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T-Mobile LTE & Network Discussion

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T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray continues his rounds of discussion in New Orleans as CTIA continues, this time with a comment to Reuters on T-Mobile’s purported tower sale. T-Mobile has previously said it would explore the sale of 7,000 of 37,000 wireless towers to gain some financial independence from parent Deutsche Telekom.

 

http://www.tmonews.com/2012/05/t-mobile-cto-neville-ray-says-tower-sale-could-take-months/

T-Mobile USA currently runs its network across some 37,000 cell sites.

 

http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20120917/tower/sba-signs-tower-extension-t-mobile-usa/#_

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This quote is slightly out of date with respect to their HSPA+21 coverage: according to Tmobile's recent press releases, they cover 225 million with HSPA+21 or faster.

But I wouldn't be surprised if the HSPA+42 coverage is the same.

 

"T-Mobile currently operates an HSPA+42 network covering 184 million POPs and an HSPA+21 network covering more than 200 million POPs."

 

Read more: T-Mobile's Ray: We will be first carrier to deploy integrated radios in N. America - FierceWireless http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobiles-ray-we-will-be-first-carrier-deploy-integrated-radios-n-america/2012-03-01#ixzz2XepsvTi3

Subscribe at FierceWireless

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I'm kinda confused by the number of 51, 000 sites just because they have a small footprint then sprint (38, 000 sites) with about the same fq spectrum dumb why to look at it I know lol...

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Milwaukee is the beer hole.

Hmm, the "beer hole" is questionable. Which one is that? After all, you do not buy beer -- you rent it.

 

And in West Denver, right over Charlie Ergen's house is the middle finger.

Does Charlie truly live in the western suburbs of Denver? Evergreen, maybe. I am a geography guy, so I know what I am talking about. But I was more expecting him to live in the southern suburbs, probably the Parker area.

 

Regardless, we should find an S4GRU member willing to drop a flaming bag of poop on Charlie's porch, then play "ding, dong, ditch."

 

AJ

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Milwaukee is the beer hole.

 

Hmm, the "beer hole" is questionable. Which one is that? After all, you do not buy beer -- you rent it.

 

 

And in West Denver, right over Charlie Ergen's house is the middle finger.

 

Does Charlie truly live in the western suburbs of Denver? Evergreen, maybe. I am a geography guy, so I know what I am talking about. But I was more expecting him to live in the southern suburbs, probably the Parker area.

 

Regardless, we should find an S4GRU member willing to drop a flaming bag of poop on Charlie's porch, then play "ding, dong, ditch."

 

 

AJ

 

Evergreen is exactly where I had in mind. Some 40 acre estate in forest.

 

Robert from Note 2 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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Evergreen is exactly where I had in mind. Some 40 acre estate in forest.

 

It must be tough to get a cable drop to that house on the 40 acre estate.

 

:P

 

AJ

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It must be tough to get a cable drop to that house on the 40 acre estate.

 

:P

 

AJ

i'm sure we could jury-rig some type of truck mounted catapult.  The surrounding farmland could provide plenty of raw material

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i'm sure we could jury-rig some type of truck mounted catapult.  The surrounding farmland could provide plenty of raw material

 

I had baked beans tonight with my smoked chicken legs.  I can make the ceremonial first dump.  :)

 

Robert

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Everyone's always saying they have a smaller footprint than Sprint, but I'm not so sure about that. Compare T-Mobile and Sprint in California... no really, check the coverage maps. Native Sprint is sprinkled in areas. In California, there's more roaming than native. But T-Mobile covers a lot of the state and barley roams. In Northern California, Sprint is non-existant. I know this isn't the case elsewhere.  

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Everyone's always saying they have a smaller footprint than Sprint, but I'm not so sure about that. Compare T-Mobile and Sprint in California... no really, check the coverage maps. Native Sprint is sprinkled in areas. In California, there's more roaming than native. But T-Mobile covers a lot of the state and barley roams. In Northern California, Sprint is non-existant. I know this isn't the case elsewhere.

