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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2018 in all areas

  1. 22 points
    Seth GoodwinSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesMonday, April 30, 2018 - 5:00 PM PDT After three previous attempts during the past four years, something many thought may never happen actually did. On Sunday April 29, T-Mobile announced they were effectively acquiring Sprint in an all stock deal, combining the third and fourth largest carriers in the U.S. wireless market. Pending regulatory approval, the merger is targeted for closing in the first half of 2019. The Deal The deal using an exchange ratio of 0.10256 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share valued Sprint at approximately $26.5 billion (plus the assumption of Sprint’s $30+ billion in debt) or $6.62 per share using T-Mobile’s Friday closing price of $64.52. The combined company “New T-Mobile” will be owned 41.7% by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company. 27.4% of the company will be owned by Sprint's parent company SoftBank, with the remaining 30.9% owned by the general public and institutional investors. According to terms of the deal announced by both companies in a joint press release, the combined T-Mobile will retain two headquarters in Bellevue, Washington and Overland Park, Kansas. Current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will retain that role at the new company. T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert will serve as President and COO. No Sprint executives were announced to the management team at this time. Deutsche Telekom's Timotheus Höttges will serve as chairman of the company's board of directors, and DT will have 9 seats on the board compared to SoftBank's 4. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son will occupy two of SoftBank’s seats. As opposed to the famous T-Mobile/AT&T attempted tie up several years ago, this deal does not include a breakup fee should the merger fail to pass regulatory approval. Rather, Sprint has independently signed a roaming agreement with T-Mobile for four years that will continue regardless of the outcome of the merger. On the analyst call for the merger announcement Marcelo Claure said this would take effect immediately. As of the time this article was published, specific details pertaining to the roaming agreement and any actual known roaming connections have yet to materialize. The Plan Sprint and T-Mobile will continue operating separately until the conclusion of the merger, something that in and of itself raises multiple questions about this coming year. Hopefully we'll gain some more insights with Sprint's upcoming FY 2017/4th quarter earnings call. Assuming approval, the companies announced that they intend on spending up to $40 billion in the first three years on capital expenditures and consolidating operations into a single entity. According to the press release, this represents almost 50% more than what Sprint and T-Mobile combined had spent over the past three years. At the time of closing, the companies estimate that Sprint and T-Mobile will have approximately 110,000 macro cell towers. Of these, around 35,000 will be decommissioned due to co-location or other redundancies. 10,000 new sites will be added leaving New T-Mobile with approximately 85,000 macro sites. Within the first three years of a combined company it is also estimated that the carrier will have over 50,000 small cells independent of magic boxes. The two carriers currently have around 10,000 combined. The stated plan is to “use T-Mobile as the anchor network” and use selected Sprint “keep” sites to add coverage and density. At a minimum, Sprint’s BRS/EBS 2.5 GHz spectrum will be added to T-Mobile’s sites and T-Mobile’s “full spectrum portfolio” will be deployed on Sprint’s “keep” sites. At face value, this would point toward mainly decommissioning Sprint sites as part of the 35,000-macro site reduction. In actuality we'll see what they do. For example all things equal, if two sites are co-located the greater synergies are in eliminating the tower rack with less favorable lease terms or worse rack location. VoLTE and Two-dot-Five The conference call noted while the goal is to migrate Sprint's CDMA customers to VoLTE as soon as possible, with 20 million Sprint customers having T-Mobile compatible handsets on day one. The intention is to have the total migration to T-Mobile completed over a three-year period without “degrading experience on Sprint’s network.” This suggests at a