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AT&T's conquest continues with Long Lines Wireless


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I typically end up roaming at home except when I'm near my 2nd story office window or in some places outside.  With SignalCheckPro now showing the network provider I noticed I was roaming on "Alltel", which kind of surprised me.  I didn't think they were still in business but apparently North Carolina is one of the 6 states they still operate.  They used to be real big here but I remembered Verizon bought them out.

 

Now I see that AT&T also bought the remaining parts of Alltel in January with the sale expected to close later this year.  All of this consolidation won't be good for consumers.  We've seen it too many times in other industries and the results are rarely good.

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I typically end up roaming at home except when I'm near my 2nd story office window or in some places outside.  With SignalCheckPro now showing the network provider I noticed I was roaming on "Alltel", which kind of surprised me.  I didn't think they were still in business but apparently North Carolina is one of the 6 states they still operate.  They used to be real big here but I remembered Verizon bought them out.

 

Now I see that AT&T also bought the remaining parts of Alltel in January with the sale expected to close later this year.  All of this consolidation won't be good for consumers.  We've seen it too many times in other industries and the results are rarely good.

On the Roam Control app, many areas that are now Verizon owned show up as Alltel. If signalcheck uses the same list you may be on Verizon.

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USCC and VZW have long been the carriers to beat in NW Iowa, with T-Mobile (i wireless) a close third. AT&T had big coverage holes there that it looks like Long Lines will mostly fill. This deal leaves Sprint even further behind all the other major carriers there, with only two lonely towers in Milford and Spirit Lake. :( 

 

I wonder if there are any other local carriers left they could look to purchase to work on their native coverage in the state.

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USCC and VZW have long been the carriers to beat in NW Iowa, with T-Mobile (i wireless) a close third. AT&T had big coverage holes there that it looks like Long Lines will mostly fill. This deal leaves Sprint even further behind all the other major carriers there, with only two lonely towers in Milford and Spirit Lake. :(

 

I wonder if there are any other local carriers left they could look to purchase to work on their native coverage in the state.

 

I would not give T-Mobile native footprint credit for Iowa Wireless Services aka iWireless.  As a sidebar, I hate that grocery chain Kroger also uses i-wireless as its MVNO brand, but it has nothing to do with iWireless.  Anyway, iWireless is a T-Mobile affiliate, and its spectrum did come from T-Mobile.  But, unless circumstances have changed, the affiliate agreement is rather limited.  For example, certain T-Mobile data devices have no access on iWireless.  And the coverage is depicted as partner, not native, so it may be subject to T-Mobile's very stingy roaming restrictions.

 

As for other local carriers in Iowa, besides iWireless, the only one left is Cellular 29 Plus aka Chat Mobility, the Cellular B block licensee in the two southwesternmost CMAs in Iowa.  It is CDMA2000, but is part of VZW's LTE in Rural America program Trojan horse, hence will be bought out in the next few years.

 

AJ

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I would not give T-Mobile native footprint credit for Iowa Wireless Services aka iWireless.  As a sidebar, I hate that grocery chain Kroger also uses i-wireless as its MVNO brand, but it has nothing to do with iWireless.  Anyway, iWireless is a T-Mobile affiliate, and its spectrum did come from T-Mobile.  But, unless circumstances have changed, the affiliate agreement is rather limited.  For example, certain T-Mobile data devices have no access on iWireless.  And the coverage is depicted as partner, not native, so it may be subject to T-Mobile's very stingy roaming restrictions.

 

As for other local carriers in Iowa, besides iWireless, the only one left is Cellular 29 Plus aka Chat Mobility, the Cellular B block licensee in the two southwesternmost CMAs in Iowa.  It is CDMA2000, but is part of VZW's LTE in Rural America program Trojan horse, hence will be bought out in the next few years.

 

AJ

 

I gave them credit because I think circumstances have changed. i Wireless isn't like most affiliates in that it isn't completely self-owned. I believe IWS is majority owned (the figure 55% comes to mind, but I'm having trouble sourcing that right now) by T-Mobile USA, and the rest belongs to Iowa Network Services, itself a conglomerate of 127 local telcos. i Wireless customers never had roaming limits on T-Mo's national network, but it's true that the opposite was not the case.

