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The battle over next-generation cellular networks

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Ironwalt, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Don't think that this will mean that phone prices will drop though. I'm sure it will make shareholders of handset manufacturers happy.

    -Jay
     
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  2. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    i dont mean to grave dig this thread but i had a thought as i was doing research.

    everyone likes to mention how verizon and sprint are almost all "3G"..at least as far as data is concerned...

    but isnt a UMTS technology a True 3G?

    i guess what im saying is, if UMTS is the backbone for LTE then wouldnt it be easier for ATT and TMOB (once they start building a 3G) to go LTE before anyone else?
     
  3. RadioRaiders

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    Sprint and Verizon use CDMA for voice, and EVDO for 3G data services (EVDO was built on top of CDMA). With this combination, the user can either talk on the phone or use data, but not both at the same time.

    UMTS is the successor to GSM, and altho it's backwards compatible with GSM, UMTS a totally seperate network (ie: it's not dependant on a 2G system, like EVDO is dependant on CDMA)

    Given this, UMTS allows a user to talk and use data at the same time on the same connection (well, it technically uses 2 different UMTS Radio Access Bearers, but the user doesn't know or see that. From the users perspective it's one connection)

    In that sense, ATT, T-Mobile and any other GSM operators can phase out GSM in the future and run a full UMTS network. CDMA operators will have to keep CDMA for voice and EVDO for data.

    LTE will introduce some new hardware so there will be some major upgrades, but in general, yes, it will be easier for existing UMTS operators to implement LTE. CDMA/EVDO operators will have to start almost from scratch.
     
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  4. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    If this is the case then once Analog and TDMA get shut down and all that bandwidth gets re-allocated to 3G AT&T can also shut down GSM and have all their bandwidth available on one network that will support all of their devices then? That sounds really cool (and fast).

    -Jay
     
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  5. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    So when analog is shut down companies get back some bandwith to do whatever with? Sweet


    Btw this is from my curve. I dunno how to make it put a cool header line about my browser and such :p
     
  6. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Each company has a finite amount of bandwidth. Right now ATT has to divide that bandwidth between Analog, TDMA, GSM, and UMTS. Once Analog and TDMA are shut down that can be given to GSM and UMTS. If UMTS can be configured to be backwards compatible with GSM devices (Right now I think they are operating them as 2 different networks) then they can shut down GSM as well and just have one network with 100% of their bandwidth. Sweet.

    -Jay
     
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  7. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    You would have to migrate all GSM customers to UMTS first as the two systems can hand off to each other but a GSM phone will not talk to a UMTS only network.

    I had mentioned the UMTS to LTE conversion earlier and the benefits of going 4G.

    CDMA has the advantage now but AT&T will have less work going to LTE than a CDMA carrier would, this is similiar to how it was easier for the CDMA carrier going 3G first.

    EVDO was mostly hardware at the towers where ATT had to add a complete network backbone and backhauls new antennas and cables and new equipment at the towers.

    When ATT goes LTE the role will be reversed, The CDMA carriers will have to basically start from scratch.

    This forum in 2 years will be reversed and talking about how ATT has has more 4G than the others. (only comparing ones going the LTE route) but you never know there could be a 4G iDEN or Guns and Roses may release their Chinese Democracy CD this year.
     
  8. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    so as soon as the analog and tdma bandwith comes open, is it safe to say that 3G will rollout exponentially faster than it has been? is that what the hold up has been lately?
     
  9. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    Yes, when those networks are shut down it will open up more bandwidth for 3G. The Analog and TDMA networks have already been stripped down to the bare minimum capacity to create more bandwidth for 3G. I wouldn't expect to see a huge increase in construction, but faster speeds and the 3G rollout might progress faster than it has been.
     
  10. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    we are "suppose" to be 3G here in the 1st quarter of this year but i dont think that it will happen till the summer im guessin. still cool though, we will be the first city in South GA with 3G :)
     
  11. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    Do any of the CDMA providers have 3G down there yet? Maybe Verizon or Alltel or Sprint? I can think of many markets where AT&T was a year or more behind some of the CDMA carriers in rolling out 3G services.
     
