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Thread: Will Band 14 really change the footprint of AT&T Coverage?

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    Will Band 14 really change the footprint of AT&T Coverage?

    The AT&T Network is adding the new 700 MHz LTE Band 14 as part of the new FirstNet Network for First Responders. FirstNet subscribers will have first priority on the network, but it has been widely assumed that regular AT&T subscribers (including Cricket) will have access excess capacity on Band 14.

    However, the FirstNet site only mentions adding 1000 new towers across 50 States (20 per State). So, is FirstNet really likely to change AT&T's coverage footprint? How many rural areas will get new coverage on Band 14 where there isn't already coverage on Band 12 (also LTE 700 MHz), or see substantially improved coverage on Band 14?

    My intuition says very few.

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    Will Band 14 really change the footprint of AT&T Coverage?

    Last I read they expect it to be on at least 15k towers by early 2019. I'll have to research some current articles to see what the current numbers are

    Overall it should help and firstnet has stated that rural coverage will be one of the priorities so my guess is that it should def reach to places att currently doesn't cover

    Firstnet also says that accidents and emergencies don't always happen in populated areas so that leads me to believe it will have some nice rural improvements over time

    This makes it sound like with 5g and firstnet every tower will be touched in a one and done kind of way in which after that 5g can be a software upgrade. Att called firstnet a must win back in 2016 and that every tower would be touched most likely within 5 years max

    https://www.fiercewireless.com/5g/at...ftware-upgrade

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    "More than 1,000 new sites are planned as part of the FirstNet Band 14 build."


    I guess I was assuming that most of the 15k towers where Band 14 is being added already have Band 12. Maybe that's not the case. But if the 15k towers already have Band 12, I don't see how adding another 700 MHZ band to the same tower will change the coverage footprint. And 1,000 new locations probably won't substantially change the coverage footprint.

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    It can improve usability at edge of cell because there's more resources to go around, if you consider that improving coverage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    It can improve usability at edge of cell because there's more resources to go around, if you consider that improving coverage.
    How good do you think the rural will get? I get good coverage in rural spots already with att but curious how well they will cover the really rural areas?

    Firstnet says rural is a priority but how rural? I'm thinking the new towers will most likely be in rural areas

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanhimself View Post
    How good do you think the rural will get? I get good coverage in rural spots already with att but curious how well they will cover the really rural areas?

    Firstnet says rural is a priority but how rural? I'm thinking the new towers will most likely be in rural areas
    I Don't know. I was originally hopeful that AT&T would add usable coverage to parts of my state (NC) where there it is currently sparse to none. I'm not sure how much difference 20 (more or less) new towers will make in expanding coverage area across an entire state.

    It appears that FirstNet is more focused on increased Bandwidth and preemption for First Responders than on expanding the coverage footprint. Nothing wrong with that, but I personally find it somewhat disappointing. The situation also makes Band 14 a lower priority in my next phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealf_2000 View Post
    I Don't know. I was originally hopeful that AT&T would add usable coverage to parts of my state (NC) where there it is currently sparse to none. I'm not sure how much difference 20 (more or less) new towers will make in expanding coverage area across an entire state.

    It appears that FirstNet is more focused on increased Bandwidth and preemption for First Responders than on expanding the coverage footprint. Nothing wrong with that, but I personally find it somewhat disappointing. The situation also makes Band 14 a lower priority in my next phone.
    Hopefully it gets them to cover the no coverage spots

    20 new ones in each state doesn't sound like much

    Wonder how airgig will factor into all of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealf_2000 View Post
    I Don't know. I was originally hopeful that AT&T would add usable coverage to parts of my state (NC) where there it is currently sparse to none. I'm not sure how much difference 20 (more or less) new towers will make in expanding coverage area across an entire state.

    It appears that FirstNet is more focused on increased Bandwidth and preemption for First Responders than on expanding the coverage footprint. Nothing wrong with that, but I personally find it somewhat disappointing. The situation also makes Band 14 a lower priority in my next phone.
    I don’t know what part of the state you are in but they have tried building sites in certain areas and folks threw a fit about having a new eye sore in their town. Sparta, NC comes to mind.

    There were 3 other sites approved in Ashe County a couple of years ago but as far as I know they haven’t been built yet.

    Yanceyville (pop. < 2000) which is not too far from me was approved for a new site sometime around 2011 but it didn’t go live till 2016. They are putting new sites up it just seems to be a slow process. It can take a while before the coverage map reflects the new change in coverage as well.

    Firstnet may give AT&T some leverage in the name of public safety.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    One would hope that new sites go to cover areas that first responder agencies have identified as problem areas. I can imagine perhaps a high crash zone of a rural highway or perhaps a nightclub district in a concrete jungle as the type of sites that need coverage at critical moments. Is this too much to expect?

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    To me for this to be a success it really needs to knock it out of the park. Those low/no coverage rural spots need to be addressed. If they still end up with many uncovered spots it would be hard to consider it a success.

    Priority is nice but priority with no coverage won't cut it.

