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WiMax ~vs~ TDD-LTE coverage at 2500Mhz


Josh
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So I didn't know where to put this post since it involves both WiMax & LTE, but here it is.

 

I have been reading some articles on other sites about sprint network vision (even though I prefer this site) and the other day it was mentioned that clearwire's new TDD-LTE network will have better propagation characteristics than their current WiMax offerings. Now they didn't have any link's to where they got their information, so I cannot guarantee any information that was posted. So I thought that since everyone here is usually the most knowledgeable, I would post a thread and see what the consensus was.

 

I would appreciate any insight on the matter, and if there is already an article I should read, please post the link.

 

-Thanks

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No, propagation will be largely the same, as the spectrum is the same, the modulation is the same, etc. And, somewhat ironically, coverage footprint will likely be smaller for TD-LTE. But that is by design. WiMAX was intended to be a complete network overlay, though that was never fully realized. On the other hand, TD-LTE 2600 will be deployed selectively, creating islands of coverage or "hot spots" where additional LTE capacity is needed above and beyond that of the underlying Sprint LTE 800/1900 network. This type of heterogeneous network or "het net" design is the future of wireless.

 

AJ

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No, propagation will be largely the same, as the spectrum is the same, the modulation is the same, etc. And, somewhat ironically, coverage footprint will likely be smaller for TD-LTE. But that is by design. WiMAX was intended to be a complete network overlay, though that was never fully realized. On the other hand, TD-LTE 2600 will be deployed selectively, creating islands of coverage or "hot spots" where additional LTE capacity is needed above and beyond that of the underlying Sprint LTE 800/1900 network. This type of heterogeneous network or "het net" design is the future of wireless.

 

AJ

 

But isn't what you are saying only 1 part of what Clearwire is planning to do with its TD-LTE network. I understand that Clearwire and Sprint are collaborating to select specific towers to add TD-LTE capacity but I thought that was a separate task that is asked specifically by Sprint. What about Clearwire's natural footprint? Isn't the second part of what Clearwire is doing is overlaying specific Wimax towers with TD-LTE on its natural footprint since Clearwire leased its own towers?

 

I am just curious because what about Clearwire's other LTE wholesale customers? If Clearwire built TD-LTE coverage on only co-located Sprint towers, I doubt Sprint is going to allow all the other Clearwire LTE wholesale customers to leech off of their colocated towers which should be reserved for Sprint customers.

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But isn't what you are saying only 1 part of what Clearwire is planning to do with its TD-LTE network. I understand that Clearwire and Sprint are collaborating to select specific towers to add TD-LTE capacity but I thought that was a separate task that is asked specifically by Sprint. What about Clearwire's natural footprint? Isn't the second part of what Clearwire is doing is overlaying specific Wimax towers with TD-LTE on its natural footprint since Clearwire leased its own towers?

 

I am just curious because what about Clearwire's other LTE wholesale customers? If Clearwire built TD-LTE coverage on only co-located Sprint towers, I doubt Sprint is going to allow all the other Clearwire LTE wholesale customers to leech off of their colocated towers which should be reserved for Sprint customers.

 

Eric, I could be mistaken about Clearwire's intent. However, as I understand it, TD-LTE, unlike WiMAX, will not attempt to be a standalone network. Instead, Clearwire will be essentially a "carriers' carrier," deploying TD-LTE only in areas where its partner carriers' require additional offload capacity. Underlying and outside of those "hot spots," each partner carrier (e.g. Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, etc.) will operate its own network separately.

 

The quasi contiguous WiMAX footprint will remain in place for the next few years. However, it will eventually come down, leaving behind just the TD-LTE footprint, which should cover only high traffic areas and corridors.

 

AJ

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No, propagation will be largely the same, as the spectrum is the same, the modulation is the same, etc. And, somewhat ironically, coverage footprint will likely be smaller for TD-LTE. But that is by design. WiMAX was intended to be a complete network overlay, though that was never fully realized. On the other hand, TD-LTE 2600 will be deployed selectively, creating islands of coverage or "hot spots" where additional LTE capacity is needed above and beyond that of the underlying Sprint LTE 800/1900 network. This type of heterogeneous network or "het net" design is the future of wireless.

