View Poll Results: Who do you think is/are US Cellular's LTE Roaming Partner(s)?

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  • AT&T

    6 12.00%
  • Sprint

    19 38.00%
  • T-Mobile

    24 48.00%
  • Verizon

    10 20.00%
  • C Spire

    4 8.00%
  • I have no idea

    3 6.00%
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Thread: LTE Roaming Agreement

  1. #1
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    LTE Roaming Agreement

    So who do you think is US Cellular's LTE roaming partner(s)? I would think T-Mobile or Sprint, but maybe even Verizon?

    If US Cellular teamed up with either of the smaller Big Four carriers, it would benefit them both mutually.

    If with T-Mobile: B12 LTE shared, get a break from AT&T's ludicrous roaming rates.

    If with Sprint: Complements new EV-DO roaming agreement, both carriers are CDMA.

    There is a poll on this thread. If you are on mobile, please be sure to vote on the website. Thanks!
    Last edited by jeffw16; 08-01-2015 at 02:17 PM.
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    1. T-Mobile Band 4 LTE at UTD, 2. T-Mobile Band 12 LTE, 3. TWC 100Mbps

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw16 View Post
    If with T-Mobile: B12 LTE shared, get a break from AT&T's ludicrous roaming rates.
    Maybe but USCC needs to up their coverage and support VoLTE in order for roaming to work.
    Secondly, T-Mobile can already roam on USCC and their 2G GSM network. USCC already supports B5 LTE so LTE roaming is already possible with current T-Mobile devices.

    If with Sprint: Complements new EV-DO roaming agreement, both carriers are CDMA.
    Since Sprint and USCC have tested the CCA Roaming Hub for LTE roaming and the fact that Sprint was suppose to be releasing Band 12 devices to take advantage of this, I believe that these two companies will be the first to offer roaming on each others LTE networks since there has been talk about testing LTE roaming and it appears that the relationship between the two for LTE roaming is likely its advanced stage. I'm not sure of USCCs plans for offering B12, B25, B26, and B41 devices for their own customers, but they can also can choose to offer devices supporting the Sprint LTE network.

    AT&T already roams on the 2G GSM network from USCC, and like T-Mobile devices, any recent smartphone can utilize B5 LTE from USCC.
    Why are we waiting for B12 roaming when B5 LTE is already up and running with USCC?

    What USCC should be doing is deploying 10 FDD channels for B5 LTE.

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    USCC has a 2G GSM network? This is news to me. So they run CDMA with GSM together in certain areas or all? Does their GSM network have any data protocol associated with it (other than CDMA data protocols and LTE)?


    sent from my iPhone

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    I was pondering this yesterday and there were a couple things that came to mind:
    1. Just like Verizon most USCC LTE handsets have HSPA or GSM at a very minimum as well as CDMA and LTE, so calling would work on AT&T and T-Mobile without necessarily needing VoLTE.
    2. Verizon and Sprint are unlikely due to band support. Verizon Band 13 and Sprint's Bands 25, 26, 41 are not supported in the vast majority of USCC LTE phones currently in use, so that alone would negate any benefits for most customers as there would be so many asterisks.
    3. USCC uses very similar LTE bands to AT&T and T-Mobile. Band 2, 4, 5, 12 (17) for USCC. T-Mobile is Band 2, 4, 12 and AT&T 2, 4, 5, 12/17, 29, 30.
    4. With AT&T VoLTE is not implemented widely yet, and definitely not ready for them to have roaming on. With T-Mobile VoLTE would work for roaming, but USCC would likely need to implement VoLTE on their network for a reciprocal roaming agreement with T-Mobile, which could make things cheaper for both carriers.

    Due to this, I would believe some combination of AT&T/T-Mobile would be likely, T-Mobile being the more likely of the two (although they could have both) due to better (most likely) roaming rates than AT&T and the possibility for it to be reciprocal, further reducing USCC's roaming costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw16 View Post
    USCC has a 2G GSM network? This is news to me. So they run CDMA with GSM together in certain areas or all? Does their GSM network have any data protocol associated with it (other than CDMA data protocols and LTE)?


