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  1. 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/
  2. 19 points
    We don't allow political discussion at S4GRU for good reason. We're bordering on that now. And that illustrates how what Marcelo did was not smart. The tax bill ended up being highly partisan. So joining the bandwagon looks political and alienates millions of customers. Exactly why we insist on staying out.
  3. 18 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesJanuary 26, 2018 - 5:30 AM PST [Edited: 1/28/18 to include additional information on Samsung 4 port 800 MHz radio] [Edited: 2/2/18 for photograph addition of an Ericsson setup] The Triband Hexadecaport. The newest development of Sprint's recent network expenditures. This is a new triband antenna configuration now being deployed by Sprint that is able to do 4T4R MIMO on both 800 MHz and 1900 MHz in addition to 8T8R MIMO over 2.5 GHz. All in one single antenna. Previously, Sprint typically utilized two different antennas with one from Network Vision days being a hexport dual band unit that supports 800 MHz and 1900 MHz. While 2.5 GHz was an additional antenna and radio unit added on later. Some sites utilized (and may continue to utilize) another triband antenna model. This older generation triband antenna is a decaport (10 port) triband unit that support 4T4R on both 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz with 2T2R on 800 MHz. This meant that an 8T8R radio would have its capabilities decreased as a result of going from 8T8R to 4T4R. With the development and deployment of this new 16 port triband antenna, Sprint is now poised to offer 800 MHz 4 antenna transmit and receive diversity alongside 1900 MHz, while 2.5 GHz is able to fully utilize the capability of an 8T8R radio. This means that the full capability of Sprint's 800 MHz, 1900 MHz, and LTE Plus (2.5 GHz) network can be utilized from a single triband antenna panel. Removing the limitations of the previous go-to triband antenna model. Because of these limitations, Sprint did not deploy the previous triband antenna panel in a wide scale. Now they are likely to deploy these more commonly. In fact, we are already seeing this occur in Washington State, Pittsburgh, and other places en masse. Above: Samsung 4T4R 800 MHz setup via two 800 MHz RRH-C2, 4T4R 1900 MHz RRH-P4 , & 8T8R 2.5 GHz RRH-V3 Photograph Source: Josh (ingenium) Currently, this type of setup has been found in Samsung vendor regions with two individual 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs to achieve 4T4R MIMO. Samsung and Sprint has a new 4 port 4T4R 800 MHz RRU that will be able to do the job of two existing 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs that will be deployed alongside this new type of antenna. This new Samsung 4 port low frequency radio is also available in Band 13 750 MHz for deployment in the Puerto Rico market due to the Sprint Open Mobile deal. Photograph Source: Chris92 Ericsson Setup Source: mdob07 This type of setup is yet to be seen in Ericsson or Nokia - Alcatel-Lucent territory. If you discover these in other vendor regions, be sure to post about it! ****If you're in Ericsson or Nokia / former Alcatel-lucent territory then replace the Samsung radios with the relevant Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent CDMA / LTE and Ericsson radios depending on region.***
  4. 16 points
    I just got my Magic Box (ordered it 2 days ago) and I have band 41 in my apt now! I used to pull 5-8 down on band 25 but now I’m averaging 42 down on band 41 i live in an apartment so my neighbors with Sprint will benefit too!
  5. 16 points
    Sprint has passed AT&T in average performance, all in a year they were largely distracted by a merger. Yet, they are awful. Can't be trusted. Some act like it's getting worse and worse. Sprint cannot make some people happy, no matter what. If they aren't number one, they aren't anything. But I swear, when they make it to number one in performance, the haters will complain about coverage. They will have to be number one in everything. And then it will be that they hate old ladies, or something. They are committing more money than ever before. And already spending more money than in the past few years. They already are more active than before in the planning and early work. More bidding, more contract issued. New equipment is already hitting the streets. Small cells popping up all over and more in planning. And now they are talking about a significant macro site development too. This is nothing like the past. And Sprint is still getting better and better. And now that they are deploying B26 in my market, I will probably be coming back to Sprint again soon.