 

AJ

Having had Clear/Sprint WiMAX from 1/09-6/12, this has always seemed like a solution to me in populated metros where the heaviest of burdens are on a network. If in fact Sprint is going to continue to market "Unlimited" it seems this could be worth pursuing more to them vs other operators or not?

 

Assuming handsets can effectively be equipped to connect to this 2.5/2.6GHz TD-LTE network in addition to potential Clearwire customer's own network, how will Clearwire's future most likely play out? Could Clearwire even afford to deploy this TD-LTE to a higher standard than their WiMAX network is in order to attract a Verizon or AT&T ?

 

This was an interesting article from CTIA:

 

http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20120509/carriers/ctia-2012-sprint-nextel-reinforces-lte-plans-looks-to-trade-das-for-picocells/

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Assuming handsets can effectively be equipped to connect to this 2.5/2.6GHz TD-LTE network in addition to potential Clearwire customer's own network...

 

Above, you describe two networks. But, as long as my understanding is correct, there will be only one TD-LTE network. And Clearwire will not have any retail subs, only wholesale subs through other carriers.

 

Could Clearwire even afford to deploy this TD-LTE to a higher standard than their WiMAX network is in order to attract a Verizon or AT&T ?

 

Define "higher standard." What do you have in mind?

 

AJ

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Above, you describe two networks. But, as long as my understanding is correct, there will be only one TD-LTE network. And Clearwire will not have any retail subs, only wholesale subs through other carriers.

I'm referring to Clearwire wholesale customers and interoperability between their networks.

 

Define "higher standard." What do you have in mind?

 

AJ

It sounds very challenging to deploy a network of any size on that spectrum so it's safe to assume there's always room for improvement as technology improves on the commercial level. I'm not saying Clearwire went out of their way to deploy at the bare minimum but it seems as though it could be done better at a higher cost of course. It's kinda like that old saying "Anything's possible - it just costs more." lol

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One quick note re: phasing out WiMAX eventually in favor of TD-LTE hot zones: I'd think that Clear would want to maintain their old WiMAX footprint, even if they become more of a carrier's carrier than they are now. Particularly since they need to keep up some sort of presence where their WIMAX protection sites exist now.

 

Also, if Clear phased out WiMAX completely in favor of TD-LTE hot zones, they'd lose the ability to get MVNOs on board, which may or may not be necessary depending on how much money they are able to make off of "cellular offloading" from traditional cellular carriers.

 

My personal guess (and only that) is that Clear will add TD-LTE pretty much everywhere they have WiMAX now. Tower locations may change as they start collocating with Sprint, but coverage overall shouldn't get any worse. Additionally, they'll add sites where carriers tell them they are needed, so they'll end up covering a couple million more people than they do now.

 

I still think (though Clear will probably decide not to do this) that the company could set up its retail arm to serve up fixed wireless (with professional installs and high-gain antennas) for its TD-LTE network, competing with cable and DSL but not its wholesale customers (who all focus on smartphones and, to an extent, tablets and data cards, all in a mobility setting). Fixed wireless customers would tend to be well-behaved (i.e. not hovering on the fringe of serviceability and thus dragging down performance of the whole cell) and, if cell site downtilt isn't too aggressive, could be a few miles from the cell site and still have a good signal (try that with a WiMAX phone!). This use of a 4G network as a home broadband system has been done before (primarily by Verizon via HomeFusion) so, if Clear did it right, it would work. Heck, that's almost the same thing they did pre-WiMAX days, albeit with a self-installed (read: bad idea) modem instead of a professionally-installed, high-gain one.

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One quick note re: phasing out WiMAX eventually in favor of TD-LTE hot zones: I'd think that Clear would want to maintain their old WiMAX footprint, even if they become more of a carrier's carrier than they are now. Particularly since they need to keep up some sort of presence where their WIMAX protection sites exist now.

 

Also, if Clear phased out WiMAX completely in favor of TD-LTE hot zones, they'd lose the ability to get MVNOs on board, which may or may not be necessary depending on how much money they are able to make off of "cellular offloading" from traditional cellular carriers.

 

My personal guess (and only that) is that Clear will add TD-LTE pretty much everywhere they have WiMAX now. Tower locations may change as they start collocating with Sprint, but coverage overall shouldn't get any worse. Additionally, they'll add sites where carriers tell them they are needed, so they'll end up covering a couple million more people than they do now.

