One of the best ways to understand telecom
I’ve been covering the industry since 1999, always trying to get closer to the truth. I’ve learned from hundreds of the best. If you’re trying to understand telecom, I’m always happy to exchange ideas. If you’re in the industry and need answers, ask me. Our consulting rates are fair and if I can’t help you I’ll say so. Dave Burstein email@example.com
5G: The Facts and the Future 2021 is almost ready. It’s free. 60 pages, loaded with data and projections. No hype. Worldwide coverage. tl;dr unless you’re really interested in wireless.
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All based on what you tell me are your key interests. IoT in 5G? Edge in the Data Center? Germany competition? Spectrum sharing? Price of phones? Is Open-RAN ready? or …
I spend untold hours researching every week, with help from Google translate. Guaranteed to find useful information easily missed.
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- 5G use is exploding. At the end of June, China had ~65 million 5G phones, Korea 7.35 million, the U.S. 4-5 million, and the rest of the world perhaps 4 million. 5
- As Chinese phone prices (US$199-260) reach the West and Apple releases the 5G iPhone, monthly growth will reach more than 20 million per month. See 5G Phones $199-260
- By August, 5G users have reached 100 million. 14 million phones shipped in China in July
- “5G still doesn’t have any use cases,” writes top Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett.
AT&T is a $207 billion company. Verizon’s market cap is $237 billion. Each has about $20 billion in cash flow per year. $40 billion is a helluva lot of money even for companies that size. Some pundits are panicking. But Craig Moffett points out the result could be “free cash flow accretive” after tax…Continue reading
20 Gbps and 1 ms latency is possible in the lab but a fever dream in the real world. At Verizon, the median speed of 5G is the same or less than 4G. The latency is rated at 30 ms, little better than most 4G. Even on the better 5G networks, delivering 150-400 Mbps…Continue reading
Verizon has abandoned plans to build an Edge Network only 18 months after announcing an audacious program. What Verizon has deployed runs at 4G speeds and Vestberg should not be calling it an “Edge Network.” It just marketing hype for a deal between Verizon and Amazon’s distributed cloud, with no interesting technical advantages. “”Improved…Continue reading
95% of real 5G is mid-band, 3.3-4.2 GHz. The range is comparable to more traditional 1800 MHz spectrum if the site uses many (small) antennas, Massive MIMO and efficient beamforming. Therefore, 5G as actually deployed does not require more antennas than 4G. Orange/FT CTO Michael Trabbia is the latest to confirm. He tells Iain…Continue reading
230-250 million 5G yearend as phone prices fall to US$199-260. 5G subscriber numbers are exploding. 100-120 million 5G phones will sell in Q4, many of them Apples. China will add at least 50 million. 70% of the phones selling in China are 5G and likely over 90% by mid-2021. I’m reworking my 2021 &…Continue reading
147 million subs September 2020, 117 million in China. Yearend likely 230-250 million, including 30-50 million iPhone 12. Decent 5G phones cost US$200-250 in China, with 6.5″ screens and multiple cameras. As China prices move West, 2021 will blow out. Forget gigabit speeds and 1 ms latency. Mid-band speeds mostly 100-400 Mbps. Low-band typically…Continue reading
5G has so few practical uses that half a million Koreans have gone back to 4G. The saving is modest; otherwise, millions would have gone back. 4G speeds averaged over 50 Mbps in 2019. 4G is probably much faster today. 5G averages 300 Mbps across about a third of the country. So what? What…Continue reading
Starlink latency averages 30 ms, similar to 5G’s reality. Speeds measure up to 100 Mbps, although some only get half that. Upstream is usually 10-40 Mbps. Caps haven’t been specified but will almost certainly be higher than current satellite offerings. By most standards, the performance is decent. A Redditer posts Starlink is 600x better…Continue reading
Takeaway: 95+% of 5G is lowband (< 1800 MHz or mid-band (2500-4200 MHz.) Asia, TMobile US, and much of Europe is mid-band.80-200 MHz of spectrum usually delivers 100-400 Mbps. Low-band (AT&T, much of DT & other European, runs at 4G speeds and sometimes lower. See AT&T data below.Millimeter wave often does 500 Mbps and…Continue reading
Takeway: Decent 5G until around 2025 will be mostly mid-band, 2500-4200 MHz. Frequencies lower than 2100 MHz essentially deliver 4G capacity. Millimeter wave, 20 GHz and above, can deliver gigabits but will be rare until the middle of the decade or later. It’s expensive, and the carriers don’t see much market. Heretical but true:…Continue reading
Open RAN works, but the strongest supporters are clear it has a way to go. CTO Tareq Amin of Rakuten, with the most advanced deployment in the world, had to spend “hundreds of millions” on custom chips to get the performance he needs. My unofficial numbers are custom chip cost wiped out all the…Continue reading
210 million 5G yearend as phone prices fall to US$199-260. New York August 31, 2020 Contact: Dave Burstein, 347-603-6442 firstname.lastname@example.org 5G use is exploding. At the end of June, China had ~67 million 5G phones, Korea 7.35 million, the U.S. 4-5 million, and the rest of the world perhaps 4 million. 5G fixed wireless…Continue reading