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  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. 19 points
    Hot off the Goldman Sachs Investor call with Marcelo Claure... Highlights at 35 mins into the call (11:05 Eastern) -Sprint will add 2000 Macro sites (no time frame given) - Will have EVERY cell site with 800, 1.9 and 2.5 (No time frame given) - Will deploy many thousands of mini macro and such in addition to the Macro sites. -Capex will be $5-7 billion this year and "At least that much next year or more".... Marcelo's thoughts were that now that Sprint is growth positive and cash positive (his words) Sprint can now invest heavily and expand it's footprint.
  3. 18 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesJanuary 26, 2018 - 5:30 AM PST [Edited: 1/28/18 to include additional information on Samsung 4 port 800 MHz radio] [Edited: 2/2/18 for photograph addition of an Ericsson setup] The Triband Hexadecaport. The newest development of Sprint's recent network expenditures. This is a new triband antenna configuration now being deployed by Sprint that is able to do 4T4R MIMO on both 800 MHz and 1900 MHz in addition to 8T8R MIMO over 2.5 GHz. All in one single antenna. Previously, Sprint typically utilized two different antennas with one from Network Vision days being a hexport dual band unit that supports 800 MHz and 1900 MHz. While 2.5 GHz was an additional antenna and radio unit added on later. Some sites utilized (and may continue to utilize) another triband antenna model. This older generation triband antenna is a decaport (10 port) triband unit that support 4T4R on both 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz with 2T2R on 800 MHz. This meant that an 8T8R radio would have its capabilities decreased as a result of going from 8T8R to 4T4R. With the development and deployment of this new 16 port triband antenna, Sprint is now poised to offer 800 MHz 4 antenna transmit and receive diversity alongside 1900 MHz, while 2.5 GHz is able to fully utilize the capability of an 8T8R radio. This means that the full capability of Sprint's 800 MHz, 1900 MHz, and LTE Plus (2.5 GHz) network can be utilized from a single triband antenna panel. Removing the limitations of the previous go-to triband antenna model. Because of these limitations, Sprint did not deploy the previous triband antenna panel in a wide scale. Now they are likely to deploy these more commonly. In fact, we are already seeing this occur in Washington State, Pittsburgh, and other places en masse. Above: Samsung 4T4R 800 MHz setup via two 800 MHz RRH-C2, 4T4R 1900 MHz RRH-P4 , & 8T8R 2.5 GHz RRH-V3 Photograph Source: Josh (ingenium) Currently, this type of setup has been found in Samsung vendor regions with two individual 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs to achieve 4T4R MIMO. Samsung and Sprint has a new 4 port 4T4R 800 MHz RRU that will be able to do the job of two existing 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs that will be deployed alongside this new type of antenna. This new Samsung 4 port low frequency radio is also available in Band 13 750 MHz for deployment in the Puerto Rico market due to the Sprint Open Mobile deal. Photograph Source: Chris92 Ericsson Setup Source: mdob07 This type of setup is yet to be seen in Ericsson or Nokia - Alcatel-Lucent territory. If you discover these in other vendor regions, be sure to post about it! ****If you're in Ericsson or Nokia / former Alcatel-lucent territory then replace the Samsung radios with the relevant Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent CDMA / LTE and Ericsson radios depending on region.***
  4. 17 points
    Oh gosh, not this again. I am more against this than I was before. Tmo and Sprint are getting more competitive and gaining market share against the Duopoly. Verizon is on their feet, having to actually compete. The wireless market has never been better for the American consumer. I'm willing to sit back and see what comes of this, as twospirits recommends, but I think the status quo is right where we need to be nationally with wireless. The path forward looks good for Tmo and Sprint. Prices will go up if they are allowed to merge. They are trying to do it now. It is the 4th competitor, the odd duck out, that pressures the market. Three roughly equal sized competitors just won't pressure much. Mark my words!
