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dkyeager

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Everything posted by dkyeager

  1. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    The new T-Mobile is going to boil down to a neighborhood by neighborhood decision for Sprint customers, some of which will depend on what work gets completed by Sprint assuming merger is successful. I am assuming former Clear sites that do not get Triband upgrades are typically toast. Sites with more recent investments stand a better chance of surviving, assuming they are not co-sites. Of course all existing equipment could still be junked. 800 RRHs have the best odds, given they will likely be the last bastion of Sprint CDMA. We are seeing some 1900 firmware changes that would allow for more spectrum to be used for LTE that may affect these RRH's retention. I would also assume cabinets are toast or at least retrofitted. The main factor in keeping some of the equipment would be new equipment shortages and future 5G compatible replacements being needed in coming years. Network needs and leasing costs would be main individual site factors. I would think markets with a low Sprint Market share would lose the most Sprint sites while those with a large Sprint Market share would have better odds for unique Sprint site retention. Of course the FCC might mandate that VoLTE must cover all areas covered by Sprint CDMA, but this would mostly affect rural areas. I am also assuming that the new T-Mobile will start urban in the larger markets given T-Mobile's past history.
  2. dkyeager

    Official Magic Box discussion thread

    It used to drive some of us crazy in Ohio that Sprint did not know which sites had LTE or Band 41 in terms of the coverage maps. We laboriously gave them site IDs and LAT LONGs with GCIs thrown in for good measure in spreadsheet and map formats. For LTE they did add them in a few months. For Band 41 they ended up removing the category that covered it from the coverage maps. I think the key item is if you have small cells in your area, then Magic Boxes will likely work.
  3. Connectivity https://imgur.com/a/j0yeqic Chip https://imgur.com/a/VUjEamZ Applied (AI) https://imgur.com/a/hjvnb2Q source: Qualcomm,
  4. Actual performance will be hard to predict until we can actually do our own testing. Within several years it will also likely be quite different. I do not believe a single Massive MIMO antenna system will initially be able to cover all b41 spectrum. Sprint currently has spectrum carve-outs for small cells and Magic Boxes as they currently stand. Once 5g begins to expand to other areas beyond the ideal sites I would expect simplier less expensive alternatives to current Massive MIMO. The big question will be whether Sprint will be willing to provide 5g sites with proper backhaul, which has always been a presumption as to why 4g b41 has not scaled as expected as carriers have been added. We were getting reports of up to 80Mbps on the first single carrier b41 sites with personal observations approaching 70Mbps on some sites. All of this was well before 5 carrier, 4x4 MIMO, and 256 QAM were discussed. When you start discussing initial speed needs before 5g killer apps are invented the T-Mobile 5G 600MHz approach makes sense. Who wouldn't want the low band edge performance possibly doubled? Who knows how actual phones will perform with 5g and whether any sacrifices will be made to 4g performance not forgetting 3g either. Will all bands have latent 5g support or will new phones be needed as each band is ultimately converted to 5g? How will 5g plans be structured? Of course when discussing any wireless merger the FCC must come into play. Besides spectrum, coverage and handset transition requirements (and any MVNO protections), the key factor is the length of time. This is often far longer than predicted. I feel that positive anticipation is warranted, but results will likely come in lower than hyped given the many factors touched on above. Exciting times for S4gru members to see what actually happens.
  5. 5G for b41 should be a big win given far larger carriers ( 60 MHz wide for Sprint, 100Mhz wide for new T-Mobile) which will greatly speed uploads. Better ability to reach into RF shadows and ability to handle more custumers also a big plus.
  6. Finally getting down to the details - the densest areas will be be covered by 5G (or maybe more importantly, the busiest sites). There are likely other factors - amount of spectrum in the market, fixing RF shadows in areas where small cells are difficult for whatever reason, etc.
  7. It would be interesting to study whether this would have an effect on battery life. If it is a continuous scanning the answer would be no, but if it is done on a timed interval (perhaps ever increasing then random) then the answer may be yes for global consuming more battery than LTE mode. We know it is not purely defined by the border of the United States as I have gotten Sprint signal in Canada and Canadian signal in the U.S.
  8. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    Yes. https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-completes-acquisition-vodafones-45-percent-indirect-interest-verizon-wireless
  9. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    The key item to watch with the FCC will be if MM bands get counted. They could go down to almost the tower level in terms of what coverage is required. I would certainly expect the FCC to spend a lot of time on how customer's phones are treated. The real comparison to observe in the future is if Softbank puts in more money for more control and quicker 5G or sells out at a much later date. The closest comparison is Verizon and Vodaphone's control of Verizon Wireless. Ultimately Verizon bought out Vodaphone.
  10. dkyeager

