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Does Sprint have enough Spectrum to compete in the Future?


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I am new to the forums and a 11 year sprint customer here in the north suburbs of Austin Texas. I found this site (google) due to a interest in finding out more about sprints new buildout and upgrade of their new LTE Network. You see I have the last couple of weeks reconnected with an old college friend of 20 plus years ago we both went to Texas A&M, He is an Electrical Engineer and works for a company called Ericsson. He was overseeing stuff in Houston, and has now come over to Austin, will be here a another couple of Months after setting up and moving on to Florida.

 

He explained that Sprint is doing some amazing things that will really be cutting edge over the next year, and I was lucky as I would expirence alot of new network before others, by sometime this fall in fact he told me.

 

TH=hat said as we talked he had me a little comcered for Sprint over long term. He said that Sprint over the next few years will be on the short end of Spectum needs. That Verizon had over 100MZ (half of which was in low end sub -900mgz Hi Quality Spectrum) of Spectrum in four bands, and AT&T about 90 MGZ (half in sub 900mgz spectrum) in THree Bands total. Sprints problem is tHat Sprint only had about 50Mgz of Spectrum in two Bands, (not counting Clearwire stuff). THat on ly about 15Mgz is in low wnd specrum 800mgs, that was all old nextal spectrum) What he was sating in the long rum Sprint needs to du=uld the low end Spectrum holds to about 30Mgz in the 800 level to really compete.

 

So is any of this true, he acted like it would be really hard for sprint to get more lower end spectrum, but they could get more 1700-1900 spectrum in the future.

 

Does this put Sprint in a bind long term? I thought when the nextel service was shutdown there would be plenty of spectrum on the low end, Is it really only around 15MGZ nationaly? is that enough?

 

sorry for all the Questions, new to really learning about mobile networks and how it works, was not as interested untill talking to old college room mate. He was an engineer I was Finance, lol.

 

Sorry for the typos on a mobile in a car.

 

Not to be a downer, I got some great info from Him and Sprint is doing some awesome stuff, that will put Sprint is a great positon for what is called LTE-A. Will tell more about that later.

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... He was overseeing stuff in Houston, and has now come over to Austin, will be here a another couple of Months after setting up and moving on to Florida.

 

He explained that Sprint is doing some amazing things that will really be cutting edge over the next year, and I was lucky as I would expirence alot of new network before others, by sometime this fall in fact he told me.

 

I was sorta hoping for an LTE launch in Austin during August, wilh complete tower infill built out by the fall.

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Sprint has enough lower band spectrum. The lower band spectrum is not going to replace the 1900, but be a complement to those who are outside the reach of their 1900mhz. It will likely only be used for overcapacity concerns and coverage. Sprint's current network configuration is based on 1900mhz, so unless you are in a dead spot, building that 1900mhz cannot penetrate, or past the edge of the 1900mhz cell site, you will likely be on 1900mhz anyways. Having lower band spectrum is important, but it is not necessary, and it is definitely not necessary to have a ton of it.

 

I am not sure why he did not include Clearwire, since Sprint owns close to 50% of the company, and has already signed a deal with them to get access to their TD-LTE in areas where they cannot add more capacity. The deal also includes sprint telling clearwire what towers to add their spectrum for hot spots.

 

Overall, I would say that sprint has the least to worry about. They already have the clearwire deal in place, and have given them funding for their TD-LTE network, plus I am sure that in the future, sprint will likely just buy out clearwire once it is profitable.

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Low end spectrum is great to have, but Verizon is showing that tons of it isn't their highest priority. Ideally you would have the low spectrum to cover areas that the higher spectrum can't cover (in buildings, and long distances). It should be your fallback spectrum. Then you want a lot of spectrum in that 1700 or 1900 type frequency for your major bandwidth every day users. We can't disregard the Clearwire spectrum because sprint has access to it and one day it could be Sprint spectrum. This high spectrum(2.6ghz) holds a lot of bandwidth and clearwire has tons of it, so it can be used to deliver fastest speeds and large amounts of bandwidth to the people in dense population areas.