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    While they could be planning new towers in previous dead spots those types of projects are not only cost way more but they're much more time consuming. If they add on existing towers that saves them a good deal of cost but it can still take a months to a year or more depending on where they are to get approvals even if they use the "this is public safety" argument which, to be honest, nobody really cares about. If they're making a new tower the lead time is much much longer as there is more engineering and planning/zoning to go through. The upgrades they are doing to existing sites is a much more efficient way to make the buildout milestones in the short term but, yes, it's not doing anything to increase coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMcGraff View Post
    While they could be planning new towers in previous dead spots those types of projects are not only cost way more but they're much more time consuming. If they add on existing towers that saves them a good deal of cost but it can still take a months to a year or more depending on where they are to get approvals even if they use the "this is public safety" argument which, to be honest, nobody really cares about. If they're making a new tower the lead time is much much longer as there is more engineering and planning/zoning to go through. The upgrades they are doing to existing sites is a much more efficient way to make the buildout milestones in the short term but, yes, it's not doing anything to increase coverage.
    You are probably right. Everything I've read the past day leads me to believe that the build I originally thought they would do may not be that extensive. Sounds like priority is the biggest advantage but I've hit spots already with no coverage (I'm on firstnet) so that priority doesn't help in those cases.

    Hopefully over time they will routinely add more coverage and towers

    I know it's early in the process to fairly judge it at this point but in a few years if they still haven't covered some of those no coverage areas like western Nc,firstnet may have been better off with verizon

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    Quote Originally Posted by themanhimself View Post
    You are probably right. Everything I've read the past day leads me to believe that the build I originally thought they would do may not be that extensive. Sounds like priority is the biggest advantage but I've hit spots already with no coverage (I'm on firstnet) so that priority doesn't help in those cases.

    Hopefully over time they will routinely add more coverage and towers

    I know it's early in the process to fairly judge it at this point but in a few years if they still haven't covered some of those no coverage areas like western Nc,firstnet may have been better off with verizon
    Good point,

    Basically what firstnet is going to be from a network standpoint

    At&t adding band 14 to most and maybe all towers eventually and maybe building some new towers here and there. In other words, at&t will build the least amount of towers that they can get away with and still meet firstnet requirements.

    Firstnet really doesn't require any more coverage than what verizon currently covers but it does require priority when needed.

    The firstnet network won't be any better than Verizon except for giving priority to first responders when needed. Band 14 isn't a magical mhz that will give instant nationwide coverage in every sq inch. Never going to happen.

    Tmobiles 600 will be able to match it as TMobile continues to upgrade and expand over time. If anything, TMobile could utilize .8 towers for every 1 tower of 700mhz.

    To sum it up, firstnet won't be any better than any other network where competitors choose to build out also, other than giving firstnet first dibs on the network. Capacity improvement yes but coverage most likely won't be any different than it would have been without firstnet

    Plus 1k or so towers total is a total joke when we are talking about public safety

    Last, in my opinion at& is already showing signs of skimping

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    "I don’t know what part of the state you are in but they have tried building sites in certain areas and folks threw a fit about having a new eye sore in their town. Sparta, NC comes to mind.

    There were 3 other sites approved in Ashe County a couple of years ago but as far as I know they haven’t been built yet.

    Yanceyville (pop. < 2000) which is not too far from me was approved for a new site sometime around 2011 but it didn’t go live till 2016. They are putting new sites up it just seems to be a slow process. It can take a while before the coverage map reflects the new change in coverage as well.

    Firstnet may give AT&T some leverage in the name of public safety. "


    I live in the RTP, but I travel and work in rural parts of NC, like Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington Counties. I was hoping FirstNet would extend additional coverage into some of those areas. I've noticed t-mobile coverage has improved dramatically some areas with new Band 71. But the t-mobile footprint still hasn't yet extended beyond existing Verizon coverage in that region.

    BTW, I agree the area between Sparta and the VA border is one part of NC that really needs additional coverage. I hope they can find someplace to locate a new tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealf_2000 View Post
    "I don’t know what part of the state you are in but they have tried building sites in certain areas and folks threw a fit about having a new eye sore in their town. Sparta, NC comes to mind.

    There were 3 other sites approved in Ashe County a couple of years ago but as far as I know they haven’t been built yet.

    Yanceyville (pop. < 2000) which is not too far from me was approved for a new site sometime around 2011 but it didn’t go live till 2016. They are putting new sites up it just seems to be a slow process. It can take a while before the coverage map reflects the new change in coverage as well.

    Firstnet may give AT&T some leverage in the name of public safety. "


    I live in the RTP, but I travel and work in rural parts of NC, like Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington Counties. I was hoping FirstNet would extend additional coverage into some of those areas. I've noticed t-mobile coverage has improved dramatically some areas with new Band 71. But the t-mobile footprint still hasn't yet extended beyond existing Verizon coverage in that region.

    BTW, I agree the area between Sparta and the VA border is one part of NC that really needs additional coverage. I hope they can find someplace to locate a new tower.
    Not sure how close it is to you but I remember being in Boone and not being able to use att while with tmobile was able to make a call. It was a weak signal but the call went through fine which was surprising

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