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Official Tmobile-Sprint merger discussion thread


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15 hours ago, iansltx said:

If there's an equipment restriction limiting MIMO rank or similar, would make sense for TMo to phase them out in favor of macros, then come back in with mmW later if capacity constraints merit it.

That would make sense but it isn't what they're doing here at least. They're still building out a lot more small cells. T-Mobile has built very few new macros in NYC, especially when compared to other carriers like Verizon (but that's because Verizon's network was originally spaced for 700MHz and 850MHz and they needed to densify). T-Mobile still has the highest macro density in the city by far in spite of that.

The good news here is that the DoIT in NYC updated regulations to allow a new antenna design for small cells going forward and collaborated with all 3 nationwide carriers to develop it so we'll likely start seeing better small cells in NYC before year end. Right now there are no 5G small cells at all on any carrier.

Left pic is the current setup, right pic is the new approved design that allows for 4x4MIMO, etc.

pzKlMWP.jpg

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On 6/12/2021 at 9:28 AM, dewbertdc said:

Thanks, I might do that.  I want to talk to the folks who run the DAS before I engage an external vendor - they're my colleagues and I don't want to step on their toes!  As far as I know, they haven't had any communications from T-Mobile on changes.

You're welcome! Curious what you hear back from the DAS people or T-Mobile about this. T-Mobile's 600 MHz via TNX has really improved my indoor coverage/speeds vs. Sprint's 800 MHz coverage.

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53 minutes ago, RedSpark said:

You're welcome! Curious what you hear back from the DAS people or T-Mobile about this. T-Mobile's 600 MHz via TNX has really improved my indoor coverage/speeds vs. Sprint's 800 MHz coverage.

Yeah, we're definitely getting LTE and 5G on 600MHz down in the depths of the building now, but it's slow and congested.  I'd much rather have LTE on PCS, even if there's no 5G on the DAS!

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Just got apprised by my biz rep friend that I'm now TNX eligible. I'll switch over if I'm allowed to go back. NR CA via SA would be cool.

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Visited a Sprint-converted-to-Tmobile store last  week because my GNote 20 5G suddenly had a small cluster of stuck pixels that wouldn't go away (tried 3 apps that ran "tests" and made it flicker like crazy)..so they replaced my screen - and battery. 

Something didn't get plugged back in, or came loose...now I can literally watch the SCP app bounce from B25, B26, B41 back to B25...all within 5-6 seconds. Try to make a call with 5 bars and it suddenly drops to zero bars and the call doesn't complete. Headed back to store tomorrow to see if they can fix it...

But beware the "techs"...doesn't sound like they check everything like they should.

I was 3 miles away last week after they replaced my screen when i realized they kept my damn stylus and I had to turn around and go back!!

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This is something I've definitely noticed since the merger and switching to TNX on our devices. T-Mobile's 600 MHz is great for this.

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15 hours ago, iansltx said:

Just got apprised by my biz rep friend that I'm now TNX eligible. I'll switch over if I'm allowed to go back. NR CA via SA would be cool.

I was just notified that all the Sprint business mobile devices that my company has are being transitioned over to T-Mobile sim cards.

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51 minutes ago, RedSpark said:

This is something I've definitely noticed since the merger and switching to TNX on our devices. T-Mobile's 600 MHz is great for this.

I just wrote about this over in the Northern Jersey thread. I drove along I-80 from NYC out to Mt. Arlington, NJ and lost 5G coverage once and for less than a mile. It's only a 50-60 mile trip but it drives you through some pretty hilly/mountainous areas so I was surprised to see T-Mobile maintain 5G for virtually the entire ride.

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I wish these network testing and speed testing organizations would hit the providers with a big negative for areas with unusable or very slow coverage.  The difference between 1mb/s and 1,000mb/s in download speed or between 3g/4g/LTE/5g/etc. doesn't matter very much to most people who are not using their mobile device as a hotspot or casting to another screen.  The difference between no service and 1mb/s is very important to all users in all areas and its importance should be taken into account on these tests.  Upload speed should always be a minimum of 5% of the download speed for the download speed to be counted as useful.

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18 hours ago, dewbertdc said:

Yeah, we're definitely getting LTE and 5G on 600MHz down in the depths of the building now, but it's slow and congested.  I'd much rather have LTE on PCS, even if there's no 5G on the DAS!

It's still got to be better than Sprint's 800 MHz was, right? 🙂

At some point that DAS will have to be accounted for by the T-Mobile Network Folks. It's probably on some list somewhere with a plan to either upgrade it or shut it down.