 

However, earlier this year T-Mobile sold the Des Moines and Ames markets to i Wireless, leaving the entire state to them. There are indications that along with that sale was an agreement that removed roaming limits for T-Mo customers on i Wireless towers. I believe the coverage map on T-Mo's website is out of date because it still shows Des Moines as native coverage, when the sale was supposed to close at the end of Q1 2013. Because so little information on this arrangement is available it is possible T-Mo may still kick off users that excessively use i Wireless data, but at least the other limitation of T-Mo data roaming (throttling) has been removed.

 

You're right that Chat Mobility is as good as gone to VZW if they're building a 4G network to their specifications, and that wouldn't have helped in the NW quadrant anyway. It looks like if Sprint wants to expand native coverage there it will have to buy USCC (and IA is their best market so they'd have to buy the whole company) or start putting up some new towers of their own.

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However, earlier this year T-Mobile sold the Des Moines and Ames markets to i Wireless, leaving the entire state to them.

 

Ah, if that is accurate, I was not aware that T-Mobile had recently divested control of the Des Moines market to iWireless.  Good to know.  And it makes sense -- at least, far more so than the reverse.

 

As you seem to be aware, Iowa Wireless Services is quite the cooperative of local telcos.  If you have never seen the FCC ULS entry for T-Mobile's PCS A block 30 MHz license in the Des Moines-Quad Cities MTA, it is probably the most heavily partitioned and disaggregated license in the entire FCC database.  Take a look:

 

http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/licenseMarketSum.jsp?marketType=O&licKey=8940&archive=&x=7&y=11

 

Though Iowa Wireless Services manages the whole thing, each local telco technically is the license holder of its own little piece of spectrum.  So, T-Mobile might have a dastardly trying to buy out Iowa Wireless Services interest in the rest of the MTA.

 

Back to the sell off of Des Moines, I hope that something similar may happen in Omaha.  T-Mobile operates only a skeleton, license protection network in the market.  No local stores, no local numbers.  T-Mobile users do exist, but they are just passing through or have moved to Omaha and maintained their previous numbers homed to other market MSCs.  Divest it to Viaero, which will then have coverage throughout almost the entire state of Nebraska.  And that may insulate Viaero against an almost inevitable acquisition by AT&T.

 

AJ

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This deal leaves Sprint even further behind all the other major carriers there, with only two lonely towers in Milford and Spirit Lake. :(

 

Sprint affiliate Swiftel also offers Sprint native coverage in Sioux City and along the I-29 corridor into South Dakota.

 

Robert via Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk

 

 

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USCC and VZW have long been the carriers to beat in NW Iowa, with T-Mobile (i wireless) a close third. AT&T had big coverage holes there that it looks like Long Lines will mostly fill. This deal leaves Sprint even further behind all the other major carriers there, with only two lonely towers in Milford and Spirit Lake. :(

 

I wonder if there are any other local carriers left they could look to purchase to work on their native coverage in the state.

I live in SW IA and work in Omaha. There is some Nextel towers in SW IA that have not been dismantled and I have been clinging to a little bit of hope that maybe Sprint/Softbank will use them to expand their native footprint. We need more carriers here then just Chat Mobility and Us Cellular...My ATT phone roams on Commnet Wireless in SW IA when I get outside of Omaha's coverage which is a horrible experience after being on fast LTE. I really wish Commnet would get bought out to...

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At some point SprintBank is going to have to make some more acquisitions. I know that some of us bemoan the loss of the regional carriers, but I think that it's becoming more and apparent that if SprintBank doesn't acquire some these smaller carriers, then their competition will.

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I live in SW IA and work in Omaha. There is some Nextel towers in SW IA that have not been dismantled and I have been clinging to a little bit of hope that maybe Sprint/Softbank will use them to expand their native footprint. We need more carriers here then just Chat Mobility and Us Cellular...My ATT phone roams on Commnet Wireless in SW IA when I get outside of Omaha's coverage which is a horrible experience after being on fast LTE. I really wish Commnet would get bought out to...

About where are these towers?

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A Viaero partnership with T-Mobile would definitely be a nice foil against AT&T acquisition. Sell the Omaha network, lease all AWS spectrum in the area, and get Viaero to build out AWS LTE there, harmonizing their network with T-Mobile's. Get a reciprocal roaming agreement going, and T-Mobile suddenly actually has coverage in a lot of places where it's blank now...and Viaero can now data-roam. So many wins there.

 

As for Long Lines, they've got a GSM network. 'twas bound to happen. Cell29 doesn't have much of a network anyway, so not a good Sprint acq target.

