The Cost To Build Out An LTE Network For T-Mobile? One Analyst Thinks $9 Billion

With the AT&T deal now nothing more than a memory, T-Mobile USA faces the daunting task of rebuilding, revitalizing and working toward the build-out of a LTE network. The cost associated with such a task? According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Atkin, it will cost as much as $9 billion for T-Mobile purchase spectrum, build-out and deploy.

Deutsche Telekom CEO told analysts this week that the company is already spending around $3 billion annually on capital expenditures for T-Mobile which includes network upgrades to HSPA+ technology. As a result of the collapsed deal, Deutsche Telekom might find its belt tightened as it faces problems in its European markets as well as the United States.

“If you’re looking for a plan B now you’ll probably have to invest more in this business,” Bruno Lippens, a fund manager at Pictet Asset Management in Geneva, which holds about 14 million Deutsche Telekom shares, told Bloomberg. “And if you don’t have the cash available because you are allocating it to fiber in Germany, and dividends–and you probably need to do something in Greece as well– then it just adds to this whole list of strategic priorities that the management has.”

When asked about the possibility of a Sprint deal and whether or not Deutsche Telekom would have been better off had they chosen to go down that road, Obermann would only say that they have to make the best out of the current situation.

“The other alternatives at the time didn’t look nearly as attractive to all stakeholders, including the customers, including the U.S. agenda, the national broadband plan,” Obermann said during an interview with Bloomberg, when asked whether a deal with Sprint would have been better. “We have to take the proceeds now and move on and make the best out of the situation.”

At the end of the day, all of this means that the likelihood of T-Mobile finding another partner in the future is increased including potential partnerships with Dish or Clearwire. For now, it’s business as usual and that’s about all we can hope for.

Bloomberg, Fierce Wireless

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  • Anonymous

    I think a LTE roll out is definitively possible, but i would like to see Tmo out of the hands of DT.  I feel like DT is like a evil step mom who acts nice to your face, but it always trying to turn your dad against you.  Plus i dont trust them at all since they tried to sell Tmo off to the Devil.

  • steven

    you couldn’t have chosen a better picture for the article, david.  it made me lol.  

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Thanks you! I tried!

  • http://twitter.com/SocalFrank1 Frank Alvarez

    Maybe someone can explain why LTE is so important when TMO’s HSPA+ seems to be fast enough for most people’s needs.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Spectral efficiency. LTE can do exactly what HSPA+ does, but it was designed with the U.S. spectral constraints in mind, so it can do more with less spectrum. UMTS and HSPA+ were designed with the Euro and Asian strict band planning concepts in mind, which typically allocate 60-80MHz of a band to a carrier. 10MHz of LTE can do what 20MHz of HSPA+ Release 8 can do. At LTE-Advanced, it can do in 20MHz what would take 40-60MHz on HSPA+ Release 9.

      • http://twitter.com/TuckerPeterson Tucker A. Peterson

        Ah the old do more with less but costs more option.  I don’t see DT shelling out that kind of dough so depending on how they use the cash and spectrum from AT&T will most likely show the future of the current T-Mobile’s network.

      • Anonymous

        Then, it makes perfect sense to refarm PCS for LTE, and to do it later when all the equipment costs are more mature (lower), and battery usage is more efficient.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          If T-Mobile does it in late 2012 or early 2013, then they’ll be able to take advantage of third-generation cheaper LTE equipment that is more flexible and can be bolted onto their HSPA+ tower infrastructure. With their HSPA+ infrastructure supporting roughly 90% of what is needed for LTE anyway, the upgrade shouldn’t be too expensive for them.

    • Anonymous

      I’d be happy with continued progress of HSPA+ personally.  I think as a “budget carrier”  Maxing out HSPA+ is all fine and dandy for the masses instead of spending $9B on LTE.  Especially with the new roaming agreement and AWS they got from AT&T.

