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About DCC233

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    Member Level: iDEN *chirp*

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    Lancaster, PA
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  1. DCC233


  2. Good catch. I had actually written out the post and then the computer crashed so in my haste (and frustration) to rewrite the post I screwed up the math. However, I think my general point still stands that I think things will be significantly better before the year is over.
  3. Full disclosure but I'm a Shentel supporter for years and think that their management has an excellent track record for network deployments. So while I fully acknowledge, and not trying to be apologetic for their performance, I think some items have to be rationally and realistically considered. 1) They deployed 1900 throughout their entire market much faster than Sprint or any of its contractors across the US. And once they were granted access to 800 for LTE they did the same thing. 2) Assuming that in the most recent quarterly report (3/31/2016) where they reported that they had deployed 61 sites with 2.5, that they did not consider any existing clearwire sites (~75 in the York and Harrisburg markets) that may or may not have had any 2.5 gear on them, then they deployed 8T8R on a site every 3.8 days*. In my opinion that seems like a pretty good pace. *Based on the press release of the NTelos merger and amended network agreement giving them access to 2.5 announced on 8/10/2015 through 3/31/2016. Approximately 234 days which includes the winter months. 3) Looking at their planned capital expenditures budget for 2016 they have allocated $148.7 million which covers their deployment of 2.5 and also updating Ntelos’s network throughout Virginia and WV. Not trying to be a Shentel (or Sprint) apologist but I’m optimistic and excited to see the network improve especially with the expanded coverage in WV.
  4. It makes me wonder what the "acceptable" and/or "ideal" site usage (mean and peak utilization) is for Sprint and how that impacts the implementation of a new site to offload a overloaded site.
  5. I know people have been grumbling in the Shentel market that their data speeds have been slowing down signifcantly over the past 1-1.5 years, and after looking over the slides from Shentel's most recent quarterly presentation it contains some interesting supporting data. Here are some of my takeaways (excuse my early morning math): 62% of their LTE data is on 1900 MHz which supports the slow data speeds being reported. 61 sites (11% of their network) have 2.5 GHz deployed which are generating 5% of their network traffic. I'm struggling on what conclusions to draw from this stat. It appears that there are a lot of devices in their area which have been upgraded to tri-band which bodes well for balancing data across all three bands as 2.5 is deployed. I think it also is indicative of a good network balancing approach. Any ideas on what the "ideal" proportion of traffic across the bands Sprint is looking to have? 556 Cell Sites  95% have a second LTE carrier at 800 MHz  193 sites have three carriers, including a second carrier at 1900 MHz  61 2.5 GHz sites  Traffic  92% of data traffic is on LTE, with 30% on 800 MHz, 5% on 2.5GHz  Data usage grew 19% in Q1’16  Average speeds of approximately 5 Mbps  Average customer uses approximately 5 GB per month  Dropped calls - 0.4%  Blocked calls - 0.3%
  6. Given their increase in capital spending I wouldn't be surprised that B41 is deployed quickly and throughout much of their market. Based on their year-end presentation they have basically quadrupled their capital expenditures from 2015 for wireless expansion an nTelos upgrades from $25 million to $148 million. Based on their past deployment speed I wouldn't be surprised to see B41 deployed through the majority of their market by mid-year and WV covered in B25/B26/B41.
  7. You forgot one. Technically it's not in Lancaster County but Virginville is not far away up past Reading. So the full joke is you start by driving through Virginville and then turn at Blue Ball at which point you want to go through Bird in Hand and head towards Intercourse and Paradise is just down the road from there.
  8. I found some interesting info from the presentation Shentel made at the Drexel Hamilton's Telecom, Media & Technology Conference on 9/10 (http://investor.shentel.com/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=164269). Below is the info from one of the slides that seemed the most relevant to the forum. I can't wait to see what they do with the deployment of 2.5 and rebuild of ntelos's "network". November 2013 Sites: 527 (2nd Carrier Deployed = 0%) (3rd Carrier Deployed = 0%) December 2014 Sites: 538 (2nd Carrier Deployed = 92%) (3rd Carrier Deployed = 22%) June 2015 Sites: 546 (2nd Carrier Deployed = 94%) (3rd Carrier Deployed = 30%)
  9. I think Shentel has demonstrated their ability and desire to make Sprint's network the best in the areas for which they are the affiliate provider. Look at their capital spending for the past few years as part of the NV deployment, and it is quite evident that they are committed. Looking even further to how much of their overall revenue is derived from their wireless operations vs their cable and wireline and it is very apparent that they need their wireless business to thrive to keep the company going. That being said they are a public company and have shareholders who sometimes prefer the short term return vs the long term capital spending and delayed revenues associated with that. I hope that the financial costs associated with acquiring nTelos does not adversely affect their continued capital spending. They are acquiring a significant debt load with the transaction even after the fee concessions from Sprint. From a network perspective it sounds like in other forms on this site that the spectrum assets from nTelos should allow some immediate, non-capital intensive, improvement to many of the congested areas in B25 and B26. Ultimately I think Shentel will pull off this acquisition and transition successfully given their extensive prior track record and commitment to deploying and managing their network successfully.
