rolling out HSPA+ on their PCS holdings in the west. Started late last year surprisingly.

 

Sent from Joshs Evo Shift using Forum Runner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WiWavelength    31,432

They said they would deploy lte in the vast majority of the top 50, but I do not remember them saying how many or how much spectrum, and they only mentioned that they would deploy 20mhz in 75% of the top 25 markets.

 

In my opinion, T-Mobile is a bit too optimistic. The PCS 1900 MHz from GSM to W-CDMA will not come easily nor quickly, especially in 20 MHz PCS markets, such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, etc. And T-Mobile still has numerous top 50 markets where it has no spectrum in which to deploy LTE. In short, T-Mobile still needs many years and more spectrum -- particularly AWS 2100+1700 MHz spectrum, as the T-Mobile-Leap transaction is just a band aid -- to pull this off.

 

See my established work on T-Mobile top 100 market spectrum holdings:

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArY31Mr219-ydG15eGR2aTR3ZDJ4ZW5GSGhza0FUQnc

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArY31Mr219-ydDQwQjNrR0R5eGlYV1FRQzhMd1gzMmc

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArY31Mr219-ydE92UVdnR3JGTlpPZWtYdk9pcGFYb1E

 

AJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
irev210    1,192

The Lower 700 MHz D/E block 6 MHz unpaired licenses cannot be used for uplink, only downlink. And Cellular 850 MHz spectrum is inherently paired -- it already has both uplink and downlink that cannot be changed. So, carrier aggregation supplemental downlink could, for example, bond Lower 700 MHz unpaired spectrum to Cellular 850 MHz downlink spectrum to form an asymmetric uplink x downlink pair (e.g. 12.5 MHz x 18.5 MHz).

 

AJ

 

Cool, I didn't know you could bond unpaired spectrum to paired spectrum.

 

Pretty neat they can do that.

 

I am grasping at straws here - but could Sprint do that with Clearwire's ERS/BRS spectrum (e.g. 5MHz x 45MHz)?

Edited by irev210

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WiWavelength    31,432

I am grasping at straws here - but could Sprint do that with Clearwire's ERS/BRS spectrum (e.g. 5MHz x 45MHz)?

 

Yes, you will see that I have long proposed just such a carrier aggregation supplemental downlink strategy for Sprint and Clearwire. But Clearwire seems to prefer TD-LTE, as it is a simpler transition from WiMAX, and Clearwire can sell TD-LTE offload capacity to other carriers but could likely sell supplemental downlink to Sprint only.

 

...another solution is to allot greater bandwidth to the downlink. And that is exactly what the supplemental downlink enhancement does -- it kicks in additional unpaired spectrum on the downlink on a dynamic basis. For a real world example, AT&T has supplemental downlink plans for the Qualcomm former MediaFLO unpaired Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum that AT&T is currently trying to get approval to purchase.

 

Now, surmise that Sprint deploys LTE 1900 in a 5 MHz x 5 MHz configuration in its PCS "G" block spectrum, as I stated in a previous post. For typically light data activities, the standard 5 MHz downlink would be more than adequate. But for intensive data activities, imagine that the network can aggregate that standard 5 MHz downlink with a 20 MHz supplemental downlink from the large pool of BRS/EBS 2500-2600 MHz spectrum. Sprint LTE would be, by far, the fastest 4G network in the nation.

 

An added benefit of using 2500-2600 MHz spectrum as supplemental downlink is that it would ameliorate some of the propagation concerns in that band. Path loss is a far greater issue on the uplink because mobiles are exceedingly power limited. Base stations, on the other hand, can transmit at power levels of hundreds of watts. Supplemental downlink would keep the uplink in the PCS 1900 MHz band for stronger propagation, would lighten the load on the 1900 MHz downlink for better balancing, and would put the heavy lifting on the 2500-2600 MHz supplemental downlink(s).

