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Myths and truths about wireless carriers

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by larry, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    I am confused.....isn't this.....
    [​IMG]

    Bigger then the dark green on this....
    [​IMG]

    Or I am just dumb and don't get something, is it number of towers? Or number of people within the coverage area? Like you said though, Alltel is not a national carrier....
     
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  2. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    First of all this thread is ancient. But anyway the Alltel map is only showing Alltel's licensed (where they own spectrum) area and is not by any means an actual coverage map for them. The Sprint map shows where actual Sprint service is available. Sprint's coverage area map may look small but it actually covers over 85% of the US population including about 250 million people. How many million does Alltel's network cover? No where near that many. Many of Alltel's licensed areas include states like Montana where nobody lives in. Take away states with very limited population like Montana, the dakotas, Nevada, and New Mexico and their map becomes a heck of a lot smaller.
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I believe ALLTEL may have the largest wireless network by square miles. They are certainly not a national player, but in their licensed coverage areas, they usually have great coverage and exceptionally competitive pricing.
     
  4. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    This is at least an alltel coverage map...

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    yeah but that also shows their roaming coverage. Sprint's map with roaming coverage is the same.
     
  6. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Truth: Some of the truth Posted are Myth.

    You Have to Call your American GSM Carrier so
    Global Roaming can be activated.
    Then you can slip your SIM Card from a Europpean Store
    that sells GSM Phone.
    GSM Phones sold in EUROPE by Stores are NOT LOCKED,
    in fact they'll unlock your LOCKED Phone.
     
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  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    I know that that is not Alltel's only coverage map, but that is their native. Yeah that is what I was asking...what makes up the claim of largest network. Oh and sorry about digging it up, I could have swore it was on the top when I clicked on it, but obviously not. So area wise it is Alltel, people wise is Sprint and therefore Sprint has the larger network.
     
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  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    ALLTEL is the largest area wise, but you are saying Sprint is the largest, people wise, out of all national carries?
     
  9. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yes, well I don't know for sure that Sprint does, but it makes sense with there recent acquistion of Nextel, and also larry says that Sprint covers the largest number of people or population. But I do know for a fact that Alltel covers more sq. miles then any other network does, even if it is in less populated areas. I am talking about native coverage for each network....
     
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  10. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Well, doesn't the NEXTEL network cover something like 268 Million People and Sprint's network over 250 million POPs, so yes, together, they will have a large network, population wise, but Cingular covers a lot of POPs too with the acquisition of AWS. Don't forget that.
     
  11. walkguru

    walkguru Wireless Guru
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    cingilar has the largest, network, get over it.;)
     
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  12. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Cingular has somewhere in the area of 270M POPs covered on their own network (without roaming partners). They are licensed to some 290M POPs. So, in terms of POPs, that's more than any other carrier.
     
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  13. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    I'll attempt to post some facts. Well maybe not facts but information and claims with sources.


    According to the Sprint/Nextel application in 2005, Sprint had over 24,000 cell sites and will be adding 14,000 more by 2008 or about 4,000 per year - likely 1,000 were added by end of 2005.
    https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/...ntKey=17993617&affn=0179936178364392058496989

    According to this in Nov 2005, Verizon had "over 23,000" cell sites. Verizon has added only 1-2,000 sites a year lately.
    http://news.vzw.com/pdf/Verizon_Wireless_Press_Kit.pdf

    According to this, Nextel has 28,000 cell sites and Sprint plans to convert half to CDMA in about two years.
    http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/print.php/3448181

    Sprint could exceed Verizon significantly in a couple years in native network as it could be more difficult for Verizon to obtain more newly developed cell sites, having to go through community approvals, etc. Verizon may need to acquire another small cell provider to add sites more quickly.


