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  1. 27 points
    And what will this all mean for S4GRU? We are in a wait and see mode before we decide how to adapt. Until then, we will be here every day with you all, plotting our wireless destiny. Robert
  2. 24 points
    Josh HillSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesFriday, April 5, 2019 - 3:06 AM PDT Now that VoLTE is actually rolling out on Sprint, it's a good time to dive into what exactly is VoLTE, and how is it different from Calling+ and VoWiFi (Wifi Calling). Background Terms E-UTRA or EUTRA: Stands for Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access. This is the technical name for the actual LTE airlink. QoS: Quality of Service. This is a way of tagging / flagging certain types of traffic to have priority above or below other traffic. When traffic has a QoS tag higher than other traffic, network equipment (the tower, routers, etc) will drop or ignore lower priority traffic to ensure that this traffic goes through instead. The equipment can also be configured to reserve a certain amount of bandwidth to only be used by traffic with a particular QoS tag. For example, if a router has 10 Mbps available, it can allocate 1 Mbps for a certain QoS tag. Normal traffic will only be able to use 9 Mbps, with 1 Mbps reserved for that QoS tag. The number of QoS priorities / tags varies between equipment vendors, but can be in excess of 256 priority levels. QCI: QoS Class Identifier. This is a value that an LTE / E-UTRA session can be assigned that corresponds to a particular QoS tag and specific attributes of that particular QoS queue. For example, it may or may not specify a guaranteed/dedicated bandwidth allocation (GBR). APN: The APN is the name of the gateway on a mobile network. It identifies the packet data network that should be used for that E-UTRA session. IMS: IP Multimedia Subsystem. It is a method for sending SMS over LTE, along with setting up VoLTE calls and other signaling. eCSFB: Circuit Switched Fall Back. For phones / UEs that can only listen on either LTE or CDMA rather than both simultaneously, it is a method for the LTE network to tell the device that a call is coming in, and to switch over to CDMA to process it. SRLTE: Single Radio LTE. This is a capability of newer devices that allows them to listen on both CDMA and LTE at the same time, but only transmit on one at a time. This replaces the need for eCSFB, allowing the device to see a call coming in over CDMA while it’s using LTE. It is also more reliable and reduces the number of missed calls due to failed fallback. When a call is active, the LTE session is stopped / paused. SIP: Session Initialization Protocol. This is the standard protocol for VoIP in telecom networks. How VoLTE Works While we typically think of LTE as a single connection, multiple E-UTRA “sessions” can actually be established, creating what are essentially virtual/multiple LTE interfaces, each with their own IP address, QoS level, APN, etc. Each session has a numerical QCI assigned that dictates the actual QoS priority and whether or not it has a GBR (Guaranteed Bitrate). QCI Resource Type QoS Priority Packet Delay Budget Packet Error Loss Rate Example Services 1 GBR 2 100ms 10−2 Conversational Voice 2 GBR 4 150ms 10−3 Conversational Video (Live Streaming) 3 GBR 3 50ms 10−3 Real Time Gaming, V2X messages 4 GBR 5 300ms 10−6 Non-Conversational Video (Buffered Streaming) 65 GBR 0.7 75ms 10−2 Mission Critical user plane Push To Talk voice (e.g., MCPTT) 66 GBR 2 100ms 10−2 Non-Mission-Critical user plane Push To Talk voice 75 GBR 2.5 50ms 10−2 V2X messages 5 non-GBR 1 100ms 10−6 IMS Signalling 6 non-GBR 6 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like) 7 non-GBR 7 100ms 10−3 Voice, Video (Live Streaming), Interactive Gaming 8 non-GBR 8 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like) 9 non-GBR 9 300ms 10−6 Video (Buffered Streaming) TCP-Based (for example, www, email, chat, ftp, p2p and the like). Typically used as default bearer 69 non-GBR 0.5 60ms 10−6 Mission Critical delay sensitive signalling (e.g., MC-PTT signalling) 70 non-GBR 5.5 200ms 10−6 Mission Critical Data (e.g. example services are the same as QCI 6/8/9) 79 non-GBR 6.5 50ms 10−2 V2X messages (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QoS_Class_Identifier) As you can see in the above table, the QCI does not necessarily correspond to the QoS level. For example, QCI 1 has a QoS priority of 2, but QCI 5 has a QoS priority of 1, making it actually higher priority traffic. On Sprint, traditionally one E-UTRA session was used, with a QCI of 9 and QoS priority of 9. This is the lowest QoS priority, and does not have a guaranteed bitrate. On devices which use eCSFB or VoLTE, another E-UTRA session is established for the IMS APN using a QCI of 5 and QoS priority of 1, and is used for IMS. This session also does not have a guaranteed bitrate, but it has the highest QoS priority. IMS is used for SMS over LTE, along with setting up VoLTE calls. eCSFB devices use it for SMS, and likely also for triggering eCSFB. On newer device which instead use SRLTE, IMS is not used unless VoLTE is enabled, and they instead use CDMA 1x for SMS, so an IMS E-UTRA session is often not setup. When a VoLTE call is initiated, a third E-UTRA session is established, also using the IMS APN. This session has a QCI of 1 and QoS priority of 2. Unlike the other two sessions, this one does have a guaranteed bitrate. For Sprint, this bitrate is 39 Kbps. The screenshot below shows all 3 sessions: VoLTE E-UTRA sessions This is how VoLTE calls are prioritized over regular data. Normal data usage, such as loading a web page or watching a video, will still use the lower, default QoS (QCI of 9), while the data for the VoLTE call will be at the second highest priority (QCI 1), just after IMS signaling (QCI 5). The tower / eNB will ensure that the VoIP session always is able to use up to 39 Kbps by reserving that bandwidth and dedicating it to the call. This is in contrast to “Calling+”, which does not establish a separate E-UTRA session, and instead uses the normal QCI 9 session. The below screenshot shows an active Calling+ call. Note the presence of only a single E-UTRA session. Calling+ E-UTRA sessions So now that we have the airlink for VoLTE, what