WiFi is an existential threat to telco revenue so they are fighting back in many ways. "5G-for-all presents the opportunity to kill free WiFi and instead charge users for every data packet they send or receive," Colin Johnson reports at EE Times. The implications Johnson heard at an Intel event inspired his title, 5G the Free WiFi Killer. The speakers were Verizon VP Bin Shin, SK Telecom CTO Alex Choi and Ericsson VP Paul McNamara. 

Johnson is on target that eviscerating WiFi is a crucial goal of the giant telcos. I'm not as confident as the author that high-powered, all-encompassing home gateways mean the end of free WiFi  The danger is currently unproven but we certainly need to avert the possibility. The more immediate danger is the telcos want to "Enclose" half or more of the WiFi spectrum. An important Wall Street Journal article by Thomas Gryta and Ryan Knutson has made this a top of mind issue in Washington. They conclude with Harold Feld's comment that Wi-Fi is too important to give carriers the ability to slowly strangle it.

50-70% of wireless traffic now goes over WiFi, a figure that will increase as faster WiFi routers become common and more home gateways are configured to share unused bandwidth. The telcos are working in closed industry fora, making a mockery of the U.S. and EU commitment to an open Internet and the "multi-stakeholder."

At 3GPP, with no public participation, they are defining LTE-U/LAA as "LTE spectrum owners only." The system is designed to dedicate 40 MHz channels of current WiFi spectrum to each of the 4 telcos - or more. The telco proposed standard allows a telco to use more than the single 40 MHz channel.  

We badly need to get a consumer voice in these groups. I've raised the issue to Larry Strickling (U.S. Gov) and Kathy Brown (ISOC). vocal supporters of "multi-stakeholder." The decisions being made in these groups will have more impact on consumers than the limited scope of the ITU/ICANN debate. I'm only one voice and I hope more speak up on the importance of the public interest. 
 
 

Much more to come on this story.

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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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