Draft for comment: more thorough and accurate version to come. Improvements and disagreements welcome.

Verizon has decided to spend $20-25,000,000,000 on 5G millimeter wave to 30-40,000,000 homes, I believe. This is not a test, trial, or “part of 11 cities” deployment. This will be the largest new network in the western world.

1/3rd to 1/2 of the U.S. will be covered. In 2019 - if all goes well - they will begin installing between 100,000 and 300,000 small cells. They hope to finish this phase in 2022 or 2023.

Each cell will have a 4G/5G upgradable radio and will immediately add capacity to LTE, right where it’s most needed. That’s why Verizon didn’t buy any spectrum in the auction; LTE & LAA will provide what’s needed, even with an “unlimited” offering.

 

5G mmWave mobile now looks to be important in 2020 rather than the 2022-2023 previously expected by the pros. Verizon will have 2 gigabits to 5 gigabits wherever deployed, 10X as much capacity as today serving fewer users per cell.

They intend to use that bandwidth to blow away T-Mobile and Sprint, currently stealing customers at a ferocious rate. mmWave is close to a natural monopoly because all those cells and backhaul cost so much. By mid-decade, Verizon hopes to raise the ante to play in this market. AT&T, it seems, has decided to almost match them. Others may very well have to fold.

Even two networks will be hard to support; four will be almost impossible. I’ve been a lone voice warning that competition will break down in the mmWave era; the policy people have been burying their heads in the sand.

They will begin this year to install the $1B of fiber they just ordered from Corning. The fiber build alone will cost $4-7B; the actual fiber is just a small part of the cost. This to me was the proof point. It just doesn’t make sense to spend ~$5B on fiber unless Verizon intends to put cells nearly everywhere.

Until the last few months, pros like NTT CTO Seizo Onoe didn’t believe millimeter wave for mobile would be ready for volume until 2022-2023. Inoe made a dramatic speech at the Brooklyn 5G; he now believes 5G mmWave Mobile will be ready in 2020.

5G fixed will be there from the beginning. Verizon carefully is saying “Only 5G fixed until mobile is ready.” This is researched but I do not have any inside information from the top of the company. Much is by inference. Nothing like this has been announced although they have been dropping hints to Wall Street.

I believe I’m first with this conclusion but I expect a bandwagon to build over the next few months.  After 18 years, I don’t think this will destroy my reputation if I have it wrong or they change their mind. I considered the evidence carefully.

The mission can be aborted until 2019, when investments become large. If the trials hit unexpected problems, they could drop the whole thing. If they make a big deal, like buying Charter, things will evolve. Deals are unlikely; none look to make economic sense.

-

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 Gig LTE & Massive MIMO ushering in the Age of Wireless Abundance

Wireless Abundance is here: What the new tech means http://bit.ly/Wirelessabundance
Sprint & T-Mobile Charge to be 1st in U.S. to Gig LTE bit.ly/STMOgig  AT&T bit.ly/ATTGIG2016
Kitahara of Softbank “I am crazy about Massive MIMO” http://bit.ly/MMIMOCrazy
20 Gig mmWave, Massive MIMO & Gig LTE at the Huawei MBBF http://bit.ly/Huawei20
LTE gets to the gigabit explained for non-engineers http://bit.ly/GigLteexplained
Massive MIMO explained. http://bit.ly/WHMassiveMIMO
2017's Big Gigabit story: Qualcomm 835 is ready http://bit.ly/BigGigLTE
Doubling speed with 4x4 MIMO & 256 QAM at T-Mobile http://bit.ly/2k1gEOQ
Netgear Nighthawk M1, Telstra do "gigabit class" LTE http://bit.ly/2k1s5Gq
Spectrum price down by half http://bit.ly/Spectrumhalfoff
Dish and the telcos see big asset cut http://bit.ly/auctionlosers
Shorts on 3GPP,  NYU research, Ralph de la Vega, 5G new radio

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5GW News

dave right5G? 4G? Whatever the name, wireless is going to a gigabit, soon.  I've reported broadband since 1999 and now is the time for gigabit wireless. Catch a mistake or have news? Email me please. Dave Burstein

 

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Starry may match Verizon 5G at half the cost
OFCOM in UK: Share all spectrum, even licensed
OFCOM's Boccardi: 26 GHz worldwide: U.S. goes 28 
Verizon 5G fixed tests will be only 100's of homes
Massive MIMO FD at China Uni, Tele, Huawei, ZTE

 

 

 

Datapoints

Verizon and AT&T burying price increases in fees. 

Huawei's Richard Yu intends to pass both Apple & Samsung in smartphones in five years. 

The 3,000,000,000 transistor Qualcomm 835 is a revolution. Gig LTE, incredible cameras, better VR & AR, & ... State of the art CPU, DSL, GPU, ISP tightly integrated

1,000 T-Mobile small cells 2016, 6,000 more coming. Tech Life

New $84 Reliance Lyf Wind 7S has a 5" screen, a quad-core Snapdragon, an 8 megapixel camera, and some extras. Not state of the art, perhaps, but completely usable at a modest price. 

Orange/FT 4G covers 97% of Poland, 96% of Moldova, but only 84% in France, Q3 2016. They have 113.5 mobile customers in Africa compared to 25.5M in Europe.

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