  12. RadioRaiders

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    Sorry, I shouldn't have said "backwards compatible", that was the wrong choice of words. It's not. As RFG said, it can perform GSM<>UMTS hand-overs, but a GSM only phone will never work on a UMTS network (and vice-versa). However, dual-mode GSM/UMTS handsets are cheap and easy to make, because they use a compatible chip-rate, and UMTS was made with GSM in mind.

    About bandwidth: the GSM/UMTS carriers in the US don't have a seperate frequency for UMTS. In Europe and most of the rest of the world, GSM is on 900/1800 and UMTS is on 2100. In the USA, carriers have GSM 850/1900 and then are trying to pack in UMTS somewhere in those bands too (and some 1700?). So they are really hard pressed for bandwidth. If they could migrate everyone over to UMTS only, that would be great for everyone. But that will take some time. ....700Hmz would really help to open things up too.
     
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  13. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Tmobile is looking at running a UMTS only freq.

    IMO i would prefere the standard quad freqs 800,900,1800 and 1900 just because they are standard. With GSM and UMTS phones you will have to have a 8 band phone the way things are going. Just imagine if Sprint changed coarse and went LTE they will have 1900, the new Nextel 800 band (which I call Cellular C band) and some 2100.

    The analog is bare bones as it is and only a little more will get squeezed out when its cut but it will make frequency planning easier.

    I would expect a network retune after its cut off.
     
  14. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    I just can't wait until AT&T gets HSDPA 3.6 up & running in my area. I do have HSDPA active, but my downloads usually clock in at 1,000k. I imagine they won't even consider higher speeds until analog & TDMA are shut down here.

    -Jay
     
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  15. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    do you mean bc of the frequency overlaps?

    ive always wondered how in areas like mine there is gapping holes in certain areas yet when you goto Atlanta they have a tower almost on every block.

    yet they say here there its not just terrain issues, but overlapping problems with making a more complete coverage with ATT.

    maybe i just need to research more into it.

    but for example, there is a tower near a local winn dixie i like to goto and there is about a 1/2mile circle around it that our coverage is not optimal yet all 4 other carriers are on that tower but ATT. do you know why this would be? overlap? or would they be saving the spot for 3G?
     
  16. RadioFoneGuy

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    not sure what the exact situation is down there, you would have to under stand if there were both ATT and Cingular there before the merge and if they sold off any of the towers in that area after the merge. They might have less spectrum in your area, if there running 3G in your area its somewhat of a bandwidth hog far as freq planning goes.
     
  17. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    we only had cingular here, never had att wireless.

    as for 3G we dont have it yet, we are on the list to be built out next. i just get confused about how things are done i suppose. maybe its bc of the market that im in here in GA and our lack of cellular license, or maybe it is bc we had alot of TDMA/Analog coverage here that never got converted (my old TDMA phone will still pickup a signal) but ive noticed recently several towers around my area that we are not on, a few of them would easily have a place for us. a couple of them wouldnt. but either way, when you have all full coverage in an area, then a gap in service, granted still 2-3 bars, but a tower there to help support better coverage, it makes no sense to not be on that damn tower, its like they just dont care.
     
  18. RadioRaiders

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    What do you mean by "frequency overlaps" that are causing ATT to lack coverage? :confused:

    HSDPA uses 5 channel codes on the radio link for 1.2 to 3.6 Mbps so it shouldn't be a matter of bandwidth but more of some minor upgrades (384kbps on the uplink needs to be supported for 3.6Mbps DL for ACK/NACKs), plus if their backhaul can support it.

    .... but from 7.3 to 14.4 Mbps HSDPA needs 10 to 15 channel codes. And for 10-15 channel codes, the full 5Mhz bandwidth is needed (plus HSUPA must also be enabled). And I think ATT isn't using the full 5Mhz. :confused:

    So in short, I think you may be able to get up to 3.6 Mbps in the near future, but to go above that you may have to wait...
     
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  19. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    My average uploads clock in just over 300k, and my downloads clock right around 1,000k. 300 isn't much of a stretch from 384, so I'd say on that end everything is ready. Its already faster than my DSL at home, but I'm hungry for even more speed. As far as going over HSDPA 3.6, well that's the max that the Tilt will support. If the network gets faster than that I won't see it on that device.