happens? VoLTE, Calling+, and VoWiFi are essentially standard SIP VoIP calls. The below screenshots show the SIP details for an active call, and the LTE Signaling messages that setup and then end the SIP call. VoLTE SIP details VoLTE Signaling For VoLTE, the traffic for the SIP call goes over the QCI 1 E-UTRA session instead of the normal QCI 9 session. This means that the eNB (tower) will reserve and guarantee 39 kbps for the call, but other traffic from the same device will not be prioritized and will use the normal session. So starting a VoLTE call will not make the rest of your traffic prioritized, it will apply only to the VoLTE call. So as a recap, when VoLTE is enabled, the UE / phone establishes multiple E-UTRA sessions. One is used for normal usage, one is used for texting and signaling, and one is used for the VoLTE call. Think of these like separate virtual ethernet cables. On the QoS prioritized and guaranteed bitrate VoLTE session, the UE establishes a SIP VoIP connection for a call. On Calling+ devices, the same SIP connection is used, however it runs over the default QCI 9 session instead, and therefore isn’t prioritized and doesn't have a guaranteed bandwidth. This is why Calling+ calls are more likely to cut out or not sound as good. VoLTE call Calling+ call VoWiFi (Wifi calling) operates almost the same way. Like VoLTE and Calling+, it also uses the same SIP connection for calls and presumably IMS for signaling, but instead of using an LTE E-UTRA session, the phone establishes an IKEv2 IPsec VPN connection to Sprint. This is an encrypted connection that allows data to be tunneled directly into Sprint’s network. The SIP and IMS traffic are then routed over this VPN to Sprint, but not other, normal traffic. From a QoS perspective, VoWiFi is identical to Calling+, in that neither are prioritized above other traffic. VoWiFi call Because VoLTE, Calling+, and VoWiFi all use the same SIP servers and connections, under normal conditions they sound the same and can technically hand off to one another. They can all take advantage of HD Voice codecs and should sound the same, since the call itself is identical across all three. The difference is how the data for that call makes it to Sprint. VoLTE is able to use a dedicated, guaranteed airlink to ensure that congestion on the network (LTE or WiFi) won’t adversely affect the call. One final performance benefit is that VoLTE is able to take advantage of something called RoHC (Robust Header Compression), seen in the above 3 screenshots. This compresses the IP, TCP, UDP, and RTP headers from 60 bytes to 1-3 bytes, resulting in up to 60% bandwidth savings. It’s only possible on a dedicated link, which is why VoLTE has it but Calling+ and VoWiFi do not. So not only does VoLTE have guaranteed, dedicated bandwidth, it will use potentially half as much, which matters a lot for maintaining the call in edge of cell scenarios.
  3. 22 points
    Seth GoodwinSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesMonday, April 30, 2018 - 5:00 PM PDT After three previous attempts during the past four years, something many thought may never happen actually did. On Sunday April 29, T-Mobile announced they were effectively acquiring Sprint in an all stock deal, combining the third and fourth largest carriers in the U.S. wireless market. Pending regulatory approval, the merger is targeted for closing in the first half of 2019. The Deal The deal using an exchange ratio of 0.10256 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share valued Sprint at approximately $26.5 billion (plus the assumption of Sprint’s $30+ billion in debt) or $6.62 per share using T-Mobile’s Friday closing price of $64.52. The combined company “New T-Mobile” will be owned 41.7% by Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company. 27.4% of the company will be owned by Sprint's parent company SoftBank, with the remaining 30.9% owned by the general public and institutional investors. According to terms of the deal announced by both companies in a joint press release, the combined T-Mobile will retain two headquarters in Bellevue, Washington and Overland Park, Kansas. Current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will retain that role at the new company. T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert will serve as President and COO. No Sprint executives were announced to the management team at this time. Deutsche Telekom's Timotheus Höttges will serve as chairman of the company's board of directors, and DT will have 9 seats on the board compared to SoftBank's 4. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son will occupy two of SoftBank’s seats. As opposed to the famous T-Mobile/AT&T attempted tie up several years ago, this deal does not include a breakup fee should the merger fail to pass regulatory approval. Rather, Sprint has independently signed a roaming agreement with T-Mobile for four years that will continue regardless of the outcome of the merger. On the analyst call for the merger announcement Marcelo Claure said this would take effect immediately. As of the time this article was published, specific details pertaining to the roaming agreement and any actual known roaming connections have yet to materialize. The Plan Sprint and T-Mobile will continue operating separately until the conclusion of the merger, something that in and of itself raises multiple questions about this coming year. Hopefully we'll gain some more insights with Sprint's upcoming FY 2017/4th quarter earnings call. Assuming approval, the companies announced that they intend on spending up to $40 billion in the first three years on capital expenditures and consolidating operations into a single entity. According to the press release, this represents almost 50% more than what Sprint and T-Mobile combined had spent over the past three years. At the time of closing, the companies estimate that Sprint and T-Mobile will have approximately 110,000 macro cell towers. Of these, around 35,000 will be decommissioned due to co-location or other redundancies. 