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OK, so I was bored on a Sunday afternoon and started lookin around the various places I visit when I have vacation time. One of these places is my home town in South East Texas. I remember way back when, circa 1997, Sprint came to town via UsUnwired. It was great if you were in Beaumont but anytime you went north to the lakes after Silsbee you were roaming.

 

My uncle had a Nextel phone from about 1999-2007 and I remember he never would lose that coverage until Jasper. Today, I found that the highway north outta Beaumont had iDEN towers, while Sprint never built any antenna/towers/cells along that same route; even after the Merger in 2005, this area since then has remained as it was.

 

So, fast forward to today. I've lurked and read, thought it through, and concluded the following.

 

The iDEN towers in this area are not being "pruned" at this time do to no overlapping coverage.

 

These iDEN towers will be decommissioned sometime between now and 2013

 

Since these towers do not co-locate any former UsUnwired or Sprint CDMA equipment, upon such decommissioning, there well be a resounding null of native Sprint coverage in this area.

 

For the few area's where there are some overlaps, such as Silsbee and Lumberton, where iDEN equipment is on one tower and seperated by anywhere from 0.25 - 1.5 miles, Network Vision will only be implemented on the Sprint CDMA towers.

 

For the areas that had Nextel iDEN service, they will not be receiving new CDMA Sprint service, even when 1xAdvanced is deployed in the EMSR band vacated by Nextel iDEN

 

Would these conclusions be valid? Is there any hope for those areas where there is Nextel/iDEN but no Sprint/CDMA that they will not be left behind. I know this area I am referencing may be small, but what of the iDEN customers when decommission happens; as there would be no CDMA coverage, they would not be able to get Sprint DC, so does Sprint just say: "Sorry, you're SOL?"

 

Here is a little map i spent 20-30min putting together from Sprint's website; I know its a little "cut-and-paste" like, but the information necessary is available to see.

 

7191442102_14e0139629_o.png

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Thats right. Current network vision plans, per Robert and all the data here, show that when iden goes dark, sprint's presence in these areas is over. I had this question ( and my jaw on the floor) when I realized they would be shuttering 60+ miles in my home state of iden only coverage...... I still have hope that their plans will evolve, but yeah, for now, there is no other sprint option for iden customers in these areas

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Unfortunately I don't think Sprint is going to change its mind; since Nextel's towers are spaced for 800 MHz Sprint would have to add fill-in towers to have contiguous coverage in the light blue areas of the map on 1900 MHz. It's probably not cost-effective for the number of local customers they'd be able to retain, compared to just paying roaming fees for the Sprint customers who occasionally need service there.

 

The only thing that might stop it is if the FCC has some minimum buildout requirement for 800 ESMR in these areas, but as far as I can tell there isn't one.

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Unfortunately I don't think Sprint is going to change its mind; since Nextel's towers are spaced for 800 MHz Sprint would have to add fill-in towers to have contiguous coverage in the light blue areas of the map on 1900 MHz. It's probably not cost-effective for the number of local customers they'd be able to retain, compared to just paying roaming fees for the Sprint customers who occasionally need service there.

 

The only thing that might stop it is if the FCC has some minimum buildout requirement for 800 ESMR in these areas, but as far as I can tell there isn't one.

 

At the very least they could offer 1xAdvanced and LTE on 850 using these towers. It would at least allow them to have coverage. I'm assuming these areas with iDEN only coverage are quite rural, so it would be better than nothing and to be honest it would still be better than iDEN for data even with just using 1xA.

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At the very least they could offer 1xAdvanced and LTE on 850 using these towers. It would at least allow them to have coverage. I'm assuming these areas with iDEN only coverage are quite rural' date=' so it would be better than nothing and to be honest it would still be better than iDEN for data even with just using 1xA.[/quote']

 

Is there a reason not to give these 800 spaced towers the full NV treatment and thus create only small pockets between them of 800 only coverage? The ones in my neck of the woods are rural. Would pockets of 800 only 1x advanced cause calls to drop? Could the 1x advanced in these areas be configured to maximize coverage instead of capacity?

 

I originally assumed the decision to forgo these areas was more financial than tech ability based

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As you said, the decision is financial rather than technical. If the roaming expense is smaller than building and running sites in rural areas, then you have your answer.

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I am not sure how many markets really need the Nextel towers besides the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area. Its been voiced many times on this forum that the CDMA tower spacing in BR/NO is horrendous for voice/data speeds and that converting some Nextel towers to CDMA with Network Vision would have helped relieve this problem.

 

Are there any other particular markets that have bad CDMA tower spacing that could use the iDEN towers converted to Network Vision? Again Sprint's decision to not convert any iDEN towers to CDMA with NV is purely financial and they are trying to cut out as much operation costs as it can to save money. The lesser the towers the better especially with 800 MHz 1x Advanced being deployed all over the country.

