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Thread: T-Mobile CFO: Closing remaining LTE coverage gap is big priority

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    T-Mobile CFO: Closing remaining LTE coverage gap is big priority

    http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/t...p-big-priority


    While T-Mobile US boasts a lot about its network prowess, one thing the “uncarrier” really wants to do is close the gap with Verizon in terms of geography it covers with LTE.

    “First and foremost, we really do want to cover that last 700,000 square miles in the U.S. that Verizon has an edge on us on,” said T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter at the Deutsche Bank 25th*Annual Media & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday.*

    Right now, T-Mobile covers 99.7% of Verizon customers with its network, but “we really truly want to build out the full footprint in the United States,” he said. T-Mobile has significant roaming deals with other carriers, some of which have LTE, but if it’s not truly a 4G LTE roaming arrangement, it’s not ideal, he added: “We want the same quality of experience no matter where you go in the U.S.”

    Interestingly, Braxton acknowledged a*historical disadvantage that T-Mobile has had since it went up against the duopoly in wireless: It was the only national carrier with no low-band spectrum, forcing it to focus on urban areas with its 1.9 GHz holdings. But that changed when it got access to low-band spectrum, which was “a game changer for us,” allowing it to efficiently expand the geographical coverage of the network.

    “We have more work to do,” he said, noting the 700,000 square miles it’s targeting over the next couple of years. “We’ll knock that out,” but if you look at the map, “very, very ubiquitous coverage across the U.S.,” and couple that with its spectrum resources, “we have a ton of room.”

    T-Mobile is rapidly completing its*700 MHz A Block expansion this year, and it’s making a tremendous difference, according to Braxton; Chicago will be brought on in the second quarter, pretty much wrapping that low-band expansion.

    He also gave a shout-out to the spectrum efficiency technologies that CTO Neville Ray and his team are pushing to the edge. Some of the techniques Ray has talked about include the rollout of 4x4 MIMO and 256 and 64 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation on the network. Seventy percent of T-Mobile’s traffic is now on VoLTE.

    The 600 MHz opportunities will become clearer when the dust settles on the incentive auction. “We do think there will be carriers able to deploy 600 this year” and start seeding the market with handsets to leverage the new spectrum bands as they come on, he said.

    It’s also laying the foundation for 5G, where standards probably won’t be set until 2019, with the deployment of small cells—“we’re doing tens of thousands of them this year”—and that investment will continue, Braxton said. It also had a lot of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) that it inherited through the acquisition of Metro PCS, including in key areas like the boroughs of New York City.
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    jet1000 is just gonna LOVE this! LOL

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    I wish they'd fix my city (Abilene Texas) band 12 was of no use. They need more towers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by CavanalClimber View Post
    jet1000 is just gonna LOVE this! LOL
    Because unlike Jet, T-Mobile knows they can't continue to grow as fast unless they have a truly comparable network to AT&T and Verizon nationwide.

    Rural areas matter.

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    I'm glad that they are trying to close the geographic coverage gap. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep my PagePlus PAYG account. It will be good when it's not necessary.
    Donald Newcomb

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    I just hope that for the sake of T-Mobile customers they actually flesh out their rural installations instead of the down and dirty B2 GSM/LTE and B12 LTE installs they've been doing, especially if they're seriously committed to "quality of experience". What they're doing now does help wonders since, in the end, coverage is coverage, but I have to question how effective those installations are. Maybe someone with some true rural T-Mobile experience can let me know since I've just seen the equipment they use but have no way to test the service.

    That's not to say all installations are like this but out of the batch we did last year that covered a lot of rural ground only a handful bothered to have B4 LTE as part of the upgrade. I mean, come on, give your customers some of the premium stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMcGraff View Post
    I just hope that for the sake of T-Mobile customers they actually flesh out their rural installations instead of the down and dirty B2 GSM/LTE and B12 LTE installs they've been doing, especially if they're seriously committed to "quality of experience". What they're doing now does help wonders since, in the end, coverage is coverage, but I have to question how effective those installations are. Maybe someone with some true rural T-Mobile experience can let me know since I've just seen the equipment they use but have no way to test the service.

    That's not to say all installations are like this but out of the batch we did last year that covered a lot of rural ground only a handful bothered to have B4 LTE as part of the upgrade. I mean, come on, give your customers some of the premium stuff
    In my area it's all B2 in rural areas. B4 and B2 in city. Tends to get down to one bar, sometimes none on the highways. Very poor coverage off the highways, which makes sense when they only have antennas pointed down the highway corridors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMcGraff View Post
    I just hope that for the sake of T-Mobile customers they actually flesh out their rural installations instead of the down and dirty B2 GSM/LTE and B12 LTE installs they've been doing, especially if they're seriously committed to "quality of experience". What they're doing now does help wonders since, in the end, coverage is coverage, but I have to question how effective those installations are. Maybe someone with some true rural T-Mobile experience can let me know since I've just seen the equipment they use but have no way to test the service.

    That's not to say all installations are like this but out of the batch we did last year that covered a lot of rural ground only a handful bothered to have B4 LTE as part of the upgrade. I mean, come on, give your customers some of the premium stuff
    Sounds like you are interested in becoming a customer I take it? Ready to come over from the dark side?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMcGraff View Post
    Maybe someone with some true rural T-Mobile experience can let me know since I've just seen the equipment they use but have no way to test the service.
    I am a Rural T-Mobile Customer for 9 years now, BUT not all Rural areas served by T-Mobile are equal... some have wonderful coverage, others will just piss you off at how poorly they have covered it.

