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Featured Sprint Sticks Its LTE Nose Under Your Home's Tent

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by thiggins, May 3, 2017.

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  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    sprint_magicbox.jpg
    Sprint today announced the Sprint Magic Box, which it describes as "the world’s first all–wireless [LTE] small cell".

    Unlike previous consumer "micro" and "pico" cells, the Magic Box connects to a nearby Sprint cell tower and does not your use home's internet connection to connect to Sprint's network. This means it is not intended to provide cell coverage in areas with no or marginal signal. Instead, it's intended to speed up Sprint's "Network Densification Strategy".

    The upcoming move to 5G mobile networks, which is still years away, will require smaller cells to deliver the promised higher speeds. But those cells are also likely to require wired backhaul, not wireless, not to mention different radios. So the Magic Box really has nothing to do with 5G.

    Sprint says it has wireless backhaul capacity in the form of 204 MHz of spectrum, 160 MHz of which is in the 2.5 GHz band. The announcement also cited four-channel carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and Massive MIMO technologies as being key to providing a speedy network without relying on wired backhaul or Wi-Fi.

    Surprisingly, LTE-U was not cited as one of the "advanced technologies" used by Magic Box, which is puzzling given T-Mobile and AT&T's plans to use that technology to expand network capacity. Perhaps Sprint wants to avoid the controversy that still surrounds LTE-U, given its use of the same 5 GHz band used by Wi-Fi.

    Sprint's consumer Magic Box page offers no hard speed / throughput specs, citing only 5 bars of signal, "average" 200% increase in up/download speeds and approximately 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor coverage. The page does say Magic Box "doesn't interfere with Wi-Fi" and best of all is offered at no cost to consumers. The press release contains more information, but again, no throughput specs.

    If you're interested in hosting part of Sprint's network in your very own home, you can hit the Magic Box page linked above to sign up. But expect Sprint to be pretty picky and you'd better have a 5 bar signal already at your home.
     
  2. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    get off my tent :p
    so do they distribute these to peoples houses? We would sleep with these microwaves? Do they at least mention the tx power these things put out and receive?
     
  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    No specs. I don't imagine it would be any higher than internet connected pico / micro cells.
     
  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    I assume that with the FCC ID, that information could be retrieved.
     
  5. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Sprint has a huge amount of licensed 2.5GHz spectrum, so it's nice to see them use it like this...

    An unlike other "micro" Cells - it doesn't run over the customer's broadband network.

    Kudo's to the Sprint engineers on this one...
     
  6. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    if they did it in the UK i wouldnt mind, i just would prefer that the total amount of emf i am exposed to on the microwave band not exceed 1W.
     
  7. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    And one of the other items - which is glazed over a bit, but this is a big deal for 5th Gen Wireless...

    Massive MIMO - here's a whitepaper...

    http://www.ni.com/white-paper/52382/en/

    And a quick video from Intel...

     
  8. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Much of the same technology - both Ofcom and BT are looking at this stuff...
     
  9. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    So how much bandwidth is there in the backhaul?
     
  10. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Backhaul from the core to the cell site - typically these at 10Gbe links these days...

    Recall that Sprint did invest heavily on their Vision project a few years back, and this is finally getting close to done...
     
  11. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    I meant in the wireless backhaul, since that's what the Magic Box is using.
     
  12. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    My best guess would be 1Gb -- hard to tell, as range to cell and 2.5GHz is always a challenge...

    But it'll likely be better than Sprint over LTE directly, most of their deployments there were 5MHz channels over PCS/AWS channels where possible...

    With their 2.5GHz - 160MHz unpaired (e.g. TDD), it's going to be a good solution compared to a straight LTE on their network.

    Sprint can do 160MHz in their channels, because of the bands they have, and Massive MIMO might be the answer...
     
  13. kvic

    kvic Very Senior Member

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    NA/EU has been deploying small cells in the past few years. Just that most weren't installed at home. Lamp poles, large industrial sites, arenas..and in camouflage and hard to spot for us untrained eyes. With LTE global built out ended in 2016, operators enter optimization phase. More small cells are going to be deployed. AP is catching up on this, and eventually will surpass the rest of the world in the dawn of 5G.

    I'm interested in hearing anecdotal evidence of the make of such boxes. If people spot and get access to one, pls report back. I bet most are by Nokia/Ericsson but could also be Huawei/ZTE.
     
  14. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Sprint has used Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung for their LTE gear...

    Won't find much Huawei/ZTE infrastructure gear in the US these days (long story there)
     
  15. avtella

    avtella Senior Member

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    I wonder if this is anything like T-Mobile's LTE signal booster but that one has a reciver you put near the window and a distribution unit which you place centrally. They are connected to each other via 5Ghz link though.
     
  16. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    avtella likes this.

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