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Thread: America’s drowsy telecom giants face a 5G wake-up call. T-Mobile is leaving them standing

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    America’s drowsy telecom giants face a 5G wake-up call. T-Mobile is leaving them standing

    The Economist talking up T-Mobile..

    https://www.economist.com/business/2...g-wake-up-call

    That is why their huge bets on superfast 5g spectrum in a recent auction ($52.9bn by Verizon, and $27.4bn by at&t) has generated a lot of buzz. The c-Band radio frequencies they bought, clustered between 3-4ghz, offer mobile connectivity about ten times quicker than 4g. The auction has turned America’s “race for 5g” from sloganeering into the real thing. Yet for all their money-slinging, neither firm appears able to stem the advance of t-Mobile.
    Thanks to 2.5ghz radio-frequency spectrum obtained from t-Mobile’s merger with Sprint last year, as well as a small chunk acquired in the c-Band auction, the company will have substantially greater 5g coverage than both Verizon and at&t, and may be up to two years ahead of them in deploying it to vast numbers of customers. As Mr Chaplin says, the advantage t-Mobile enjoys in the 5g era may be akin to that which Verizon and at&t had through previous wireless iterations up to and including 4g. He expects it to last for at least the next five years.


    (Sorry for the paywall, but you can see 3 free articles a month...)

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    I don't think tmobile can extract that much advantage due to incumbent lead in coverage

    Tmobile still has a gap in coverage. Fine, they are adding towers, or getting b71/n71 to extend range, but that requires newish phones (not everyone has one, could be mitigated by the cheap phone promos to get people to switch or dump old phone)

    Att/verizon has issue with congestion. Mmwave widespread support is probably laughable (only supported on limited phones, likely only works at airports/high density areas/urban). Won't see cheap phone promos for that

    So getting people on 5G midband (cband) would require new phones too like tmobile (probably more of a challenge since they may have to wait for cband spectrum to clear, possible more band support). Maybe solve congestion problem with better das/micro cells in urban areas, while rural area isn't (hopefully) that problematic congestion wise, which is an existing plan anyways

    I really don't need 700mbps n41 100mhz. Rather have consistent coverage of 70mbps (700mbps would help in the airport). Though many people don't need rural nationwide coverage and would be totally ok with tmobile and tmobile has gone a long way from just having midband LTE /3G band 4 in 2011(?). The $1 billion spectrum that stt gave away due to failed merger must be worth a ton now

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    Urban /suburban markets will benefit the most, and are the largest populationpopulation base. Outside of the urban areas, Tmobile doesn't have that much draw, but typically enough so that urban people don't leave. Still doesn't typically cut it for contractors, or those that need more reliable service. As I live in an urban area, and often visit rural places, I can state that Tmobile doesn't treat it's rural sites the way it does suburban/urban. Not surprised though, I'd probably do the same. Nothing against rural areas, just business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
    I don't think tmobile can extract that much advantage due to incumbent lead in coverage

    Tmobile still has a gap in coverage. Fine, they are adding towers, or getting b71/n71 to extend range, but that requires newish phones (not everyone has one, could be mitigated by the cheap phone promos to get people to switch or dump old phone)
    However, the leads that AT&T and Verizon have are shrinking. I think what propelled T-Mobile from its old self and catching up to both AT&T and Verizon with coverage is the expansion into rural markets, first B12, B71 and willingness to build out is pushing out their coverage to where they didn't have any before. The T-Mobile that people used to complain about for its lack of coverage is slowly fading away.

    Att/verizon has issue with congestion. Mmwave widespread support is probably laughable (only supported on limited phones, likely only works at airports/high density areas/urban). Won't see cheap phone promos for that

    So getting people on 5G midband (cband) would require new phones too like tmobile (probably more of a challenge since they may have to wait for cband spectrum to clear, possible more band support). Maybe solve congestion problem with better das/micro cells in urban areas, while rural area isn't (hopefully) that problematic congestion wise, which is an existing plan anyways
    All of them are going through growing pains, their current spectrum portfolio and network configuration isn't enough to meet demands of today and tomorrow. All of them of trying to push consumers into streaming videos from their smartphones, and you have consumers also taking the lead by trying to squeeze everything they can out of their smartphones.

    I really don't need 700mbps n41 100mhz. Rather have consistent coverage of 70mbps (700mbps would help in the airport). Though many people don't need rural nationwide coverage and would be totally ok with tmobile and tmobile has gone a long way from just having midband LTE /3G band 4 in 2011(?). The $1 billion spectrum that stt gave away due to failed merger must be worth a ton now
    I don't think anybody needs 700 mbps on an individual basis, but you have thousands of subscribers doing more on their smartphones and wireless carriers pushing Quad Play services, you going to need all the bandwidth you can get or else your customers are going to leave you for AT&T or Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile plays catch up with their customers demands and with their rivals by spending big on this auction.