 

I still think (though Clear will probably decide not to do this) that the company could set up its retail arm to serve up fixed wireless (with professional installs and high-gain antennas) for its TD-LTE network, competing with cable and DSL but not its wholesale customers (who all focus on smartphones and, to an extent, tablets and data cards, all in a mobility setting). Fixed wireless customers would tend to be well-behaved (i.e. not hovering on the fringe of serviceability and thus dragging down performance of the whole cell) and, if cell site downtilt isn't too aggressive, could be a few miles from the cell site and still have a good signal (try that with a WiMAX phone!). This use of a 4G network as a home broadband system has been done before (primarily by Verizon via HomeFusion) so, if Clear did it right, it would work. Heck, that's almost the same thing they did pre-WiMAX days, albeit with a self-installed (read: bad idea) modem instead of a professionally-installed, high-gain one.

 

I agree with you. In order for Clearwire to survive as an independent company, they need to expand their coverage beyond what Sprint's reqs of using them in high traffic areas. They need to expand their service to home/laptop/car devices that are not power constrained and then turn up the power to expand their coverage.

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Clearwire has big plans. They plan on keeping all their native coverage and adding TDD-LTE over it. However, it will take them a long time to do it. And they most likely will have to get profitable to do it too. Big plans, limited funds.

 

In the mean time, Clearwire will continue to add LTE to their pre-identified markets, in a hotspot format. They also will in the future add hotspots to Non Clearwire markets on Sprint Network Vision sites when Sprint requests them.

 

Right now, a complete market of Clearwire LTE is just a long term goal. No immediate plans, or I should say, no funded plans at the moment.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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Clearwire has big plans. They plan on keeping all their native coverage and adding TDD-LTE over it. However, it will take them a long time to do it. And they most likely will have to get profitable to do it too. Big plans, limited funds.

 

Does that mean the WiMax protection sites will become LTE protection sites?

 

In the mean time, Clearwire will continue to add LTE to their pre-identified markets, in a hotspot format. They also will in the future add hotspots to Non Clearwire markets on Sprint Network Vision sites when Sprint requests them.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

 

So let's talk 18 months from now when LTE800 and LTE2600 is live. Sprint see's that certain tower is just constantly hammered, they would request Clear to add LTE 2600 support to offload the high bandwidth users and support the tower? Or would clear come in and upgrade multiple towers in the area for that network support?

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Does that mean the WiMax protection sites will become LTE protection sites?

 

The "protection" part of that is just to protect the spectrum. Seems rather expensive to deploy lte where you already have Wimax protecting the spectrum.

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Does that mean the WiMax protection sites will become LTE protection sites?

The "protection" part of that is just to protect the spectrum. Seems rather expensive to deploy lte where you already have Wimax protecting the spectrum.

 

I don't think you will see a push from Clearwire to convert Protection Sites from WiMax to LTE. There are still hundreds of Clearwire 3G Expedience sites protecting EBS/BRS spectrum. Clearwire never bothered to convert so many of these from Expedience to WiMax.

 

They don't want to spend any more money than possible to protect spectrum. It's all wasted operating dollars, in their opinion. I have a feeling those will continue operating long after 2015 in WiMax.

 

So let's talk 18 months from now when LTE800 and LTE2600 is live. Sprint see's that certain tower is just constantly hammered, they would request Clear to add LTE 2600 support to offload the high bandwidth users and support the tower? Or would clear come in and upgrade multiple towers in the area for that network support?

 

Clearwire will be upgrading their own sites on their own, whenever they want to and can afford to. But separately, Sprint can also request Clearwire to add hotspot LTE wherever Sprint needs it. Including Sprint Network Vision sites in markets where Clearwire doesn't even currently serve. In the documents I have seen Sprint will request specific sites in advance, long before the site is over capacity. Sprint has a lot more network management/monitoring capability on Network Vision sites than they have ever had in the past. They are planning to be far more proactive.

 

Robert

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Clearwire will be upgrading their own sites on their own, whenever they want to and can afford to. But separately, Sprint can also request Clearwire to add hotspot LTE wherever Sprint needs it. Including Sprint Network Vision sites in markets where Clearwire doesn't even currently serve. In the documents I have seen Sprint will request specific sites in advance, long before the site is over capacity. Sprint has a lot more network management/monitoring capability on Network Vision sites than they have ever had in the past. They are planning to be far more proactive.

