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xenadu

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Everything posted by xenadu

  1. My bad... I forgot about that. The next iPhone *could* support AWS; I just assumed it did because there is a bit of overlap between AWS and European carriers (by FCC design). The WTR1605L definitely has enough ports. Of course you can't predict what Apple will do. They could very well tell Qualcomm that they want the WTR chip plus switches to support even more frequencies on the available ports for the same price. I don't know what impact the switches have on battery life but if it doesn't affect it that's an option. Or maybe they are going to build a custom chip that supports more frequencies. Apple has enough cash these days to outright buy Qualcomm or even hire their own engineers so who knows. One thing we can be sure of is the spectrum fragmentation issue will continue to get worse and worse over the entire world so building one phone that works everywhere will get harder and harder. I am assuming that the PCS G block can be serviced by the same path as the existing PCS frequencies since it is next them. Would be nice if Sprint could get the FCC to give them another block next to the G block, which would give them a nation-wide 10x10 LTE band. The FCC seems to be sympathetic to the two smaller nationals in the interest of preserving competition... of course not to get political but if MR wins the next election I expect all future M&A activity to be rubber-stamped, including allowing ATT/VZW to buy up all available spectrum. That seems to have been the policy in all other areas under the ®s, eg: allowing Comcast to buy NBC, allowing Clearwire to buy up all media everywhere, etc. And to provide a balance point the (D)s seem content to allow the banks to run wild so we seem to be getting screwed from both ends. edit: they just claimed that Japan uses the 800 SMR band... that makes me think SMR support is more likely since Japan is such a large market. (listening to the playback of that presentation)
  2. If you go check out the Sprint Investor area I believe it is listed as a webcast. Sprint should keep the iPhone users happy - they paid $$ for the subsidies, if they don't improve the network for those folks soon it will end up being a waste of money.*** Fortunately that is happening right now... I just tested at the grocery store down the street and I get 2 Mbps on whatever tower I'm connecting to over there. Still get <100kbps at my house. The wife was trying to download a song as we were driving today and it was hilarious to see the estimated time to complete as we went in and out of NV tower range... 1 minute to 10 minutes remaining to 15 minutes back down to 1 minute. Apple and Google (Motorola) are the only ones who earn money post-sale via App Stores and Apple much moreso via the iTunes store (Google is trying to catch up via Play). Apple also continues to sell their older devices as the low and no-cost options. So both have at least some incentive to support older devices even before you count things like goodwill and brand reputation. I wouldn't expect anyone else to give a crap... once the hardware leaves the shelf, pushing updates is nothing but pure un-necessary expense to most of the handset makers. Apparently Microsoft agrees because none of the current Windows Phones will be able to run Win Phone 8 either. *** We know from Qualcomm filings that their new WTR1605L has some additional ports to support more frequencies. Three <1Ghz ports, three 1Ghz-2Ghz ports, and one 2.5Ghz port. We know the iPhone currently supports AWS and PCS and AWS has a range that overlaps the US and Europe so that's two medium ports taken. Where the third goes doesn't matter to the US, maybe it does to other countries. The high port seems like a natural fit for Clearwire - no idea what else it could be used for and I think Clearwire is the only one deploying anything significant on that band world-wide right now, so it seems highly likely that the next iPhone will support Clearwire LTE TDD which fits with Sprint's offloading plan quite nicely. Of the low ports, one is going to 850Mhz Cellular A/B no question - that's ATT and VZW (and I think a bunch of places worldwide as well but I can't recall). We can also assume that one is going to to the lower 700Mhz band where ATT is deploying LTE. The interesting thing is VZW trying to dump their upper 700Mhz blocks... it makes me wonder if Apple was shopping that last low band port around and Sprint paid the 20 billion to secure it for 800 SMR instead of upper 700, which would also make sense as to why VZW suddenly wants to dump it in favor of AWS. They paid a lot for it and there must be some reason they want to dump it. Just my own theory mind you - I could be completely wrong.
