100 Federal Reserve Note 230A report in Digitimes suggests premium 5G phones will cost about US$100 more than comparable 

The production cost for 5G phones as compared to their 4G predecessors should increase by less than US$80 per unit, including an increase by almost US$50 for 5G modem chips and application processors, and the remaining US$30 for new antennas, PCBs and other materials, the sources indicated.

Digitimes stories like this have usually been accurate in the past. This is much less than the US$200 additional estimated by OPPO CEO Pete Lau.  

Dan Adams of Deloitte estimates about a million 5G phones will ship in 2019.

That's less than 1/10th of 1% of his 1.5 billion estimate for phones worldwide. It's really hard to come up with a figure because it is dependent on marketing decisions.

5G production capability should be higher than that, at least in the second half of the year. TSMC's 7 nm process is currently the only source of the chips, but Samsung is getting on track. TSMC is configuring new EUV (Extreme Ultra-Violet) steppers that should raise capacity significantly later this year.

Telcos have not yet decided how much to charge for the phones. Some may price high as they improve their 5G network. Others may want to grab market share with low prices.

We'll all be watching. 

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network with extraordinary hopes. The actual results the first four months 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 4X 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.


5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimetre wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.