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I am in the same boat here with a string of Nextel only towers near by. To make matters worse years ago I ported my landline to Nextel and now Sprint will not port to Sprint because they have no Sprint service in that area, but they let me have an airave. I do not know what to do with the ported number that I have had for 25 years when they shut down Nextel and will not port to Sprint. That phone is one of 5 lines, 4 Sprint and 1 Nextel. Anyone have any ideas? Sprint just says can’t help you but we can give you a new Sprint number.

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There are lot of areas that have Nextel coverage right now that have zero Sprint CDMA coverage.

 

Take a look at Kern County in California, or West of Fresno, CA. Massive coverage differences.

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By my estimation back in 2011, Sprint would only need to keep 1,000 iDEN only sites of the Nextel network and convert to Network Vision. This would provide NV/LTE coverage in current Non-CDMA areas that are covered by iDEN. This included using strategic sites to create better urban density in places that appeared under served (like Baton Rouge).

 

Although rural iDEN sites are spaced on 800, they could be deployed with 800 CDMA now, so the impact wouldn't affect those with 800 CDMA devices. And the 1900 could just be islands. Islands of coverage in rural areas are much preferred over nothing. We have lots of towns here in the rural west that just have one Sprint site. Not that big of a deal, really.

 

However, Sprint is counting on the operational cost projections of a 38,000 site network. And the cost savings of decommissioning the entire Nextel network...every site. Even 1,000 sites is too many for Sprint to try to absorb at this time.

 

It is tragic that once Sprint loses these sites, there will be no easy way to come back and add service in the future. The barrier to entry for service in the old iDEN areas will be the same as starting service in any new coverage area, once the leases are terminated.

 

And although I am disappointed that iDEN only sites in Non-CDMA coverage areas will not be converted to NV, I am looking forward to Sprint getting on its feet financially. It will allow them to keep up with the LTE capacity curve of adding carriers timely.

 

I also think that Sprint will start adding coverage after a year or so of financial stability (or dare I say even profit). But I think their model for additional coverage will be solely based on where they pay the most in roaming fees. It will be very targeted expansion. Where it basically pays for itself.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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I'm hoping that some of the leases on the iDEN only sites don't expire for a couple years and Sprint could then use the existing structure to add CDMA equipment if their finances improve. I'm not an RF engineer, but it's not hard to see that Baton Rouge needs more sites. The iDEN only sites are all over the place here and would be perfect for filling in major coverage holes and making this market a very solid competitor to the big 2. If the leases expire and Sprint decides they want to add sites here later on, it'll be just like you said Robert in that the barrier to entry will be much more expensive.

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I'm hoping that some of the leases on the iDEN only sites don't expire for a couple years and Sprint could then use the existing structure to add CDMA equipment if their finances improve. I'm not an RF engineer, but it's not hard to see that Baton Rouge needs more sites. The iDEN only sites are all over the place here and would be perfect for filling in major coverage holes and making this market a very solid competitor to the big 2. If the leases expire and Sprint decides they want to add sites here later on, it'll be just like you said Robert in that the barrier to entry will be much more expensive.

 

It's my understanding that Sprint is negoatiating up front lease termination fees now with decommissioning. I don't think they are holding on to leases for some possible future expansion.

 

Robert

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It's my understanding that Sprint is negoatiating up front lease termination fees now with decommissioning. I don't think they are holding on to leases for some possible future expansion.

 

Robert

 

So sad. Maybe 800 will help.

 

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

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Is there a reason not to give these 800 spaced towers the full NV treatment and thus create only small pockets between them of 800 only coverage? The ones in my neck of the woods are rural. Would pockets of 800 only 1x advanced cause calls to drop? Could the 1x advanced in these areas be configured to maximize coverage instead of capacity?

 

I originally assumed the decision to forgo these areas was more financial than tech ability based

 

Sorry it took so long to reply, I completely forgot about doing so. It's nothing technical, most likely financial as Robert said. The phone would do hand off from 1900 to 850 without issue, CDMA networks follow your phone. Your phone controls what it connects to, The towers don't (aside from authorization.).

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Unfortunately I don't think Sprint is going to change its mind; since Nextel's towers are spaced for 800 MHz...
Although rural iDEN sites are spaced on 800...

 

Guys, one misconception is that iDEN 800 has an SMR 800 MHz propagation advantage. But that is not really true because iDEN uses 16-QAM modulation, which requires higher C/I ratio. In other words, iDEN's higher order modulation scheme is more fragile, hence requires stronger signal for reliable reception. So, rural iDEN 800 site spacing -- if it is to create contiguous coverage -- is actually quite similar to CDMA1X 1900 site spacing.

 

AJ

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Guys, one misconception is that iDEN 800 has an SMR 800 MHz propagation advantage. But that is not really true because iDEN uses 16-QAM modulation, which requires higher C/I ratio. In other words, iDEN's higher order modulation scheme is more fragile, hence requires stronger signal for reliable reception. So, rural iDEN 800 site spacing -- if it is to create contiguous coverage -- is actually quite similar to CDMA1X 1900 site spacing.

 

AJ

 

So right now it's just a financial issue?

