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Thread: “It almost seems like AT&T is walking off the field.” -- T-Mobile likely to hold onto ‘fast 5G’ lead

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    “It almost seems like AT&T is walking off the field.” -- T-Mobile likely to hold onto ‘fast 5G’ lead

    https://www.fiercewireless.com/opera...-lead-analysts

    Why in the world is AT&T slacking so bad on deploying meaningfully differentiated 5G service? It’s like they’re resigned to become the nation’s new budget carrier.

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    One area that att seems to be doing well in is rural coverage. I’ve been hitting more and more rural spots that only had att coverage. Verizon and T-Mobile were missing in action.

    Hopefully their 5g plans will work out well

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    It’s like watching Sears all over again.


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    Has AT&T's debt level raised above $100B USD yet?
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    The only charitable explanation I can imagine is that AT&T already has the second most spectrum of the three carriers, so they need C-band less urgently than Verizon does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VVivian View Post
    https://www.fiercewireless.com/opera...-lead-analysts

    Why in the world is AT&T slacking so bad on deploying meaningfully differentiated 5G service? It’s like they’re resigned to become the nation’s new budget carrier.
    Why does 5G matter? I’m frequently above 120mbps with AT&T LTE/“5Ge” and sometimes over 300mbps. If they can keep that going, and expand it into rural areas, I’ll be happy.


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    Agreed. AT&T is more consistent here overall and their 4G is fast. Don't care about 5G at this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10mm View Post
    Agreed. AT&T is more consistent here overall and their 4G is fast. Don't care about 5G at this point.
    Also agreed. AT&T is far more consistent and has better coverage than VZW in my area. If I have 5G, cool, if not, whatever.
    Your results may vary. Network performance differs per user location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWX View Post
    Also agreed. AT&T is far more consistent and has better coverage than VZW in my area. If I have 5G, cool, if not, whatever.
    Verizon coverage is superior in NYC Metro. AT&T excels in certain areas. AT&T has multiple areas where it has better coverage than Verizon.

    Real world experiences will determine which you use. I have AT&T and Verizon so I get the best of both worlds. AT&T has had more network issues in NYC Metro and has had to add cellsites and repair fiber optics cables. Some days connections on AT&T have been unstable. Hopefully AT&T will get better as the new cellsites and repairs are completed along with future upgrades.

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    Kind of hard to deploy a meaningfully differentiated 5G product when they don't have access to any meaningfully differentiated spectrum for 5G. They're building a great network with lots of new sites being added monthly and older sites getting their entire portfolio of spectrum. Remember on Ookla they are only about 6 Mbps behind T-Mobile for 5G download speed, 76 vs 82 Mbps. For their operator "speed scores", T-Mobile leads at 50, AT&T at 48, And Verizon at 41. Are people really craving 5G that bad?

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    T-Mobile argues that C-band requires 1.5 times more sites than 2.5 GHz and 2 times more sites than AWS or PCS spectrum. Verizon disputes that claim, saying the number of sites required at 2.5 GHz and C-band are roughly the same. Verizon also told the analysts it has an EIRP and antenna gain advantage in C-band that overcomes the free space disadvantage relative to 2.5 GHz.
    I would like to hear AT&T's stance on this -- whether they see any need to (finally) densify to accommodate the propagation of C-band and other mid-bands. Our network here locally was originally built for the PCS A block, yet there are still dead zones with 700 MHz. 20 years later, Verizon has small cells on street corners in the city and even in suburban neighborhoods, and several inner cities are blanketed with mmWave all the way into neighborhoods. AT&T has virtually no small cells and a very limited mmWave footprint near the major city downtown area.

    Based on AT&T's effort/expenditure in my market, I agree with this article. AT&T is poised to become a third-rate carrier and a last-choice in many markets. AT&T is so saddled with debt from investments in entertainment properties like Warner Media and DIRECTV that they are not willing and able to make the deep Capex investment in improving their wireless business, while it is the core product of Verizon's and T-Mobile's businesses and neither company seems inhibited from going all-out to compete.

    Verizon is already dominant where I live with their share of the wireless subscribers and in coverage/density. With their huge head start with mmWave, CBRS having gone live with priority licenses, and C-band on the way; they're going to be absolutely unchallenged by 2023-2024. If T-Mobile can keep their pricing model, they will be a strong second-place carrier for the budget-conscious. Personally, if it weren't for T-Mobile's lack of backup gensets at cell sites, I'd consider them an option. I'm not sure where all of this is going to leave AT&T in another 2-3 years, but unless they start densifying ASAP, I only see them being forced to offer less expensive service (which will further hinder their ability to pay down debt and invest in the wireless business) and maybe be buoyed by FirstNet.


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    I also think it’s because the 3 carriers are in different places with different objectives still

    AT&T is still (or just until very recently) has been heavily focused on expanding coverage and adding network redundancy for the FirstNet contract. Once this is complete they can then look at upgrading sites again with c-band

    T-Mobile has been focused on network integration with sprint. Because if the sprint merger T-Mobile has has access to more spectrum earlier than AT&T and Verizon did hence why they have more room to play in the speed category. Also the network integration and build isn’t going to last forever. In another few years they will step back from the growing expansion mode and move into a maintenance mode.

    Verizon has spent the last few years focusing on urban network densification and mmWave deployment which they didn’t have any other choice to do because they are spectrum starved compared to the other two. Now with c-band they will shift focus to upgrading those urban sites then begin to add density to more rural areas.

    Eventually they will still all be pretty close in overall performance, it’s just a matter of who will do the best where you live and work. I still think that Verizon will end up holding a big of an edge here because they will continue the mmWave builds as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    Kind of hard to deploy a meaningfully differentiated 5G product when they don't have access to any meaningfully differentiated spectrum for 5G.
    The article says that AT&T is deploying C-band ready network equipment so much more slowly than Verizon that AT&T will take a full year longer to hit the 100M covered by C-band milestone — early 2022 for Verizon vs early 2023 for AT&T. What was the point of AT&T buying 40 MHz of A block spectrum that becomes available at the end of this year when they won’t have even a third of their network ready for it until the next damn presidential election cycle is beginning??

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    Maybe if they wasn't so busy trying to buy everyone out, they could have kept focus on their wireless business. Being that's their core business and their money maker, why that wasn't their number one focus is beyond me.

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    In general, as an AT&T and T-Mobile sub, in many areas AT&T is still 'better' than T-Mobile without 5G.
    On n71, its an additional 15-20MHz, which is good, and needed - especially in rural, where AT&T typically has 10-20MHz of B12, and 850MHz as well. n71/B71 also doesn't aggregate with B12, making it not so great to use on LTE only.
    In many rural areas, AT&T typically still has good service, while many rural areas on T-Mobile are more like 'hot spots' ... service in certain locations, and paper thin / non-existent elsewhere.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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