& cplSiteName &

Sprint Nextel Hunts for 2.5GHz Service

Carmen Nobel
News Analysis
Carmen Nobel
4/6/2006
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA -- As a condition of approving the recent merger between Sprint and Nextel, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required the merged company to begin offering service in the 2.5GHz band to at least 15 million Americans by 2009 and to 15 million more by 2011.

So is the 2.5GHz band ready to deploy services?

Not quite, says Larry Lang, general manager and vice president of the mobile wireless group at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) who works closely with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). Because 2.5GHz runs on a relatively high frequency, it faces range issues: It has a narrow range, because the higher the frequency, the shorter range.

"Anything they deployed right now would be crap," Lang says. He adds that chips that can make up for the deficiencies of the spectrum should be ready within a few years.

Sprint Nextel officials say they'll use the spectrum, but they have yet to say how. The company will announce its 2.5GHz plans "sometime mid-year," says Vicki Warker, vice president of business solutions marketing and products at Sprint Nextel, based in Overland Park, Kan. Sprint Nextel owns the majority of U.S. spectrum in the band.

What would the spectrum be used for? The choice likely will come down to some version of CDMA or WiMax -- the WiMAX Forum has said it may certify some products in the 2.5GHz band by the end of the year. Sprint Nextel plans trials of WiMax in the band in the second half of 2006, using equipment from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), but has yet to commit.

"The logical thing would be for Sprint to do some version of CDMA, but there's the issue that Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is the Tony Soprano of CDMA," Lang jokes. "But Sprint could go to Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) [for WiMax] and get production."

"I don't expect them to do WiMax," says Phil Redman, research vice president of mobile and wireless at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn. "They've already invested a lot in IPWireless."

Indeed, in two rounds of funding, Sprint Nextel has put $14 million into IPWireless Inc. , a San Bruno, Calif., company that offers mobile broadband services over UMTS TD-CDMA. Sprint Nextel is in trials with IPWireless's equipment in the Washington, D.C., area. But the folks at IP Wireless are making no predictions that they will be the chosen one.

"It's not like we know and we're not telling," says Madelyn Smith Orfitelli, director of corporate communications at IPWireless. "They really haven't made a decision yet."

— Carmen Nobel, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
ramsu
50%
50%
ramsu,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:20 AM
re: Sprint Nextel Hunts for 2.5GHz Service
How much did they pay for this spectrum anyways? Why would they try so hard to use this?
fgoldstein
50%
50%
fgoldstein,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:58:17 AM
re: Sprint Nextel Hunts for 2.5GHz Service
Sprint appears to be banking the spectrum, to keep the band from being used to compete wits its other services. This is something the current FCC supports, because it makes auctioned spectrum more valuable (scarcity = high prices) and helps their clients, the incumbents. The Public Be Damned.

The 2.5 GHz band is not suitable for CDMA, because that's based on Frequency Division Duplex, and the 2.5 band is not laid out to facilitate it. The band is going to be rearranged, but neither the old nor new layout is good for FDD. WiMAX, on the other hand, is a good TDD (time division) technology, that can run on a single channel of selectable width.

For Sprint to meet its initial commitment, it basically needs roughly one site on the Empire State Building and one on the Sears Tower. That will theoretically cover enough of a population footprint. Maybe a third on Mt. Wilson, though LA sprawls awfully far. This won't support many users but then I doubt they want to bother to support many users. That's what their PCS network is for.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.