  3. Not saying the number is correct but think about how hold that iDEN equipment must be. People forget that silicon scaling has drastically reduced power usage for equivalent performance in stuff like base stations and switches, not just cell phones. Some of those sites may also be locked into less than favorable electric rates since Sprint wouldn't want to negotiate new rates and sign contract extensions, knowing they are shutting iDEN off. If you just take the floating commercial power rate on offer, grab your ankles and prepare for some unpleasantness... IMHO it is way worse than residential rates without a deal, though the deals you can negotiate are often way better than residential too, especially if you agree to shed load in high demand situations... then you can get paid $$$ to shut down for an afternoon I think the biggest payoff is going to come as they get out of the leases.
  4. Well I'm not sure, they break their product line into different pieces. I don't know if that SoC has the wireless chip built in or not... Eg the MDM9615 is just a modem so it pairs with another chip as the processor and then there are power amps and such to worry about. So even if the MDM9615 supports 27 different frequency bands that doesn't mean a specific device can make use of it because it might lack the power amps/filters to do so. Edit: it's the WTR1605 that does the actual transceiver work so it has to understand TDD vs FDD, etc. The MDM is the modem so it has to speak the actual protocols (CDMA, GSM, etc). So the device hands a stream of digital data to the modem which converts it to the actual protocol you are speaking and the WTR1605 encodes it as an analog waveform suitable for broadcast, then the appropriate power amplifier and filters boost the power without spilling across into neighboring frequencies, then the proper antenna actually resonates, thus broadcasting the radio waves. So even if the modem speaks LTE and the WTR speaks LTE FDD, if there is no power amp hooked up to the SMR output it goes nowhere. If there is no antenna of the appropriate length hooked to the power amp then the signal goes nowhere (or on the wrong antenna the power is wasted instead of broadcast). IANARE (I Am Not A Radio Engineer), but the actual 800mhz antenna should work fine for SMR, I just don't know if the WTR supports it. If so, I suspect the power amp would work fine, it is the filters that are the problem... You would need separate filters for the old A/B 800Mhz licenses versus SMR. I have no cue how configurable those filter banks are (if at all). Why the filters? No signal generator or power amp is 100% perfect so you will get harmonics and distortion. If you don't filter properly, the power amp will waste a lot of its power amplifying the useless harmonics, which also pollutes other radio bands. I suspect that the filtering is actually far more important on the receiving side... You need to filter out the unwanted frequencies before you amplify the raw signal, but that has to be dynamic as you switch frequency bands. Part of what software radio does on the receiving side is just amplify everything and let the computer use FFTs and other algorithms to pull the wanted signal out of the noise digitally. Right now that takes too much processing power (thus space and battery) to do, so you use purpose-built chips to do the work... The trade-off is they can't work with frequencies and protocols they aren't originally built for. More knowledgable folks feel free to correct me! Edit2: WTR1605L has seven ports, three sub-1GHz, three upper, and one super-high 2.5Ghz. I'm not sure what the current iPhone does but if they want to keep it a single world phone then one of the lower ports will be Cellular 800 and one will be the B/C 700 which is what AT&T is using. One of the upper will be PCS and one will be AWS. What remains to be seen in my mind is will the 2.5Ghz be the Clearwire band? I suspect the last upper port will go to some non-US band. That leaves one lower port... Does it go to the 700Mhz A frequencies? Or does it go to 800 SMR for Sprint? We know that Verizon is trying to sell its A/B 700Mhz bands. We also know that mostly small rural folks own the other A blocks. We also know they were demanding the FCC force device makers to support A/B/C in their chipsets to enable roaming. This is nothing but speculation.... But it is *possible* that the Apple/Sprint deal agreed to 800 SMR to fill that last lower port and Apple told the rurals to go pound sand. I suspect Verizon either balked at the deal Apple offered or was already on the fence about ditching their 700 A/B. Again, pure speculation on my part. It is also possible that Apple may not be able to keep a single model world-wide but that won't help Sprint at home because they still have the upper-lower 700 vs SMR+upper 700 choice to make. But I can totally see why the SMR support would be worth any price to Sprint... Who can refuse to support it at no charge if Apple is doing it? No one will balk, certainly not the likes of Samsung, HTC, or Google. It also gives Sprint a cheap way to massively improve their rural coverage. So in the long term even if Sprint has to give away some iPhones to fulfill their contract with Apple, it may be worth it to turn what was a worthless Nextel millstone into an extremely valuable asset. I don't believe any other regions have any active deployment at 2.5Ghz like Clearwire does so that makes support for their network seem like a done-deal. It would also explain Sprint's sudden renewed interest in Clearwire as it means the next iPhone and iPad can offload to Clear in dense urban areas.
