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T-Mobile setting the stage for 700 mhz LTE roaming agreements


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T-Mobile has petitioned the FCC to consolidate the separate 700 mhz bands that AT&T and Verizon are using for LTE into a single band class so that they will be interoperable. This would allow T-Mobile and any other mobile carrier to use a single class 700 mhz antenna in their phones and be able to roam on either network without requiring several band classes as it currently stands. To enhance their arguement, T-Mobile brought up that Firstnet, which is used by first responders, could use 700 mhz interoperability to strike roaming deals and enhance their coverage without the additional cost of several band classes integrated into their devices.

 

While AT&T and Verizon obviously oppose this, it is something the FCC said they would look into when they approved AT&T's purchase of the Qualcomm spectrum.

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-mobile-all-700-mhz-lte-networks-should-interoperate/2012-03-14

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Good idea. Both AT&T and Verizon have been fighting LTE roaming agreements to keep the regionals and Sprint/T-Mo at a competitive disadvantage. The FCC needs to put its foot down, however, if the regionals sign with Clearwire for LTE this would be a simple (and profitable for Clearwire) solution when Clearwire goes nationwide.

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I doubt they'll ever be able to make a single device that will do all the 700 MHz band and there is no way to combine it all into a single band. Band classes 12 & 17 (lower 700 band) used by regionals and AT&T has an offset of 30 MHz (downlink channels are 30 MHz higher than the uplinks). Band class 13 (upper 700 band) used by Verizon has an offset of -31 MHz (downlink channels are 31 MHz LOWER than the uplinks). The RF electronics (diplexers / filters) would be far too complex to do in a single device with present technology. Maybe in a few years someone can design a filter and duplexer circuit that would work without causing interference and cross-operability issues.

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I doubt they'll ever be able to make a single device that will do all the 700 MHz band and there is no way to combine it all into a single band. Band classes 12 & 17 (lower 700 band) used by regionals and AT&T has an offset of 30 MHz (downlink channels are 30 MHz higher than the uplinks). Band class 13 (upper 700 band) used by Verizon has an offset of -31 MHz (downlink channels are 31 MHz LOWER than the uplinks). The RF electronics (diplexers / filters) would be far too complex to do in a single device with present technology. Maybe in a few years someone can design a filter and duplexer circuit that would work without causing interference and cross-operability issues.

 

I hope it is sooner than that. I have big LTE roaming plans, and I won't be set back by mere physical limitations! Don't they know who I think I am?

 

Robert

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