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    That's nice to know. This is also ---> T-Mobiles sleek advertising, gimmicks, fancy maps, low prices and non working service gets them almost a million customers a quarter. But, they will never make the revenue Verizon does no matter what spectrum they use or whatever they do. They may come close to Verizon but, T-Mobile will never be superior to Big Red! That we know...

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    T-Mobile will never be superior to Big Red! That we know...
    You are entitled to your opinion and that is all it is. I find that my T-mobile coverage suits me just fine. I have used At&t, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon postpaid in my market and was slightly disappointed with only Sprint. All of the other providers were about the same in my experience. Coverage is always local and what does or doesn't work for one customer may be entirely different in another market.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    Urban /suburban markets will benefit the most, and are the largest populationpopulation base. Outside of the urban areas, Tmobile doesn't have that much draw, but typically enough so that urban people don't leave. Still doesn't typically cut it for contractors, or those that need more reliable service. As I live in an urban area, and often visit rural places, I can state that Tmobile doesn't treat it's rural sites the way it does suburban/urban. Not surprised though, I'd probably do the same. Nothing against rural areas, just business.

    Sent from my IN2017 using HoFo mobile app
    We are semi-rural and T-Mobile speeds around here are great. T-Mobile has invested a lot in the area. I think the only hesitancies I have with T-Mobile is what if I am traveling and I hit the boonies somewhere with no coverage. Also I got the feeling that in the past that T-Mobile uses network management heavily, i.e. throttling, prioritizing etc... but that was before they added 600mhz to my area.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    You are entitled to your opinion and that is all it is. I find that my T-mobile coverage suits me just fine. I have used At&t, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon postpaid in my market and was slightly disappointed with only Sprint. All of the other providers were about the same in my experience. Coverage is always local and what does or doesn't work for one customer may be entirely different in another market.
    Thank you for this. Been on T-mobile and T-mobile MVNOs a long time now and their coverage and service works just fine.

    It works BETTER than VZW/ATT on my hill too.

    People can sit there and claim that T-mobile has non-existent or non-working service till they are blue in the face and in today's world, they are so far from the truth that they are not even hitting anywhere on the target.

    Those claims could have been made of T-mobile prior to the failed acquisition by ATT - but after that and Legere, those claims are just lies and defamation now.

    With T-mobile having the most spectrum bands, and their heavy investment in low band spectrum, they even work in more rural places than before.

    Do they have the popularly believed range claimed by VZW (most of said range was lost for years between the shutdown of amps and the rollout of lte) - no, but they are all close now.

    Literally they all cover roughly the same number of people, the big difference is where one might have a coverage gap, another covers it just fine. (This is true for all 3) So in reality, they all work well, but depending on your location, one may work better.

    For instance, Beacon Hill - Seattle: only T-mobile has the reach and capacity to cover every nook and cranny here. My apartment is nestled into this hill and T-mobile is the only carrier that works here.

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    America’s drowsy telecom giants face a 5G wake-up call. T-Mobile is leaving them standing

    Is it feasible that 5G can be dramatically better on T-Mo in a fringe area than its 4G LTE in the same exact area? [Verizon has excellent 4G LTE here but not sure their 5G nor AT&T.]

    I have always been assuming the answer was no since 4G LTE is intended to be the reliable fallback. That has been a working assumption of mine - maybe not accurate?

    How should I adjust my assumptions? Is 5G in my future before or in parallel with B71 (I.e., new phone)?


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    Last edited by gdrenick74; 03-28-2021 at 01:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdrenick74 View Post
    Is it feasible that 5G can be dramatically better on T-Mo in a fringe area than its 4G LTE in the same exact area?

    I have always been assuming the answer was no since 4G LTE is intended to be the reliable fallback. That has been a working assumption of mine - maybe not accurate?

    How should I adjust my assumptions? Is 5G in my future before or in parallel with B71 (I.e., new phone)?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    With the increase in stand alone 5g, which T-mobile is putting more into than anyone else at this time, it is feasible for T-mobile to offer some areas 5g only service.

    I've read reports of just that in some tiny pockets, but without vonr being live, its not feasible yet to get all services just from 5g.

    Hell, on the flip side 5g in some areas is the root cause of not being able to send or receive txts because T-mobile has defaulted sms to happen over an ip/ims gateway, and somehow 5g is disrupting that feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekfranz View Post
    We are semi-rural and T-Mobile speeds around here are great. T-Mobile has invested a lot in the area. I think the only hesitancies I have with T-Mobile is what if I am traveling and I hit the boonies somewhere with no coverage. Also I got the feeling that in the past that T-Mobile uses network management heavily, i.e. throttling, prioritizing etc... but that was before they added 600mhz to my area.