 

The key is not to have tons of low spectrum, but to have large amounts of diverse spectrum, and to try to get it in a few well supported bands. Sprint is doing a very good job of that with 800, 1900, and clearwire 2600. They should be in pretty good shape spectrum/bandwidth wise, and their network coverage will be awesome once they enable 800 spectrum. They have never been able to cover those distances from the tower with 1900, and, because of this they have deployed their towers very densely around the country.

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I am new to the forums and a 11 year sprint customer here in the north suburbs of Austin Texas. I found this site (google) due to a interest in finding out more about sprints new buildout and upgrade of their new LTE Network. You see I have the last couple of weeks reconnected with an old college friend of 20 plus years ago we both went to Texas A&M, He is an Electrical Engineer and works for a company called Ericsson. He was overseeing stuff in Houston, and has now come over to Austin, will be here a another couple of Months after setting up and moving on to Florida.

 

He explained that Sprint is doing some amazing things that will really be cutting edge over the next year, and I was lucky as I would expirence alot of new network before others, by sometime this fall in fact he told me.

 

TH=hat said as we talked he had me a little comcered for Sprint over long term. He said that Sprint over the next few years will be on the short end of Spectum needs. That Verizon had over 100MZ (half of which was in low end sub -900mgz Hi Quality Spectrum) of Spectrum in four bands, and AT&T about 90 MGZ (half in sub 900mgz spectrum) in THree Bands total. Sprints problem is tHat Sprint only had about 50Mgz of Spectrum in two Bands, (not counting Clearwire stuff). THat on ly about 15Mgz is in low wnd specrum 800mgs, that was all old nextal spectrum) What he was sating in the long rum Sprint needs to du=uld the low end Spectrum holds to about 30Mgz in the 800 level to really compete.

 

So is any of this true, he acted like it would be really hard for sprint to get more lower end spectrum, but they could get more 1700-1900 spectrum in the future.

 

Does this put Sprint in a bind long term? I thought when the nextel service was shutdown there would be plenty of spectrum on the low end, Is it really only around 15MGZ nationaly? is that enough?

 

sorry for all the Questions, new to really learning about mobile networks and how it works, was not as interested untill talking to old college room mate. He was an engineer I was Finance, lol.

 

Sorry for the typos on a mobile in a car.

 

Not to be a downer, I got some great info from Him and Sprint is doing some awesome stuff, that will put Sprint is a great positon for what is called LTE-A. Will tell more about that later.

 

Just remember also that the big two have twice as many customers as Sprint, so they're probably in the same boat as far as total spectrum is concerned. Now, I do believe that Sprint should find at least another 10 Mhz of lower frequency somewhere. Would that be in the 900Mhz band where they own close to 3+3Mhz already or in the 600Mhz band to be freed through voluntary auctions? I don't have all the answers. If it was me, I would try to buy out the rest of the license holders in the 900Mhz band.

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Sprint has half the spectrum with half the subscribers, furthermore the rest are bogged down with an inefficient voice network that along with multiple network technologies takes up significant spectrum even with 90mhz of spectrum ATT had worries about available spectrum for LTE Deployment. Sprint will have only 3 total network techs to efficiently use the spectrum including 1x advanced for phone calls that should enable them to use only 5mhz or less for voice in most markets and the rest for data. The higher frequency of the spectrum is not of concern due to sprints network being specifically built for this. The 800 is really only needed for fringe areas and in building coverage. The 14mhz in 800 they have should be plenty for this along with Sprints liberal distribution of air raves.

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Just remember also that the big two have twice as many customers as Sprint, so they're probably in the same boat as far as total spectrum is concerned. Now, I do believe that Sprint should find at least another 10 Mhz of lower frequency somewhere. Would that be in the 900Mhz band where they own close to 3+3Mhz already or in the 600Mhz band to be freed through voluntary auctions? I don't have all the answers. If it was me, I would try to buy out the rest of the license holders in the 900Mhz band.