  5. 15 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesJanuary 12, 2018 - 5:30 PM PST "New year, new me. Am I right?" ~ signed Samsung Samsung has decided that the beginning of the new year is a great time to change. Samsung has decided its newest flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus devices must meet with the FCC OET for certification far earlier than usual. With ever watchful and prying eyes, S4GRU staff discovered the twin filings for two devices with FCC IDs of A3LSMG960U and A3LSMG965U which follows the previous Samsung numeration of the Galaxy S8 / 8+ (950u/955u) and Galaxy S7 (930u/935u) respectively. In addition, previous leaks for purported international Galaxy S9 variant have captured the ID of 960F and 965F respectively. To keep this short and simple, the Galaxy S9, to date, is the most technologically powerful device we've seen at least for Sprint and possibly other entities and the following technical specifications should demonstrate why. CDMA BC: 0 / 1 / 10 GSM: 850 / 1900 WCDMA Bands: 2, 4 , 5 LTE Band: 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 25 , 26 , 29, 30, 38, 41, 66, 71 Downlink Carrier Aggregation (DL CA) 5xB41 (up to 5 B41 carriers aggregated) B25+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) B26+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) B25+26CA (up to 2 B25 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) Uplink Carrier Aggregation (UL CA) 2xB41 256 / 64 QAM Downlink/ Uplink HPUE CAT 18 Modem 4x4 MIMO B2, 4, 25, 30 , 41, 66 12 spatial streams Holy bonanza! This phone supports up to 100 MHz of LTE spectrum being aggregated together from 5 individual Band 41 carriers! To add to that, it also supports FDD and TDD LTE carrier aggregation by utilizing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 26 800 MHz as the primary component carrier which would contribute to downlink and uplink while Band 41 is aggregated to it would be downlink only secondary component carriers. Remember the saying of having B25 or B26 uplink with Band 41 downlink, anybody? Plus there is expansion of FDD carrier aggregation to that of between Band 25 and Band 26. This will help a ton in areas where Band 41 and its oodles of capacity does not reach. As the recent CDMA refarming nationwide on PCS spectrum has allowed Sprint to fire up an additional Band 25 carrier, this means in many Sprint markets there currently exists two Band 25 carriers in addition to a Band 26 carrier. This additional carrier is not forgotten and can now be used alongside the other Band 25 and Band 26 carrier for carrier aggregation. Last but not least, this phone is "Gigabit Class" by having up to 12 spacial streams means that 4x4 MIMO can be used for 3 separate B41 carriers when aggregated together instead of 2 in the previous generation which supports only 10 spacial streams. Though it was a moot point as the entire generation of Samsung flagships from this past year did not support 4x4 MIMO on Band 41, until now! A phone this size should not be able to pack so many technologies...but yet it does! A splendid phone and surely a must have for the S4GRU and other tech adept users!
  6. 13 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesDecember 11, 2017 - 9:30 PM PST Recently, individuals who ordered Magic Boxes noticed a change in the product code of the unit to AU544 from AU545. It is now confirmed that the product code change is due to the release of the 3rd generation Magic Box. They are now being shipped! The new revision is in essence a GEN2 optimized with a high quality LCD touchscreen display like that of the 1st Generation AU540. In addition, an external battery pack with an adapter to hook onto the Magic Box is now provided. It can be lugged around for testing purposes instead of internal batteries. In addition, the touch power on button of the GEN2 has been removed with power on sequence done by plugging in power to the unit via a battery pack with an adapter or via the AC power brick. Performance wise, the GEN 3 is identical to the GEN 2 in that they still utilize the Airspan Airunity 545 small cell eNB and a Ninja LTE Relay module. The product designation change from 545 to 544 is primarily due to a change in the WiFi module to a different Qualcomm WiFi module. But for what matters to Sprint users, the LTE B41 performance impact as noted from GEN 1 and subsequently the GEN 2 are identical. GEN 2 users will not be left behind in performance wise. Previous generation device owners will not be missing out on much! For those that are getting the Magic Box for the first time, welcome to the party! Here's pictures of the GEN 3 (AU544MBGN2) courtesy of @bucdenny
