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Thread: Official information on T-Mobile network upgrades.

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    Lightbulb Official information on T-Mobile network upgrades.

    Well, there we go. Some markets GSM/LTE, some GSM/HSPA+/LTE. Those GSM/LTE-Only sites will have PCS LTE (many not all).

    Verizon Wireless 20Mhz FDD LTE

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    Got some info from a T-Mobile employee:
    1. What determines which sites are upgraded and when?
    "Our intention is for all 2G sites to get LTE overlay. many in 2014, some in 2015. What we don’t know yet (until we make more progress) is which sites will have backhaul obstacle (we need ethernet bandwidth at each site) or tower structural obstacles."

    2. What determines which areas get band 4 LTE or band 2 LTE?
    "For now, in order to move fast, most new LTE rollout on 2G only sites will be band II because we can utilize 1900MHZ antenna already at the site."

    3. Is literally *every* 2G site expected to get upgraded?
    "That is our intention, but some sites will have more obstacles to overcome and will take longer, a few may not be feasible due to cost."

    4. When 700A comes around, will that be LTE only?
    "Yes. 700 will be LTE + VOLTE only."

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    Also, got this piece of info:



    That's a lot of capacity, especially in NYC, LA, and Philly where their DAS nodes are mostly concentrated.

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    Instead of opening a new thread, I'll revive this one as it has to do with NYC market.

    Earlier today I had the pleasure of hanging out with a few T-Mobile RF engineers, having a nerd talk on NYC market specific topics. I will share a few things here.

    Backhaul:
    - ~99% of sites in NYC are on fiber backhaul provided mostly by Verizon or Time Warner Cable
    - ~1% are using Microwave
    - Fiber lines itself have been in place for years capable of gigabits of data, but the biggest reason for lower backhaul provisioning are the old Fiber-Termination Units installed by fiber providers (VZ/TWC) in their own small cabinets next to T-Mobile equipment. These racks need to get upgraded, but obviously VZ/TWC are dragging their feet, which is why T-Mobile sites are getting a total of only about 200Mbps of bandwidth. I was close with my 250Mbps estimate.
    - As we've guessed rate limit parameters are set (80Mbps) per acct in order to properly manage QoS
    - There are some sites in BK and Manhattan with higher provisioning (~400Mbps), still trying to figure out where so I can test them out

    700MHz:
    - They've done lots of testing, and observed the same things as we did. WNJN TV Ch.51 OTA broadcast is almost non existent in Manhattan, and a complete no show in the outer boroughs.
    - So T-Mobile had engineers drive test all over the area and scan every single part of that frequency to collect as much data in order to build their case, as they can't just have $400M worth of beachfront spectrum sit unused.
    - LTE Uplink FSS (Frequency Selective Scheduling) is what will mitigate interference with Ch51 broadcast, similar to what they're currently doing in Los Angeles.
    - Uplink data rates on B12 will be slightly affected because of selective scheduling
    - Negotiations for Concurrent Operations Agreement are underway, nothing official yet
    - Already walking the existing sites, permits for site modification plus landlord rent negotiation already in full swing
    - They will start sparse initially, but ultimately the goal is deploy 700MHz close to all existing sites. Their logic behind this is the fact that they're going to be operating on only 5MHz low band slice in a hyper dense urban market.

    Cell Density:
    - By far the highest cell site density among all operators in NYC, optimized for capacity with smaller cell footprint, pulling in less users per cell
    - They "were forced" towards this way of thinking a decade ago when they agreed to divest PCS licenses in NYC to Cingular. At the time they started approaching Ericsson, Nortel, and other vendors with the idea of building the hyper dense network. AT&T/Verizon/Sprint and even equipment vendors tried to convince them that it's impossible. They've obviously had big challenges initially as far as managing and optimizing this kind of network within a tight urban environment (100-200 macro sites per 1 mile radius).
    This experience made them learn so much more about managing this type of density using only mid-band spectrum, and now this is clearly playing to their advantage while Verizon/AT&T are both scrambling in order to densify their loaded networks, and deal with many other administrative hurdles.

    On Wideband in NYC:
    - Went from 10 to 15MHz FDD LTE earlier than expected 10/2014, partially because of Verizon getting close to challenging the Fastest LTE claim.
    - Took a lot of work to figure out how to get to 13.75MHz wide FDD channel, took a lot of dirty work (removing EvDO first, followed by a few 1x carriers in C block, and spilling into the HSPA+ guard band in F1, but also reconfiguring HSPA+42 unevenly, so that F2 really takes most of the load)
    - Started testing at the outskirts of coverage (Brooklyn), but when first NYC Wideband reports started popping out on the internet, they had to hurry up and launch across the entire market.
    - Full CDMA decomissioning will happen much earlier than 2015 EoY in NYC
    - We should expect 20MHz FDD LTE + HSPA+21 in AWS soon, but no timeframe.

    Still absolutely flabbergasted with this incredible experience, glad to be able to share some info.

    Btw They've mentioned that Columbus Circle LTE coverage issue has been fixed as of last week. Someone should test it out.








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