Joining the likes of Nike, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, T-Mobile has committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2021 as a member of RE100, a global initiative of more than 100 businesses committed to renewable electricity. T-Mobile also unveiled a second wind farm project.
“And it’s not just the right thing to do – it’s smart business! We expect to cut T-Mobile’s energy costs by around $100 million in the next 15 years thanks to this move. Imagine the awesome things we can do for our customers with that!” said John Legere, president and CEO at T-Mobile.
T-Mobile unveiled, for the first time today, that the company has finalized a contract for 160 miliwatts from Infinity Renewables’ Solomon Forks Wind Project in Kansas, with power generation slated to begin in early 2019. The Solomon Forks project marks T-Mobile’s second major wind power project. The first, the Red Forks Wind Power Project in Oklahoma, went online this past December. Combined, the two will generate 320 MWs for T-Mobile, enough to meet an estimated 60 percent of the carrier’s total energy needs nationwide.
Additionally, T-Mobile has committed $500,000 to RE100 and challenged Verizon and AT&T to match that investment. If one of them comes in, T-Mobile will double its investment to $1 million and if both come in it will triple it to $1.5 million.
With characteristic bravado, T-Mobile began lighting up its 600 MHz LTE network in August, switching on a Nokia transmitter on a rooftop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. T-Mobile’s 600 MHz LTE network rollout will initially be in rural America and other markets where the spectrum is already clear of broadcasting. By the end of the year, an additional 600 MHz sites are slated for locations in Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, western North Dakota, Maine, coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington.
Jennifer Fritzsche: The broadcast incentive auction will supply T-Mobile ample low-band spectrum at a reasonable price and will open door for a possible merger. Our sense is discussions with tower operators to help with 600 MHz spectrum deployment are already ongoing. We do not see [T-Mobile] capital investment on this spectrum band to go into slowdown mode – even if a [Sprint / T-Mobile] merger is announced.
Ron Bizick: T-Mobile has been very aggressive in acquiring spectrum positions, which will lead to the need for new towers, as well as locating on existing towers. They fully intend to be competitive with AT&T and Verizon. That’s great for the tower industry.
In mid-December, T-Mobile acquired Over-The-Top television provider Layer3 TV, which integrates television, streaming online video content and social media. Sprint formed an infrastructure partnership with Altice USA, the fourth largest U.S. cable company in November, allowing reciprocal access between the two companies’ networks.
Tony Peduto: T-Mobile’s purchase of of Layer3 TV follows the trend set by the AT&T/DirecTV deal. T-Mobile will be able to take a viable product offering nationwide and compete with cable companies. Sprint’s agreement with Altice USA is more evidence of the trend of wireless companies getting into cable, and cable companies getting into wireless. Does this bring together Comcast, Charter and MediaCom to provide the same?
Qualcomm Technologies and T-Mobile have demonstrated the speed and power of Gigabit Class LTE on T-Mobile’s network with flagship smartphones powered by Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems.
LTE Advanced, the next generation of LTE, has expanded to more than 920 markets. But in 430 of the markets, T-Mobile’s network sports a combination of three technologies – carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM, which doubles the speed again. The carrier calls that service Gigabit Class LTE.
T-Mobile also unveiled plans to launch License Assisted Access (LAA), another advanced LTE technology that taps into unlicensed spectrum, on small cells this year to further densify the network for even more capacity and speed.
“With LTE Advanced, you can up to double your previous download speeds,” the carrier said. “With the combination of carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM, speeds can up to double again.”
Along with sufficient spectrum and backhaul, Gigabit Class LTE is achieved by simultaneously accessing this trifecta of LTE Advanced technologies in both the device and the network to increase capacity, improve spectral efficiency, reduce congestion, and ultimately deliver faster real-world speeds. That means T-Mobile customers with capable devices could get Gigabit Class LTE download speeds.
T-Mobile has more than doubled its LTE Advanced footprint since last year and is expanding the technology trifecta in its nationwide LTE network. In addition, the capacity and speed capabilities of T-Mobile’s LAA small cell deployment pave the way for 5G with a dense upgradable infrastructure. Earlier this year, T-Mobile was the first to launch LTE-U, the precursor to LAA, in select locations.
Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Softbank Bank Group and Chairman of Sprint, had some explaining to do about the breakdown of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger talks yesterday during the company’s second quarter fiscal year 2017 earnings presentation. It seems that the talks, which dragged on for years, hinged on one key point. Control.
Son and the Softbank board of directors were hoping that the two companies would be equal partners, but T-Mobile wanted to keep management control of the resulting merged company.
“If we gave up control of Sprint, in five or 10 years, we would regret it,” Son said. “We want to maximize profit [in Sprint] while maintaining control.”
Speaking in front of a slide with a map United States with “Most Important Market” over it, Son made it clear that Softbank was not moving away from interest in Sprint. In fact, he announced the company’s investment in the carrier would be increased to 85 percent.
“The United States is the biggest market in the world,” Son said. “Now that we have a good base of our business built up in the United States, it should not be let go.” Even though in the short-term Sprint’s share price or Softbank’s share price may drop because of the failed merger, it may actually good for Softbank as it buys up Sprint’s stock.
Softbank, which has a semiconductor subsidiary that will deliver a trillion chips designed for IoT devices in the next 20 years, plans to take advantage of that expertise to compete in the U.S. machine to machine communications market.
“AT&T and Verizon have a dominant market share of [smart phone users]. They are ahead of us by a long way. It is not easy to exceed their base, without merging with T-Mobile,” Son said. “When it comes to IoT, we may be far advanced than the other carriers, because of our acquisition of Vodafone K.K. that established a business alliance with Yahoo! JAPAN in 2006.”