T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray talks Sprint merger network integration

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Ever since T-Mobile and Sprint announced that they have agreed to a merger deal, there have been questions about how Sprint’s network would be integrated with T-Mobile’s. Now T-Mo CTO Neville Ray has talked a bit more about that process.

Ray says that it would take two to three years to integrate the T-Mobile and Sprint networks if their merger deal is approved. Speaking at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, the T-Mobile CTO said that the process would look similar to T-Mobile’s integration with MetroPCS and that T-Mo would use the same “secret sauce” that it used to migrate MetroPCS customers to integrate Sprint customers to its network.

Ray went on to say this about integrating the T-Mobile and Sprint networks:

“You identify the anchor network as we would call it, which is the T-Mobile network. You build and light up all of the spectrum assets of the company on that combined network. You add some scale to it, some density in key markets from the other network where it makes sense to avoid building that cost in over the following years.

“And then you start to migrate customers across from the Sprint network onto the New T-Mobile network. That sounds very simple and the beautiful thing is it actually is pretty simple if you go at it that way.”

Ray went on to say that there are more than 20 million Sprint customers with phones that are compatible with T-Mobile’s network and that T-Mo and Sprint estimate that their deal will get approval from regulators in Q2 2019.

This all lines up with what T-Mobile and Sprint have said about their integration before. The companies have said that they aim to use T-Mobile as the anchor network and increase network density and coverage with select Sprint “keep” cell sites. They will deploy 2.5GHz spectrum on T-Mobile sites and the full T-Mo spectrum portfolio on Sprint “keep” while aggressively migrating CDMA voice to VoLTE.

T-Mobile and Sprint have also said that with their combined spectrum resources, they’ll have “the breadth and depth to create the first nationwide 5G network.” The network would use T-Mobile’s low-band and mmWave spectrum along with Sprint’s mid-band airwaves for its network.

Source: FierceWireless

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  • Jason

    Interesting! This is exactly how I thought it’d be done. T-Mo as the core base network and then just adding in Sprint spectrum on top. That is exactly what happened to Metro.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Just what I was hoping for

  • Mark McCoskey

    It’s going to be an affordable unlimited data Project Fi.

  • Patrick McLaughlin

    i guess this means that our current phones will be able to use Sprints frequencies? no need for new phones?

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      Depends on the phone.

      • Patrick McLaughlin

        S8 active

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Should be fine

        • Sharti24

          All iphones 6 and newer should work for LTE on both networks. Correct?

        • Kaulana1989

          Not iPhone 6 does not have band 12 6’s and newwr

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          iPhones currently don’t have band 71 600mhz. But have every other band on 6s and above

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Should, yes

      • superg05

        most of the newer galaxy devices can

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          perhaps, i know my pixel has sprint bands on it. My wifes phone too

      • Patrick McLaughlin

        Do you know if the lg v30 will cover bands 25,26&41?

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          Don’t know, Google it with the carrier it’s from and it should list the bands

    • Fabian Cortez

      I wouldn’t be surprised if T-Mobile started deploying Sprint’s spectrum using Band 7 (FDD) instead of using the oddball Band 41 (TDD) that they’re currently using.

      This would align themselves with Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Of course the FCC may need to be involved to permit its use.

      A lot of T-Mobile phones have supported Band 7 for LTE for years now.

  • Sharti24

    I wonder if the government will force Tmobile to sell some of the spectrum they obtained from Sprint if they approve the merger.

    • (J²)

      Most likely due to all the spectrum they were able to acquire in the incentive auction. There will be some markets where they have too much spectrum.

  • (J²)

    T-Mobile does have poor customer service. They have focused too much on quantity not quality and that would be my biggest gripe. As for the racist stores, that is an issue everywhere, not just in SC (or the US) nor is it limited to T-Mobile.

    I think rates will probably stay the same. T-Mobile is hoping to position themselves as an alternative to the traditional ISP’s. T-Mobile is essentially challenging all industries and with the last announcement being entry into the paid-TV industry, I wouldn’t be surprised that the company becomes something like Verizon or AT&T.

    Unfortunately, in order to continue to have influence over the industries, we need a player to act as a distributor. Even if that means changes we may not agree with or prices will go sky high.

    • T-Mobile consistently wins awards for how good its customer service is. But there are bound to be a few cases of poor service when you’re serving millions of people.

  • Patrick McLaughlin

    Does anyone know if the lg v30 will cover the sprint bands 25,26&41?

  • Mike Thaler

    What is your first language? Hard to read/understand what you wrote.

  • Patrick McLaughlin

    Does anyone know by if the lg v30 does bands 25,26&41 so the merger goes thru?