10,000 new sites will be added leaving New T-Mobile with approximately 85,000 macro sites. Within the first three years of a combined company it is also estimated that the carrier will have over 50,000 small cells independent of magic boxes. The two carriers currently have around 10,000 combined. The stated plan is to “use T-Mobile as the anchor network” and use selected Sprint “keep” sites to add coverage and density. At a minimum, Sprint’s BRS/EBS 2.5 GHz spectrum will be added to T-Mobile’s sites and T-Mobile’s “full spectrum portfolio” will be deployed on Sprint’s “keep” sites. At face value, this would point toward mainly decommissioning Sprint sites as part of the 35,000-macro site reduction. In actuality we'll see what they do. For example all things equal, if two sites are co-located the greater synergies are in eliminating the tower rack with less favorable lease terms or worse rack location. VoLTE and Two-dot-Five The conference call noted while the goal is to migrate Sprint's CDMA customers to VoLTE as soon as possible, with 20 million Sprint customers having T-Mobile compatible handsets on day one. The intention is to have the total migration to T-Mobile completed over a three-year period without “degrading experience on Sprint’s network.” This suggests at a minimum keeping Sprint’s 1x800 voice service active during the transition as well as a deliberate coordinated process for overall decommissioning of macro sites. The other thing to watch going forward in this area is that T-Mobile makes no mention in their investor presentation toward utilizing anything other than Sprint’s 2.5 spectrum on their sites. A Sprint T-Mobile merger would create a spectrum behemoth with holdings ranging from T-Mobile’s low band 600 MHz for building penetration and rural coverage all the way through Sprint’s 2.5 GHz for capacity and speed. On Sunday, executives announced they have no intention of divesting any spectrum. However, questions remain on issues like what does a company that already possesses 600 MHz and 700 MHz LTE spectrum do with 800 MHz? How do T-Mobile and Sprint independently spend CapEx this year without diminishing merger synergies? We at S4GRU plan on potentially analyzing a combined company’s significant aggregate spectrum situation in a separate article at a later date. According to the investor information provided, the combined company is estimated to have run rate cost synergies in excess of $6 billion annually or on a net present value basis in excess of $43 billion. $26 billion NPV or $4 billion annually of these annual savings would be derived from network consolidation and CapEx synergies. Additional savings could come from consolidation of operations including store closing and eliminating corporate redundancies. From Sprint’s perspective these savings would be significant. The carrier has not turned a profit in the past 10 years. However, with these savings (even a portion of these savings) the carrier hypothetically would have been profitable all 10 years. Regulatory Hurdles This merger is not a done deal by any means. It faces regulatory scrutiny from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, AT&T and T-Mobile attempted to merge only to be shot down by the government. Sprint and T-Mobile were reportedly told not to even try four years ago. The prior administration's thinking had constantly been that by allowing any combination of the big 4 U.S. wireless carriers to merge into three, consolidation would negatively impact the average consumer due to lower competition in the market. On the conference call Marcelo Claure noted that regulatory approval is “the elephant in the room.” Claure and Legere are expected to embark on a tour of Washington D.C. to try and gain favor for the merger later this week. Much has changed in Washington since Sprint and T-Mobile’s last attempt at a tie-up, but whether or not a merger is anywhere close to a guarantee to pass remains in limbo. President Donald Trump has positioned himself as a pro-business President, meeting with Masa Son shortly after his election. And while Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai has made comments signaling he may be more open to market consolidation than his predecessors; President Trump’s DOJ is simultaneously attempting to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Claure and Legere noted that they had talked to Pai, but had yet to talk to anyone at the DOJ prior to announcing the merger. The Sell With nothing guaranteed, selling this merger to the government and the public is going to be the key factor on whether or not it ultimately gets approved. Sprint and T-Mobile executives wasted no time in starting on Sunday launching the pro merger site allfor5g.com. Legere and Claure continued touting the merger in a series of interviews and television appearances Sunday night and Monday morning. Based on early results, the argument for the merger is fairly crafted towards its intended audience. The crux of T-Mobile and Sprint’s contention is that 5G is the future, and the future is costly. Both companies maintain a 3rd stronger carrier is better than 4 carriers in a market, two of which are at a capital disadvantage. Claure noted that, “It’s a very simple rule of business---both companies need each other.” Sprint has 2.5 GHz spectrum that will be optimal for 5G but lacks the financial resources to deploy its own. A new T-Mobile benefits from the 2.5 GHz spectrum, a larger combined customer base, financial synergies, and greater economies of scale to effectively deploy 5G. Legere noted their goal to eventually be able to provide 450 Mbit/s speeds consistently everywhere. The 5G argument is significant for a couple of reasons. The first is the current administration has made 5G a quasi-national security issue. The merger of Qualcomm and Broadcom was blocked partially on the grounds of China taking the lead in 5G, and it was widely reported at one point that the Trump administration was considering nationalizing 5G out of security concerns with China. The goal here is that if you let New T-Mobile happen they contend that they will be in a position to deliver 5G rapidly, creating a sense of urgency that a deal needs to be approved sooner than later. If you don’t let them combine they aren’t in the same position to make that happen. They also contended that 5G would allow for the innovators of the future, a not so thinly veiled overall economic development message. The other major 5G argument centers on rural expansion. For a long-time wireless rural cell service and rural broadband