I first wrote: 4G 1.2 gigabits. 5G 1.5 gigabits. This is one of the first apples to apples comparison, both running on the same Samsung Galaxy phone. These are plausible figures for sub-6 GHz LTE and NR. The best available projections are that 5G in theory would be 19-51% more capable, so this was plausible.

The question mark is there because it's possible the 4G might actually be a third more efficient than the 5G. Cho Mu-Hyun at ZDNet discovered the LTE was three bands, presumably 60 MHz, with 4x4 MIMO antennas. The most common 5G testing uses 100 MHz. Adjusting for the spectrum difference would result in the 4G being a third more efficient than the 5G.

SK combined the 4G and 5G signals for a total of 2.7 gigabits in their test.  That would be a remarkable advance if ready for market. I don't know anyone else doing similar. Samsung and SK haven't yet answered my questions about how much spectrum and product availability date. 

Far too many companies, from Swisscom to Qualcomm to Verizon, refuse to provide basic information with their releases. Verizon won't give a meaningful answer about actual speed or about how many cells are deployed or the percent of the population covered.

Swisscom told me tests in November with the Qualcomm demo 5G phones received a gigabit. None of the 4 more recent tests have reached more than 800 meg and most were much less. 

Here's the pr 

SKT, Samsung Electronics and Galaxy S10 5G to achieve the fastest domestic 2.7Gbps

3/13/2019

  • SKT to prepare for the launch of the world's first 5G smartphone

  • Developed '5G-LTE combining technology' to realize 2.7Gbps speed ... 1 movie transmission '6 seconds' · The world's No. 1 5G smartphone "Galaxy S10 5G"

  • 5G smartphone connected to 5G commercial network on the first floor of SKT headquarters on 14th. - General customers can experience various 5G services by touching Samsung / LG 5G smartphone

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.