    Galaxy S9 Series user thread

    Hopefully you are also using the Google Maps off-line feature for your main driving areas, which would then speed up the traffic reporting when you have data signal since less map data would be needed at that time. Sprint drive would also help, but of course more $$.
  11. You can see some of the LTE roaming areas with Sprint, although the T-Mobile roaming primarily occurred after their Aug 31 cutoff date.
  12. dkyeager

    SignalCheck Beta Crew Forum

    1 phone out of 4 used for that test did not have the "Use New Sprint/Samsung Indicators" option turned on, which was the one these screen shots came from. Sorry for the error. Thanks again
  13. dkyeager

    SignalCheck Beta Crew Forum

    Using the latest beta at the time, I disabled EARFCN using the modem and got these results: This is not an exhaustive list. My hope is for SCP to catch the unique Sequential GCI Sectors to give an idea of what is being looked at band-wise. Perhaps this has already been fixed since that time. Thanks!
  14. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    This merger is a growth play more than just cost savings. Verizon is just doing what Sprint has already done is terms of cost cuts. However Verizon is different in that they are trying to preserve their margins. With a far better cost structure for the new T-Mobile (depending on FCC conditions), the question will be if the merger is handled successfully, which is then what will really determine job gains or losses. The competition will not stand still while the new T-Mobile gets itself organized and motivated. Some of the new ideas will fail. How quickly do to they adjust will be key. Just because something has been tried before does not mean that it can not be successful now, for timing is everything in business.
  15. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    Here is what I posted: FCC conditions should include: 1) Upgrade the smartphones firmware to support the new T-Mobile network or to give discounts for new phones as was done with the Shentel-nTelos and T-Mobile-Metro PCS mergers. This should include support for all bands and VoLTE if previously certified by the FCC. For example the LG V20 has VoLTE support which should be enabled by firmware for the new T-Mobile Network. 2) VoLTE coverage should be extended to fully cover the 1x800 CDMA range currently covered by Sprint. I have seen it as far as 50 miles from the originating site, but that is a rare exception. In the Shentel-nTelos merger, LTE coverage was mandated to extend fully over all nTelos 3G coverage. 3) Given its more limited building penetration and shorter range, band 41 coverage should be considered on its own and not be allowed to be reduced in terms of quality. Sprint has band 41 only sites in many metropolitan areas which provide service to areas poorly covered by other bands. For example, CB52XC033 at 2837 Dublin Rd, Columbus OH provides up to 100Mbps coverage to my home, while B25 is often around 5Mbps, and B26 is in the 3G range. The 205ft (about 160ft for the RRUs) height of the tower help to reach into nearby ravine areas. 4) Many small towns could use the increased capacity of multiple cell sites on opposite edges of the town. 5) I encourage the FCC to preserve the integrity of the MNVOs without cutting into the b41 spectrum of the new T-Mobile and to factor in all other purchased/leased spectrum in the MM bands by all carriers in any spectrum screen calculations. S4Gru members should note that the above site number was personally observed during a site upgrade.
  16. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    Based on the earlier public released plans and interviews, that would be true on a market by market basis as the new T-Mobile converts B41 to 5G. What is in the latest plans is anyone's guess. Going to 5G would provide 100MHz wide carriers which would mean 5 times faster uploads before factoring in 5G speed improvements. Could one radio handle all of the available B41 bandwidth that Sprint has in numerous cities (up to 8 or 9 20MHz carriers)? Rumors are the Sprint Massive MIMO radios can only handle 6 carriers for a total of 120MHz, but I could be wrong. My understanding is also that T-Mobile small cells are all fiber fed which would free up bandwidth for phones. T-Mobile would likely go for different radios hopefully covering the full 194Mhz since they would only want 5G support. In deals like the Shentel-nTelos and T-Mobile-Metro PCS the FCC has always had the firms either upgrade the firmware to support the new network or to give discounts for new phones. Your voice will only be heard if you tell the FCC. The FCC comment period is now open until early December. If T-Mobile drops CDMA, then voice coverage will also be reduced given the vast range of 1x800. (I have observed it up to 50 miles away, but that is in rare cases). In the Shentel-nTelos merger, LTE coverage was mandated to extend fully over all nTelos 3G coverage. Once again this is something you should ask for. Another area of concern is VoLTE support. I personally think Sprint will only offer it on phones it is currently selling. Hopefully T-Mobile will go back to phones such as the LG V20 and have VoLTE support. But always best to ask. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-1155A1.pdf https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=18-197&sort=date_disseminated,DESC
  17. That was in the initial public plan discussions. Since then they have submitted at least one more plan. At this point I would say we have no idea how many separate Sprint sites they will end up keeping. Don't forget that co-located sites are not counted in his tally. Nor do I assume small cells. In the Shentel - nTelos Merger the FCC paid attention to coverage areas and said all of the nTelos areas (mostly 3G) must be covered by 4G LTE. If the same standard is applied to this deal with 1x800 voice calls and T-Mobile gets rid of CDMA which I view as likely based on past actions with MetroPCS...
  18. dkyeager

    Sprint Tmobile merger Disc.