have been an important political and economic development issue. Historically rural service has lagged as the infrastructure cost to deliver service far exceeds any revenue operators can hope to recoup. Legere and Claure have immediately been pushing the notion that a merger would allow the combined carrier to bring rural broadband across the nation (as well as creating jobs in rural areas during the network deployment). Lastly, their final argument centers around job creation. Typically, one of the reasons companies merge is that you can save money by eliminating duplicate positions within two separate organizations. Legere on Sunday claimed that this merger would create “thousands of American jobs” with 200,000 people working either directly for or on behalf of a combined entity. This likely faces more regulatory scrutiny than some of the other pro-merger arguments, as again typically mergers result in overall contraction. Furthermore, Sprint on its own announced several hundred layoffs within the past few months. Why now? In the near term, the FCC at some point soon is going to impose a quiet period forbidding anyone that is participating in this fall’s spectrum auction (an auction Sprint and T-Mobile are seeking a waiver for to jointly coordinate bidding strategies) from discussing mergers. Additionally, the longer the wait is, it is likely some of the merger synergies would be eliminated. Sprint towers that are redundant to T-Mobile are not to Sprint itself. If Sprint's executive team was to be believed, Sprint was poised to spend $5 to 6 billion on Capex each of the next three years. Undoubtedly some of that, a potentially significant portion, would've been on towers T-Mobile has no interest in retaining. Slightly longer term, if there was ever a presidential administration to try this under it is this one. Much like this merger's outcome President Trump's re-election is far from a certainty. If a Democratic administration were to come back to Washington D.C. odds of any merger approval diminish significantly. Longer term yet, Sprint hasn’t turned a profit in 10 years. Marcelo Claure has done a more than admirable job at steering the ship during his four-year tenure: cutting costs, coming up with creative cost-effective network deployment strategies, etc. However, at some point access to traditional borrowing markets may have been cutoff due to Sprint's inability to generate a profit or even consistent free cash flows. It didn’t appear imminent given their two-time borrowing this year, but the company has over $27 billion in debt due over the next 6 years. It is pretty easy to envision a scenario where bond investors said times up. Beyond that, the simple burden of debt may have become so overwhelming that even if it didn't threaten the going concern of the company, it negatively impacted capital expenditures, something we've seen recently. Long-term is actually the story of the past 5+ years. Sprint has incredible spectrum assets, but it needed someone more financially able and willing to deploy them. SoftBank through either inability to act due to debt covenants with Japanese banks lending it money or through deliberate choice—in hindsight was never the savior it seemed. On paper, this merger should seemingly create a financially healthy company that finally is able to leverage Sprint's vast spectrum assets. However, as in the past, time will tell... Source: 5gforall- https://allfor5g.com/
  4. 22 points
    Couldn't help myself. Got to work today and went to put my lunch in the fridge. I noticed the microwave, did a double-take, then took this picture: I sent it to my wife with a note, "We must have good reception on the microwave today. 4 bars." I'll show myself out. - Trip
  5. 20 points
    Alright. There may not be a Sprint anymore, but the same rules apply. Just incessant complaining about the old Sprint is getting old. People will start checking out because it just will become a complaint board. Constructive criticism only, please. Robert
  6. 19 points
  7. 18 points
    And this is the truth that many of us are going to learn. T-Mobile is not perfect everywhere. They have some markets where they have some real bad towers here and there. And there are some entire markets that aren't that good. But if the New T-Mobile fully leverages Sprint spectrum and add every Sprint site that expands coverage or provides additional capacity, it will get really good. Probably the best. Sprint failed to leverage Nextel sites to expand coverage and capacity to its full extent. Not even half its extent. Hopefully NTmo will take it to the maximum. But their comments about existing Sprint sites sound kinda lukewarm. No I won't hold my breath. If Tmo really wants to take it to the Duopoly, they need to keep every Sprint site that adds any coverage (and upgrade it, of course). They should also try to add Nextel locations that expand coverage too. And then any Sprint in-footprint sites that are not co-located With Tmo where density improvement or capacity would be helpful. Robert
  8. 17 points
    I knew this day was coming, and yet it's still a bit heartbreaking now that it's finally here. Sprint had some ups and downs. The most positive thing I can remember against the other three was the old Google voice integration. Largest negative would be the VoLTE rollout. It was a blast going through Wimax, the LTE launch, triband LTE, and then finally 5G NR. Getting to have tower maps through S4GRU was a huge part of the experience. It definitely wouldn't have been the same without this place. A big thanks to everyone at S4GRU over the years, and I hope the transition goes as well as it can for all the current Sprint employees.
  9. 17 points
  10. 17 points
    I can confirm that Sprint is targeting August for rolling out Tmo roaming. Robert
  11. 17 points
    I would do the New T-Mobile initially because I would be excited to watch the progress. And since I am already a Tmo customer, it would just happen by default. However, if they started jacking up pricing and VZW or AT&T were less expensive, I would consider a switch. I do not have any unnatural loyalty to the new Sprint/T-Mobile merged company. They will have to keep at it to keep my business in the long run. Robert
  12. 16 points
    I absolutely love the new header Mr. Robert!
