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Thread: Sprint's roaming plan if T-Mobile merger falls through

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    Sprint's roaming plan if T-Mobile merger falls through

    So there's been lots of discussion as to whether the merger will get approved. If it doesn't, what is Sprint's plan, particularly in regards to roaming agreements? Even if there is a clause to extend the Verizon roaming deal, they run into a brick wall on December 31, 2019 when Verizon pulls the plug on their legendary CDMA/1x network. I don't see any technical reason why Sprint couldn't move to Verizon VoLTE and throttled data, but is Verizon going to give Sprint that type of a roaming deal, and if they do, how expensive is it going to be? Would AT&T get them onto VoLTE or HSPA+ for voice so that they would have voice service, unlike today where the call just fails if you have AT&T LTE roaming and no CDMA network to connect to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    So there's been lots of discussion as to whether the merger will get approved. If it doesn't, what is Sprint's plan, particularly in regards to roaming agreements? Even if there is a clause to extend the Verizon roaming deal, they run into a brick wall on December 31, 2019 when Verizon pulls the plug on their legendary CDMA/1x network. I don't see any technical reason why Sprint couldn't move to Verizon VoLTE and throttled data, but is Verizon going to give Sprint that type of a roaming deal, and if they do, how expensive is it going to be? Would AT&T get them onto VoLTE or HSPA+ for voice so that they would have voice service, unlike today where the call just fails if you have AT&T LTE roaming and no CDMA network to connect to.
    The TMobile roaming agreement is independent of the merger and not contingent on it and is unlimited. I realize it does not cover everything they need but it was a big win for Sprint to get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    The TMobile roaming agreement is independent of the merger and not contingent on it and is unlimited. I realize it does not cover everything they need but it was a big win for Sprint to get it.
    That's a big win cost wise, assuming it is at a reasonable cost, but it doesn't help them finish the map, where they need AT&T and/or Verizon to do that.

    I wish all the carriers would just roam on each other, it would make life so much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    That's a big win cost wise, assuming it is at a reasonable cost, but it doesn't help them finish the map, where they need AT&T and/or Verizon to do that.

    I wish all the carriers would just roam on each other, it would make life so much easier.
    Verizon and AT&T charge a fortune for hosting roaming, far above even retail cost, and were sued by TMobile for the practice and there are FCC proceedings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    Verizon and AT&T charge a fortune for hosting roaming, far above even retail cost, and were sued by TMobile for the practice and there are FCC proceedings.
    Wasn't the rate for T-Mobile set by the merger break-up deal? Is it still that high? What is interesting is that Sprint roams on AT&T, so apparently they got a decent deal for roaming, or else they wouldn't have done it. Seems like AT&T wants to stick it to Verizon a bit there? It does actually work, 256kbps works fine for basically everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Wasn't the rate for T-Mobile set by the merger break-up deal? Is it still that high? What is interesting is that Sprint roams on AT&T, so apparently they got a decent deal for roaming, or else they wouldn't have done it. Seems like AT&T wants to stick it to Verizon a bit there? It does actually work, 256kbps works fine for basically everything.
    Decent deal? More like extortion from I've read. If your life is on the line, you'll pay anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    Decent deal? More like extortion from I've read. If your life is on the line, you'll pay anything.
    They could have just not done the deal if it was too expensive and continued on with Verizon roaming for the time being...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    They could have just not done the deal if it was too expensive and continued on with Verizon roaming for the time being...
    Nope. The Verizon wholesale charges are multiple times what Verizon charges its own customers retail. It is rapacious. Verizon and AT&T are using their roaming charges as a means to try to put Sprint and TMobile out of business or restrict their customers to using the phone in limited areas of the country.

    The only alternative to paying the ransom is to drop coverage in whole areas of the country or go out of business. The roaming charge issue is a major question mark in the overall viability of Sprint and TMobile. Really it will/would have to regulated or forced for them to stay viable nationally. The FCC is considering the issue.
    Last edited by comintel; 06-13-2018 at 01:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    That's a big win cost wise, assuming it is at a reasonable cost, but it doesn't help them finish the map, where they need AT&T and/or Verizon to do that.