    sent from my iPhone
    Yes, it's only for roaming purposes for domestic (AT&T and T-Mobile) and international roamers in certain areas. They don't offer this service to its own customers. They use EDGE and the 850 MHz band. At the most their 25 MHz cellular block will likely incorporate 2G GSM/CDMA/LTE under the entire band.
    Last edited by i0wnj00; 08-02-2015 at 12:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. J View Post
    2. Verizon and Sprint are unlikely due to band support. Verizon Band 13 and Sprint's Bands 25, 26, 41 are not supported in the vast majority of USCC LTE phones currently in use, so that alone would negate any benefits for most customers as there would be so many asterisks.
    Both USCC and Sprint already tested roaming via the CCA Data Roaming Hub last year, which supports 2G (GSM/CDMA)/3G(EVDO/HSPA+)/LTE. All they need to do is to go through the CCA Device Hub for device procurement and push those devices downstream.

    http://newsroom.sprint.com/news-rele...l-carriers.htm
    http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/s...hub/2013-03-14

    The primary focus is LTE roaming, but the CCA Data Roaming Hub is flexible in what it can handle.

    Forget about Verizon Wireless, they will continue to do their own thing when it comes to device procurement.

    3. USCC uses very similar LTE bands to AT&T and T-Mobile. Band 2, 4, 5, 12 (17) for USCC. T-Mobile is Band 2, 4, 12 and AT&T 2, 4, 5, 12/17, 29, 30.
    I think USCC is committed to working through the CCA Data Roaming Hub for the purposes of LTE roaming, something AT&T isn't a part of. It could work with T-Mobile on the other hand, since they're a member of the CCA group.

    4. With T-Mobile VoLTE would work for roaming, but USCC would likely need to implement VoLTE on their network for a reciprocal roaming agreement with T-Mobile, which could make things cheaper for both carriers.
    Or T-Mobile can start roaming on the USCC B5/B12 LTE network for data and 2G GSM for voice...right now. What's the point in waiting for VoLTE from USCC when they already run 2G GSM/LTE in some areas. USCC can be $$$$$$ if they allowed roamers on their LTE and 2G GSM networks and T-Mobile customers will get expanded coverage when ever they travel.
    Last edited by i0wnj00; 08-02-2015 at 12:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Both USCC and Sprint already tested roaming via the CCA Data Access Hub last year, which supports 2G/3G/LTE
    I know they did, but at this point in time such an agreement would probably be more detrimental to USCC than good from a customer blow-back perspective since the vast majority of their customers would not have a compatible phone that could utilize said agreement.

    the companies are in the implementation phase of the deal and the respective engineering teams of the companies are working together. U.S. Cellular customers will be able to start benefiting from expanded LTE roaming in the next 60 to 90s days, he said. The partner is likely a Tier 1 carrier, so U.S. Cellular customers will get access to a more robust and nationwide LTE network. Meyers said he expects U.S. Cellular customers to see benefits more than he expects U.S. Cellular to reap inbound roaming revenue.

    Meyers said that the agreement is the first of multiple LTE roaming deals the company is working on.
    Sprint (as well as Verizon) and USCC have an existing relationship and roaming agreement so simply extending that implementation to LTE shouldn't take 60-90 days (longer actually as they have probably been working on it for a while) to implement. Hence my preponderance towards it likely being AT&T or T-Mobile for this one.
    Also, I am definitely not saying that Sprint and/or Verizon won't have roaming deals with USCC, just that they most likely won't be this first deal.

    So due to the long timeframe and lack of immediate customer benefit for Sprint/Verizon, I believe that AT&t or T-Mobile is more likely.

  8. #8
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    I wonder when we will find out. I hope tmobile buys USCC so both companies benefit


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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post

    Both USCC and Sprint already tested roaming via the CCA Data Roaming Hub last year, which supports 2G (GSM/CDMA)/3G(EVDO/HSPA+)/LTE. All they need to do is to go through the CCA Device Hub for device procurement and push those devices downstream.

    http://newsroom.sprint.com/news-rele...l-carriers.htm
    http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/s...hub/2013-03-14

    The primary focus is LTE roaming, but the CCA Data Roaming Hub is flexible in what it can handle.

    Forget about Verizon Wireless, they will continue to do their own thing when it comes to device procurement.

    I think USCC is committed to working through the CCA Data Roaming Hub for the purposes of LTE roaming, something AT&T isn't a part of. It could work with T-Mobile on the other hand, since they're a member of the CCA group.