    Verizon claims to cover 246 million population with native network.
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/aboutUs/wirelessNetwork.jsp

    Sprint claims to cover 250 million population with native network (including affiliates but not roaming partners). Combined with Nextel sites, the two cover 268 million population natively, nearly same as Cingular. Sprint is expanding CDMA towers on Nextel sites.
    http://www.espicom.com/web3.nsf/structure/tel_bkscsprint?OpenDocument

    Sprint claims to cover 290 million population with digital roaming and 295m when including analog roaming.
    http://www.sprintpcs.com/support/help.html?helpID=84
    http://www.sprintpcs.com/support/help.html?helpID=24

    Verizon claims to cover 291 million population with roaming...
    http://www.verizonwireless-stcloud.com/americas_choice_family_shareplan.html


    Sprint is planning to convert 100% of its network to EVDO Rev 0, VoIP over EVDO Rev A expected in 2007, eventually replacing the voice portion of the network and being data only.

    Verizon admits they are planning on only 75% to EVDO because of inconsistencies in network. EVDO does not have much capacity on 800mhz towers. Sprint has all 1900mhz towers and does not have this limitation.

    Sprint is currently in over 100 metro markets with EVDO while Verizon is only in 70 or so. Sprint caught up in December and recently passed Verizon up in high speed EVDO. Sprint clearly has more capacity than Verizon as Sprint has all 1900 towers as well as more towers as well as more spectrum licensed.

    More coming...
     
  14. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    Cingular claims to cover "nearly" 270 million population natively with voice and 268 million with GPRS and nearly 260 million with EDGE... This is in the ballpark of the Sprint/Nextel combined coverage.
    http://www.cingular.com/sbusiness/gsm_gprs

    Cingular roaming is about same as Sprint/Verizon in US but of course GSM is broader globally.


    Cingular's UMTS is only in about 20 markets compared to 70+ for Verizon EVDO and 100+ for Sprint EVDO. Sprint plans to convert 100% of network to EVDO and can easily do so. Verizon is limited by 800mhz towers and may not do 100% of network - they have stated 75%. Cingular must do a forklift upgrade for UMTS/HSDPA because it is not based on GSM but rather WCDMA. It may cost Cingular 5 times or more to upgrade to highspeed than it did for Sprint/Verizon. It will be interesting if Cingular can manage to upgrade 90-100% of network to HSDPA at a competitive rate.

    UMTS is a stepping stone to HSDPA and does not yet perform as well as EVDO but HSDPA may exceed EVDO Rev 0 in realworld performance in some cases. But many already get over 1Mbps sustained with EVDO Rev 0, some to 1.6Mbps. Cingular plans to upgrade to HSDPA by end of year to next. Sprint/Verizon plan to release EVDO Rev A end of this year to next, which will be comparable to HSDPA. EVDO Rev B specs are about to be released, which claims to reach 70Mbps+ down and 27Mbps up. It's possible Rev B will be available in 2008-2010 timeframe.

    High speed coverage everywhere will be important in the near future as VoIP will eventually become standard, requiring such infrastructure.

    EVDO Rev B coming
    http://www.cdg.org/news/press/2005/Nov16_05.asp

    Many EVDO Rev 0 users getting well over 1Mbps...
    http://www.dslreports.com/archive/spcsdns.net
     
    #74 xenophon, Jan 19, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  15. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    A couple more tidbits. I don't have confirmation but this is what is broadly posted around...

    About 80% of Verizon network is still 800mhz and they have been adding 1900mhz towers in larger markets for the last couple years, more for capacity reasons rather than coverage. Sprint has all always been 1900mhz towers and now has more towers deployed than Verizon. This is another validation that Sprint has more capacity and spectrum than Verizon.

    The 800mhz towers do not have much capacity for EVDO and Verizon is avoiding putting EVDO on 800. In situations where they must, EVDO apparently has a lower priority than voice. This may explain why Verizon EVDO is only in larger markets while Sprint is in large/small markets. Also may explain why Verizon EVDO users in some markets are reporting significantly slower connections during rush hour - the SF Bay Area in particular. Sprint does not have this issue.
     
  16. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I don't think that 24k number for Sprint includes their affiliates cell sites. With the upcoming merger of Sprint and Alamosa PCS, I would expect that number to jump to at least 26K. Ubiquitel and IPCS/Horizon also have over 1000 sites each. Not sure on the exact numbers.
     
  17. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    "still 800 mhz"...that's a good thing on average 1 800 Mhz tower will cover about the same area as three 1900 Mhz towers. And the reason they are adding 1900 Mhz is for capacity and for EVDO, (not because 1900 Mhz is some magical spectrum that has more capacity than 800 Mhz.) And if there are slower connection problems on Verizon, it would be because of the Higher penetration into the EVDO customer space. Because of the popularity of EVDO they just doubled the capacity of EVDO in NO. Verizon's strength is their network (just ask the CEO of Cingular). Their EVDO expansion is measured and planned, but with 4 Billion dollars in network improvements every year, it's not exactly like they are ignoring the small rural areas. It's just makes better sense to hit the higher population areas first...after all in reality many people don't stray to far from home.
     
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  18. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    No way that's true in heavily built up urban areas. That rule only applies to rural areas where a tower can be built over 200 feet tall, with no terrain, buildings, etc to get in the way. In large cities the difference is really much less than that. And it's more like 2 to 2.5 times not 3 as many would like to think.
     
    #78 larry, Jan 20, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2006
  19. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    Partly correct, as I mentioned Verizon is adding 1900 for capacity, not coverage. But the sources show that Sprint now has greater native coverage than Verizon with only a few more thousand towers - that doesn't equate to 800mhz towers covering 3 times more than 1900, but 800mhz will penetrate concrete buildings better than 1900. This issue is capacity, not coverage.


    If Verizon already has slower connections before EVDO has become mainstream, they've got problems as it's really barely off the ground. Many are reporting slowdowns during rush hours on Verizon but not Sprint. This is likely due to EVDO being a lower priority than cell calls on 800 towers.

    Verizon also has nearly 2X more users per tower than Sprint, so Sprint will likely be able to keep up with capacity more easily. Sprint also has their own Internet backbone. Verizon just acquired MCI (uunet) so that should help eventually once the logistics are worked out.

    When Rev A comes about, Verizon will find they need to rollout oodles of 1900 towers. When VoIP becomes standardized in a few years, the capacity on 800 towers will become even a greater challenge.


    Or it's because only major markets have Verizon 1900mhz towers and EVDO doesn't have much capacity for 800, which apparently most smaller markets have exclusively. Verizon has already stated they will only do 75% of network due to the limitations. Sprint is easily able to enter any market with EVDO because all towers are 1900mhz. Sprint is already in many markets under 1.5M population as well as all major markets.

    http://www.sprint.com/business/products/products/evdoEnterZip.jsp

    After Sprint converts 100% of network to EVDO and VoIP phones become standardized, Sprint could actually shutoff the voice portion of the network eventually and be a more effecient data only network (could be WiMAX mixed in too). Of course it would take a long time for voice CDMA phones to lifecycle out. Verizon has stated only 75% of network will become EVDO so it looks like they plan on keeping the voice side of CDMA around for quite a while.
     
  20. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Check again....Cingular already has HSDPA up and running in all its 16 markets. Many have claimed speeds above 1Mbps and others in the 800kbps area. If their network cards were uncapped, they would be doing higher speeds than that. Expect HSDPA in nearly all top 100 markets by the end of this year. Now, as it is natural with all data networks, expect speeds to drop as more users are added to the system. In the end, they should be doing about the same as current Verizon EVDO speeds.

    Cingular recently tested and accomplished speeds near 3.6mbps in Las Vegas on its own commercial network with a newer HSDPA version that's currently under testing.
     
