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T-Mobile, MetroPCS and why it may work

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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T-Mobile, MetroPCS and why it may work
It was the first question asked after the merger announcement, how will the new company manage completely incompatible networks? The question is supremely relevant. Look at what happened after Sprint acquired Nextel, systems never merged as envisioned and the mountain of debt incurred on the deal left Sprint spinning through years of continuous subscriber losses, still paying down the note leveraged for the merger and is resulting in the carrier to shut down the Nextel network completely and convert it for other uses. That does not even begin to address decisions the company made adopting WiMAX and investing their licenses with Clearwire.

The merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS will certainly pursue a different game plan. T-Mobile’s CTO, Neville Ray says that the key to the success of both these companies is their path pursuing LTE. The next step will be that T-Mobile will migrate MetroPCS customers to equipment that use T-Mobile’s network.

From day one, T-Mobile expects to start selling phones that have the MetroPCS brand, but use T-Mobile’s network. After migrating existing subscribers off of MetroPCS’s CDMA network, it will be shut down and the spectrum will be used to deploy LTE service.  The process may take a couple years to complete.

“The technology pieces are fairly straightforward here, I don’t see any big technology barriers we need to knock down.”
  – Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile USA

That is a plain, no nonsense way of looking at it, and T-Mobile USA would certainly benefit from the extra spectrum while also obtaining existing LTE services that MetroPCS already has. Bear in mind, Mr. Ray also thought that the iPhone 5 would support T-Mobile USA’s AWS spectrum.  However, that assumption was made based on the idea of the type of baseband chip being used in the new iPhone.

In terms of the overall plan to make the merger work between T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, it is clearly feasible and the goals attainable. The company also has the lessons learned by Sprint as well. When a company takes over, it needs to “take over.” With a plan like the one Ray mentioned, the merger is about logistics, not technology. Couple that completed plan with the carrier’s well liked customer service, and it is sure to be a contender.

source: All Things D

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posted on 07 Oct 2012, 02:07 4

1. Lboogey6 (Posts: 281; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)

very smart

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 05:55 2

2. depeche (Posts: 63; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

This makes sense...
T-Mobile may get a leg in the LTE realm while making itself a bit larger, hopefully more profitable.
Down the road it may be the third largest phone carrier, however, Sprint seems to have a very active LTE deployment which will be central in any customers expectations.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 12:48

4. lsutigers (Posts: 821; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)

14 to 22 mbps on T-Mobile's HSPA??? I know the network is theoretically capable ot 42.2 mbps but I have never seen that in real world use. The people I know with TMO, usually get 3-5mbps on HSPA. LTE is theoretically capable of 100 mbps, do you ever see that? Not saying it's not possible but highly unlikely.

Also, you are comparing a very mature 3.5G network to a brand new LTE network from Sprint, they are just now beginning to deploy. In some areas I have tested I saw LTE speeds of 25-30mbps in Atlanta. You are comparing Sprint's average to TMO's non existent high end.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 15:06 2

5. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Your assumptions are off

The network being capable and the device being capable are 2 different things. There are a range of "4g" phones on Tmobile (14.4mb/s, 21mb/s, 42mb/s. ) You also have to be in an HSPA+ market, not just HSPA or HSDPA. Here in jacksonville, grab an SGS3 and run the test. I've seen spikes in the 30s with sustained speeds anywhere from 8-25mb/s. National speed tests put Tmobile at just a hair under VZW's LTE and at nearly half the cost.

LTE-Advance is capable of 100mb/s. NO ONE has LTE-A Yet. The fastest available is on VZW and ATT which get speeds up to the 40s. But just like HSPA+, sustained speeds are 7-mid 20s for most people.
Metro uses a joke of LTE that never goes over like 7. It sucks. You get what you pay for.
Tmobile's implementation of LTE is going to be LTE-10 which is a faster radio than what VZW/ATT uses. It's also just a software upgrade to LTE-A's 100mb/s.

in 2013, Tmobile will have the fastest LTE with the fastest HSPA+ back up radios, and still for nearly half the price of VZW/ATT.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 19:21 1

12. mdolphins9998 (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

Thank you....somebody who knows what the HELL they are talking about!!!!!!!!! #HELL YEAAAA

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 21:19

10. Hughey2k2 (Posts: 14; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

I have an SGS2 on T-Mobile my average speed test is around 14 to 19mbs in northeast Nj

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 01:00

11. DSmithee (unregistered)

If anything, Tmobile gets more capacity in a few very key metro markets. Dallas/Ft. Worth metro, all of Florida, a large chunk of Calfornia, part of MIchigan, etc...

Seems smart to me.

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 21:02

15. DSmithee (unregistered)

You're preaching to the choir--I dumped Verizon not too long ago because I didn't want to pay $100 a month to use a smartphone. So I jumped ship to Virgin.

Geezus, was that eye-opening. Sprint's data is HORRIBLE in South Florida. I barely get reception anywhere, and my data speeds are miserable. I'll probably sign up with T-Mobile in the near future--$69 for 500 min and 2 GB of data with unlimited texting. That's fine with me.

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