minimum keeping Sprint’s 1x800 voice service active during the transition as well as a deliberate coordinated process for overall decommissioning of macro sites. The other thing to watch going forward in this area is that T-Mobile makes no mention in their investor presentation toward utilizing anything other than Sprint’s 2.5 spectrum on their sites. A Sprint T-Mobile merger would create a spectrum behemoth with holdings ranging from T-Mobile’s low band 600 MHz for building penetration and rural coverage all the way through Sprint’s 2.5 GHz for capacity and speed. On Sunday, executives announced they have no intention of divesting any spectrum. However, questions remain on issues like what does a company that already possesses 600 MHz and 700 MHz LTE spectrum do with 800 MHz? How do T-Mobile and Sprint independently spend CapEx this year without diminishing merger synergies? We at S4GRU plan on potentially analyzing a combined company’s significant aggregate spectrum situation in a separate article at a later date. According to the investor information provided, the combined company is estimated to have run rate cost synergies in excess of $6 billion annually or on a net present value basis in excess of $43 billion. $26 billion NPV or $4 billion annually of these annual savings would be derived from network consolidation and CapEx synergies. Additional savings could come from consolidation of operations including store closing and eliminating corporate redundancies. From Sprint’s perspective these savings would be significant. The carrier has not turned a profit in the past 10 years. However, with these savings (even a portion of these savings) the carrier hypothetically would have been profitable all 10 years. Regulatory Hurdles This merger is not a done deal by any means. It faces regulatory scrutiny from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, AT&T and T-Mobile attempted to merge only to be shot down by the government. Sprint and T-Mobile were reportedly told not to even try four years ago. The prior administration's thinking had constantly been that by allowing any combination of the big 4 U.S. wireless carriers to merge into three, consolidation would negatively impact the average consumer due to lower competition in the market. On the conference call Marcelo Claure noted that regulatory approval is “the elephant in the room.” Claure and Legere are expected to embark on a tour of Washington D.C. to try and gain favor for the merger later this week. Much has changed in Washington since Sprint and T-Mobile’s last attempt at a tie-up, but whether or not a merger is anywhere close to a guarantee to pass remains in limbo. President Donald Trump has positioned himself as a pro-business President, meeting with Masa Son shortly after his election. And while Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai has made comments signaling he may be more open to market consolidation than his predecessors; President Trump’s DOJ is simultaneously attempting to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Claure and Legere noted that they had talked to Pai, but had yet to talk to anyone at the DOJ prior to announcing the merger. The Sell With nothing guaranteed, selling this merger to the government and the public is going to be the key factor on whether or not it ultimately gets approved. Sprint and T-Mobile executives wasted no time in starting on Sunday launching the pro merger site allfor5g.com. Legere and Claure continued touting the merger in a series of interviews and television appearances Sunday night and Monday morning. Based on early results, the argument for the merger is fairly crafted towards its intended audience. The crux of T-Mobile and Sprint’s contention is that 5G is the future, and the future is costly. Both companies maintain a 3rd stronger carrier is better than 4 carriers in a market, two of which are at a capital disadvantage. Claure noted that, “It’s a very simple rule of business---both companies need each other.” Sprint has 2.5 GHz spectrum that will be optimal for 5G but lacks the financial resources to deploy its own. A new T-Mobile benefits from the 2.5 GHz spectrum, a larger combined customer base, financial synergies, and greater economies of scale to effectively deploy 5G. Legere noted their goal to eventually be able to provide 450 Mbit/s speeds consistently everywhere. The 5G argument is significant for a couple of reasons. The first is the current administration has made 5G a quasi-national security issue. The merger of Qualcomm and Broadcom was blocked