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  21. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    From what I understand, Cingular has launched UMTS in <20 markets, not HSDPA - but it's confusing. Is it a mix/match of UMTS/HSDPA depending on market? Please post sources. By the time the 3Mbps HSDPA rolls out, EVDO Rev A will be rolling out.

    It will be interesting if Cingular can reach 100 markets by end of 2006 (and if it will be all 1Mbps+ HSDPA or a mix/match of slower UMTS, which I suspect). They literally have to do a forklift upgrade to every tower since HSDPA is not GSM based, it is WCDMA. It will be very very expensive and could be a big hit on the books to do that many this year.

    Here's a source on EVDO real world performance from actual Sprint users, not labs. Please show real world performance results/sources for HSDPA.

    http://www.dslreports.com/archive/spcsdns.net



    If anyone has UMTS or HSDPA, please do a speedtest and post the results in the archive of this site. What domain does it show up as?
    http://speedtest.frontiernet.net/

    Update: According to this, a mix of UMTS/HSDPA is being rolled out. Reports of speeds to 700kpbs for HSDPA and slower for UMTS.
    http://www.computerworld.com/hardwaretopics/hardware/story/0,10801,107602,00.html
     
    #81 xenophon, Jan 21, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2006
  22. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    EVDO performance comparisons for Sprint/Verizon


    Results from.....

    Verizon:
    http://www.broadbandreports.com/archive/myvzw.com

    Sprint:
    http://www.broadbandreports.com/archive/spcsdns.net

    To test yourself...
    http://speedtest.frontiernet.net/

    Methodology: These are all entries that have over 130Kbit/sec. The assumption is, if under 130K, it might have been a 1xRTT connection. Filtered out are unrealistic results (dl over 2MB and ul over 200K) and multiple entries by zipcode within a few hours. For duplicate zips near same time, highest speed was kept. This should give more realistic averages and factor out people who test multiple times in a row.

    Sprint
    Entries: 113
    Average: 641Kbps
    Median: 571Kbps
    Peak: 1719Kbps
    Over 1Mbps: 16%
    Over 600Kbps: 47%
    Coverage claimed: 150million population in Jan, 100+ metro markets


    Verizon
    Entries: 159
    Average: 563Kbps
    Median: 527Kbps
    Peak: 2017Kbps
    Over 1Mbps: 7%
    Over 600Kbps: 38%
    Coverage claimed: 150 million after rollout completes, 70 markets as of Jan
     
  23. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    http://cingular.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=pageB&item=3

    Cingular’s 3G network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. HSDPA is the high-speed evolution of GSM/EDGE (Global System for Mobile Communication/Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution), which shares a common core network.GSM is the world’s most popular wireless technology, which is used by more than one billion people in 210 countries.

    Cingular will initially launch the BroadbandConnect service in Austin (TX.), Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland (OR.), Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA.), Seattle, Tacoma (Wash.) and Washington D.C.
     
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  24. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    ^Several reports show that some markets will get UMTS, some will get HSDPA. It doesn't appear all current cities listed have HSDPA and some (most?) have UMTS. I wonder what % will actually be higher speed HSDPA by the end of the year.

    Anyone actually have either?
     
  25. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    Okay 2-2.5 times...like you said in high usage areas, Verizon would add more carriers on 800 Mhz to cover capacity concerns, while still maintaining decent site seperation. On 1900 Mhz, you would see much closer sites, to compensate for capacity as well as frequency limitations.
     
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  26. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    Just wondering what is your source about Verizon only converting 75% of it's network?

    Also it's a little premature to be suggesting Sprint will convert to all VOIP phones, just a year ago Sprint was still pumping money into EVDV, and not planning an EVDO roll out...
     
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  27. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    >>Are you saying 1900 Mhz has the same coverage area as an 800 Mhz tower?

