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I'll say it, Wimax was a good decision.


pyroscott
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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

 

It seems everyone says that Sprint made a huge blunder by going with Wimax. If they would have flip flopped for another year, they could have just built a LTE network and had happy customers that don't feel alienated with their Wimax phones.

 

My thoughts are:

  • Sprint only contracted the Wimax network from clearwire instead of making any changes to their network equipment.
  • Sprint got to market the first 4G network.
  • Wimax phones will be obselete anyway by the time clearwire turns off the Wimax network.
  • Sprint's customers will complain about anything. Sprint seems to have some of the most entitled customers. I always see posts like "I've been a Sprint customer for 12 years and they owe me (fill in the blank)" I am not even excluded from this as I have been guilty of expecting preferential treatment for being 10+ years with Sprint. Sprint has propagated this themselves with their premiere program and cancelation of it.

So let me have it, I may be wrong, but it seems the only misstep by sprint was waiting so long to pull the trigger on network vision, if they would have started when Verizon started with LTE, they would be in a much better position, but nobody knew that Wimax would fall so far. They are doing a good job of being aggressive with NV and might make up some of the time wasted.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

 

 

If the two options for Sprint were 1) to use its BRS 2500-2600 MHz spectrum (as the FCC merger consent required) and WiMAX was the only viable option at the time or 2) to hold out for LTE (or UMB) and risk having its BRS licenses terminated, then, yes, WiMAX was not only a good decision but also the right one.

 

AJ

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

 

Agreed. Sprint had to use WiMAX or lose out on spectrum, so it was a no brainer since it was a known technology and equipment was already available. LTE was basically still on the drawing board. It's too bad really in one respect. WiMAX had a lot of potential for an established technology and if the majority of carriers here and in Europe hadn't decided to go the LTE route since it was a carrier developed technology, Sprint would have continued to be a 4G leader and would be rolling out WiMAX 2 by now and its and Clears financials would probably been much improved.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

 

Good point, Sprint/Clearwire would both be sitting high on the hog if everyone wouldn't have shunned Wimax. Clear could have continued their buildout with Wimax and would have attracted a lot of additional customers. Too bad it didn't work out.

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  • 3 months later...

On the topic of

"Sprint seems to have some of the most entitled customers. I always see posts like "I've been a Sprint customer for 12 years and they owe me (fill in the blank)""

working in numerous forums dealing with numerous carriers and I can tell you that its the same everywhere. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc etc. And from my experience it seems that when it comes to network issues, sprint is # 2 behind AT&T in complaints, Beyond network issues, Sprint is doing better than the other two n terms of complaints about phones, and customer service.

 

TS

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On the topic of

 

working in numerous forums dealing with numerous carriers and I can tell you that its the same everywhere. Verizon' date=' AT&T, Sprint, etc etc. And from my experience it seems that when it comes to network issues, sprint is # 2 behind AT&T in complaints, Beyond network issues, Sprint is doing better than the other two n terms of complaints about phones, and customer service.

 

TS[/quote']

 

I know someone who has been a customer with AT&T/Cingular/at&t since 99, but never says that the carrier owes her because she knows at&t is greedy and doesn't care about her, just her money. Arrogance won't make companies treat people better.

 

Sent from my LG Viper 4G LTE using Forum Runner

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On the flip side we have endured the sprint network we deserve some concessions .

I'm still a fan of their customer service. They have always been fair, listened, and helped when they could.

I have been with sprint (actually sprint spectrum llc) since 1989. I did a brief stint with cellular one before that and used pay phones on the street.

I haven't rooted my phones so I could have a broadband connection when other folks have. Call it what you want its cheating. Wimax made pretty good sense on paper, I plunked my cash down on two phones and $20/mth since then. (BS its a smart phone charge!). So I paid for a service that is very limited for the 'mobile' customer. So as I see it Sprint did not live up to the hype of wimax. They have the opportunity to earn my business everyday. I'm not entitled by any means. But if I give them the opportunity to meet my needs they are obligated to listen. It's my job to make it a good business decision for them to meet my needs.