partially on the grounds of China taking the lead in 5G, and it was widely reported at one point that the Trump administration was considering nationalizing 5G out of security concerns with China. The goal here is that if you let New T-Mobile happen they contend that they will be in a position to deliver 5G rapidly, creating a sense of urgency that a deal needs to be approved sooner than later. If you don’t let them combine they aren’t in the same position to make that happen. They also contended that 5G would allow for the innovators of the future, a not so thinly veiled overall economic development message. The other major 5G argument centers on rural expansion. For a long-time wireless rural cell service and rural broadband have been an important political and economic development issue. Historically rural service has lagged as the infrastructure cost to deliver service far exceeds any revenue operators can hope to recoup. Legere and Claure have immediately been pushing the notion that a merger would allow the combined carrier to bring rural broadband across the nation (as well as creating jobs in rural areas during the network deployment). Lastly, their final argument centers around job creation. Typically, one of the reasons companies merge is that you can save money by eliminating duplicate positions within two separate organizations. Legere on Sunday claimed that this merger would create “thousands of American jobs” with 200,000 people working either directly for or on behalf of a combined entity. This likely faces more regulatory scrutiny than some of the other pro-merger arguments, as again typically mergers result in overall contraction. Furthermore, Sprint on its own announced several hundred layoffs within the past few months. Why now? In the near term, the FCC at some point soon is going to impose a quiet period forbidding anyone that is participating in this fall’s spectrum auction (an auction Sprint and T-Mobile are seeking a waiver for to jointly coordinate bidding strategies) from discussing mergers. Additionally, the longer the wait is, it is likely some of the merger synergies would be eliminated. Sprint towers that are redundant to T-Mobile are not to Sprint itself. If Sprint's executive team was to be believed, Sprint was poised to spend $5 to 6 billion on Capex each of the next three years. Undoubtedly some of that, a potentially significant portion, would've been on towers T-Mobile has no interest in retaining. Slightly longer term, if there was ever a presidential administration to try this under it is this one. Much like this merger's outcome President Trump's re-election is far from a certainty. If a Democratic administration were to come back to Washington D.C. odds of any merger approval diminish significantly. Longer term yet, Sprint hasn’t turned a profit in 10 years. Marcelo Claure has done a more than admirable job at steering the ship during his four-year tenure: cutting costs, coming up with creative cost-effective network deployment strategies, etc. However, at some point access to traditional borrowing markets may have been cutoff due to Sprint's inability to generate a profit or even consistent free cash flows. It didn’t appear imminent given their two-time borrowing this year, but the company has over $27 billion in debt due over the next 6 years. It is pretty easy to envision a scenario where bond investors said times up. Beyond that, the simple burden of debt may have become so overwhelming that even if it didn't threaten the going concern of the company, it negatively impacted capital expenditures, something we've seen recently. Long-term is actually the story of the past 5+ years. Sprint has incredible spectrum assets, but it needed someone more financially able and willing to deploy them. SoftBank through either inability to act due to debt covenants with Japanese banks lending it money or through deliberate choice—in hindsight was never the savior it seemed. On paper, this merger should seemingly create a financially healthy company that finally is able to leverage Sprint's vast spectrum assets. However, as in the past, time will tell... Source: 5gforall- https://allfor5g.com/
  2. 17 points
    I would do the New T-Mobile initially because I would be excited to watch the progress. And since I am already a Tmo customer, it would just happen by default. However, if they started jacking up pricing and VZW or AT&T were less expensive, I would consider a switch. I do not have any unnatural loyalty to the new Sprint/T-Mobile merged company. They will have to keep at it to keep my business in the long run. Robert
