Light Reading

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.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment