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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?

 

 

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

 

You're new here so you haven't gotten used to AJ's tone.

He's not accusing you of lying.

He's expressing his skepticism at these numbers given his experience with cell networks and comparing Tmobile vs Sprint.

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Shouldn't this quote from Philip Humm, former CEO of TMO, be the final proof that 37k is ONLY 3g/4g towers?

 

"Yeah, so I think, the additional incremental CapEx basically reflect that we want to role out LTE to our total 3G, 4G footprint, which is about 37,000 sites. And so to achieve a full modernization and then LTE rollout, this is then the number we – at the end of the day we’ll need to do that."

 

http://seekingalpha.com/article/391451-deutsche-telekom-s-ceo-discusses-q4-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

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You're new here so you haven't gotten used to AJ's tone.

He's not accusing you of lying.

He's expressing his skepticism at these numbers given his experience with cell networks and comparing Tmobile vs Sprint.

I didn't think he meant it against me.

 

It sounded like he was accusing *T-Mobile* of lying.

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I didn't think he meant it against me.

 

It sounded like he was accusing *T-Mobile* of lying.

 

Oh well that's different. 

Tmobile could very well be lying.

Are you aware that ATT completely lied regarding how expensive it would be to rollout LTE without buying Tmobile? An un-redacted document did them in.

 

http://www.broadbandreports.com/r0/download/1678331~018ee90413e657e412818181a5d840ff/DOC.pdf

 

What he stated is that Tmobile double-counted GSM and W-CDMA panels as two "towers"

 

"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."

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I am not accusing anyone or anything of directly lying, but stats can be fudged in many way.  So, I am just trying to further my long researched understanding of the industry.  And 51,000 discrete sites for T-Mobile sounds impressive, but it does not line up with what I know otherwise.  As such, I want to know why -- is my knowledge lacking or is that number somehow inflated?

 

AJ

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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

I knew about Cingular selling their network after the merger in 2004 (right?) but wasn't aware of the history before that. Interesting...

 

I wasn't so much crediting T-Mo as just pointing out that they've got a built out network on the West so it's not hard for me to believe that they own more towers than Sprint.

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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I am not accusing anyone or anything of directly lying, but stats can be fudged in many way.  So, I am just trying to further my long researched understanding of the industry.  And 51,000 discrete sites for T-Mobile sounds impressive, but it does not line up with what I know otherwise.  As such, I want to know why -- is my knowledge lacking or is that number somehow inflated?

 

AJ

 

Kevin Fitchard came up with that number and has been quotes by other websites giving credit to Gigaom. Everybody else quotes 37,000 which lines up with what I remember.

 

The agreement with SBA followed a deal announced in late July with Crown Castle extending current leases on 7,300 Crown Castle sites for 10 years and granting T-Mobile rights to upgrade certain towers to go along with the carrier’s network upgrade plan. Crown Castle noted the agreement will result in an increase in site revenue beginning during the current third quarter. 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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Kevin Fitchard came up with that number and has been quotes by other websites giving credit to Gigaom. Everybody else quotes 37,000 which lines up with what I remember.

I'm not sure why you keep posting incorrect information.

 

T-Mobile itself (and more reputable wireless news sources) are accurately reporting 51,000 towers for their entire network, and 37,000 sites for their 3G/4G HSPA+ network alone.

 

Just because "everyone quotes 37,000", doesn't make it true. It just means places like "Huffington Post" can't be bothered to fact check their articles.

 

Here's Neville Ray (CTO of T-Mobile) explaining how, after the T-Mobile + MetroPCS merger, the combined entity has roughly 60,000 cell sites (roughly 10,000 of which are planned to be dismantled, bringing them down to about 52,000)

 

 

Source :http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobile-expand-metropcs-footprint-100m-pops/2013-05-15

 

 

If you don't believe T-Mobile itself, or GigaOM, or Fierce Wireless, perhaps you'd believe Robert : http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/3450-tmobile-4g-lte-vs-sprint-4g-lte/page-17&do=findComment&comment=160656

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Some quick math :

 

51,000 (old T-Mobile) + 11,500 (MetroPCS) = 62,500 (total Metro+TMO today)

62,500 - 10,000 (soon to be closed redundant sites) = 52,500 (future T-Mobile USA)

 

That's roughly 1,500 sites net gained through the merger, which sounds about right to me.

 

I know in my market, Metro has a larger footprint than T-Mobile does, and Metro LTE covers an additional few cities of about 500,000 people, that T-Mobile has no service at whatsoever (no 3G, no EDGE, no roaming).