    Actually he was more ambiguous: "FABER: Does leaving an enfeebled competitor worry you to act – sort of figure into your decision making? In other words, the idea that Sprint wouldn't ever be able to compete if it was truly left independent? DELRAHIM: That would certainly be one of the considerations that goes into a number of factors we would review to see, you know, what would happen to the competitive landscape. Does that -- what you're insinuating, does that mean there's only be then two competitors if this merger doesn't happen -- and one of them would fail or both of them might fail without this merger? Those would be factors we would consider. But I don't know if the evidence fully supports that."
  19. I think T-Mobile has a point with 5G on 600Mhz which is expect to double its relatively slow speeds. Sprint is expected a 5 fold increase in Band 41, however I personally think the real difference will be in upload speeds given 100Mhz will be available for upload as compared to today's typical 20Mhz that most Sprint customer observe. T-Mobile's plan given merger approval is to use the spectrum to shift customers around while it upgrades each band to 5NR starting with Band 41 (doing this on a market by market basis). This is according to publicly available plans and comments. Since those were released the plans have been revised. My guess is the FCC is pushing T-Mobile - Sprint towards a Shentel - nTelos type of deal where coverage must remain the same, customers must end up with a phone in some fashion that fully supports the new network, some divesting of spectrum, and they must report back to the FCC on progress towards these goals. The only area that is really new is the MVNO possible conditions. To placate possible opposition and appeal to FCC stated goals, wireless internet is thrown in, at least for rural areas, which is also a shot across the bow for cable companies getting into wireless. Doing 5G earlier would allow the new T-Mobile a longer time frame to depreciate these assets. It is also expected that new "must have" applications will be developed as a result of the increased speeds.
  20. dkyeager

    11/9 Coverage Map Update

    Correct, just noting that VoLTE is not being shown despite its footprint being much smaller that 1x800 CDMA.
  21. dkyeager

