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T-Mobile wants FCC to better define "reasonable" data roaming rates


lordsutch
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Via PhoneScoop: http://goo.gl/uHR5Sq

 

I guess the roaming deal T-Mobile got as part of the breakup with AT&T wasn't as great as they made it sound at the time.

 

What if the deal were to not get renewed this year. I could see a lot of T-Mobile customers being surprised by a no coverage symbol where they once had EDGE.

 

One question that I have is, does AT&T offer T-Mobile some amount of native W-CDMA roaming? The reason I ask is because last i heard, T-Mobile only covers around 240 Million people. Now I'm hearing the 280 Million POP number thrown around a lot more.

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does AT&T offer T-Mobile some amount of native W-CDMA roaming? 

 

Yes.

 

AT&T definitely provides HSPA+ roaming to T-Mobile customers in a lot of Northern Michigan, and has for at least two years now. (Or at least, they've provided it on my TMO sim)

 

It's not consistent. (Some sites force me down to EDGE. Some sites let me connect to HSPA+. No obvious pattern that I've seen). But they do allow it.

 

Worth mentioning that the roaming data is very bad. Even if you connect to HSPA+, the speeds and latency are artificially throttled to below-EDGE performance, so your not getting any better connection over HSPA than EDGE.

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I do believe T-Mobile is correct in stating its native coverage to be 284 million POP's. That's, to my recollection, more POP's covered than Sprint. But that said, most of that EDGE beyond the 230 million POP's of HSPA/LTE is completely unusable. Rebuilding the infrastructure for T-Mobile to effectively cover that other 54 million will be a very costly endeavor. T-Mobile has to "Network Vision" the rural sites, it's not going to be as easy as driving to the base of a tower, and swapping an Ultrasite for a Flexi. They have to completely rebuild sites. New backhaul, Flexi's, new antennas, and new RRU's.

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I do believe T-Mobile is correct in stating its native coverage to be 284 million POP's. That's, to my recollection, more POP's covered than Sprint. But that said, most of that EDGE beyond the 230 million POP's of HSPA/LTE is completely unusable. Rebuilding the infrastructure for T-Mobile to effectively cover that other 54 million will be a very costly endeavor. T-Mobile has to "Network Vision" the rural sites, it's not going to be as easy as driving to the base of a tower, and swapping an Ultrasite for a Flexi. They have to completely rebuild sites. New backhaul, Flexi's, new antennas, and new RRU's.

 

They're doing the GMO approach with everything but new antennas and jumper cables. That rural coverage will be "lovely" considering it was spaced mainly for GSM / GPRS. 

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They're doing the GMO approach with everything but new antennas and jumper cables. That rural coverage will be "lovely" considering it was spaced mainly for GSM / GPRS.

I realize that. I'm merely laying out the cost of getting it right.

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I realize that. I'm merely laying out the cost of getting it right.

 

Biggest cost other than the equipment are usually paying the tower climbers and cranes / boom lifts etc. Other than that it isn't super expensive and manpower intensive to do work on the ground compared to dangling in the air. It's still going to take a few $$B USDs and a lot of time though. 

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...

 

Worth mentioning that the roaming data is very bad. Even if you connect to HSPA+, the speeds and latency are artificially throttled to below-EDGE performance, so your not getting any better connection over HSPA than EDGE.

 

Sounds like Verizon EVDO roaming for me.  I HOPED to get on even just 1x with Sprint because Verizon's EVDO roaming was so bad.  Their 1x was really bad too, maybe 25 kbps tops.

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I do believe T-Mobile is correct in stating its native coverage to be 284 million POP's. That's, to my recollection, more POP's covered than Sprint. But that said, most of that EDGE beyond the 230 million POP's of HSPA/LTE is completely unusable. Rebuilding the infrastructure for T-Mobile to effectively cover that other 54 million will be a very costly endeavor. T-Mobile has to "Network Vision" the rural sites, it's not going to be as easy as driving to the base of a tower, and swapping an Ultrasite for a Flexi. They have to completely rebuild sites. New backhaul, Flexi's, new antennas, and new RRU's.

 

If they want, they can piggy back on Sprint's NV

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Sounds like Verizon EVDO roaming for me. I HOPED to get on even just 1x with Sprint because Verizon's EVDO roaming was so bad. Their 1x was really bad too, maybe 25 kbps tops.

In the places I go, VZW EVDO is just getting downright awful. I don't think they're doing any CAPEX on it anymore. And I guess I don't blame them. But my average VZW 3G speeds are now 50-250kbps.

 

I thought by this point with so many LTE devices out there and 700MHz coverage nearly ubiquitous that EVDO burdens would be getting lighter, not heavier. They may be removing EVDO carriers for future refarming in Band 5 for VoLTE.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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In the places I go, VZW EVDO is just getting downright awful. I don't think they're doing any CAPEX on it anymore. And I guess I don't blame them. But my average VZW 3G speeds are now 50-250kbps.

 

I thought by this point with so many LTE devices out there and 700MHz coverage nearly ubiquitous that EVDO burdens would be getting lighter, not heavier. They may be removing EVDO carriers for future refarming in Band 5 for VoLTE.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

 

In NYC, Sprint 3G is faster than Verizon, but not by much. If Verizon is at 1.2Mbps, Sprint is at 1.4Mbps. The ping is where it really counts though and in that regard, Sprint is the winner. I can't remember the last time I saw a ping over 100ms on Sprint EVDO here. 

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VZW voice is bad too. I don't think Verizon was planning at all for their legacy voice network to still be pushing this much voice traffic. Verizon's LTE network is an overlay, remember in most places VZW has barely touched their old CDMA. Maybe some Ericsson RBS'es where old Nortel CDMA gear bit the dirt, but overall, it's pretty much the same. They were always planning the move to 3GPP with VoLTE and I don't think they thought VoLTE would have taken until 2014 to be mature.

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In the places I go, VZW EVDO is just getting downright awful. I don't think they're doing any CAPEX on it anymore. And I guess I don't blame them. But my average VZW 3G speeds are now 50-250kbps.

 

I thought by this point with so many LTE devices out there and 700MHz coverage nearly ubiquitous that EVDO burdens would be getting lighter, not heavier. They may be removing EVDO carriers for future refarming in Band 5 for VoLTE.

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

Lowell McAdam has mentioned several times since 2011 that no CapEx is going into the CDMA network. It's all going into LTE. As for OpEx, CDMA is getting the bare minimum of the budget (i.e. just enough to keep it going to get users camped on LTE or whatnot). I don't recall exactly where, but one of the execs mentioned that once VoLTE launches, the OpEx budget for CDMA will drop even more (more of it will be allocated for LTE).

 

Since Verizon deployed the LTE network as a separate overlay system, and decoupled the core networks in 2012, it's entirely possible to allow the CDMA network to fail without LTE failing, too.

 

Starting late last year, Verizon has been removing EvDO carriers on PCS and squeezing them on Cellular. So both 1X and EvDO capacity have fallen as a result. Verizon wants to start work on a second LTE network on PCS sometime in the middle of next year.

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