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Thread: Is TMobile serious when they mention rural expansion?

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    Is TMobile serious when they mention rural expansion?

    I think TMobile has a great network overall and have always said more rural expansion would be great.

    I see they mention it and also more rural stores being added. Are they serious about adding more rural coverage? They have some nice 600 spectrum that would do the job definitely

    Plus their midband seems to have better range when compared to what the last auction covered

    Tmobile seems to be in great shape spectrum wise so hopefully that eventually transforms into more rural coverage

    ***Didn't mean to post this in the TMobile lounge***

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    Quote Originally Posted by daisydoo View Post
    I think TMobile has a great network overall and have always said more rural expansion would be great.

    I see they mention it and also more rural stores being added. Are they serious about adding more rural coverage? They have some nice 600 spectrum that would do the job definitely

    Plus their midband seems to have better range when compared to what the last auction covered

    Tmobile seems to be in great shape spectrum wise so hopefully that eventually transforms into more rural coverage

    ***Didn't mean to post this in the TMobile lounge***
    I believe they are serious. To get there they still need to build and sell to the many in more populated areas to generate the profit to pay for more rural expansion. They are putting most of their 600 MHz on 5G when most people don't have 5G phones. 600 MHz alone won't do the job quickly.

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    Time will fully tell. TMobile has built out some rural areas, and has ignored others. One thing to remember, rural areas don't win any type of rootmetrics or open signal award to make 2 million press releases about. Time will tell though. If they are serious about cutting into at&t and Verizon's sizable corporate and government accounts lead though, they will have to.

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    T-Mobile did an impressive job building out in the Arrowhead of MN in 2016ish when they acquired 700 MHz. They definitely are past Verizon's level of coverage and sites and likely have more spectrum put on them between 2/12/71/n71. A lot of Verizon sites are rotting on Band 13 only equipment. I hope to see them continue to improve.

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    The main issue is that no carrier can build/maintain a cellular network where they don't hold an FCC license. It has always been this way and why network roaming exists. If a carrier cannot provide adequate coverage, they usually have a roaming agreement with a competitive carrier.

    In addition, if a carrier feels they do not have enough customers (aka revenue) in a specific area or market to warrant better coverage there won't be much incentive to build a new tower .

    In many cases there are NIMBYs (Not in My Backyard) who refuse to allow additional towers and fight it at city or county hearings.

    There are no simple answers or solutions.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    When referred to as 'rural expansion', there are a couple of items to note:
    1. Actual gaps where no service that exists (eg. Ridgway, CO or Estes Park to Idaho Springs, CO)
    2. "Underserved" areas. These are areas where T-Mobile 'has' service, yet they have put up macro sites either at the edge of a community, or one inside (these are typically sites where others have built as well), but do not sufficiently cover the community in coverage or capacity, while other carriers have metro cells or other cells within the community to adequately cover. This is more often of what I have seen from T-Mobile more recently in rural areas of California, and I've often called them out of on it. I don't call them out to say that they 'must' deploy in 'x', but where they do claim coverage... they actually have some, and not just a macro site ~7 miles away. Some actually do work (ie. Goleta to Gaviota state beach).. along the highway. Any obstacle (hill) in between becomes a 'no service'.
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    Any obstacle (hill) in between becomes a 'no service'.
    That's the way it is in my rural city in a small valley surrounded with large hills and forest. 1-2 miles away the signal near dies. Same on one of the highways just past the last tower... nothing much very far off the road. This is mostly a Verizon place, as it works most everywhere.

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    I still feel that the 'rural expansion ' in general, is effectively highway/interstate and some form of presence in rural communities. It may not be what At&t have in some locations, but it is more than T-Mobile or Sprint has or had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    I still feel that the 'rural expansion ' in general, is effectively highway/interstate and some form of presence in rural communities. It may not be what At&t have in some locations, but it is more than T-Mobile or Sprint has or had.

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    Well, once T-Mobile and Sprint are combined in cities.. between American Tower and Crowne Castle, they should have “easy” access to become a force if they choose to do so over time, and if they’re smart with n41 placement.. along with an “outdoor” RF unit for the 5G ISP they can do some great things - if they choose to do it.
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT$T: $50 Unlimited Elite Prepaid promo (for more “rural” areas)

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Well, once T-Mobile and Sprint are combined in cities.. between American Tower and Crowne Castle, they should have “easy” access to become a force if they choose to do so over time, and if they’re smart with n41 placement.. along with an “outdoor” RF unit for the 5G ISP they can do some great things - if they choose to do it.
    I guess the only thing that is nearly certain is that T-Mobile wants to make the maximum profit. "Uncarrier" is only a means to that end, though they may believe it philosophically to a degree.

