Sprint poised to become ‘king of data speed’


The TDD spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band that Sprint acquired from Clearwire last summer is “a powerful resource for Sprint to catch up to its competitors” and can enable the United States’ third-largest mobile operator “to provide super high speed data connections,” according to a report from Strategy Analytics.

The report, written by Guang Yang, Strategy Analytics’ senior analyst for wireless networks and platforms, further notes that Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum is key to enabling the operator to become the “king of data speed.”

In February, Sprint along with Nokia Solutions and Networks demonstrated that a single sector of a TD-LTE network can deliver data throughput of 2.6 Gbps. In the test, 120 MHz of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz TDD spectrum was aggregated to achieve what the companies claim is a TD-LTE speed record. Sprint has said it owns around 120 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in 90 percent of the top 100 U.S. markets.

“Sprint plans to deploy 2×20 MHz carrier aggregation in 2014 and 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation by EOY 2015. This should help Sprint to build strong momentum as a future LTE-Advanced competitor,” said Strategy Analytics.

However, the research firm’s report may not have been issued at the most opportune time for Sprint. The FCC has been reviewing the spectrum screen it uses when assessing industry mergers and acquisitions and whether spectrum caps are needed in the upcoming 600 MHz auctions in order to equalize spectrum holdings among U.S. mobile operators.

In both cases, Sprint has contended that its vast holdings of 2.5 GHz BRS and EBS spectrum should be not be compared directly to lower band spectrum held by the nation’s two largest operators, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless. For example, in February, Sprint proposed the FCC adopt a “weighted wireless broadband spectrum screen” that would accord perceived competitive advantages to spectrum under 1 GHz.

“It should surprise no one that this approach would basically relieve Sprint from almost any meaningful spectrum aggregation constraints while effectively foreclosing AT&T from acquiring additional spectrum it needs to meet customers’ needs,” wrote Joan Marsh, AT&T vice president of federal regulatory, in a blog post last week.

Similarly, in an ex parte filing with the FCC last week, Verizon wrote: “Despite having no factual basis for continuing to exclude the majority of the 2.5 GHz spectrum, Sprint continues to argue for its exclusion in large part because it controls almost all of it. As a result, Sprint has, on average, nearly twice as much spectrum as Verizon Wireless.”

Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics also heralded Sprint’s Spark program, which was launched in October 2013. The tri-band LTE service employs the operator’s FDD LTE network in its 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz spectrum and its TD-LTE network in its 2.5 GHz spectrum, aggregating TD-LTE carriers in the 2.5 GHz band  to deliver 50-60 Mbps download data speeds. Sprint offers the technology in parts of 14 markets today and plans to bring the technology to the top 100 U.S. markets within three years. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said Sprint Spark could eventually offer real-world speeds of 150-180 Mbps.

According to Strategy Analytics: “The inherent tight interworking between LTE TDD and FDD enables Sprint to implement an integrated FDD/TDD network and to simultaneously provide both network coverage and capacity. LTE FDD at the lower frequency bands can provide nationwide coverage, while LTE TDD at the higher frequency band offers very high data speed throughput.”

In addition to supporting active handovers and session continuity between 800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands, Sprint Spark could also enable more advanced functions, including support for real-time load balancing and traffic steering. “These two features would both increase the capacity of Sprint’s whole network and improve user experience over both FDD and TDD systems,” according to Strategy Analytics.

The research firm also recommended that operators worldwide look to Sprint Spark or the hybrid LTE network deployed in Japan by Sprint’s majority owner SoftBank for reference models “showing how to use TDD spectrum to complement LTE FDD by boosting data speed and capacity.”

Source: Fierce Wireless


US Carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile 4G LTE Coverage (Maps)


4G LTE is the new kid on the mobile spectrum, which is looking to make your mobile life faster. But which US carrier has the fastest and most LTE coverage?

Verizon Wireless has been a pioneer in the penetration of LTE. The company has been aggressive at building new cell towers and expanding its coverage.

Big Red has put together new coverage maps which shows their LTE network coverage compared to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. To put the results bluntly, all I see is red!


Verizon LTE Coverage Map


AT&T LTE Coverage Map


Sprint LTE Coverage Map


T-Mobile LTE Coverage Map

Source: N4BB

T-Mobile Joins Ubuntu Smartphone Carrier Advisory Group


T-Mobile has joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group as a member according to a press release issued yesterday. According to Canonical:

T-Mobile USA is the newest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. T-Mobile USA reaches almost 300 million American consumers and business people today. As a member of the CAG, T-mobile USA will join discussions to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

As T-Mobile continues to look for ways to differentiate from the likes of Sprint and AT&T, perhaps joining the Ubuntu advisory group is one way to do exactly that. Canonical is making a concentrated effort to make sure carriers won’t be able to exert too much control over the operating system’s look and feel. As Ubuntu’s community manager Jono Bacon said as OSCon, Ubuntu is looking to prevent a world where interface fragmentation ala Android.

