U.S. spectrumWhen Michael Marcus and others at the FCC created the "unlicensed bands," they had little idea about how it would go. Wi-Fi has been a major game changer but that wasn't clear at the beginning. It's yet one more example of what creativity makes possible. Today, we see some congestion in the "commons," as well as proposals to squat on a large share. We need some "rules of the road" to manage the congestion fairly and efficiently. But they need careful design to have minimal impact on innovation. 

Fred Goldstein reminds me that the band is used for more than Wi-Fi.

As we develop rules, we have to consider these interests as well. 

There are other users of the unlicensed bands, though, of which WISPs are the most visible, though public safety and private systems are also quite common.  These are basically unlicensed microwave, not WiFi, even if they are based on WiFi chipsets using variant protocols.  These are used in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes. Your typical WISP has a PtP backhaul radio feeding PtMP access points that are shared among 10-40 subscribers, who can be up to 10 miles away. WiFi arbitration doesn't work over such distances. Vendors thus create proprietary arbitration schemes, like Ubiquiti's airMax and MikroTik's Nstreme.  Some also use GPS synchronization so that multiple radios on a site (e.g., sectors and backhauls) transmit and receive at the same time, to avoid mutual interference, and to control end to end latency.
These systems use directional antennas, often with high forward gain, at both ends, which both maximizes range and minimizes interactions in other directions.  So they rarely conflict with actual WiFi systems. LAA, like Cable WiFi, would just add to the background din that potentially impairs their performance. 
Many problems to solve and we need the best ideas.

dave ask


The 3.3-4.2 spectrum should be shared, not exclusively used by one company, concludes an important U.S. Defense Innovation Board report. If more wireless broadband is important, sharing is of course right because shared networks can yield far more

It does work! Verizon's mmWave tests over a gigabit in the real world. 
The $669 OnePlus 7 Pro outclasses the best Apples and probably the new Galaxy 10 or Huawei P30 Pro. Optical zoom, three cameras, liquid cooling, Qualcomm 855 and more.
Korea at 400,000 5G May 15. Chinese "pre-commercial" signing customers, 60,000-120,000 base stations in 2019, million+ remarkable soon. 
5G phones Huawei Mate 20, Samsung Galaxy 10, ZTE Nubia, LG V50, and OPPO are all on sale at China Unicom. All cost US$1,000 to 1,500 before subsidy. Xiaomi promises US$600.
Natural monopoly? Vodafone & Telecom Italia to share 5G, invite all other companies to join.
Huawei predicts 5G phones for US$200 in 2021, $300 even earlier
NY Times says "5G is dangerous" is a Russian plot. Really.
Althiostar raised US$114 million for a virtual RAN system in the cloud. Rakuten, Japan's new #4, is using it and invested.
Ireland is proposing a US$3 billion subsidy for rural fibre that will be much too expensive. Politics.
Telefonica Brazil has 9M FTTH homes passed and will add 6M more within two years. Adjusted for population, that's more than the U.S. The CEO publicly urged other carriers to raise prices together.
CableLabs and Cisco have developed Low Latency XHaul (LLX) with 5-15 ms latency for 5G backhaul,  U.S. cable is soon to come in very strong in wireless. Details 
Korea Telecom won 100,000 5G customers in the first month. SK & LG added 150,000 more. KT has 37,500 cells. planning 90% of the country by yearend. 
The Chinese giants expect 60,000 to 90,000 5G cells by the end of 2019.
China Telecom's Yang Xin warns, "Real large-scale deployment of operators' edge computing may be after 2021." Customers are hard to find.
Reliance Jio registered 97.5% 4G availability across India in Open Signal testing. Best in world.

More newsfeed


Welcome On Oct 1, 2019 Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network with extraordinary hopes. The actual early results have been dismal. Good engineers tell me that will change. 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.