 

Each of those is another antenna and continues the issue Sprint currently has, where they have yet to release or announce a phone with 800 or 2600 support. Most around here believe they wont release one with support for those bands until next year! It's definitely an important point to consider when purchasing your next phone, especially if you live in a rural area.

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As for how much spectrum Sprint actually has, there will be about 14MHz (enough for a 5x5 LTE carrier and a 1xA voice carrier, but probably no EvDO) in 800MHz, former Nextel iDEN spectrum. That's not a lot compared to the 25MHz or 50MHz of Cellular (850MHz) that AT&T and Verizon have in many areas (AT&T in some places has both CLR licenses!) but it's workable for augmenting coverage and not much else. AT&T and Verizon also have 700MHz spectrum, though both carriers will probably top out at using 20MHz of it (Verizon in the upper C block, AT&T elsewhere). Verizon will sell its non-upper-C spectrum because it's cheaper to just go with one band, particuarly when you have that band nationwide (like Sprint's PCS G block).

 

So yes, Sprint doesn't have a lot of low-band spectrum, but the way they've built their network they don't really need it (remember, they started with PCS, while Verizon and AT&T started with cellular).

 

As for higher-band spectrum, Sprint has a very reasonable amount of PCS when you include the G block (40MHz in many markets). In many cases, they have more spectrum here than anyone else. Plus, they have PCS nationwide, like Verizon has 700MHz. I'm 99% sure that AT&T doesn't have nationwide spectrum in any band other than PCS, and I'm 99% sure that Verizon only has its upper-C 700 license nationwide (they might have some PCS nationwide but some areas may be cellular-only).

 

Then there's 2500/2600. It doesn't carry very far, but it doesn't have to; that band is all about high capacity. Like, multiple 20MHz bonded TD-LTE channels capacity. When you have the ability to turn on tons of capacity in high-usage zones, you can leave 1900MHz for standard-use, everyday networking (remember, Sprint has 40MHz of capacity there on average...even if they keep 20MHz on CDMA they can match AT&T or Verizon's 700MHz capacity anywhere in their coverage area), and 800MHz for eking out that last bit of coverage, with still-respectable data speeds.

 

One last note: Sprint has less spectrum than Verizon and AT&T, but it also has (and will have, for the foreseeable future) less customers. This is probably not how Sprint would like things to be, but the upshot is that they can get away with less spectrum and still provide high-quality service to their customers.

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As an aside for rural-area folks, the disadvantage to buying a phone now is unavailability of LTE-800, which probably won't be turned on anyway until a year-plus from now. You'll still get voice coverage at 800MHz if you buy a phone now. You just won't have superfast data speeds.

 

There's also the fact that, at worst, LTE coverage will be comparable to EvDO coverage you get now on Sprint. It's not like you'll lose high speed data coverage by getting a phone now, compared to what you already have (WiMAX excepted, if you get an LTE1900 phone). It's just that, after a year or so, there will be pockets of coverage (possibly indoors, where you can just use WiFi) where new phones will get data and you'll only get voice, where the new phones could just get voice-only before (but no high speed data).

 

Worst-case, Sprint finds that people are using a lot of voice on 800MHz 1xA and are complaining because their phones can't get data down there (though that's about what you get while roaming anyway). So they hand out a few Airaves to fill those holes with 1900MHz EvDO and go along their merry way.

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Each of those is another antenna and continues the issue Sprint currently has, where they have yet to release or announce a phone with 800 or 2600 support. Most around here believe they wont release one with support for those bands until next year! It's definitely an important point to consider when purchasing your next phone, especially if you live in a rural area.

 

Additional low frequency bands will not be available anytime soon, so Sprint is stuck with the 7+7MHz in the 800Mhz SMR band. I think most people should wait until both the 800MHz and the 2600Mhz bands are supported in a handset. I know that Sprint and some of the enthusiasts don't like that advice, but between the fact that Sprint's network won't be widespread before the end of 2013 and the fact that all current phones wont support the 800 and 2600MHz band, it makes perfect sense for ordinary people.

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No offense to the OP...but this subject has been spoken about since the founding of S4GRU. Probably twenty times over, and in God only knows how many chats.

