Ronan DUnne Brit FlagThe Age of Wireless Abundance is Here, I wrote a few weeks ago, but even I didn't expect Verizon to move so soon. President Ronan Dunne reversed a decade of crying shortage, shortage. “We’ve built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake and we’ve built it for the future, not just for today,”

That's an enormous turnaround from a few months ago, when CFO Fran Shammo told investors, "At the end of the day the majority of people don't need unlimited plans. But the people who use unlimited plans can be abusive, they can really wreak havoc to your network. And at the end of the day as we launched LTE, I continue to say you cannot make money in an unlimited video world." 

Nothing's changed on the network, but Shammo is gone and Ronan has joined. Verizon actually has a somewhat obsolete network, building most of it in 2009-2011. More recently, T-Mobile has built comparable capacity for half what Verizon spent and has easier upgrades. If those two can go "unlimited," so can almost every major telco. 

Marty Cooper said three years ago, "There's never been a spectrum shortage and there never will be one." I was skeptical until I heard some very good engineers who mostly agreed: Paulraj, Samueli, Goldsmith, Cerf and others. They inspired me to learn the technology, which is advancing at an almost unbelievable speed. 10X is in sight even with Verizon reducing capex. 25-50X will be possible soon, with Massive MIMO and mmWave. Verizon's 5G mmWave in Massachusetts will not be mobile, but Massive MIMO is ready to go.

Unlimited wireless spreading worldwide

T-Mobile in the Netherlands also went unlimited, probably signaling most Europe will do similar. Most telcos will fight as hard as they can, which will delay the change many places. Never underestimate $500B of telcos. They have Significant Market Power and are experts in Regulatory Capture. Put otherwise, they have a helluva leverage.

Bandwidth is not free, but it's getting cheaper very rapidly. David Allen of Verizon estimates the cost per bit is dropping 40%/year. I mentioned that to a CTO, who responded, "It may be closer to 55%-60%." There's no standard way to measure cost, so the figures are just approximations. The trend is clear.

Verizon's price is high, over $90 including fees, compared with $75 at T-Mobile. Over 22 gigabits you'll slow down at peak times, which is why I put "unlimited" in quotes. Dunne says they, "don’t expect very often." Most wireless networks have congestion less than 5% of the time and spare capacity almost always. (Didn't you know that? You must have been listening to lobbyists, shills, and fools.)

Verizon has 40 MHz of unused spectrum, enough to cover any likely demand increase. They are only at 2 band (40 MHz of LTE) so can double that with the spectrum they have. They can go to higher MIMO (Gig LTE,), more bits per signal (256 QAM,) and a modest small cell expansion where they most need it.  That's an 6-10X capacity increase practical in 2-3 years. 

Verizon's biggest problem is they can't sell all the capacity they are building.

 If you want to understand the technologies behind all this, here are my recent writeups followed by the Verizon unlimited pr.

Gig LTE & Massive MIMO ushering in the Age of Wireless Abundance

Heres the pr.

Get unlimited data on the network you deserve: Verizon

Unlimited data on the Verizon network has arrived. Beginning Monday, Verizon is offering an introductory plan that gives you unlimited data on your smartphone and tablet on the best 4G LTE network in the country. With Verizon Unlimited, you also get HD video streaming, Mobile Hotspot, calling and texting to Mexico and Canada and up to 500 MB/day of 4G LTE roaming in Mexico and Canada - included.

“We’ve built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake. Everything we’ve done is to provide the best experience on the best network – and we’ve built it for the future, not just for today,” said Ronan Dunne, president of Verizon’s wireless division. “We also fundamentally want you to have more choice. We’re not limiting you to a single plan. If you don’t need unlimited data, we still have 5 GB, S, M, and L Verizon plans that are perfect for you.”

Our 4G LTE network already covers more than 2.4 million square miles and consistently delivers fast speeds in more places than any other network. Ever since we were first to launch 4G LTE broadly across the country, we’ve been making it even better, faster, stronger, every single day:

  • We’ve layered in our spectrum assets to provide the breadth and depth of coverage that serves you best. 
  • We launched LTE Advanced  that provides you with 50% faster peak speeds in more than 471 cities nationwide
  • We can adjust to your demand in real-time with the latest antenna technology coupled with state of the art software platforms, which also let us deploy new services faster than ever before
  • Our innovative small cell deployment is the largest in the nation and it is foundational to the best experience.
  • We have deep fiber connected through advanced architectures.

With Verizon Unlimited, you’ll get great coverage with us in cities large and small, in rural locations, and everywhere in between. All of these enhancements help us provide you with the best experience in wireless.

Verizon Unlimited is a great value:

  • $80 for unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphone with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
  • $45 per line for four lines with unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphones and tablets with paper-free billing and AutoPay.

On all Verizon Unlimited plans you get our fast LTE speeds. To ensure a quality experience for all customers, after 22 GB of data usage on a line during any billing cycle we may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. While we don’t expect to do that very often, network management is a crucial tool that benefits all Verizon customers. If you’re on Verizon Unlimited, you’ll have the same coverage and reliability as everybody else.You can add a connected smart watch, GizmoPal, or other connected device for just $5 each month. Get TravelPass for $10 per day (500 MB/day limit; 2G speeds after that) while overseas. Mobile Hotspot with 10 GB of 4G LTE data is included at no charge (after 10 GB you’ll get 3G data speeds).


dave ask


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.