At first, VoLTE will be used to deliver "Rich Communications Services" (which look like something similar to what Voice over IP/Video over IP outfits offer today) rather than completely replacing narrowband voice. It will be awhile before Verizon is willing to commit to that, due in part to LTE outages in late 2011.
On the flip side is MetroPC, which has pushed VoLTE as hard as it could.
Then there's Sprint, which will stick to voice over 1x for the foreseeable future, but routes Direct Connect over IP. Sprint's latest DC incarnation seems quite similar to one facet of RCS over LTE.
I received the below email today about Google shutting down its Fusion Tables tool. I know many of us have and still use fusion tables for our market maps here on S4GRU. Looks like we've got a year to migrate to a new platform.
Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
The new T-Mobile is going to boil down to a neighborhood by neighborhood decision for Sprint customers, some of which will depend on what work gets completed by Sprint assuming merger is successful.
I am assuming former Clear sites that do not get Triband upgrades are typically toast. Sites with more recent investments stand a better chance of surviving, assuming they are not co-sites. Of course all existing equipment could still be junked. 800 RRHs have the best odds, given they will likely be the last bastion of Sprint CDMA. We are seeing some 1900 firmware changes that would allow for more spectrum to be used for LTE that may affect these RRH's retention. I would also assume cabinets are toast or at least retrofitted. The main factor in keeping some of the equipment would be new equipment shortages and future 5G compatible replacements being needed in coming years.
Network needs and leasing costs would be main individual site factors. I would think markets with a low Sprint Market share would lose the most Sprint sites while those with a large Sprint Market share would have better odds for unique Sprint site retention. Of course the FCC might mandate that VoLTE must cover all areas covered by Sprint CDMA, but this would mostly affect rural areas.
I am also assuming that the new T-Mobile will start urban in the larger markets given T-Mobile's past history.