 

All things considered, Sprint is sitting in a better spectrum position than AT&T for the long term. AT&T is the one who should be quaking in their boots. And furthermore, there is no spectrum crisis. There is only an inexpensive and easy to deploy on spectrum crisis. Even if Sprint "runs out" of spectrum, they can keep splitting cells and turn to picocells and microcells for more capacity. That is just a more expensive solution.

 

Robert

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No offense to the OP...but this subject has been spoken about since the founding of S4GRU. Probably twenty times over, and in God only knows how many chats.

 

All things considered, Sprint is sitting in a better spectrum position than AT&T for the long term. AT&T is the one who should be quaking in their boots. And furthermore, there is no spectrum crisis. There is only an inexpensive and easy to deploy on spectrum crisis. Even if Sprint "runs out" of spectrum, they can keep splitting cells and turn to picocells and microcells for more capacity. That is just a more expensive solution.

 

Robert

 

Isn't that the truth. I like your brief, yet complete response here. Maybe you should type something like this up and save it, so you can just copy and paste it throughout the site, as needed... kinda like an auto-reply type thing. :lol:

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Thanks for the replys, just found this site today and starting to read thru it. Like I said I have been catching up with a close college Bud the last three weeks since he has been in Town, mostly talking about family, college and Football since we are former Students of TAMU and the move to hte SEC.

 

I am not a tech guy, but been with Sprint 11 years. When we talked about his job, and that I was with Sprint, he gave me a lot of insite with what He is doing, most of which is over my Head. One thing I think yall would like to know is how much he stated that Sprint is doing the new Network the right way. In Fact what he rold me when done, this will be second to none. He also stated that in Texas it will be very complete before most other States. I now he was in Houston thepast few months, and now in Austin. I think from what he does is more backend field engineering with switching stuff, not sure how it works with towers. Told me the equipement is top end. The other thing I learned was he told me that Sprint weill be set to move quickly from LTE to a new LTE-A, which would be amazing when complete. He would not tell me much about total plans but that the system be put in placed now will be able to change to this newer LTE easily. I know he was in Houston , then Waco, and now Round Rock North austin Area not sure when all this will be done, his team from what I gather is just a part of it all. I did get that my Area of Austin (Georgetown) will be one of the last areas of the Austin Area. After this off to somewhere in Florida.

 

The only reason I asked this questions was that In talking to my friend the only negative concerned he had about sprint going forward long term (like years from now) was the bandwith. He told me that Verizon is deploying more LTE of the Lower end spectrum. FYI, he did tell me Sprint in the near future would be adding the Nextel Spectrum to LTE, but they did not have has much as Verizon. THat all said do not take my post as Negative Sprint, in fact he was gl;owing about the new Network they were deploying. In passing coment that was the only Negative. In fact he encouraged me to stick with Spint, when all was update I would have the best Service in the Area. I think the comment was more Long Term.

 

He did tell me about the plans to have LTE in two bands first the Upper (PCS), he said was what they were doing now, and then later the lower band nextel in 800. I might be wrong, but I was under the impression when that comes it will be LTE-A.

 

On tyhe timing all he told me was early fall, in fact he said early college football season,lol. Also College Station, Texas is getting this also, FYI

 

Sorry to stir anything up, just after talking to him got interested in what was soon coming to Austin.

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Do you really care about our points or did you just want to post your story about knowing a guy that works for Network Vision? You posted the story twice and the second time addressed none of our arguments. Also as Robert pointed out, this issue is discussed constantly on this site.

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Thanks bq. If you see him again, tell him to come to the Melboune, FL area. So far we have been bypassed by the Big 2. It would be very funny if Sprint deployed LTE in our area before they did.

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Do you really care about our points or did you just want to post your story about knowing a guy that works for Network Vision? You posted the story twice and the second time addressed none of our arguments. Also as Robert pointed out, this issue is discussed constantly on this site.

 

He's not trying to argue with anybody. He just reiterated what his friend told him. No more, no less.

