Sprint and UE Backhaul equals a Magic Box


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While all your installers might not like this, it does sound awesome, just to plug it in and it works. How cool is that? They say they will give it to qualifying customers, not sure what that means just yet.Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!

How does it work? Well, from a high level, they probably use that larger amount of 2.5GHz TDD as backhaul. I think it’s pretty cool, and to be honest, I can’t believe that Sprint is first to market with this. This could be a game changer. I believe this is what Sprint wanted to do with the Mobilities partnership on a larger scale. Too bad Mobilities plan didn’t work, in fact, they made it harder on the wireless industry to deploy. That is another story.

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Sprint is deploying 2.5GHz nationwide, trying to mirror what they have. So far, it adds TDD data only, no voice. As far as I know Sprint did NOT deploy VoLTE yet. Not sure why except for their dire financial situation and poor planning.

The forward channel is probably 3G for the voice, (NO VoLTE), and maybe 2.5GHz or their FDD-LTE channels.

They really have a sweet setup, and they are finally using the 2.5GHz spectrum for more than a bargaining chip to merge with someone. Way to go Sprint!

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Airspan made this product, great job! Seriously, WOW! You guys may be able to leapfrog some other small cell vendors out there in no time. Make sure you keep on top of it to work out any bugs there may be in it.

Let’s review:

  • UE backhaul using the 2.5GHz spectrum, they have about 204MHz of spectrum, but I would imagine they have only deployed half of that.
  • The 2.5GHz spectrum can only handle data, no voice because they have no VoLTE now.
  • Using carrier aggregation, they can make all their 2.5GHz carriers look like one big pipe, probably around 120MHz of spectrum give or take.
  • They already tested a throughput of 700Mbps of throughput successfully. In theory, they could have 7 customers that could do 100Mbps simultaneously on one sector. How cool is that?
  • The drawback? Sprint itself does not have national coverage! Oh no, they rely on partners to use the spectrum the best they can, remember that Sprint is a member of the CCA and relies on their partners, who may or may not be up to the latest rev or be utilizing all the spectrum. They are partners, not owned by Sprint, so tier 3 and 4 cities may not have this option.

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  • Sprint is trying to use MIMO, which was tested, but not rolled out everywhere. This will open new bandwidth, but it will cost money to roll out, the one thing that Sprint does not have.
  • I have the links to the articles below, and they say the magic box can extend the signal outside the building to, up to 100 meters outside and cover 30,000 square feet inside. I would imagine all line of site.
  • This is an Airspan box, based on the article below and according to Dr. John Saw’s blog, the link is below.
  • Sprint appears to be rolling out 2.5GHz everywhere, which is a great thing if you have Sprint, the LTE data should be awesome!
  • Sprint says the box is free to qualifying customers, which is, “If a customer no longer wants the Sprint Magic Box at their location, Sprint will make arrangements for the customer to return the device at no cost. Sprint may charge up to $140 to a Sprint customer’s service account if the device is not returned.” What is a qualifying customer?
  • Sprint speed note, “Signal and speeds based on optimal conditions for most Sprint devices.”

Is this the real deal? Most articles are very skeptical of Sprint. In my opinion, they made some bonehead decisions in the past (purchase of Nextel, Xohm, Clearwire, Next-Generation Network, no VoLTE) Not to mention they have a heavy debt, and they dropped to #4. (The much more confident carrier T-Mobile blew by them this year showing no signs of slowing down! One thing I must give John Legere, he walks the talk.) Can Sprint do the Sprint bounce back? Their track record is not so impressive. I personally hope they turn it around to look great once again. Will it happen? I believe it all depends on the leadership and great ideas. This may be the first step. I think the technical leadership must be there and prove they can do it. Good luck Sprint!

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Resources:

I guess that Airspan built the product from the Airdensity or the Airvelocity, the information links are below. I should admit, it looks like a great product.

  1. http://www.airspan.com/airdensity/
  2. http://www.airspan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AirVelocity-Product-Spec-Sheet.pdf
  3. http://www.airspan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AirDensity-Product-Spec-Sheet.pdf
  4. http://www.airspan.com/products/

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