Wimax, somebody had to know high frequency would not pentrate and handshaking between towers was questionable. That reflects back to the Sprint Management team. Sorry no points for not testing technology.

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On the flip side we have endured the sprint network we deserve some concessions .

I'm still a fan of their customer service. They have always been fair, listened, and helped when they could.

I have been with sprint (actually sprint spectrum llc) since 1989. I did a brief stint with cellular one before that and used pay phones on the street.

I haven't rooted my phones so I could have a broadband connection when other folks have. Call it what you want its cheating. Wimax made pretty good sense on paper, I plunked my cash down on two phones and $20/mth since then. (BS its a smart phone charge!). So I paid for a service that is very limited for the 'mobile' customer. So as I see it Sprint did not live up to the hype of wimax. They have the opportunity to earn my business everyday. I'm not entitled by any means. But if I give them the opportunity to meet my needs they are obligated to listen. It's my job to make it a good business decision for them to meet my needs.

Wimax, somebody had to know high frequency would not pentrate and handshaking between towers was questionable. That reflects back to the Sprint Management team. Sorry no points for not testing technology.

 

Oh, they knew exactly what WiMax on 2500MHz could do. They had to deploy something to at least 50M people on that spectrum by the end of 2008 or 2009. The only technology back in 2006/2007 was Wimax. Sprint really did not have the money to deploy so they partnered with the cable cos and Intel/Google and Clearwire. Clearwire, unfortunately went hogwild deploying it in places that are very hard to cover (spread out) and where Sprint had no problems with 3G spectrum. I think that Sprint would have liked for them to cover a few cities very well instead of covering more cities not very effectively. Clearwire refused to cooperate with Sprint, choosing not to colocate and did everything in their power to turn-off their largest (only) customer. I think that Sprint will eventually like to acquire Clearwire, but they don't see to be in any hurry.

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WiMax was the best option to run with when it started in late 2008 in Baltimore. I had a college technology textbook a couple years ago that had part of a chapter talking about it and it's faster speeds and how with the right spectrum it could cover very large areas. Obviously with the 2500 Mhz spectrum that wasn't feasible.

 

I like to think if Clear hadn't run out of money and could have continued an aggressive build-out things could have been different. But they didn't and the direction Sprint is taking now will be significantly better in the long run. It will lead to better speeds and coverage not only in 3G but also 4G.

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From what I read of the Xohm buildout in 2008, Sprint was doing just fine with their WiMAX network. Then Clearwire took over that (and started building their own network pieces) and failed miserably at making something universally useful in the areas that they served. I heard that Clearwire was ripping out Samsung, Motorola etc. equipment placed by Sprint in ex-Xohm markets (Baltimore and what else? Atlanta maybe? DFW? I forget) and replacing it with Huawei gear, which seems like it didn't perform as well.

 

Don't get me wrong; I wanted to believe in WiMAX...I bought the Evo 4G the day it game out (later returned it since it wasn't on my SERO plan at the time) and bought the Epic 4G 10/01/10 or so. I've used WiMAX in a number of cities, when I've been able to pick up the signal (Fort Worth, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, a little bit in Florida, Austin, San Antonio, Amarillo) and have generally been disappointed with the level of coverage available, and the level of service when I was able to lock on to a signal. The absolute standstill with regard to continued WiMAX deployment didn't help either.

 

If Sprint had gotten the minimum coverage requirement for WiMAX done on their own, and done well, and then held Clear to the same standard, the story may well have been different than it is today. But Clear's sucktastic job of deploying WiMAX put Sprint in the world of hurt that it was a year or two ago...and still is in, to be honest. Can't wait 'til LTE, a non-botched network deployment, fixes this.

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I once did a take off for Sprint to take WiMax nationwide over its existing nationwide footprint. I came up with 120,000 sites. That is double the amount of sites Sprint has together with Nextel now. And Sprint cannot even afford to run 60,000 sites, let alone 120,000.

