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Sprint Q4 2014 earnings report

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I misread the 3 g part and just read low band spectrum. I still stand by my opinion. Verizon and Sprint did not have 800 mhz fall magically into their laps. They made decisions that landed them those frequencies. T-Mo did not.

I do wonder why DT, after it bough voice stream, didn't realize that they needed lowband to compete. Did they not look at a map of America to see how big it is?

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I do wonder why DT, after it bough voice stream, didn't realize that they needed lowband to compete. Did they not look at a map of America to see how big it is?

It probably did not play into their strategic vision at the time. It is easy to have 20/20 hindsight.

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It probably did not play into their strategic vision at the time. It is easy to have 20/20 hindsight.

It'd be cool to see their 2001 investor presentation pitch to buy TMO and their longterm plan. Must've been a good one to throw $50bil at voicesrream

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It'd be cool to see their 2001 investor presentation pitch to buy TMO and their longterm plan. Must've been a good one to throw $50bil at voicesrream

That was at the height of the tech bubble. Also back home DT and other telcos paid a ton of money for 3G licenses which almost broke them. After that I doubt they were in the mood for expansion here.

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How is it TMO's fault that it doesn't have lowband 3G spectrum?

Who cares who's fault it is? It's a competitive marketplace and few to no consumers will tolerate a bad user experience and then excuse it for a technical reason.

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Low band spectrum is not necessary to have a great network.

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Decisions made in the past. Some people can and will complain about favoritism by the FCC but when it comes to it, T-Mo because of decisions that it made and its predecessors made put it in a position where it was unable or unwilling to effectively compete in the auction. Or maybe they just undervalued the future importance of lower frequencies. Likewise, I won't give Sprint a pass on that situation either. Some may say that cash was tied up in the Nextel merger debt or the Wimax roll-out. Still comes down to decisions. Every company is free to make their own and live by the consequences. T-Mo is no different.

I fully agree with you. Sprint could have merged with Alltel and USCC and other rural providers. That would have given them a very credible story about rural coverage. They could have densified their urban coverage. They chose not to.

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Low band spectrum is not necessary to have a great network.

 

It pretty much is if you want to have a credible story to tell as far as rural coverage.

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It pretty much is if you want to have a credible story to tell as far as rural coverage.

Technically no. You could densify but not cost effective e.

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It pretty much is if you want to have a credible story to tell as far as rural coverage.

Viaero Wireless covers rural Nebraska wonderfully with a WCDMA PCS network. One of the best rural networks in the world. And it is a large geographic area, larger than the five smallest states combined.

 

I love using Viaero when I roam off AT&T. You will have to pardon me if I disagree. And Viaero does not have tens of millions of customers to spread its costs across.

 

And they have to compete directly with Verizon and USCC. And in some of their areas AT&T. But they win market share by beating out competitors in high quality coverage. Even though VZW and USCC have low frequency spectrum.

 

It can be done. If you decide to do it, and you do it right.

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Viaero Wireless covers rural Nebraska wonderfully with a WCDMA PCS network. One of the best rural networks in the world. And it is a large geographic area, larger than the five smallest states combined.

 

I love using Viaero when I roam off AT&T. You will have to pardon me if I disagree. And Viaero does not have tens of millions of customers to spread its costs across.

 

And they have to compete directly with Verizon and USCC. And in some of their areas AT&T. But they win market share by beating out competitors in high quality coverage. Even though VZW and USCC have low frequency spectrum.

 

It can be done. If you decide to do it, and you do it right.

I thought you need 3 pcs for every 1 850mhz tower for coverage. Seems like big OPEX difference.

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It pretty much is if you want to have a credible story to tell as far as rural coverage.

There are many solutions that for good rural coverage for a company that owns only high band spectrum. One is sprints rural alliance, but there are many other options.

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Viaero Wireless covers rural Nebraska wonderfully with a WCDMA PCS network. One of the best rural networks in the world. And it is a large geographic area, larger than the five smallest states combined.

