#10 Vestberg of Verizon: "2G to 3G, probably 10x better to handle data and 3G to 4G 10x at least. And minimum, I would say, 4G to 5G is the same."

"Will we be able to keep up with wireless growth?" I asked Hans Vestberg back when D.C. was screaming spectrum crisis. "Yes we will. I'm confident human ingenuity will deliver what we need," he replied. "That's always been true in wireless."

Years later, wireless speeds worldwide are much higher; congestion in the developed world remains an exception. Telcos continue spending $billions on advertising to find enough customers to fill their nets.

Without much more spectrum or many more cells, improved technology alone will cover likely demand until 2024 or 2026. (My calculation.) Putting to use currently fallow spectrum and modestly more density, wireless networks are good until 2030 or later.

Meanwhile, most telcos, in most locations, will continue to have more capacity than they can sell. The talk about "shortages" and "crises" is deeply uninformed (most) or coming from the 2+2=5 gang of lobbyists.

What Vestberg said confirms what I heard from Paulraj of Stanford in 2014. He believed MIMO alone will yield a 50-100x improvement. Vint Cerf, Henry Samueli of Broadcom, and Andrea Goldsmith generally agreed at other Marconi events.

U.S. telcos spend $2B per year advertising because they need customers to fill their network. Verizon actually has been cutting capex but moved to "unlimited" in 2017 with minimal friction. In Germany, DT is actually adding LTE to DSL routers to speed things up, because they have spare wireless spectrum.

Of course it's not that simple, Verizon itself is actively densifying with mmWave small cells and investing $billions in fiber for backhaul. Vestberg sees that as part of an effort to reduce costs by $10B/year.

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And adding also, I would say, shared spectrum like the CBRS, the 3.5 gigahertz, which is a shared spectrum in the U.S. soil. So we're going to use that as well. So I think that, that combination puts on a good trajectory to handle our traffic, including then the densification and including the technology advancement that is coming. So -- now remember, every technology, I mean,  So you have the step changes of technology improvement when you change technology. So with the portfolio of tools that I have, I think we're in a good position.

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.