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 daveb@dslprime.com

Teleinformed — Expert on call

The best, fastest way for you and your team to learn the latest. An informed expert on call when you need answers or an outside opinion. A news service customized by hand for what you need.

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.

  • A monthly customized news presentation, probably via Zoom, with plenty of time for your questions.
  • Up to six calls looking for specific information, such as the history of a new customer or a country’s regulatory policy. Including a reasonable amount of research.
  • Brainstorms on your new ideas, combined with reality checks. Any reasonable amount of time.
  • Regular emails when I discover news important to you. E.g. The customer of a client has a new initiative that would be natural for sales follow-up.

Targeted package, $300/month, paid quarterly. Satisfaction guaranteed or money refunded.

5G 2020 Country Review

In August 2019, early data from Korea and China convinced me that predictions for 5G in 2019 were much too low. In September, I published 5G 2020 Predictions: Surprising and surprise free 195-205 million, Low 175M, High 230M, also much higher than others. China had announced 600,000 cells and 150 million subscribers for 2020 and…

Coronavirus Matters – But Numbers are Uncertain

The best epidemiologists are not sure when the pandemic will be controlled. That makes it impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the effect on telecom and 5G. If production gets back to normal by the end of Feb, the natural drop in 5G subs will be 10-15 million. I’ve reduced my “surprise-free” 2020 projection…Continue reading

Does Korea Slowdown Mean 5G Demand is Falling?

Korea added only 313,000 5G users in December, half the August total. It missed the 5 million year end 2019 goal. The 15 million projection for 5G users in Korea at the end of 2020 is now uncertain. Phone subsidies have been cut sharply from the $400-600 earlier in the year. Coverage, at over 80%,…

Inconvenient Truth: Real 5G Little Better Than Decent 4G

The average 2019 4G download speed across 20,000 PC Mag tests in 30 Canadian cities was over 200 Mbps down. The latency was less than 30 ms. The average in Vancouver was over 300 Mbps. The majority of independent tests of 5G outside Asia are slower than 200 Mbps. Verizon reports 5G latency of 30…

Millimeter Wave: What’s Goin’ On

Verizon has the only substantial mmWave network on the planet. They may have already covered 5% of the US, but most is not yet turned on. The company refuses to release any figures other than 30 million passed one day, about a quarter of the US. The majority of Verizon’s “5G” will be low or…Continue reading

Fiber: What’s Goin’ On

Telcos are adding fiber at a rapid pace. It makes money. AT&T’s CFO John Stephens explains that the fiber delivers three sources of revenue. Fiber works. I can use it three times. I can use it for my consumers. I can use it for my business customers. And I can use it for my wireless…Continue reading

Facts, not Hype

Typical real-world latency is 30 ms, no better than good 4G. VerizonEdge networks cut latency to 10-20 ms in 4G or 5G Fiber latency is usually lower. Telus Low-band “5G” today is no faster than 4G 6 independent tests Mid-band 5G’s speed is 100-300 Mbps, similar to good 4G in the same spectrum. 6 independent…

5G Phones: 2019 China $470-700 2020 West: $400-? 2020 China $300

Update Jan 10: Xiaomi is now shipping the US$285 Redmi K30 5G, months before that price was expected. Previously: Nine companies are competing in a 5G market that has room for 4 or 5. In 2020, the difference in 5G and 4G manufacturing costs will fall to US$15-35 per phone. 150 million 5G subscribers in…

5G Phones Will Keep Getting Cheaper

In 2020, the difference in 5G and 4G manufacturing costs will fall to US$15-35 per phone. Xiaomi in January is offering a decent 5G phone for $285. The 4G version is only $55 less. Huawei and Samsung, who make their own parts and have enormous volume, will have an advantage. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo believe…

Early data on coverage

Few companies outside of China and Korea have released data. Here’s what I have for now. This will fill in. Country Company Coverage (M) Coverage % Radio count Subscribers (M) Korea All 35 70% ?80,000 3.8 China China Mobile 40 40,000 4 China China Telecom 60, shared 30,000 3 China China Unicom 60, shared 30,000…