  5. Does this mean the next iPhone will be the only Sprint LTE phone with a SIM card? Hmm..... I still wonder if the commitment to a large purchase wasn't Sprint buying support for 800 SMR in a future product. I know Qualcomm said they are working on a new radio chip that will support some ridiculous number of bands in one package. Don't know when or if that includes SMR but it would be interesting. Oh and software radio has just shrunk down again... It now occupies a single small PCI Express slot and cost about 700 bux. That's down from three external boxes and 1500 two years ago, which was down from 20 grand and half a room 15 years ago. At this scaling rate, I would expect cell phones to be using software radio within 10 years which combined with advanced antenna technology should completely eliminate the band support issue. I know the chip makers are looking at it due to the R&D and difficulties trying to support all the fragmented cellular bands (which will only get worse over time).
  6. xenadu

    insurance

    Well the TEP covers a stolen phone I think, AppleCare+ does not. But on the flip side Apple is way better about the warranty. Just make an appointment, show up, they swap the phone with a new one, and you are done. They dont give you grief or hassle you about it, no waiting, etc. Back on original AppleCare with the 3GS, my fiancé (now wife) dropped hers in the pool. I was prepared to pay the 200 replacement cost but the Apple genius guy just handed me an invoice and said "have a nice day". I asked him where to pay and he just circled the amount on the invoice: $0.00. Oh that's another nice thing about Apple... They don't make you pay retail price for the phone even without AppleCare+. You just pay the contract price but it doesn't affect your contract with the carrier at all.
  7. Yeah my grandmother lived in Ft. Pierce. We lived in Lakewood Park for a time. We were lucky, never had a major hurricane hit directly while we were there, but still had to haul out the plywood to board up, stock the batteries & food, etc. Tried to give the number a call but they are only open M-F 9-9 CST. I will try again on Monday... Guess I can always unplug it if it makes things worse.
  8. Robert, any word on the various text messaging troubles when using the Airave? I've heard about a lot of problems with notifications, texts, voice mails, etc so I've been reluctant to try it.
  9. Hah, I was born in Vero and lived there until I was 16. Your question has been answered but I wanted to say hello to my hurricane buddies in FL. P.S. these Dallas Texans don't know what rain is.
  10. Even if it drops back down I'll stick it out. I didn't put my life savings into it though, just money I'm fully prepared to lose if I'm wrong.
  11. I bought Sprint back when it hit 2.50 or so; I knew it was a long-term bet but I'm willing to wait.
  12. Wow, checked back in after work and looks like I stepped in the hornets nest... Or maybe I am the hornets nest that got stepped on? My apologies if I offended anyone and all apologies accepted. Also I want to make clear that I don't support everything Apple does, nor do I agree with every decision. They are also guilty of using marketing to promote something they got forced into as if it were a planned benefit. I just don't think it is accurate to say they don't innovate or don't make good products. Their recent decision to solder the RAM on-board for the Retina MacBook Pro... I understand it. They can make a smaller, lighter laptop that way and if you ran the numbers I would bet anyone that 90% of all laptop owners never upgrade the memory after purchase so it makes sense to ditch something only 10% of people use to get the size/cost/weight down... However I am not sure that is a good choice for me personally so we shall see when it comes to upgrade time. If Apple doesn't work for you no big deal. Robert: you are quite correct... The competition will help keep all the vendors honest. Edit: I think part of my initial reaction is Apple being compared to ILECs... Who's government-granted monopoly has allowed them to reap enormous profit, consolidate control over the wireless market, lobby for millions in tax breaks to build a next-gen network (and not deploy one, AT&T you arses) or decide to stop further deployment of theirs (Verizon's new CEO: a great short-term thinker), etc. Apple has almost nothing in common with those bloated remnants of Ma-Bell. I guess I'm hard-wires to root for the underdog, that's why I love Sprint and hope they steal Verizon/AT&T's business out from under them. I guess Apples not the underdog anymore though...
