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Spectrum position of national carriers

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by TKR, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Can anyone summarize the current overall spectrum holdings for the national carriers and their announced deployment plans for each?

    For example, Sprint is:
    1900 mhz (PCS) National CDMA deployment and market specific EVDO. In addition Sprint will have unique 10 MHz in the "G" block after rebanding process is completed.

    800 Mhz Once rebanded, will continue to host iDEN. CDMA in not too distant future?

    900 MHZ iDEN is also on a few MHs in lower 900 MHz range

    2500 mhz WIMAX "XOHM"services in conjunction with Clearwire


    In summary, Sprint is nominally all 1900 for CDMA data and voice, possibly 800 mhz CDMA voice/data in a few years, and 2500 MHz WIMAX. Apparantly they have stated they are not interested in 700 MHz spectrum. The only common frequency band used also by other carriers is the PCS spectrum.

    What about the other carriers?
     
  2. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    I don't believe Sprint will ever use 800MHz for CDMA. I wish they would because in some cases 800MHz has better building penetration. I am almost positive Sprint will never use 800MHz for CDMA.

    Verizon is 800MHz CDMA 1900MHZ CDMA and 800MHz analog in some places and I have heard 2008 for the shutdown of analog.

    T-Mobile is 1900MHz GSM only with 850MHz roaming.

    AT&T is 850MHz GSM, 1900MHz GSM and they have TDMA which is in the process of being shutdown.

    Alltel is 800MHz CDMA and 1900MHz CDMA. I believe they have analog in some places. They offer have GSM which they let other carriers roam off of. Alltel customers use CDMA phones.

    US Cellular is 800MHZ CDMA and probably 1900MHz CDMA. I think they have some analog also in places but don't know too much about US Cellular.

    I should add that Alltel and Verizon are mostly 800MHz but they have added 1900MHz to some of their sites.

    Let me know if you need more information.
     
  3. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I meant to include 3g plans as well. For example T-Mobile will be using 1700/2100 MHZ spectrum for their UMTS services.

    What about AT&T, VZW, etc? How does all of this align (or not) with what Europe will be doing?

    Seems the industry is getting more fragmented in this respect. What will be the common ground (frequency bands and deployed technology) for voice and data roamers?
     
  4. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I don't believe they will use 800 Mhz for CDMA either, nor do I feel they need to. We've had this discussion on the forum a number of times before and my position remains the same. All it takes is to build more towers (both synergy sites and new ones from scratch) using the same 1900 Mhz frequency (which they have already done and will continue to do so) and they can acheive sufficient coverage with that. Just look at today's CDMA coverage compared to what it was pre-merger. It's a night and day difference already! I'm willing to bet that from Sprint's point of view they simply don't need it and will not waste the time and money on it.
     
  5. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Larry - come east with our rolling terrain and 70 ft trees everywhere and I think you will sing a different tune. Covering the 'burbs in places like metro Atlanta is much more difficult with 1900 than 800.
     
  6. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    I know what you mean. How about the Northeast? Mountains and trees make it hard to cover with 800MHz, but with PCS it's even harder.

    In order for a 1900MHz network to perform as well as a 800MHz network, often more towers need to be built. Sprint is sometimes willing to do that and sometimes they don't bother. I wouldn't mind seeing Sprint deploy 800MHz CDMA but it's not going to happen.

    3G expansions and upgrades: T-Mobile is rolling out their 3G network finally. Verizon and Sprint are mostly finished with their EV-DO networks. Sprint is working on WiMax which you already mentioned. AT&T is is getting a lot of people off EDGE by upgrading most cities so customers can enjoy faster data speeds.
     
  7. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    That's so true. When you compare the carriers in this region of the US, Verizon and AT&T make Sprint and T-Mobile look like hotspots. ;) PCS carriers will never have the coverage that 850Mhz networks do in NJ or CT, and let's not forget the suburban and rural areas of NY and MA. There's a reason why Verizon and AT&T are the only reliable (or should I say "truly mobile") carriers in the northeast. Sprint and T-Mobile have good coverage in the most important population centers, such as NYC, the main cities in NJ and even in Boston and Providence, but they have to rely heavily on Verizon and AT&T to have some coverage in many suburban residential towns. When you travel a few miles away from highways, in places like Westchester Co. NY and Long Island, NY, or Sussex Co, NJ, southern NJ, etc. your PCS phones will start roaming on either Verizon or AT&T in many places. All those synergy sites are not going to suddenly bring daylight to the night in these areas. It would be legally impossible (due to NIMBYs in residential areas) and business-wise non-feasible for Sprint and T-Mobile to catch up to the coverage AT&T and Verizon enjoy here due to the exorbitant costs of disguising towers or the lack of high structures in these areas. But that's something only those of us in the east coast can understand.