      IMO

      • Anonymous

        What Tmo needs to do in these 7 years is upgrade ALL the towers that the roaming agreement helps.  meaning put most of not all towers on GPRS on EDGE, and EDGE to 3G/HSPA+.  This way when the agreement ends, coverage/speed wont change very much.

        • Anonymous

          HSPA+ everywhere that currently is EDGE would be awesome.  

          Question:  That would mean dropping to a lower frequency right?  Leading to deeper building penetration?

        • Anonymous

          No, the reason the signal doesnt go through buildings right now because is frequency on the towers are set to go far and wide, not strong and short.  I think thats why, someone correct me if im wrong.

      • Jrumph

        9Billion? Shoot with the 3 or 4 billion from At&T for non acquisition, we are almost there. Couple telethons and boom!Done.

  • 123

    Obermann seemingly admits he didn’t go with sprint. I don’t like sprint either, but in the end 
    Obermann is a day late and a dollar short. 

    • Anonymous

      HHI-test analysis by Harold Feld says Sprint wouldn’t have passed the anti-trust hurdle either.

  • ABE

    They could just try to share towers with ATT, that doesn’t need the Fed’s approval.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Yeah, it does. The FCC is the guardian of all things radio in the United States. If it involves radio licenses, the FCC must approve it.

      • ABE

        Nope, the only thing the FCC would need to approve would be the dual band phones if the two companies continued to be separate entities.

  • Justbecause

    I would be happy if they just gave us 3G outside city limits!  Their highspeed coverage outside a metropolitan area is horrible.

    • 3G Roam

      Definitely agree. 3G is fast enough for many smart phone users and even for most tethering uses. Also UMTS/HSPA is much more battery efficient than LTE. Maybe we will get this soon on 850 and 1900 UMTS with the new AT&T 3G roaming agreement. Nokia penta band phones will go up in value if this happens and probably millions more iPhone users will switch to T-Mobile.

  • Budnum8

    Does anyone know since tmobile has an agreement with Att can I put my old iPhone4 on the tmobile network @ 850/1900 band. So it can use 3G ?

    • Anonymous

      No, not in the way you’re thinking, currently.

      • Bigra718

        Yo can but only in some areas where T-Mo is re allocating 1900 spectrum !!!

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      When the agreement is fully activated, you probably can. But don’t forget that T-Mobile can boot you off for excessive roaming usage. On the other hand, they are refarming PCS for HSPA+ and later LTE, so you will eventually get some native coverage too.

  • MIKEEEEE

    if all the carriers could agree like all the electric companies do and have something similar to the national power grid.

    LTE would be really simple and way cheaper to roll out.there would be ubiquitious coverage and all would be happy.only downside would be less corporate suits, oh wait, no downside there.

    BTW; i love the way blogsters drink analysts’ kool aid.

    these are the same guys who have told us to buy, buy, buy since 1929 while they were selling.

    • Anonymous

      Man they must be OLD!!

  • Dan

    Why must they go to LTE?  I don’t get it.  My Samsung Galaxy SII is has really fast data speeds.

  • Anonymous

    LTE won’t cost that much for T-Mobile because HSPA+ is a stopgap to LTE (much better than EV-DO to LTE), making the upgrades less costly and easier to implement. It won’t even cost Sprint that much and they have the task of deploying fiber backhaul to all of their starved cell sites, much of which T-Mobile has already done. eHPRD (i think that’s the acronym) is also another hurdle for EV-DO/CDMA2000

    • archerian

      I think most of Sprint’s backhaul is via Microwave, not fiber

      • TMOLOYAL

        Where do you get your information? Clearwire is heavily microwave, but Sprint is straight T-1′s by whatever the local franchised LEC has in the ground just like most everyone else. The only time this is different is in the case of the cable company agreements and Sprint is not a huge user of that.

  • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

    I think they’re better off just licensing space from AT&T and Verizon. Then we can buy unlocked AT&T phones and they’ll work on T-Mo :)

  • Foofighter28

    with the spectrum that they have it was projected that the site density would be 4-5 times more than it is now.  you think it’s difficult to get a site approved by the cities now you’re going to tell them that you need 4-5 more times more than that.  Good luck w/ that

  • Fed up!

