Rappaport test rangeTed Rappaport of NYU, the world's foremost mmWave researcher, disagrees with my guess that mmWave 5G will be modest until 2021-2023. My opinion is backed up by opinions from several carriers and an estimate from Ovum that fewer than 1% of lines will be millimeter wave in 2021. Ted's opinion is shared by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who will deploy in Boston and probably San Francisco as soon as Verizon can get the equipment. That should be late 2017 or early 2018. Nokia and Ericsson have hundreds of engineers working on 5G mmWave.

 I will be delighted to be proven wrong and see more rapid progress. Since my comment, Rappaport and team have published a seminal paper, Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications: New Results for Rural Connectivity (Abstract below.) They were able to detect a 73 GHz signal 11 kilometers away from their transmitter, a carefully aligned antenna 110 meters above average terrain. (Pictured.) They used 1 watt of transmitter power, levels similar to today's mobile phones.

Ted believes, "to a first approximation, the range won't be different in clear weather for mmwave versus today's cellular as long as the physical size of antennas are the same at both frequencies." On a clear day, with line of sight, it's clearly possible to measure millimeter waves far beyond the 100-300 meters most urban deployments expect. I had a chance to discuss Ted's paper with NTT engineers, who were impressed.

Ted is a world-class engineer; I'm a tech reporter who sounds smart because I listen to people like Ted. I'm obviously not qualified to judge which excellent engineers have this one right. Here's Ted's note:

 Many people continue to propagate the incorrect myth that mmwave is severely limited in distance. This is not accurate. The fact is that the distances at mmwave will only be limited by rain and fog, not by the nature of mmwave. This is because the "lossiness" of mmwave, compared to lower frequencies, only occurs in the first meter of propagating distance, but this "higher loss" is cancelled out by keeping the antennas the same physical size at all frequencies.

While building penetration is tougher with mmwave, that is actually an advantage for interference protection, and the use of multiple steerable antenna arrays at the base station will enable larger distances than a couple of hundred meters in system deployments. Coverage distances are not fundamentally different at mmwave than at any other frequency when proper antennas are used (e.g. When bass stations use larger gain antennas to make up for the increased path loss in the first meter).
 
And the demand for consumer capacity will make 5 G come sooner by a couple of years than what Dave is thinking, I believe.
 

ABSTRACT Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications: New Results for Rural Connectivity [Editor's note: most of the article is about the model, not the testing.]

This paper shows the remarkable distances that can be achieved using millimeter wave communications, and presents a new rural macrocell (RMa) path loss model for millimeter wave frequencies, based on measurements at 73 GHz in rural Virginia. Path loss models are needed to es- timate signal coverage and interference for wireless network design, yet little is known about rural propagation at millime- ter waves. This work identifies problems with the RMa model used by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) TR 38.900 Release 14, and offers a close-in (CI) reference distance model that has improved accuracy, fewer parameters, and better stability as compared with the existing 3GPP RMa path loss model. The measurements and models presented here are the first to validate rural millimeter wave path loss models. 

dave ask

Newsfeed

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.