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Official Tmobile-Sprint merger discussion thread

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1 hour ago, dro1984 said:

Question... if T Mobile comes in and starts the network conversion... do you see CDMA completely going away?   (I do).     I know Verizon sundowned all their CDMA and it using LTE for most everything now I think they have minimal 1x for some voice but not much.    Maybe Snake was right about T Mobile coming in and offering attractive phone "upgrades" quickly to help move that old equipment off network so they can streamline everything network related?    

Low hanging fruit first. Update firmware to VoLTE on most popular models that Sprint has not already done. Maybe convert markets that are not VoLTE compatible first. Then special deals for remaing phones that must have CDMA?

 

The issue would then be the MVNOs.

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1 hour ago, dro1984 said:

Maybe Snake was right about T Mobile coming in and offering attractive phone "upgrades" quickly to help move that old equipment off network so they can streamline everything network related?    

Was told last week by a district manager (T-Mobile) that as soon as possible after closing T-Mobile had lots of deals ready for Sprint customers to upgrade/switch phones.  The exact words she used were that they were "very aggressive offers."  She wouldn't give any details. Take with a grain of salt but it makes sense. 

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1 hour ago, fizzicsguy said:

Was told last week by a district manager (T-Mobile) that as soon as possible after closing T-Mobile had lots of deals ready for Sprint customers to upgrade/switch phones.  The exact words she used were that they were "very aggressive offers."  She wouldn't give any details. Take with a grain of salt but it makes sense. 

Wow!  Thanks!!  Great News!   I very well may upgrade.     Would you guys go for a S20+ kind of phone for all the Network options?   Thoughts?   Is there a better phone ... 5G is NOT a must for me.... 4G is good for what I need.  I just want a strong processor and all the available frequencies. 

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For people worried about Shentel with respect to this merger, I found an old article from when the merger was first proposed:

"Specifically, the analysts at Macquarie Research wrote that the proposed Sprint and T-Mobile merger “could lead to one of several positive outcomes: 1) New T-Mobile could buy Shentel’s wireless business; 2) Shentel could buy T-Mobile’s subs in its footprint at 75% of their value with financing help from New T-Mobile (if needed); or 3) T-Mobile would have to turn off the competing network; with this, Shentel would get rid of a competitor and gain access to T-Mobile’s spectrum. For the right deal, including the purchase of T-Mobile’s subs, we expect management could take leverage up to 4.5x.”"

https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/shentel-carrier-at-crossroads-sprint-and-t-mobile-merger

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Those people that think that T-Mobile does not need to offer attractive offers to upgrade the handsets just imagine what kind of offers AT&T and Verizon will start offering to Sprint customers. A brand new iPhone on us or an attractive trade-in offer if you bring your number to us and you won't have to worry about these integration pains. Oh and these attractive per month plans. They will try to poach each and every Sprint customers. So T-Mobile will have to fight for each and every customer. They better come prepared.

Edited by bigsnake49
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12 minutes ago, bigsnake49 said:

Those people that think that T-Mobile does not need to offer attractive offers to upgrade the handsets just imagine what kind of offers AT&T and Verizon will start offering to Sprint customers. A brand new iPhone on us or an attractive trade-in offer if you bring your number to us and you won't have to worry about these integration pains. Oh and these attractive per month plans. They will try to poach each and every Sprint customers. So T-Mobile will have to fight for each and every customer. They better come prepared.

Nice.  All three of my 4G Sprint phones are ready or near ready for upgrade.  I will wait until the "attractive offers" start.

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28 minutes ago, bigsnake49 said:

For people worried about Shentel with respect to this merger, I found an old article from when the merger was first proposed:

"Specifically, the analysts at Macquarie Research wrote that the proposed Sprint and T-Mobile merger “could lead to one of several positive outcomes: 1) New T-Mobile could buy Shentel’s wireless business; 2) Shentel could buy T-Mobile’s subs in its footprint at 75% of their value with financing help from New T-Mobile (if needed); or 3) T-Mobile would have to turn off the competing network; with this, Shentel would get rid of a competitor and gain access to T-Mobile’s spectrum. For the right deal, including the purchase of T-Mobile’s subs, we expect management could take leverage up to 4.5x.”"

https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/shentel-carrier-at-crossroads-sprint-and-t-mobile-merger

Good.  I bought shares in Shentel (SHEN) and US Cellular (USM) a year or two ago when their stock prices went down.  Waiting for a business consolidation event that causes their value to double or more.