“My wife and I both had Android phones and they gave us two entirely different experiences,” said Bacon. “We’re avoiding that.”

Ubuntu’s handset interface has already been previewed but is said to include some of the following features:

1. Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
2. Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
3. A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
4. Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
5. Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
6. Evolving personalized art on the welcome screen.

Bacon added, “The design and implementation of the phone is beautiful You can immediately tell it is Ubuntu; the Unity mobile experience looks clean and consistent with the desktop and touch is stunningly integrated. The Ubuntu for phones experience is designed to make all your phone content easier to access and your apps more immersive – every edge has a specific purpose, making all your apps, content and controls instantly accessible, without navigating back to the home screen every time. It’s a uniquely, beautifully converged experience.”

Source: Tmo News

HP Teams Up with T-Mobile to Offer Free 200 MB/Month Data Plan for Notebook Customers

Hewlett-Packard is working with T-Mobile USA to offer 200 MB of free HSPA+ data per month for two years to anyone who buys an HP notebook. More specifically the 11-inch Pavilion dm1 which HP is currently selling online for $400.

HP said that starting Oct. 26, anyone who buys the 11-inch Pavilion dm1 will get 200 MB of free data per month for 2 years. And customers do not need to sign a contract with T-Mobile for the data service. As well as the customers will get a free 25 GB account with Box, a cloud storage company.

This is similar to what Verizon Wireless did in 2010 by offering a free 100 MB per month for two years to those purchasing a notebook running Google’s Chrome OS.

HP’s offer is also similar in some respects to the one Amazon is making for its new Kindle Fire HD with LTE. For $50 per year, Amazon is offering users 250 MB of data per month from AT&T Mobility.

T-Mobile to Test the Concept of Sharing Spectrum Between Federal and Commercial Users

The FCC has granted permission to T-Mobile USA to test the concept of sharing spectrum between federal and commercial users in the 1755-1780 MHz band. This is part of a government effort to use spectrum sharing technology to help meet mobile broadband demand.

The tests are aimed at measuring the impact spectrum sharing will have on commercial carriers looking to deploy LTE, which is basically every carrier in the US. Verizon, AT&T and now Sprint has started to deploy their LTE network with T-Mobile scheduled on building out their LTE network in 2013.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that by granting the authorization, the commission “hopes to facilitate commercial mobile broadband services in that band, which would significantly benefit millions of U.S. wireless consumers and help drive the mobile innovation economy.” 

“As we move forward, we will continue to collaborate closely with key government agencies, including NTIA and the Department of Defense, as well as private sector partners, to gain greater spectrum efficiency and unlock the many potential benefits of government-commercial spectrum sharing,” Genachowski said.

The CTIA has specially cited the 1755-1780 MHz band as a spectrum band that could be cleared and paired with other AWS spectrum.

T-Mobile Connected In-Car Wifi in the 2013 Audi A4 & A5

The 2013 Audi A4 and A5 models will have a T-Mobile 3G (possibly HSPA+) connection and will come with In-Car Wifi so that up to 8 devices can be connected to the internet.

These new A4 and A5 models will also include a built-in navigation system with a Tegra processor and a large touchscreen built into the dash. The system does not appear to be running any sort of OS (Android or any other mobile OS). This is going to kick off what is the beginning of internet connected cars on the roads and it looks so great.

Update: T-Mobile and MetroPCS Merger Officially Approved for $1.5 billion

Update: Well it looks like after much speculation and just a day after acknowledging that talks were underway both boards have approved the deal according to the Wall Street Journal.

Financial Times Deutschland are reporting that the two carriers will be combined into a single unit in which Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent of shares. MetroPCS will have a 26 percent stake in the company and receive a $1.5 billion check for its troubles.

The new larger carrier will maintain the T-Mobile branding with new CEO John Legere at the helm, though, it appears the deal is structured as a reverse merger. Meaning that MetroPCS is in essence taking over T-Mobile and not the other way around.

Previous Update: I see this as definitely being a possibility for T-Mobile down the road. According to this Bloomberg article, Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) Chief Executive Officer Rene Obermann said a merger of the T-Mobile USA division is an option, while ruling out revisiting a complete sale.

    “We do not exclude any option for the T-Mobile unit in the U.S., also not a merger,” Obermann told shareholers today at an annual meeting in Cologne, Germany. “A complete sale is unlikely. You understand that I can’t say more in public on T- Mobile USA.”

It should be interesting to see where T-Mobile goes from here.

Original Post:
According to Bloomberg, T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, has reportedly been discussing a potential merger with MetroPCS.

