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Thread: 2016 US AT&T Network Predictions

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    2016 US AT&T Network Predictions

    What do you guys think?

    For me 2015 was a pretty mediocre year for AT&T's mobility unit. We did see patchy and sometimes large-scale VoLTE deployments ramp up the 2nd half of the year, a few Wideband LTE markets pop up, Wi-Fi calling on iOS (yay) and supposedly that elusive Band 30 in top secret locations. Band 2 LTE was also spotted in several markets. LTE download and upload speeds didn't really impress anyone and postpaid smartphone subs were lost to T-Mobile. Connected cars continued to be the source of new subs which helped offset postpaid smartphone losses. DirecTV and Latin America LTE really stole the show and much of AT&T's attention in 2015 IMHO.

    So 2016 is supposed to be the last year AT&T will support their legacy 2G technologies. I wonder how much of these legacy 2G only sites will be converted to LTE? What kind of benefit do you guys think we can see with refarmed 850/1900 LTE sites?

    600 MHz auction. This should be huge for AT&T although network deployment won't start for a few years. I wonder if they plan to leverage that new spectrum to build out even further into areas currently not served by high speed wireless technologies of theirs or if it's only to beef up network infrastructure in areas already covered?

    Band 30: Yeah they have a nice chunk of it nationwide. Time to really put it to use. I'm hoping we get official word on progress from the horses mouth in 2016. I predict we'll hear something by this January after CES.

    Wi-Fi calling on Android or Windows Phone? I think we'll finally see some news on this service coming for those who want/need it by mid summer on "select whitelisted," devices.

    AWS 3 wins: I'm looking forward to this a lot. They won a ton of it all over the place which will give them large scale capacity similar to what Verizon/T-Mobile has and then some in many areas. I suspect we'll hear something in q3 about their plans to deploy it along with new devices that will support it.

    DirecTV mobile integration and new streaming mobile service to compete with Go90. It's coming this year I can feel it! I predict it will hit by Q2.

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    From a layman's perspective AT&T was decent from my experience overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adonis View Post
    What do you guys think?

    For me 2015 was a pretty mediocre year for AT&T's mobility unit. We did see patchy and sometimes large-scale VoLTE deployments ramp up the 2nd half of the year, a few Wideband LTE markets pop up, Wi-Fi calling on iOS (yay) and supposedly that elusive Band 30 in top secret locations. Band 2 LTE was also spotted in several markets. LTE download and upload speeds didn't really impress anyone and postpaid smartphone subs were lost to T-Mobile. Connected cars continued to be the source of new subs which helped offset postpaid smartphone losses. DirecTV and Latin America LTE really stole the show and much of AT&T's attention in 2015 IMHO.

    I agree with everything you say here regarding at&t's distractions and I do think that is why the network slowed down significantly. My City went from 30-50mbps peak to a really middling performance. While spectrum went from B17 10x10 & B2 10x10 to B17 10x10, B2 15x15, and B4 10x10 backhaul seems to be a major holdup. I'd say band 2 was more or less a 2014 achievement for many markets but I am glad to see it did expand in 2015. AT&T's promotions are really, really lagging and it will be interesting to see what they do in 2016. I feel they are not interested in chasing customers at all. They want to milk all of us for every penny. Even Verizon has better plans give or take (and a better network in many places, sadly not where I am) and had the attractive $300 trade in deals for most of 2015, and are offering $650 to switch now ala Sprint and T-Mobile.

    So 2016 is supposed to be the last year AT&T will support their legacy 2G technologies. I wonder how much of these legacy 2G only sites will be converted to LTE? What kind of benefit do you guys think we can see with refarmed 850/1900 LTE sites?

    There are no 2G only sites anywhere in NJ, SE PA or DE. I do expect to see at least 5x5 B5 in more places. I really hope they keep HSPA+ at current levels on 850. I often still get great speeds on HSPA+ and it's a great backup. Their used to be HSPA+ on PCS here but it is now gone and totally refarmed for LTE, but HSPA+ performance is still rock solid all around. Their voice network is now more reliable than Verizon's 1X which is a heck of an achievement. Band 5 is 10x10 in Orlando as they have both cellular licenses there, but I hope they more or less leave HSPA+ alone as it really is more robust than LTE for now. There are still a few rnadom places where LTE doesn't penetrate the building, but hspa+ is pulling 3-4mbps at -102db signal levels and Verizon is evdo or 1X given both have a similar cell density in the City itself. That said, every site needs LTE, if not LTE and HSPA+ in 2016.