 

There is no way to make a nationwide 2600MHz network work. It is not economically feasible, IMO. Takes too many sites. And Sprint knows it. They never intended to take WiMax nationwide. However, they did plan on more than just 71 Clearwire markets.

 

Robert

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I once did a take off for Sprint to take WiMax nationwide over its existing nationwide footprint. I came up with 120,000 sites. That is double the amount of sites Sprint has together with Nextel now. And Sprint cannot even afford to run 60,000 sites, let alone 120,000.

 

There is no way to make a nationwide 2600MHz network work. It is not economically feasible, IMO. Takes too many sites. And Sprint knows it. They never intended to take WiMax nationwide. However, they did plan on more than just 71 Clearwire markets.

 

Robert

 

WiMAX was probably always going to remain an urban-centric technology due to the frequencies it ran on, but what really did it in was the poor execution by clearwire.

 

My real guess is that at some point Sprint probably envisioned mixing its WiMax deployments with future revisions of EVDO, until it became clear that Qualcomm canceled R&D on everything after Rev B and left them without a long term upgrade path.

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I once did a take off for Sprint to take WiMax nationwide over its existing nationwide footprint. I came up with 120,000 sites. That is double the amount of sites Sprint has together with Nextel now. And Sprint cannot even afford to run 60,000 sites, let alone 120,000.

 

There is no way to make a nationwide 2600MHz network work. It is not economically feasible, IMO. Takes too many sites. And Sprint knows it. They never intended to take WiMax nationwide. However, they did plan on more than just 71 Clearwire markets.

 

Robert

 

Ok if its not feasible, why is that spectrum so valuable to sprint? They had to move on that spectrum or lose it is what I read in another post in this thread. If this 2600MHz is going to have the same building penetration and need the same number of towers to run a full LTE deployment, is it really that important. I am guessing when clearwire deploys their 2600MHz LTE it will still be in a limited amount of markets. I think sprint should be trying to find some spectrum that would have better building penetration, and require less towers. Having LTE service in a spectrum I can't get most of the time indoors is not going to make me happier

Edited by meatman1964
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The core issue here was that Sprint lacked a natural/easy upgrade path for its network because EVDO is an EOL technology that is not extensible like UMTS/WCDMA 3G and needed to explore alternate technologies in order to be competitive.

 

HSPA+ has a long term upgrade path and is still going to be attractive for some gsm operators years down the line.

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Ok if its not feasible' date=' why is that spectrum so valuable to sprint? They had to move on that spectrum or lose it is what I read in another post in this thread. If this 2600MHz is going to have the same building penetration and need the same number of towers to run a full LTE deployment, is it really that important. I am guessing when clearwire deploys their 2600MHz LTE it will still be in a limited amount of markets. I think sprint should be trying to find some spectrum that would have better building penetration, and require less towers. Having LTE service in a spectrum I can't get most of the time indoors is not going to make me happier[/quote']

 

The spectrum is valuable because it gives Sprint an opportunity to add huge amounts of capacity at its busiest sites. The so called spectrum crunch is not a nationwide problem, it is only a problem at really busy urban sites. And 2600MHz will be a good fit for these sites.

 

2600MHz has fair building penetration at short distances. If you are in a dense urban environment where you are never more than a half mile from a site, your in building coverage will be acceptable.

 

Also, the way Clearwire is planning to deploy 20MHz TD-LTE carriers, the speeds are expected to be 60Mbps+. So even if you have only one bar of LTE 2600, you are still likely to get 15-20Mbps speeds.

 

You are right though, that LTE 2600 is only going to be in a few markets. Where the capacity is needed. Customers wont really notice a difference. They will just see 4G in their signal indicator and the speeds will stay fast. And if they are close to a LTE 2600 site, the speeds may go stratospeheric. Sounds good to me.

 

In my opinion, Sprint has enough Spectrum in 800 and 1900 to build a base network and add 2600 only where additional capacity is needed. I would take this spectrum position over ATT or VZW. VZW and ATT are going to run into capacity problems long before Sprint with their current holdings. And furthermore, there just isn't much spectrum on the market. Not any really.