  3. 15 points
  4. 10 points
    With some patience I found and documented a Band 41 - 5 Carrier site at 1903 S Perdieu Rd, Muncie, IN. I know some other 5 carrier sites have been found, but this is the first one to my knowledge that has been well documented with the SignalCheck Pro Google Play app: _id first_time last_time gci pci tac dl_chan rsrp latitude longitude Signal Type V20 4/30/18 13:01 4/30/18 13:22 0934D300 66 18695 40978 -80 40.180995 -85.438152 B41 Sprint G2-4 4/30/18 13:09 4/30/18 13:19 0934D300 66 18695 0 -95 40.180433 -85.434040 B41 Sprint G2-2 4/30/18 12:59 4/30/18 13:25 0934D300 66 18695 40978 -93 40.180490 -85.433966 B41 Sprint G2-2 4/30/18 12:54 4/30/18 12:58 0934D301 112 18695 40978 -83 40.174408 -85.433624 B41 Sprint V20 4/30/18 13:22 4/30/18 13:23 0934D302 287 18695 40978 -96 40.181127 -85.451040 B41 Sprint G2-2 4/30/18 13:21 4/30/18 13:22 0934D302 287 18695 40978 -98 40.181117 -85.451814 B41 Sprint V20 4/30/18 13:19 4/30/18 13:20 0934D303 66 18695 41176 -87 40.180478 -85.433987 B41#2 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 13:01 4/30/18 13:20 0934D303 66 18695 41176 -98 40.180435 -85.434059 B41#2 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:55 4/30/18 12:58 0934D304 112 18695 41176 -79 40.174245 -85.433698 B41#2 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:56 4/30/18 12:57 0934D305 287 18695 41176 -77 40.171664 -85.433627 B41#2 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:59 4/30/18 13:16 0934D306 66 18695 41374 -87 40.178872 -85.433790 B41#3 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 13:14 4/30/18 13:23 0934D306 66 18695 41374 -97 40.180435 -85.434059 B41#3 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:58 4/30/18 12:59 0934D307 112 18695 41374 -83 40.176637 -85.433700 B41#3 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 12:58 4/30/18 12:59 0934D307 112 18695 41374 -89 40.177987 -85.433769 B41#3 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:59 4/30/18 12:59 0934D308 287 18695 41374 -94 40.178209 -85.433766 B41#3 Spr V20 4/30/18 13:16 4/30/18 13:18 0934D309 66 18695 40521 -90 40.180478 -85.433987 B41#4 Spr G2-4 4/30/18 13:09 4/30/18 13:09 0934D309 66 18695 0 -96 40.179976 -85.431370 B41#4 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 12:59 4/30/18 13:21 0934D309 66 18695 40521 -87 40.180958 -85.436124 B41#4 Spr V20 4/30/18 12:58 4/30/18 12:58 0934D30A 112 18695 40521 -86 40.176637 -85.433700 B41#4 Spr V20 4/30/18 13:03 4/30/18 13:21 0934D30C 66 18695 40719 -89 40.180478 -85.433987 B41#5 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 13:00 4/30/18 13:21 0934D30C 66 18695 40719 -88 40.180847 -85.433804 B41#5 Spr G2-2 4/30/18 12:58 4/30/18 12:58 0934D30D 112 18695 40719 -83 40.176695 -85.433667 B41#5 Spr The sixth carrier is used by Magic Boxes: _id first_time last_time gci pci tac dl_chan rsrp latitude longitude Signal Type G2-2 4/30/18 13:52 4/30/18 13:54 0FA1333A 491 53540 39874 -104 40.215065 -85.422384 MagicBox This would leave the mid B41 available for 5G. Delaware County Indiana has a wealth of Spectrum. Sprint controls the entire B41 band: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BDo7S2IGuvrU-0tjd9ZPdys3TV3qzGgGISvFX7em2do/edit?usp=sharing/edit?usp=sharing This county also has two B25 LTE 1900 10x10 carriers: (Just showing same site for clarity, but seen at every site) _id first_time last_time gci pci tac dl_chan rsrp latitude longitude Signal Type G2-3 12/31/69 19:00 4/30/18 13:22 09208300 144 18695 8140 -71 40.179302 -85.433792 B25-10x10 V20 4/30/18 12:54 09208301 4 18695 8140 -100 40.167485 -85.403290 B25-10x10 G2-3 12/31/69 19:00 4/30/18 12:58 09208301 4 18695 8140 -74 40.172063 -85.433631 B25-10x10 V20 4/30/18 13:23 09208302 86 18695 8140 -106 40.181219 -85.459734 B25-10x10 G2-3 12/31/69 19:00 4/30/18 13:23 09208302 86 18695 8140 -95 40.181169 -85.448522 B25-10x10 G2-3 4/30/18 12:59 4/30/18 13:04 09208306 144 18695 8640 -82 40.180507 -85.434013 B25#2-10 V20 4/30/18 12:53 4/30/18 12:55 09208307 4 18695 8640 -92 40.167494 -85.403424 B25#2-10 G2-3 4/30/18 12:53 4/30/18 12:59 09208307 4 18695 8640 -68 40.177389 -85.433728 B25#2-10 G2-3 4/30/18 13:22 4/30/18 13:23 09208308 86 18695 8640 -102 40.181238 -85.455842 B25#2-10 The second tab on the above sheet shows the B25 Spectrum. Here are some photos of the B41 Five Carrier Site: A standard B25/B26 NV site with B41 8T8R and typical antenna on the top rack (it could be yours if your market has the spectrum). Record speeds for my older LG V20, a S9/S9+ user should check it out.