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2 hours ago, RedSpark said:

It's still got to be better than Sprint's 800 MHz was, right? 🙂

Sure, but it didn't matter how Sprint's 800 MHz was down there, since we have 1900 MHz LTE on the DAS.  I'd rather my T-Mobile iPhone used the Sprint Legacy 1900 MHz LTE signal that's available down there than the 600 MHz 5G/LTE macro network, which is congested as we share it with a major transit hub in the area.  My phone will hop over to the Sprint signal when it loses the T-Mobile signal entirely, but it's a hard transition to "Roaming," not seamless like the Sprint "keep" sites are around here.

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1 hour ago, dewbertdc said:

Sure, but it didn't matter how Sprint's 800 MHz was down there, since we have 1900 MHz LTE on the DAS.  I'd rather my T-Mobile iPhone used the Sprint Legacy 1900 MHz LTE signal that's available down there than the 600 MHz 5G/LTE macro network, which is congested as we share it with a major transit hub in the area.  My phone will hop over to the Sprint signal when it loses the T-Mobile signal entirely, but it's a hard transition to "Roaming," not seamless like the Sprint "keep" sites are around here.

Good point. You could try submitting a report to @NevilleRay or @TMobileHelp about the congestion on the nearby macro sites?

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RootMetrics just came out with their June US 5G Scorecard: https://rootmetrics.com/en-US/content/rootmetrics-june-us-5g-scorecard

Good stuff from T-Mobile post-merger: 

Some good analysis: https://www.androidcentral.com/att-has-best-5g-speeds-rootmetrics-june-5g-scorecard?

Looking at that chart/analysis, it’s abundantly clear that Sprint would have never stood a competitive chance against the other carriers without the merger or a huge capital investment by SoftBank.

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4 hours ago, RedSpark said:

Looking at that chart/analysis, it’s abundantly clear that Sprint would have never stood a competitive chance against the other carriers without the merger or a huge capital investment by SoftBank.

How so? There’s room to criticize Sprint’s past actions but one place where they were always ahead of everyone else was in 5G. Sprint’s 5G network received universal praise and was already the best 5G network in the U.S. before it was shut down by T-Mobile per pretty much every third party testing service.

If the criticism is coverage area, that was never going to change. Sprint had no path to being a carrier that covers an area as large as Verizon but they could focus on being the best carrier in the areas that they do cover which they were well on their way to being in many markets, especially with their late push to put Band 41/n41 on every tower in their footprint.

The only reason Verizon stands a fighting chance against T-Mobile today is because T-Mobile barely participated in the C-band auction. And the only reason T-Mobile is able to claim all of these speed accolades is because of Sprint. If T-Mobile never merged with Sprint and was forced to participate in the C-band auction, all carriers would be spending tens of billions to get a piece of the pie and both AT&T and Verizon would be walking away with less spectrum than they currently have, leaving Sprint with significantly more mid-band spectrum than any other carrier without having to spend a dime.

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6 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

How so? There’s room to criticize Sprint’s past actions but one place where they were always ahead of everyone else was in 5G. Sprint’s 5G network received universal praise and was already the best 5G network in the U.S. before it was shut down by T-Mobile per pretty much every third party testing service.

If the criticism is coverage area, that was never going to change. Sprint had no path to being a carrier that covers an area as large as Verizon but they could focus on being the best carrier in the areas that they do cover which they were well on their way to being in many markets, especially with their late push to put Band 41/n41 on every tower in their footprint.

The only reason Verizon stands a fighting chance against T-Mobile today is because T-Mobile barely participated in the C-band auction. And the only reason T-Mobile is able to claim all of these speed accolades is because of Sprint. If T-Mobile never merged with Sprint and was forced to participate in the C-band auction, all carriers would be spending tens of billions to get a piece of the pie and both AT&T and Verizon would be walking away with less spectrum than they currently have, leaving Sprint with significantly more mid-band spectrum than any other carrier without having to spend a dime.

Sprint's lack of sufficient lowband spectrum prevented it from being nationally competitive even if it put Band 41 on every tower it had. Sprint didn't have enough macro sites, and when you combine that with the lack of sufficient lowband spectrum, it resulted in the overall inconsistent experience that users experienced at the fringe of Band 41 coverage. The only way the Sprint network was going to improve beyond putting Band 41 on every site was to have T-Mobile's larger capex spend actually leverage Band 41 on more macro sites (or build more sites) and combine it with its 600 MHz holdings.... or have SoftBank dump a bunch of capital into the network if the merger didn't happen and build more macro sites to make up for the lack of lowband spectrum....

As to your point about C-Band. Assuming the merger didn't happen, SoftBank would have had to pitch in capital for Sprint to get some.... or Sprint would have sat it out and justified doing so, just like it did for the 600 MHz auction. In the absence of the Merger and in the absence of capital, Sprint would be even further behind than it was before the Merger. The other carriers haven't stayed still, but Sprint didn't have headroom to improve.