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A great article by Jim Patterson on rcrwireless.com. Some nuggets format

2.5GHz:

“Braxton, Mike and John have authorized me to do some work at risk this year in getting ourselves ready to deploy the 2.5 gigahertz spectrum as soon as the deal closes. Nobody is more impatient for this thing to close than me. I wish I was deploying 2.5 radio on the network right now, but we’ve done work at low cost in terms of securing, permitting, and authorization to deploy 2.5. So as soon as this deal closes, we’re in a position where we can start laying down 2.5 radio on the new T-Mobile network.

Enterprise:

 

T-Mobile inherits not only a trough of spectrum with the Sprint acquisition, but hundreds of seasoned enterprise sales executives.  As Mike Sievert recently acknowledged in his appearance at the Citi conference a month ago, T-Mobile is under-indexed in enterprise.  

Sprint’s enterprise roots are significant, having commanded close to 20% of the enterprise data market as recently as 2006.  There are many sales executives who cut their teeth with fleet management solutions (Nextel and Sprint), wireless access solutions (Clearwire and Sprint) and IP MPLS (Sprint). 

*Without going through all of the details it’s important to note that the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 (and their variants) have the 2.5 GHz band already installed in the GSM (T-Mobile) version, and that the CDMA (Sprint) version of these devices already has T-Mobile’s Low Band 700 MHz spectrum, a.k.a. Band 12 (and Band 66 in the case of iPhone 😎 already enabledThe CDMA version of the iPhone SE also has Band 12 enabled. Bottom line: there is the potential for backwards compatibility within the current handsets. And the iPhone XS (and variants) and iPhone 11 (and variants) are universal devices and include T-Mobile’s 600 MHz band which will be have a big benefit for Sprint customers.

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200216/analyst-angle/the-sunday-brief-new-t-mobile-cat-5-hurricane

 

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42 minutes ago, bigsnake49 said:

A great article by Jim Patterson on rcrwireless.com. Some nuggets format

2.5GHz:

“Braxton, Mike and John have authorized me to do some work at risk this year in getting ourselves ready to deploy the 2.5 gigahertz spectrum as soon as the deal closes. Nobody is more impatient for this thing to close than me. I wish I was deploying 2.5 radio on the network right now, but we’ve done work at low cost in terms of securing, permitting, and authorization to deploy 2.5. So as soon as this deal closes, we’re in a position where we can start laying down 2.5 radio on the new T-Mobile network.

 

*Without going through all of the details it’s important to note that the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 (and their variants) have the 2.5 GHz band already installed in the GSM (T-Mobile) version, and that the CDMA (Sprint) version of these devices already has T-Mobile’s Low Band 700 MHz spectrum, a.k.a. Band 12 (and Band 66 in the case of iPhone 😎 already enabledThe CDMA version of the iPhone SE also has Band 12 enabled. Bottom line: there is the potential for backwards compatibility within the current handsets. And the iPhone XS (and variants) and iPhone 11 (and variants) are universal devices and include T-Mobile’s 600 MHz band which will be have a big benefit for Sprint customers.

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200216/analyst-angle/the-sunday-brief-new-t-mobile-cat-5-hurricane

 

Great article!   Good find!!   Thank you! 

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I received a Sprint Business email over the weekend.  Closing could be as early as April 1, 2020. 

Quote

Dear Valued Sprint Business Customer:

You may have already heard the exciting news that Sprint and T-Mobile are now focused on finishing the few remaining necessary steps to close our merger transaction and bring the New T-Mobile to life. Judge Marrero's ruling validates our view that this merger is in the best interests of the U.S. economy and American consumers.

There is no specific time frame for how long this may take but we will work as quickly as we can. We are not ready to announce a closing date quite yet but with the court's ruling, we could close as early as April 1, 2020.

This is a historic time and for the promise that the New T-Mobile brings: lower costs, nationwide 5G and a high-performing network that will invigorate competition!

There are no immediate changes or actions for Sprint customers with this news, and all current Sprint contracts will be honored by New T-Mobile once the transaction closes - your Sprint team will work closely with you to keep you informed along the way.

When we close the merger, we will roll out the benefits of New T-Mobile to the combined base of business customers. Some will be felt immediately while others will occur over a longer period of time. Our first priority is to continue to provide the same experience and level of support you have come to expect from Sprint Business.

Until we close, it's business as usual for Sprint. We continue to compete in the marketplace and remain dedicated to serving your business.

We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Thank you for being a valued Sprint Business customer.

