|reply to NiteSn0w |
They are NOT doing 40% of those massive markets. In fact, Sprint LTE is spotty in the cities it is launched in. You can go from one block to the next and pick up and lose the LTE. People are having a hard time finding it in some markets, as they have only launched in some parts of the cities, even the cities proper.
They are pumping the numbers. If they did the same number of sites in bigger cities, they'd have far fewer "markets" done. They wanted to get into Mass, so they did some small cities, and didn't do Boston.
AT&T cheesed out a little by blanketing Manhattan and calling it "NYC", but they have been getting pretty agressive, and when they did Manhattan, it covered Manhattan, not a few blocks here and there like Sprint. Verizon is the most legit, "NYC" for them included north Jersey, parts of LI, CT, etc, which is a more correct definition of a market.
Sprint is using PCS 1900 MHz to deploy LTE, it's not going to take one tower to cover 10-30 miles in places like NYC, and NYC metro or even Chicago Proper, and Chicagoland. PCS 1900 MHz doesn't go as far as 700 MHz (used by AT&T and Verizon) and Sprint's cell density is meant for capacity so one cell site may only cover a few hundred feet. This is why you will see coverage drop off if you go from one block to another right now. And if 40% of all cell sites that Sprint owns are completed in a market and most of those sites are in high traffic areas where capacity is their goal then coverage will be spotty until they complete the rest of the network.
Here's Sprint's LTE coverage and AT&T's LTE coverage compare them.
AT&T and Verizon DO NOT put LTE on every tower. Sprint puts LTE on every single tower in a market. AT&T and Verizon use 700 MHz which travels much farther than Sprint's PCS 1900 MHz so if Sprint where to deploy LTE like AT&T and Verizon are you would only have little islands of LTE coverage that probably only cover 1-2 miles each. You can put 700 MHz LTE on one tower and have it cover 10-15 miles in every direction with little to no dead spots.
9 cell towers can likely cover the entire city of Cleveland, Ohio using 700 MHz, but that doesn't mean it's going to be fast because they will have 200-350+ devices connected to each sector in the cell instead of 50-100 like Sprint will with the way they're deploying LTE.
As far as I know deploying 700 MHz LTE on every cell tower will cause interference and service degradation with LTE because it only performs to spec in very low noise environments.
AT&T's LTE coverage doesn't really extend past where Sprint's does even in areas where Sprint hasn't completed a market and AT&T has.
Here look at a comparison between AT&T and Sprint in Chicago »imgur.com/a/dDvTM
Except that AT&T and Verizon are deploying 700 over 850, Sprint is doing 1900 over 1900, so it's about the same relatively speaking.
Except AT&T actually has LTE coverage in major cities like NYC and Boston, and a nice fallback to HSPA+ where Sprint falls back to 200kbps of EVDO.