Deutsche Telekom is considering a stock-swap transaction that would give the German company control over the combined entity. As of January 2012 MetroPCS has 9.5 million subscribers and has the fifth largest wireless network in the US.

T-Mobile Picks Equipment for LTE Network

T-Mobile has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks and LM Ericsson AB to supply the network equipment for its new wireless broadband network, a project worth $4 billion.

T-Mobile USA is making the announcement on the first day of CTIA Wireless, the U.S. cellphone industry trade show, in New Orleans. T-Mobile is building a ‘4G LTE’ Network like that of Verizon Wireless and AT&T, they hope to have the network go live next year and will cover 75 percent of the 25 largest cities.

It will use, in part, radio frequencies handed over by AT&T after the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T fell through earlier this year. AT&T also gave T-Mobile $3 billion in cash that will help to finance these network upgrades. T-Mobile is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., with 33.2 million devices on its network. It’s a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany

My Experience with T-Mobile SLOW SLOW Data Speeds!

These are some of my tests I have been running to see how my T-Mobile data speeds have been, mostly while my phone is running on EDGE (Enhanced Data-rates for GSM Evolution) or 2G. No one at T-Mobile seems to have any idea as to why my speeds are so slowing because even running on EDGE or 2G I should average just above 100 kbps. There are many factors as to why my speeds are at times relatively fast like when I am home, I have a security system that runs off of the T-Mobile Network and that boosts my signal and speeds while in my house and not connected to WiFi. As you can see there are different locations and only a few of them I really see a nice average data speed, the rest are almost laughable data speeds, definitely not the speeds I want to see for the money I pay.

So far I have talked to 5 T-Mobile techs on the phone and I went into a T-Mobile store as well and they told me in the store to buy a new phone? It’s not my phone, because I am not an idiot an they can’t tell me something like that just to make me spend more money. I am using an unlocked Torch 9800 so I am using EDGE basically all the time unless I am connected to a Wifi network, which is ok for me, the thing is that I popped my SIM card into my Wife’s Bold 9780 on T-Mobile with 3G coverage and I still had these horrible speeds. So if anyone from T-Mobile reads this and thinks they can help please let me know, or if anyone else out there might have a suggestion please let me know but I have tried about everything and to me it looks like they have my data speeds throttled for some reason even though I have unlimited data plan and this has continued through almost two billing cycles. Look at my speeds below and compare, let me know if you feel my pain with T-Mobile or any other carrier that might just be brushing you off their shoulders like I feel they have done to me.

Gist Speed Test (Global Internet Speed Test)

    1) 10:00- 31 kbps
    2) 11:30- 43 kbps
    3) 2:00- 5 kbps (didn’t even finish test)


    1) 6:05- 71 kbps
    2) 10:05- 141 kbps
    3) 10:20- 179 kbps


    1) 9:04- 14 kbps
    2) 12:51- 32 kbps (Done after a battery pull cause phone got locked up data speed was too slow)
    3) 2:17- 23 kbps (Walking from outside to inside office)
    4) 4:30- 25 kbps (Done after a battery pull cause phone got locked up, data speed too slow)


    5) 5:42- 24 kbps


    6) 7:11- 209 kbps
    7) 7:31- 233 kbps (While on the phone with T-Mobile Inside)
    8) 7:45- 69 kbps (While on the phone with T-Mobile Outside)


    1) 8:15- 27 kbps
    2) 10:47- 29 kbps
    3) 12:14- 20 kbps (Done after a battery pull cause phone got locked up, data speed too slow)
    4) 1:33- 19 kbps

985 South Friendship Rd.

    1) 7:36- 81 kbps

85 South

    2) 7:55- 108 kbps


    3) 8:15- 36 kbps
    4) 9:13- 94 kbps


    5) 8:45- 20 kbps

McEver (Waffle House)

    1) 10:22- 190 kbps

Spout Springs (Target)

    2)10:57- 138 kbps

85 South (Exit 99)

    3) 12:01- 41 kbps

Johnson Ferry Rd.

    4) 12:55- 69 kbps


    1) 11:40- 31 kbps
    12:22- Battery Pull
    2) 12:55- 41 kbps
    3:45- Battery Pull

Stevie B’s

    3) 8:05- 39 kbps

Hwy 20 (Dunkin’ Donuts)

    1) 7:26- 63/54 kbps


    2) 2:23- 127 kbps
    3) 3:18- 36 kbps


    1) 9:02- 20 kbps
    2) 2:06- 47 kbps
    3) 2:58- 37 kbps (Twitter for Blackberry working for first time)
    4) 4:52- 18 kbps (Everything is functional for First time since 5/23/2011)


    1) 11:21- 16 kbps

Buford Dam Rd. (Shadburn Ferry Intersection)

    1) 7:17- 133 kbps


    2) 9:33- 41 kbps


    3) 5:22- 29 kbps

Hwy 20 (Exiting 985)