    No, only that Verizon has a lot of towers for capacity reasons, Sprint has a lot of towers for coverage reasons. Sprint now has more native coverage than Verizon but does not have 3 times more towers. Sprint also has significantly more capacity available due to combination of having all 1900 towers, more towers, less users per tower and their own internet backbone. Sprint is adding even more towers on existing Nextel sites which will not only provide even more capacity, but give more coverage in the range of Cingular, nearly 170m population.


    >EVDO...is data only, and the spectrum that has been assigned to EVDO
    >would be Data Only and not impact voice capacity, Verizon had quite a head
    >start in many areas selling evdo, so it is likely to see more EVDO users in
    >these markets with not only aircards, but also EVDO capable pda's and
    >tethered devices...

    My point is that if EVDO were at 100% of network and VoIP is activated, the voice portion of the CDMA network is no longer needed. Of course it will be years before lifecycling out voice CDMA phones and having exclusive VoIP phones.

    Speaking of tethering, Sprint officially allows USB tethering on ALL EVDO phones. Verizon only allows it on the new BlackBerry phone, which isn't exactly targeted to consumers.



    >Verizon will not make moves that don't make business sense, you have to l
    >look at the cost of upgrading to EVDO,

    In the end, Sprint EVDO is available in many more markets than Verizon. What you are saying is that Verizon is doing what is best for themselves while Sprint has passed them up and is now in many more markets benefiting users more than themselves.

    Verizon also has a very strict terms of services for EVDO use while Sprint does not, another clear indicator that Verizon is having issues managing capacity. Verizon is managing capacity by limiting customers rather than adding more capacity. They may have more issues adding capacity because a majority of their towers are 800mhz.


    >Just wondering what is your source about Verizon only converting 75% of
    >it's network?

    In our discussions with Verizon. I'm an analyst for an F100 company. It has also been stated in telcom publications about a year ago.
     
    #87 xenophon, Jan 22, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2006
  28. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    >>Are you saying 1900 Mhz has the same coverage area as an 800 Mhz tower?

    No, only that Verizon has a lot of towers for capacity reasons, Sprint has a lot of towers for coverage reasons. Sprint now has more native coverage than Verizon but does not have 3 times more towers. Sprint also has significantly more capacity available due to combination of having all 1900 towers, more towers, less users per tower and their own internet backbone.

    Kind of vague...how do YOU...determine if a tower is for capacity or for coverage? By native coverage are you talking POP's, Square miles or what? Just because you have less users doesn't mean you have more capacity, it actually depends on how many people are using a particular tower not on an average across all of Sprint...and their own internet backbone means nothing more than the fact that they may not be redundant in some areas...ie..last weeks service outages in CA


    >EVDO...is data only, and the spectrum that has been assigned to EVDO
    >would be Data Only and not impact voice capacity, Verizon had quite a head
    >start in many areas selling evdo, so it is likely to see more EVDO users in
    >these markets with not only aircards, but also EVDO capable pda's and
    >tethered devices...

    My point is that if EVDO were at 100% of network and VoIP is activated, the voice portion of the CDMA network is no longer needed. Of course it will be years before lifecycling out voice CDMA phones and having exclusive VoIP phones.

    I agree, it's also going to take years to perfect Voip to the point where you can manage the network resources to control QOS

    Speaking of tethering, Sprint officially allows USB tethering on ALL EVDO phones. Verizon only allows it on the new BlackBerry phone, which isn't exactly targeted to consumers.

    That is true, because there is a monthly cost involved to use the service, Verizon doesn't want to canabalize it's aircard or PDA business by adding a $15 tethered option, Generating Revenue is important, Verizon is not a non-profit organization.



    >Verizon will not make moves that don't make business sense, you have to l
    >look at the cost of upgrading to EVDO,

    In the end, Sprint EVDO is available in many more markets than Verizon. What you are saying is that Verizon is doing what is best for themselves while Sprint has passed them up and is now in many more markets benefiting users more than themselves.

