ITU FG 2030 logo 230ITU IMT 2020 defined 5G. FG 2030 is an open group, free to all. At the first meeting last week, I moved forward a draft proposal that EMBB - Enhanced Mobile Broadband - be designed to make broadband available to all. The EMBB problem was addressed but wasn't adequately solved in 5G. (Some  of) the performance is being achieved by 5G but not at a cost affordable to half the world. My thoughts were treated respectfully and several encouraged me to attend the next meeting in Hong Kong in December. There's an active mailing list and ITU believes in remote participation.

All you have to do is go to and find the mailing list information in the lower right. You may need to register for an ITU TIES guest account, but it's free. 

If you are respectful and have relevant points to make, you will be welcome. Like any group, you're most effective if you understand the way people are accustomed to working. I will be happy to point people to the right information and help understand the systems. The Chair, Dr. Richard Li, and the staff treated me graciously.

Much of the discussion is about advanced topics like the latency needed to deliver holograms, but I was welcomed by the group on "use cases." Delegates from India and Brazil supported, and the leaders of the group helped me understand how to shape my ideas into the right form. 

Like most standards groups, including IETF, Corporations in Europe, the U.S., China, Japan, and Korea were represented. Very few came from other countries, although more than half of Internet users are in the developing world. That should change. Only about 15% were women, who appeared to be treated with respect. 

Why I said (some of) the performance: IMT 2020 specified 5G would have gigabit speeds and latency of 1 ms. With the exception of Verizon mmWave, the announced deployments of 5G will be a third the speed and ~10 ms latency. They will run of 4G hardware with a minor software tweak, 5G NR, that adds only a modest amount to capacity. Under pressure from the marketing people, 3GPP redefined 5G to include just about everything shipping, as long as they ran the Qualcomm software. Pure hype, but its too late to fight. The battle is over.

I didn't go to the meeting looking to have an impact. Standards groups have first rate engineers at the forefront of the field. I knew I would learn a great deal when I discovered the meeting was here in New York. Thinking about what I could bring to the meeting, I wrote 

Sustainable DevelopmentPrepared for the ITU Focus Group on Technologies for Network 2030. Technology plans should be designed to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Will the design produce robust infrastructure, everywhere?  Will the proposed networks be affordable for all? What will be the requirements for investment and are they realistic for developing nations? What is the impact on competition and the resulting effect on consumer costs?

People more qualified than I will be discussing possibilities like terahertz spectrum and microscopic antennae. What I want to do is put some questions on the table crucial to the cost of access and deploying everywhere. These are questions, not conclusive opinions. The groups making standards very rarely have considered the requirements of the developing world, which include low costs and simple deployment. More


FG NET-2030

"Network 2030: A pointer to the new horizon for the future digital society and networks in the year 2030 and thereafter." – Dr Richard Li, FG NET-2030 chairman

The ITU-T Focus Group Technologies for Network 2030 (FG NET-2030) was established by ITU-T Study Group 13 at its meeting in Geneva, 16-27 July 2018.

The Focus Group, intends to study the capabilities of networks for the year 2030 and beyond, when it is expected to support novel forward-looking scenarios, such as holographic type communications, extremely fast response in critical situations and high-precision communication demands of emerging market verticals. The study aims to answer specific questions on what kinds of network architecture and the enabling mechanisms are suitable for such novel scenarios.

The study is collectively called ‘Network 2030’. It will be further realized by the exploration of new communication mechanisms from a broad perspective and is not restricted by existing notions of network paradigms or to any particular existing technologies. Network 2030 may be built upon a new or refined network architecture to carry information in a manner that may evolve from, or is quite different from today’s networks. Regardless, Network 2030 based systems shall ensure they remain fully backward compatible, supporting both existing and new applications.

The FG NET-2030, as a platform to study and advance international networking technologies, will investigate the future network architecture, requirements, use cases, and capabilities of the networks for the year 2030 and beyond. 
The objectives include: 
• To study, review and survey existing technologies, platforms, and standards for identifying the gaps and challenges towards Network 2030, which are not supported by the existing and near future networks like 5G/IMT-2020.
• To formulate all aspects of Network 2030, including vision, requirements, architecture, novel use cases, evaluation methodology, and so forth.
• To provide guidelines for standardization roadmap.
• To establish liaisons and relationships with other SDOs.

Participation in FG NET-2030 is free of charge and open to all. To receive updates and announcements related to this group, please subscribe to the FG NET-2030 mailing list (see the "FG NET-2030 Mailing lists" tab on the right of this page).

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.

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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.