NYU (Rappaport), Texas (Heath), Stanford/Berkeley joined by TU Dresden and the University of Surrey. Monica Alleven at Fierce asked researchers where the outstanding work is being done and produced a report ranking the top universities. I can confirm that #1 NYU, #4 Stanford/Berkeley and their joint research and #5 University of Texas-Austin are among the most respected in the U.S. (I don't know academics outside the U.S. well enough to comment.)

Any American lead is fragile because research money is hard to find. Korea has committed $1.5B and the EU €700B for 5G research. Huawei, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia are spending heavily. All the the big telecom companies in North America are gone. AT&T and Verizon are cutting capex and R&D. 

Rappaport of NYU and Heath of Texas recently published what instantly became the standard textbook, Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications. Ted has been running his graduate students around Manhattan and Brooklyn testing prototype gear. The results have been strong and convinced most of the industry that high frequencies are part of the 5G story. Heath built a testbed for MU-MIMO, which Paulraj tells me is the way to reach rural homes.

(Millimeter waves are short-range.) Paulraj invented MIMO at Stanford and continues active research. Andrea Goldsmith of Stanford is advancing WiFi, which will be a crucial part of the future if the telcos don't gobble all the spectrum.

Alleven combines Stanford and Berkeley at #4 because of their long term collaboration on Software Defined Networking. SDN arose out of the graduate work of Martin Casado at Stanford in collaboration with Nick McKeown, also at Stanford, and Scott Shenker at Berkeley,

There's outstanding work being done in China, India and Iran. I'd welcome pointers to key researchers.

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.

-------------------

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.