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Once LTE is rolled out on 1900, 800, and 2500 what is Sprint - assuming it owns Clearwire - going to do with WiMax towers/equipment?

 

1) Is it costing them much to simply "keep the lights on" for the declining number of WiMax people?

2) Is it "costing" them in terms of occupying spectrum that could be used for LTE?

3) At some number of users - 5 mil, 1mil, 100k, etc. - will Sprint decide it's cheaper to do a device exchange for LTE-equivalents instead of maintaining WiMax?

4) Once someone's contract is up, does Sprint have the legal right to simply stop WiMax service? Would they do something like that and risk customer backlash?

 

Also, how would the answers to any of these question differ if Sprint does NOT own Clearwire outright but instead is left with a 65% stake?

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/softbank-ceo-sees-no-need-sprint-raise-clearwire-offer/2013-05-01

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Good questions all..as a Sprint sub here in the Vegas area and daily user of Wimax AND a phone upgrade due in two months I'd like to know the answers...(1)hang onto my Sammy S2 (Wimax) or(2) hope Sprint really nails LTE with NV & spring for an S4 with a new 2 yr contract OR (3) bail and go to T-Mo...unfortunately with all the distractions now with DISH and ownership of Clearwire it's unclear how ultimately this plays out.. hopefully come Aug 1 LTE here is more of a reality & I can go with option (2) above..

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I think no matter what happens with the Sprint/Softbank deal, Sprint will continue to have Wimax service up until 2015. Since Sprint is still selling Wimax phones on its own brand and its prepaid divisions I don't see how they can shut down Wimax before then. Sprint will have to have every tower upgraded to Network Vision with LTE before they even consider shutting down the Wimax network. The longer Sprint can leverage capacity off its Wimax network instead of putting stress on its current LTE network , the better it will be for user experience until they can deploy LTE on every Network Vision tower.

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Clearwire already committed to maintaining the current WiMax network through 2015, that won't change. After that, my guess would be the towers going offline almost immediately, saving overhead costs associated with operating two separate networks. Sprint knows the hassle two separate networks creates (iDEN/CDMA). One of the fundamental advantages Network Vision brings is a single unified network with nearly identical hardware nationwide.

 

Sprint has been hamstrung operating two entirely separate networks including overhead such as power, maintenance, leasing, etc. while getting very little in return from that second network that the first couldn't already provide.

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Clearwire already committed to maintaining the current WiMax network through 2015, that won't change. After that, my guess would be the towers going offline almost immediately, saving overhead costs associated with operating two separate networks. Sprint knows the hassle two separate networks creates (iDEN/CDMA). One of the fundamental advantages Network Vision brings is a single unified network with nearly identical hardware nationwide.

 

Sprint has been hamstrung operating two entirely separate networks including overhead such as power, maintenance, leasing, etc. while getting very little in return from that second network that the first couldn't already provide.

 

Not sure I quite understand why the "overhead" is so unsustainable. If there are WiMax phones that are generating positive cashflow - revenue minus expenses > 0 - then what's the problem?

 

Also, isn't WiMax tower spacing tighter than LTE 1900? So they can't simply move all WiMax equipment to nearest Sprint tower because then you won't have coverage.

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Not sure I quite understand why the "overhead" is so unsustainable. If there are WiMax phones that are generating positive cashflow - revenue minus expenses > 0 - then what's the problem?

 

Also, isn't WiMax tower spacing tighter than LTE 1900? So they can't simply move all WiMax equipment to nearest Sprint tower because then you won't have coverage.

 

They need to keep the WiMax network operating until December 31, 2014. They don't necessarily have to provide the same coverage until that time. It just cannot drop below the minimum required by FCC Substantial Service Requirements.

 

Sprint should, at a minimum consider consolidating all the WiMax sites that are colocated on the same site as Sprint into Network Vision. 40% of Clearwire sites are on the same site as Sprint. That's a lot of double overhead that can be reduced. And it would result in no change to the Clearwire WiMax footprint. But a cost/benefit analysis needs to be done. Because the cost to move WiMax to NV may not save over the cost of decommissioning those sites over that short of period. It seems like it would, but it should be studied. And I bet Sprint is doing or has done that already.

 

Additionally, WiMax can be reduced down to one carrier as needed should more spectrum should be required. So I'm not concerned about WiMax spectrum needs interfering with LTE spectrum needs.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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Not sure I quite understand why the "overhead" is so unsustainable. If there are WiMax phones that are generating positive cashflow - revenue minus expenses > 0 - then what's the problem?