  7. 13 points
    Dave YeagerSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesTuesday, April 3, 2018 - 6:20 PM PDT Exciting times for those of us who track Sprint Macro sites and signals. Sprint has accomplished a lot during the last few years in many places. Even during a period of reduced capital expenditures. Progress has been made by increasing bandwidth and adding carriers to LTE 1900 MHz, adding LTE 2.5 GHz macro and small cell sites, adding 3x3 LTE 800 MHz to many existing sites near the border, and working to eliminate 3G Only Ground Mounted Radio sites by adding LTE in many places*. Some of these improvements have been offset by ever increasing data demands that have doubled every 18 months. For maximum gain, a new plan was needed...Next-Gen. Since late Fall 2017 Columbus S4GRU members have been tracking new permits in Ohio trying to figure out Sprint’s Next-Gen plans in detail. These permits soon made it obvious that multiple site configurations are involved. In late February / early March three Next-Gen sites were found in the Columbus Market. To ensure that these were not just isolated test sites, two identical Next-Gen sites were confirmed in the Cincinnati Market about a week ago. These are new antennas and are a different scenario than described in the prior S4GRU Wall Article on 16 port Triband Antennas. Note that these new antennas (center) are about the same size as the 1900/800 MHz dual band antennas, except thicker and cover 2.5 GHz / 800 MHz. There are 10 ports on the bottom, excluding the 4 AISG ports, for 8T8R 2.5 GHz and 2T2R 800 MHz (plus 2T2R 800 MHz from Network Vision antenna/RRH). The site diagrams from Connecticut list them as Commscope DT465B-2XR-V2, which matches our photos. These new antennas are combined with a 2.5 GHz 8T8R RRH and another 800MHz RRH (a few permits list just one 4 port 800 MHz RRH) and always been found with existing hexport dual band 800/1900 MHz equipment. ** Sprint’s desire to add 2.5 GHz to all sites is well publicized. But why two 800 MHz RRHs? To allow 4x4 MIMO for 800 MHz LTE. While only some tablets will fully benefit from 4x4 MIMO given the antenna size requirements, all devices will benefit from the significant signal propagation and stability improvements over 2xT/R diversity. At the cell edge this is especially true. This will be a major improvement for technologies such as VoLTE where weak signals can wreak havoc on voice quality and even usability. Four Sprint scenarios were noted in some of the Connecticut information. Besides the two scenarios covered in this and the prior wall article, there is a ground mounted radio scenario, which is dated February 28, 2018 -- well past the changeover to Next-Gen antennas seen in the late Fall 2017 permits. Only the Triband decaport (10 port Antenna) is visible in the tower with diplexers and RRHs near the ground providing only 2T2R for 800MHz, 2T4R for the 1900MHz and 4T4R for the 2.5GHz, as shown below: *** *** Below is the current status of our 2017+ permits for the Columbus market to give you an idea of where these antenna scenarios will be used more often. Note that while there is extensive permit information for the Columbus market, not all jurisdictions put permit information online plus accuracy and detail varies. There is at least one Sprint Next-Gen Scenario remaining. Keep watching your local sites, especially if you see improved Band 26 LTE 800 or new Band 41 LTE 2500 signal or GCIs. Report anything new to a S4GRU forum. Include pictures and screen shots. Others will guide you to help figure out what you have found. *For details for my market for 2017: http://s4gru.com/forums/topic/1904-network-visionlte-columbus-market/?page=219&tab=comments#comment-526696 Other spreadsheet markets in this region have similar stories to tell. ** Wiring Diagram source: http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/ems/east_windsor/southmainst/sprint/em-sprint-047-180126_filing_southmainst_eastwindsor.pdf page 61 of 66 *** Ground mounted Radio Scenario: http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/ems/stratford/hawleylane/sprint/em-sprint-138-180302_filing_hawleylane.pdf page 7 of 107 Many thanks to lilotimz and kineticman for their assistance with this article.
