Rick Merritt, one of the world’s best tech reporters, reports from Qualcomm Maui, “Data rates for the first batch of handsets will likely be limited to a few hundred Mbits/s.” The only test results were downloads of 140 megabits to 470 megabits. This is far less than the gigabit expected from millimetre wave.

A world-class engineer assures me the problems will be solved. Unless answers are found quickly, volume rollouts will slip into 2020. In addition, Qualcomm CEO Amon Cristiano confirmed they have no units for the most popular frequency bands, 600 MHz to 1.8 GHz, which require FDD. (Most spectrum from 2.3 GHz up is designated TDD, which is shipping.)

The first phones are slower than decent 4G and less than half what Verizon is delivering to homes. LTE is in the field delivering 500 megabits (T-Mobile, Manhattan and elsewhere,)  For now, 80%+ of “5G” is slower than 4G. Really. The latest 4G lab results reach 1.5-2.0 gigabits. See http://wirelessone.news/10-r/1244-4g-verizon-telstra-2-gigabits Tens of thousands of towers are equipped with "Gig LTE," although there are very few phones.

 "5G Hype Is Out of Control This Week" Sam Rutherford writes. "There was very little substance to be found.

So basically, a bunch of companies spent mountains of cash so a handful of people could see a tiny 5G icon in the top corner of a phone that isn’t for sale. On top of that, there were other tidbits of info that came out that may have people balking, such as OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau saying that 5G phones could carry a $200 to $300 premium over phones with 4G LTE, which is a lot to ask for young tech that might not work that well yet."

Verizon is delivering the gig promised but phone-sized RF and antennas aren't there.


dave ask


Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error. daveb@dslprime.com

Also see