    11/9 Coverage Map Update

    Changed device to S8+, checked voice - no VoLTE showing A far amount of LTE extended in sparce parts of Ohio. Now is that AT&T or T-Mobile?
  22. For a more definitive answer, acquire the SCP pro version for several dollars. It will provide you with GCI data and possibly EARFCN which will make possible certainty on identifying that signal.
  23. Tidbits from latest Shentel Quarterly results: From a competitive standpoint, we believe a merger would be beneficial in establishing a stronger competitor against the much larger AT&T and Verizon. We showed the components of change of our Wireless customer base from September 30, 2017, to September 30, 2018. We had 785,500 postpaid and 255,500 prepaid subscribers at the end of current quarter, for a total of 1,041,000 customers. This includes 54,000 customers acquired as a result of the Richmond Expansion in February 2018 and 34,000 added from organic growth. This represents growth of 8% in postpaid and 14% in prepaid as compared to the third quarter of 2017 and also a sequential improvement from the second quarter of 2018. At the end of the quarter, 21% of our customers were still on subsidized plans down from 22% at the end of the second quarter. 7.1% of our base upgraded their device in the quarter and of these upgrades, 98% were phones and 2% non-phones. Overall 8.5% of the postpaid base are now tablets and data devices. We continue to have a positive poured in versus poured out ratio at 1.35 to 1 for the third quarter of 2018. You also see postpaid churn for the quarter of 1.84%, a 35 basis point improvement versus the third quarter of 2017 with churn in our core legacy area at 1.68%. Phone churn was 1.7% and non-phone churn was 3.38%. Our significant progress in churn was aided by the completion of the nTelos migration of subscribers in 2017, but somewhat offset by increases in line level churn as a result of the new Sprint rate card. Prepaid gross adds increased to 38,500 and net adds increased to 3,400 on the strength of Boost customer additions. We are reaping the benefits of our strategic investments in the Boost brand through local advertising and the continued expansion of Boost stores throughout our service area. Additionally, prepaid churn for the quarter of 4.62% is a 63 basis point improvement over last year’s third quarter and ARPU gained traction as well. I'd like to update you on our store expansion. By year-end 2018, we're on track to have 167 branded Sprint stores and 151 branded Boost stores, representing about 21% and 30% increases, respectively, since the end of 2017. 53% of homes past are now capable of an upgrade to DOCSIS 31 and broadband speeds of up to 1 gig per second. More than half of 2018 capital is allocated for cell site upgrades and the expansion of our coverage in recently acquired territories. Q On margins and expansion ...With respect to our expansion, we continue to build fiber wherever we can. In fact, we're going to build fiber to over 100 towers this year incrementally. And that does a couple of things for us, it helps grow our fiber footprint and create sales opportunities in the commercial and wholesale space, but it also drives cost out on above-market rates that we're paying primarily related to the nTelos acquisition. So we're pretty proud of the results we've had. I think the best way to think about that is that, over time, we expect them to remain where they are or grow that, but that could be lumpy because as we've talked about, we like the towers up, right? And then we unleash what is proving to be a pretty robust and effective marketing arm and sales arm, and we spend a lot of time thinking about the timing of those two things, so there's not a lag there. So the opportunity for us is in these expansion territories where the penetration is very low when we acquired it. As we build it out, it goes – just doing nothing heroic, we're getting that penetration up to what we're at now like 18% or so. I think that gives us a lot of potential upside. And the other part of that is, is that dependent – and obviously, of course, it's dependent on the pricing and the promotions and whatnot from Sprint. But if Sprint letting the promotional – promotions lapse, if that does, we start to see some of the same things that Sprint saw. I think that's, again, more margin expansion. Q: in the transition of Voice Over IP, have you quantified how much in cost savings you expect to see? In terms of the VoIP margin benefit, it's in the range of $2 million to $3 million annualized. Q: Could you talk about the cost savings you had on these switches moving to VoIP facilities? Was this the remnants from nTelos or was this the CapEx program for the entire company? Now, that was related to some Sprint architecture changes, it's company-wide, system-wide, not nTelos related... Q: First on the expansion territories, I think you guys have had Parkersburg for a little bit over a year now. And presumably, you've begun kind of selling into that. I just was curious on whether Parkersburg was a meaningful contributor to gross adds? And then, also, if you could give us an update on when you expect to start selling into Richmond, when that network build-out is going to be complete? Parkersburg in terms of a meaningful contribution to gross activations, I wouldn't characterize it as meaningful. The majority of the capital investment in the Wireless business this year is to wrap up the investments in the acquired nTelos territories. So we're seeing more contribution from legacy nTelos markets than Parkersburg. And with respect to the Richmond sliver, we really haven't begun in earnest our upgrade program in the acquired Richmond geography, and so that's more of a 2019 and 2020 opportunity for us than it is a 2018 opportunity. Q: CapEx, obviously, came in a little bit lower than previous. You called out some equipment deliveries. Can you help us understand what's going on there a little bit? And then longer term on CapEx, what are your thoughts about 5G spending, particularly as you heard what Sprint's plans might be? there is not really any meaningful story on CapEx relative to what was budgeted. I think the primary drivers, as noted in the scripted comments this morning, were really better Wireless equipment pricing. And as you can expect with the vast majority of our capital going into the wireless business, equipment pricing benefits that weren't budgeted or expected were meaningful. We had budgeted some fiber RUs, we ended up not needing, which was several million dollars and other just kind of cats and dogs related to timing, but there's no major headline there, so to speak. In terms of our go-forward plans relative to 5G, I think the company has previously disclosed and I would reiterate that the 5G opportunity for us, as well as the threat, is relatively muted just given the geography that we cover and in particular, the fact that Sprint leverages the 2.5 spectrum band for most of their LTE advanced deployments and the 5G opportunity that they see. And that's a relatively small portion of our macro network, it's 23% versus 70% for Sprint in the more urban areas. So you shouldn't expect to see a big increase in CapEx related to 5G for us. Q: And there's a spectrum lease agreement between Sprint and T-Mobile announced recently. Are you familiar with that, the agreement? Obviously, it's outside of the auspices of the transaction, but will that have any impact on your ability for spectrum? Yes, we're aware. And no, we don't believe it will impact our spectrum strategy. source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4218935-shenandoah-telecommunications-shen-ceo-chris-french-q3-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single
  24. dkyeager

    Official Magic Box discussion thread

    Factory reset is your best immediate option. Network reconfiguration by Sprint can also cause this issue. Usually resolves itself in a few days. Reboot daily to see if fixed. After a few days none of the above works, contact Magic Box support. They are getting more skilled.
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