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Thread: Network Integration Question

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    Network Integration Question

    I'm wondering if Tmobile will integrate non overlapping sites i.e. adding tmobile hardware to a legacy sprint site where native tmobile has no or very low coverage.

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    Yes, in my area. There is one site at the north end of town on Sprint, where TMobile gets 1 bar outdoors from a site a few miles away. There was a truck with a bucket on it last week. I'll be curious to see what becomes of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckspaul View Post
    I'm wondering if Tmobile will integrate non overlapping sites i.e. adding tmobile hardware to a legacy sprint site where native tmobile has no or very low coverage.
    In theory, yes. However, I expect some inexplicable instances where T-Mobile abandons sites that would greatly enhance coverage.
    Donald Newcomb

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    I'd expect those sites to be under some form of lease agreement which may have some ugly terms and conditions if that was the case.

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    Network Integration Question

    Keeping overlapping sites helped the AT&T /Cingular merger a lot.

    Shutting down overlapping sites hurt the Sprint /Nextel merger. I feel like cost was the reason many iDen sites were decommissioned and not re-used for Sprint.

    I hope even partially redundant sites are kept to help design coverage.


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    Quote Originally Posted by buckspaul View Post
    I'm wondering if Tmobile will integrate non overlapping sites i.e. adding tmobile hardware to a legacy sprint site where native tmobile has no or very low coverage.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    So according to T-Mobile's plans, they intend to keep as much of those non-overlapping Sprint sites as possible "to improve coverage."

    However, they did agree to get rid of Sprint's 850 MHz bands and any towers they will not be keeping with the main option to divest those to Dish.
    It's also true some sites may be unable to be used for T-Mobile, even if it meant improving coverage, so they may need to shut those down too.

    A lot of overlapping sites are already being migrated over, so Spint MVNO's may begin noticing differences in reported coverage/actual coverage for LTE.
    (CDMA only devices should see almost no changes until the CDMA shutdown, which appears the be slated towards the end of next year.)

    Sprint customers will also not notice much difference, but will begin getting coverage similar to that of T-Mobile customers since nearly all Sprint customers are now on ROAMAHOME with Sprint SIMs and being offered to migrate to TNX, which means same device - new T-Mobile SIM.

    Sprint MVNO's are also starting to be migrated over, and many of them should be offering new "GSM" SIMs before the end of this year. There's a few MVNOs who already dropped Sprint or have other parent networks that have not begun on boarding to T-Mobile, it appears they will simply be dropping Sprint network support soon.
    Last edited by jmac32here; 11-17-2020 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Did have to clarify that I am answering the question directly and needed to reword my answer to prevent confusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    So according to T-Mobile's plans, they intend to keep as much of the Sprint sites as possible "to improve coverage."...
    That is not their current plan as stated in the 11/6/20 earning call. I don't recall that ever being their plan.

    T-Mo inherited about 48,000 Sprint sites. They plan to keep 12K-13K of them and decommission ~35K. Pre-merger Sprint and T-Mo had about 75% overlapping coverage. A good part were on the same tower. There is no point in keeping redundant cells with all of their expenses. The money is better spent building new coverage.

    https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-t...ll-transcript/

    "Neville Ray -- President of Technology

    I can't see you, but I hear you. So how have you been? So on the coverage and capacity opportunity with the Sprint sites, we're on this target to deliver about 35,000 sites that would be decommissioned over the coming years. And that would leave 12,000, 13,000 Sprint sites that we would bring into the T-Mobile network effectively for capacity and/or coverage, and you know, we're doing a lot of work across both networks now. I don't see those numbers materially changing, Walt.

    The target network, obviously, we're over -- well over 100,000 sites today, but the target network is in kind of the 80,000 range, 80,000 to 85,000 sites. So we're going to decomm a bunch. We're going to add some too, right? We've still got areas where we want to add some new investment, but target range, 82,000 to 83,000 sites. That's where we are today."

    There is lots of other info in the earnings call about how T-Mo is doing.

    TL;DR
    They are doing fine for a process that only started seven months ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekfranz View Post
    Keeping overlapping sites helped the AT&T /Cingular merger a lot.