  8. 12 points
    Tim Yu Sprint 4G Rollout Updates September 28, 2017 - 2:30 PM PDT [Edit: 4/6/18: Reflects Airave 3 discontinuation] It has been 6 months since I first learned of and received access to what is now called the GEN1 Magic Box. I wrote up my thoughts about it a few months back. Sprint has now evolved to a GEN 2 Magic Box model. These units are being distributed to customers who preordered after Sprint's announcements. I've now acquired a GEN2 Magic Box myself. Upon opening the package, the most immediate and noticeable difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Magic Box is the absence of an external portable battery. This was useful to lug the Magic Box around and test different locations in order to select the best spot for unit placement. On the surface this may appear to be a way to decrease unit costs. This may be true, but the Gen 2 model contains two CR18650 rechargeable lithium batteries integrated inside of the package for the same purpose. No more using a dongle and a hefty battery pack that could be easily lost! [2nd Generation Magic Box white colored on left, 1st Generation Magic Box black colored on right[ Along with the new internal guts, the external aesthetics and materials were also modified. The Gen 1 model had a super bright LCD display with a black front surrounding by white plastic. The new Gen 2 model has an eInk display with a touch power button below it on the front with the entire exterior being a reflective polished hard plastic. What didn't change is the GEN2 is still an all wireless small cell with no requirement of hard wired backhaul supplied by the user. It still uses LTE UE Relay to acquire an existing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 41 2500 MHz connection from an existing donor site, which is then fed to the small cell unit and broadcasted as a new LTE Band 41 2500 MHz carrier. The LTE Relay unit supports up to 2 carrier aggregation on Band 41 to the macro donor site. Now to the meaty parts. The performance. Let these screenshots tell the story. Before After [Apps used: Network Signal Guru, Signalcheck Pro, Ookla Speedtest] The extremely significant data speed and signal improvements that were experienced by the original Magic Box still exist with the 2nd generation unit. The GEN2 matches and exceeds the performance of my original Magic Box, especially in the upload category. This is due to the newer LTE Relay module design which utilizes a higher gain antenna. A very satisfactory model upgrade. It upholds the positive impressions I outlined in my original article. These units just can't come out fast enough so that more people can enjoy it! The Magic Box is not a panacea, but is a very good solution in many locations. Now that thousands of these preordered boxes are hitting the streets in countless different deployment scenarios, lots of limitations and bugs are being discovered. With varying impacts. The Magic Box doesn't work for everyone everywhere due to the very nature of its all wireless design. In most places, it works as advertised. Just power up and let it rip. In a few locations there is something lacking which causes units to not fully configure. This results in errors such as the infamous "20% initialization" or "cannot connect to mobile network" screens that pop up. We researched, asked questions and were informed that Sprint's LTE Relay configuration is of the out of band variety. This means that the LTE UE Relay operation and the small cell eNB signal has to operate on different frequencies. So in Sprint's case, a market must have Band 41 High and Low separation in order for a LTE Relay to work. Thus, Sprint must have spectrum in the Band 41 low range (2500-2570 MHz) and the Band 41 high range (2620-2690). If a Sprint market does not have said spectrum with such a separation, the relay link cannot be established and the Magic Box will not work. In markets where such spectrum peculiarities exist and areas where the macro 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz RF signal is not strong enough to establish a LTE Relay backhaul connection for the Magic Box, there exists other alternatives available from Sprint. These alternatives are the Airave 3 LTE and Commscope S1000 NSC which will be offered to subscribers who do not qualify for a Magic Box or in a location where the Magic Box does not work. The subscriber will require a home broadband connection in those instances. (Left: Airave 3 LTE, Right: S1000 NSC; credit: ingenium & pwnedkiller) The Airave 3 LTE is the traditional CDMA + LTE Band 41 + WiFi femto cell. It is the successor the Airaves of old. The Commscope S1000 NSC is a LTE Band 41 + WiFi only femto cell which is in essence the Airave 3 minus the CDMA capabilities. If a subscriber desires voice and data enhancement then the Airave 3 should be what the subscriber seeks. If the subscriber does not need voice enhancement due to sufficient macro voice coverage but need 4G LTE data enhancement, then the S1000 NSC would be a better fit. There is a solution for just about everyone now. There now exists an all wireless self configuring LTE small cell, a state of the art and award winning LTE small cell, and which when paired with a CDMA module produces the newest successor in the Airave family. All of which will bring extreme improvements that Sprint subscribers can realize instantly. The densification of Sprint's network is now beginning and it all begins with one quite magic(al) box. Album of the Magic Box