 

Is most of Tmobile's coverage 2G or 3G/4G?

Does Sprint or Tmobile have more native 3G/4G?

Cause when you're on 2G, I don't think it matters whether you're native or roaming cause it's not as if you can go over your roaming data limits very easily on 2G.

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Everyone's always saying they have a smaller footprint than Sprint, but I'm not so sure about that. Compare T-Mobile and Sprint in California... no really, check the coverage maps. Native Sprint is sprinkled in areas. In California, there's more roaming than native. But T-Mobile covers a lot of the state and barley roams. In Northern California, Sprint is non-existant. I know this isn't the case elsewhere.  

 

Meh.  Get a history lesson.

 

T-Mobile did not build out California; PacBell did.  Pacific Telesis spun off its Cellular 850 MHz assets as AirTouch.  Then, PacBell got back into the mobile game via the first PCS 1900 MHz auction in 1995.  That allowed PacBell to go GSM (barf!) and focus its efforts on only one state and basically one other market -- California and Las Vegas.  With such a limited scope, PacBell built out a very good GSM 1900 network.  

 

A few years later, SBC acquired PacBell.  Then, SBC spun off the PacBell mobile network to T-Mobile in order to help Cingular's merger with AT&TWS.  So, do not give T-Mobile much, if any credit in California.  T-Mobile essentially stumbled into a pre built network.

 

I documented all of this nearly a decade ago...

 

AJ

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How old is the equipment in Tmobile's 2G-only towers?

What's the range in age?

 

Are they now really only replacing their broken 2G equipment with 3G?

That seems to contradict the TMO+MetroPCS articles wherein TMO CEO says they're keeping 10MHz for GSM for international roaming and M2M.

 

If, as their 2G dies, they only replace it with 3G (minus the backhaul) then won't they start seeing holes in their international roaming and M2M coverage?

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Meh.  Get a history lesson.

 

T-Mobile did not build out California; PacBell did.  Pacific Telesis spun off its Cellular 850 MHz assets as AirTouch.  Then, PacBell got back into the mobile game via the first PCS 1900 MHz auction in 1995.  That allowed PacBell to go GSM (barf!) and focus its efforts on only one state and basically one other market -- California and Las Vegas.  With such a limited scope, PacBell built out a very good GSM 1900 network.  

 

A few years later, SBC acquired PacBell.  Then, SBC spun off the PacBell mobile network to T-Mobile in order to help Cingular's merger with AT&TWS.  So, do not give T-Mobile much, if any credit in California.  T-Mobile essentially stumbled into a pre built network.

 

I documented all of this nearly a decade ago...

 

AJ

I don't know that any of that is relevant. Regardless who built it, there are areas where T-Mo has more native coverage. Out west their footprint is definitely better than Sprint's.

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I don't know that any of that is relevant. Regardless who built it, there are areas where T-Mo has more native coverage. Out west their footprint is definitely better than Sprint's.

 

Oh, come on.  As if you did not already know, this is a wireless *network* nerd site.  We care how the networks originated.  If not, then we would all be fans of duopolists VZW and AT&T, both of which did not build but acquired most of their amazingly extensive wireless network assets.

 

AJ

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I'm kinda confused by the number of 51, 000 sites just because they have a small footprint then sprint (38, 000 sites) with about the same fq spectrum dumb why to look at it I know lol...

 

There's a lot of confusion, but pre-merger T-Mobile had approximately 37,000 sites. MetroPCS had 11,000 plus 6000 DAS. so together they have 49,000. Now from the articles it seems that they will deactivate 10,000 of the 11,000 macro sites Leaving them wih 38,000 macro sites plus 6,000 DAS.

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There's a lot of confusion, but pre-merger T-Mobile had approximately 37,000 sites. MetroPCS had 11,000 plus 6000 DAS. so together they have 49,000. Now from the articles it seems that they will deactivate 10,000 of the 11,000 macro sites Leaving them wih 38,000 macro sites plus 6,000 DAS.

