etsi five miles to the seaETSI five-miles-to-the-seaBoth the U.S. and the UK have active regulatory proceedings on how to use millimeter waves for commerce, especially broadband wireless. Ted Rappaport of NYU has convincing data the technology can work and Korea, Japan & Russia are hoping to deploy in three years. Huawei is committed to spending $600M on 5G research and Europe has a $B available. It will be very big in the discussions at MWC in Barcelona and the ITU WRC this fall. Now is the time to define how this will be done.

ETSI, the European standards group in Sophia Antipolis, is jumping in with what they call an "Industry Specification Group." An ISG takes less effort to set up than a formal standards group, can be set up quickly and costs less than setting up an industry trade group like BBWF or the new IOT groups. As far as I can tell from the website, membership is open. Renato Lombardi of Huawei is chair and Nader Zei of NEC Europe vice-chair.

Joining standards groups often is an exceptional way to keep up with the latest research.  

Below, ETSI on ISG, first members of group and the official announcement.

Industry Specification Groups Our Industry Specification Groups (ISGs) operate alongside our traditional standards development process, producing specifications in key new areas. ISGs focus on a specific activity at the cutting edge of technological research and development and, by their nature, offer a very quick and easy alternative to the creation of industry fora. 

Alcatel-Lucent (FR)
Andrew AG (CH)
Ceragon Networks AS (NO)
Deutsche Telekom AG (DE)
DOCOMO Communications Laboritories Europe GbmH (DE)
E-Blink s.a. (FR)
Ericsson LM (SE)
FBConsulting S.A.R.L. (LU)
Huawei Technologies (SE)
Huawei Technologies  Co. Ltd (GB)
Intel Mobile Communications (DE)
InterDigital Communications (US)
NEC Corporation (JP)
NEC Europe LTD (GB)
Nokia Solutions and Networks Gmbh & Co. KG (DE) 
SIAE Microelettronica SpA (IT)
Siklu Communication Ltd. (IL) 
STMicroelectronics (CH)
Organisation Name URL
EE Limited (GB)
Filtronic Broadband Ltd (GB) 
Plasma Antennas Ltd (GB)


New ETSI Group on Millimetre Wave Transmission starts work

Sophia Antipolis, 23 January 2015

ETSI’s recently announced Industry Specification Group on millimetre Wave Transmission (ISG mWT) held its first meeting at ETSI on 14-15 January 2015 and immediately commenced work developing a set of five specifications.

At this meeting Mr. Renato Lombardi of Huawei Technologies was elected as the chairman of the Industry Specification Group while Mr. Nader Zei of NEC Europe was elected as the vice chairman.

ISG mWT was conceived as an industry wide platform to prepare for large scale usage of millimetre wave spectrum in current and future transmission networks by improving the conditions to make millimetre wave spectrum a suitable and convenient choice for all stakeholders. The ISG aims to be a worldwide initiative with global reach and to address the whole industry: national regulators, standards organizations, telecom operators, product vendors and key component vendors.” says Mr. Lombardi, newly elected chairman of ETSI’s ISG mWT.

During the meeting, a plan was agreed to develop five new specifications. These cover:

  • An analysis of the maturity and field proven experience of millimetre wave transmission
  • Potential applications and use cases of millimetre wave transmission
  • An overview of V-band and E-band worldwide regulations
  • An analysis of V-band street level interference
  • Analysis of the millimetre wave semiconductor Industry technology status and evolution.

Millimetre wave spectrum, in the 30GHz to 300GHz range, offers more available spectrum than in lower bands with larger channel bandwidths granting a fibre like capacity. The spectrum can be made available readily and can be reused easily, and lower licensing costs lead to lower total cost of ownership and lower cost per bit of radio systems.

Participation in the millimetre Wave Transmission Industry Specification Group is open to all ETSI members as well as organizations who are not members, subject to signing ISG Agreements. A complete list of ISG mWT members is published on the ETSI Portal pages for mWT. For information on how to participate please contact

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 700 member companies and organizations, drawn from 64 countries across five continents worldwide, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work. 

Claire Boyer 
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 94 43 35 
Mob: +33 (0)6 87 60 84 40

picture:Oneida Recherche Services



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.