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T-Mobile US may decommission small cells

IT-Mobile _ NWIDAn an article on Mobile World Live (link below) T-Mobile President of Technology, Neville Ray, told investors the operator has more small cells than it needs and may decommission some.

Ray mentioned their goal of having about 50,000 small cells. It’s estimated T-Mobile currently has around 70,000, some of which came through the Sprint merger.

“I have more small cells than I need”, Ray said. “Is there some decommissioning in that space? Potentially, yes”.

He added T-Mobile is “looking to collapse and combine and do that most efficiently to build that density, capacity and performance” – and T-Mobile has “more macro sites than I really know what to do with”, which has reduced the need for small cells.

Ray went on to say “My strategy today is primarily it’s a macro-based network in 5G”. Small cells would be deployed strategically in areas requiring additional coverage and capacity.

Of course, Ray didn’t mention WHICH small cells they’re planning to shut down, but with the end-of-life of CDMA already announced, it would make sense that these are on the legacy CDMA network, thereby reducing its coverage even more. 

Verizon said recently it plans to add 14,000 small cells to its network this year, and that they have plans to continue deployments for several years. Earlier this year, Crown Castle said it had secured a contract to deploy 15,000 small cells for Verizon over a four-year period.

Read the full story here


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