John Saw of Sprint will ">T Mobile 900 meg test at 180"push 1 Gbps speed boundaries very soon." Later, he specifically said, "in 2017." Neville Ray of T-Mobile replied, "T-Mobile will absolutely be first to Gigabit speeds!" They are using the techniques I describe in For non-engineers. How LTE gets to the gigabit: 4x4 MIMO, 4 Band Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAMA gigabit, shared across the cell site, is the goal of the new Qualcomm 835 chip, about to ship. In 60-90 days, expect to see the 835 in the Samsung Galaxy 8, the Xiaomi MI 6, and phones from HTC and LG. Phones with a good connection will usually deliver hundreds of megabits. Behind some walls or at the cell edge, speeds can go down 95%.     

T-Mobile has a dramatic video of testing over 900 megabits with "an unreleased phone." It's embedded below or just click on the picture to the left. In Tokyo, Huawei's LTE ran at over a gig for the two day show. They are working with British Telecom on a 2 gigabit version using more spectrum. 

Both Sprint and T-Mobile have deployed 50-60 MHz of spectrum (three carrier aggregation) and advanced coding (256 QAM.) Tyrone Beckwith testing T-Mobile has found speeds more than doubling with 256 QAM and 4x4 MIMO, apparently with 20 MHz. When the MIMO and three/four carriers are combined, the cell will be served with something close to a gigabit. Ray speaks of four antenna MIMO, which is already working at True in Thailand, Telus in Canada, and T-Mobile. Saw speaks of "Massive MIMO," 64-128 antennas that Sprint parent Softbank is deploying by the thousand in Japan. That's a 3X to 10X further improvement. 

Saw has 160 MHz in most cities across the U.S. but so far has only deployed 40-60 MHz. Sprint has extraordinary potential capacity. T-Mobile is more limited, with 40-80 MHz most places.  Telstra in Australia and SK in Korea thought they'd be at the gigabit in 2016 but the Qualcomm chip was delayed. No one doubts the technology will work, but deployment in 2017 will probably be limited everywhere. Only high end phones will have all the features. 

Verizon is being quiet but their research is advanced.

Mike Dano of Fierce is hosting a breakfast at CES on January 6 with Ray and Saw's colleague Günther Ottendorfer. I wish I were there and could ask for more details. I'd like to understand what brings down the peak speed to a user when the cell is uncongested; performance differences between 4x4 and Massive MIMO; and an estimate of when this performance will come to less expensive phones. Looks like a good event.

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Latest issue

 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

 

Stories worth writing

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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