 

Also, isn't WiMax tower spacing tighter than LTE 1900? So they can't simply move all WiMax equipment to nearest Sprint tower because then you won't have coverage.

 

Using that same logic then iDEN shouldn't have been an issue. Nextel had the highest ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) of all the carriers in the country, yet they were looking at a merger... And they chose Sprint... Why would that be? Everyone was touting Sprint/Nextel as the greatest merger in wireless history (slight hyperbole but not by much).

 

After the merger was completed however, the truth came to light. Nextel was failing, they were utilizing an outdated technology that only a handful of companies used in the world. This mean economy of scale was not on their side. Since Motorola had created iDEN, they controlled all licensing for the technology, and priced all of their competitors out of the market with that advantage. Only a handful of iDEN devices were ever made by companies other than Motorola, Blackberry and I believe Sanyo had one or two, but I could be wrong on that one.

 

The iDEN network had plenty of cash flowing in from it's operation, and the highest customer satisfaction rating in the country, but the company wasn't doing good. Cash and CSAT are only part of it. My assumption is that despite having the highest ARPU, Nextel also had the highest outlay for network maintenance, partially because the equipment was only made and licensed by and to Motorola, seeing a pattern here?

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The build out requirement is based on Spectrum, not technology. In theory, could Sprint/Clear install EBS/BRS LTE on a Sprint tower in a town that currently has a WiMax Protection Site, then shutdown the legacy Clear Wimax site to save costs? The same number of POPs would still be covered and an extra lease/backhaul/power/maintenance/etc could be saved without endangering a license.

 

(I may have asked this in a previous thread, but can't really remember)...

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They need to keep the WiMax network operating until December 31, 2014. They don't necessarily have to provide the same coverage until that time. It just cannot drop below the minimum required by FCC Substantial Service Requirements.

 

Sprint should, at a minimum consider consolidating all the WiMax sites that are colocated on the same site as Sprint into Network Vision. 40% of Clearwire sites are on the same site as Sprint. That's a lot of double overhead that can be reduced. And it would result in no change to the Clearwire WiMax footprint. But a cost/benefit analysis needs to be done. Because the cost to move WiMax to NV may not save over the cost of decommissioning those sites over that short of period. It seems like it would, but it should be studied. And I bet Sprint is doing or has done that already.

 

Additionally, WiMax can be reduced down to one carrier as needed should more spectrum should be required. So I'm not concerned about WiMax spectrum needs interfering with LTE spectrum needs.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

For sites that are collocated, Sprint can use the dual-mode WiMax/TD-LTE RRU's by Samsung to accomplish that task. Of course, it still doesn't explain the Ericsson RRUS41 TD-LTE RRU's I found.

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2

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The build out requirement is based on Spectrum, not technology. In theory, could Sprint/Clear install EBS/BRS LTE on a Sprint tower in a town that currently has a WiMax Protection Site, then shutdown the legacy Clear Wimax site to save costs? The same number of POPs would still be covered and an extra lease/backhaul/power/maintenance/etc could be saved without endangering a license.

 

(I may have asked this in a previous thread, but can't really remember)...

 

Yes, absolutely. But if they move the location of the site, they will have to make sure that the change in number of POP's covered at the new site is still sufficient.

 

Robert

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All of the above is accurate. The site location does not matter. The technology does not matter -- Sprint/Clearwire could deploy iDEN 2600 if it wanted to do so. It would merely need to produce token demonstration that the sites in question provide "substantial service."

 

In the end, the FCC really lacks adequate staff to police "license protection" coverage. And it has yet to take me up on my offer to become the full time Spectrum Czar.

 

;)

 

AJ

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In the end, the FCC really lacks adequate staff to police "license protection" coverage. And it has yet to take me up on my offer to become the full time Spectrum Czar.

 

;)

 

AJ

 

Spectrum Czar Andrew J. Shepherd does have a nice ring to it. ;)

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I would "speak softly and carry a big spectrum analyzer."

 

AJ

 

And you'd have a badge so the police wouldn't question you when you get "talked" to...

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Yes, absolutely. But if they move the location of the site, they will have to make sure that the change in number of POP's covered at the new site is still sufficient.

 

Robert

 

With the Urban deployment of Protection sites, Sprint should have a tower close by that covers the same number of POPs. Two of the three protection sites in my area are non-Sprint, but there is a Sprint tower near by. I hope Sprint shuts down as many of the non-Sprint towers to save more costs.