 

Re: Alltel roaming, I'm currently in Harrison, AR. Sprint has a site or two here, but most coverage is provided by Verizon roaming, ex-Alltel, SID 208. As with other legacy Alltel markets, EvDO roaming still works here,and it's pretty zippy thanks to the LTE overlay that covers much of the area (though there are still pockets of 3G-only for VZW).

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Sprint affiliate Swiftel also offers Sprint native coverage in Sioux City and along the I-29 corridor into South Dakota.

 

Robert via Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk

 

Not much, but better than nothing. Last I heard Swiftel (despite their name) was dragging their feet on NV upgrades and until recently was 1x only like Fort Dodge is now. Has Sprint since convinced them to try a little harder?

 

Back to the sell off of Des Moines, I hope that something similar may happen in Omaha.  T-Mobile operates only a skeleton, license protection network in the market.  No local stores, no local numbers.  T-Mobile users do exist, but they are just passing through or have moved to Omaha and maintained their previous numbers homed to other market MSCs.  Divest it to Viaero, which will then have coverage throughout almost the entire state of Nebraska.  And that may insulate Viaero against an almost inevitable acquisition by AT&T.

 

AJ

 

A Viaero partnership with T-Mobile would definitely be a nice foil against AT&T acquisition. Sell the Omaha network, lease all AWS spectrum in the area, and get Viaero to build out AWS LTE there, harmonizing their network with T-Mobile's. Get a reciprocal roaming agreement going, and T-Mobile suddenly actually has coverage in a lot of places where it's blank now...and Viaero can now data-roam. So many wins there.

 

I agree this would be a great partnership. T-Mobile could even feasibly buy Viaero much more easily than it could buy out all the INS members' minority shares in iWireless, if the company really wants to be bought. T-Mobile doesn't want to invest in much rural coverage, particularly since it would require PCS spacing and DT hasn't seemed to have made up their mind if they want to sell off the company or invest in it, but if the infrastructure's already there, why not? It would also leave AT&T in a (probably temporary) lurch and require them to roam on T-Mobile in a major way for once, rather than the other way around. Does TMUS hold AWS licenses across Nebraska?

 

The iWireless partnership is great because they are in the process of bringing at least HSPA+42 if not LTE to about as many places across the state as VZW and USCC will have LTE, which is a very unique position for a TMUS subscriber who is passing through a rural area to find himself in. I would definitely prefer if TMUS lets Viaero build out on AWS since I don't trust them to do it as thoroughly themselves, although I'd rather they take them than AT&T if it comes down to that.

 

I live in SW IA and work in Omaha. There is some Nextel towers in SW IA that have not been dismantled and I have been clinging to a little bit of hope that maybe Sprint/Softbank will use them to expand their native footprint. We need more carriers here then just Chat Mobility and Us Cellular...My ATT phone roams on Commnet Wireless in SW IA when I get outside of Omaha's coverage which is a horrible experience after being on fast LTE. I really wish Commnet would get bought out to...

 

Absolutely, I agree that Sprint should convert old Nextel sites that don't overlap with the existing footprint. Perhaps they're pretending to be walking away from them so the site owners will cut them a deal on the lease.. one can hope. It'd definitely be cheaper than zoning out brand new sites.

 

It's interesting that you're picking up Commnet- that must be bleedover from Missouri, as I didn't think they had any service in Iowa.

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It's interesting that you're picking up Commnet- that must be bleedover from Missouri, as I didn't think they had any service in Iowa.

Yea I'm a little confused about this lately, I can find no evidence that Commnet exists in IA on Commnet own coverage maps and on the FCC website but my phone connects to MNC 311-040 and that is a Commnet MNC..

 

Sent from my GT-I9505G using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

 

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Northwestern Iowa falls to AT&T's manifest destiny, as Long Lines sells out its wireless division.

 

http://www.longlines.com/about/pr.php?id=34

http://longlines.com/wireless/coverage.php

 

Look out, Viaero, Plateau, and Union. You are next on the block...

 

AJ

Do you see TMO buying any carrier? Every article I read quoting TMO CEO makes it seem like TMO only cares about top 25 markets.
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Ah, if that is accurate, I was not aware that T-Mobile had recently divested control of the Des Moines market to iWireless. Good to know. And it makes sense -- at least, far more so than the reverse.