  6. 15 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesJanuary 12, 2018 - 5:30 PM PST "New year, new me. Am I right?" ~ signed Samsung Samsung has decided that the beginning of the new year is a great time to change. Samsung has decided its newest flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus devices must meet with the FCC OET for certification far earlier than usual. With ever watchful and prying eyes, S4GRU staff discovered the twin filings for two devices with FCC IDs of A3LSMG960U and A3LSMG965U which follows the previous Samsung numeration of the Galaxy S8 / 8+ (950u/955u) and Galaxy S7 (930u/935u) respectively. In addition, previous leaks for purported international Galaxy S9 variant have captured the ID of 960F and 965F respectively. To keep this short and simple, the Galaxy S9, to date, is the most technologically powerful device we've seen at least for Sprint and possibly other entities and the following technical specifications should demonstrate why. CDMA BC: 0 / 1 / 10 GSM: 850 / 1900 WCDMA Bands: 2, 4 , 5 LTE Band: 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 25 , 26 , 29, 30, 38, 41, 66, 71 Downlink Carrier Aggregation (DL CA) 5xB41 (up to 5 B41 carriers aggregated) B25+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) B26+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) B25+26CA (up to 2 B25 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated ) Uplink Carrier Aggregation (UL CA) 2xB41 256 / 64 QAM Downlink/ Uplink HPUE CAT 18 Modem 4x4 MIMO B2, 4, 25, 30 , 41, 66 12 spatial streams Holy bonanza! This phone supports up to 100 MHz of LTE spectrum being aggregated together from 5 individual Band 41 carriers! To add to that, it also supports FDD and TDD LTE carrier aggregation by utilizing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 26 800 MHz as the primary component carrier which would contribute to downlink and uplink while Band 41 is aggregated to it would be downlink only secondary component carriers. Remember the saying of having B25 or B26 uplink with Band 41 downlink, anybody? Plus there is expansion of FDD carrier aggregation to that of between Band 25 and Band 26. This will help a ton in areas where Band 41 and its oodles of capacity does not reach. As the recent CDMA refarming nationwide on PCS spectrum has allowed Sprint to fire up an additional Band 25 carrier, this means in many Sprint markets there currently exists two Band 25 carriers in addition to a Band 26 carrier. This additional carrier is not forgotten and can now be used alongside the other Band 25 and Band 26 carrier for carrier aggregation. Last but not least, this phone is "Gigabit Class" by having up to 12 spacial streams means that 4x4 MIMO can be used for 3 separate B41 carriers when aggregated together instead of 2 in the previous generation which supports only 10 spacial streams. Though it was a moot point as the entire generation of Samsung flagships from this past year did not support 4x4 MIMO on Band 41, until now! A phone this size should not be able to pack so many technologies...but yet it does! A splendid phone and surely a must have for the S4GRU and other tech adept users!
