There now can be no doubt that fixed wireless, mostly 5G, will be a viable business in the right locations. Today's wireless has enormous capacity, enough to supply the broadband needs of a significant population. It's better than most DSL and a workable alternative to cable in many locations. Traffic demand is falling, with Cisco predicting the U.S. will fall to 31% growth in 2021. 

John Legere of T-Mobile committed to 9.5 million in-home broadband subs by 2024 in order to get FCC approval of the Sprint takeover. Brett Feldman of Goldman Sachs estimated Verizon will have 8 million by 2023. AT&T CEO says they expect a fixed market to grow in a few years. Wireless ISPs already have over a million.  Starry and others are growing, In five years, at least a fifth of the 120 million U.S. homes will be connected wirelessly.  

Three in the UK and Sunrise in Switzerland are also promoting fixed. Deutsche Telekom and many others are actively selling fixed in rural areas, replacing or supplementing DSL. 

When a carrier has a good landline offering, fixed will be a small niche. Orange in France and Spain will have fibre to most of the country, leaving few areas where fixed wireless makes sense. Similarly, a non-incumbent with a good deal on unbundling rarely will look to sell wireless to the home.

Since 2016 or before, wireless technology has been improving at a faster rate than traffic demand. Carrier aggregation easily doubles the spectrum a telco can use. Massive MIMO raises the capacity of the right spectrum by three to five times. 256 QAM is worth another 30%, 5G NR, SON, and a dozen other technologies also make a difference. The lobbyists think its never enough, but most countries are or soon will add 100's of MHz of new spectrum. Depending on the starting point and how you measure, wireless capacity is going up 10 to 25 times within the current capex budget.

The result: telcos can't sell all they can deliver in most of their territory and need new products.

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

Vivo is selling new the iQOO 5G premium quality phone for US$536.

Lei Jun Xiaomi "5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020"5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020" I say sooner

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.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum USS2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

----------

Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. 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.