John Metelski responded to “Saw Signals Tower Opportunities at 2.5 GHz.”
While it is technically true that rural areas ought to be able to handle the diminished traffic load with less bandwidth, the PCS precedence shows that externalities arise that challenge that assumption. This is because of the nature of the subscriber, who wants the same 50-100 Mbps at their country retreat as they have in their corporate offices and residences in urban areas. It is a characteristic of a “network” that the service levels are expected to be the same or similar throughout.
There is another challenge coming, which is the growth of content. Back in the days when the FCC came out with the PCS service at a higher frequency than cellular, everybody — including big money — said it’s higher frequencies and diminished coverage per cell made it uneconomical vs cellular infrastructure. The famous quote at the time was, “It’s a cellular ball game”. But the growth of traffic was underestimated, as well as inter-cell handoff advantages at higher frequencies, such that nowadays no one questions PCS feasibility in rural (and urban) areas.
Certainly some rural areas are less valuable than others (Lost Laundry, IA vs Aspen, CO), but where the “rich and famous” go they want their 100 Mbps to go with them, and if Sprint is the only game in town on that, it should not be declared out of the game so soon.
John Metelski is president of Bridge The Divide Foundation, www.BridgeTheDivideFoundation.com