Enrique BlancoTelefonica CTO Enrique Blanco's eyes lit up when I suggested he could pull far ahead with true gigabit millimeter wave 5G. Deutsche Telekom & Vodafone are going with mid-band "5G" at 3.5 GHz, with 60-80% less capacity. He carefully told me nothing of his company's plans but we had a good discussion of why Verizon is betting US$20B on millimeter wave.

Cayetano Carbajo, CTO Germany. has now announced that is exactly what they are going to do. They will offer fixed wireless to 25% of Germany, about 10 million homes, beginning in 2019. They are the first in Europe to commit to mmWave; everyone else in Europe is sticking to 5G/4G mid-band hybrids. Mid-band 5G is 4G hardware plus NR software. The capacity is similar to 4G, a gigabit + in the lab and 100-400 megabits to most customers. 

Verizon is doing 25% of the U.S. and is already serving customers with close to a gigabit. See 

Planned right, the cost is so low Verizon can cut capital spending.  Hans Vestberg at Verizon estimates US$250-400 per home passed, half the cost of fibre. Reaching 25% can be done merely by upgrading existing cell sites, relatively cheap.

It can be done with small cells in place or needed anyway for 4G. Vestberg pointed out that when it is time to go beyond the 25% - 3 or 4 years - the equipment prices should be much lower. He says Verizon will do "the entire country" by 2028. Qualcomm estimates existing towers can offer a gigabit to about 65% of most cities. (Outside.) 

In Germany. CEO Markus Haas "when the first devices are available for the mass market." Vestberg, Qualcomm, and many others expect that to be mid-2019. See Almost no 7 nm capacity=almost no 5G chips=almost no 5G phones. Samsung, the likely supplier, is supplying outside units for fixed wireless to Verizon already. They will connect indoors by Wi-Fi.  

Initially, TEF will offer fixed wireless service with an outdoor antenna. mmWaves pass through some walls and windows and are blocked by others. Verizon intends to do customer installs in the future, presumably indoors in most cases.

Going quickly to mmWave is probably the right strategy for non-incumbents where unbundling is not practical. Telefonica and Verizon are the only ones who see it that way today; everyone else is sticking with mid-band for now, even the Chinese and Koreans.

Look out, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone. 

Telefónica Germany and Samsung are testing 5G Fixed Wireless Access accesses in Germany


In concrete terms, Samsung will support the test setup with a complete end-to-end millimeter-wave solution (26 GHz). The combination of newly developed hardware technology with special software enables fast transfer rates of several gigabits per second over the so-called "last mile". The technology consists essentially of the following components: a virtual core and a 5G radio access unit on the part of Telefónica as well as 5G outdoor unit and indoor routers for the customers.

  • Fixed Wireless Access enables rapid broadband access
  • Tests with 20 households in Hamburg from November 2018With the test Telefónica and Samsung are testing an attractive alternative to the previous technologies in Germany. The test will show whether households and professionals can be supplied with high-quality Gigabi connections for the best possible customer experience without the complicated laying of fiber optic cables.
  • "Telefónica Germany and Samsung are working hand in hand on the introduction of 5G in Germany in connection with FWA," says Cayetano Carbajo Martín , CTO of Telefónica Deutschland. "We are confident that Telefónica Deutschland will be able to demonstrate the technical feasibility of Fixed Wireless Access in Germany and at the same time create a better network experience with a view to future technologies."

    "5G fixed wireless access is a promising, fast and cost-effective way to provide real broadband access to people across the country, and a good alternative to expensive fiber optics," said GY Seo , Senior Vice President and Head of Global Sales & Marketing Team, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. "We are pleased to be working with Telefónica on the testing of 5G FWA. Among other things, with the cooperation we learn to better understand the requirements of our customers and at the same time explore attractive alternative access technologies in Germany. "


    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.