    T mobile has officially lost me as a costumer. Just got off the phone with a representative and they have no clue. Treat regular customers like step children and new ones like royalty. Bunch of B.S.

    • Anonymous

      They wouldn’t give you a full upgrade when you’re only 1 year into your contract?

    • http://tmonews.com David

      You’d be saying the same thing if you had AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. It’s the same story for every carrier.

      • Anonymous

        Completely agree.

    • Guest

      what the heck is a costumer (oh wait someone who wears costumes)…well hey its not halloween.

    • Anonymous

      haha where you gonna go?
      yesterday my in-laws’ phones got turned off because of an AT&T mistake showing their bill online as $0.00. They spend $130 a month and have been AT&T customers since 1968 and late 90s for wireless.

      Guess how much AT&T cared it was all their fault?! … Exactly

    • Jcj1

      You sure it isn’t that you just don’t understand what they need you to do or that just refuse to do it??? My guess is that you refuse to do what they asked cause you are obviously a cell phone guru and know everything. Clearly they have proven steps to resolve issues and when done the issue will be resolved, either by fixing issue or replacing device. If you work with them things get done, if you resist, you are the problem not T-Mobile

    • Anonymous

      Exactly, I switched to AT&T, and they’ve treated me with respect (such a shock, I though it would be bad).

      And having an LTE-enabled phone, it’s just amazing. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Matt_Harman76 Matthew Harman

    Something to look at is that the Nokia Equipment that is deployed in most of the Markets, will do LTE it’s just a license they need to purchase to activate it on the equipment. I believe the hardware can do HSPA+ and LTE at the same time, just need the spectrum and the compatible Antenna.

    • TMOLOYAL

      As someone who works on that Nokia (NSN) equipment everyday, you are mistaken in your observation. It can be added, but it is not quite that simple.

      • Matthew Harman

        I also work on the equipment everyday. I’m just going off of what my supervisor who has never worked on it told me.

  • Jane johns

    This would be a great opportunity for DT to go all out and really develop TMobile US. Run right over AT&T so to speak

    • Anonymous

      Not unless they start planning an LTE network, and with AT&T unofficially firing up LTE in markets like it’s fucking Christmas (because it is!), they’ll need to start fast to buy spectrum and make it pay off.

  • http://twitter.com/fightcrazy Vinny Lyons

    T-Mobile does not need LTE. Build out what you have which is a very fast HSPA+ Network. LTE is just fast data that sucks up battery, I have it with Verizon and I also have HSPA+ with T-Mobile. It doesn’t matter what you call it as long as it works and it is fast. I would much rather have a fast HSPA+ then a fast LTE. HSPA+ is used world wide, you can switch sim cards and you are good to go where ever you are n the world. LTE is a battery killer. The bottom line is LTE is not needed, T-Mobile has the FASTEST HSPA+ NETWORK. That is all they need, just build it out. Many of todays so called experts also agree with this. The dollars that you would have to spend on LTE could easily take HSPA+ nationwide, T-Mobile would be all set for a very long time.

    • archerian

      T-mobile might not need LTE right now as LTE is still in its early adoption stage, but if it sticks around to boosting HSPA speeds, when all other competitors have stable LTE networks (with full LTE speeds) then it will lose out. At that time, since most carriers will have LTE networks, all good devices, apps and services  will be designed to run on LTE networks, and might not be optimally designed for HSPA+ (Something like right now running say the Netflix app on EDGE)… LTE definitely has its advantages – its more efficient in using radio resources, lesser latency, etc that makes it the technology of the future… Battery issues will be overcome… In short, I would say  if T-mobile doesnt start LTE plans now, it might suffer 3-4 years from now.. but it can still be a value player with good HSPA+ speeds

      • Jcj1

        This is just what people were saying about T-Mobile launching 3G, now their 3G network is great, mainly because they waited for the tech to advance instead of jumping right on it. Patience pays off! 

