T-Mobile USA looking for a new bunkmate?

tmo-storefrontComing last place can get old after awhile. Perhaps that’s what’s fueling T-Mobile’s motivations to actively search for a new U.S. partner if reports from Reuters are to be believed. Currently ranked 4th out of the “Big 4″ US cellular providers (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, & T-Mobile), T-Mobile has for some time now been trying to recoup lost ground and push itself ahead of it’s rivals. Part of pushing ahead is expanding the carriers rather weak coverage nationally speaking. Such adventures aren’t cheap mind you as the actual physical motions of adding towers and backhaul capacity are the most expensive upgrades carriers can make. If you’re thinking T-Mobile is looking to purchase another carrier and add to their coverage that quickly, you’ll be disappointed to know that’s not quite how it’s going down. They’re actually looking for another carrier to invest in their network with returns on investments the shining jewel of the partnership. So if T-Mobile really is trying to make new friends, where would they go?

A few possible options include AT&T (as they’re another GSM provider meaning minimal cross network issues), MetroPCS, and ClearWire. Chances of an AT&T partnership while easiest on paper are rather slim. The two largest GSM carriers collaborating has “anti-trust lawsuit” written all over it. Clearwire is…well…Clearwire. It’s pretty neutral. MetroPCS on the other hand while surprising because of their current adoption of CDMA technology isn’t that far from a T-Mo partnership. I mean, they use the 1700MHz band just like T-Mo uses for their 3G network. It is possible. But don’t forget, this isn’t exactly a “take over” partnership that T-Mobile seeks. They merely want someone else to finance a large sum of money now to rapidly build out their network.

Don’t expect anything to happen overnight though. Two unnamed Reuters sources who are familiar with the matter said that while they are anxious to expand the carriers coverage and form new partnerships, there isn’t a big rush and that they are “weighing all of their options”. Overnight success it is not. But further on down the road, T-Mobile could become quite the market dominator. Seem plausible?

Electronista > Reuters

T-Mobile’s 4G plans getting a littler Clearer…

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The back and forth movement of T-Mobile USA’s statements in regards to their 4G plans is enough to give most people whiplash. First they’re holding off, instead employing HSPA+ as a nice speed bump along the way. Next minute they’re (their parent company, Deutsche Telekom more precisely) making deals to light 4G services with Clearwire and Metro PCS. Clearwire whom has been cited saying that they needed more money to continue the rollout of 4G services, would have most of their current monetary problems solved with a $2 billion donation from their new friend, Deutsche Telekom. That is if they can manage to keep negotiations and agreements straight.

Worries of available spectrum can be put to rest however as Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow when interviewed by Giga OM’s Om Malik stated that they (Clearwire) “have plenty of spectrum and are flexible enough for new partners and adaptations”. Does T-Mobile’s recent Philliy dwelling, 21Mbps HSPA+ service enough to satisfy your mobile needs for now or are you ready for 4G? Leave your impressions inside.

Giga OM

Image Source

WiMax gets another setback by way of a lawsuit

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WiMax sure is having a tough time coming to fruition.  While not the first setback/speed bump the Sprint partner, Clearwire has had, the latest is yet possibly another sign that maybe they just aren’t meant to be.  Seems as if people aren’t exactly thrilled with the coverage and speeds they’ve been experiencing over Clearwire’s network.  The plaintiffs claim Clearwire’s network of often falling short of their own claims of reliable service at broadband/DSl speeds that slow down and crawl at dial up speeds - that is if they even have working service at all as it apparently also goes down quite often.  Further complicating the issue for Clearwire, the plaintiffs are also claiming that the ETF for the service is unlawful and void.  Clearly, Sprint/Clearwire/WiMax are having some major growing pains that if not ironed out relatively quickly and to the publics liking, will pretty much signal the end for WiMax.  Sprint, you might want to start looking for some new 4G technology.  If the whole Clearwire/WiMax thing goes under leaving Sprint without any near term 4G service options, I think it’s safe to say we can pretty much write off Sprint as a national carrier.  Thoughts?

