Dino Flore 230Timotheus Höttges & John Legere bet their merger on bamboozling DC on "What is 5G?" They are using New Definition 5G, introduced in 2017 and 70% to 90% slower than the good stuff, millimeter wave.

Legare is swearing to Washington the T-Mobile 640 MHz 5G NR network will be many times faster than LTE. That isn't true, of course. It's far more likely to be only 25%-50% faster, or perhaps less. It may even be slower than the 500 MHz LTE/LAA T-Mobile already has in Manhattan.

In 2016, 5G meant millimeter wave and (for some) Massive MIMO*. Millimeter wave bands had far more spectrum available, 400 or 800 MHz channels compared to 100 MHz maximum in LTE. 20 gig peaks work in the laboratory and Verizon is delivering a true gig to customers in 2018.

Folks building LTE-speed networks wanted to be called "5G" and take advantage of the massive hype. So they made "New Definition 5G" with a pr campaign and a minor software tweak, NR (New Radio.) 4G LTE networks became "5G." Every engineer in the business knows this is a scam.

T-Mobile in the U.S., China Telecom, and many others are deploying 4G speed networks and calling them 5G. They are 70% to 90% slower than the originals.

Dino Flore of Qualcomm, pictured, had enormous incentive to use New Radio as the definition of 5G. His company owns many of the patents. After the standard was set, they raised royalties by something like $2B/year. Dino knew what he was doing. His presentation below from last year shows how low latency would be achieved - in LTE before 5G.

The strong majority of "5G" from 2018 to at least 2022 will be what Dan Jones at Light Reading calls Faux 5G.

Which was boring industry news until T-Mobile demanded approval of their $50B merger in order to accelerate "5G." A definitive source says T-Mobile's 600 MHz "5G NR" will only be 25% to 50% faster than 4G LTE. T-Mobile serves customers in Manhattan at 500 MHz with LTE/LAA.

Adding New Radio software will be only a minor improvement. LAA & CA have not been demonstrated in the laboratory working with NR in low bands. If that isn't solved, T-Mobile's "5G" could even be slower than their 4G.

All capacity improvements are welcome, but 5G NR delivers much less much less than the 200% to 300% T-Mobile and others have delivered in 4G the last few years. 4x4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, and 256 QAM are "Gig LTE," although average speeds are less than that.

With a trillion dollars of telcos backing the misleading name at the 3GPP standards group, I don't see any way to reverse this. The ITU IMT-2020 is not backing off on the 20 GHz standard, which requires millimeter wave. Slews of engineers have spoken publicly. ("5G will be an evolution, not a revolution.")

Instead, politicians and regulators need to learn that "5G" no longer is a big thing in most cases. Among those who have gotten this wrong are Jessica Rosenworcel & Ajit Pai at the U.S. FCC, Andrus Ansip at the EU, and some of the Chinese leaders. Pai & Rosenworcel are extremely smart, even brilliant lawyers. They have engineers at the FCC. If they listen to the engineers, they will know the deal is not in the public interest.

Verizon & AT&T, to their credit, are doing real 5G mmWave. The early versions will peak at 5-10 gigabits and deliver to the customer a true gigabit or more. 20-gigabit downloads should be possible in a few years.

But China Telecom is putting in 2M ND 5G cells at 3.7 GHz. That will be a fine network, but little different than the same network using 4G LTE. China Telecom will have at least twice as many cells as AT&T or Verizon. It looks as though 80-90% of "5G" in the next 4-5 years will be low and midband NB 5G.

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pointed this out in DC last week and it should be enough to kill the merger.

* Massive MIMO uses 64 or more small antennas to send a dozen beams directed where the bandwidth is needed. In TDD bands, 2.5 GHz & 3.3-4.2 GHz, generally raises performance 3-5 times, In FDD frequencies, generally below 2.4 GHz, the improvement is usually 2-3 times.


Flore Low Latency LTE

dave ask


The 3.3-4.2 spectrum should be shared, not exclusively used by one company, concludes an important U.S. Defense Innovation Board report. If more wireless broadband is important, sharing is of course right because shared networks can yield far more

It does work! Verizon's mmWave tests over a gigabit in the real world. 
The $669 OnePlus 7 Pro outclasses the best Apples and probably the new Galaxy 10 or Huawei P30 Pro. Optical zoom, three cameras, liquid cooling, Qualcomm 855 and more.
Korea at 400,000 5G May 15. Chinese "pre-commercial" signing customers, 60,000-120,000 base stations in 2019, million+ remarkable soon. 
5G phones Huawei Mate 20, Samsung Galaxy 10, ZTE Nubia, LG V50, and OPPO are all on sale at China Unicom. All cost US$1,000 to 1,500 before subsidy. Xiaomi promises US$600.
Natural monopoly? Vodafone & Telecom Italia to share 5G, invite all other companies to join.
Huawei predicts 5G phones for US$200 in 2021, $300 even earlier
NY Times says "5G is dangerous" is a Russian plot. Really.
Althiostar raised US$114 million for a virtual RAN system in the cloud. Rakuten, Japan's new #4, is using it and invested.
Ireland is proposing a US$3 billion subsidy for rural fibre that will be much too expensive. Politics.
Telefonica Brazil has 9M FTTH homes passed and will add 6M more within two years. Adjusted for population, that's more than the U.S. The CEO publicly urged other carriers to raise prices together.
CableLabs and Cisco have developed Low Latency XHaul (LLX) with 5-15 ms latency for 5G backhaul,  U.S. cable is soon to come in very strong in wireless. Details 
Korea Telecom won 100,000 5G customers in the first month. SK & LG added 150,000 more. KT has 37,500 cells. planning 90% of the country by yearend. 
The Chinese giants expect 60,000 to 90,000 5G cells by the end of 2019.
China Telecom's Yang Xin warns, "Real large-scale deployment of operators' edge computing may be after 2021." Customers are hard to find.
Reliance Jio registered 97.5% 4G availability across India in Open Signal testing. Best in world.

More newsfeed


Welcome On Oct 1, 2019 Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network with extraordinary hopes. The actual early results have been dismal. Good engineers tell me that will change. 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.