    • Roger

      What I don’t see is the cost of an LTE rollout later.  In general computing related equipment gets significantly cheaper over time.  I’d assume that if tmo waited 5 years then the rollout would be cheaper than the $9b today.  Phones would also be cheaper (the part doing LTE anyway).

    • SenorAnderson

      LTE needs less spectrum to get the same speed vs. HSPA+. Also what will be really awesome about LTE is voice over LTE (VoLTE). Moving voice over to a data network will save spectrum and increase voice and data capacity. 

    • Alandicho

      you obviously don’t know what you are saying.  How could you favor HSPA+ over LTE???…Ok, let’s say you are right that HSPA+ is as good or even better choice than LTE.  But your argument of HSPA+ being used worldwide is BS!  True HSPA+ maybe worldwide but T-Mobile USA is THE ONLY CARRIER IN THE ENTIRE GLOBE that uses HSPA+ in the AWS Band!  

      • Anonymous

        I thumbed your post, but remember that sim compatibility remains and more popular phones are using pentaband or a higher range of band compatibility. So a phone like the galaxy nexus has up to 21mbps, which is pretty damn nice to have.

      • Durandal_1707

        “T-Mobile USA is THE ONLY CARRIER IN THE ENTIRE GLOBE that uses HSPA+ in the AWS Band!”

        Yeah, except for Cincinnati Bell, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Videotron, and others…

  • Jeepnfun

    If T-mobile takes on a buisness ventur with clearwire, you can bet it will be the down fall of the company. Clear is a poor company with a bad customer service. A company that is loosing customers faster than any other internet service provider. T-mobile does not need a black eye like that.

  • Yawny

    Pssst Jonathon,  with what Tmobile already has….there’s no need to rush to LTE….  and it will get cheaper to deploy every year.

    Gee, look how long ATT has stretched copper out. Many more years than anyone expected, certianly the cable companies!

    • Anonymous

      hspa+ is very good. Lte ain’t much better, besides LTE is the grim reaper for batteries.

      • http://twitter.com/StonersLane Kha

        You have no clue how fast LTE is compared to HSPA+.

        • Jcj1

          HSPA+ evolutions are comparable to LTE and HSPA+ currently does voice and data where LTE does data only. This alone can increase data speeds and HSPA+ does well with voice/data. LTE is fast, however HSPA+ is nearly as fast and eventually can get slightly faster. I am not saying which is better, I have never used LTE so cannot say.

        • Anonymous

          Speed wise (speedtest), HSPA+ can get close to LTE, but when it comes to actual latency, LTE will completely hand HSPA+ it’s network back.

          LTE also handles spectrum much more efficiently.

          VoLTE is in the testing stages, and once that has gone through, carriers like AT&T and Verizon will probably get everyone onto the LTE network, and shutdown their older networks to reuse that spectrum.

          Also, @Yawny, I don’t even understand how AT&T has managed to stretch copper like that, being able to put 24mbps down copper, and to provide LTE backhaul (granted, they’re using fiber for that, like VZW). 

  • Yawny

    Absolutely…. you got it.   30 something MBAs pumped up to think they’re gods. There were MULTIPLE dethronings of these kids over the last 15 years. 
     
    I can recall going to Technology Conferences and frequently running into some I knew.
     
    Was fun overhearing them at booths asking questions that were a nieve distance from a good understanding of the particular business….basically they were  “missing the big picture forest for the nit pick financial trees”.
     
    Of course there are some are great…. usually the ones that are satisfied to follow their industry for years instead of climbing the investment banking ladder. .

  • Tech7

    All Tmobile needs is a 4″ 42mbps max Iphone 4GS on HSPA+ and all their problems will be solved.

    • randyohsofly

      You mean your problem will be solved.smdh not everyone needs an iPhone

    • Frigadroid

      Why don’t you just get a 4g phone? Why don’t you just get a 4g clone?