 

Is Ericsson still the primary OEM for Clearwire even for Sprint Network Vision?

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Is Ericsson still the primary OEM for Clearwire even for Sprint Network Vision?

 

Not sure. I was always under the impression that Ericcson provided the hardware for Clearwire to deploy their Wimax network. I assume they would be contracted again to provide the LTE hardware for the TD-LTE network.

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Not sure. I was always under the impression that Ericcson provided the hardware for Clearwire to deploy their Wimax network. I assume they would be contracted again to provide the LTE hardware for the TD-LTE network.

 

I am not sure who the equipment OEM is for Clearwire.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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Not sure. I was always under the impression that Ericcson provided the hardware for Clearwire to deploy their Wimax network. I assume they would be contracted again to provide the LTE hardware for the TD-LTE network.

I am not sure who the equipment OEM is for Clearwire.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

 

Actually DragonWave and other vendors like Motorola (Legacy Provider) supplies the equipment, and Ericsson deploys and manages the equipment and network.

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Actually DragonWave and other vendors like Motorola (Legacy Provider) supplies the equipment, and Ericsson deploys and manages the equipment and network.

 

I think you may be mistaken that Ericsson is deploying the new LTE network if it is a different OEM. That would be highly unusual. Typically, the OEM installs their own equipment as part of the contract. That is the way it is working in Network Vision, as well. Samsung is installing Samsung equipment. Alcatel/Lucent is installing AlcaLu equipment and Ericsson is installing Ericsson equipment.

 

It is true that Ericsson is the network manager for Clearwire, but that does not make them the LTE deployer by default. If Ericsson is the successful company to deploy Clearwire LTE, they would almost certainly deploy Ericsson equipment. Clearwire would be crazy to put out to bid their LTE network with a specified OEM, and not allow the bidders to use their own equipment and only use the specified equipment. If there ever was an issue with failures or warranty work, you would have a finger pointing fiasco. You definitely want the same OEM installing for a more cohesive and manageable system.

 

Afterwards, you can have any firm manage the network. Like Ericsson does now for Clearwire.

 

Robert

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I think you may be mistaken that Ericsson is deploying the new LTE network if it is a different OEM. That would be highly unusual. Typically, the OEM installs their own equipment as part of the contract. That is the way it is working in Network Vision, as well. Samsung is installing Samsung equipment. Alcatel/Lucent is installing AlcaLu equipment and Ericsson is installing Ericsson equipment.

 

It is true that Ericsson is the network manager for Clearwire, but that does not make them the LTE deployer by default. If Ericsson is the successful company to deploy Clearwire LTE, they would almost certainly deploy Ericsson equipment. Clearwire would be crazy to put out to bid their LTE network with a specified OEM, and not allow the bidders to use their own equipment and only use the specified equipment. If there ever was an issue with failures or warranty work, you would have a finger pointing fiasco. You definitely want the same OEM installing for a more cohesive and manageable system.

 

Afterwards, you can have any firm manage the network. Like Ericsson does now for Clearwire.

 

Robert

 

Clearwire actually transitioned almost all their Network Operations and Engineering to Ericsson, so that means all the existing engineers in Clearwire Local Markets are now employees of Ericsson. Ericsson is not necessary the supplier for the equipment as they can be just managing and deploying the equipment from vendors such as DragonWave.

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Clearwire actually transitioned almost all their Network Operations and Engineering to Ericsson, so that means all the existing engineers in Clearwire Local Markets are now employees of Ericsson. Ericsson is not necessary the supplier for the equipment as they can be just managing and deploying the equipment from vendors such as DragonWave.

 

Yes. I know. Your comments do not address my points at all. You must not understand what I have said.

 

Robert

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Yes. I know. Your comments do not address my points at all. You must not understand what I have said.

 

Robert

 

Clearwire is actually using Ericsson to test their LTE Network right now in Phoenix, AZ and Herndon, VA using existing suppliers.

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Clearwire is actually using Ericsson to test their LTE Network right now in Phoenix, AZ and Herndon, VA using existing suppliers.

 

That makes sense, Ericsson Network Management Services would help their client Clearwire in their LTE FIT. And Clearwire may hire Ericsson to deploy their LTE network as a whole, I don't know. However, it would be unusual for an OEM to not install their own equipment. It creates problems.

 

Robert

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