 

PCS H Block may open in a few years, and I expect Sprint to go after that. And it makes a lot of sense. Also, a little more SMR may come open in the next 5 years. And Sprint should persue that too. However, any other dissimilar spectrum to what they hold now is probably not feasible to meld in the network given device limitations. And the bid prices wont justify it. I like Sprint's spectrum position very much at the moment.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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So basically the long and short of it is that access to Clearwire's spectrum gives Sprint a huge long term capacity advantage in all of the big urban markets where most of their customers live.

 

Sprint's rural and semi-rural customers don't need to worry about Clearwire's TD-LTE because its unlikely that those areas will ever need additional capacity beyond whats offered on Sprint's native 1900/800 network.

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So basically the long and short of it is that access to Clearwire's spectrum gives Sprint a huge long term capacity advantage in all of the big urban markets where most of their customers live.

 

Sprint's rural and semi-rural customers don't need to worry about Clearwire's TD-LTE because its unlikely that those areas will ever need additional capacity beyond whats offered on Sprint's native 1900/800 network.

 

Yep, that's pretty much it. :)

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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Ok if its not feasible, why is that spectrum so valuable to sprint? They had to move on that spectrum or lose it is what I read in another post in this thread. If this 2600MHz is going to have the same building penetration and need the same number of towers to run a full LTE deployment, is it really that important. I am guessing when clearwire deploys their 2600MHz LTE it will still be in a limited amount of markets. I think sprint should be trying to find some spectrum that would have better building penetration, and require less towers. Having LTE service in a spectrum I can't get most of the time indoors is not going to make me happier

 

It's not that valuable except in dense urban environments like NY and San Fran and a few other downtowns. That's why I am a firm advocate of Sprint acquiring both MetroPCS and Leap (Cricket) and maybe USCC and CSpire Wireless. That will force them to support the AWS band or try and spectrum swap PCS for AWS spectrum. The big monkey wrench is what Dish is going to do. If they clear the FCC unscathed, then Sprint is a natural to partner with them either to host Dish's spectrum or merge/acquire them. Sprint needs the steady income of either a wireline or a satellite TV network. Getting rid of Embarq was a big mistake in my mind. There's still money to be made on business lines.

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It's not that valuable except in dense urban environments like NY and San Fran and a few other downtowns. That's why I am a firm advocate of Sprint acquiring both MetroPCS and Leap (Cricket) and maybe USCC and CSpire Wireless. That will force them to support the AWS band or try and spectrum swap PCS for AWS spectrum. The big monkey wrench is what Dish is going to do. If they clear the FCC unscathed, then Sprint is a natural to partner with them either to host Dish's spectrum or merge/acquire them. Sprint needs the steady income of either a wireline or a satellite TV network. Getting rid of Embarq was a big mistake in my mind. There's still money to be made on business lines.

 

 

How much AWS could they really get? Buying up Metro and Leap would probably cost them somewhere around 15+ billion dollars, and that would only give them around 10Mhz of nationwide AWS. I doubt they would ever get a good enough amount of AWS.

 

According to

 

http://specmap.sequence-omega.net/

 

Sprint has almost complete nationwide coverage using just Block A and B, which are 30Mhz blocks, plus more in blocks C-F, which are 10mhz and 10Mhz nationwide on the G-block

 

If you do not trust that source, One of our contributors, AJ, created this map some time ago of Sprint's spectrum holdings.

 

spcs.gif

 

Even if we go by this map, Most areas are covered in 30Mhz of spectrum. This map does not include sprint's G-Block either.

 

Unless Sprint decides to buy the spectrumCo AWS, they will not get enough AWS for it to matter. It would be better to focus on bolstering PCS holdings, Buying Clearwire( which including debt would be cheaper than Leap or Metro), and possibly buying the rest of the SMR in the future.