  7. 14 points
    I've owned two XC90's. And other vehicles too. I totaled an Isuzu Ascender by hitting a deer outside Bismarck, North Dakota chasing Sprint LTE tracks on Sensorly (which turned out not to be actual Sprint signals). I have run into golf ball sized hail while signal tracking. Been chased by a funnel cloud. I have slid off icy roads. I have backed into parking bollards. Numerous paint scratchings from brush and trees while driving up mountaintop access roads. I have blown a transmission. I have had more close calls than I can count with other cars and pedestrians (and sometimes farm animals). I have dropped a brand new phone on asphalt jumping out to view new base station equipment deliveries. I have been chased off by well armed unhappy property owners. And other things that aren't coming to my mind quickly. There have been a lot of casualties. But many fun memories. I think I get the same rush that extreme sport enthusiasts get when I discover a new signal or some sort of unexpected anomaly and begin the chase. Like a less dangerous storm chaser? And less useful. I don't provide useful information to climate scientists and meteorologists. But hey, we do have a meteorologist on staff at S4GRU. And I'm glad for that! Robert
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 13 points
    Tim YuSprint 4G Rollout UpdatesDecember 11, 2017 - 9:30 PM PST Recently, individuals who ordered Magic Boxes noticed a change in the product code of the unit to AU544 from AU545. It is now confirmed that the product code change is due to the release of the 3rd generation Magic Box. They are now being shipped! The new revision is in essence a GEN2 optimized with a high quality LCD touchscreen display like that of the 1st Generation AU540. In addition, an external battery pack with an adapter to hook onto the Magic Box is now provided. It can be lugged around for testing purposes instead of internal batteries. In addition, the touch power on button of the GEN2 has been removed with power on sequence done by plugging in power to the unit via a battery pack with an adapter or via the AC power brick. Performance wise, the GEN 3 is identical to the GEN 2 in that they still utilize the Airspan Airunity 545 small cell eNB and a Ninja LTE Relay module. The product designation change from 545 to 544 is primarily due to a change in the WiFi module to a different Qualcomm WiFi module. But for what matters to Sprint users, the LTE B41 performance impact as noted from GEN 1 and subsequently the GEN 2 are identical. GEN 2 users will not be left behind in performance wise. Previous generation device owners will not be missing out on much! For those that are getting the Magic Box for the first time, welcome to the party! Here's pictures of the GEN 3 (AU544MBGN2) courtesy of @bucdenny
  11. 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.
  12. 13 points
    Planned Upgrade and New Sites Central VA Market Southern WV and KY Markets PA Market
  13. 13 points
    Warning: Long, but worth the read. I just wanted to give a good customer service experience with Shentel. On one sector of the tower closest to my house (Woodstock, VA), B26 had zero data throughput. I am mainly on B41 at my house, but on occasion I would drop to B26. Anything I was doing would get cut off, which was frustrating. Through the Sprint app, I submitted some network data tickets, but nothing ever happened. So after about 6 weeks, I sent a Facebook message to the Shentel FB account one evening before work with details on the problem, including the GCI of the B26 sector and the address of the tower. I work nights, so I didn't wake up until about 2PM the next day and saw I had missed 5 calls from a Shentel Employee. It was the RF Engineering Manager. I called him back and he thanked me for my detailed message and he said when they checked the stats on the tower, they realized they had an issue. They actually shut down that sector on B26 so phones wouldn't connect to the bad band/sector. He told me the RRH went bad and they had already put in an order for a crew to replace it. He all but offered me a job and thanked me for helping them diagnose the issue. He told me I should stop by sometime and talk to him. Long story short, I may go have a chat with him sometime, but I don't know that I would leave what I'm doing now. Anyway, fast forward a few days and I got a call from a field RF engineer who told me they had just fixed the issue and did some other tweaks to the tower to make speeds better. He told me he is responsible for the general area around me and told me to save his number and call him directly if I ever notice anything else. I also got some info from him about future upgrades for this area. He said they are waiting on Sprint to approve them adding a 20x20 B25 carrier, but that should happen soon. He told me there is already a 15x15 B25 carrier active near me that I'm going to try to see if I can connect to it. That tower also has B41 so it may be a bit of a challenge to get my phone to connect to it. One last thing, they are close to adding a third B41 carrier to have 3xCA in this area. He said that should happen soon too. A couple days later I noticed that there are now two 10x10 B25 carriers live on my "home tower." There used to only be one 10x10 and one 5x5. I wish I could have asked him about this, but I didn't know at the time I talked to him. I'm guessing this may be the speed tweaks that he mentioned. This is all good news for this area and hopefully he and I can keep in touch. I asked if he could give me a tour of a tower one day and he said he would check with his boss to see if he could do it. I hope that I can do that someday.
  14. 13 points
    That is why roaming was invented. Compete where it makes sense, and cooperate where it doesn't. - Trip
  15. 13 points
    I wish they had sold to a German conglomerate. Then I could say they are the wurst.