    • IPhoneeatsbutt

      IPhone is over rated .

  • Wsj

    9 Billion to roll out LTE, BS they are not going to put it up outside of major Metro areas.  Dont believe me just drive out your city limits with you 4g and see how fast it drops to Edge.  TMUS will stick woth what it has or partner for LTE.  By the way, this USA LTE standard sucks.  Please give me a system where I run my phones anywhere, esp the EU, that was the origional selling point from Voicestream GSM service.

  • Vim

    $9 billion for an LTE buildout seems cheap compared to the $15-20 billion needed to convince Apple to give them the IPhone.  The $3 billion from the AT&T deal, even if DT gives the entire breakup fee to T-Mobile US, is a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.

  • Anonymous

    The 600 Mbps HSPA+ figure gets bandied about a lot.  But that is just theory and, for several reasons, will not likely ever happen actual in practice.

    Wireless communications is not magic.  The continual software upgrades to W-CDMA seem to have led some to believe that these advances can continue ad infinitum, that technology can allow us to squeeze ever more data throughput (e.g. HSDPA 14.0 -> 21.1 -> 42.2, etc.) down a W-CDMA 5 MHz carrier channel.  But this is not alchemy, nor will technology allow increases forever.  Rather, wireless communications is always subject to the Shannon capacity equation, which relates channel data carrying capacity to bandwidth and C/I ratio.

    So, if software upgrades cannot magically provide increases to data throughput, three options remain for increasing channel data throughput:

    *use ever higher order modulation schemes
    *enable multiple spatial channels via MIMO
    *increase bandwidth via Dual/Multi Carrier HSPA+

    First, higher order modulation does not seem to be the answer.  HSPA+ 21.1 and 42.2 both use 64-QAM to achieve their peak data rates.  But some real world drive tests indicate that the C/I ratio is high enough to support 64-QAM only 10 percent of the time.

    Second, MIMO has promise.  But it may not be the answer either, especially if multiple spatial stream usability in real world environments is not much greater than it is for 64-QAM.

    So, the surest bet to increase real world data throughput is to increase carrier channel bandwidth.  Note the progression from CDMA1X at 1.25 MHz bandwidth, to W-CDMA at 5 MHz bandwidth, to LTE at 5, 10, or even 20 MHz bandwidth.

    Now, as I understand theoretical 600 Mbps HSPA+, it would require Multi Carrier HSPA+ across eight 5 MHz carrier channels and MIMO, simultaneously.  That means it would require fully 80 MHz (40 MHz x 40 MHz) bandwidth.  And that presents at least two issues.  One, few wireless carriers anywhere in the world have that much spectrum available.  Two, if they did have that much spectrum, they would have plenty of spare bandwidth to deploy LTE instead.

    AJ

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Practically, the furthest that HSPA+ is likely to go is to 168Mbps. Any further and LTE becomes more cost effective unless you’re in a country that grants licenses that explicitly state what kind of technology can be deployed on it.

  • BigMixxx

    “Deutsche Telekom CEO told analysts this week that the company is already spending around $3 billion annually on capital expenditures for T-Mobile which includes network upgrades to HSPA+ technology.”

    Bull. that so mis-represents what they actually spend. Compared to the industry, that is probably the LOWEST in investment dollars.  At less than 700 million a quarter, with a solid 5 billion a quarter in revenues, 700 million is so little money…..

    • Anonymous

      yeah! cheapskates I have 700 million dollars in my wallet…oh wait thats just my monopoly money wth is that doing in there? oh here is my real wallet *opens it up* a couple of spider webs and some bats flew out