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With the Urban deployment of Protection sites, Sprint should have a tower close by that covers the same number of POPs. Two of the three protection sites in my area are non-Sprint, but there is a Sprint tower near by. I hope Sprint shuts down as many of the non-Sprint towers to save more costs.

 

Population density can change very rapidly from one site to the next. However, even if the next Sprint site over from the Clearwire site has less density, just put up a second one. It is cheaper to run two EBS/BRS Protection Sites in a given community on the Sprint Network Vision platform, than to keep the one Clearwire site online with all redundant costs.

 

So I definitely agree with you. Sprint should commute all Clearwire WiMax protection sites over to the Sprint network where Sprint offers coverage and make them TD-LTE protection sites. And then, in non-Sprint coverage areas, Sprint should convert Clearwire Protection Sites to full Network Vision and provide an island of Sprint coverage there, since they have to pay to keep a site active anyway at that location. Just slap up an NV panel and one carrier card for each band/technology.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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Population density can change very rapidly from one site to the next. However, even if the next Sprint site over from the Clearwire site has less density, just put up a second one. It is cheaper to run two EBS/BRS Protection Sites in a given community on the Sprint Network Vision platform, than to keep the one Clearwire site online with all redundant costs.

 

So I definitely agree with you. Sprint should commute all Clearwire WiMax protection sites over to the Sprint network where Sprint offers coverage and make them TD-LTE protection sites. And then, in non-Sprint coverage areas, Sprint should convert Clearwire Protection Sites to full Network Vision and provide an island of Sprint coverage there, since they have to pay to keep a site active anyway at that location. Just slap up an NV panel and one carrier card for each band/technology.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

I wish I could click the like button about 100 times for this post. Can you use the secret S4GRU batphone and call this one into Masa and Dan ASAP?

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Population density can change very rapidly from one site to the next. However, even if the next Sprint site over from the Clearwire site has less density, just put up a second one. It is cheaper to run two EBS/BRS Protection Sites in a given community on the Sprint Network Vision platform, than to keep the one Clearwire site online with all redundant costs.

 

So I definitely agree with you. Sprint should commute all Clearwire WiMax protection sites over to the Sprint network where Sprint offers coverage and make them TD-LTE protection sites. And then, in non-Sprint coverage areas, Sprint should convert Clearwire Protection Sites to full Network Vision and provide an island of Sprint coverage there, since they have to pay to keep a site active anyway at that location. Just slap up an NV panel and one carrier card for each band/technology.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

Why weren't the Sprint+Clearwire sites colocated in the first place?

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Why weren't the Sprint+Clearwire sites colocated in the first place?

 

Many Sprint and Clearwire sites are coincidentally collocated. Clearwire is usually on a lower rack, since it was often the last arrival. But Clearwire wanted to wholesale WiMAX service to many other operators besides Sprint, hence did not want to display excess synchronicity with Sprint. Plus, prior to Network Vision, Sprint rarely had extra room on its rack, which was typically occupied by legacy panels. Now, with Network Vision upgrades, Sprint can frequently accommodate/host at least one additional panel per sector.

 

AJ

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The Sites that WiMax is on the same rack as Sprint, could they be the ones in which Sprint put up when they launched Xohm in 2007/2008?

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2

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The Sites that WiMax is on the same rack as Sprint, could they be the ones in which Sprint put up when they launched Xohm in 2007/2008?

 

If I recall correctly, the only Xohm market was Baltimore.

 

Xohm, by the way, was a cool name and logo. I wonder sometimes if WiMAX would have been more successful had Sprint retained the Xohm branding.

 

AJ

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If I recall correctly, the only Xohm market was Baltimore.

 

Xohm, by the way, was a cool name and logo. I wonder sometimes if WiMAX would have been more successful had Sprint retained the Xohm branding.

 

AJ

 

Chicago and Philadelphia were the next 2 cities that were supposed to launch, so they could have already been building those networks out when they merged Xohm with Clearwire.

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2

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I thought Vegas was also an original market?

 

No, it was a later market. They might have been in pre-planning at that point.

 

 

Sent from Josh's iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes Sprint  will continue to support the 4g wimax devices until 2015, after that people who have 4g wimax devices will  get offers for 4g lte devices  or they can continue using their 4g wimax devices in 3g mode.

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