Need to Know: 5G Spectrum – Think mid-band

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:...

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Primary: Cost per bit of wireless is falling at a ferocious rate

Even experts are skeptical that Verizon’s cost per bit is falling at 40-50% per year, but I’ve confirmed it to my satisfaction. Three well-established datapoints: Traffic was growing at 60-80% per year and only now is growth falling below 40% Capex has been flat to down Speeds have been going up consistently and congestion...

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China is > 70% of 5G as subs pass 80M

At the end of June 2020, China had ~65 million 5G phones, Korea 7.5 million, the U.S. 5-6 million, and the rest of the world perhaps 4 million. In June 2019, Minister Miao Wei told the giant Chinese telcos “accelerate” and the results are extraordinary. China has upgraded 415,000 base stations and are adding...

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US Q2 5G 4-5 million. Year-end 15-25 million

According to Ken Hyers at Strategy Analytics, 3.4 million 5G phones shipped in Q1 in the U.S. and 2.7 million in Q2. Stores were closed and promotion limited. Some of the 6.1 million shipped were in transit or store inventory, hence the total of 5-6 million plus (modest) carryover from 2019. Update August 10...

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June 2020 H1 5G subscribers 84M (82M-92M)

210 million 5G yearend as phone prices fall to US$199-260. 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. 5G fixed wireless added perhaps 4 million more. As Chinese phone prices (US$199-260)...

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5X Advance for Africa with Massive MIMO, Spectrum

In 2014, Stanford Professor Paulraj told me MU MIMO would be the most effective way to deliver the capacity Africa needed. In 2016, the first Massive MIMO systems were deployed by Softbank Japan and China Mobile. The results were excellent. Softbank reported “up to a 10X improvement.” Huang Yuhong of China Mobile told me...

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Our analysis

5G: The Facts and the Future is probably the best current review publicly available. It’s free. 60 pages, loaded with data and projections. No hype. Worldwide coverage, updated weekly. tl;dr unless you’re really interested in wireless. 80M 5G subscribers in Q2, 100M August prove 5G is real. (August 18)China is > 70% of 5G...

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5G: The Facts and the Future

A global analysis from 2020 to 2025, with estimates that cut through the hype. “I will tell you, there’s a lot of units coming.” Liam Griffin, CEO Skyworks 5G is not going to change the world, no matter what you hear from Xi Jinping, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, or Angela Merkel. None of them...

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5G Flavors: mmWave is good, low & mid-band closer to 4G

Wireless has been getting better at a ferocious rate since at least 2013. Verizon calculates its cost per bit has been going down 40%-50 every year and expects that to continue. This has been true and is a good thing. “5G” has become a meaningless marketing term; most of the big advances happened in...

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Press

Happy to answer questions, offer background, share data and sources, and quickly provide quotes. Dave Burstein 347-603-6442 [email protected] Analysis Branch: 80M 5G subscribers in Q2, 100M August prove 5G is real. (August 28) 5G use is exploding. At the end of June, China had ~65 million 5G phones, Korea 7.35 million, the U.S. 4-5...

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Analyzing Telecom

TRAI is demanding that all telecom gear, not just phones, move to Made in India. Turkcell’s Superbox 4G fixed wireless added 91,000 subscribers Q2. With far more 4G capacity than they can sell, telcos including Verizon are promoting 4G fixed. Canadian telcos claim 5G at 1.7 Gbps. Actually, in the spectrum they have, 300...

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5G 2020-2025: Surprise Free, Low & High Estimates

I have no experience writing fiction, but 5G estimates even a year out are speculative. Four and five year forecasts are guaranteed inaccurate because 5G is new and changing rapidly. Yet people building networks need to think years ahead. Reporters love the headlines. The year I spent researching 5G gives me some insight. Originally,...

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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...

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