As previously reported, Ericsson is bringing the 4G latency close to 5G latency. In March, the company emailed me,

From mid-2018 Ericsson will have support for latency (Round Trip Time, RTT) down to 9ms on the LTE air interface (Based on the 3GPP Rel-14).

Verizon and others are being coy, but the reported latencies on 5G are also ~10 ms. 

On speed, Ericsson now offers multi-Gigabit LTE for 2Gbps. This is consistent with previous reports. See 4G LTE: Telstra 2 gigabits, Singtel 1.5, Verizon 1.45. 5G NR low and mid-band will be slightly faster one day, but today is slower in practice since 5G doesn't have functions like LAA. 

Below, the press release. It speaks of Massive IoT. I'll ask Ericsson for more info.

 

Ericsson lays out vision for cellular IoT with new segments and solutions

Smart manufacturing image: robotic arm puts small blocks in correct position through automation
  • Outlines evolution of cellular IoT in four segments leveraging new capabilities with 4G and 5G to tap growth opportunities from industry digitalization
  • Introduces Broadband IoT and Industrial Automation IoT as new segments in addition to Massive IoT and Critical IoT
  • Launches Massive IoT enhancements and new Broadband IoT solutions on existing LTE networks to enable more advanced use cases

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) today unveiled the next steps in the evolution of cellular IoT and launched new solutions that will enable service providers to address a larger part of the IoT market with diverse use cases across verticals including automotive, manufacturing, and utilities.

Ericsson outlines cellular IoT evolution in four market segments: Massive IoT, Broadband IoT, Critical IoT, and Industrial Automation IoT. Two of these segments are new – Broadband IoT and Industrial Automation IoT. Broadband IoT adopts mobile broadband capabilities for IoT and supports higher data rates and lower latencies than Massive IoT. Industrial Automation IoT will enable advanced industrial automation applications with extremely demanding connectivity requirements.

In line with its cellular IoT vision, Ericsson is launching enhanced functionalities for Massive IoT* and new solutions for Broadband IoT. One example of Massive IoT enhancement is the NB-IoT Extended Cell Range 100km, which stretches the standards-based limit from around 40km to 100km through software updates without changes to existing NB-IoT devices. This opens huge opportunities in IoT connectivity in rural and remote areas, particularly for logistics, agriculture and environment monitoring. Ericsson has deployed NB-IoT data connections up to 100km with Telstra and DISH.

The Broadband IoT solutions being launched include drone detection and link control, radio access network (RAN) slicing, Advanced Subscriber Group Handling, and Multi-Gigabit LTE for 2Gbps data throughput and around 10 millisecond latency. The new solutions will enable a wide range of use cases in automotive, drones, AR/VR, advanced wearables, smart manufacturing, and smart utilities.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “Cellular IoT is moving from early adoption with Massive IoT to global rollout. We are now describing ‘what’s next?’ for our customers and how they can make the most out of their 4G and 5G investments on the same network and address more advanced IoT use cases across industries.”

Evolving cellular IoT

Ericsson’s evolution concept describes how cellular IoT can move from the more basic use cases of Massive IoT such as asset tracking and smart metering to increasingly sophisticated use cases enabled by Broadband IoT (for example infotainment in cars, AR/VR, drones and advanced wearables), and then by Critical IoT (for example, autonomous vehicles), and Industrial Automation IoT (for example, collaborative robotics in manufacturing).

This stepwise approach will make it easier for service providers to match cellular IoT capabilities with current and future use cases by continuing to enhance LTE networks while preparing for 5G. With effective use of techniques such as network slicing, service providers can support all four segments in a single network, allowing them to optimize their assets and tap into revenue opportunities within industries. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach 4.1 billion in 2024 – increasing with an annual growth rate of 27 percent.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group Head of Technology R&D, says: “As 4G was the era of the smartphone so we expect 5G to be the era of IoT. We have already seen extraordinary growth in Vodafone’s IoT technology capability in recent years with the introduction of network technologies like NB-IoT and C-V2X, and welcome Ericsson’s drive for further technology development to help meet the growing demands of consumers and businesses.”

Patrick Filkins, Senior Research Analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure at IDC, says: “Ericsson has come up with a uniquely clear vision for cellular IoT with well-defined segments for service providers to address new business growth opportunities from industry digitalization. Ericsson’s cellular IoT evolution concept will support service providers to incrementally allow add-on use cases even within a single vertical.”

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network. It will soon offer a gigabit or close to 30M homes. Thousands of sites are live in Korea; AT&T is going live with mobile, even lacking phones. 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.

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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, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.