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Thread: US Cellular and the T-Mobile/Sprint merger

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    US Cellular and the T-Mobile/Sprint merger

    https://www.mobileworldlive.com/feat...mobile-merger/
    I came across this article and thought you guys might like to read it.

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    For some Sprint customers, loss of voice roaming on Verizon may be a deal killer. Same thing may be true for Sprint customers in Mississippi, where Sprint has been able to roam CSpire for both voice and data. T-Mobile's coverage in Mississippi is not very good. Getting better, now that band 71 is clearing but they still have a lot of dead zones.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    For some Sprint customers, loss of voice roaming on Verizon may be a deal killer. Same thing may be true for Sprint customers in Mississippi, where Sprint has been able to roam CSpire for both voice and data. T-Mobile's coverage in Mississippi is not very good. Getting better, now that band 71 is clearing but they still have a lot of dead zones.
    I'm not quite sure as from what I can see (from my tests) Sprint has been avoiding Verizon roaming for a while; using T-Mobile and AT&T as much as possible.

    Verizon roaming has always been borderline useless anyway data wise, and with them shutting off CDMA it's inevitable Sprint customers will lose it even without the merger. I can see T-Sprint doing a huge rural expansion over the next few years with B71 as the base and the higher bands caked on the sites for when people are closer, really negating the need for roaming anyway, as B12 was just not beefy enough for T-Mobile to do any major rural expansion.

    T-Mobile will have a few years while Dish gets itself together (and i'm betting it does not - and T-Mobile ends up keeping those/customers spectrum through a future deal at a later date just being a wholesale provider for Dish using a "share" agreement), by then B71/2/4/66 should fill out those rural areas nicely, and some good highly pointed yagi antenna to allow 2.5GHz to reach further for rural "in home" 5G/LTE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    I'm not quite sure as from what I can see (from my tests) Sprint has been avoiding Verizon roaming for a while; using T-Mobile and AT&T as much as possible.

    Verizon roaming has always been borderline useless anyway data wise, and with them shutting off CDMA it's inevitable Sprint customers will lose it even without the merger. I can see T-Sprint doing a huge rural expansion over the next few years with B71 as the base and the higher bands caked on the sites for when people are closer, really negating the need for roaming anyway, as B12 was just not beefy enough for T-Mobile to do any major rural expansion.

    T-Mobile will have a few years while Dish gets itself together (and i'm betting it does not - and T-Mobile ends up keeping those/customers spectrum through a future deal at a later date just being a wholesale provider for Dish using a "share" agreement), by then B71/2/4/66 should fill out those rural areas nicely, and some good highly pointed yagi antenna to allow 2.5GHz to reach further for rural "in home" 5G/LTE.
    My Sprint phone was roaming on US Cellular in poor signal areas of rural Nebraska outside of Omaha....

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    Quote Originally Posted by compuguy View Post
    My Sprint phone was roaming on US Cellular in poor signal areas of rural Nebraska outside of Omaha....
    As does T-Mobile. That's not the point I was making though. The point I was making being that US Cellular will not benefit like they're thinking, as T-Mobile now has meaningful low band to come in and just destroy US Cellular in their own markets - they did not have that until recently.

    And with Sprint's additional PCS-spaced rural sites.. they've got the perfect placement to start deploying B71, and using AT&T/Verizon's sites (usually owned by Crowne Castle and American Tower) they can really expand out rurally, and I fully expect the to do so now they have the spectrum cleared in most places to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    As does T-Mobile. That's not the point I was making though. The point I was making being that US Cellular will not benefit like they're thinking, as T-Mobile now has meaningful low band to come in and just destroy US Cellular in their own markets - they did not have that until recently.

    And with Sprint's additional PCS-spaced rural sites.. they've got the perfect placement to start deploying B71, and using AT&T/Verizon's sites (usually owned by Crowne Castle and American Tower) they can really expand out rurally, and I fully expect the to do so now they have the spectrum cleared in most places to use it.
    And I agree. In the case of Nebraska and the metro Omaha area, they already have deployed a number of towers with B71. Outside of metro Omaha (including Elkhorn and exurbs like Bennington) they will need to spend some CAPEX on deploying on either new or existing towers. At least in the short term, US Cellular will continue to benefit from roaming agreements from the combined T-Mobile/Sprint. The long term outlook is more murky....

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    As does T-Mobile. That's not the point I was making though. The point I was making being that US Cellular will not benefit like they're thinking, as T-Mobile now has meaningful low band to come in and just destroy US Cellular in their own markets - they did not have that until recently.