  • Guest

    Ok everyone please let me take time to explain in details
    about LTE and what Verizon, Metro PCS and AT+T is really doing with the
    technology. The LTE equipment built by Ericsson allows a carrier to put GSM,
    HSPA +and LTE equipment into a single cabinet of one cell site location.  Because the signal is converted into IP
    packets at the cell site location this allow greater utilization of the Spectrum
    (air waves) between the customer’s device and the serving cell.  LTE combines Time Division Multiple Access
    (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access and Wideband Coded Multiple Access (HSPA+).  The problem is that you can’t handover a call
    or data session from GSM, HSPA+ to LTE. So what are Verizon, Metro PCS and AT+T
    doing to compensate?  Making the cell phones
    dual band, dual technologies. When you buy a LTE phone and making a voice call,
    you are using Verizon and Metro’s CDMA network but when the customer is on the
    internet the customer is using the LTE network. The problem is your battery
    will go dead faster because you are using two network instead of one. With T
    Mobile having HSPA+, the voice and data are using the same network and spectrum.
    HSPA+ provides data speeds equal to LTE because HSPA+ is truly a single technology
    voice and data platform. This is why T Mobile can provide equal wireless data speeds
    to LTE markets of Verizon, Metro and AT+T. Apple is also fully aware of today’s
    LTE limitation which is why you have not seen an LTE I Phone. At some point LTE
    will evolve reach the capability ability when it can do both voice and data. It
    is really ashamed that people get caught up in the media hype and really do not
    understand that today LTE technologies is like that new car model  that everyone should wait to buy because you
    know the first year  models are always
    going to be defected. 

    • whoda

      Agreed.  After reading your comment and skimming through others, I think most people who posted here know that Tmo’s current HSPA+ network performs well and has the ability to compete with LTE at this stage of the US wireless market.  Although it’s great that all of us here are expressing what the media and the majority of the tech world should be talking about, the fact is that we live in a world of misinterpretation.  I mean, all these journalists and “techies” once reported that ITU doesn’t didn’t even declare LTE (not advanced) capable of being 4g technology and that 4g is declared on technology capable of 100mbps.  They quickly dismiss that and say repeatedly that Tmo needs to build a 4g network like Verizon.  Their words just brainwashed everyone to thinking Tmo’s technology is inferior even though to most consumers, they can’t even tell the difference.  Thanks a lot, media.

    • Alandicho

      You mean that there’s no IRAT HO between technologies?

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

        The LTE standard has built-in support for GSM/HSPA+/LTE handover. CDMA2000 handover requires eHPRD to simulate enough bits of a UMTS network for LTE be able to hand over to it.

    • sino8r

      That’s very true about dual band phones. Sprint-Nextel had this issue with their iDEN/CDMA combo phones when I worked there. My guess is the tech has improved since then but still… a major concern

  • http://cosmicbreeze.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

    I’m not genius about cellular infrastructure or whatever. But, I think T-Mobile should continue to build out & progress their current HSPA+ network now until it reaches the end of it’s maximum theoretical peaks. Like someone said before, in the future it may be much cheaper to then acquire the technology to upgrade to LTE. Especially considering how Android itself is kind of a battery leech, we don’t need to add LTE on it’s back to suck us dry, especially in the state we’re in now. I feel as though if they made that their main focus now, we might as well call ourselves out of a network now. As they say, “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” I get GREAT “4G” speeds on my Sensation, seriously what in the blue moon am I really gonna do with 42Mbps+ on my Smartphone anyway? The average person doesn’t need or isn’t even thinking about that.

    • Anonymous

      Not with data caps they most certainly aren’t

    • AnthonyRyan22

      I wish I could get good 4G on my sensation where I’m at but I agree with you on the HSPA+ they just need more towers so everyone can see those theoretical speeds because I don’t see much only 1-2mbps where I live and then in the city I’ll see 4-5 maybe up to 6 if I’m lucky

      • http://cosmicbreeze.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

        Yeah when I was in Tennessee I rarely got over if 2mbps download, but it was adequate enough. It was great to at least still have full 4G signal there when I’m originally from Detroit, MI.

  • Jamesworth

    People wake up 
    Deutsche Telekom isn’t investing one cent of that break up fee on T-Mobile USA they are having there own problems back overseas.