  9. 12 points
    Tim Yu Sprint 4G Rollout Updates September 5, 2017 - 6:45 PM PDT It is that time of the year for flagship phablets and LG has returned to us with their brand new V30 smartphone. Unlike the LG G6, LG was not conservative with the specifications on this one. Many other tech sites and forums have already broken down the V30 but here at S4GRU we are more interested in network technologies and the V30 is definitely no slouch in this regard. Supported Technologies GSM 850 / 1900 WCDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5 LTE Band: 2 / 4 / 5 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 41 4x4 MIMO on Band 25 and Band 41 up to 10 streams 256 / 64 QAM DL-UL HPUE 2xCA B25 2xCA B41 3xCA B41 4xCA B41 That is right. The LG V30 is the first device confirmed to support 4 carrier aggregation on Band 41. No other device out there, including the ever more popular Galaxy S8 or Note 8, are confirmed to at least technologically support 4 carrier aggregation for Band 41 (though maybe a re-certification & software update can fix that). In addition, the LG V30 is also a "Gigabit Class" device that supports 4x4 MIMO over Band 41 for up to 10 total MIMO streams which the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 does not support (the GS8 and Note 8 are not "Gigabit Class" devices on Sprint). Furthermore, note the inclusion of LTE Band 13. One may think this mean LTE roaming on Verizon may be in the cards, but recently Sprint consummated a partnership with Open Mobile based in Puerto Rico who holds Band 13 750 MHz spectrum. As the Puerto Rico market lacks SMR 800 spectrum needed for CDMA 1x 800 and LTE 800 Band 26, it seems likely that it may be a boutique Sprint market that will utilize 10x10 Band 13 750 MHz for low band coverage. An interesting development. So network wise, the V30 sure seems like one heck of a device that supports just about every technology Sprint is poised to utilize right now in select markets and most of the network in the near future. A potentially splendid device for the Sprint network enthusiast. FCC ID: LS998
  10. 11 points
    After the cost of the contest, S4GRU made approximately $375 for the site. Thank you all who participated! We will hold the drawing this coming Sunday at 6 PM Pacific/9 PM Eastern. All entries have been sent. Good luck to all the participants. THANKS FOR SUPPORTING S4GRU! Robert
  11. 11 points
    Can you guys stop with the "Sprints dead if this does not get done." Sprint was suppose to die years ago when Wimax failed. dro magic boxes are repeaters/Small cells. Not sure what you think they are.
  12. 11 points
    This is a cool looking Sprint small cell. Nice and compact. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. 11 points
    There are positives to be had if there is a merger, for sure. I don't believe a merger is bad in every way. And if it happens, there will be things that I will like. I just believe, at this time, all things considered, I'd prefer they'd be separate. Just my opinion, and I respect the opinions of others points as well. Because I considered them, and they are marked in the 'pro' column for me. I like where Sprint is going now more than ever in its past. And Sprint's road to "5G" is less capital intensive than the others because of spectrum and equipment deployed.
  14. 11 points
    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...
  15. 11 points
  16. 10 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesSaturday, April 7, 2018 - 6:54 PM PDT A year ago Sprint and Open Mobile announced the beginnings of a joint venture whereby they would combine their network assets and operations together to create a better more competitive alternative on the island. In late 2017, the deal was consummated which gave Sprint access to Open Mobile's spectrum holdings in the PCS 1900 range and, more importantly, the 750 MHz Band 13 block. This LTE Band 13 is almost exclusively used by Verizon Wireless as the basis for their LTE network. In comparison to Sprints SMR 800 MHz holdings it is 20 MHz in width meaning that Sprint is able to utilize a 10x10 MHz lowband LTE carrier whereas Sprints Band 26 800 MHz is limited to 5x5, 3x3, or even non existence as in Puerto Rico due to spectrum hoarders and other issues pertaining to the IBEZ. With this spectrum, Sprint is now able and has begun the deployment of a triband 750 / 1900 / 2500 network in Puerto Rico! See the following screenshots from S4GRU PR / VI market thread users! Note: UARFCN 5230 is 751 / 782 MHz center frequency. LTE Band 13 runs 777 - 787 / 746 - 756 which means it's smack dab in the center perfect for a 10x10 MHz FDD LTE carrier. Thanks to imatute and smooth25 for the finds!
  17. 10 points
    It will take a year after the merger close to see the higher fees and unlimited going bye bye. I do not favor for this merger, but Sprint and its parent company have been waiting for this. This has been their strategy from the start, but the problem now is they are the seller rather than the buyers. The only thing in their way is the DOJ, but the new administration appointed pro-business lawyers in the antitrust department. Had the Japenese invested on Sprint network from the get-go, they would have been negotiating a merger from strength rather than weakness.
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