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Sprint and the Firstnet RFP


bigsnake49
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Does anybody know if Sprint is interested in bidding for the Firstnet RFP? It seems that AT&T is gungho about it. For those that are not aware, Firstnet is the no-profit tasked with building a national public LTE network in a 10x10 public 700MHz band. Public safety has first priority on the capacity but commercial entities, including utilities and the winning carrier's own customers may use it on a secondary-priority basis.

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I had put FirstNet totally out of mind.  It has been a huge fustercluck.

 

As the Upper 700 MHz D block is band 14, not band 13, and not part of any superset band, I doubt that Sprint would or should be interested.  To make matters even sweeter, it has an inverted duplex, just like band 13 -- but a -30 MHz offset, unlike the -31 MHz offset for band 13.

 

AJ

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Because uplink of one band cannot be located adjacent to downlink of another band.  Otherwise, interference problems arise.

 

AJ

 

Besides B13, is there any other Band currently used in LTE is inverted.

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Besides B13, is there any other Band currently used in LTE is inverted.

 

Yes.  Besides band 13 and band 14, band 20 (EU Digital Dividend 800 MHz) and band 24 ("LightSquared" L-Band 1500/1600 MHz) have inverted or negative duplexes.  Band 24, however, is unlikely to be utilized.

 

AJ

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While Verizon might have the most well developed national network and probably can claim the most resilient network (generators instead of batteries for the majority of their sites), they might not be the winner. As always it really depends on the bid. If Sprint wants it badly enough, they can win it.

Edited by bigsnake49
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Almost certain compatibility with already installed band 13 700 MHz antennas would be an inherent advantage for VZW.  However, FirstNet band 14 would require new RRUs.  So, VZW probably would have to install RF multiplexers to continue to use its existing antennas.  Alternatively, VZW could replace its band 13 base stations with dual band 13/14 RRUs.  And that might be the gambit, since the Release 8 band 13 equipment is getting outdated.

 

AJ

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Almost certain compatibility with already installed band 13 700 MHz antennas would be an inherent advantage for VZW.  However, FirstNet band 14 would require new RRUs.  So, VZW probably would have to install RF multiplexers to continue to use its existing antennas.  Alternatively, VZW could replace its band 13 base stations with dual band 13/14 RRUs.  And that might be the gambit, since the Release 8 band 13 equipment is getting outdated.

 

AJ

 

And Verizon get a government subsidized network upgrade.

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I think Sprint should go after band 14. They it more than anyone.

Plus if the buildout is government subsidized, the money side of things is mostly covered. Additionally this will fit in well with NGN and all of their expansion projects (Cedar, Ocean) because they will already be sending crews out to work on towers - they can just have the crews install 700 RRUs with everything else.

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I think Sprint should go after band 14. They it more than anyone.

 

No.  Just asserting it in an unclear post does not make it so.  Go back and read the rest of the thread.  It details some inherent disadvantages for Sprint, some inherent advantages for other operators.

 

AJ

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No. Just asserting it in an unclear post does not make it so. Go back and read the rest of the thread. It details some inherent disadvantages for Sprint, some inherent advantages for other operators.

 

AJ

What are the disadvantages you are referring to (other than the downlink uplink flipped)? I see advantages for Verizon but not disadvantages for sprint...

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What are the disadvantages you are referring to (other than the downlink uplink flipped)? I see advantages for Verizon but not disadvantages for sprint...

 

Well, this will be a list that reiterates some inherent disadvantages already stated and adds a few more...

  • Yet another boutique band for Sprint -- there is no band 14 ecosystem.
  • Even another set of low band antennas per sector would be required to support 700 MHz.
  • Construction requirements would dictate that Sprint build well outside of its native footprint.

AJ

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Well, this will be a list that reiterates some inherent disadvantages already stated and adds a few more...

  • Yet another boutique band for Sprint -- there is no band 14 ecosystem.
  • Even another set of low band antennas per sector would be required to support 700 MHz.
  • Construction requirements would dictate that Sprint build well outside of its native footprint.

AJ

 

Those disadvantages may not be disadvantages if Sprint won the bid. However, Sprint will be in disadvantage during the bidding process and Verizon could easily win.

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Just so everybody has a better idea of practical applications here is what the public safety initiative is all about....https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Fact%20Sheet_Nationwide%20Public%20Safety%20Broadband%20Network.pdf

 

Personally, I don't think it will be much better than a viable offload solution in the urban centers. The amount of data being moved by emergency services is pretty substantial. I don't see any indication of using the network for VOIP but I assume it is possible. If that happens then an even greater amount of bandwidth would be utilized. I honestly don't believe that it represents a massive advantage for any of the national operators.

