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What Does the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Mean for Pittsburgh?


Niraj Singh details the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint and what it means for Pittsburgh and the future of 5G.




We are back bringing you more tech vibe radio on a Wednesday night. This is Jonathan Kersting. And this is Audrey Russo. You know, it's been all the buzz in town, the whole mobile of the whole merger of T Mobile and Sprint say that 10 times past. Yeah. I mean, we've been seeing it in the news forever and it finally happened. And then my gosh, it happens during the whole COVID pandemic. It's just kind of crazy. We don't mean some really cool things for the marketplace out there, especially for Pittsburgh and 5g. I'm just really excited to have Niraj Singh here today from T Mobile. He's with their either business VP of enterprise. Neeraj, thanks for hanging out with us today. I really appreciate it.

All. Thank you very much for inviting me. I'm really excited. Thank you.

Good news happening all the way around. But what crazy times for this news to be happening, huh?

Absolutely. You know, trying, trying to get to large companies together in the midst of the Cova. Right. Yeah, post merger. Now we are a fortune 40 company, right. So imagine people working out of their living rooms. Trying to get all this together to large networks, two sets of people. Oh, it's been a phenomenal ride.

Yeah, and two cultures and it's just everything. You guys are doing it, you're bringing it together, despite all the hype. Okay, it's coming together pretty seamlessly too, huh.

And the good news is the market has looked at it very positively. So if you look at our stock price, from April 1 to now, it has gone from around $80 to 100 and $405. Wow. So the market has responded really, really well to this module, as I mean, it's providing another alternative in the marketplace a powerful turn to the marketplace. Absolutely. Markets react positively to that. So I think that's absolutely worth it for sure. So maybe start with kind of just give us what are some of the TD details now key details now I'm having a hard time speaking today. It's like not coming out right now. I apologize. He details on on the merge like what does this mean now and we have this a mega T Mobile now what it boils down to with 5g Sure.

So when you talk about any mobile operator, right, the key thing the scarcest resource is the airwaves is the spectrum, right? And you keep hearing about this all the time. Now, if you look at from a legacy perspective, there were four big operators, right, and everybody had some spectrum. And pretty much everybody was maxed out. The good news with sprint was they had tons of spectrum that they never used, which is in the mid band, the two dot five gigahertz that he talked about. Now, that's the spectrum that you need to roll out a true national mobile 5g network is that mid band spectrum. Now, T Mobile, at&t and Verizon had non spare so whatever they had in the mid band, they had already used up to deploy LTE which is what you enjoy today the 4g, right? Okay.

Sprint had hundred and 60 megahertz So that's a lot. Typically what you need is somewhere between 40 and 60 megahertz, we had three x in terms of the quantity and and completely empty. We hadn't used it. So now that the merger has happened, we have tons and tons of the scarce resource, which the other two do not have. So we can launch a truly nationwide brand new shiny 5g network. Because of the spectrum we had, and the analogy that you draw, if you look at it from a highway perspective, you know, you you look at how many lanes you have, and how many cars are flowing through the lanes. Yeah, give us how you look at spectrum.

Yeah, definitely. So I'm assuming you wide highway with tons of lanes, right? with tons of lanes and no cars.

What can the users expect? So think about that. From a user standpoint, what can we what will be different for us so users come in a lot of use case, right? So there are obviously the consumer users like you and me using our individual forms right. Before we launched 4g, we were used to making voice calls. And the experience on data wasn't that great right? So we relied on home broadband. Once we got LTE, slowly, we started to get rid of landlines focus on mobile phones because the speeds were great. At times, we didn't even have broadband at home and the 4g speeds lt was decent enough to do a lot of applications. Now, what you do is when you think about 5g, you go exponential in terms of speeds and capacity. So you can actually remove that physical connection. You know, you no longer need that physical connection if you have 5g because of the speeds and capacity. So what happens means to a consumer like us, we can do a lot of stuff using a handset. So you don't need to be tethered to a Wi Fi, to a geography to a location in terms of doing what you need to do, if you especially for a power user, right. And if you look at the new generation, the millennials, they are very data hungry in what they do in terms of the apps they use in terms of communication, online gaming, augmented reality, right. So for that, you need a lot of speeds and bandwidth. And that's what 5g brings. So this is more from an individual perspective. Once you get into businesses, and there are like there's no limit to to the use cases. You know, we didn't hear about gig economy till we launched 4g. So similarly, as we launch an enabled 5g on our networks, we have no idea in terms of the use cases and the economy that we want. spawn new businesses that will spawn off this, or the next few years.