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    Places that T-Mobile has colocated are probably decent. Places where T-Mobile has built out can be very good. Eg. Northern MI, in the boonies, Kinross, MI has 5G and pushed +75Mbps on LTE alone.
    Here in California, T-Mobile inherited PacBell Wireless when Cingular purchased AT&T Wireless. It had a pretty good buildout for a PCS network at the time. In some places, where T-Mobile 'owned' their own sites in the boonies, they may have updated the equipment, but neglected to update the backhaul. T-Mobile in written acknowledgement to CPUC admitted that the San Simeon 5G site they have is backhauled with T1 infra (I suspect at least a few T1s).
    What makes this unusual... 4G LTE sites nearby (<5 miles) on either site with only single B4 LTE are fiber backhauled... because they're colocated. Places like Fillmore, CA are similar. I suspect that Fillmore can be 'fixed' with Sprint sites, while service performance would improve in San Simeon if they powered down their site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdrenick74 View Post
    Is it feasible that 5G can be dramatically better on T-Mo in a fringe area than its 4G LTE in the same exact area? [Verizon has excellent 4G LTE here but not sure their 5G nor AT&T.]

    I have always been assuming the answer was no since 4G LTE is intended to be the reliable fallback. That has been a working assumption of mine - maybe not accurate?

    How should I adjust my assumptions? Is 5G in my future before or in parallel with B71 (I.e., new phone)?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    In much of rural America, 5G (n71) will help quite a bit, for at least capacity by adding a good bit of spectrum. I've used 5G NSA in northern MI, and speeds were quite high over LTE. If you're in a fringe area, as others have mentioned..

    Take the following scenarios:
    - Weak 5G / 4G. Service will improve 'somewhat', as you'll aggregate, and n71/B71 handle well. Downside - B71/n71 is not a 'ton' of speed, but modest, especially on upload.

    - Strong 5G / 4G - You'll notice ~25-30% improvement (maybe more depending on aggregation) on download and much more on upload

    - Weak 5G / strong 4G - Typically you'll not notice much over 4G LTE. In a bad scenario, you'll be obtaining the 'weak 5G' speed over LTE. I've had this, and its been 'fixed' in many areas that I've seen it.

    - Strong 5G / weak 4G - This typically doesn't exist, as 4G sites have 5G, not the other way. What does happen, is in some areas "Strong 5G, 4G B12/71" or just strong 5G. This may be seen more are 'weak 5G', 'weaker 4G' due to AWS/PCS frequency vs 600MHz characteristics. Rural norther states (Maine, MI, Dakotas) there are plenty of locations that do NOT have PCS/AWS deployed, and 5G SA exists... but no 5G NSA.

    If your're planning to be in northern states, I'd _really_ recommend obtaining a device that supports and T-Mobile promotes with 5G SA. Many Samsungs support this, as does One Plus.

    Performance difference in fringe/rural...
    South Cambria, CA - B4 LTE + B12 LTE + B71 LTE gives ~200Mbps/50Mbps. 5G SA gives ~150/50Mbps alone
    5G NSA gives +350Mbps/100Mbps through aggregation.
    Rural areas typically have fewer T-Mobile customers, and as a result 5G is effectively unused. In rural places like Maine/Dakota's/northern MI, where service is 5G SA or B71/B12 LTE... 5G will have a huge performance improvement.
    Eg. B12 5x5 ~= 35Mbps/5Mbps, B71 10x10MHz, 70/10Mbps. 5G SA .. 150/50Mbps.

    Just be aware that in urban areas... much of this is more like 'strong LTE, weak 5G n71', and you won't see too much

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    America’s drowsy telecom giants face a 5G wake-up call. T-Mobile is leaving them standing

    @formercanuck
    Thanks for the thorough explanation. I am in central MN - 100 mi. northwest of MSP. Your latter scenarios seem to align with my fringe/rural location. The nearest B71 is 3 miles away but it is not pointing in my direction per cellmapper.


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    Last edited by gdrenick74; 03-28-2021 at 08:16 PM.

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    Make sure that you have 5g SA if you want to test it. Cheapest option is OnePlus Nord N10 for $299

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    Make sure that you have 5g SA if you want to test it. Cheapest option is OnePlus Nord N10 for $299

    Sent from my IN2017 using HoFo mobile app
    Thanks! The OnePlus Nord N10 looks to be a decent second phone, too until I upgrade my iPhone X.

    Novice question: Was there a consensus that a new phone must be T-Mo locked for 5G SA access? I will test it out if a third/sixth line free promotion comes around.


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