1 ms will be in the lab for years, (A First Look) From China to AT&T to the EU, regulators are being promised ultra-fast, 1 ms latency, 5G. They are being led by the nose to offer giveaways and subsidies. 1 ms. is certainly possible, as is 2 ms. LTE. But the networks being built are 5-15 ms., sometimes more. AT&T's Melissa Arnoldi has committed to a report twice a month. (Thank you.) The highlights:

  • Latency of 9-12 ms. 150 meters in Waco, Texas.
  • 1 gigabit 300 meters in Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Observed no impacts on 5G mmWave signal performance due to rain, snow or other weather events.
  • 400 MHz signals.

These are about the results I would have expected based on experience elsewhere, but every datapoint from the field is very welcome.

AT&T engineers are hopeful of bringing the latency from tower to cell down to 5 ms. Measuring from the local intelligence is more representative of peak response. Nearly every network announced is controlling multiple cells from a C-RAN, adding 2-3 hops through routers for even favored applications. That will raise latency to 10-25 ms. for favored applications.

1 ms. from tower to cell will be part of a future specification from 3GPP, URLLC. That hasn't been released yet.  

 Here are confirming datapoints I've reported:

 From AT&T

 Ready to Launch: How 2 Years of 5G Trials is Preparing Us for Commercial Deployment

April 10, 2018
By Melissa Arnoldi

We took our 5G show on the road.  Late last year, we expanded 5G trials to more people and businesses in Waco, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana.

My team spent countless hours collecting data and talking to real people who elected to join the trial. What worked?  What didn’t?  What did we need to change? Why was this happening here and not there?  Would mmWave spectrum really work to deliver 5G?  Did we really just hit that speed in South Bend?

Waco, Texas

Participants: Small and mid-sized businesses

  • Provided 5G mmWave service to a retail location more than 150 meters away from the cell site and observed wireless speeds of approximately 1.2 Gbps in a 400 MHz channel.
  • Observed latency rates at 9-12 milliseconds.
  • Latency impacts things like the time between pressing play and seeing a video start to stream or hitting a web link and seeing a webpage begin to load. For context, MIT researchers discovered the human brain “latency” is 13 milliseconds.
  • Supported hundreds of simultaneous connected users using the 5G network.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Participants: Small businesses 

  • Observed no impacts on 5G mmWave signal performance due to rain, snow or other weather events.
  • Learned mmWave signals can penetrate materials such as significant foliage, glass and even walls better than initially anticipated.
  • Observed more than 1 Gbps speeds under line  of sight conditions up to 900 feet. That’s equal to the length of 3 football fields.

South Bend, Indiana 
Participants: Small business and residential customers

  • Observed a full end-to-end 5G network architecture, including the 5G radio system and core, demonstrating extremely low latency.
  • Successfully provided gigabit wireless speeds on mmWave spectrum in both line of sight and some non-line of sight conditions.

 

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum US#2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 6 days sold 300,000 5G Mate 20s. Delivery begins on 8/16. 

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

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Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 3X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80+% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.