    My entire rural County is all Band 2 LTE1900 (10x10mhz) with 3/4 of the sites upgraded to Band 12 LTE700 (5x5mhz) as well, no Band 4 at all, even though they have the licenses....

    I will agree that some of the 2G to LTE Band 2 sites absolutely suck, while others shine.

    I have seen a mixture of ex-2G only sites with all original Ground equipment & antennas with ground mounted RRU's added for LTE, new ground equipment with original antennas, original ground equipment with new antennas, and sites with completely replaced ground equipment & Antennas, but only running Band 2 LTE1900.

    But this process was faster than Sprint, it took Sprint almost two years to change out the equipment on their sites here, run microwave backhaul, and get their LTE going, T-Mobile was on average 1/4 that time from start to finish, except for two sites that had backhaul vendor delays.

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    Verizon and ATT have a stranglehold over central and western UP (Michigan). No tmobile, sprint, us cellular, or local carriers. Would love an expansion like they did in the eastern UP!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEDIX1011 View Post
    I am a Rural T-Mobile Customer for 9 years now, BUT not all Rural areas served by T-Mobile are equal... some have wonderful coverage, others will just piss you off at how poorly they have covered it.

    My entire rural County is all Band 2 LTE1900 (10x10mhz) with 3/4 of the sites upgraded to Band 12 LTE700 (5x5mhz) as well, no Band 4 at all, even though they have the licenses....

    I will agree that some of the 2G to LTE Band 2 sites absolutely suck, while others shine.

    I have seen a mixture of ex-2G only sites with all original Ground equipment & antennas with ground mounted RRU's added for LTE, new ground equipment with original antennas, original ground equipment with new antennas, and sites with completely replaced ground equipment & Antennas, but only running Band 2 LTE1900.

    But this process was faster than Sprint, it took Sprint almost two years to change out the equipment on their sites here, run microwave backhaul, and get their LTE going, T-Mobile was on average 1/4 that time from start to finish, except for two sites that had backhaul vendor delays.
    Thanks for the info! I absolutely love how quick T-Mobile is deploying their upgrades because they seem to have found a happy medium between what they can and can't afford and just go for it. For one of the two "smaller" carriers they're running very smart and are taking fully advantage of the quantity over quality in terms of expanding coverage even if they can't fully max out a site yet for a variety of reasons (leasing, equipment availability, etc.). From what I've seen in my local markets they're definitely keeping up with the Big 2 in terms of aggressiveness where they can.

    The bold is what puzzles me although I can think of a few answers, keeping in mind that I'm speaking from experience in my own market. They swapped a lot of their old single 2G cabinets with single MetroPCS LTE cabinets which have space limitations internally for physical radios so they can run a rack of 2G radios and need the rest of the space for B2 and 12 LTE radios since they're not running on external RRUs. If you don't have an RRU you're essentially replacing that same amount of physical space inside of the cabinet with a radio that does the same thing. When you run out of that space you either have to get a new cabinet, which depending of availability or money, may or may not be feasible or you just run with what you have. If you're running off of no RRUs than B4 radios would take up another rack space you don't have unless there's another cabinet available. This explains why B4 isn't popping up in some rural markets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CavanalClimber View Post
    jet1000 is just gonna LOVE this!
    It's just more of the same hype but without the results that people in rural areas are satisfied with. Just look at the complaints in this thread alone:

    "Tends to get down to one bar, sometimes none on the highways. Very poor coverage off the highways, which makes sense when they only have antennas pointed down the highway corridors. "

    "others will just piss you off at how poorly they have covered it."

    "Verizon and ATT have a stranglehold over central and western UP (Michigan). No tmobile"

    "no Band 4 at all, even though they have the licenses...."

    "some of the 2G to LTE Band 2 sites absolutely suck"


    The bottom line is that T-Mobile still has dreadful coverage in many rural areas---even ones that are supposedly "covered"

    Quote Originally Posted by geoff5093 View Post
    T-Mobile knows they can't continue to grow as fast unless they have a truly comparable network to AT&T and Verizon nationwide.
    Forget the 700,000 square miles they don't even cover, they aren't even providing comparable coverage in rural areas that they supposedly cover now. Why is that? It's all a scam, but they're not fooling anybody in those areas. Talk to people in those areas, as I have done, and you'll find they're not switching over to T-Mobile.

    T-Mobile's growth is coming from the urban areas.

    Rural areas matter.
    If they mattered to T-Mobile they would be providing better coverage than what they do now.
    Last edited by i0wnj00; 03-09-2017 at 09:54 PM.

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    For the most part, TMobile doesn't even have locations or directly serve some rural areas to begin with, so it makes sense not to have a full deployment and just cover the interstates. But give them time, this is the first time they addressed the square mile coverage, they usually are fast in deploying spectrum but only time will tell.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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    Wish they would fix this map they speak of.. It shows LTE coverage where I have been with a B12 phone and there isn't even any EDGE coverage.

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    They still have large gaps here in SoCal of No Service that they don't plan to fix

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    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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