 

I love using Viaero when I roam off AT&T. You will have to pardon me if I disagree. And Viaero does not have tens of millions of customers to spread its costs across.

 

And they have to compete directly with Verizon and USCC. And in some of their areas AT&T. But they win market share by beating out competitors in high quality coverage. Even though VZW and USCC have low frequency spectrum.

 

It can be done. If you decide to do it, and you do it right.

It can be done but you have to do it on the cheap. MetroPCS covered Florida very well on PCS, where they they had spectrum by employing a lot of DAS. So did Verizon by actually deploying a lot of regular basestations  but they were subsidized by their wireline division. Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile did. Why?

Edited by bigsnake49

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I thought you need 3 pcs for every 1 850mhz tower for coverage. Seems like big OPEX difference.

Depends. In a suburban or urban area, yes. But if USCC and VZW are just covering major highways, then to equal their coverage you only need about 1-1/2 to equal their coverage. Viaero has about double the sites of their competitors and provides better highway and rural coverage and better density in towns.

 

Viaero should be a model for rural deployment without high frequency spectrum. Granted, they don't have margins that VZW does, so there is a cost to it. It's not a money losing proposition. But it makes less money per dollar invested.

 

Everyone I know in Viaero territory chooses them over USCC or VZW, unless they travel out of coverage frequently. Those people use Verizon or USCC depending on where they go. And if Viaero had more than just EDGE/GPRS roaming on ATT, many of them would switch to Viaero too. And given Tmo's challenge to roaming rates via the FCC, that may happen.

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It can be done but you have to do it on the cheap. MetroPCS covered Florida very well on PCS, where they they had spectrum by employing a lot of DAS. So did Verizon by actually deploying a lot of regular basestations but they were subsidized by their wireline division. Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile did. Why?

Cost benefit analysis. And capital availability prioritization. The amount of capital they could muster had 100 more important things to spend on than PCS densification or rural PCS expansion. And the return was not high enough to move it up in priority.

 

Also, they feel like they cannot compete in rural unless they had low frequency spectrum in the rurals like the Duopoly. And the story has always been in our industry that you MUST have low frequency spectrum in the rural to compete. I never agreed with that.

 

But the MetroPCS DAS is not really relevant to my conversation. I'm talking rural PCS or AWS coverage. You obviously cannot deploy DAS along rural highways and small towns. Other than maybe inside the Cabela's Headquarters Store in Sidney, Nebraska. :tu:

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I don't know if I agree with this.  People here in my market are starving for another provider.  It is a frequent conversation point around here with folks asking when Tmo or Sprint will come to our area.  Or even Viaero or USCC.  Starving.  And when I explain that they would only provide coverage in the large towns and along the highway, most don't care.

 

In reality, people in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana spend 99% of their time in the bigger cities and along highways just like suburbanites in major metros.  They want choice.  And a lower bill.  They know what life in a Duopoly world looks like.  And they don't like it.  Whoever shows up first, whether Sprint or Tmo, will be rewarded with a significant market share in 12 months.  Equalling or surpassing metro areas.

 

It looks like Tmo is planning a Western South Dakota expansion.  They purchased some AWS-3 in the last auction in my area.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a 700-A move around here soon too.  It would make no sense to buy that AWS spectrum if they weren't planning to.  And Sprint has to at least expand some native coverage with G block build out requirements.

 

There will be a significant portion of our population, maybe 30% to 40% that will not be able to live without the rural coverage Verizon (and to a lesser extent AT&T) provides.  But the remaining 60% to 70% are ripe for the picking for someone.  And in this age where nearly everyone has a smartphone, subscriber growth is going to have to come from somewhere.  And these may be the easiest folks to pick up.  Especially if you do the build out creatively and precisely in a way to maximize benefit and minimize expense.  

 

A perfectly spaced low frequency spectrum position allows you to do that in the unserved/underserved rurals.  And if you are rewarded with loyal customers from these areas in enough numbers, then you can build out more density to better serve the growing numbers and possibly expand your base further.  And your urban/suburban subscribers that feel like they have to use the Duopoly have much more travelling coverage.  And the postpaid cream of the crop customers you can get from that is huge.

