CEO McAdam in 2016 carefully said the decision hadn't been made. In fall 2017, he told Wall Street Verizon hasn't budgeted any increased spending for 5G even in 2019. He has good reason to be coy. Verizon and the Euro CEOs constantly use the (often claimed) high spending needed for 5G as a reason for regulators to be weak and governments provide subsidies. NTT DOCOMO CTO Seizo Inoe and many others planning the networks see little if any capex increase.

So I was surprised when I discovered Verizon VP Charla Rath in spring 2016 wrote, "Just as Verizon invested billions to be the first mobile carrier to deploy our world leading  4G LTE network, we plan to do the same for 5G. Sanyogita Shamsunder, Verizon’s Director of Wireless and Technology Strategy, outlined this commitment during the opening panel."

Rath also wrote, "We have already begun field testing 5G, and will launch some level of commercial deployment in 2017." That looks unlikely as I write in November 2017 but they are close.

I probably was the first to say "Verizon is actively building the mmWave network." I inferred from their announced fiber plans that the decision has already been made. There's loads of evidence for that, but what convinced me was Verizon announced a $5-10B fiber build across the country. It would be stupid to spend so much unless they were deploying hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells. The people running Verizon are not stupid. 

Verizon has already deployed hundreds of 5G cells, per the CEO. Unlike most incumbent telcos, they do not cover most of the U.S. In ~70% of the U.S., they see the opportunity to win customers away from the local telco and cableco.

AT&T also intends to go fast on deploying 5G fixed. They see a land grab coming: If Verizon or AT&T builds first, they are likely to win so many customers the other will probably not be able to get to breakeven. 

Surprisingly, AT&T is looking at rural sites. Most assume the short reach of mmWave will limit it to dense areas. But the 8% of the U.S. that can't get cable modems are a very promising target. T would be bringing in 500-1000 meg of 5G fixed to compete against local telcos rarely offering more than 25 meg. In many cases, 3 meg DSL or satellite is the best available.

mmWave actually covers a large area when you have line of sight. (Think tower in the midwest Plains.) Ted Rappaport, The Father of 5G mmWave, demonstrated he could detect a 73 GHz signal 11 kilometers away from their transmitter, a carefully aligned antenna 110 meters above average terrain. 

dave ask

Newsfeed

Vivo is selling new the iQOO 5G premium quality phone for US$536.

Lei Jun Xiaomi "5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020"5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020" I say sooner

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.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum USS2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

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Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. 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.