  16. 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
  17. 12 points
    Quick rundown of UBS Conference with Tarek Robbiati -70% POP on B41 -50% of Towers have B41 -Adding a couple thousand Macro sites -Making all sites Triband is key -Massive MIMO will be deployed extensively compared to other carriers -Full access to Altice backhaul to deploy small cells (seems limited to their footprint) No Permits needed, quick to market deployment and best price. -reiterated increase in Capex between 5 and 6B for 2018 -Improving Customer service -Increase in prices (but still be the least expensive of all carriers)
  18. 12 points
    I just want a sirloin cooked medium with steak fries and a side of beer battered shrimp, with a tall cold beer.
  19. 12 points
    Sprint does send reminders that the lease is expiring too. It's not like they are hiding the lease end from the customer. Everyone's a victim these days. If you admit that you're too naive or lazy, then you're admitting responsibility and copability...
  20. 11 points
    A brand change would be very expensive to do. This money would be better used for improving the network in my opinion. A brand change would also be ineffective in my opinion. People would remember the old brand name and reputation for a very long time. Given that there are only 4 Major Wireless Carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint), Sprint’s Legacy Branding and Reputation wouldn’t simply go down the Internet (or off-Internet) memory hole for the foreseeable future. There would be a slew of articles and press referring to Sprint’s rebrand which will continue the association with its legacy brand. The saturated wireless market would constantly refer to Sprint’s old branding and reputation. This is therefore not a near term fix nor a long term one, as it takes resources that could be better used for tangible improvements to the business and product. In short, I’d expect a rebrand to have as much effect as Comcast trying to call itself Xfinity. Was this even a real rebrand? I’m still not sure. However, it didn’t work. T-Mobile went through a terrible branding period... and it’s emerged fine on the other side. No rename necessary. Here’s the solution and it’s nothing novel: Network, Network, Network. Make the Network blow the other guys’ out of the water. Distribute flagship devices to prominent columnists (Sascha Segan, etc.) and have them write reviews on the Network. Share these reviews widely. Here’s a start: https://www.pcmag.com/review/358021/lg-v30 https://twitter.com/saschasegan/status/945682340105289729 https://twitter.com/saschasegan/status/945688172943593473 The customers will come if the product is better. People are savvy enough to see through a brand change and it would be a waste of money. A brand change would be a waste because Sprint doesn’t have a perception problem as much as it has a product problem. Here’s what’s wrong with the product: Sprint doesn’t have Band 41 on 50% of its towers (or about 30% of its POPS) . It doesn’t have Band 26 on many others. It needs thousands of more tower sites to improve coverage on its existing footprint and at the fringes where there’s been suburban development that has exceeded the capacity of the Network. It needs to get all three LTE Bands deployed on every site. Sprint doesn’t have VoLTE for simultaneous Voice/Data (and for good reason as we all know why, but Prospective Customers don’t and may not switch.).
  21. 11 points
  22. 10 points
  23. 10 points
    Well things have certainly gotten a lot better in Weston. One of the formerly trouble spots is now a full build that's rocking and rolling. Still one more tower to check, but everything else is top notch. Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
  24. 10 points
    Because of the high volume traffic of utiz4321's posts arguing against Net Neutrality, his posts are being hidden for the time being -- until such time that utiz4321 can reach a mutually beneficial, private financial agreement with S4GRU. Said arrangement will allow for utiz4321's posts to be displayed without delay, while also accounting for the greater burden placed upon S4GRU staff to monitor his volume of posts, enabling additional investment in S4GRU infrastructure costs, and opening up new, innovative ways for S4GRU to deliver services to its members. This is a required disclosure message of any newly implemented blocking/throttling policies at non neutral S4GRU. AJ
  25. 10 points
    We have seen a bunch of permits from Sprint, so the light has moved from red to yellow. When we see work occurring, we will say the light is green.
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