    As for your original question, have you tried searching the WirelessAdvisor.com database? It will tell you what bands carriers have spectrum and what they are using in that spectrum for whatever zip code you enter.

    www.wirelessadvisor.com
     
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    #7 bobolito, Aug 20, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
  8. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Very true, but don't forget Southern California is very hilly and mountainous. Though there are more vast valleys than what you have in Atlanta, some areas out here are very hilly, but I totally agree with what you are saying. :D
     
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  9. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    As far as I am aware this is what might be happening in Europe (note that the term 'Europe' can mean different things, but I take it you are meaning Europe to not include Russia and the Caucus):

    UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA is currently deployed on the 2100 MHz band. In future the 900 MHz band may be used too as networks migrate customers from GSM and can rely on their 1800 MHz GSM coverage to support their GSM customers. Some GSM networks are entirely 1800 MHz. The eventual goal is probably to move everyone off GSM networks, but this is unlikely to happen for some time yet.

    You may find this .interesting (PDF). This report might also be of interest (PDF).
     
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  10. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Well there are other choices for carriers. If Sprint can't provide the service you need that maybe you should look somewhere else. Why wait around 3 years to see if 800 Mhz CMDA ever comes about? It's obvious that Sprint is doing something right if they've kept you as a customer for all these years. It seems to me that Sprint is trying very hard in Atlanta and other markets right now to enhance their CDMA footprint. Didn't you notice the blanketed "new cell site additions" on the web site for metro Atlanta? It's massive!

    I disagree with everyone here. Not every carrier has to provide coverage as good as the next guy everywhere. Some carriers will always have an advantage in certain areas. But a carrier can still still exist and have a great network using exclusively 1900 Mhz and many people are very satisfied with it. It's not just about frequency either. It's about cell site placement and 1900 carriers can obtain coverage close to what 800 carriers can if they keep adding the proper amount of cell sites. Yes I know that NIMBY's stand in the way sometimes but they can overcome it if they keep trying. Some people always want more and the grass always looks greener on the other side. If someone needs more rural coverage than what Sprint or T-Mobile can provide then move on and find something that works better.

    How about for once we all congratulate Sprint and acknowledge all of the awesome improvements they've made since the merger instead of complaining and wishing for something that probably will never happen? But wait, that could never happen on this forum. ;)
     
    #10 larry, Aug 20, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
  11. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Right, and all of the carriers regardless of frequency were able to rise to the challenge and provide excellent service here.
     
  12. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Larry, I actually agree with you too. My post wasn't so much about Sprint not having 800mhz spectrum but more about what TKR was saying about the terrain and other factors that affect 1900mhz coverage.

    I also agree that Sprint gets crapped on a lot on this board AND HoFo. They may have made some missteps lately, but they aren't the worst by a long shot. EVERY carrier is the worst.

    I believe anything run by humans is bound for problems...;)
     
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  13. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Though I've not had Sprint (Nextel yes), I agree with you. In my area, AT&T is by far the strongest, which came as a surprise to me, but overall, ALL carriers are quite strong in the Los Angeles area.
     
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  14. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    AT&T? The strongest? I think you're the first person I've heard say that. Do you live under one of their towers? :D Everytime I have to use a AT&T phone I want to throw it across the room.
     
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  15. clock3687

    clock3687 Cell Signal?????? Use it!
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    Larry, I have to agree with you 100%. To put it simply T-mo and Sprint/Nextel work a lot better than Verizon and AT&T where I live in Boston. Sprint and T-Mo have sites about a block away from me in either direction, while verizon and at&t are almost 2 miles away. Verizon and AT&T are relying on the 850 to penetrate properly, but it doesn't. I toss my hat to sprint for adding quite a few synergy sites in the boston area. My bro is very happy with his powersource phone, and will continue with Sprint as long as they provide him with PTT and a great deal.

    In Rochester, NY, T-Mo & Sprint are absolute :censored: compared to Verizon and AT&T, and I was so frustrated with the coverage that I almost ate the ETF and switched to one of those carriers. I was patient and now Hotspot @Home fixes most of those issues, in addition t-mo will be adding more sites to this area in 2008. The PCS carriers are putting up a pretty good fight, and i look forward to see what they will do next to survive.

    Im hoping that T-mo turns on 3G with the release of the samsung t639. Im pretty sure more phones are coming down the pipeline that will utilize the 1700/1900/2100 3G bands, but as with most rumors we will have to wait and see.
     
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  16. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    LOL or you all could come to Utah Or Colorado then you would really see hills and mountains.
     
  17. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Stumped me too!!!:confused:

    I was shocked, but everywhere I go, within the general area where I live, has full-bar AT&T service. This is not the case with T-Mobile and Verizon. Nextel had very strong service here too (when I had them).

    I've never been a huge fan of AT&T/Cingular, but their "more bars in more places" tag line speaks the truth where I live. Go fig???
     
