Verizon and T-Mobile continue to spend more on their networks
That dovetails with comments made by Verizon CTO Fran Shammo, who earlier this year said that Big Red would be done with its AWS build out by the end of the year. Last month, Verizon had AWS spectrum deployed in 400 of its top 500 LTE markets. After that, Verizon will start adding more capacity where needed by building up distributed antenna systems and small cells
T-Mobile is said to be spending its capital expenditure money on adding recently purchases 700MHz spectrum to major markets. There is talk that the carrier will add more 1900MHz LTE coverage and 4 x 2 MIMO technology. That doubles the number of antennas at the edge of the cell, giving those customers a better chance of obtaining a strong LTE signal. MIMO (which stands for multiple-input, multiple output) sends out data in a pair of parallel lines from the tower to the edge of the network.
The reports blames a change in the chain of command at Sprint for a slowdown in spending. Instead of orders being sent out from Kansas City, Sprint now has three regional units managed locally. The carrier is also having issues with its 2.5GHz radios, which are used for its tri-band Spark service. With parent SoftBank beginning to apply pressure on the the company, Sprint will eventually raise its capex spending. Right now, though, it is looking to focus on areas where it needs more capacity, and is looking at spending in major markets.
AT&T is also spending sluggishly with fewer cell towers being added this year. Key network employees have pulled the cord on their severance pay. Still, the company expects to spend $21 billion this year on its network. And spending is expected to pick up starting with the first quarter of 2015. Ironically, despite spending on its network termed as being sluggish, AT&T's ads have recently focused on how the carrier is enhancing its network.