  5. 8 points
    That's Incorrect. T-mobile did a full rip and replace when they added Nokia to more than half of their regions to replace a hodgepodge of legacy nortel, lucent, and eventually Huawei (through MetroPCS) equipment. Though they had newer equipment in most places capable of supporting HSPA and DC-HSPA, significant ground and radome level modifications were done to bring it up to speed to support LTE service. In many cases it means ripping out the entirety of whats already in the existing base stations. The nature of them also having more recent equipment capable of HSPA means that the move from that to LTE went fairly smoothly as backward compatibility was easy to handle. Legacy Sprint and new modern eNB? Well.... ask those that lived in Motorola regions or those that were in Samsung regions where modern eNBs could not communicate over CSFB to legacy nortel and lucent equipment... Edit: addedum. Sprint was also deploying CDMA 1x800. Legacy equipment cannot be sourced for that as Lucent, Nortel, and Motorola no longer existed and those equipment were long depreciated / EOL'd.
  6. 8 points
    To the earlier discussion about the number of cell sites being turned off, I did a little bit of an analysis. I used Spotsylvania County, VA as my example case, excluding the Shentel area. I put both the Sprint and T-Mobile sites on a map. The total number of sites is 18. Of those, 12 are shared between Sprint and T-Mobile. Of the remaining six, 5 are Sprint-only and 1 is T-Mobile only. While the 1 T-Mobile only site is kind of near one of the Sprint-only sites, both are on I-95 and AT&T is actually on both towers, so I would expect them to keep both. So even though 2/3 of the Sprint sites would presumably go away in Spotsylvania County, the actual change in service would be effectively zero. - Trip
  7. 7 points
    Marcelo just confirmed that Capex guidance will continue as planned. No cut backs due to merger.
  8. 7 points
    http://s21.q4cdn.com/487940486/files/doc_financials/quarterly/2017/q4/Fiscal-4Q17-Earnings-Release-FINAL.pdf Final 2017 Capex was $3.3 billion narrowly missing the $3.5-$4 billion guidance. FY 2018 Capex guidance remains $5-6 billion Marcelo Claure is out as CEO, being transitioned to "Executive Chairman." Michel Combes as the new CEO. Claure will also be COO of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank International. http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprint-elevates-marcelo-claure-to-executive-chairman-and-appoints-michel-combes-as-ceo.htm
  9. 7 points
    Leave it up to the Onion to jump on the Sprint / T-Mobile merge bandwagon. lol
  10. 7 points
    That's a convenient stand. No one else makes a big stand on a network initiative, defines it, titles it and then has a site that reports on it and measures it. All the other networks start new internal initiatives before others end. They are all in incremental movements going forward. They are just quiet about it and making it almost impossible to track and measure. But with Sprint, it's different. We are watching a very detailed and explained network progression that S4GRU watches very closely and our members report every movement. So we know everywhere that everything is happening. And not happening for that matter. If we all just sat back and watched for the LTE signal icon or cared about whether the network worked for them, Sprint wouldn't be judged so harshly. Like I said before, Sprint keeps getting better and better. Not worse and worse. And in every way. So you can say whatever you like, but Sprint is in a better position. And they are in a better position to keep upgrading too. In my area, Sprint outperforms Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T in most places. Regardless of what some of you said above about Seattle, we are one of the most important tech markets in the country. And Sprint is kicking it here. And we have only a little 800MHz deployed so far. It's going to get even better. And there are many places like Seattle in the country. But you just keep on being negative. It's OK. But negative Sprint comments at S4GRU need to be constructive in nature. And this thread is starting to get sideways. The bitching is rising. And for no good reason except for some of you just don't believe it. As if they haven't been pouring billions in the network and it hasn't been getting better and better every year. There's lots of places for people to bitch about Sprint and how you're not convinced. But S4GRU ain't one of them. Thanks. Robert
  11. 7 points
    All this gloom and doom. And Sprint is still better than it's ever been. But now. Now it's the end. LOL I've got a headline for you... NAYSAYERS SAY NAY. That's all they ever say.
