If T-Mobile moves quickly, it could cover 80% of the U.S. with 5G at hundreds of megabits by the end of 2021. It will probably require several months to re-organize after the merger and the major impact may be in 2021. T-Mobile may pause but won't stop.

The money is budgeted; to get approval to buy Sprint, T-Mobile agreed to maintain capex at the level of the two companies combined, about $10 billion/year. That's enough to upgrade 20,000 sites a year and cover more than half the country extremely quickly. Verizon and AT&T would almost have to respond. (This is over-simplified but I believe correct.)

Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum is golden because it has excellent reach. Most of the country can be covered without adding new towers. The 64 small antennas of Massive MIMO mean that 2.5 GHz has reach comparable to 1800 MHz and possibly better.

The towers are available. Adding Sprint gives T-Mobile more towers than it can put to use. Originally, T-Mobile intended to keep 10,000 and retire 35,000. Many of the latter are on 5-year contracts. 

The contractors have the capacity to meet that target. They were startled when T-Mo stopped building in December after the companies had staffed up. They'd love the work. Ericsson & probably Nokia are ready to ship the equipment. Sprint brings Samsung to the table. The equipment is available.

dave ask

@davescomm

Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  

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Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error. daveb@dslprime.com

Also see

analysisbranch.com,

fastnet.news

huaweireport.com