 

As you seem to be aware, Iowa Wireless Services is quite the cooperative of local telcos. If you have never seen the FCC ULS entry for T-Mobile's PCS A block 30 MHz license in the Des Moines-Quad Cities MTA, it is probably the most heavily partitioned and disaggregated license in the entire FCC database. Take a look:

 

http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/licenseMarketSum.jsp?marketType=O&licKey=8940&archive=&x=7&y=11

 

Though Iowa Wireless Services manages the whole thing, each local telco technically is the license holder of its own little piece of spectrum. So, T-Mobile might have a dastardly trying to buy out Iowa Wireless Services interest in the rest of the MTA.

 

Back to the sell off of Des Moines, I hope that something similar may happen in Omaha. T-Mobile operates only a skeleton, license protection network in the market. No local stores, no local numbers. T-Mobile users do exist, but they are just passing through or have moved to Omaha and maintained their previous numbers homed to other market MSCs. Divest it to Viaero, which will then have coverage throughout almost the entire state of Nebraska. And that may insulate Viaero against an almost inevitable acquisition by AT&T.

 

AJ

I can confirm that T-Mobile treats iWireless roaming as native for voice and data. It is not deducted from roaming data allotment, it is not throttled, etc.

 

I also want to second this sentiment of Omaha and Lincoln divestiture to Viaero or iWireless. Where T-Mobile works in Omaha, it works pretty decently. Where it works is extremely limited however. West Omaha is barren and nothing but fringe coverage at best. Lincoln has two sites on either end of the city, one 3G, the other not. It's pitiful. Let iWireless or Viaero take it over, and treat it as native roaming. Acquire Viareo and let them carry on business as usual under the Viareo brand until they build out AWS services and then bring it under the T-Mobile brand.

 

For the record, T-Mobile worked the best of all national carriers at the College World Series. Sprint was under water the whole week and half and EvDO was failing often.

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For the record, T-Mobile worked the best of all national carriers at the College World Series. Sprint was under water the whole week and half and EvDO was failing often.

 

When the house is empty and a bunch of people come over, no one might notice any crowding -- if you catch my drift.

 

Omaha has almost zero local T-Mobile users, but it has the largest single license protection network that I have ever seen from any operator.  So, I would imagine that the T-Mobile network could most readily handle an influx of visitors because, well, nobody is home.

 

AJ

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When the house is empty and a bunch of people come over, no one might notice any crowding -- if you catch my drift.

 

Omaha has almost zero local T-Mobile users, but it has the largest single license protection network that I have ever seen from any operator. So, I would imagine that the T-Mobile network could most readily handle an influx of visitors because, well, nobody is home.

 

AJ

This is completely accurate. But I found it interesting none the less. AT&T had an LTE cow just beyond left field.

 

Sprint issues were exacerbated by the fact that there was no NV in the area, and all the CSpire roaming that week, it came to a screeching halt.

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Northwestern Iowa falls to AT&T's manifest destiny, as Long Lines sells out its wireless division.

 

http://www.longlines.com/about/pr.php?id=34

http://longlines.com/wireless/coverage.php

 

Look out, Viaero, Plateau, and Union. You are next on the block...

 

AJ

Does it even matter if ATT buys these Tier 3 carriers? If the FCC lets Leap transaction through with minimal PCS divestments, these wont be a blip. Edited by bluespruce1901
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Does it even matter if ATT buys these Tier 3 carriers? If the FCC lets Leap transaction through with minimal PCS divestments, these wont be a blip.

 

Some of us prefer that many rural/regional carriers remain alive.  They tend to construct coverage with localized, strategic focus, maintain local executive and engineering positions, and provide more satisfying, personalized wireless experiences.

 

AJ

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Some of us prefer that many rural/regional carriers remain alive. They tend to construct coverage with localized, strategic focus, maintain local executive and engineering positions, and provide more satisfying, personalized wireless experiences.

 

AJ

ATT's 300 million LTE coverage by 2015 isn't complete enough?

 

It's not like ATT is gonna buy them out and then reduce coverage. That's already illegal, right?

Edited by bluespruce1901
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Some of us prefer that many rural/regional carriers remain alive.  They tend to construct coverage with localized, strategic focus, maintain local executive and engineering positions, and provide more satisfying, personalized wireless experiences.

ATT's 300 million LTE coverage by 2015 isn't complete enough? It's not like ATT is gonna buy them out and then reduce coverage. That's already illegal, right?

 

So, coverage aside, AT&T maintains local executive and engineering positions and provides a more satisfying, personalized wireless experience?

 

AJ

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What personalized experience? You pay your bill, you get your gigs and mins and coverage.

 

Do some research on rural providers.  See how much more involved they are in the activities and responsive to the needs of the local communities that they serve.

 

AJ

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