  10. Excerpts from the earnings call on 5/4 that may be of interest (this is from the transcript of the conference call so the computer that converts the audio to text is off here and there, but you can figure out what they were saying for the most part): We have 542 sites, 95% of the sites have 800 megahertz LTE service, 126 sites have a second 1,900 megahertz LTE carrier. We’ve been able to harvest 10 megahertz of our original 30 for LTE and will continue to deploy the second 1,900 LTE carrier as need growth. 84% of all of our data traffic is on LTE, with 35% of the LTE traffic on 800 megahertz. Average speeds are approximately 5 megahertz. Data usage grew by 15% in the first quarter, with LTE up 19% and EVDO down approximately 5%. The average customer use approximately 3.8 gigabytes per month in the first quarter. We have 800 megahertz voice service on 95% of our cell sites approximately 28% of the voice traffic is on 800. Voice usage decreased slightly in the first quarter. Drop calls were at 0.6% and blocked calls at 0.4%. We have our fiber built to 194 cell sites, 152 Shentel’s sites and 42 for others, with 22 additional sites under construction and 11 in engineering. the deployment of 2.5 is going to be relatively simple, I never want to say simple, because nothing ever it is, but we will be just adding a 2.5 carrier card into the base station and the base stations are all set up to able to take that card and we will have to put an additional set of antennas on the tower, because the antennas that we put on the tower were a combination 800, 1900 antenna, so we already have been working through and then working for well over a year with the tower sites that we has designated as being high traffic and have most of the agreements done at this point, we’ve all the work for the, once we’re going to deploy this year and a lot of the work done for, once we’re going to deploy next year, so the amount of work will be relatively small, obviously, we will require climbing the tower, but not nearly the effort that was done for network addition In reference to small cell deployment: We actually have done, kind of taken two different approaches, one, we think the best use of small scale it was actually in building, and we’ve deployed them in a number of buildings and malls and we getting very good results from that. We did do one exterior, our outside deployment in Hagerstown and just because of the density of our markets we didn’t really get the bank of the box on that deployment. And so at this point, our plan is to use the small sales in building and in areas like stadiums or that sort of thing that there would be a lot of focus in a very small geographic area, but because of our density the outside ones on pulls really has not given us the results that we had hoped. It makes sense. In reference to B41 deployment: No, we’ve always said that we would be launching a 50 to 75 sites this year. It was just always going to be at the end of this year. We really - even though we’ve continue to have very, very high utilization - at this point, we have had enough capacity to be able to carry it, but we’re looking forward to using as a laser not as a Broadway to identify sites that do have lot high usage and that’s what primarily in our Hagerstown, [indiscernible] Harrisburg, Harrisonburg, Winchester markets is where we’re going to be deploying those types.
  11. A new thread has been created in the Sponsor section. Please feel free to contribute, review submitted questions, and throw out ideas to make a really great listing over the next couple of weeks. Spread the word to other members.
  12. I It's disappointing when the analysts from FBR Capital Markets don't join the call because they are the only ones it seems that understand the technology deployment and strategy side to Shentel's operations and ask the "good" questions. I feel like they would have pressed hard about B41 deployment status and plans, but neither one of the two (noted below) joined. I would be glad to coordinate a separate Q&A submission or chiming in on the next earning's call. I just need the questions in advance and will try and consolidate them into something that Shentel might be interested in responding to. I would say post your question out in the forum so we know what people are thinking and I can work on keeping a master listing. David Dixon - FBR Capital Markets Neil Macker - FBR Capital Markets
  13. The Q&A section was extremely dissapointing, as the one analyst who really knows wireless networks did not join the call so the Q&A was not very insightful. Here are the last few points of interest from the call: Most customers aren’t taking the “Cut your rate plan in half” but taking other plans. They are aware of customers wanting stronger LTE signal and service once they leave the Shentel footprint. Cited the Rootmetrics results from Harrisburg showing strong network results and then poor results for other non-Shentel areas that are adjacent. *** I think it would be awesome if we could get together a list of questions for next quarter's earnings call and join the Q&A portion, as Shentel is a "small" company and I don't think we would get shut out. At a minimum they have been very receptive, in the past, to questions submitted outside of the earnings call. *** I'm sure the more network savy members and visitors could contribute some insightful questions that I/(we) could submit. Any takers?
  14. News from the earnings call (I'll update as the call goes on and from the Q&A): Network Statistics · 538 Cell Sites · 94% have a second LTE carrier at 800 MHz · 120 sites have three carriers, including a second carrier at 1900 MHz Traffic · 77% of data traffic is on LTE, with 40% on 800 MHz · Data usage grew more than 2x in 2014 · LTE traffic grew more than 3x in 2014 · Average speeds of approximately 6 Mbps · Average customer uses over 3GB per month Cross band load balancing is preventing some deployment of LTE and voice functionality.
  15. Just for clarification, Shentel does extend east on the other side of the Susquehanna river but that is only up towards the Harrisburg area and not as far south as Columbia, PA. Shentel's earning's call is this week so maybe you will find out more about their B41 deployment and maybe if they have already started deploying towers.
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