    Or T-Mobile can start roaming on the USCC B5/B12 LTE network for data and 2G GSM for voice...right now. What's the point in waiting for VoLTE from USCC when they already run 2G GSM/LTE in some areas. USCC can be $$$$$$ if they allowed roamers on their LTE and 2G GSM networks and T-Mobile customers will get expanded coverage when ever they travel.
    The USCC GSM network is VERY small - - mainly Maine and Vermont. Basically the areas where they are the ONLY provider... So realistically VoLTE would be needed for a T-Mobile agreement.

    That said, the iPhone supports all the Sprint bands as well as USCC, and possibly other flagships? I could see this as a way to push the iPhone (I'm sure USCC has aggressive iPhone targets to hit the same way Sprint does) - - ala 'nationwide LTE included only with your USCC iPhone'.

    In addition, Sprint has been remored to be deploying a second PCS LTE channel in bands A-F in urban areas... If they are serious enough about this, and are looking to strike roaming deals, they will accelerate this and run MFBI for Band 2 and 25 - - that would be the natural fit for their CDMA roaming partners and would instantly make them 'more compatible'.

    N

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    Quote Originally Posted by terryjohnson16 View Post
    I wonder when we will find out. I hope tmobile buys USCC so both companies benefit
    This is becoming less and less likely with T-Mobile's organic network expansion plans and implementation.

    [QUOTE=NGeorge;16008349That said, the iPhone supports all the Sprint bands as well as USCC, and possibly other flagships? I could see this as a way to push the iPhone (I'm sure USCC has aggressive iPhone targets to hit the same way Sprint does) - - ala 'nationwide LTE included only with your USCC iPhone'.

    In addition, Sprint has been remored to be deploying a second PCS LTE channel in bands A-F in urban areas... If they are serious enough about this, and are looking to strike roaming deals, they will accelerate this and run MFBI for Band 2 and 25 - - that would be the natural fit for their CDMA roaming partners and would instantly make them 'more compatible'.

    N[/QUOTE]

    The iPhone 6 supports multiple Sprint bands, but the 5S and before only support PCS, disregarding the SMR that they have widely deployed. The Band 2/25 MFBI with another PCS block would be necessary for almost every phone except the newer iPhones. Then again I have not actually seen the addition of that second PCS block yet at this point. Lacking the SMR LTE, would provide a subpar LTE experience for most USCC customers, although they could still fall back to CDMA.
    I do think and Sprint/USCC LTE roaming agreement is likely but not yet. They will likely need to seed more compatible phones first, so possibly next year.

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    So if it were T-Mobile does that mean there is a chance could use T-Mobile devices on USCC??? Because that could make things interesting down the road..
    If it's an LG I have used it at one point or another and maybe have even broken a few of them..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duecy View Post
    So if it were T-Mobile does that mean there is a chance could use T-Mobile devices on USCC??? Because that could make things interesting down the road..
    Following current band 12 deployment by T-Mobile, you can now, and have been able for some time, use USCC phones on T-Mobile very effectively.

    For your exact question, possibly. VoLTE would most likely have to be in effect for thing to go down efficiently.

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    I believe it will be Verizon primarily, as they already utilize them for 1x/3G roaming.

  14. #14
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    Is the US Cellular iPhone 6 the model AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon uses or the model Sprint uses?

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    King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states on 700Mhz Band 12 and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular's customers in several of the carrier's markets. U.S. Cellular said it plans to add more than 600 LTE cell sites this year as it looks to expand coverage to 98% of its customer base across 10 states.

    "The USCC expansion is set to include 2,000 towns in areas of California, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Much of that will include work with King Street Wireless, which controls the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum assets U.S. Cellular uses to power some of its LTE network."

    I think U.S. Cellular's new LTE partner is T-Mobile since only USCC and T-Mobile use 700 Mhz Block A (Not sure Cspire is using their block A spectrum they own). Both USCC and T-Mobile's customers have the highest percentage of 700Mhz Block A (Band 12) phones. A USCC and T-Mobile LTE partnership roaming would benefit both USCC and T-Mobiles customers the most of any two carriers due to the LTE spectrum of 700Mhz Bock A and Band 12 they both use.

    AT&T and Sprint are both planning on using 700Mhz Block A in the future but almost none of their customers have phones that support 700Mhz Block A. AT&T plans for Block A is using new phones that supports MFBI. AT&T has committed to releasing Band 12-capable handsets later this year. Beginning Sept. 30 half of all new AT&T devices released by the carrier will be compliant.
    Last edited by shilohcane; 08-11-2015 at 02:26 PM.

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