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Hmm... Maybe something Dish might be interested in.  Several billion to just start the network buildout. 

 

Sprint having it would be cool, but then I see issues with their current coverage area.  This will have to addressed and how Sprint is going to pay for it, unless future spectrum auctions will top off FirstNet money wallet and be fully paid for.

 

I think VZW getting it would be ideal.  I am sure that can do the fastest deployment which I think would be best for FirstNet. But then I'd expect in populated areas for there to be a lot of traffic, so how much will a carrier benefit from getting to use it?

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Almost certain compatibility with already installed band 13 700 MHz antennas would be an inherent advantage for VZW.  However, FirstNet band 14 would require new RRUs.  So, VZW probably would have to install RF multiplexers to continue to use its existing antennas.  Alternatively, VZW could replace its band 13 base stations with dual band 13/14 RRUs.  And that might be the gambit, since the Release 8 band 13 equipment is getting outdated.

 

AJ

 

I'm assuming the latter is more likely. In my region, they've been busily completing a full rip/replace on their band 4 equipment and installing new multi-mode band 2/4 BTSs and RRHs with dual-sector antennas (for six-sector sites). The band 13 equipment is the only thing they haven't touched at this point, so it would make a lot of sense that they're waiting to tackle it until the FirstNet deployment.

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Just so everybody has a better idea of practical applications here is what the public safety initiative is all about....https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Fact%20Sheet_Nationwide%20Public%20Safety%20Broadband%20Network.pdf

 

Personally, I don't think it will be much better than a viable offload solution in the urban centers. The amount of data being moved by emergency services is pretty substantial. I don't see any indication of using the network for VOIP but I assume it is possible. If that happens then an even greater amount of bandwidth would be utilized. I honestly don't believe that it represents a massive advantage for any of the national operators.

 

While public safety is moving a lot of data, they arent going to suddenly jump into FirstNet head first and transmit all that data.  The biggest variable to public safety will be the cost.  First, will it even be viable to jump into the system?  If your data costs double or triple, how many are really going to use it?  Secondly, the hardware costs will be astronomical.  The major public safety solution companies like Sierra Wireless/InMotion, Cradlepoint, etc do not even have a FirstNet device out of prototype planning phases.  If the hardware comes out at cost of todays devices, you are looking at 1k per vehicle to adopt this new technology.  Many public safety agencies are still using 10 year old 3G hardware.  If they dont need video transmission or large amounts of wifi sharing, 3G serves most needs adequately.  And most dont need video transmission or more than 1-2 simultaneous data connections.

 

In all that sense, especially when you factor in hardware cost, Verizon certainly is going to have to fight to lose this bid.  They may as well have the deal in hand.  Verizon will have the clout to drive the hardware costs down to a degree if they can reuse them on the public side, and public safety agencies are not going to support a carrier move to anyone besides Verizon or ATT to begin with.

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Well, this will be a list that reiterates some inherent disadvantages already stated and adds a few more...

  • Yet another boutique band for Sprint -- there is no band 14 ecosystem.
  • Even another set of low band antennas per sector would be required to support 700 MHz.
  • Construction requirements would dictate that Sprint build well outside of its native footprint.

AJ

 

Sprint could use sites build purposely for public safety to host their equipment as well, in places they currently don't have service but have spectrum. Sprint might want to low bid in those places.

Edited by bigsnake49
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While public safety is moving a lot of data, they arent going to suddenly jump into FirstNet head first and transmit all that data.  The biggest variable to public safety will be the cost.  First, will it even be viable to jump into the system?  If your data costs double or triple, how many are really going to use it?  Secondly, the hardware costs will be astronomical.  The major public safety solution companies like Sierra Wireless/InMotion, Cradlepoint, etc do not even have a FirstNet device out of prototype planning phases.  If the hardware comes out at cost of todays devices, you are looking at 1k per vehicle to adopt this new technology.  Many public safety agencies are still using 10 year old 3G hardware.  If they dont need video transmission or large amounts of wifi sharing, 3G serves most needs adequately.  And most dont need video transmission or more than 1-2 simultaneous data connections.

 

In all that sense, especially when you factor in hardware cost, Verizon certainly is going to have to fight to lose this bid.  They may as well have the deal in hand.  Verizon will have the clout to drive the hardware costs down to a degree if they can reuse them on the public side, and public safety agencies are not going to support a carrier move to anyone besides Verizon or ATT to begin with.

 

 

The terminal equipment cost will not be insignificant and there is nothing that can be done to bring the cost down. Combining band13 and 14 into a superband might bring the cost of network equipment down.

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