    -Jay
     
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  20. RadioRaiders

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    UMTS data channes (uplink and downlink) are stepped from 64, 128 and 384 kbps. If you have clocked 300kbps uplink, then for sure 384kbps UL channel rate is active. That's usually the main criteria between 1.2 and 3.6 downlink rates. I don't know why ATT doesn't let loose with the 3.6? :confused: Maybe lack of backhaul? :confused:
     
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  21. Jay2TheRescue

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    That's why I was thinking a bandwidth issue and hence the wait for the shutdown of TDMA and analog. It could very well be an issue of bandwidth on the backhaul too. I guess there are other things to consider as well, like is all the hardware present for 3.6, and are all the towers in my area ready for it. This may be the true reason why 3.6 isn't active yet.

    Then again, even though the Tilt's hardware supports 3.6, I had to hack the phone to enable HSDPA. Maybe overall they are just not ready for it, and if the devices they sell have that feature disabled they have no reason to get it all running immediately.

    -Jay
     
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  22. RadioRaiders

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    HSDPA rides on top of the UMTS traffic, similar to how GPRS uses free GSM timeslots, so as long as 1.2Mbps and 3.6Mbps both only use 5 codes, it's the same bandwidth, and no need for any additional spectrum like 7.2 Mbps and higher would require. Also, I'm pretty sure it's only a software upgrade to go from 1.2 to 3.6Mbps (if even that?). Usually the show stopper is the lack of 384kbps in the uplink, or lack of backhaul capacity.
     
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  23. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    its safe to say i dont konw wtf im talking about in regards to this, i guess i am sorta digging for reasons to answer my question.

    any thoughts you might have on why there would be a tower we wouldnt be on in an unfavorable coverage area would be great :)
     
  24. RadioRaiders

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    That's really difficult to say, since I have no idea what AT&T is doing in GA. In general tho, each operator has their own cell-plan and different tower locations. if ATT has reasonable coverage in that area, maybe they think an extra site there isn't needed. Or maybe there's something else preventing them, like building permits. Or maybe they are working on getting it.

    You said in your pervious post you considered a coverage gap a place where you still get 2-3 bars on your phone. That's still good coverage.
     
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  25. RadioFoneGuy

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    2-3 bars isnt bad, as long as theres no real issue with drop calls or capacity they wouldnt need a tower there. ATT engineers can pull all kinds of DATA by the hour on those sites and tell dropped of blocked calls, UL/DL levels and tons of other readings and these sites are drive tested and they are full aware of any week spots.

    Every market for all the carriers are different. Some markets might get more money one year than another market the next year. Its usual the local market engineers that would make the call.
    Sales teams have huge imput on new towers as they are the ones that are selling the product.
     
  26. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    thats my job..and i always file a ticket for weak areas when i can..but it seems to no avail sometimes. of course i have no direct number to anyone and all they do is tell us a general date of when they plan to drive test.

    maybe our city is growing to fast, or a lack of commercial land where we need towers, but in some of our more suburbian areas of town, the coverage is way below what i consider par.
     
  27. RadioRaiders

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    Marketing usually does research to determine where coverage is most important and brings the most $ (usually based on population) and based on that divides countries/regions into different priorities (eg: major cities high priority, and rural low). Each priority area usually has some criteria for the engineers to plan. In cities maybe they require 80% of the city to have 95% indoor coverage, or -75dB signal strength. Whereas in rural areas an outdoor coverage of -90dB is the criteria.

    If your suburban area has grown rapidly recently, maybe marketing is having another look at it and raising the priority of the area. They can see what areas and sites are generating $ and then direct the engineers what areas need more sites.
     
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  28. Eric47

    Eric47 Bronze Senior Member
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    Let's hope so
     
  29. Master Tech Grinder

    Master Tech Grinder New Member

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    I Have a Dream and it will see a future....
    LTE on 700mhz, open access, Fiber backhaul, a company committed to the best network...

    Looks Like the Wireless future will rock for the best carrier out there
    VZW!

    Backhaul is the key. It is the true determiner of speed. The network technology only determines the speed from the site to the handset........

    PS Keep the tickets rolling on coverage issues...the more tickets, the faster the fix, that is if your carrier actually cares about the customer.
     
  30. RadioFoneGuy

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    Open Network and Verizon dont belong in the same sentence.

    Verizon is a great company Network wize but their crippling of Phones and network is a turn off to their services.
     

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