  13. 16 points
    I'm definitely going to miss Sprint. It's like a homely introverted ex-girlfriend. She's a cheap date and just likes to stay home (on WiFi). You know there was so much potential, if she could just be what you wanted her to be. Get moving, get out of the house, get a makeover. You weren't in love with her, and made so many excuses for her to all your friends. You've been meaning to break up with her, but you didn't want to end up with one of those 3 other narcissistic chicks out there, who really didn't look much better with their makeup off. Eventually she just finds someone else (T-Mobile). Robert
  14. 15 points
    It's also interesting to see through the lens of history that Dan Hesse is seen as a great CEO at Sprint. Dan was the right guy for the right season. It's the Masa season that will likely be judged harshly. And now we are in a new season. All hail the new supreme leader, Mike Sievert. Robert
  15. 15 points
    Sprint's situation is not dire. They still have over 50 million postpaid customers. There is a relatively high churn rate, but people are not fleeing for the exits. Most of that were temporary customers they tried to entice away with promos. In virtually every metric, Sprint is in better shape now. Financially and network performance. And frankly, their current and future capex plans are more realistic and better serving. They are much more in line with what Tmo did to get itself out of its rut back in 2012-2014. Focus on urban markets first, then suburban and secondary markets. And if you play your cards right and growth starts to occur after a few years of doing that, then they can make an exurban/rural move with major highway expansions. But Sprint cannot put the cart before the horse again this time. This is a much smarter plan. We all want Sprint to be the hard charging Number Four carrier that quickly surpasses the others to become #1 or #2. But also, there are ways to be a successful company and stay #4 forever. If Sprint cannot merge, it is still completely viable to run on its own. But it will be a long process to gain more customers or move up the rung. And I think most of us believe the network experience will be the best way to do that. And Sprint needs to start with the highest concentrations of customers first, to get the most bang for its buck. But Sprint is highlighting the darkness in their current status, because it is trying to get a merger approved. And that's going to give a lot of fodder to the unbelievers. Shun the unbelievers! Robert
  16. 15 points
  17. 14 points
    You guys are just falling for the propaganda. They all want us to think the Sprint's failure is imminent, if not even immediate, if the merger is not approved. You guys all mocked Sprint when they first were using hyperbole about their network and prospects when they played that card initially. And now going all ga-ga over the data again as if it was new info and now means even something more or different. This is all OLD NEWS. They want it rehashed and all of you to freak out and over talk about it, so general opinion is that Sprint is going to no longer exist with or without Tmo. But the reality is, as Brad mentioned above, Sprint is in better shape than it was last year, two years ago and five years ago. And also, I don't get the comment that "Softbank is looking for a bailout by any means necessary." Softbank is not looking for a bailout. No request of government giving money to save Sprint financially. That's a bailout. Softbank is looking for a BUYER. It's totally legit to look to sell the company. Why would this be surprising? Masa was discussing selling Sprint within weeks of buying it. That's always been on the table. And frankly, I wouldn't mind for someone to take over than Masa. A tie up with a cable company may be a very good thing for Sprint if the Tmo deal doesn't happen. But I fully expect a legal challenge if not approved. Robert
  18. 14 points
    Let's be careful with the political commentary. Please stay within the rules https://s4gru.com/forums/topic/1197-s4gru-posting-guidelines-aka-the-rulez/ Robert
  19. 14 points
    Excited when you see your neighbor with a MB on their window ?
  20. 14 points
    This tower has to be 4x4 mimo. Its speeds are too consistent. 250-320 mbps at all times. Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
  21. 14 points
    I'm here to put ice water on the creeping into negativity. No more feelings. Stick to facts, and stop picking a fight with everyone who has a different opinion than you. If people who have a Pro Sprint opinion can't voice them here without being bludgeoned, where can they go? S4GRU will be much more heavily moderating as necessary. We are not here to host all your Sprint complaints. Lots of places for you to go post your Sprint negativity. Effective immediately. Robert
  22. 13 points
  23. 13 points
    Agreed. Verizon is over rated and doesn't serve the hype. Sprint is under rated and doesn't deserve all the trash talk. People pick winners and losers and over claim the positives and negatives of each. They have to have someone to cheer and someone to jeer. If you aren't first, you're nobody. I have a Verizon work phone. It rarely wins in total speed throughput compared to my Sprint and T-Mobile phones (and USCC on Google Fi). Verizon doesn't win in coverage in my area. But it's a pretty consistent experience. And that's good for a lot of people. Let them have Verizon. But Sprint has pulled off nearly a miracle the past few years with little capital infusion, in a highly competitive environment and spending billions still in capex. They just have had to be very deliberate and measured where and how they spent it. Every year since 2011 Sprint was nearly going bankrupt in the eyes of the naysayers. Every year, they would claim this was the year they were going to lose it all. Yet they still have over 54 million customers. They are nowhere near bankrupt, and doing better by most measures. And soon it won't even matter. Because Mr. Legere will be in charge of it all. And Sprint will be a forgotten name. But they were not bought out of bankruptcy sale and were not even close to bankruptcy. Robert
  24. 13 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesFriday, June 8, 2018 - 3:00 PM PDT It has been a little over a year since the first Magic Box publicly available was announced. In the time since then since the Airunity 545 "GEN 1" was announced, minor revisions were done as "GEN 2" with the Airunity 544 sporting a LCD display and subsequently the Airunity 546 having an more aesthetically pleasing exterior. All LCD display models are known as "GEN 2" respectively. Come next week starting on June 11th, 2018, the GEN 2 Magic Box's (AU544/546) will be considered out of stock and a GEN 3 Magic Box will take over the reigns in the beginning of July 2018. Though information on this new unit is scarce, information attained by S4GRU does suggest the new revision may potentially contain user accessible USB Type A ports and have a slightly lower transmit power. More to come as S4GRU discovers additional information about this GEN 3 Magic Box.
  25. 13 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesWednesday, September 12, 2018 - 12:45 PM PDT [Edit] It has come to the attention of S4GRU that the Magic Box also supports CDMA Voice Today, Sprint announced the newest Magic Box™ to the world. This Magic Box was first spotted in early summer and S4GRU did a quick write up on it here. Today's announcement formally revealed what new technologies this 3rd Generation public release will give to us. The highlights: This is some huge stuff here especially for technology nerds! Previous Magic Box's only utilized LTE UE Relay for backhaul up to 2 carrier aggregation at 2x2 MIMO at 64 QAM modulation. With 3 CA, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO, this new Magic Box has the same capability as a Gigabit Class device on the Sprint™ network! In addition the notes about Wi-FI connection working for backhaul are huge. Sprint Band 25 or Band 41 may not reach indoors or even in some neighborhoods due to macro coverage patterns even though a Magic Box is available to use in a region. By having the option to use locally supplied internet via WiFi as backhaul, this allows Magic Boxes to enter locations where LTE UE Relay does not work. In addition, the ethernet port tidbit may also be a hint that using ethernet backhaul could also be an option. If so, this Magic Box would potentially support 3 choices of backhaul all in one unit; LTE UE Relay, WiFi, and Ethernet! Wow! With the coming arrival of VoLTE opt in in the near future, LTE coverage indoors is a huge concern. The now expanded reach of this new Magic Box into places previously unreachable is a huge step forward. Exciting! Sprint and Airspan sure loves Magic!
