Should T-Mobile break into the broadband industry? What technology should they use?


    I gotta say, I love T-Mobile so far. I just wish that we had a broadband company that was similar. I don't think I'm alone is saying that I absolutely hate Time Warner, Comcast, Fairpoint, and Verizon FiOS. Their strange-hold on the data flow in the USA is horrible. I'm amazed it's not illegal to provide horrid service at back-breaking prices just because no one else can compete. (Imagine if the only car available was the PT Cruiser, and because they knew you had to get to work they sold them to you for $100,000 each, and they fell apart all the... wait that part's true already)


    I would love to see John Legere get up on a stage and announce that we can break free from THEM too. I'm sick and tired of horrible service for way too much money.


    Would this is a positive move for T-Mobile? How should they do it? (Fiber-optics, cable, satellite, giant magenta laser beams aimed at your home/office?)

      All replies

      • tmo_ryan

        As a fellow human (not a mouthpiece for my corporate overlords), Yes!


        I'm going to guess something very WISP-ey vs. laying cables. I think 5G will get us closer to denser networks and all the stuff around unlicensed (LTE-A, LAA) will make bandwidth a lot more available.


        Several other companies have done trials or are doing trials with fixed wireless solutions where you do something like a microwave shot to a specific point. I was reading an article about a company in Texas that puts microwave on someone's house back to the serving tower then that house acts as a hub distributing to all the others (and gets free internet connection for housing the equipment). In SF there's a company that does microwave to a building and then the building is wired as normal.


        I think it comes down to finding a reasonable business model that covers costs while giving enough profit to re-invest in upgrades and expansion. There's only a limited amount of spectrum right now which makes allowing devices to freely roam around problematic (see things like limited buckets of data that help companies hedge their bets and make sure they bring in the funds they need to stay afloat)


        I'm also personally excited about all these new satellite internet options using LEO satellites coming in the next few years. Having a smartphone+ device that can used standard wireless plus pick up LEO stuff would be awesome (sorta like you can get service on a cruise ship at a higher roaming rate).

          • tmo_ryan

            I'd also add that expectations of Millennials are different than those of Gen X and Baby boomers so as us younger folks and more tech savvy folks start expecting great service AND great customer support the quality of both experiences will change. The problem is that not enough consumers vote with their dollars and feet.

              • wingedkinetics

                It's a constant tragedy that many people do not realize how much power they have in their hands when they make purchases. You vote every day.


                It seems like the only great barriers to going completely wireless for data are the highest bandwidth crunchers. I'm looking at you, torrents and high-dev video. Our household could get by EASILY on just hot-spotting our cell phones if it wasn't for wanting to watch Netflix in the evenings.


                I agree that satellite is the most promising... the speed to cost ratio just needs to be severely overhauled. I was excited when I first heard of HughesNet (sp?) until I saw their pricing structure. Cool if you live off the grid. Not cool if you live downtown.

            • drnewcomb2

              Keep in mind that the cable and phone companies build their broadband systems on infrastructure that was already long in place. Twisted pair telephone has been around since the early 1900s and cable TV began in the late 1940s. It wasn't until the '90s that either were much used for broadband. At that time it was just back-fitted to existing cables.  In most areas you have just the two companies operating in a comfortable duopoly, competing over speed and features but not on price. Hanging wires all over the place is an expensive proposition and not likely to be cost-effective for a 3rd provider to enter the market. One wireless carrier that has done this is CSpire but so far they only serve limited areas in a few towns in Mississippi.   T-Mobile might do well to look into selling fixed wireless broadband in areas where they have excess capacity.

                • tmo_ryan

                  I could see some intelligent metering solution possibly where someone could like "bulk blockout" an amount of data for themselves for a set amount of time for a fixed location. Something like an IoT dongle for your TV where you can buy like a 1080p stream for it for a fixed price for 30 days which is only valid on that one tower...if available streams exist.


                  I'm not sure how you'd get 100% coverage across your user base for such services. I could see someone like cable companies though putting hotspots at all their light poles (At least in my neighborhood) next to the feeder boxes to serve out wifi in those immediate areas or to push wireless signals to an outside receiver instead of running a lot of coax.


                  All sounds very exciting to me in a very geeky way.

                    • wingedkinetics

                      Oh man,  the dongle is a great idea. Instead of throttling Netflix and making them pay protection money,  why not partner with them? Fixed rate for a set time at a set resolution... All the way from buying 5 hours at 480p, all the way up to unlimited at 1080p. Toss on a Netflix data stash and a small discount for bundling with your phone. I bet Netflix to would be happy to subsidize the data cost in return for more subscribers.


                      Toss on some bro-move like letting someone finish an already started show even if they're out of time for the month and it's a marketing slam drink if the financial part of things pans out.


                      "You're out of time,  but we want you to see the end: on us. Just high five the picture of John Legere on television to continue." Add on a little customer relations budget for all the broken TVs and it's foolproof!



                        • tmo_ryan

                          IoT (internet of things) brings a while new world of opportunities I'm sure. Great time to be working in the industry.


                          I'm more partial to the free roaming stuff though myself. Nothing better than stepping off a plane and just turning your phone on and using it. I spent all of 80 cents when I was in Australia (call to get picked up and call to schedule pick up return to the airport). I used about 2GB while there. Then used 16GB or so driving across Canada back in June. So total of 80 cents for 3 weeks of travel and 18GB of data.