That's a really just no one thought about ordering an Uber when there was just 3g technology. Exactly. It possible. Now five G's here, like I said, it's a brand new horizon, like what technologies can be deployed now, as the tech Council, we get pretty pumped. We think that's the next wave of entrepreneurship to create these companies to create solutions running on a 5g network.

Exactly. And you know, a few of the examples is autonomous cars. You know, Pittsburgh has become a hotbed for testing, and a half for autonomous cars, right, that can only be enabled with the 5g because of capacity and latency. That's the other thing we have to keep in mind when 5g brings is not just the speed and capacity is also the latency in the network. And that's what you need for an autonomous car. Then you get into smart manufacturing, which is a big hub in and around Pittsburgh. So yeah, so so you know, it'll make a huge impact on The businesses around Pittsburgh in terms of autonomous cars and anything smart, whether it's smart manufacturing, smart facilities, smart cities, smart buildings, you know, the whole nine yards. It's just so exciting that T Mobile is now like in the beginnings of launching this going nationwide also here in the Pittsburgh area. I feel like we're at this Dawn of like a whole new generation right now of getting tech done in Pittsburgh.

Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, when we launched 5g, first to launch markets, was actually Pittsburgh. Sorry, it was Philadelphia in New York. And a fast follow was Pittsburgh. So Pittsburgh was actually a third market in which we launched. And the reason we did that is we looked at the potential upside of where we start, eventually we're going to cover the whole country. And we said, Where is the low hanging food? Where can we make an impact? And Pittsburgh was right there.

I like it. What are you doing in terms of organizationally now in terms of your engagement and support in Pittsburgh?

So, you know, given that we've invested so much, as far as the network is concerned, as the leader in that business in that space managing that region, I've actually tripled my headcount. So as we speak, I'm adding a lot of staff, focusing on small business, medium sized businesses, large corporates, as well as the government business. I'm actually staffing up in a big way and focusing on the greater Pittsburgh area to leverage what we've done in terms of investment in the network. That's exciting.

Wow. I mean, tripling here in Pittsburgh, that's Yeah, pretty intense. I mean, obviously this is a big thing. I understand why your stock price is going crazy. Amazing. We got about a minute or so left any other parting thoughts on just the power of 5g and just the importance of T Mobile now doing what it's doing.

So just Just some stats, right? I mean, today on LTE on an average, you get about 30 to 40 megabits of download speed. Right? You take that. And as I said spectrum comes in three bands, low band, mid band high band, you take it to the low band 5g, and you get to about 68, you know, 60 to 80 megabits, but the mid band and that's what, you know, Sprint brought to the table with this merger, we actually get into the 400 megabits. So now you have 10 X the speeds and capacity that we were talking about. And that's what we're bringing to, to the, to the nation, as well as Facebook, since you change your website. Is there a new website? Yeah.

Yes. And shortly we will be launching a new campaign. So wait and watch come first. First week in August. There'll be a brand new campaign focused on enterprises, very similar come. We're excited about want to know more. If people want to know more about your website. Where'd they go?

Oh And they have a business section. Absolutely. Right. They can click on the business section. Absolutely. There are tons of information that you're, you're the best.

So glad T Mobile is doing what it's doing making Pittsburgh proud here without a doubt. Conversation with us has been fantastic. Thanks for hanging out tech buy today. do appreciate it.

Thank you, Jonathan appreciated the conversation.

Absolutely. We're taking a quick break. This is Jonathan Kersting.

This is Audrey Russo

from the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Learn more about us at PGH tech. org

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