Nope, there is absolutely no confusion. Pre-merger T-Mobile has 37,000 HSPA+ sites, but another additional 14,000 EDGE / GRPS sites, for a total of 51,000 sites, all of which existed pre-merger.

 

Source : GigaOM (that article was written one month before MetroPCS and T-Mobile even announced their merger)

http://gigaom.com/2012/09/28/t-mobile-sheds-its-towers-in-exchange-for-a-2-4b-infusion/

 

 

Everyone's always saying they have a smaller footprint than Sprint, but I'm not so sure about that.

I think Sprint has a larger "footprint" (in that, they cover more square miles). But I believe T-Mobile actually has a larger "network" (in that, T-Mobile owns and runs more cell sites than Sprint does).

 

I know in my market, this is definitely true -- Sprint has more land covered than T-Mobile, by a very large margin. But Sprint sites are spread out very far apart, often to the very edge or further than PCS can be run.

 

T-Mobile's covers significantly less ground than Sprint, but the coverage areas they do have are easily twice as dense, in terms of towers per square mile.

 

- - -

 

Sprint used to manage something like 70,000k sites, but I think as part of Network Vision, they are turning that down to just 38,000k sites. (I know the T-mobile numbers for sure, but I'm less confident about these Sprint numbers). If this is true, then Sprint (after network vision completes) will have a smaller network (in terms of number of active sites) than T-Mobile does.

 

 

Source #1 : http://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2012/03/sprint-plans-44-drop-cell-sites

Source #2 : http://gigaom.com/2012/02/08/sprint-can-barely-wait-to-rid-itself-of-nextel-network/

 

 

Those numbers do *not* take Clearwire into account, so when Sprint buys Clearwire, if they don't throw those Clear sites away, they could easily match T-Mobile in density, and surpass T-Mobile in number of sites, in those markets.

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There's a lot of confusion, but pre-merger T-Mobile had approximately 37,000 sites. MetroPCS had 11,000 plus 6000 DAS. so together they have 49,000. Now from the articles it seems that they will deactivate 10,000 of the 11,000 macro sites Leaving them wih 38,000 macro sites plus 6,000 DAS.

Nope, there is absolutely no confusion. T-Mobile has 37,000 HSPA+ sites, but another additional 14,000 EDGE / GRPS sites, for a total of 51,000 sites.

 

Source : GigaOM (that article was written one month before MetroPCS and T-Mobile even announced their merger)

http://gigaom.com/2012/09/28/t-mobile-sheds-its-towers-in-exchange-for-a-2-4b-infusion/

 

 

Everyone's always saying they have a smaller footprint than Sprint, but I'm not so sure about that.

I think Sprint has a larger "footprint" (in that, they cover more square miles). But I believe T-Mobile actually has a larger "network" (in that, T-Mobile owns and runs more cell sites than Sprint does).

 

I know in my market, this is definitely true -- Sprint has more land technically covered, but their sites are spread out very far apart. T-Mobile's covers significantly less ground, but the coverage they do have is easily twice as dense, in terms of towers per square mile.

 

- - -

 

Sprint used to manage something like 70,000k sites, but I think as part of Network Vision, they are turning that down to just 38,000k sites. (I know the T-mobile numbers for sure, but I'm less confident about these Sprint numbers). If this is true, then Sprint (after network vision completes) will have a smaller network than T-Mobile does.

 

Source #1 : http://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2012/03/sprint-plans-44-drop-cell-sites

Source #2 : http://gigaom.com/2012/02/08/sprint-can-barely-wait-to-rid-itself-of-nextel-network/

The confusion comes from the fact that some articles seem to conflict.

It'd be nice to hear it straight from the horse's mouth i.e. an article quoting the CEO or CTO.

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The confusion comes from the fact that some articles seem to conflict.

It'd be nice to hear it straight from the horse's mouth i.e. an article quoting the CEO or CTO.