  26. 13 points
    NEWSFLASH! Sprint's subscriber numbers are not going to go up while in merger limbo. Very few want to make a commitment of a new carrier if there are going to be major changes coming that are still undefined. How long have we been sitting here in limbo? It will get worse as this drags on. We cannot sit back and pretend like a merger isn't hanging over Sprint's head and then try to claim Sprint's network plan the last 18 months is the problem. Sprint's network is better (in most places) than it was this past summer, in the last year, two years, five years and since NV was first announced. We should be more talking about the decisions Sprint/Masa/Marcelo have made on being hell bent on a merger since 2015, and then the subsequent actual attempted merger being undertaken and those affects. If anything. I gotta tell you, I have done a lot of travelling since June. Sprint data performance is competitive. It had no more bad sites than T-Mobile or AT&T in my travels. And there are complete cities/regions where the competition is worse. Like here in Western Washington. Sprint is actually very good here. The difference between Sprint and the others with everyday data performance is less disparate now than it ever has been since 2010. And soon it won't matter, anyway. I'm with Trip, though. I would like to see a honest to goodness post mortem evaluation. I'd buy that tell all book, but not the one written by Craig Moffett. I still believe that Sprint can find a way to compete if the T-Mobile deal falls through. And part of that would be to focus on, dare I say it, providing 5G wireless ISP services to unconnected last mile customers. Preferably with DISH. And then focusing on suburban/exurban areas with one ISP choice. Offering triple play, wireless/internet/TV. But again, all this will not matter soon. I think the Sprint merger is all but assured. Robert
  27. 13 points
    Typically with a band around their wrist [emoji12][emoji851][emoji56] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  28. 13 points
    Dave YeagerSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesTuesday, April 3, 2018 - 6:20 PM PDT Exciting times for those of us who track Sprint Macro sites and signals. Sprint has accomplished a lot during the last few years in many places. Even during a period of reduced capital expenditures. Progress has been made by increasing bandwidth and adding carriers to LTE 1900 MHz, adding LTE 2.5 GHz macro and small cell sites, adding 3x3 LTE 800 MHz to many existing sites near the border, and working to eliminate 3G Only Ground Mounted Radio sites by adding LTE in many places*. Some of these improvements have been offset by ever increasing data demands that have doubled every 18 months. For maximum gain, a new plan was needed...Next-Gen. Since late Fall 2017 Columbus S4GRU members have been tracking new permits in Ohio trying to figure out Sprint’s Next-Gen plans in detail. These permits soon made it obvious that multiple site configurations are involved. In late February / early March three Next-Gen sites were found in the Columbus Market. To ensure that these were not just isolated test sites, two identical Next-Gen sites were confirmed in the Cincinnati Market about a week ago. These are new antennas and are a different scenario than described in the prior S4GRU Wall Article on 16 port Triband Antennas. Note that these new antennas (center) are about the same size as the 1900/800 MHz dual band antennas, except thicker and cover 2.5 GHz / 800 MHz. There are 10 ports on the bottom, excluding the 4 AISG ports, for 8T8R 2.5 GHz and 2T2R 800 MHz (plus 2T2R 800 MHz from Network Vision antenna/RRH). The site diagrams from Connecticut list them as Commscope DT465B-2XR-V2, which matches our photos. These new antennas are combined with a 2.5 GHz 8T8R RRH and another 800MHz RRH (a few permits list just one 4 port 800 MHz RRH) and always been found with existing hexport dual band 800/1900 MHz equipment. ** Sprint’s desire to add 2.5 GHz to all sites is well publicized. But why two 800 MHz RRHs? To allow 4x4 MIMO for 800 MHz LTE. While only some tablets will fully benefit from 4x4 MIMO given the antenna size requirements, all devices will benefit from the significant signal propagation and stability improvements over 2xT/R diversity. At the cell edge this is especially true. This will be a major improvement for technologies such as VoLTE where weak signals can wreak havoc on voice quality and even usability. Four Sprint scenarios were noted in some of the Connecticut information. Besides the two scenarios covered in this and the prior wall article, there is a ground mounted radio scenario, which is dated February 28, 2018 -- well past the changeover to Next-Gen antennas seen in the late Fall 2017 permits. Only the Triband decaport (10 port Antenna) is visible in the tower with diplexers and RRHs near the ground providing only 2T2R for 800MHz, 2T4R for the 1900MHz and 4T4R for the 2.5GHz, as shown below: *** *** Below is the current status of our 2017+ permits for the Columbus market to give you an idea of where these antenna scenarios will be used more often. Note that while there is extensive permit information for the Columbus market, not all jurisdictions put permit information online plus accuracy and detail varies. There is at least one Sprint Next-Gen Scenario remaining. Keep watching your local sites, especially if you see improved Band 26 LTE 800 or new Band 41 LTE 2500 signal or GCIs. Report anything new to a S4GRU forum. Include pictures and screen shots. Others will guide you to help figure out what you have found. *For details for my market for 2017: http://s4gru.com/forums/topic/1904-network-visionlte-columbus-market/?page=219&tab=comments#comment-526696 Other spreadsheet markets in this region have similar stories to tell. ** Wiring Diagram source: http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/ems/east_windsor/southmainst/sprint/em-sprint-047-180126_filing_southmainst_eastwindsor.pdf page 61 of 66 *** Ground mounted Radio Scenario: http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/ems/stratford/hawleylane/sprint/em-sprint-138-180302_filing_hawleylane.pdf page 7 of 107 Many thanks to lilotimz and kineticman for their assistance with this article.