    600 MHz auction. This should be huge for AT&T although network deployment won't start for a few years. I wonder if they plan to leverage that new spectrum to build out even further into areas currently not served by high speed wireless technologies of theirs or if it's only to beef up network infrastructure in areas already covered?

    AT&T will be in a good spot in rural areas with 10x10 600mhz, 10x10 B17 (if any) and 5X5 or 10x10 B5. That said, LTE still does not travel nearly as far as hspa+ or evdo and I really want to see both VZW and at&t spend some more money to ensure some areas aren't "No Service" where they currently have weak HSPA+ or 1X today.

    Band 30: Yeah they have a nice chunk of it nationwide. Time to really put it to use. I'm hoping we get official word on progress from the horses mouth in 2016. I predict we'll hear something by this January after CES.

    I'm seeing some potential panel swaps in Philly. We'll see when it is lit up. I think it won't help without massive backhaul upgrades if the 35x35 MHZ we have now is so underwhelming.

    Wi-Fi calling on Android or Windows Phone? I think we'll finally see some news on this service coming for those who want/need it by mid summer on "select whitelisted," devices.

    They'd be silly not to support it on more phones.

    AWS 3 wins: I'm looking forward to this a lot. They won a ton of it all over the place which will give them large scale capacity similar to what Verizon/T-Mobile has and then some in many areas. I suspect we'll hear something in q3 about their plans to deploy it along with new devices that will support it.

    Yes, this will be great in cities. B2 and B4 reach into buildings in Philadelphia very well due to a dense cell grid. So the more spectrum lit up, the better.

    DirecTV mobile integration and new streaming mobile service to compete with Go90. It's coming this year I can feel it! I predict it will hit by Q2.
    Doesn't really interest me. My parents in rural DE have DirecTV but in my house we have Comcast (or could have Fios) in the City. I just got X1 so I think I'll be happy with downloading something from my dvr to my iPhone for train rides. But overall, it's exciting to see the changes in the TV industry fit a lifestyle on the go.

    Thanks for this thread, I think it will be interesting
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    Here in Oklahoma, not much changed for AT&T in 2015. LTE coverage did not change much at all. Their coverage maps claim to have sites in several cities that don't really exist and in northwest and western Oklahoma there are quite a few sites still only putting out 2G/EDGE. Some sites are spaced so widely that HSPA falls away leaving 2G/EDGE as the only workable version at the fringes. These are sites that don't have LTE in the first place, so AT&T has a LOT of work to do here before they can shut down 2G/EDGE. Hopefully they will work on that in 2016. They will need to because T-Mobile has now upgraded their entire network across the state with LTE, leaving AT&T as the only carrier to not have state-wide LTE service now.

    AT&T is really pushing their DirecTV/cellphone service bundle in television ads here. This will be a hard sell in the country where a good chunk of their DirecTV customers are. If 2G/EDGE is all that's available, it's difficult to sell that along with the DirecTV service when LTE is available from every other carrier.

    AT&T is running some new fiber in some areas for backhaul, places that don't currently have LTE service, so there is some hope.

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    I don't see how they are going to kill 2G in 2016. There are tons of M2M modules out there that are 2G only... In addition, both Progressive Snapshot and Metromile car insurance devices use AT&T (and probably others) - - and are GPRS/EDGE only. Both of these devices are being sold this second and are 2G only.

    Unless they do a mass swap out, I don't see how they can pull that off by the end of the year.

    Seems 2018-2019 is more like it - - in line with when Verizon wants to kill CDMA.