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Hmm, I probably took it the wrong way. I was hoping that some of the points we made about the different spectrum were read and taken into consideration before reposting the story again. I didn't mean argue, as much as I meant our arguments or statements

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Thanks for the replys, just found this site today and starting to read thru it. Like I said I have been catching up with a close college Bud the last three weeks since he has been in Town, mostly talking about family, college and Football since we are former Students of TAMU and the move to hte SEC. I am not a tech guy, but been with Sprint 11 years. When we talked about his job, and that I was with Sprint, he gave me a lot of insite with what He is doing, most of which is over my Head. One thing I think yall would like to know is how much he stated that Sprint is doing the new Network the right way. In Fact what he rold me when done, this will be second to none. He also stated that in Texas it will be very complete before most other States. I now he was in Houston thepast few months, and now in Austin. I think from what he does is more backend field engineering with switching stuff, not sure how it works with towers. Told me the equipement is top end. The other thing I learned was he told me that Sprint weill be set to move quickly from LTE to a new LTE-A, which would be amazing when complete. He would not tell me much about total plans but that the system be put in placed now will be able to change to this newer LTE easily. I know he was in Houston , then Waco, and now Round Rock North austin Area not sure when all this will be done, his team from what I gather is just a part of it all. I did get that my Area of Austin (Georgetown) will be one of the last areas of the Austin Area. After this off to somewhere in Florida. The only reason I asked this questions was that In talking to my friend the only negative concerned he had about sprint going forward long term (like years from now) was the bandwith. He told me that Verizon is deploying more LTE of the Lower end spectrum. FYI, he did tell me Sprint in the near future would be adding the Nextel Spectrum to LTE, but they did not have has much as Verizon. THat all said do not take my post as Negative Sprint, in fact he was gl;owing about the new Network they were deploying. In passing coment that was the only Negative. In fact he encouraged me to stick with Spint, when all was update I would have the best Service in the Area. I think the comment was more Long Term. He did tell me about the plans to have LTE in two bands first the Upper (PCS), he said was what they were doing now, and then later the lower band nextel in 800. I might be wrong, but I was under the impression when that comes it will be LTE-A. On tyhe timing all he told me was early fall, in fact he said early college football season,lol. Also College Station, Texas is getting this also, FYI Sorry to stir anything up, just after talking to him got interested in what was soon coming to Austin.

 

No worries about stirring anything up, If you are more interested in this topic however it has been talked about extensively in other topics on this forum and you may get more information there than here. Welcome to S4GRU :welcome:

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Hmm, I probably took it the wrong way. I was hoping that some of the points we made about the different spectrum were read and taken into consideration before reposting the story again. I didn't mean argue, as much as I meant our arguments or statements

 

 

 

Actually just getting back to this, did not intend to upset anyone, very sorry also was not trying to point out I knew someone working for Sprint, in fact he does not work for Sprint, but works for a company that works for Sprint.

 

The point of my second post was to try and let yall know my friend was very high on the plans Sprint had for its network. I was just trying to relay the positive info he had told me, did not want you to think because of the questioned spectrum issue that he was negative on Sprint, I mistook the response to my post. The only negative thing he told me was he thought over time Sprint would need more Spectrum, which I think he was talking in reference to the LTE-A future, I could be wrong.

 

This was my old College roommate, The thing is we would never have had talked so much about his job and what he is doing, except he knew myself and my family are on Sprint. I relayed how my wife and I were tired of Sprint’s service seemingly getting worse in my area the past year. He encouraged me to stick it out and by the fall it would be worth it. Once we talked he peaked my interest and I was curious to do a little research on what all sprint had planned. That is how I found this site. To be honest, my guess is I am like most non tech Sprint customers, who really don't know that much about the cell Technology or what Sprints future plans are, this is new to me.

 

I have enjoyed, reading lots of posts on here the last day and have learned a lot, more than I ever thought I could know. The reason for me doing this research, so when we get together next week, I will know more about what he his talking about and what questions to ask.