    And with Sprint's additional PCS-spaced rural sites.. they've got the perfect placement to start deploying B71, and using AT&T/Verizon's sites (usually owned by Crowne Castle and American Tower) they can really expand out rurally, and I fully expect the to do so now they have the spectrum cleared in most places to use it.
    How do you expect this to happen while consolidating an entire nationwide network, paying off Sprint’s debt, and not raising prices? Curious.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    How do you expect this to happen while consolidating an entire nationwide network, paying off Sprint’s debt, and not raising prices? Curious.
    Keep in mind that T-Mobile will have to make lease payments on any of Sprint's tower/site leases that are not turned over to DISH. It behooves them to move quickly to get these sites integrated into T-Mobile's network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    How do you expect this to happen while consolidating an entire nationwide network, paying off Sprint’s debt, and not raising prices? Curious.


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    Oh, I know they'll raise prices - it's inevitable. I also enjoy yearly pay raises, so I expect them to want one as well at some point

    Now, as far as expansion. They do have a lot of cash "moving around" and do not expect Sprint's debt to be paid overnight, and once things are consolidated we can have a better long term idea as to exactly how long that will take.

    Now, as far as expansion - both T-Mobile and Sprint deployed software defined radios, so it will not take much to deploy T-Mobile's current spectrum (aside from 600MHz) onto Sprint's network once the cores are tied together, and 600Mhz having such a large range compared to AWS/PCS will not be overly expensive to expand to rural areas.. and with AT&T/Verizon selling most if not all of their sites to CC/AT then it will not be overly costly to get site space.

    Essentially once these sprint low ARPU plans start getting reigned in, and getting people mostly on Magenta, with one single price structure.. that will help overall income, so it'll behoove T-Mobile to woo those sprint customers onto the new plans and tout their benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Oh, I know they'll raise prices - it's inevitable. I also enjoy yearly pay raises, so I expect them to want one as well at some point

    Now, as far as expansion. They do have a lot of cash "moving around" and do not expect Sprint's debt to be paid overnight, and once things are consolidated we can have a better long term idea as to exactly how long that will take.

    Now, as far as expansion - both T-Mobile and Sprint deployed software defined radios, so it will not take much to deploy T-Mobile's current spectrum (aside from 600MHz) onto Sprint's network once the cores are tied together, and 600Mhz having such a large range compared to AWS/PCS will not be overly expensive to expand to rural areas.. and with AT&T/Verizon selling most if not all of their sites to CC/AT then it will not be overly costly to get site space.

    Essentially once these sprint low ARPU plans start getting reigned in, and getting people mostly on Magenta, with one single price structure.. that will help overall income, so it'll behoove T-Mobile to woo those sprint customers onto the new plans and tout their benefits.
    It'll be cheaper for them to build out high usage areas and just pay us cellular roaming elsewhere. They'll probably work out a roam like home deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    It'll be cheaper for them to build out high usage areas and just pay us cellular roaming elsewhere. They'll probably work out a roam like home deal.

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    Eventually US Cellular is just going to have to call it quits and sell out, and i'm betting T-Mobile gets them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeybutts View Post
    It'll be cheaper for them to build out high usage areas and just pay us cellular roaming elsewhere. They'll probably work out a roam like home deal. ...
    T-Mobile has a bad habit of blocking and roaming partner's LACs if there's any overlap with T-Mobile's coverage. One prime example is Commnet's tower covering central Lake Powell. Because T-Mobile has coverage down by the Glen Canyon Dam, they block coverage throughout that Commnet LAC.

    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Eventually US Cellular is just going to have to call it quits and sell out, and i'm betting T-Mobile gets them.
    Not sure T-Mobile want's to run USCC. Not their market segment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Not sure T-Mobile want's to run USCC. Not their market segment.
    Not yet, but combined... it'll be good growth opportunity if they *really* want to dominate Verizon/AT&T

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Not yet, but combined... it'll be good growth opportunity if they *really* want to dominate Verizon/AT&T
    Well, being that At&t has opened up full roaming with US Cellular, and is building out their areas, I'd say they're getting more of a squeeze from T and VZW than from tmus. I really don't see tmus building out US cellular in the near future. Maybe 5+ years from now, if vzw and T doesn't try to gobble them up first. Tmus is taking on a big debt load from sprint and building out a network while consolidating another network. They don't have the deep pockets the big 2 have.

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