    Shutting down overlapping sites hurt the Sprint /Nextel merger. I feel like cost was the reason many iDen sites were decommissioned and not re-used for Sprint.

    I hope even partially redundant sites are kept to help design coverage.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Many sites where I am didn't get rid of most redundant sites, although I know of 1 that did.
    2 were ~1 block away from each other. Similarly, Sprint was added to existing Nextel sites.

    With 2.5GHz being important to long term demand and plans, I'd expect in some areas many to be kept where they aren't literally on the same site.

    Eg. Locally, 1 near me is both T-Mobile/Sprint (Nextel). One across town has a T-Mobile (and all others) on top of a hill, and Sprint has a short site - which actually helps in the area - as its a bit weak for T-Mobile.
    Many of these will be a cost/benefit analysis.
    - Can it help service enough (short term/long term)
    - Is this in a place where it is useful
    - Area restrictions (i.e. if we don't take it now, will it be 'really' hard to build later due to 'NIMBY' or regulations ?)
    - Leased or owned ? I was under the impression at one time that Sprint 'owned' most of its sites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    I'd expect those sites to be under some form of lease agreement which may have some ugly terms and conditions if that was the case.
    "Abandon" includes turning over to Dish and decommissioning but continue to pay the rent.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    However, they did have to agree to get rid of Sprint's 850 MHz bands and towers with the main option to divest those to Dish..
    I don't recall tower leases being a required part of the deal. I thought T-Mobile would offer redundant tower leases to Dish but was under no obligation to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I thought T-Mobile would offer redundant tower leases to Dish but was under no obligation to do so.
    Yes, that's my understanding too. They just offer the sites they're not going to keep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    That is not their current plan as stated in the 11/6/20 earning call. I don't recall that ever being their plan.

    T-Mo inherited about 48,000 Sprint sites. They plan to keep 12K-13K of them and decommission ~35K. Pre-merger Sprint and T-Mo had about 75% overlapping coverage. A good part were on the same tower. There is no point in keeping redundant cells with all of their expenses. The money is better spent building new coverage.

    https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-t...ll-transcript/

    "Neville Ray -- President of Technology

    I can't see you, but I hear you. So how have you been? So on the coverage and capacity opportunity with the Sprint sites, we're on this target to deliver about 35,000 sites that would be decommissioned over the coming years. And that would leave 12,000, 13,000 Sprint sites that we would bring into the T-Mobile network effectively for capacity and/or coverage, and you know, we're doing a lot of work across both networks now. I don't see those numbers materially changing, Walt.

    The target network, obviously, we're over -- well over 100,000 sites today, but the target network is in kind of the 80,000 range, 80,000 to 85,000 sites. So we're going to decomm a bunch. We're going to add some too, right? We've still got areas where we want to add some new investment, but target range, 82,000 to 83,000 sites. That's where we are today."

    There is lots of other info in the earnings call about how T-Mo is doing.

    TL;DR
    They are doing fine for a process that only started seven months ago.
    Thank you for the clarification, but the question was asked about non-overlapping sites directly, of which I would believe that T-Mobile would keep most of those.

    I'm already well aware that the overlapping sites are already being turned down for Sprint and the bands T-Mobile is keeping are being turned up for T-Mobile on those same sites, because a lot of them are literally on the same tower. Just like the tower "closest" to my house that offered me Sprint B25/26/41 but is a T-Mobile tower primarily. B26 is now gone from that tower since it is a band T-Mo isn't keeping, so I no longer get LTE around my house, which is up the hill and behind a small forest from said tower. (I'm lucky to get 3G, mostly been getting 1x this past month.) But once I get down the hill, full Band 41 LTE from the same tower. (I physically noticed several nodes were removed a few weeks ago from said tower on both rungs, so T-Mobile is apparently keeping both rungs, but using them for differing bands.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    Yes, that's my understanding too. They just offer the sites they're not going to keep.
    "On July 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice approved T-Mobile's $26 billion merger with Sprint after the two carriers reached an agreement to sell Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, (both owned by Sprint) and Sprint's branded prepaid business for $1.4 billion to Dish Network. They will also sell to Dish $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint's entire 800 MHz portfolio. Both deals were contingent on final regulatory approval of the merger from the FCC, California Public Utilities Commission, and state AGs (or loss of lawsuit); the spectrum sale will be completed 3 years after the closure of the merger to allow time for Sprint legacy network customers to switch to the new T-Mobile network.[28][29][30][31]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merger..._final_changes