 

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4 hours ago, bigsnake49 said:

For people worried about Shentel with respect to this merger, I found an old article from when the merger was first proposed:

"Specifically, the analysts at Macquarie Research wrote that the proposed Sprint and T-Mobile merger “could lead to one of several positive outcomes: 1) New T-Mobile could buy Shentel’s wireless business; 2) Shentel could buy T-Mobile’s subs in its footprint at 75% of their value with financing help from New T-Mobile (if needed); or 3) T-Mobile would have to turn off the competing network; with this, Shentel would get rid of a competitor and gain access to T-Mobile’s spectrum. For the right deal, including the purchase of T-Mobile’s subs, we expect management could take leverage up to 4.5x.”"

https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/shentel-carrier-at-crossroads-sprint-and-t-mobile-merger

I'm familiar with that article.  It's Option #1 that worries me.

- Trip

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1 hour ago, Trip said:

I'm familiar with that article.  It's Option #1 that worries me.

- Trip

Same here. Shentel has  a very good network and handing it over to somebody else would not be wise.  Allowing Shentel to combine the two networks and then totally manage the resulting network will result in one "KILLER" network. Nobody will beat it.

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Couple of thoughts:

1. It is apparent from the rcrwireless.com article above that T-Mobile has been stockpiling 2.5GHz equipment (Massive MIMO antennas/RRHs) for a while so that they can hit the ground running. They are also making basestation changes. Installing these M-MIMO will require a tower climb. In order to minimize the number of climbs they will try to combine it with other work on the site such as new RRHs, installing T-Mobile equipment on non-colocated Sprint towers that they're keeping, etc.. Installing brand new equipment on the additional 10,000 sites will of course require a site visit/climb

2. I am thinking that adding band 25 spectrum capability to all 65,000 T-Mobile sites so that they can take advantage of the combined spectrum holdings is a software task that can be done remotely. They will need to turn on MFBI for Band 2/25 compatibility. So this should happen rather quickly.

3. 800MHz, this is where it gets interesting. Dish has agreed to purchase Sprint's 800MHz spectrum after 3 years and then keep it along with Sprint sites and equipment to help them build their network. If they elect not to (penalties apply) then T-Mobile can elect to keep it or auction it off. I am not sure that they want to keep it. They would have to deal with 600MHz, 700Mhz and 800MHz. If they don't want to keep it who would want to buy it? Well, AT&T and Verizon and USCC who have 850Mhz holdings adjacent to it (Celullar A) might be interested. I hope this is what happens and then the FCC and the cellular carriers can rationalize the SMR+cellular band so that it can be a 15Mhz Cellular A side and 15Mhz Cellular B side and leave a 2MHz guard band. If Dish decides to buy Sprint's 800MHz spectrum they will have 600MHz, 700Mhz and 800Mhz to deal with and it might get a bit complicated. Even if Dish decides to purchase Sprint's 800MHz, T-Mobile may elect to lease back a portion of the 800MHz for an additional 2 years. Like I said, it's interesting.

4. 700 MHz - T-Mobile will probably keep their Block A spectrum and will probably try to purchase the rest of Block A from AT&T. Dish should probably sell their 700 E Block to AT&T particularly if they decide to purchase Sprint's 800Mhz spectrum and try to purchase the rest of the block from AT&T that they don't own (New York+New England, California) if they decide to pass on 800MHz.

5. 600Mhz - T-Mobile & Dish have agreed to enter negotiations to lease some or all of Dish's 600Mhz while Dish is constructing their network. That'll reduce Dish's MVNO payments to T-Mobile and enable Dish to build their network sooner. Comcast should lease or sell their 600Mhz spectrum to T-Mobile and get a good MVNO agreement from T-Mobile.

6. AWS-3, AWS-4 (Band 66, Band 70). I don't think that T-Mobile will lease any of Dish's paired AWS-3 spectrum. There is just not enough there to make a fuss about. The additional 20Mhz of downlink 2180-2200Mhz is attractive but they won't touch it. Same thing with Band 70. Dish is on it's own and I am thinking that as Sprint's sites are decommissioned Dish will install their Band 66 and 70 equipment on the same racks. 

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It's all interesting spetrum-wise....   Hopefully we get to use some of it now.

I had PM'd you the other day... What's your prediction for California (Lawsuit Appeal wise and the Cali - Public Utilities Commisson)?    

Edited by dro1984

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17 minutes ago, dro1984 said:

It's all interesting spetrum-wise....   Hopefully we get to use some of it now.

I had PM'd you the other day... What's your prediction for California (Lawsuit Appeal wise and the Cali - Public Utilities Commisson)?    

