Takeaway: Some but not many locations will support AR/VR servers in 2020-2022. The good news: It works. 5G + Edge Cloud networks are starting to deploy with 15-25 ms latency.  Where fast enough, you will be able to move all your calculations to high-capacity servers which will do all the calculations and just send the picture to a lightweight headset or phone. Major companies including Tencent, Niantic Pokemon, and Verizon are already testing. Experts think quality VR will require 10-20 ms latency, right on the edge of what's coming.

The rest of the story. 1-5 ms is often promised. (URLLC) It works in the lab but is years away from meaningful deployment. Sorry. The best available in the next few years will be Level 2 Edge clouds, relatively close to the user, delivering 15-25 milliseconds. Deutsche Telekom has begun deploying a Level 3 Edge cloud, further back in the network, 20-30 ms. Without an Edge cloud, 5G latency should be 30-45 ms. Today, a decent LTE network is 45-55 ms average.

Unfortunately, this will only be available in limited areas for years.  China and Korea will move quickly starting late in 2019. Both nations should be mostly covered by 2020-2021. Few others will have wide deployments until 2022-2025. Verizon is one of the first to deploy real 5G. Its goal is a quarter of the U.S. by 2022-2023. 

Verizon will be ahead of most others. T-Mobile U.S. promises to cover the whole country in 2020, but it is using low frequencies with LTE-like performance. In addition, for good AR/VR you need mini datacenters fairly close to the user, perhaps at the local exchange. Few of the 5G telcos are committed to those servers. Verizon says they will start reaching customers late in 2019. AT&T is only testing and officially is uncertain. The Europeans are mostly further behind.

dave ask


Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error. daveb@dslprime.com

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