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How much AWS could they really get? Buying up Metro and Leap would probably cost them somewhere around 15+ billion dollars, and that would only give them around 10Mhz of nationwide AWS. I doubt they would ever get a good enough amount of AWS.

 

According to

 

http://specmap.sequence-omega.net/

 

Sprint has almost complete nationwide coverage using just Block A and B, which are 30Mhz blocks, plus more in blocks C-F, which are 10mhz and 10Mhz nationwide on the G-block

 

If you do not trust that source, One of our contributors, AJ, created this map some time ago of Sprint's spectrum holdings.

 

 

 

Even if we go by this map, Most areas are covered in 30Mhz of spectrum. This map does not include sprint's G-Block either.

 

Unless Sprint decides to buy the spectrumCo AWS, they will not get enough AWS for it to matter. It would be better to focus on bolstering PCS holdings, Buying Clearwire( which including debt would be cheaper than Leap or Metro), and possibly buying the rest of the SMR in the future.

 

I don't want them to buy them for their AWS spectrum. They should try to trade AWS spectrum from their acquisition for PCS spectrum.

 

While I agree on Sprint getting PCS H block (I have been hearing about this since 2004), SMR spectrum becoming available is news to me. What SMR spectrum is this? If it's 900MHz spectrum, Sprint does not own the whole 5Mhz block so they would have to buy out the rest of the spectrum holders. Would FCC allow it? Where is the other SMR spectrum going to come from?

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I don't know of any SMR spectrum resources that Sprint could count on in the next few years, other than maybe SouthernLINC and Preferred Wireless. But Sprint should always keep a contingency plan in place for any useful SMR spectrum resources that could open up in the future.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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I don't want them to buy them for their AWS spectrum. They should try to trade AWS spectrum from their acquisition for PCS spectrum.

 

While I agree on Sprint getting PCS H block (I have been hearing about this since 2004), SMR spectrum becoming available is news to me. What SMR spectrum is this? If it's 900MHz spectrum, Sprint does not own the whole 5Mhz block so they would have to buy out the rest of the spectrum holders. Would FCC allow it? Where is the other SMR spectrum going to come from?

 

You are correct about the PCS H block. Seems like it has been in planning forever.I was talking about the rest of the SMR800, but I was saying it was a possibility, not that it is set in stone going to happen.

 

I was just pointing out that Sprint is in a good position in terms of spectrum. I really doubt the rural and sub-rural areas are going to need more than 20-30Mhz of spectrum, and the cities that do need it, have at least 70Mhz of 2500-2600.

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It's not that valuable except in dense urban environments like NY and San Fran and a few other downtowns. That's why I am a firm advocate of Sprint acquiring both MetroPCS and Leap (Cricket) and maybe USCC and CSpire Wireless. That will force them to support the AWS band or try and spectrum swap PCS for AWS spectrum. The big monkey wrench is what Dish is going to do. If they clear the FCC unscathed, then Sprint is a natural to partner with them either to host Dish's spectrum or merge/acquire them. Sprint needs the steady income of either a wireline or a satellite TV network. Getting rid of Embarq was a big mistake in my mind. There's still money to be made on business lines.

 

What you are proposing would turn their network into an overly complicated and difficult to support mess.

 

TD-LTE is the long term solution to any capacity issues that might arise in their top 100 markets & in isolated high traffic areas within their peripheral markets.

 

Converting the existing Clearwire footprint over to TD-LTE from WIMAX is basically trivial.

 

Not to mention there's an ability to add capacity and eliminate performance bottlenecks wherever they start to appear by deploying small cells in high traffic areas like malls, universities, sports arenas, and airports.

 

Their network modernization program is so important because it allows them to have fine grain control over their infrastructure, do real time monitoring and address capacity problems on a site to site basis. Its absolutely key in terms of using their existing spectrum and infrastructure in the most efficient way possible.

 

Its inefficient/old fashioned thinking to view cellular networks as monolithic and assume that Sprint should purchase huge blocks of contiguous spectrum and blanket entire markets when performance bottlenecks are highly localized.

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