    "Will be decommissioned and sold to Dish Wireless per merger agreement within 3 years of merger closure.[116]"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobi...llular_network

    The spectrum sale does include the offer to sell the towers T-Mobile will not keep as per the agreements to Dish.
    If Dish does not accept the sale offers, the Spectrum and Towers must be divested to another carrier per the FCC agreement.

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    Also, to those who kept insisting Sprint's LTE network was not changed any during these past few months, directly from their Q3 earnings call:

    "So we've already scored some decomm activity inside 2020, but we will start to really ramp and accelerate that in '21."

    "We want to get every customer on that one final T-Mobile network with all that 5G goodness that Mike talked about."

    "That's obviously going to be a big part of our story next time we talk when we release earnings and give you some more in-depth guidance on '21, but we're so excited about the potential because we're just way ahead of schedule."

    "So you look at that run rate, where will we be this time next year. I'd hope to be in the numbers that you talk about. I'm not going to commit and say, we'll get it all done inside 2021, it's going to run clearly into 2022. But the goal and ambition of the team here is to really drive all of this goodness on 5G and LTE capacity into the customer base of the Sprint and the T-Mobile customers in '21."

    So T-Mobile has already begun network integration for LTE and plans to ramp it up and get most of it completed by the end of 2021, which includes a full shutdown of Sprint's CDMA network. This is, according to Neville Ray faster than planned with the original decomm. plans to be 2022-2023.


    Then there's this chunk about Sprint sites:
    "Walter Piecyk -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

    Thanks. The first question, I guess, is for -- hey, what's going on, Mike? First question, I think, is for Neville. Just in terms of the synergies overall and when you're all done with this, and hopefully, it will all happen sooner than later. How many of those Sprint sites will ultimately survive? And how quickly can you get that 15% of traffic up to, I don't know, pick a number, 60%, 80%? Like what should we think about timing on that?

    Mike Sievert -- President and Chief Executive Officer

    My favorite number is 100, Walt. That's the goal. Please don't reduce Neville's goals.

    Walter Piecyk -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

    So how quickly will you get to 100 now?

    Neville Ray -- President of Technology

    I can't see you, but I hear you. So how have you been? So on the coverage and capacity opportunity with the Sprint sites, we're on this target to deliver about 35,000 sites that would be decommissioned over the coming years. And that would leave 12,000, 13,000 Sprint sites that we would bring into the T-Mobile network effectively for capacity and/or coverage, and you know, we're doing a lot of work across both networks now. I don't see those numbers materially changing, Walt.

    The target network, obviously, we're over -- well over 100,000 sites today, but the target network is in kind of the 80,000 range, 80,000 to 85,000 sites. So we're going to decomm a bunch. We're going to add some too, right? We've still got areas where we want to add some new investment, but target range, 82,000 to 83,000 sites. That's where we are today."

    Sounded like they wanted to keep all of Sprint's Network there for a moment, but then we come back to reality and a lot of overlapping site will be shut down. So I'm thinking those 13,000 sites they intend to keep would bolster and improve coverage in fringe areas that don't already have that overlap. Of those kept within overlapping areas would mainly be to improve network density.

    https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-t...ll-transcript/

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    "On July 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice approved T-Mobile's $26 billion merger with Sprint after the two carriers reached an agreement to sell Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, (both owned by Sprint) and Sprint's branded prepaid business for $1.4 billion to Dish Network. They will also sell to Dish $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum, Sprint's entire 800 MHz portfolio. Both deals were contingent on final regulatory approval of the merger from the FCC, California Public Utilities Commission, and state AGs (or loss of lawsuit); the spectrum sale will be completed 3 years after the closure of the merger to allow time for Sprint legacy network customers to switch to the new T-Mobile network.[28][29][30][31]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merger..._final_changes