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I need to see a historical accounting of the number of T-Mobile sites. There's some creative accounting going on. Is T-Mobile counting in-building repeaters as sites? Because nobody else does. For example at couple of my consulting sites, Verizon, AT&T ans Sprint all have repeaters in each floor of the building. That does not count as a site. May they're counting DAS as sites?

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I need to see a historical accounting of the number of T-Mobile sites. There's some creative accounting going on. Is T-Mobile counting in-building repeaters as sites? Because nobody else does. For example at couple of my consulting sites, Verizon, AT&T ans Sprint all have repeaters in each floor of the building. That does not count as a site. May they're counting DAS as sites?

 

Sprint counts macro repeaters in their 38k sites number. But they don't have very many. Maybe 100. They have XR in their Site ID's in place of XC.

 

Micro repeaters and in building repeaters are not counted in Sprint's totals.

 

Sprint does not count DAS in their site totals.

 

Robert from Note 2 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

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

 

I think we need to find someone who has had corn very recently.  Give Charlie a nice corn eyed brown trout fillet.

 

:P

 

AJ

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Has Tmobile met their LTE goals of covering 100 million pops by 1H 2013.  So far no official word from Tmobile.  Maybe they are behind a bit?

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobile-silent-its-mid-year-lte-deployment-progress/2013-07-01

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Yup, it should've been June 30th or end of H1... They've totally missed it. But there is a July 10th press event in NYC, which should have a lot to do with LTE launch, and MetroPCS integration. 

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Yup, it should've been June 30th or end of H1... They've totally missed it. But there is a July 10th press event in NYC, which should have a lot to do with LTE launch, and MetroPCS integration. 

 

It could be about the LTE progress and the MetroPCS integration update but reports are saying it could also be talking about the release of some new handsets.  I am curious to see what Tmobile has lined up for the event.  I love that Tmobile was able to buy some excess spectrum from US Cellular to bolster their holdings in those areas.

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Some quick math :

 

51,000 (old T-Mobile) + 11,500 (MetroPCS) = 62,500 (total Metro+TMO today)

62,500 - 10,000 (soon to be closed redundant sites) = 52,500 (future T-Mobile USA)

 

That's roughly 1,500 sites net gained through the merger, which sounds about right to me.

 

I know in my market, Metro has a larger footprint than T-Mobile does, and Metro LTE covers an additional few cities of about 500,000 people, that T-Mobile has no service at whatsoever (no 3G, no EDGE, no roaming).

 

Let me reiterate my disbelief that T-Mobile had 51,000 macro sites before the merger. They were always 1-2,000 sites behind Sprint. I am not convinced. I will find the truth even if it kills me or I have to use the wayback machine.

 

The way that the confusion may arise is that T-Mobile might have 37,000 HSPA+ sites and about 14,000 GSM sites, but they are colocated. They might even have legacy basestations. They might have 51,000 leases. That's exclusive of Metro. It's not just me that has doubts. AJ, our local guru, is also incredulous and we have been around for awhile.

Edited by bigsnake49
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You are asking Sprint to do something that no one has ever done. Build a nationwide network organically. VZW and ATT haven't even done that. They bought those networks to expand their coverage. Sprint would lose a lot of money doing it.

 

Sprint's name is mud right now. Building new coverage in new areas will not mean new customers enough to justify the costs. They need to reduild their brand first. Then when they show up in new places, they might have a chance to compete and take customers away from the duopoly.

 

I can tell you the old Sprint had no interest in expanding new coverage into new areas, except when it made sense because roaming costs in the area was high. However, the New Sprint under SoftBank may have a desire to branch out further. But if they do, it will be because they see a path to making it profitable.

 

And that's the bottom line. The New Sprint will probably be open to all kinds of ideas, but there has to be a return on it. They are going to he very competitive with the duopoly, no doubt. And coverages are going to improve, both within the existing network and outside. But the scale is not known yet. And it probably will be less than what we'd prefer.

 

Robert from Note 2 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

But Verizon Wireless is building a new network somewhat organically. It is deploying LTE 750 (Band 13) throughout its footprint. While it doesn't have to construct new towers, usually no one has to anymore. The United States is damn near the top in terms of cell tower density (India and China beat us, though maybe a couple of European countries do too).

 

It all depends on whether Sprint is willing to go through that difficult process. I don't see it ever happening without some massive network changes, but perhaps it'll happen anyway.

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But Verizon Wireless is building a new network somewhat organically. It is deploying LTE 750 (Band 13) throughout its footprint. While it doesn't have to construct new towers, usually no one has to anymore. The United States is damn near the top in terms of cell tower density (India and China beat us, though maybe a couple of European countries do too).