I don't think the AG will appeal. The CPUC might impose some conditions but the merger is going forward no matter what.

Sorry about just noticing the email notification.

Edited by bigsnake49
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3 hours ago, bigsnake49 said:

2. I am thinking that adding band 25 spectrum capability to all 65,000 T-Mobile sites so that they can take advantage of the combined spectrum holdings is a software task that can be done remotely. They will need to turn on MFBI for Band 2/25 compatibility. So this should happen rather quickly.

This might already have been done. 

The screenshot:

https://imgur.com/a/W6wxVTd

- Trip

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31 minutes ago, Trip said:

This might already have been done. 

The screenshot:

https://imgur.com/a/W6wxVTd

- Trip

Thanks, my interpretation of that screenshot is that you are roaming on T-Mobile band 2 in your area which then presents itself as band 25 to Sprint roamers through MFBI. So yes the MFBI part is done but the actual hosting of the Sprint spectrum by T-Mobile has not been done. There is a little bit of work involved, even if it ends up being mostly software configuration, such as setting the filters at different points depending on the additional Sprint licenses. So this has to be done for each license area separately. 

Edited by bigsnake49
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5 minutes ago, bigsnake49 said:

Thanks, my interpretation of that screenshot is that you are roaming on T-Mobile band 2 in your area which then presents itself as band 25 to Sprint roamers through MFBI. So yes the MFBI part is done but the actual hosting of the Sprint spectrum by T-Mobile has not been done. There is a little bit of work involved, even if it ends up being mostly software configuration, such as setting the filters at different points depending on the additional Sprint licenses. So this has to be done for each license area separately. 

It's a US Cellular phone.  It had been roaming directly on T-Mobile B2, so I tried to force it onto Sprint by locking out the T-Mobile bands, and up came T-Mobile B25.  If I'd been roaming via Sprint, I'd have expected to see the 311490 PLMN.  (I'm not sure I understood your post correctly.)

But yes, ultimately they'll have to put the Sprint spectrum up on the T-Mobile towers.  That's definitely not done yet.  But the MFBI does appear to be done, at least around here.

- Trip

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An article that promised details about Dish's deployment but was kinda short on those. One little nugget is that they will follow Rakuten's deployment strategy in Japan in deploying their network in the US.

https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2020/02/19/dish-reveals-new-details-on-its-5g-plan.html?ana=yahoo&yptr=yahoo

Rakuten promised to be the first cloud native, fully virtualized RAN based on open source. Basically what that means is that the whole RAN network as well as the core resides on the cloud. The advantage is resiliency and fault tolerance. At the site level there are only RRHs and antennas. I don't believe that they have virtualized the RRHs yet but that would be next (anybody remember Artemis Networsk?). The disadvantage of moving all this functionality in the cloud is that you will need lots of low latency, high bandwidth connections.  

Maybe T-Mobile should employ the virtualized deployment strategy not on their existing sites (at least not yet) but on the approximately 11,000 Sprint sites they will retain and the approximately 10,000 additional sites on top of that. AT&T has been working on network virtualization for a while now and claim they have virtualized 75% of the end to end network. 

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30 minutes ago, bigsnake49 said:

Rakuten

I remember when a guy from Japan came to the states and prescribed a Tokyo style small cell deployment. This seems a bit different so I hope it works out better.

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2 minutes ago, belusnecropolis said:

I remember when a guy from Japan came to the states and prescribed a Tokyo style small cell deployment. This seems a bit different so I hope it works out better.

Haha...I remember but the big mistake he made is that he actually took out macro sites that were working really well and replaced them with small cells that don't have the range or capacity or were not implemented in in enough numbers. The strategy might have worked in NYC and in the downtowns of American cities but not in the uptowns and the suburbs and exurbs.

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This might already have been done. [/url] The screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/W6wxVTd

- Trip

 

 

That explains some interesting signalcheck logs I've gotten here in Kansas. I initially thought it was a mistake (Nextech has B25 here) but now seeing that I'm not so sure. Nextech shows up as Sprint or Roam B25. This clearly marked T-Mobile B25 

 

 

 

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AT&T  President and COO John Stankey is "surprised" by the judges decision on Sprint and T-Mobile tie up? 

Really?  Hummm... didnt' they just have a couple of huge mergers under their belt too?   Of course he's "surprised"!  When you listen to this, he's kinda of disappointed.   His Duopoly with Verizon is over...  Now Dumb and Dumber are nervous!   

AT&T (T) President and COO John Stankey Surprised over judge's decision on T Mobile and Sprint Merger

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