    Like I said, managing by your ego to be the first to roll out nationwide, may be good for the geeks and the cutting edgers, (which I am), but for the future of the company, and the future of Verizon Customers it is not the best, I would much rather see Verizon continue to make profitable growth, and wise network enhancements, then to see EVDO roll out Nationwide tomorrow. Business is about ROI, if it is not going to make money for Verizon to invest in EVDO rollout in smaller cities, then what is the point? Just to say you did?

    Verizon also has a very strict terms of services for EVDO use while Sprint does not, another clear indicator that Verizon is having issues managing capacity. Verizon is managing capacity by limiting customers rather than adding more capacity. They have more issues adding capacity because a majority of their towers are 800mhz.

    Adding capacity, is adding investment, if people want to use EVDO in a way that significantly harms the network or the ability for other users to use the network, then you need some means of controlling that...Verizon is constantly getting sued over assumptions...so in this matter they chose to tell people what the limitations of the service are.

    Sprint ran into issues when they initially launched 1x, with data cables, they suddenly figured out that people were using their $15 Vision plan and a data cable to get unlimited data, they had to pull all of the data cables from the stores, and then had to continue to cut off or send letters to customers that were abusing the service...It was a pretty big stink a couple of years ago. You have to be prepared to address abuse of the network, or be willing to lose the profits you desired by building the network.



    >Just wondering what is your source about Verizon only converting 75% of
    >it's network?

    In our discussions with Verizon. I'm an analyst for an F100 company. It has also been stated in telcom publications about a year ago.

    Most of these companies sign an NDA, if given any network build plans from Verizon, if you didn't sign an NDA, then I doubt your numbers, Network won't even officially tell you if they are on a tower without an NDA...If you did sign an NDA, then I pity you once the corporate lawyers eat your lunch. Which publication was it? I read them all and don't remember that number.

    Infact doing a quick google search I came up with this quote from Verizon:

    "Verizon Wireless' national rollout of broadband access builds on our strategy to provide business and individual customers superior voice and data networks in the United States," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, in a statement. "I want to reiterate that we are on target to expand broadband access to cover one-third of our network—approximately 75 million Americans—by the end of 2004."

    Do you think that's the 75? You remember from a year ago?


    Also, when Sprint says they have EVDO coverage in a city how many sites is it, I just took a look at Sprints NO coverage, compare that to Verizon's NO coverage, and their is not a comparison, Verizon coverage expands more than just the downtown area, it goes all the way around 12 as well.

    Verizon NO Coverage:

    [​IMG]

    Sprint NO Coverage:

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. xenophon

    xenophon Member
    Senior Member

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    Verizon does have broader EVDO coverage in some markets and Sprint has more markets. Funny that you pick NO as it is just recovering. Take a look at Florida. Sprint dominates statewide in EVDO. In the end, each person must look at where coverage is where they need it.

    BTW, we were not under NDA for that 75% network information as it is public information. This has been a good conversation but now you seem to be getting bitter with frustration.

    Your other positions of Verizon doing things that are business decisions are only validating that they have more limitations than Sprint, that the Sprint business model is working better for customers while the Verizon model is working best for themselves.

    As customers, we don't want limitations and we want more coverage. Overall, Sprint has less limitations, greater overall coverage (depends on market but overall) and greater capacity.
     
    #89 xenophon, Jan 22, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2006
  30. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
    Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,790
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    Location:
    Hilton Head Island, SC
    My Phone:
    Thunderbolt...still
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW
    That's why they had to merge with Nextel right? Because what they were doing before was working better. Don't get me wrong, they are headed in the right direction by finally buying their affiliates, a move that should have been done years ago...or even better, never had them to begin with. But to say they have a better business model than Verizon I don't think they would say that themselves (and mean it)...not even Cingular says that.

    Both Cingular and Sprint did their respective mergers to try and control Verizon in the wireless space.

    Verizon does quite well in the Florida market, in fact after the storms of the past several years, Verizon has picked up many, many state and local governement users in that state.
     
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