 

I stand corrected Robert, you may very well be right for your market. I was basing my statement on some conversations I had with folks who live up in CT and other areas where Sprint and T-Mobile are both lacking severely. Areas which used to be summer homes only, and in the last 10-15 years, have been built out with no cellular infrastructure to match. 

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I do wonder why DT, after it bough voice stream, didn't realize that they needed lowband to compete. Did they not look at a map of America to see how big it is?

 

Based on their PCS and AWS holdings, there really wasn't a reason to get lowband. Keep in mind, their network design emulated Sprint's design almost 1:1. Highway coverage everywhere, and dense coverage in urban markets. 

 

The difference is that Sprint at least put 3G/EVDO on all their sites nationwide, whereas T-Mobile decided to only fiber up and upgraded some of their core sites to HSPA.

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Hell, T-Mobile has a dense rural network in MN and OK and should be good there once they get LTE there. Other states, they need lots of work. I'm glad S4GRU brought up Viaero, they're really solid.

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Cost benefit analysis. And capital availability prioritization. The amount of capital they could muster had 100 more important things to spend on than PCS densification or rural PCS expansion. And the return was not high enough to move it up in priority.

 

Also, they feel like they cannot compete in rural unless they had low frequency spectrum in the rurals like the Duopoly. And the story has always been in our industry that you MUST have low frequency spectrum in the rural to compete. I never agreed with that.

 

But the MetroPCS DAS is not really relevant to my conversation. I'm talking rural PCS or AWS coverage. You obviously cannot deploy DAS along rural highways and small towns. Other than maybe inside the Cabela's Headquarters Store in Sidney, Nebraska. :tu:

 

Metro deployed DAS outdoors, maybe they did indoors as well, but they deployed it in places where they did not have enough subscribers to justify a full BTS. It worked very well for them.

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Viaero Wireless covers rural Nebraska wonderfully with a WCDMA PCS network. One of the best rural networks in the world. And it is a large geographic area, larger than the five smallest states combined.

 

I love using Viaero when I roam off AT&T. You will have to pardon me if I disagree. And Viaero does not have tens of millions of customers to spread its costs across.

 

And they have to compete directly with Verizon and USCC. And in some of their areas AT&T. But they win market share by beating out competitors in high quality coverage. Even though VZW and USCC have low frequency spectrum.

 

It can be done. If you decide to do it, and you do it right.

I can confirm this I got just over 18MB down on a rural HSPA Viaero site not long ago. They have excellent rural coverage.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Viaero Wireless covers rural Nebraska wonderfully with a WCDMA PCS network. One of the best rural networks in the world. And it is a large geographic area, larger than the five smallest states combined.

 

I love using Viaero when I roam off AT&T.

 

Sing the praises, Dino!  Viaero-oh-oh.  Nebraska-oh-oh-oh-oh.

 

 

AJ

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Hell, T-Mobile has a dense rural network in MN and OK and should be good there once they get LTE there. Other states, they need lots of work. I'm glad S4GRU brought up Viaero, they're really solid.

T-mobile has a dense rural network in OK?  Okay, I never realized that.  I just know that their nearest LTE tower is three miles west of me.  The signal from that tower doesn't reach my house, and OKC extends eight miles further east of me with no LTE service in city limits much less rural. 

So you're saying there is still a chance of T-mobile being an actual option for OKC city dwellers in the future?

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T-mobile has a dense rural network in OK? Okay, I never realized that. I just know that their nearest LTE tower is three miles west of me. The signal from that tower doesn't reach my house, and OKC extends eight miles further east of me with no LTE service in city limits much less rural.

So you're saying there is still a chance of T-mobile being an actual option for OKC city dwellers in the future?

I had a great Tmo GPRS signal across most of Oklahoma in Spring 2013. I don't recall ever losing it. If Tmo upgrades all that to LTE, it would be a nice network in OK.

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