Light Reading
2.5Ghz band's up in the air, and Sprint Nextel's in a hurry. Per the FCC, the company must use it or lose it

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
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.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive