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Non-G-Block PCS LTE Carriers


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With LTE showing signs of loading in many markets, even some with deployment near full density, have there been any instances of using unutilized or refarmable PCS spectrum to deploy another 5x5 carrier? I know Band 41 is the current plan for offloading, but refarming would provide relief for those with single-band LTE devices.

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Every time I see an LTE Engineering screen posted, I check to see if it is outside G block. So far, I haven't seen one PCS screen shot outside G Block.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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I wouldn't be surprised if they don't use any other blocks besides G for LTE until they shut down EV-DO (but keep 1X).

 

I wouldn't be so sure. In areas where they have just acquired spectrum (USCC and Revol), they will probably place at least one new 5 mhz LTE carrier. That could happen before the end of the first quarter of next year. It is also possible in some areas where they have an abundance of PCS spectrum that will add another 5 mhz LTE carrier relatively soon.

 

Considering the number of single band devices sold (and they are still being sold) it would make sense to add another carrier or two (in PCS) if they have the spectrum available.

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I wouldn't be so sure. In areas where they have just acquired spectrum (USCC and Revol), they will probably place at least one new 5 mhz LTE carrier. That could happen before the end of the first quarter of next year. It is also possible in some areas where they have an abundance of PCS spectrum that will add another 5 mhz LTE carrier relatively soon.

 

Considering the number of single band devices sold (and they are still being sold) it would make sense to add another carrier or two (in PCS) if they have the spectrum available.

They could, but I just don't seem them messing with it, but it's possible.

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If they add another 5x5 LTE PCS carrier will that make for a 10x10 carrier in aggregate? or are they spaced apart from each other making them separate? I'm still learning about many of the technical aspects, so bare with me.. Thanks!

 

My guess is they would be separate. They could place a single 10x10 carrier if they did have enough adjacent spectrum. I think it is also possible to aggregate two separate 5X5 carriers if you have the correct hardware...

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If they add another 5x5 LTE PCS carrier will that make for a 10x10 carrier in aggregate? or are they spaced apart from each other making them separate? I'm still learning about many of the technical aspects, so bare with me.. Thanks!

I don't see that happening for the foreseeable future even if the spectrum is contiguous. Since the gs3, note 2 and gs4 can only support 5x5 mhz carriers, Sprint can't just leave those people in the dark with no LTE if Sprint did a 10x10 carrier

 

Sent from my LG G2 LS980 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Also, no Sprint device to date supports Carrier Aggregation, as far as I'm aware.  Additional PCS LTE 5MHz carriers will not work in aggregate with anything to allow greater throughput that 37Mbps.  However, an additional LTE carrier would double airlink capacity instantly, allowing much greater performance if there is sufficient backhaul available to support both carriers.

 

Robert

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Also, no Sprint device to date supports Carrier Aggregation, as far as I'm aware.  Additional PCS LTE 5MHz carriers will not work in aggregate with anything to allow greater throughput that 37Mbps.  However, an additional LTE carrier would double airlink capacity instantly, allowing much greater performance if there is sufficient backhaul available to support both carriers.

 

Robert

 

Just to make sure my memory is correct, the backhaul for all NV sites is scalable...

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Just to make sure my memory is correct, the backhaul for all NV sites is scalable...

It's scalable in the sense more can be added relatively easily. However, given Sprint's backhaul providers problems at deploying (especially CenturyLink) I wonder how effective they will be at increasing backhaul upon demand. This should be easy. Let's hope it goes well.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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I don't see that happening for the foreseeable future even if the spectrum is contiguous. Since the gs3, note 2 and gs4 can only support 5x5 mhz carriers, Sprint can't just leave those people in the dark with no LTE if Sprint did a 10x10 carrier

 

Sent from my LG G2 LS980 using Tapatalk

 

This got me thinking... Would two 5x5 carriers have the same capacity as one 10x10 carrier?

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It's scalable in the sense more can be added relatively easily. However, given Sprint's backhaul providers problems at deploying (especially CenturyLink) I wonder how effective they will be at increasing backhaul upon demand. This should be easy. Let's hope it goes well.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

You know you're doing something wrong when Windstream looks like a better option.

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Besides having the spectrum available, what needs to be done to bring another 5x5 carrier online. Does it require another card in the cabinet? A site visit to just configure the base stations, or does someone at Sprint HQ just remotely tells the site to broadcast another carrier in the E block (or wherever in PCS)?

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This got me thinking... Would two 5x5 carriers have the same capacity as one 10x10 carrier?

As Robert said, it would have the same capacity as 1 10x10 carrier, but you will still have the maximum theoretical download speed as a 5x5 carrier.

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Besides having the spectrum available, what needs to be done to bring another 5x5 carrier online. Does it require another card in the cabinet? A site visit to just configure the base stations, or does someone at Sprint HQ just remotely tells the site to broadcast another carrier in the E block (or wherever in PCS)?

I think from what I have read you would need to add a new carrier card and do some configuration at the base station. I am guarantee you that it is not as simple as firing up the LTE carrier from Sprint HQ.

 

Sent from my LG G2 LS980 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Eric is on the right track. But adding an LTE carrier card and configuring routers is an easy thing to do. It would take 1-2 hours per site, if things went without a hitch.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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It should be interesting to watch the engineering screen shots from Chicago, Indy, St Louis, etc over the next month. If adding that second carrier is a priority it should start showing up soon....

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I think from what I have read you would need to add a new carrier card and do some configuration at the base station. I am guarantee you that it is not as simple as firing up the LTE carrier from Sprint HQ.

 

If each additional carrier requires another card, that does put Sprint at a disadvantage to VZW and T-Mobile.  The latter two are going for the largest possible single carrier (5-20 MHz FDD) that each has the available spectrum to deploy, respectively.  And each can accommodate that single carrier on a single card.

 

AJ

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If each additional carrier requires another card, that does put Sprint at a disadvantage to VZW and T-Mobile.  The latter two are going for the largest possible single carrier (5-20 MHz FDD) that each has the available spectrum to deploy, respectively.  And each can accommodate that single carrier on a single card.

 

AJ

 

It does definitely puts Sprint at a disadvantage over Verizon and Tmobile if it truly does require a carrier card for each LTE carrier.  Unfortunately Sprint has most of its PCS spectrum in its markets that is non-contiguous to the G block spectrum.  Also to add insult to injury the early Samsung LTE phones being able to only support 5 MHz wide LTE bandwidths does not help and puts Sprint in a bind to maintain 5x5 LTE carriers for a few more years.

 

It seems no matter what, Sprint will need to add at least another LTE carrier card to its NV sites for its PCS spectrum since the G block will need a carrier card by itself and the other carrier card for its main block where it currently has 1x and 3G.   What Sprint should be doing now is for markets that are in the Canadian and Mexican IBEZ is to add 2 LTE carrier cards when they install NV sites now because markets such as San Diego, Tucson, Detroit, Buffalo where they will not be getting LTE 800 or LTE 2600 in the very near future.  This would help Sprint turn on an additional LTE carrier quicker.  These markets will definitely need more LTE capacity in the mean time until LTE 2600 can be installed and finally LTE 800 when the interference issues are resolved.

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