  29. 13 points
    http:// https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/sprint-expects-to-deploy-volte-fall The time has finally come!!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  30. 12 points
    All it took was money. Network Vision was planned properly initially, but not properly implemented due to finances. I remember hearing early into the Network Vision deployment the CFO says publicly something to the effect of, 'The beauty of the Network Vision deployment plan is that we can ramp up or slow down as necessary depending on finances or need.' It was scary to hear then, and even scarier to think of in retrospect. They were confessing that they were always concerned about how to financially pull it off that the had contingency plans of how to "half-ass" it if necessary. And they did half-ass it, and it likely was necessary. But they did. And then once you get used to losing, you forget how to win. We finally got to the point that no amount of money would fix the problem anyway. Network wise, Tmo merging with Sprint will likely be a very superior position than both going alone. The big tell in time, is what it will do to competition and pricing for the long term. That's the part we don't know. Will it be worth it 5 years from now? Who knows? But at least we will enjoy the network improvements in the interim. But even that is not totally all everyone dreamed it would be in the short term. I guess nothing is perfect, but we always imagine it will be. Robert
  31. 12 points
    Holy crap, go Nokia: Nokia touted a new lab achievement over Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum that boosted 5G capacity by up to four times through a software upgrade. The test included a software upgrade of E-UTRAN New Radio – Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) and Multi-User-MIMO (MU-MIMO) using Sprint’s mid-band 5G spectrum and Nokia’s AirScale solution to deliver 3 Gbps total downlink cell throughput, in what Nokia called a first. It showcased Nokia’s AirScale Dual Mode Massive MIMO for 5G and LTE, using a single radio unit for both LTE and 5G. The test also tapped commercial hotspot devices. Nokia said once its service is commercially available operators will be able to “vastly increase” network capacity through software updates to the base station, without the need to invest in more spectrum or require site visits to swap out hardware or transport. https://www.fiercewireless.com/5g/nokia-notches-5g-capacity-boost-via-software-upgrade
  32. 12 points
    Sprint has over 56 million customers, do we need to really go down this rabbit hole?! Is Sprint perfect? Nope, is any carrier perfect!? Nope. You should go with what works for you, if Sprint was somehow not meeting my needs, I would have moved on a long time ago. I'm not with them to save a buck, I'm still with them because the network meets my needs (and I consider myself a pretty heavy data user) and customer support has always taken care of any/all my issues. As a plus, I personally enjoy the community Robert and gang have created here, which has been extremely educational and enjoyable.
  33. 12 points
    Happy birthday to our fearless leader Mr. S4gru aka Robert!
  34. 12 points
  35. 12 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesThursday, August 2, 2018 - 12:01 PM PDT It's been a long time coming for Sprint through many trials and tribulations. Now it's finally here! S4GRU was able to obtain confirmations that Sprint is finally ready and prepared to enable Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for subscribers to manually opt into in select markets across the country this coming September. See list at the bottom. As a refresher here are some of the essential points about VoLTE applicable to Sprint: Calls placed over VoLTE will have the QOS tag unlike the current Calling Plus configuration on numerous Sprint devices Like Calling Plus, VoLTE will have no fallback to the legacy 1x voice network. Calls will drop if the LTE signal drops. The voice codec is AMR-WB which one can experience with Calling Plus calls and matches the other carriers VoLTE setups. At this point and time S4GRU does not have a list of compatible VoLTE devices though we do speculate that any device currently running Calling Plus should be able to tap into that very same IMS core Calling Plus utilizes via true VoLTE. In addition, recent Apple iPhone's seems like a sure bet as some users have already experienced VoLTE in live field tests conducted by Sprint. For the non Sprint branded BYOD devices like Google Pixels or unlocked Moto devices the future is quite murky indeed. Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Market Map See this for map of all Sprint market boundaries Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Markets .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg th{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:normal;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg .tg-wk8r{background-color:#ffffff;border-color:#ffffff;text-align:center;vertical-align:top} Atlanta / Athens Austin Baltimore Boston Central Jersey Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Colorado Columbus DFW East Kentucky East Michigan Ft. Wayne / South Bend Houston Idaho Indianapolis Kansas LA Metro Las Vegas Long Island Miami / West Palm Milwaukee Minnesota Missouri Nashville New York City Norfolk North Wisconsin Northern Jersey Oklahoma Oregon / SW Washington Orlando Philadelphia Metro Phoenix Pittsburgh Richmond San Antonio SF Bay South Bay South Texas Southern Jersey Tampa Toledo Upper Central Valley Utah Washington DC West Iowa / Nebraska West Virginia
  36. 12 points
    I recently went on an 8 day cruise from NYC to the Caribbean that stopped in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. My first stop was Grand Turk and there I opted for the free roaming. My S9+ automatically connected to Flow's (Cable & Wireless) LTE network where I received speeds of around 120kbps on average with boosts of up to 150kbps. Something worth noting is that on speed tests, the server prefers to default to Sprint's Miami server as opposed to local servers. Speeds were more than adequate for any amount of web browsing and honestly felt much faster than in reality. It helps that using Chrome will save you data by not loading pictures on certain sites unless you click them. In Puerto Rico, I connected to Band 13 on the way into the port in San Juan but once I was in the city, my phone never left Band 41. While the phone was usable, speeds remained significantly lower than what I've come to expect from 3xCA in the mainland U.S. Data speeds peaked at around 25-30Mbos but on average were in the 5-10 Mbps range even on LTE+. Signal remained strong everywhere though. Finally in the Dominican Republic, I entered in Amber Cover which is in Puerto Plata. My phone latched onto a weak Band 2 LTE signal in the port from Altice (called Orange Dominicana in SignalCheck). I had trouble loading pages though. Once off of the ship and out in the open, I had a much stronger signal which allowed me to browse the internet without a hitch. Because it was the last day of my trip, while at the beach I decided to purchase the 24 hour high speed pass for $5. My speeds went from 120kbps to 65Mbps in less than 5 seconds. In some areas speeds were slower, particularly at the port where it struggled to break 2Mbps. Now, back on the boat my phone is flipping between weak Band 4 LTE and overloaded Band 5 HSPA+ from Claro (called Verizon Dominicana in SignalCheck Pro). Here is the difference in speed from before and after purchasing the high speed pass.