    "Will be decommissioned and sold to Dish Wireless per merger agreement within 3 years of merger closure.[116]"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Mobi...llular_network

    The spectrum sale does include the offer to sell the towers T-Mobile will not keep as per the agreements to Dish.
    If Dish does not accept the sale offers, the Spectrum and Towers must be divested to another carrier per the FCC agreement.
    This isn't 100% correct. Though it's not wrong either. It's just missing pieces. Dish has 3 years to complete the purchase of sprints 800 sites and licenses, the agreed price is I believe around 3.2b. if dish declines this purchase tmobile must auction it off, if that 3.2b isn't met in auction, tmobile can keep the spectrum. Now, dish has penalties for not buying the spectrum, but these penalties can be waived if dish meets build out requirements. I believe for that it's they must have at least 20% coverage by 3 years. If they decline to buy the spectrum, and do not have 20% build out met, they must pay a fine of 300 and some odd million. Of course, this is also if the FCC doesn't extend their buildout requirement dates due to covid, which knowing dish's past, they may ask for. I would be shocked if dish actually does complete the purchase of sprints licenses to be honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    Also, to those who kept insisting Sprint's LTE network was not changed any during these past few months, directly from their Q3 earnings call:

    "So we've already scored some decomm activity inside 2020, but we will start to really ramp and accelerate that in '21."

    "We want to get every customer on that one final T-Mobile network with all that 5G goodness that Mike talked about."

    "That's obviously going to be a big part of our story next time we talk when we release earnings and give you some more in-depth guidance on '21, but we're so excited about the potential because we're just way ahead of schedule."

    "So you look at that run rate, where will we be this time next year. I'd hope to be in the numbers that you talk about. I'm not going to commit and say, we'll get it all done inside 2021, it's going to run clearly into 2022. But the goal and ambition of the team here is to really drive all of this goodness on 5G and LTE capacity into the customer base of the Sprint and the T-Mobile customers in '21."

    So T-Mobile has already begun network integration for LTE and plans to ramp it up and get most of it completed by the end of 2021, which includes a full shutdown of Sprint's CDMA network. This is, according to Neville Ray faster than planned with the original decomm. plans to be 2022-2023.


    Then there's this chunk about Sprint sites:
    "Walter Piecyk -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

    Thanks. The first question, I guess, is for -- hey, what's going on, Mike? First question, I think, is for Neville. Just in terms of the synergies overall and when you're all done with this, and hopefully, it will all happen sooner than later. How many of those Sprint sites will ultimately survive? And how quickly can you get that 15% of traffic up to, I don't know, pick a number, 60%, 80%? Like what should we think about timing on that?

    Mike Sievert -- President and Chief Executive Officer

    My favorite number is 100, Walt. That's the goal. Please don't reduce Neville's goals.

    Walter Piecyk -- Lightshed Partners -- Analyst

    So how quickly will you get to 100 now?

    Neville Ray -- President of Technology

    I can't see you, but I hear you. So how have you been? So on the coverage and capacity opportunity with the Sprint sites, we're on this target to deliver about 35,000 sites that would be decommissioned over the coming years. And that would leave 12,000, 13,000 Sprint sites that we would bring into the T-Mobile network effectively for capacity and/or coverage, and you know, we're doing a lot of work across both networks now. I don't see those numbers materially changing, Walt.

    The target network, obviously, we're over -- well over 100,000 sites today, but the target network is in kind of the 80,000 range, 80,000 to 85,000 sites. So we're going to decomm a bunch. We're going to add some too, right? We've still got areas where we want to add some new investment, but target range, 82,000 to 83,000 sites. That's where we are today."

    Sounded like they wanted to keep all of Sprint's Network there for a moment, but then we come back to reality and a lot of overlapping site will be shut down. So I'm thinking those 13,000 sites they intend to keep would bolster and improve coverage in fringe areas that don't already have that overlap. Of those kept within overlapping areas would mainly be to improve network density.

    https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-t...ll-transcript/
    I would highly suspect most of those sites were redundant PCS sites where instead of broadcasting 2 separate PCS channels they now only broadcast 1 with both sprint and tmobile network identifiers on it. as many have already tried to explain. But, that doesn't make a good story.

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