 

It all depends on whether Sprint is willing to go through that difficult process. I don't see it ever happening without some massive network changes, but perhaps it'll happen anyway.

 

Not quite, they are dropping in eNodeBs and new panels and backhaul where ever they can to support blanket coverage. All the existing infrastructure is in place already. Plus, being the LEC in many markets, they can use their own last mile fiber for the backhaul, while companies such as Sprint and T-Mobile have to rely on those same providers, or alternate access, for backhaul.

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You are asking Sprint to do something that no one has ever done. Build a nationwide network organically. VZW and ATT haven't even done that. They bought those networks to expand their coverage. Sprint would lose a lot of money doing it.

 

 

Sprint's name is mud right now. Building new coverage in new areas will not mean new customers enough to justify the costs. They need to reduild their brand first. Then when they show up in new places, they might have a chance to compete and take customers away from the duopoly.

 

 

I can tell you the old Sprint had no interest in expanding new coverage into new areas, except when it made sense because roaming costs in the area was high. However, the New Sprint under SoftBank may have a desire to branch out further. But if they do, it will be because they see a path to making it profitable.

 

 

And that's the bottom line. The New Sprint will probably be open to all kinds of ideas, but there has to be a return on it. They are going to he very competitive with the duopoly, no doubt. And coverages are going to improve, both within the existing network and outside. But the scale is not known yet. And it probably will be less than what we'd prefer.

 

 

Robert from Note 2 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

But Verizon Wireless is building a new network somewhat organically. It is deploying LTE 750 (Band 13) throughout its footprint. While it doesn't have to construct new towers, usually no one has to anymore. The United States is damn near the top in terms of cell tower density (India and China beat us, though maybe a couple of European countries do too).

 

It all depends on whether Sprint is willing to go through that difficult process. I don't see it ever happening without some massive network changes, but perhaps it'll happen anyway.

Yes but they already have a customer base and brand loyalty from which to eventually get a return on that LTE investment.

 

Sprint doesn't.

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Sprint does not count DAS in their site totals.

Are you certain of this? Do you know why not?

 

It seems odd to me that they wouldn't include these. (Obviously not every site, but I would assume that "State University DAS" should count as one "site", just like a single tower would count as one "site")

 

DAS's are just as important for proper data coverage as a regular site.

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Some quick math :

 

 

51,000 (old T-Mobile) + 11,500 (MetroPCS) = 62,500 (total Metro+TMO today)

 

62,500 - 10,000 (soon to be closed redundant sites) = 52,500 (future T-Mobile USA)

 

 

That's roughly 1,500 sites net gained through the merger, which sounds about right to me.

 

 

I know in my market, Metro has a larger footprint than T-Mobile does, and Metro LTE covers an additional few cities of about 500,000 people, that T-Mobile has no service at whatsoever (no 3G, no EDGE, no roaming).

 

 

Let me reiterate my disbelief that T-Mobile had 51,000 macro sites before the merger. They were always 1-2,000 sites behind Sprint. I am not convinced. I will find the truth even if it kills me or I have to use the wayback machine.

 

The way that the confusion may arise is that T-Mobile might have 37,000 HSPA+ sites and about 14,000 GSM sites, but they are colocated. They might even have legacy basestations. They might have 51,000 leases. That's exclusive of Metro. It's not just me that has doubts. AJ, our local guru, is also incredulous and we have been around for awhile.

 

John Legere has a Facebook account and follows TMONEWS' facebook. If we ALL pester him, he may answer us just to leave him alone.

 

After all, TMO has stated in press release this 51,000 number so it's not as if he'd be giving up some proprietary information, just a clarification.

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John Legere has a Facebook account and follows TMONEWS' facebook. If we ALL pester him, he may answer us just to leave him alone.

 

And John Legere may not know either.  He may just be repeating a talking point.  After all, I guarantee that many of us here know more nitty gritty details about the native Sprint network than Dan Hesse himself does.

 

AJ

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http://www.tmonews.com/2013/06/t-mobile-sending-out-event-invites-for-july-10th-rolling-out-their-boldest-moves-yet

 

Perhaps this banging' announcement of "boldest moves yet" includes some kind of swan song about upgrading those 14,000 odd GSM only sites.  Nice to dream, isn't it? 

 

Keeping 14k 2G sites in operation with no ongoing plans to upgrade doesn't seem like the strategy of a carrier that is in it for the "long haul"... it sounds like a carrier looking for consolidation.  I've always thought that about tmo's rural coverage

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