    • Enoel69

      We can’t be certain of that..nothing is set in stone. They might have a change of heart and realize the potential of what they were abt to let go…nine billion to build out Tmo LTE is doable. For now Tmo should stick with improving their HSPA+ to as far as it can go. If ppl are seeing speeds now with HSPA+42 that are closer to LTE then HSPA+84 will give us LTE type speeds. Therefore the next level of HSPA+ guessing HSPA+168 might even surpass LTE.

      • BigDaddyBey

        One key factor that many seem to forget or not speak about is the backhaul. To start HSPA+ current max is 84Mbps down & 22Mbps up if using MIMO & assuming you have access to the full 5 MHz spectrum at any given time. There is evolution happening to add dual cells and multi carriers if the technology is still invested in giving higher theoretical speeds but LTE is far beyond those speeds in testing already. Not to mention the greater efficiency in which LTE transfers between cell towers and how it handle voice & data packets internally, greatly reducing lag time which is huge in 3G products.
        That being said the biggest thing that seems to be left out of all marketing and discussion is backhaul. Once your cell phone reaches the tower at these blistering speeds in can’t get to the web unless the lines from the tower get to the internet cloud with the same or greater speeds. Considering multiple customers connect to one cell tower at any given time the backhaul would need to be gig speeds which T Mobile does not have the resources to compete with AT&T & Verizon who actually own local copper/fiber. Sprint too does not have the capacity to compete in these catagories. Government can legislate all they want to create fair practice but bottom line is that the money, technology, and resources all show signs that the clear winners and staples long term for cell service in the US will be the 2 telecom giants of red and blue.

        I hope for competition’s sake T-Mobile can hang in there but the future does not seem bright for this pink bulb. I have a feeling Sprint will be much like the Chrysler of the industry and get help so as not to have a tag team over the US but they will never rise to an equal stake as ATT & Verizon.

        just my 2 cents…

        • Guest

          You have made one of key point of LTE and that is “backhaul”.
          Verizon in the north east can provide 42 mbps to their cell sites because this
          is their home area. Outside of the north east they” Verizon” relay on the same
          providers that T Mobile, Sprint and Metro PCS use. Also what you missed is that
          that LTE technology has been oversold in the media. As I said in my early comments,
          Verizon, Metro and AT+T use one technology for voice and LTE for data only. You
          can all make all of the reason as to why LTE is better but the bottom line is
          today’s LTE does not efficiently combine voice and data this is why Verizon,
          Metro and AT+T use dual technology phones splitting voice and data usage. IF
          LTE worked as you said then there would be no reason to have dual band phone
          and Apple would not continue to produce I Phone working on CDMA.

           

          Yes, LTE is the future and it is a better technology but
          today’s LTE not capable of doing all that Ericsson and Nokia claims it can do.
          Also if T Mo had 4G phone that used the 2G network for voice and HSPA+ for data
          the data speed would be the same as Verizon, Metro PCS LTE data network. T Mo
          is smart to wait until Ericsson and Nokia correct LTE before spending 9 billion
          dollars, only to spend another 9 billion in equipment upgrades.

    • Tbyrne

      Thanks for the info James. I didn’t know you had the inside scoop.

      • Frank

        FWIW, that’s not really some inside scoop. Everybody in the industry has said the same thing. Heck, DT has said it by putting T-Mobile on their discontiuned operations list.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          T-Mobile USA is no longer on the discontinued operations list. They are now a functioning business within the scope of Deutsche Telekom. They remain on the balance sheet. 

  • Lubbalots

    Build product line up first.  Lte is just gimmick at this point.  Gotta have product to back up anything.

  • Kyle Weller

    Before upgrading to LTE, they need to first get the rural areas off Edge and on 3G/4G.  North East Pennsylvania needs an upgrade.  If they blanket the whole country in 3G at the least, they’ll get better customers.  They got awesome coverage in cities but, there is allot of money to be made in the suburbs and country as well.

  • http://www.absolutefiction.com Jed Tylman

    Which means it’s not coming anytime soon.