I realize my contributions won't be about Sprint or anything in the US market...so please feel free to move to a 'foreign' section.
Before I start any new threads or post further, I thought it might be interesting if I share what I know on my local carriers. Here we go...
The Big Four in South Africa
MTN (MTN Group reported 210 million subscribers in April 2014; big push into rest of Africa)
Vodacom (51.5 million subscribers reported in July 2013; owned by Vodafone UK)
Cell C (12.3 million subscribers reported in November 2013; "the underdog")
Telkom Mobile (1.6 million subscribers reported in September 2013; "new kids on the block")
LTE takes off
Telkom Mobile, previously "8ta", were the early adopters and conducted a very visible LTE trial during the period November 2012 - August 2013. MTN and Vodacom followed suit. From what I could see, they conducted closed trials. Cell C has yet to adopt LTE.
- MTN operates their 3G and LTE networks in the 1800MHz band. They use FDD for LTE.
- Vodacom also operates the 1800MHz band, also using FDD for LTE.
- Telkom Mobile use 2100MHz for 3G and 2300MHz for LTE. They're the only carrier to use TDD.
- Cell C operates in the 2100MHz bands offering 2G and 3G only (as at August 2014)
Personal use of each carrier for LTE
Telkom Mobile uses TDD so get very high speeds; I've hit 73Mbps but have seen demos of 100Mbps; Uploads max out at 7-9Mbps; This is my voice provider.
MTN uses FDD and the speeds are much more synchronous; I've hit up to 50Mbps but have seen other users getting 71Mbps; Uploads max out at 21Mbps. This is my home fixed broadband provider.
Vodacom uses FDD and the speeds are a mixed bag yet performance is good; I've not seen many reports on LTE speeds but have personally hit around 16Mbps down and 9Mbps up, best case; I use this carrier for my iPad 4.
C-band is further from becoming a reality than CBRS is right now considering there still hasn't been a decision made about if satellite operators should be able to sell it or if it should be auctioned off. And even then, it'll probably cost an arm and a leg to acquire. CBRS is shared spectrum that will likely be split up into a ton of chunks which doesn't exactly make it pristine mid-band spectrum.
Sprint's advantage is that 2.5GHz not only has better propagation characteristics, but that the whole 120MHz+ is available to them virtually nationwide. The main advantage of CBRS is that it will likely be the first "global" 5G band and will be useful for roaming purposes. For that reason, I could see Sprint along with every other carrier and cable co trying to get some of it.
The more sub 6GHz spectrum the other carriers pick up, the less advantage Sprint has. That advantage holds a bit tighter though for anything above 2.5GHz for realistic urban full on coverage.
However, it's a long ways to get there. CBRS is 150MHz right now, that will get split up once it goes up for auction. And it's a full 1GHz spread from 2.5GHz.
Then C-Band that is being looked into like 6GHz, you are looking at similar limitations that are on existing 5GHz. Unlicensed, low power output of 1w or 250mW. With current considerations there will be at least 850MHz for 1w output, but that is still just 1w.