 

Again sorry for misunderstanding, I was not trying to make a post about someone I know, if I came across that way my apologies. Thanks for the links of this site to helping some of us non techs understand what Sprints network vision is all about.

Edited by bq91
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Actually just getting back to this' date=' did not intend to upset anyone, very sorry also was not trying to point out I knew someone working for Sprint, in fact he does not work for Sprint, but works for a company that works for Sprint.

 

The point of my second post was to try and let yall know my friend was very high on the plans Sprint had for its network. I was just trying to relay the positive info he had told me, did not want you to think because of the questioned spectrum issue that he was negative on Sprint, I mistook the response to my post. The only negative thing he told me was he thought over time Sprint would need more Spectrum, which I think he was talking in reference to the LTE-A future, I could be wrong.

 

This was my old College roommate, The thing is we would never have had talked so much about his job and what he is doing, except he knew myself and my family are on Sprint. I relayed how my wife and I were tired of Sprint’s service seemingly getting worse in my area the past year. He encouraged me to stick it out and by the fall it would be worth it. Once we talked he peaked my interest and I was curious to do a little research on what all sprint had planned. That is how I found this site. To be honest, my guess is I am like most non tech Sprint customers, who really don't know that much about the cell Technology or what Sprints future plans are, this is new to me.

 

I have enjoyed, reading lots of posts on here the last day and have learned a lot, more than I ever thought I could know. The reason for me doing this research, so when we get together next week, I will know more about what he his talking about and what questions to ask.

 

Again sorry for misunderstanding, I was not trying to make a post about someone I know, if I came across that way my apologies. Thanks for the links of this site to helping some of us non techs understand what Sprints network vision is all about.[/quote']

 

I would tell your friend that if you take into account Clearwire spectrum for additional capacity, including LTE Advanced, Sprint has no spectrum issues. In fact, with Clearwire, Sprint has more spectrum than anyone.

 

Also Sprint is working on a deal with Dish Network which may bring them the use of more spectrum. But that deal is not a definite thing.

 

Sprint without Clearwire is problematic for the long term. However, Sprint can jump in and scoop up Clearwire at any time if they had to. The worst case scenario is it could slow down NV if they had to make that move in the next 36 months.

 

Robert via Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

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I would tell your friend that if you take into account Clearwire spectrum for additional capacity, including LTE Advanced, Sprint has no spectrum issues. In fact, with Clearwire, Sprint has more spectrum than anyone.

 

Also Sprint is working on a deal with Dish Network which may bring them the use of more spectrum. But that deal is not a definite thing.

 

Sprint without Clearwire is problematic for the long term. However, Sprint can jump in and scoop up Clearwire at any time if they had to. The worst case scenario is it could slow down NV if they had to make that move in the next 36 months.

 

Robert via Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

 

Have you seen info that Sprint is in fact trying to work out a deal with Dish? I know that's been perennial rumor since Dish said they were going to launch wireless services.

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Have you seen info that Sprint is in fact trying to work out a deal with Dish? I know that's been perennial rumor since Dish said they were going to launch wireless services.

 

I have never seen anything internal about Dish...ever. However I saw an article in the past few weeks where Ergen was quoted as saying they were talking with both Sprint and T-Mobile.

 

Robert via Galaxy Nexus using Forum Runner

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Dish + Sprint would make sense since Sprint's netowrk is already set up to allow "hosting" of someone else's spectrum, thanks to the failed LightSquared deal. Adding Dish's 2GHz spectrum to the mix wouldn't be difficult at all.

 

What would be really awesome is if Sprint was able to get that hosting contract...and Dish was able to keep all 40MHz of its spectrum. You'd be able to deploy a full 20x20 LTE channel (tons of capacity) nationwide, at a frequency that's lower than Clearwire's (so the network could actually be a full overlay instead of just a hot zone style net). Granted, this network would be marketed by Dish, but I wouldn't put it past Sprint to integrate the band into their devices down the road since it would represent a very nice capacity bump for them.

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Would clear's spectrum be helpful for those high-density events like sports, st paddys day, music festivals etc. where cell service stops working because of all the people?

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