Your absolutely right. Here you go :

 

A T-Mobile press release, from T-Mobile corporate, still on the T-Mobile.com website, with the 51,000 figure included :

http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251624&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1804179&highlight=

 

The line is "[even though we're selling sites to Crown Castle] T-Mobile’s nationwide network remains unchanged today, consisting of approximately 51,000 cell sites, the vast majority of which are leased from third parties, as is common in the industry across the US."

 

That's from September 2012, a few months before the MetroPCS + T-Mobile announcement.

 

- - -

 

There is absolutely no confusion around this fact. T-Mobile realy does run 51,000 sites.

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Your absolutely right. Here you go :

 

A T-Mobile press release, from T-Mobile corporate, still on the T-Mobile.com website, with the 51,000 figure included :

http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251624&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1804179&highlight=

 

The line is "[even though we're selling sites to Crown Castle] T-Mobile’s nationwide network remains unchanged today, consisting of approximately 51,000 cell sites, the vast majority of which are leased from third parties, as is common in the industry across the US."

 

That's from September 2012, a few months before the MetroPCS + T-Mobile announcement.

 

- - -

 

There is absolutely no confusion around this fact. T-Mobile realy does run 51,000 sites.

 

 

Awesome! Can't wait to see what AJ's response is now that it's official.

 

Though I am sad that Tmobile is not upgrading its entire footprint to LTE but only the 37,000 that are currently HSPA+.

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There is absolutely no confusion around this fact. T-Mobile realy does run 51,000 sites.

 

No, there is absolutely confusion, considering that the supposed site density does not line up with T-Mobile's in market coverage problems.  I still claim some fuzzy math until I see an S4GRU like accounting of T-Mobile sites.

 

AJ

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No, there is absolutely confusion, considering that the supposed site density does not line up with T-Mobile's in market coverage problems.  I still claim some fuzzy math until I see an S4GRU like accounting of T-Mobile sites.

 

AJ

What about the link he posted?

 

T-Mobile’s nationwide network remains unchanged today, consisting of approximately 51,000 cell sites, the vast majority of which are leased from third parties, as is common in the industry across the US.

 

http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251624&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1804179&highlight=

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What about the link he posted?

 

Math could still be fuzzy.  Is T-Mobile counting GSM and W-CDMA panels separately, for example.  I am just not buying it.  Otherwise, T-Mobile should be a world beater in urban areas.  But that is not the case.

 

AJ

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Math could still be fuzzy.  Is T-Mobile counting GSM and W-CDMA panels separately, for example.  I am just not buying it.  Otherwise, T-Mobile should be a world beater in urban areas.  But that is not the case.

 

AJ

 

Touche.

Though their press release states cell sites, though I guess you could fudge that also?

 

"approximately 51,000 cell sites, the vast majority of which are leased from third parties, as is common in the industry across the US"

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No, there is absolutely confusion, considering that the supposed site density does not line up with T-Mobile's in market coverage problems.

It seems to line up to me. T-Mobile purposly and measurably underpowers their AWS sites (which you can measure easily by going to a market where T-Mobile and MetroPCS both use AWS, often on the same co-located towers). Again, I don't know why T-Mobile does this (faster speeds? reduced interference? just speculating), but I have measured them doing this.

 

Additionally, these numbers seem large. But AT&T and Verizon both have even more cell sites than T-Mobile does. (I don't have a source right offhand, but I believe AT&T has something like 65,000 or more sites in the US). Both of these providers also have low-band spectrum, that T-Mobile doesn't.

 

T-Mobile's towers are often cheaper than AT&T's, so that impacts it some. (In my market, AT&T rents the absolute best tower location, on expensive colocation sites. T-Mobile often has the same number of sites, but in less ideal locations on lower utility poles or building rooftops)

 

These things, in summary, are :

 

1) Reduced power output on 3G (AWS)

2) No low-band spectrum

3) Cheaper, sometimes less ideal locations

4) Still less total cell sites than some of their competitors.

 

Wouldn't all four of those seem to account for the discrepancy?

 

Math could still be fuzzy.  Otherwise, T-Mobile should be a world beater in urban areas.  But that is not the case.

I don't understand -- are you accusing them of lying about their site numbers?

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