  37. 12 points
  38. 12 points
    I'm here to put ice water on the creeping into negativity. No more feelings. Stick to facts, and stop picking a fight with everyone who has a different opinion than you. If people who have a Pro Sprint opinion can't voice them here without being bludgeoned, where can they go? S4GRU will be much more heavily moderating as necessary. We are not here to host all your Sprint complaints. Lots of places for you to go post your Sprint negativity. Effective immediately. Robert
  39. 11 points
    The New Tmo has lots of BRS in rural areas. Tons. Just not nationwide. And they have EBS licenses in most of those rural communities if they have a university or other educational system where they have a lease. Think Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota as examples. As well as Albuquerque and Las Cruces, NM. Although there may be more rural areas they would like to pursue more B41/n41 spectrum through leases or acquisitions, they are still in a very good position. Frankly, if a lowly rural interstate towers only has BRS and no EBS, it's going to be way more than it needs to serve the customers that drive by it. And expect Tmo to add B41/n41 to these areas last anyway. Robert This is a Spectrum Omega map edited to show BRS T-Mobile holdings. It includes every BTA that T-Mobile has any BRS spectrum. The ones in gray show BTA's where someone else owns the BRS license. And no color means no one is shown as a licensed BRS holder for that BTA.
  40. 11 points
    I became a Sprint customer on June 4, 2010 with the launch of the HTC EVO 4G. I came over from AT&T. I had just moved to New Mexico earlier that year and had virtually no AT&T Service in my area. Sprint had decent coverage, and I thought I better move to a "4G" device if I was changing providers and getting all new equipment. The rest was history. You know, we are coming up on the 10 Year Anniversary of the HTC EVO 4G launch. 10 YEARS!!! It really is what was the catalyst that caused S4GRU to come about. If I had gone to Verizon, this site and all the past 10 years of 4G hunting never would have happened. It was really a close decision. I think the cost of adding a line for my then 13 year old son is what probably pushed me over the edge. What's funny is I pay about the same now for 5 lines on T-Mobile what I paid for 3 lines on Sprint back in 2010. Robert
  41. 11 points
  42. 11 points
    I'm not convinced much has actually changed yet. It seems to me like they've opened up roaming a touch more, but otherwise Sprint customers are still on the Sprint network as much as possible. I have yet to connect to T-Mobile anything since the day of the merger. - Trip
  43. 11 points
    It's been 4-1/2 years, but I am happy to announce we have a new member joining S4GRU Staff. Please join me in welcoming RAvirani in joining the Staff here at S4GRU. Rey has been a key member helping visitors to S4GRU for years. We are grateful to have him join the ranks. It feels like he has been a part of the team for quite some time. Seems fitting and overdue. Thanks Rey for accepting the invitation. You must be a little crazy to agree! Now @RAvirani will have full moderator powers and responsibilities as well. Welcome aboard!Robert
  44. 11 points
    Ericsson RRUS82 2.5 GHz 8T8R Now being found in Ericsson vendor territory, these augment the existing Nokia Flexi 2.5 8T8R radios in place. Photo Credits: mdob07
  45. 11 points
  46. 11 points
  47. 11 points
    True. And the opposite is also amazing. People who say, "I have a problem, therefore it is ubiquitous." Robert
  48. 11 points
    I'm just going to drop this speed test I just took right here. Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
  49. 10 points
    VoLTE seems to be live while roaming on T-mobile.
  50. 10 points
    Sorry for being late to this and some of this is repeating New York. They have $7 billion in cash and just under $10 billion in liquid assets. I guess I read that differently than you do. From the investor update presentation they've basically got enough liquidity to pay off their debt for the next two years if they do nothing at all. What will happen is what has happened for years. You'll likely see Sprint offer new notes at some point this year that will replace the debt or expand it further. He isn't talking about a "massive restructuring of their debt" at all. He is talking about what Sprint has done in the past and will continue to do going forward. Sprint has roughly $4.3 billion in debt due this fiscal year. If they issue $4.3 billion in new debt ceteris paribus their debt and liquidity positions haven't changed. They aren't refinancing $40 billion in debt. As maturing debt is retired they are issuing new debt. The next 3 years that is $4 to $5 billion a year at a time. Presumably indefinitely as long as someone is willing to lend to them (which there is a finite point somewhere there), but especially in the current economic conditions Sprint didn't have any trouble getting money last year and actually up-sized an offering due to favorable interest. The Free Cash Flow thing is a little weird. As a customer, I'd prefer Sprint invests in their network, something they did up about 50% year-over-year. That spending is going to drive Free Cash Flow down. If they had spent about $1 billion less in Capex they would've been free cash flow positive, which again is meaningless to me as a customer. It also isn't a really compelling failing firm argument, which is part of the reason they're having trouble convincing the DOJ of their arguement here. T-Mobile hasn't been FCF positive* since 2015. *using Cash from operations less capital expenditures
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