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    Hopefully 2016 will finally feature integration of acquired networks such as Plateau in New Mexico (should happen), and continued upgrades to LTE of acquired Long Lines and Verizon sites in Iowa (probably won't happen). (FWIW -- In certain western Iowa counties, AT&T not only has their own network but also acquired sites from two other carriers. The density and coverage would be unbeatable if they would standardize the sites, but right now they run a patchwork mix of LTE, 3G and 2G from the various sites resulting in phones connecting to completely different towers depending on the network type the phone supports or is connected to.)

    I envision later in 2016 there will be an increase in the data cap tiers to stay competitive.

    Most of the focus at least in the first half will probably continue to be on DirecTV's new branding and integration, and then news releases about upgrades in Mexico.

    Toward the end of the year many cities should have functional B30 overlays and then there will be news announcements about the increased bandwidth.

    I might be way wrong on this - hopefully - but I do not anticipate much in the way of large scale expansion sites, such as new native coverage where there was none.
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    I recommend and use CellMapper for testing and mapping signal coverage and have contributed extensively in the greater St. Louis region and surrounding states.

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    We should see more from att in 2016. I was a little disappointed with some of the deals they offered. I've gotten 4 phones from Verizon for very cheap or at least reasonable. With all the credits the turbo 2 was very reasonable. Used a promo code to get two droids for almost free, and then got 100 off the maxx 2 plus credits. Att needs to up the deals. The buy one get one wasn't bad but not what I was looking for.

    I'm waiting for a deal on the Lumia 950 to put on my att line. As for network att seems to be in pretty good shape and I'm sure they will be part of the 600 coming up. I'm still wondering if the directv deal will work ou as they planned.
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    Last edited by themanhimself; 12-28-2015 at 10:52 AM.

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    2016 US AT&T Network Predictions

    They weren't too bad here in 2015, they did just enough to keep up with the competition. In April they widened band 4 on the Illinois side of the state line to 10 MHz, in August they added 5 MHz band 4 to a few sites in NWI, and in November widened band 2 to 10 MHz across the entire area.

    What I wish for 2016 is the addition of at least 3 cell sites to my county, and the continuation of the band 4 build out. There are some areas here that they don't fill in that everyone else does and it just doesn't make sense as to why they haven't bothered since there's already towers they could co-locate on. One of those towers they even own (a tower from the Leap acquisition, which I'm guessing may get converted eventually).
    I also would like to see band 2 go "wideband". It can be done by simply shutting off the last HSPA band 2 carrier which we don't seem to need anyway as that network is always a ghost town anymore. 2 HSPA carriers on 850 ought to cut it these days. And perhaps for 2017 or '18 refarm one of the HSPA 850 carriers and bring on 5 MHz band 5.

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    2016 US AT&T Network Predictions

    I believe the 2g shutdown is for consumer services, not m2m. Frequencies like the 850mhz band have a small slice that can't be used for LTE or hspa but can still be used for M2M devices on 2G.
    iPhone Xs Max , At&t Unlimited Plus Austin, TX .................... Grande 1000/50, $80.99/month

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    The Mega bytes wars. Verizon and ATT tell the other , they have more data. I would just be happier with a better flatrate, rate.

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    I want to see how fast band 30 would be. Its good for capacity
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    More small cells?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    I don't see how they are going to kill 2G in 2016. There are tons of M2M modules out there that are 2G only... In addition, both Progressive Snapshot and Metromile car insurance devices use AT&T (and probably others) - - and are GPRS/EDGE only. Both of these devices are being sold this second and are 2G only.

    Unless they do a mass swap out, I don't see how they can pull that off by the end of the year.

    Seems 2018-2019 is more like it - - in line with when Verizon wants to kill CDMA.
    I think AT&T is aiming for a 2017 shut down. As far as I know 2G will still be around in 2016.
    Hartford, CT Area

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRC72 View Post
    I think AT&T is aiming for a 2017 shut down. As far as I know 2G will still be around in 2016.
    Yeah pretty much 2G will be here until the end of 2016 - early 2017 so we still got a whole year before worrying about the end of 2G but AT&T has been doing some 2G thinning in some areas.

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    Why do we need to worry about GSM shutdown again? it should be a celebration if anything!

    Granted <3 good ol GSM, but HSPA is the new GSM.

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