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So right now it's just a financial issue?

 

I would call it a cost-benefit issue, but I suppose that is, at heart, a financial issue.

 

Because iDEN offers so few roaming opportunities, it is largely an all or nothing proposition -- native Nextel coverage or nada. For that reason, Nextel has had to apply a different cost-benefit analysis to footprint build out, and that has led Nextel to construct coverage in some rather marginal locations where Sprint has not, as Sprint can utilize more cost effective roaming instead.

 

AJ

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Hi everybody,

 

New guy here.

I'm very interested in these kind of topics, but I'm just learning.

 

I've read a lot about the Sprint's Network Vision, but one question keeps me awake at night.

What the hell happens with all the iDEN base stations that Sprint is decommissioning/shutting down? Do they sell them to other iDEN operators around the world? Sell them back to Motorola (for some form of recycling, maybe)? Sell them as garbage?

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Guys, one misconception is that iDEN 800 has an SMR 800 MHz propagation advantage. But that is not really true because iDEN uses 16-QAM modulation, which requires higher C/I ratio. In other words, iDEN's higher order modulation scheme is more fragile, hence requires stronger signal for reliable reception. So, rural iDEN 800 site spacing -- if it is to create contiguous coverage -- is actually quite similar to CDMA1X 1900 site spacing.

 

AJ

 

I really don't know much about iDEN. Thanks for the clarification. Good stuff.

 

Robert

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Hi everybody,

 

New guy here.

I'm very interested in these kind of topics, but I'm just learning.

 

I've read a lot about the Sprint's Network Vision, but one question keeps me awake at night.

What the hell happens with all the iDEN base stations that Sprint is decommissioning/shutting down? Do they sell them to other iDEN operators around the world? Sell them back to Motorola (for some form of recycling, maybe)? Sell them as garbage?

 

This is not officially known. Sprint has not divulged this info. If there is a market for the equipment, I'm sure they'll sell it.

 

Robert

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This is not officially known. Sprint has not divulged this info. If there is a market for the equipment, I'm sure they'll sell it.

 

Robert

 

Thanks a lot, Robert.

I'm wondering if there is a business opportunity to buy some of that equipment and resell them.

In your view, who might be more interested: Motorola, Nextel Latinamerica, recyclers... or nobody, because they think is just crap.

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Thanks a lot, Robert.

I'm wondering if there is a business opportunity to buy some of that equipment and resell them.

In your view, who might be more interested: Motorola, Nextel Latinamerica, recyclers... or nobody, because they think is just crap.

 

I don't know of anyone who is in need of any significant iDEN equipment. I don't believe anyone is expanding their iDEN networks. It would likely only be useful in a maintenance/replacement situation. And I just don't know a whole lot about the iDEN network, honestly. Perhaps someone else can answer your question around here who is more knowledgable on the subject.

 

Robert

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Then what the heck is Sprint ever going to do if they want to expand coverage in rural areas? If they pull off Network Vision, would they be in better position to acquire rural carriers? It's a shame that you have Verizon aggressively moving forward with the LTEiRA Trojan Horse and Sprint is pulling back. :o:unsure::(

 

I just don't see why Sprint isn't just hoarding as much spectrum as they can including any 700 A they can get their hands on.

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Then what the heck is Sprint ever going to do if they want to expand coverage in rural areas? If they pull off Network Vision, would they be in better position to acquire rural carriers? It's a shame that you have Verizon aggressively moving forward with the LTEiRA Trojan Horse and Sprint is pulling back. :o:unsure::(

 

I just don't see why Sprint isn't just hoarding as much spectrum as they can including any 700 A they can get their hands on.

 

Sprint has nationwide licenses for spectrum on both 800 SMR and various 1900 PCS bands, including the PCS G block they got as compensation for Nextel giving up some of its SMR spectrum. They also have a huge chunk of nationwide spectrum at 2.5GHz through Clearwire. Even if they bought some 700 spectrum, they'd never be able to assemble a nationwide block like any of their others.

 

I agree it'd be nice to see Sprint expand its rural coverage, but ultimately the question boils down to profits. They're much better off financially covering 90-95% of the population natively, and leaving the rest to the regional players and Verizon who have already built out and mature CDMA 850 networks. Plus I think Sprint's closer alignment with the remaining independent carriers will probably see Sprint lighting up LTE at 1900 and 800 ESMR (and maybe even the full suite including 1xAdvanced and EVDO) on their footprints too, in part to prepare for the day that Verizon shuts down CDMA and Sprint needs native or roaming LTE on its bands in those areas. But the earliest I see Sprint expanding the footprint is 2014 after the existing towers are converted for NV.

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Sprint relies heavily on roaming agreements, and they will depend more on them after they remove thier rural towers if the users switch to cdma from iden.

 

Allowing us to roam on other cdma companies is why a lot of us have Sprint in the first place.

 

The cell companies like to use the terms 'coverage X % of the population', but what they don't say is where this coverage is, at home, at work or travelling.

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