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Thread: Sooo... The Merger's Happening

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    Sooo... The Merger's Happening

    What's going to become of Sprint's 2G network?

    I suspect this means it'll be shut down sooner than later, but pre-merger Sprint planned to keep it on until the end of 2021. Would post-merger Sprint honor that?

    c

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    TMO will not maintain CDMA any longer than they have to. They don't even need some of the Sprint LTE spectrum. You can wait for the notice that your service is going to end, but I advise looking for an exit strategy sooner than later. Many will need new phones.

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    I see. Hmm...

    Well, I have fully compliant, VoLTE capable iPhones on Verizon, so my main lines are good, but I have activated a 2G StarTAC (ST7868W) as a secondary. I'm using Ting for this, which is an MVNO of both Sprint and T-Mobile (coincidentally) and also the only MVNO I've found that would even touch a 2G phone (most of the others have begun to only activate VoLTE-capable LTE phones, as with the major carriers).

    In light of this merger, I guess I better enjoy my 2G service while it lasts, because I'm never going to be able to activate my phone anywhere else unless I devise a way to emulate either a 1G analog network or 2G digital one semi-legally (there is a way, using an SDR and some open source software, but SDRs are expensive).

    However, US Cellular (USCC) might still be an option. How are they going to handle this? I haven't heard any definite dates for their inevitable 2G shutdown.

    c
    Last edited by cc333; 02-12-2020 at 04:31 AM. Reason: reworded to make the post more clear

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    Quote Originally Posted by cc333 View Post
    What's going to become of Sprint's 2G network?

    I suspect this means it'll be shut down sooner than later, but pre-merger Sprint planned to keep it on until the end of 2021. Would post-merger Sprint honor that?

    c
    It would depend on how many people actually still use/need 2G. With the internet being what it is, I'm guessing it's not that high of a total. T-Mobile will likely focus on strengthening the network since there are a number of phones that can be used on whatever new plans they want to roll out. And there are a number of prepaid phones that are compatible with both carrier's LTE network. If they focus on that, and can get people off of 2G, the network conversion could go smoother than the MetroPCS T-Mobile merger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cc333 View Post
    What's going to become of Sprint's 2G network?

    I suspect this means it'll be shut down sooner than later, but pre-merger Sprint planned to keep it on until the end of 2021. Would post-merger Sprint honor that?
    My thought is that it will take T-Mobile that long to migrate existing 2G-only phones over to LTE/VoLTE phones. Popular consensus holds that T-Mobile will migrate existing Sprint customers to T-Mobile's network first then integrate Sprint's mid-band spectrum into T-Mobile's network. Sprint's band-41 spectrum will be used for 5G-NR. Band-26 is going to DISH. T-Mobile will reutilize some of Sprint's towers but the bulk of them will be made available to DISH. Boost and their customers go to DISH, which, in the mid-term, will operate as a T-Mobile MVNO, while building out their own 5G network using their existing spectrum holdings, Sprint's band-26 and many of Sprint's, now redundant, tower leases. It will probably take a couple of years just for DISH to be able to offer Boost customers new 5G phones to replace their existing phones. There are clearly a lot of moving parts in this deal. Many people question, perhaps justifiably, the sincerity of DISH's intentions.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    My thought is that it will take T-Mobile that long to migrate existing 2G-only phones over to LTE/VoLTE phones. Popular consensus holds that T-Mobile will migrate existing Sprint customers to T-Mobile's network first then integrate Sprint's mid-band spectrum into T-Mobile's network. Sprint's band-41 spectrum will be used for 5G-NR. Band-26 is going to DISH. T-Mobile will reutilize some of Sprint's towers but the bulk of them will be made available to DISH. Boost and their customers go to DISH, which, in the mid-term, will operate as a T-Mobile MVNO, while building out their own 5G network using their existing spectrum holdings, Sprint's band-26 and many of Sprint's, now redundant, tower leases. It will probably take a couple of years just for DISH to be able to offer Boost customers new 5G phones to replace their existing phones. There are clearly a lot of moving parts in this deal. Many people question, perhaps justifiably, the sincerity of DISH's intentions.
    Since we seem to be a crossroads between LTE and 5G, I wonder how much of this conversion will be allowed to progress naturally. There's already a significant overlap in compatibility between so many Sprint and T-Mobile devices (e.g. iPhones, Samsung's, etc.), and over the next 2-3 years many of us will naturally transition to new 5G devices, so I suspect there won't be that many Sprint customers who are "forced" to switch devices to stay with New T-Mo.



