Who needs 5G? I was wrong last issue to say SK in Korea was the first to announce gigabit (shared) LTE deployments. I had missed a Telstra announcement earlier this year.  Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson are ready to deliver gigabit gear to any carrier who can clear an additional 40 MHz. Most carriers will have the bandwidth needed as they refarm 2G and 3G spectrum. AT&T is officially ending 2G later this year, and many will follow. LTE now carries almost all data at Verizon, so they can reuse much of the 3G spectrum soon. "The spectrum crisis" was invented by lobbyists who wanted governments to give them more spectrum cheaply, but was wildly exaggerated: except in India, most large carriers will be able to dedicate 60-100 megabits to LTE and achieve peaks of a gig and more.

AT&T's Andre Fuersch promised the gigabit in an important speech,

Mike Dano reports at Fierce. "LTE is still here. And LTE will be around for a long time. And LTE has also enormous potential in that, you’ll be capable of supporting 1 gigabit speeds as well.” It's amazing how many "experts" have no idea what's coming in LTE. I can't count how many have touted that 5G is wonderful because it will bring a gigabit in 5 to 10 years. LTE will reach a gig in many places in the next two years. .Fuersch points out that 5G will be needed only when we want more than a gig. 

As I wrote in the SK article, every informed LTE engineer knew that gigabit 4G (shared) was on the way since 3GPP put it on the roadmap around 2009. LTE standards go up to a nominal 3 gig down, 1.5 gig up, although I don't see 8 MIMO antennas likely in mobile phones. Of course, you don't get those speeds at the cell edge or when the network is congested. But I believe that "gig" LTE will deliver hundreds of megabits 90+% of the time if you have a good connection to the cell site. Getting close to a gig is likely often possible.

 “This is a really exciting time to be in the wireless world” Fuersch adds,

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.