 
Source: Into Mobile, Cellular News *Image Source: Dvice*

Clearwire’s list of ‘09-’10 WiMax rollouts outed!

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So far, WiMax and Clearwire haven’t exactly had a “speedy” rollout.  Heck, LTE has drastically stepped up their game and has a promising couple of years coming.  I was starting to think WiMax and Clearwire were throwing in the towel.  All is not lost however as Clearwire’s list of ‘09 and ‘10 WiMax rollouts has been spied.  I’ll stop the jibber jabber and get straight to it.  

  • first off in 2009: Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte (N.C), Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Seattle
  • and rounding out 2010: New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Houston, San Francisco

As you can see, Clearwire isn’t taking the whole LTE situation sitting down and appears determined to win our hearts.  Do they have yours yet?

 

Source: WM Experts

Verizon still on track for 2010 LTE rollout

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In the current economic times, cellular technologies aren’t usually on in the forefront of very many peoples’ minds. Thankfully, Verizon knows what their priorities are and is doing their best to keep LTE’s 2010 launch date a reality. On a company earnings call today, Verizon’s COO Denny Strigl said that he’s hopefull that they can hit the current projected release date. If you’ve been living in a cave the last few months, or honestly don’t know what LTE is, (it’s ok, I won’t judge you), LTE is a faster, newer generation of cellular technology. It will allow you to browser the web, download songs, and send files faster than every before. Clearwire and Sprint (WiMax), the competitor to LTE will start to see their early bird advantage shrinking as the LTE rollout get closer. Currently, only 2 cities have had WiMax deployed with the third, Chicago, being delayed. The WiMax build out has been going on since 2006…though they aren’t exactly moving very quickly. I will cut them a little slack, the parties involved have been involved in varoius patent and monetary disputes. Almost sounds like a bunch of high school girls doesn’t it?

Source: Alley Insider

Wimax coming to Portland Oregon..yesterday!

Even though Wimax is completely enveloped in drama and disputes between multiple parties, that hasn’t stopped Clearwire.  They are forging ahead and effective *yesterday*, Portland Oregon residents can now surf the web at super high speeds thanks to Wimax.  Of course you’ll first need to have a Wimax enabled device (and there are so many to choose from…/sarcasm).  After overcoming the whole device selection hurdle your next stop will be a service contract.  Pricing for said contracts are as follows:

  • $10 will get you a 24-hour pass
  • $30/month for 200MB
  • $40/month for 2GB
  • $50/month for “unlimited data”  (no word on if the unlimited data plan is capped or if is in fact “unlimited”)

You might as well spend the $50 (not a bad deal) as 200MB is a joke on a 4G connection let alone the higher 2GB!  On a 4G connection you could easily burn through 2GB in one day!  Hopefully as time goes on and 4G adoption rises prices will come down a little.

Source: Boy Genius, Tds Telecom *pic*

Sprint. WiMax. Chicago. 2009?

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Constantly marred by politics and financial set backs mostly due to brand transitioning, Sprint has changed its tone on WiMax in Chicago…again.  The old target was 2008, a target they obviously missed.  Now a very vague “sometime in the second half of 2009″ is all they can muster.  Why Sprint?  Why Clearwire.  Get your *expletive* together and stop your high school drama!  Hopefully these two little girls can come to an agreement and push this out in our life time.

WiMax was launched in September in Baltimore as a pilot city.  They wanted to test how well the signals would travel through the older, thicker brick walls of the inhabitants there as well as how it dealt with the hilly terrain.  Chicago also is a much larger city footprint wise while Baltimore is much more compact, a big deal in a pilot program such as WiMax.  So far, it has been tested to give between 4-5 Mbps downloads on mobile devices!  A pretty impressive feat to say the least.  Lets hope they wheels get turning faster and more cities are added.

Source: Engadget Mobile , Chicago Tribune