Small cell data tower

Small Cell Update: Sprint and T-Mobile to Merge

    Sprint and T-Mobile Agree to Merge, Changing the Realm of Small Cell

    What is small cell technology?

    Small cells are low power cellular radio access nodes operating in a specified wavelength spectrum. They are small in comparison to the traditional mobile macrocell since the range is shorter and the functionality is more basic. It is important to note that there is a bias towards building more small cells due to expectation that small cells will provide a viable method for increasing network capacity and quality for next generation networks.

    What would the Sprint and T-Mobile merge would look like?

    T-Mobile and Sprint are the third and fourth largest mobile network carriers in the US. By completing a successful merger, this would also provide an advantage in setting the playing field for 5G mobile networks. In fact, T-Mobile CEO John Legere made the following statements, “Services are going to be broadened, prices are going to go down, speeds are going to go up. 5G capability is going to be beyond anything the US has seen before.” Through the combination of the cellular networks of both companies, individual weaknesses and no service coverage areas would noticeably decrease.

    What is the update on small cells?

    Even with the Sprint and T-Mobile merge, they are still continuing with plans to build out networks. In the areas where network development is still occurring and expanding, there is an uptick in interest around small cell technology. There has also been a slight shift in providers focusing on building small cells in busy areas to city wide approaches.

    There are also requests for 5G capable small cells to prepare for the 5G smartphones which will commercially be available no earlier than 2019. Sprint is definitely interested in deploying 5G cells and Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure even stated that Sprint’s next generation networks would rely on the deployment of 40,000 small cells as well as a new antenna technology, enabling support of both 4G LTE and 5G.


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