    I wish all the carriers would just roam on each other, it would make life so much easier.
    If the merger deoesn't go through, finishing a map will be the least of their problems. They'll just be looking to stay afloat financially. Whatever additional roaming they get on T-Mobile, they'll live with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    Nope. The Verizon wholesale charges are multiple times what Verizon charges its own customers retail. It is rapacious. Verizon and AT&T are using their roaming charges as a means to try to put Sprint and TMobile out of business or restrict their customers to using the phone in limited areas of the country.

    The only alternative to paying the ransom is to drop coverage in whole areas of the country or go out of business. The roaming charge issue is a major question mark in the overall viability of Sprint and TMobile. Really it will/would have to regulated or forced for them to stay viable nationally. The FCC is considering the issue.
    So basically AT&T was less bad than Verizon for the time being? This sounds like something that needs FCC regulation, as there really is no reason for all four carriers to build out towers in the middle of nowhere, yet T-Mobile and Sprint aren't viable for the majority of US customers because of their limited coverage. A regulated roaming system that rewards AT&T and Verizon for their CAPEX and OPEX put into rural sites while providing Sprint and T-Mobile with commercially reasonable roaming rates would be idea for the whole industry. Heck, I think all four carriers should cross-roam, so that we can stop playing monkey-see monkey-do with Verizon and AT&T, and instead incentivize them to cover areas that the other hasn't, and get the roaming revenue as a result.

    How did USCC screw up their roaming deal so bad? They limit their own customers to a few hundred MB when outside of USCC territory, you'd think that they could have gotten a like-native roaming deal on Sprint or T-Mobile in exchange for the roaming coverage that they provide those carriers, which is really significant in places like Maine and Wisconsin where their native networks are a no-show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    So basically AT&T was less bad than Verizon for the time being? This sounds like something that needs FCC regulation, as there really is no reason for all four carriers to build out towers in the middle of nowhere, yet T-Mobile and Sprint aren't viable for the majority of US customers because of their limited coverage. A regulated roaming system that rewards AT&T and Verizon for their CAPEX and OPEX put into rural sites while providing Sprint and T-Mobile with commercially reasonable roaming rates would be idea for the whole industry. Heck, I think all four carriers should cross-roam, so that we can stop playing monkey-see monkey-do with Verizon and AT&T, and instead incentivize them to cover areas that the other hasn't, and get the roaming revenue as a result.

    How did USCC screw up their roaming deal so bad? They limit their own customers to a few hundred MB when outside of USCC territory, you'd think that they could have gotten a like-native roaming deal on Sprint or T-Mobile in exchange for the roaming coverage that they provide those carriers, which is really significant in places like Maine and Wisconsin where their native networks are a no-show.
    I agree it is crucial it be regulated if we want to continue to keep smaller carriers viable.

    The other model is let them die depending on one's model of capitalism etc.

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    What's all this mention of the FCC ? They only support and approve their financial "donators". So with that mind , FCC couldn't careless about the consumers. Nothing new.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    I agree it is crucial it be regulated if we want to continue to keep smaller carriers viable.
    Yeah, competition in the market is a good thing.

    The other model is let them die depending on one's model of capitalism etc.
    There's actually a viewpoint on the more conservative side that doing things like regulating roaming access, or denying big mergers is the most conservative way to regulate, as you don't have to then do as much specific regulation of services. It's not usually done that way in practice, but it is an interesting point of view to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limeybastard View Post
    What's all this mention of the FCC ? They only support and approve their financial "donators". So with that mind , FCC couldn't careless about the consumers. Nothing new.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    The outlook for much from them may not be great but they have at least looked into the issue:
    https://www.t-mobile.com/news/all-roads-lead-to-roam
    and there are a lot of other articles.

    Also it may come up again in relation to reviews of the merger proposal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    If the merger deoesn't go through, finishing a map will be the least of their problems. They'll just be looking to stay afloat financially. Whatever additional roaming they get on T-Mobile, they'll live with.
    Exactly. .........

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