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    I'm guessing Dish will have the goal of being like AT&T Direct TV in their offerings in the future. When looking at some Boost locations, I openly wonder if Dish will really want to keep all of them as is or shut some of them down. I also wonder if they will focus more on getting into Walmart and Best Buy stores, or perhaps Costco and Sam's Clubs that have heavy foot traffic. As I said in another post, I heard some Boost companies say that they were trying to get to 50 stores before the merger happened so that they would, in their own mind, have leverage to get a better deal or to have a better chance of sticking around. It will be interesting to see the compensation deal that Dish offers dealers since everyone will have to sign a new agreement to be a part of the new Boost Mobile.

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    Sprint is way behind in moving to VoLTE, but my guess is that Sprint CDMA dies between EOY 2022 and EOY 2023, leaving only USCC and some tiny regional carriers that are independent or part of Verizon LTEiRA in the CDMA business, if even them. By 2025, I'd think 99% of the CDMA in the US will be gone. Sprint's CDMA will be the last part to go, since VoLTE-capable phones will move to T-Mobile first, and CDMA uses a very small amount of spectrum.

    My guess is that they split B41 between Sprint and T-Mobile during the integration or allow devices to use either one, as T-Mobile alone doesn't have enough capacity to soak up Sprint customers without that B41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    Sprint's CDMA will be the last part to go, since VoLTE-capable phones will move to T-Mobile first, and CDMA uses a very small amount of spectrum.

    My guess is that they split B41 between Sprint and T-Mobile during the integration or allow devices to use either one, as T-Mobile alone doesn't have enough capacity to soak up Sprint customers without that B41.
    They could start migrating about half of the Sprint customers fairly quickly. The carriers know which accounts are VoLTE capable if there is a registered IMEI. Not sure if Sprint does that like Verizon does.

    B41 is going to be usable in urban areas, but may not be enough transmitting range for outer areas. Sprint has built out pretty well in some outer areas. Much better in my area than T-Mo, which needs B71 that a lot of phones don't have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    They could start migrating about half of the Sprint customers fairly quickly. The carriers know which accounts are VoLTE capable if there is a registered IMEI. Not sure if Sprint does that like Verizon does.

    B41 is going to be usable in urban areas, but may not be enough transmitting range for outer areas. Sprint has built out pretty well in some outer areas. Much better in my area than T-Mo, which needs B71 that a lot of phones don't have.
    T-Mobile has a lot of spectrum that's largely unused in rural areas, but neither Sprint nor T-Mobile have many customers there. Urban and suburban are where they are going to have to play a bit of a dance to move customers around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    T-Mobile has a lot of spectrum that's largely unused in rural areas, but neither Sprint nor T-Mobile have many customers there. Urban and suburban are where they are going to have to play a bit of a dance to move customers around.
    This is why I'd like to see Sprint's band-41 LTE sites undergo a transition from Sprint, to shared, to T-Mobile. Accommodating a lot of new customers on T-Mobile's urban networks is going to put a lot of additional strain on an already over-taxed network. Sprint's mid-band licenses can probably be switched over from Sprint's towers to T-Mobile's overnight. Band-41 is going to take some work. My understanding (which is based mostly on "scuttlebutt") is that T-Mobile plans to replace all the band-41 sites with 5G equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    This is why I'd like to see Sprint's band-41 LTE sites undergo a transition from Sprint, to shared, to T-Mobile. Accommodating a lot of new customers on T-Mobile's urban networks is going to put a lot of additional strain on an already over-taxed network. Sprint's mid-band licenses can probably be switched over from Sprint's towers to T-Mobile's overnight. Band-41 is going to take some work. My understanding (which is based mostly on "scuttlebutt") is that T-Mobile plans to replace all the band-41 sites with 5G equipment.
    Sprint has to leave B25 and B26 on for a while for their own customers. B41 shared would be ideal, as it has a ton of capacity. The huge benefit of B41/n41 will finally be realized when they combine sites and have the density to cover more people with B41/n41.

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    Wondering if tmobile will add their equipment to Sprint sites where Tmobile has no coverage and Sprint does? There's about 3 Sprint towers in my area with no or extremely low coverage on Tmobile network

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckspaul View Post
    Wondering if tmobile will add their equipment to Sprint sites where Tmobile has no coverage and Sprint does? There's about 3 Sprint towers in my area with no or extremely low coverage on Tmobile network ....
    They're supposed to keep Sprint site leases that are not redundant and let DISH have the rest.

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    They announced that now about 80% of Sprint’s customers have a phone that works on T-Mobile. I was on MetroPCS when T-Mobile migration from CDMA to GSM starting in 2013. It will be easier now since most phones supports LTE. There could be problems with VoLTE which is over 90% of T- Mobile voice calls. T-Mobile will instantly move anyone that gets a new phone. Still expect a full year for the Non-Compatible phones since T-Mobile will want to encourage people to buy new phones. At the end just before T-Mobile sunsets the Sprint Network they will offer a good credit for the Sprint Branded phones to get as many people as they can to move as they shutdown the a Sprint Network.

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