 

AJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rawvega    2,403

Yes, you will see that I have long proposed just such a carrier aggregation supplemental downlink strategy for Sprint and Clearwire. But Clearwire seems to prefer TD-LTE, as it is a simpler transition from WiMAX, and Clearwire can sell TD-LTE offload capacity to other carriers but could likely sell supplemental downlink to Sprint only.

 

 

 

AJ

 

With the abundance of spectrum that Clearwire has, could they not do both?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4ringsnbr    143

Verizon is doing a nationwide 10x10 buildout in their upper C block 700 MHz for LTE. I've heard from a couple of sources that they were (are) planning to do a 10x10 LTE in AWS, but they're still negotiating for the needed spectrum west of the Mississippi. They want to do this for VoLTE-only flip phones with VoLTE test markets starting up this October. The AWS antennas will make for a much smaller device versus 700. Their fallback is to setup LTE in PCS. In almost every market (Dallas being one notable exception), they run most of their 1x and 3G carriers in their Cellular 850 spectrum, so they should be able to pull this off if they have to. If so, Sprint and Verizon may be able to continue their national reciprocal roaming agreements (even with LTE!). Verizon is required to maintain Alltel's roaming agreement terms with Sprint until 2016 either way, but there may be various "outs" from those requirements that came with the Alltel acquisition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lynyrd65    831

Verizon is doing a nationwide 10x10 buildout in their upper C block 700 MHz for LTE. I've heard from a couple of sources that they were (are) planning to do a 10x10 LTE in AWS, but they're still negotiating for the needed spectrum west of the Mississippi. They want to do this for VoLTE-only flip phones with VoLTE test markets starting up this October. The AWS antennas will make for a much smaller device versus 700. Their fallback is to setup LTE in PCS. In almost every market (Dallas being one notable exception), they run most of their 1x and 3G carriers in their Cellular 850 spectrum, so they should be able to pull this off if they have to. If so, Sprint and Verizon may be able to continue their national reciprocal roaming agreements (even with LTE!). Verizon is required to maintain Alltel's roaming agreement terms with Sprint until 2016 either way, but there may be various "outs" from those requirements that came with the Alltel acquisition.

 

Tulsa is PCS as well. US Cellular got the 850 license here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • PROGRESSIVE RAFFLE
    FOR AN iPHONE 8

    iphonexiphone8.jpg

    WHICH CAN PROGRESS TO AN iPHONE 8+ OR AN iPHONE X
    **or an Android device of equal or lesser value**

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

  • gallery_1_23_9202.png

  • Posts

    • you'll need to flash the Sprint firmware. 
    • There are really two providers in Canada: ROGERS and TELUS/Bell. TELUS and Bell operate the same network. 
    • How is Canada's three wireless companies working out...
    • No. You are not based in reality if you think the wireless market is going to stagnate if Sprint and T-Mobile merge. 5g is coming and will be pushed by everyone in the market place.    The question is weather you want it to follow the same pattern LTE did or not. Would you like the big two to deploy a really solid 5g network and the other two to deploy an uneven networks or 3 solid th networks?    You anti-merger people dont understand the role capital intensive industries play in shaping such markets.  If a market is capital intensive it is more efficient with fewer players. Imgaine if the market still looked like it did in 2003, we would have plenty of players and regional plans with not even 3g deployed.   Sprint has 30 billion. They are able to increase CAPEX this year because they don't have much maturing this year.  This is not the case the next two years which means they are likely to starve their network again over that time. Mean while the big two aren't going to stand still. Sprint isn't growing top line income fast enough to make themselves viable on their own.      
    • This merger would stagnate the wireless market it would stink almost immediately.  You are pro-merger but already wondering if they would have capital to build and expand the network.  Sprint now has positive revenue to increase CAPEX for additional B41, MIMO, and 5G why hault the improvements that Sprint has been making?   You guys screaming pro merger really need to sit back and really think, are you willing to see less competition and increasing wireless bills?  Not to mention that unlimited will be a thing of the past, after all it was Sprint and T-Mobile that made the big two offer unlimited.  If this merger goes through I don't want to hear complaining I am taking names...
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×