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  18. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    You know it is to bad that our phones cant go off of satelite and that it was an 800 spectrum strength.
     
  19. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Having witnessed this myself, first hand, I would say Utah and Colorodo got California beat when it comes to mountainous terrain.

    I haven't been to Colorado, but Utah yes, and it is an incredibly beautiful state, plus it is so varied from one side of the state to the other (Salt Lake area compared to the Moab/So. East corner).
     
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  20. RJB

    RJB Gold Senior Member
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    Yeah and this creates problem for cell reception but I think most of the carriers have this place figured out lol.
     
  21. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Now this the kind of attitude I like to see. Someone who acknowledges and gives Sprint some credit for all the hard work they've done making improvements! :) This also proves my point that just because a carrier uses 800 Mhz instead of 1900 Mhz that doesn't automatically make them better. It's all about cell site deployment and putting up the proper number of cell sites to compensate and that's exactly what they're doing.
     
  22. AL904a

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    Phonescoop has a relevant article about spectrum HERE.
     
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  23. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Great link. Thanks.
     
  24. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the replies. This thread has gotten a lot of response quickly. It is an interesting and evolving spectrum and technology deployment landscape. The Rich Brome writeup adresses a lot, and that does not even touch on the future uses of the rebanded SMR spectrum, the 2500 MHz (WiMAX) spectrum, nor the 700 MHz spectrum! I think that makes about 8 distinct band groupings (700, 800 SMR, 850 cellular, 1700/2100 AWS, and 2500 WiMAX - plus 900, 1800, and 2100 for Europe). It does seem the market is becoming more fragmented in terms of universal coverage.

    Sprint has lots of spectrum, but they in particular stand out as both 1) having unique spectrum not shared by others in the industry (800 SMR and 2500), and 2) not having or bidding on spectrum more commonly used in the industry (850 cellular, 1700/2100 AWS, and no announced plans for 700 MHz bidding). Will all of this, in conjunction with their technology deployments, result in their being isolated from where the mainstream is going? What kind of Sprint-unique devices will result and what implications will this have on ability to roam?

    Also, it was not my intent to whine about Sprint and their being only 1900 mhz for CDMA (although I have done that before!) But the subject has been raised here. Yes, they indeed have taken great strides forward to improve their network and coverage. But extra towers to make up for 1900s "shortcomings" are either a political difficulty, or often simply hard to financially justify except for the highest population density areas (such as L.A.). My comments about 800 vs 1900 have more to do with how much better I THINK there coverage area COULD be if they could/would get their mainstrem product (ie. CDMA based) also on 800. Preferably this would be in an overlayed 800/1900 manner similar to the way several other carriers have done 850/1900. It is not that Sprint is bad, but that being exclusively 1900 is a bit of a handicap IMO and "better" use of rebanded 800 spectrum could only help. iDEN on 800 is going away in a few years. They will use that spectrum for something.
     
  25. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Hey Tom you're never going to let the 800 Mhz thing go are you? ;) They could add another 5,000 cell sites in Atlanta metro and be better than anyone but you would probably still be thinking...yeah but just think how good they could be if they had 800 Mhz.. That's cool there are others like you as well who feel the same way.
     
  26. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I'm sure I come across that way....... :rolleyes: The reality is Sprint coverage is indeed pretty solid in the populated areas and most of the suburbs. Let me go on record for that. And of course there are places where they have good signal and other carriers do not. But in balance I would have to say they (and the other all PCS carriers) have more weak spots than do AT&T(Cingular/Bellsouth) and VZW - the legacy A-side and B-side carriers in this area. Plus, Sprint does not reach quite as far when you wander off the highways when away from town. And building penetration is usually not as good either. I am not that familiar with how strong (or not) the Nextel iDEN coverage is in comparison. But FWIW I cannot recall of anyone I know with either VZW or AT&T ever griping about coverage in my neck of the woods; on the other hand Sprint (PCS) and T-Mo customers do (as did those of AT&T when it was still PCS only before merging with the Bellsouth/Cingular cellular network).
     
  27. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I was actually very surprised by how many new sites were added in Atlanta. I never expected that. That likely means that Nextel had a hell of a lot of IDEN sites in your market to work with.
     
  28. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Yeah, NEXTEL was/is pretty big in the metro Atlanta area.
     
  29. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Back on topic somewhat - does anyone know the timing of when each of T-Mo, VZW, and AT&T plan to deploy services on the AWS spectrum? What about the cable parternship that Sprint was a part of - any announced plans?
     
  30. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    :lmao: All hail Holy Sprint!
    [​IMG]


    Come on, let's not take it so personal. It's just a wireless carrier. Let's have some fun bashing them. After all, they are not paying us...we have to pay them! (unless there's something we don't know about you, Larry) ;)
     
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