    4) 7:28- 86 kbps


    1) 8:20- 55 kbps
    Aesthetic Dermatology (Sanders Rd. Cumming, Ga.)- 2) 5:38- 215 kbps
    3) 5:40- 226 kbps

Spout Springs Rd. (Ross)

    1) 11:24- 16 kbps

Buford (Bona Allen Mansion)

    2) 5:27- 218 kbps

Mundy Mill Rd. (Arby’s)

    1) 8:11- 247 kbps


    1) 11:45- 28 kbps
    2) 2:32- 21 Kbps
    3) 4:25- 27 Kbps


    1) 12:38- 35 Kbps
    2) 4:28- 21 Kbps


    1) 8:24- 41 Kbps


    1) 8:26- 32 Kbps
    2) 12:15- 56 Kbps
    3) 1:51- 95 Kbps (this test had to be a fluk)
    4) 1:53- 31 Kbps

Atlanta Hwy. (Just Past Hall Middle)

    1) 12:07- 46 Kbps

Mundy Mill (Walmart)

    2) 12:53- 190 Kbps

Venture Rd. Buford, Ga. Mall of Ga.
(Babies R Us’)

    1) 1:02- 78 Kbps


    1) 8:25- 29 Kbps

Spout Springs (Chick-fil-A)

    1) 8:25- 125 Kbps


    1) 8:24- 21 Kbps

I have still not had any of my issues resolved with T-Mobile as of today, I spoke with another Blackberry Specialist that works for T-Mobile, making this my sixth time calling them. I spoke with him on Friday July 2, and he took all my information and wrote up a slip to give to an engineer to have them check out my specific network connection which took about 45 minutes to complete. He stated that it could take up to 72 hours to determine what is the exact problem and stated that I should not call back and that he would call me either Friday evening or Tuesday at some point. Well Friday passed, Tuesday passed, and now Wednesday has passed and I have yet to hear anything from anyone with T-Mobile. I will probably have to call them for the seventh time now and this time I might have to tell them to drop my service line, what’s the point in paying money for data that’s slower than my Mother’s DSL line she’s had since DSL became available, at least that’s how it seems, I mean I can’t even run a simple Twitter application on my Blackberry that’s how slow my data speeds are. Hopefully I will hear something today and I will post any results I get from T-Mobile and maybe they will fix my problem, or really it’s their problem.

Second Update:
Well today is Tuesday July, 12th and I have not heard back from T-Mobile on any kind of resolution to my data problems. I called T-Mobile on Friday July, 8th and spoke with another representative in the technical support department. He stated that he did not know why the rep that I spoke with on the previous Friday would tell me it would take 72 hrs. and that they really had no idea how long it would take the engineers to discover the problem. He checked the status of my complaint and the engineers’ slip we had sent out last Friday. Ended up he said that the engineers had to send my case to the ‘higher-ups’ is the way it was described to me and that it would take a little longer to find the root of the problem.

Doesn’t this just seem like too much of a hassle, it has been almost 2 months now that I have had these problems with my T-Mobile data connection. You would think they could just reset my network connection completely and reconnect me as if I were a new customer and I had just started using their network. Anyways they are supposed to give me a call back today and give me a status of my complaint, I hope they actaully give me a call today, we will see.


So there are so many factors that will be considered during AT&Ts’ acquisition of T-Mobile USA, an acquisition that would make AT&T the largest service provider in the country followed by Verizon who now leads the country as the largest service provider. There are many reasons I can see why AT&T would want to buy out T-Mobile, but the main reason is basically they want to improve their network performance.

A large reason for AT&T wanting to improve their network performance is because of the iPhone which up until February 2011 was exclusive to AT&T, now Verizon also carries the iPhone.

A smartphone generates 24 times the mobile data traffic of a conventional wireless phone, and the explosively popular iPad and similar tablet devices can generate traffic comparable to or even greater than a smartphone. AT&T’s mobile data volumes surged by a staggering 8,000% from 2007 to 2010, and as a result, AT&T faces network capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider.

AT&T has basically filled the capacity of their network, and it would be too hard for them to attempt to expand there network. So acquiring another carrier is clearly a much easier choice for them and it makes since why they would choose T-Mobile because they are not only a very large US company but they also run on the GSM network unlike Verizon or Sprint that run on the CDMA network. In my opinion this means if the FCC approves of this acquisition it will be a much smoother transition combining the two carriers.

If all goes as planned and AT&T takes over T-Mobile customers will have increased data speeds, fewer dropped calls, and an expansion of mobile technology with growing coverage throughout the country. At the same time some think that this will cause a duopoly of US carriers being Verizon and AT&T. This could stifle innovation in the mobile technology market as well though and if this were to become a duopoly per say, it would crush smaller service providers and negatively effect everyone as a consumer.