  12. 7 points
    2.5 and 800 4x4 happening in San Diego. Spoke to foreman of this site. This site is not getting Next Gen. They don't have any 10 port 2.5/800 antenna available. They will have to come back to do the 800 4x4.
  13. 6 points
  14. 6 points
    Well that was a quick turnaround...
  15. 5 points
    Non-redundant Sprint sites will be kept. and the new T-Mobile intends to keep all of the spectrum. You can bet that Sprint bands will be deployed on T-Mobile sites that don't already have Sprint co-located on the same tower. I have a feeling some T-Mobile sites will go as well, in cases where Sprint has the better position or lease terms on the tower/site.
  16. 5 points
    I hope the government shuts this down again LOL, thats not how mergers work. (laughing at the corporate line, not the messenger)
  17. 5 points
    We should avoid abbreviating Massive MIMO as MM. It doesn't make sense and it can easily be confused for Mini Macro.
  18. 4 points
    If Softbank didn't own over 84% of the stock they would be massive class action suits against Sprint right now. They always were lying during their earning calls, there was never a turnaround for this company because that mean investments on your network. You could tell that Son never had an interest in fixing Sprint otherwise he would have made the investments on the network including getting into the 600mhz auction to get expansions and VOLTE rolling. Instead, he went on a credit card spending spree on a chip and robotic company hell he even invested in Uber too. Softbank could find a lot of money to buy ARM, but they couldn't invest at least 5 billion yearly in the Sprint network. In order to keep frustrated customers, they came with an inexpensive band-aid fix in the Magic Box. Claure cut so much out of Sprint that he even closed call centers located here in America thus customer service started to take a hit. I hope the DOJ blocks this merger then it would force Softbank to sell Sprint for half the price to a cable company. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/regulators-probing-t-mobile-deal-162152132.html
  19. 4 points
    *Should have, Could have, Would have
  20. 4 points
    Yeah, let's not look at the free cash flow, revenues, dividen payouts or anything else when we think about how burdensome the respective debt loads are. Let's just look at total debt, because that is the whole story. Look, warren buffet has more debt than I do, I must be doing better than him!
  21. 4 points
    Wait 40 billion in Capex for the next 3 years...jesus. Let’s get this merger approved ASAP lol
  22. 4 points
    Here what I got from the call. 85 thousand macro towers after 35 thousand are decommissioned and decommissionimg would happen last so not to disrupt the network. Capex of 40 billion over 3 years after approval. 2-3 years to completely migrate Sprint customers over to TMobile volte and leaving 800 cdma on til that happens. Immediate roaming access on day one. T-Mobile towers will get 2.5 equipment and remaining Sprint towers will get T-Mobile equipment. Significantly more massive mimo than if Sprint what's to do it alone They want all the spectrum and don't plan to divest. 2 headquarters will stay. Rural America will get hundreds of new towers and 5G access aka true nationwide. More jobs and lower prices. Comcast apparently is going to be the new 4th player maybe? They will have 50 thousand small cells and that's not counting magic boxes. Business will continue as usual on both sides until the outcome and no plans for network deployments have changed.
  23. 4 points
    And it’s official: http://newsroom.sprint.com/t-mobile-and-sprint-to-combine.htm
  24. 3 points
    I'm in rural west michigan where Sprint's coverage gets spotty at times. Many times I end up with false SCP logs showing TMobile connections. I have a few areas that I can hopefully latch onto a tmobile signal once roaming is working. I just attempted a PRL update, but still on 55069