Deutsche Telekom may be the first carrier in the world to install an Edge Cloud, which they are doing at a remarkably low cost. By going further back in DT's transport network, they reduced the number of boxes required from 10,000's of thousands to hundreds.

A cloud like this - highly reliable but not quite as fast - would be a very small percentage of a carrier’s capex budget. (A carrier has the fiber and other equipment in place.) It would cut the latency on your network by 40% to 70%. Perhaps more important, the latency would be much more predictable.

DT started with an initial dozen sites, which connected to almost all of the country. It is also installing at as many as 900 additional locations in the regions. This is a Level 3 Cloud - on the carrier's network but several hops from the towers.

MobiledgeX, a DT subsidiary, provides multi-tenant software to run the cloud. CEO Jason Hoffman makes a convincing case that allowing other carriers access will quickly build the necessary volume. They are a natural partner in other countries.

One reason to start now on Edge is that doing it right will be challenging. An efficient system will be part of a distributed cloud. It will constantly monitor demand from users and determine what is served directly. It also constantly communicates with larger servers in a traditional cloud, pulling own the right resources.

Bandwidth is cheap but not free. A busy cloud will be exchanging massive amounts of data. Unless run efficiently, bandwidth costs will get out of hand while performance suffers.

Distributed clouds are demanding to run. That’s another reason to start today with a modest system. Your people will learn what’s involved integrating cloud into your network.  

Until recently, most of the industry thought Edge meant a box at each of the tens of thousands of cells for a large company. That's so expensive that I don't know any carrier committed to deploying a Level 1 Edge.

Vapor and friends have installed a Level 2 Edge system in Chicago. It is 1-3 hops away from the Towers, which adds 4-10 ms latency. One box may be able to serve 100 and even 200 cells, possibly bringing the cost down by an order of magnitude.

Most carriers are studying Edge but holding back for now because the demand isn’t proven. Except on private wireless networks, The lowest common latency will be about 15 ms. (Today’s systems are 30-70+ ms.)  Everything is crisper at lower latency but it isn’t clear the difference will be worth paying for. Streaming video - which Cisco estimates will be 75% of traffic - is virtually unaffected.

Autonomous cars don’t need 5G. Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle Platform and Product, points out, "These vehicles will be fully capable of operating without C-V2X."

Verizon and Telefonica are drastically simplifying their networks. Enrique Blanco, Telefonica CTO, is reducing their transport from a typical 8 hops to about 4 hops. Verizon’s Lee Hicks is leading the “One Verizon” effort, replacing 200,000 pieces of gear with 20,000 faster and more capable equipment. Each router eliminated shaves milliseconds.

The result is a saving of 10-30 milliseconds, sometimes more than the difference between LTE and 5G NR. That may be enough latency reduction for many applications.

At the modest cost of a Level 3 network, a carrier gets into a business sure to grow.

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.

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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.