  13. You are claiming that the original iPhone was the same as other smartphones when it came out and Apple just marketed it better? That's the biggest load I've ever heard. I suffered through a Windows Mobile phone (several actually) on Sprint for years so don't you insult my honor or demean the hell I went through on those pieces of s**t by claiming Apple didn't invent/reinvent the smartphone and touch UI. Apple invented the tablet market (and still owns it)... the few "tablets" before it were crap, failed, and quickly exited the marketplace. Even most of the Android tablets ever released were channel-dumped at a loss (but falsely claimed as "sales") before being end-of-lifed. Apple owned the music business with iTunes because Steve Jobs had the clout to convince the record companies to get on-board. I don't recall Bill Gates (of whom I am a fan actually) getting on a plane, flying to meet record company executives, and pitching them his vision for digital music. Apple did and that's what got them to stop stonewalling digital distribution. Apple's latest Mac OS has altered the paradigm of interacting with computers by removing the concept of saving (everything is saved automatically in the background) and combining it with version control so you can live-browse older versions (and even drag elements of them out of the past and into the current document). Again, did they invent it entirely out of nothing whole-cloth? No, but it is actually moving the concept of the desktop UI forward... Frankly Microsoft had this one in their face for years (Word's autosave) but never just made that automatic because they failed to combine it with automatic version control. Apple was the first to say "hey, let us handle all the billing and support crap - you just sell your apps". They also broke the backs of the carriers... do you people have amnesia or do you not remember the locked-down nonsense that passed for an "app store" on phones back when the carriers were in control ? Or when Verizon/Sprint would have the same phone but different features were enabled/disabled at their respective whims? Apple literally invented the "no, all carriers will ship the same phone with the same features and no non-uninstallable carrier crapware". One of Apple's strengths has been a willingness to dump the past/legacy and move forward. It often allows them to spot the obvious and force it to happen. It also means old apps that aren't maintained die off and people find replacements... replacements that take advantage of the new paradigms/features. That may not be a choice that works for you but it's not meaningless. Nonsense. Apple devices are well-made and unlike many companies they stand behind their products. Even the 2009 iPhone 3GS is going to get updated to iOS 6. It may not support all the new features but it is being kept up to date. Apple delivers what they promise and that's part of the reason they are one of the largest companies in the world. This kind of low-effort crap-posting is just sour grapes from people who irrationally hate Apple. If their products don't suit your specific needs, that's fine. I have no problem with that. If you just prefer a different UI or brand, that's also fine. But don't make up nonsense to justify your irrational decision - own it as an irrational preference and be honest. Apple clearly has the best product support (hardware and software), the best/largest app ecosystem, and the best/largest accessory ecosystem, and the best/most widespread integration (e.g. car) ecosystem. It also has the best media ecosystem (iTunes Store). None of these things are arguable - they are demonstrable facts. Apple is also posting record profits and a $100 billion dollar company. If they are losers then I pray I can be that big of a loser some day. In conclusion: As long as Robert lets me get away with it, I am going to start raining hellfire down on people making anti-apple posts not backed up with accurate information. edit: I don't intend for this post to be a personal attack or to sound angry. I'm not mad at either of you, honest
  14. It always seemed like the Clear deal was a way to sucker other companies into funding WiMax without losing the spectrum licenses due to inability to meet coverage requirements. I agree that Sprint needs to buy them out when they return to profitability. Part of Sprints problem is that they can't afford to bid on any spectrum that might come up for sale. Altel would have been a perfect buy to expand their network if they weren't hemmoraging money.