    If their business plan is to become a force by building out their network, that is mostly a matter of capital expenditure money. There is not an unlimited supply of that. Given limited capital, I understand that they have to build first primarily to where the people are to pay for service to make more profit.

    As T-Mo pointed out in the 1q21 earnings call, they only have low teens market share in 40% of the country. They have a long way to go, but build it and they will come.

    T-Mo is only a bit over a year into their three-year consolidation and expansion plan from after they bought Sprint and all of that fallow Sprint band 41, and Sprint customers. They are doing very well with the capital they have. I expect things to really take off after they finish consolidating Sprint and more people get 5G phones. They like to call it synergy. I saw a definite improvement here when they turned on 600 MHz band 71. I actually get signal inside the house. It's not good enough compared to Verizon to consider switching yet. Verizon is still ahead in overall usability here by a wide margin.

    T-Mo is number one in 5G. There is no doubt about that, but it doesn't mean much when only 20% of the phones people have are 5G. I expect that 5G dominance will become more of a factor as more people have 5G phones.

    If Verizon is allowed to buy Tracfone and their 20 million subscribers, it will be a long haul before T-Mo can catch up in subscriber count. Verizon and AT&T aren't resting on their laurels. They will be hard to surpass.

    T-Mo doing well is good for all of us as cellular customers by providing competition in the market. They have come a long way since being a distant fourth behind Sprint a few years ago. I admire their accomplishments, but not a fan of any of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    Well, once T-Mobile and Sprint are combined in cities.. between American Tower and Crowne Castle, they should have “easy” access to become a force if they choose to do so over time, and if they’re smart with n41 placement.. along with an “outdoor” RF unit for the 5G ISP they can do some great things - if they choose to do it.
    This is true. If you look at much of rural America, many sites are colocated through one of the 2 for fiber and cost. Not all are, but many are. If I looked at Charlevoix through Petoskey and Harbor Springs, MI, many sites are Colo. At&t and VZW have more in the towns than Sprint and T-MOBILE, and Sprint has a couple of colocated sites that T-Mobile doesn't. As you stated... will they deploy on these? Probably not for a while if they have no immediate need to. How bad do they want the rural market, and what kind of deal with tower companies can they get. I almost expect companies to push for "government infrastructure bill" to fund this

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    T-Mobile has a 'few' areas where they can be a little better for rural (and I don't mean tourists visiting).
    Eg. Here's a comparison - cellmapper isn't 100% but here's an overlay of 'a' semi rural part of MI.
    - Sprint has at least 2 sites here (probably colocated) that T-Mobile 'could' use if they were out for better coverage.
    - AT&T actually has more sites built than even Verizon here - specifically covering 'towns' like Harbor Springs, where on the main street, you would struggle to get one bar of service, and might get a couple up higher, but performance was awful
    - Verizon has a mostly even mix, similar to AT&T
    - T-Mobile's service wasn't that useful in Charlevoix itself, unless you have a Samsung or OnePlus8 with n71 SA, as there's no midband. Service wasn't all that great in downtown Petoskey either, as the cell towers are large marcos up in the hills - this is where AT&T and Verizon have local cells.

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    Is TMobile serious when they mention rural expansion?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post

    Given limited capital, I understand that they have to build first primarily to where the people are to pay for service to make more profit.
    I agree with this point “build where people are”.

    However, T-Mo and all carriers should “build where people go”, too.

    Beyond the interstate system, the US highways and State highways must have coverage to achieve the goal. The capital budget must anticipate this; otherwise, “nationwide” is puffery at best and deceptive at worst. FCC and FTC should clamp down to force companies to put the money/capital where their mouth (marketing campaign) is.

    P.S.: County/parish roads would be nice but not always practical.


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    I definitely agree. Not every location needs or should have service. My point is more of an improvement in rural areas where T-MOBILE attempts to want to actually compete with the big 2. At some point, I do suspect that there will be a push to decommission POTS in rural America, and there will be a government backed push for coverage

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    One thing people should keep in mind....TMobile has lowered their CAPEX estimates through 2023, not raised them. In fact, everything you hear from TMobile is cost cutting, and record profits. While this is great for the company, this doesn't necessarily mean great things are ahead for the user. It will be interesting to see how they handle rural build out in the next few years.

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