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16 hours ago, BlueAngel said:

Sprint also at least in my area never had sufficient backhaul, so even with decent spectrum it was never crazy fast.

That's a good point. Everything costs money and Sprint just didn't have enough to spend on its network to be truly competitive vs the other carriers.

Sprint's heavy debt load and the insufficient support it received from SoftBank really prevented Sprint from getting ahead of the curve enough to get breathing room.... and for these improvements to be substantial enough, consistent enough and timely enough across its network to have a meaningful impact on customer gains or retention, which is ultimately the measure of market competitiveness.

Just to add an additional thought.... There's nothing wrong with spending money if you're making money. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile all had comparatively healthy balance sheets vs Sprint and they could afford to spend big on spectrum and network capex and make the money back. Sprint couldn't, and we know the truth now after being told different narratives over the years. For Sprint, the oil was running out of the engine as fast as it was being poured in. The engine was on the verge of seizing up and they couldn't afford to get a drain plug to stop it.

Edited by RedSpark
Additional thought....
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Just saw this permit for a very rural area: 

https://permitsearch.mybuildingpermit.com/PermitDetails/21110744CBP/Snohomish County

It sure looks like a T-Mobile site number (SE01794A) and mentions "ADD 2 ABIL FOR N1900 N2100"

First time I have seen a permit mention n1900 or n2100 (would this be n2/n25 and n66?). In fact, I searched all of the major locals on that site and not a single other permit mentions n1900 or n2100 (and none mention n2 or n66).

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I have received several emails and txts about switching to a  tmobile sim.  Can someone tell me what benefits/downsides there would be.  

I have a 20+ and my wife has a S20, both of which have been on  tmobile sites since pretty soon after the merger.

My oldest son has an S9 and my youngest son has an S8.  Not sure which sites they are on.

The latest text says they are sending sim cards for all the phones. 

I don't want to be in a hurry to switch if there is a downside.

 

Btw we went camping and canoeing in Romney, WV area this past weekend and i was pleased with the Roaming coverage while in the mountains.   I had alot of LTE roaming with US cellular, but also alot of tmobile coverage as well.  In the past with Sprint whenever i was roaming, i could assume there was no data.  So a pleasant surprise.  

Edited by jbahlman
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Some interesting info. Main takeaways:

  • "The expectation is to have about 60% of the Sprint customer traffic migrated onto the T-Mobile network by the end of this year and 100% migrated by mid-2022."
  • "Some 8,000 cell sites slated for decommissioning for the latter half of this year are already starting the process – well on the way to a full 35,000, he said. T-Mobile plans to decommission 35,000 macro sites by the end of 2022 and about 7,000 to 8,000 by the end of this year. All of the synergies will be achieved by 2024, leaving it with 80,000 to 85,000 macro sites and about 50,000 small cells."

Pretty amazing how well this is going. It's going to be a monster of a network when they're done. They've been making a big push for swapping to T-Mobile SIMs on the Sprint Website and in the My Sprint App, which has probably helped in moving this along.

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5 hours ago, jbahlman said:

I have received several emails and txts about switching to a  tmobile sim.  Can someone tell me what benefits/downsides there would be.  

I have a 20+ and my wife has a S20, both of which have been on  tmobile sites since pretty soon after the merger.

My oldest son has an S9 and my youngest son has an S8.  Not sure which sites they are on.

The latest text says they are sending sim cards for all the phones. 

I don't want to be in a hurry to switch if there is a downside.

 

Btw we went camping and canoeing in Romney, WV area this past weekend and i was pleased with the Roaming coverage while in the mountains.   I had alot of LTE roaming with US cellular, but also alot of tmobile coverage as well.  In the past with Sprint whenever i was roaming, i could assume there was no data.  So a pleasant surprise.  

The S20's are, as 5G phones, already on TMobile  but will/would gain access to Standalone 5G.

The other two are likely already on MOCN which gives access to both networks simultanenously which which may be preferable in that respect to TNX which may offer fewer sites.

HOWEVER in both cases with TNX you lose Sprint's often superior roaming agreements, and in particular International roaming is still completely broken wirh TNX for many but not all people.

Edited by comintel
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On 6/16/2021 at 10:42 AM, Paynefanbro said:

How so? There’s room to criticize Sprint’s past actions but one place where they were always ahead of everyone else was in 5G. Sprint’s 5G network received universal praise and was already the best 5G network in the U.S. before it was shut down by T-Mobile per pretty much every third party testing service.

If the criticism is coverage area, that was never going to change. Sprint had no path to being a carrier that covers an area as large as Verizon but they could focus on being the best carrier in the areas that they do cover which they were well on their way to being in many markets, especially with their late push to put Band 41/n41 on every tower in their footprint.

