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What's involved in deploying DISH and Clearwire spectrum?


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With Sprint now being courted by both DISH and Softbank, and uncertainty over whether they will win Clearwire over, I'm just wondering what needs to be done to the Network to accommodate the various permutations of spectrum that Sprint might end up with? Sprint could be formidable with a huge amount of spectrum, but how long and how expensive to realize that dream?

 

What would need to be added to existing NV sites to be able to run Clearwire spectrum? Is it a new 2.5GHz antenna panel and a new RRU, new TD-LTE cards and a software upgrade? Presumably this would only be done to a relatively small proportion of macro cells, with more small cells being deployed inside buildings? Does anyone know what the coverage plan might end up like, if Sprint wins Clearwire?

 

Secondly on DISH, how much would need to be done to existing Network Vision sites to light the AWS-4 spectrum. Its relatively close in frequency to G-Block, but would it require new or wholesale swap outs of antennas or can existing 1.9GHz panels be used? What other upgrades would be needed in terms of hardware or software, and how quickly could this be got running? How can this be combined with the Clearwire upgrade to save money and speed things up?

 

Finally, what does Sprint need to do to light 800MHz LTE. They are talking about bringing that upgrade forward to start in Q4. But surely they have put up combined 800/1900 panels and all the hardware already, so what extra is it that they need to do to get 800MHz LTE up and running on NV sites?

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With Sprint now being courted by both DISH and Softbank, and uncertainty over whether they will win Clearwire over, I'm just wondering what needs to be done to the Network to accommodate the various permutations of spectrum that Sprint might end up with? Sprint could be formidable with a huge amount of spectrum, but how long and how expensive to realize that dream?

 

What would need to be added to existing NV sites to be able to run Clearwire spectrum? Is it a new 2.5GHz antenna panel and a new RRU, new TD-LTE cards and a software upgrade? Presumably this would only be done to a relatively small proportion of macro cells, with more small cells being deployed inside buildings? Does anyone know what the coverage plan might end up like, if Sprint wins Clearwire?

 

Secondly on DISH, how much would need to be done to existing Network Vision sites to light the AWS-4 spectrum. Its relatively close in frequency to G-Block, but would it require new or wholesale swap outs of antennas or can existing 1.9GHz panels be used? What other upgrades would be needed in terms of hardware or software, and how quickly could this be got running? How can this be combined with the Clearwire upgrade to save money and speed things up?

 

Finally, what does Sprint need to do to light 800MHz LTE. They are talking about bringing that upgrade forward to start in Q4. But surely they have put up combined 800/1900 panels and all the hardware already, so what extra is it that they need to do to get 800MHz LTE up and running on NV sites?

 

To add Clearwire 2600 TD-LTE to a Network Vision site will entail adding an additional panel/RRU per sector and adding a TD-LTE carrier card(s) in the base station. If existing NV backhaul cannot support the 60Mbps+ speeds, then it may need to be upgraded too for full benefit. I think initially they will focus on hotspots, but will go more widespread in 12-18 months as a means to be more competitive in speed. I think Softbank will fully leverage 2600 for competition.

 

To add DISH AWS-4 Band LTE to a Network Vision site, it would also require a new panel/RRU and adding a LTE carrier card at the base station. Depending on the arrangement, Sprint could run DISH over its backhaul, or may require DISH to have their own. That is not clear which way it would be handled, but I'd guess it would be separate. It may be technically possible to run DISH LTE over an existing Sprint PCS panel, but I don't think Sprint will give up its own panel capacity for a 3rd party. The 3rd party needs its own panel and pay for it accordingly. It could be done pretty darn fast. It's only limited by equipment manufacture, backhaul install speed and manpower. But if planned appropriately, I think it could be done in less than 12 months.

 

As for LTE 800, most sites just need a carrier card. Most of the panels already support LTE 800. Some OEM's early RRU units may require an additional RRU installed. It should go pretty darn fast on completed sites. 6-9 months?

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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It may be technically possible to run DISH LTE over an existing Sprint PCS panel, but I don't think Sprint will give up its own panel capacity for a 3rd party.

 

Dish AWS-4 spectrum is 2000-2020 MHz x 2180-2200 MHz. Only the uplink is close in frequency to the PCS 1900 MHz band. The downlink is 200 MHz higher, so I doubt that it is even technically possible to run AWS-4 from existing panels.

 

AJ

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Dish AWS-4 spectrum is 2000-2020 MHz x 2180-2200 MHz. Only the uplink is close in frequency to the PCS 1900 MHz band. The downlink is 200 MHz higher, so I doubt that it is even technically possible to run AWS-4 from existing panels.

 

AJ

 

Agreed. I was just acknowledging for the theoretical crowd that the antenna in the panel is essentially just a conduit for the signal provided by the RRU. I have heard of several scenarios where adjacent frequencies can be run on an antenna/panel than what it's designed for, with varying levels of success. Up to 100-200MHz in the examples I've seen.

 

So, it may be possible in the most scholarly example. And I only wanted to make the point about the possibility to prevent someone using that as a counterpoint to argue with me. I wanted to explain that even if it were possible, that it wasn't going to happen. You make a great point on the merits, that it would be pretty problematic with downlink/uplink spreads and the reversal of uplink and downlink sections compared to PCS.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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Thanks Robert and AJ.

 

Yes a 200MHz difference, so probably new panels and RRUs it sounds like, even if DISH succeeds in buying Sprint which would mean no need to separate out the backhaul or panels. But if DISH does buy Sprint, and Sprint buys Clearwire too (or at least most of its spectrum), then could the combined entity then just add one RRU and one combined 2/2.5GHz panel that would serve both Clearwire and DISH spectrum, at least in the hotspot areas? That would presumably save quite a bit of money and deliver a lot more capacity and speed (at least once AWS-4 and Band 41 are supported in chipsets and devices). Could make Sprint capacity and speed awesome for not a huge amount of money?

 

Presumably were Sprint and DISH together, they would also be a shoe-in for the FCC auction of H-Block...which then could be served with almost no network upgrades as contiguous with G-Block?

 

Its all still fantasy at the moment, but possible to imagine that Sprint in future might have a lot of spectrum...

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Your fantasy would probably hit a wall, when the FCC tells Clear Spish, that they must divest spectrum or they cannot participate in future auctions( although I think being leveraged up their eyeballs would prevent that anyways).

 

Dish spectrum + Clearwire Spectrum + Sprint spectrum puts Sprint as the highest spectrum owner by a mile. ATT/Verizon would furiously fight to get Sprint blocked from future spectrum acquisitions.

 

Clearwire's spectrum is more than enough for capacity, especially with small cells to fill hot spot and coverage gaps. The smarter move would be to forget Dish's spectrum and focus on getting the 600Mhz and possibly the PCS-H block.

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.....NV 3.0!

 

Actually it's NV 2.0... the mass deployment of SMR 800 services (LTE and CDMA 1xA) and utilization of TDD-LTE 2500-2600 as hotspots in major urban areas where capacity is needed.

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