  15. Sprint doesn't need peering agreements, they are still a Tier-1 backbone provider. Other networks peer with Sprint, not the other way around. Sprint already has settlement-free interconnects with the other big global backbone providers. People forget that Sprint has fiber criss-crossing the country and owns stakes in undersea cables. Their marketshare has been falling (mostly from others expanding, not from them losing any customers) but they are still one of the "big boys". If they had been smart, they would have snapped up some of the fiber companies when they all went bust after the dot-com boom and kept their ILEC business... people like Cogent and Level3 were snapping them up for pennies-on-the-dollar compared to what it cost to put the fiber in the ground. They'd be able to leverage video in ILEC markets ($$$) and to provide their own tower backhaul in areas with fiber loops (carrying traffic across their existing national fiber network), along with agreements with Verizon/ATT for backhaul swaps in their respective ILEC territories. If they ever try to spin off the backbone network watch out... that's their only "seat at the table" left (as far as playing with the big boys is concerned.) I presume their cell tower backhaul contracts route traffic to the nearest Sprint POP so they can at least carry their internal network traffic on their own network instead of paying someone else to do it... plus at that point it becomes settlement-free so they don't have to pay ATT to take their packets (for example). If they aren't doing this then they must be dumb as rocks.
  16. Ah ok, it seemed a bit iffy to me. I wish there was some way to correlate some of those IDs to the towers
  17. There are apps (like HeyTell) that replicate PTT functionality... or if it is that critical then hire a developer to write your own. Either way you aren't locked to a specific dead-end carrier tech anymore. I think it is just inertia. People don't like change.
  18. I heard (but don't know) that in the iPhone field test screen you can look at the Serving PN offset which will give you the degrees off north of the current cell you are on (from the tower's point of view), and active set pilots will show the same for the towers you can see... So in my case I look on the map and see 255 and 96, which would indicate a tower almost to the immediate west of me and another to the north east and indeed I find Sprint sites at those exact locations and within reasonable distances (1 mi and 3.5mi respectively). No clue if this is correct or not. I can see base ID under the 1X info but haven't found any way to correlate that with a Sprint site.
  19. So can you quit your job so we get the updates immediately or is that going too far?
  20. When the cable co provides a service like this they are usually stringing actual fiber on their poles to the local aggregation point, of which they have many these days because when they subdivide the cable network into "nodes" it means the cable channels can be reused in each node (not unlike cellular actually). Some day they will probably end up pushing the fiber all the way to homes, which I guess is ATTs eventual plan by pushing fiber from the DSLAM pedestal the last few hundred/thousand feet (if they ever bother). Part of the bids were picked up by ATT wholesale (if you can believe it), part were picked up by various alternate vendors, and part were cable companies. In cases where fiber could not be obtained to the tower, microwave is being used to bounce from tower to tower until it reaches a tower that does have fiber. I don't know if Verizon picked up any bids - they certainly could have with FIOS. So far I have only had two times late at night when it was offline for a few minutes in 8 years, but I don't know that they actually offer any guarantees. For reference, a T1 is 1.544Mbps which is not even enough to saturate a single EVDO air link for a single user. Here at my house Verizon now offers 300Mbps FIOS. It would take 194 T1 lines to match that capacity, which would cost insane amounts of money... T1s use powered repeater devices on the copper lines about every mile (I think?) to keep the signal usable. It was great back in the day but now it is antiquated tech that is way too slow and expensive. I believe Robert has said they are spec'ing 100Mbps to start with at many sites but they are scalable to 1 Gig on-demand if needed, with major metro areas presumably starting off at 1 Gig but don't quote me on that. Bottom line is backhaul will no longer be the limiting factor and it should ultimately save Sprint money.
  21. I don't know if Sprint will be bringing out PTT app for iOS but there is a similar app called HeyTell that works on iOS and Android. It works anywhere you have cell or WiFi. In more marginal coverage areas it may take longer to deliver messages but in my experience it is quite fast and I have yet to experience lost messages. I never understood what was so special about iDEN PTT or why people seem so upset about it.
  22. Let me clarify: Sprint is rolling out LTE across their entire network so yes, Tyler will get LTE. They just aren't going to be in the first round of deployments so it may be 2013 before it happens.
  23. Yeah my folks live in Tyler and they are always the last to get anything. They barely have any DSL options and Cox sold the market off to SuddenLink, after they originally bought it from TWC. Meanwhile in the VZW areas of DFW they just rolled out 300Mbps speeds on FIOS.
  24. Ah, my mistake! Looks like we'll just have to wait and see
  25. I am starting to suspect that backhaul is slowing down Dallas so that makes sense.
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