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Sprint Offers LTE Progress Report

Article Comments  17  

Oct 30, 2013, 10:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Sprint today detailed its wireless network plans for the next 15 months. During its quarterly earnings call with media, Sprint said that it is on track to cover 200 million POPs with LTE on its 1900MHz spectrum by the end of the year. Its 1900MHz LTE network will be finalized by mid-2014. At the same time, Sprint has already begun to deploy LTE in the former Nextel's 800MHz band, which it is repurposing for 4G. Sprint did not say where it is lighting up 800MHz LTE, nor when it expects to complete its 800MHz LTE network upgrades. The bigger picture concerns Sprint's 2.5GHz spectrum. Sprint plans to have 5,000 2.5GHz TD-LTE cell sites up and running by the end of 2013, and it will accelerate its 2.5GHz build-out during 2014. Sprint hopes to cover 100 million POPs with 2.5GHz LTE by the end of 2014. Sprint says it expects to see significant speed boosts in markets served by the 2.5GHz spectrum. On unloaded test sites, Sprint is seeing download speeds in the 50-60Mbps range. Moving forward, most Sprint devices will support LTE in the 800MHz, 1900MHz, and 2.5GHz bands. By way of comparison, Verizon's LTE network covers more than 300 million POPs; AT&T's will cover 270 million POPs by the end of the year; and T-Mobile's covers 202 million POPs.

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Oct 30, 2013, 11:54 AM

High Frequency first?

I understand why Sprint had to use the 1900 MHz first, Nextel was still using the 800 MHz and they were waiting for approval of full ownership of Clear before they start using the 2.5 GHz for LTE.

But my question to Sprint, or anyone who knows, why are they focusing on the 2.5 GHz spectrum next? It has lower building penetration and it requires roughly 10-20x (depending on the landscape) more cell towers than the 800 MHz spectrum.

They should be focusing on the 800 and 1900 MHz band first, 800 so they can get a lot of wide areas cover with good building penetration. Then use the 1900 MHz spectrum so they unload the 800 MHz band in high density areas, then use the 2.5 MHz in stadiums, hotels, airports, etc. where there is a potential...
Sprint does things backward, that is why. Sprint is so focused on providing the highest speed possible, and in the 2.5Ghz frequency, it not only has a higher data speed but more capacity - they also have 120Mhz of spectrum in that band to use versus 1...
My guess is that they are easiest to convert since they were already running data only via WiMax and the age allows them to be converted over with less hardware/software changes. I agree though that would be smart to begin with Nextel's old towers tho...
If you read the article it says they are doing 1900, 800, then 2.5
S4GRU posters are reporting active 2.5GHz LTE in several markets so the LTE roll out progression is indeed 1.9GHz -> 2.5GHz -> 800MHz SMR.

The reason that 2.5GHz precedes 800SMR is a result of work that Clearwire was doing last year to migrate thei...

Oct 30, 2013, 12:18 PM

Deadline = Other Carriers Advantage

Sprint's own deadline of Mid-2014 for PCS LTE is terrible. Do they mean D-Block PCS which is already running poorly, with limited coverage, limited signal strength, low data speeds and proves to be worthless, often times slower than EVDO data....or do they mean as a whole, all blocks of PCS spectrum they own?

Mid-2014 is also the time when T-Mobile and Verizon have set to start deploying LTE-Advanced features (maybe not the full set of standard, but most of the features), so Sprint already will be even further behind.

On top of all this, Sprint's focus on spectrum bands that there are not even devices, only upsets the jaded and neglected customers like myself, with PCS-ONLY LTE devices who are are unwilling and unable to upgrade with...
Sir, I think you're misaligned with Sprint's intent.

Everyone comes into these forums wanting a chance to disect Sprint and decide what Sprint maybe thinking. However, I can assure you that nobody knows the position Sprint is in more than Sprint. ...
I agree. Sprint is just so god damn incompetent. They can never get things done right for the life of them. Excuses, excuses.

While Sprint was messing around with an outdated technology deploying it over garbage 2.5GHz spectrum no carrier in their...
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