The only reason Verizon stands a fighting chance against T-Mobile today is because T-Mobile barely participated in the C-band auction. And the only reason T-Mobile is able to claim all of these speed accolades is because of Sprint. If T-Mobile never merged with Sprint and was forced to participate in the C-band auction, all carriers would be spending tens of billions to get a piece of the pie and both AT&T and Verizon would be walking away with less spectrum than they currently have, leaving Sprint with significantly more mid-band spectrum than any other carrier without having to spend a dime.

Damn! You sad what you said. And you were exactly SPOT ON.  

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7 hours ago, RedSpark said:

Some interesting info. Main takeaways:

  • "The expectation is to have about 60% of the Sprint customer traffic migrated onto the T-Mobile network by the end of this year and 100% migrated by mid-2022."
  • "Some 8,000 cell sites slated for decommissioning for the latter half of this year are already starting the process – well on the way to a full 35,000, he said. T-Mobile plans to decommission 35,000 macro sites by the end of 2022 and about 7,000 to 8,000 by the end of this year. All of the synergies will be achieved by 2024, leaving it with 80,000 to 85,000 macro sites and about 50,000 small cells."

Pretty amazing how well this is going. It's going to be a monster of a network when they're done. They've been making a big push for swapping to T-Mobile SIMs on the Sprint Website and in the My Sprint App, which has probably helped in moving this along.

Agreed. 

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Hi All, wondering if someone can weigh on several things:

First of, my situation: I'm still rocking an S7 and family members of mine have an iPhone 6 (ios updates ended a while ago) and an iPhone 7 (still gets ios updates).  I received a letter from Sprint saying that my S7 will no longer work starting on 1/1/22 (due to no VoLTE support, etc.)  The letter did not mention the old iPhones.  The old iPhones do not have a VoLTE toggle in the settings (but my company supplied iPhone 7 on VZW has VoLTE and hence has the toggle).  As far as my S7, I was thinking of replacing it anyway, so I am considering getting an unlocked S21, either from Best Buy (where I believe they will provide a SIM card on Sprint's behalf) or directly from Samsung (where I believe I would need to order a SIM card through the My Sprint app).  

My questions are as follows: 

1) How is it that the old iPhones were not included in the Sprint "device end of life" letter.  Will these old iPhones get the VoLTE toggle, maybe through a carrier update (especially on the 6, which doesn't get ios updates)?

2) For my potential S21 purchase, and maybe this is a silly question considering Sprint is really pushing all legacy customers to order a T-Mobile SIM card, but I presume that for all new phone purchases where Sprint provides the SIM (as mentioned above, either through Best Buy or the My Sprint app), the provided SIM will be a full on T-Mobile one?  If so, will this SIM card no longer provide access to Sprint towers (unless it is a Sprint "keep site", which will eventually get moved over)? 

 

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4 hours ago, Member21 said:

Hi All, wondering if someone can weigh on several things:

First of, my situation: I'm still rocking an S7 and family members of mine have an iPhone 6 (ios updates ended a while ago) and an iPhone 7 (still gets ios updates).  I received a letter from Sprint saying that my S7 will no longer work starting on 1/1/22 (due to no VoLTE support, etc.)  The letter did not mention the old iPhones.  The old iPhones do not have a VoLTE toggle in the settings (but my company supplied iPhone 7 on VZW has VoLTE and hence has the toggle).  As far as my S7, I was thinking of replacing it anyway, so I am considering getting an unlocked S21, either from Best Buy (where I believe they will provide a SIM card on Sprint's behalf) or directly from Samsung (where I believe I would need to order a SIM card through the My Sprint app).  

My questions are as follows: 

1) How is it that the old iPhones were not included in the Sprint "device end of life" letter.  Will these old iPhones get the VoLTE toggle, maybe through a carrier update (especially on the 6, which doesn't get ios updates)?

2) For my potential S21 purchase, and maybe this is a silly question considering Sprint is really pushing all legacy customers to order a T-Mobile SIM card, but I presume that for all new phone purchases where Sprint provides the SIM (as mentioned above, either through Best Buy or the My Sprint app), the provided SIM will be a full on T-Mobile one?  If so, will this SIM card no longer provide access to Sprint towers (unless it is a Sprint "keep site", which will eventually get moved over)? 

 

The iphones i believe will support VoLTE once they have the TNX sim. 
 

As for getting an s21. Since it is a 5g device it will use the T-Mobile network primarily even on a sprint sim. The sprint sim will connect to non keep sites if needed. I would personally try to stay on a sprint sim on that device unless standalone 5g is important to you.

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