Who needs 5G? I was wrong last issue to say SK in Korea was the first to announce gigabit (shared) LTE deployments. I had missed a Telstra announcement earlier this year. Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson are ready to deliver gigabit gear to any carrier who can clear an additional 40 MHz. Most carriers will have the bandwidth needed as they refarm 2G and 3G spectrum. AT&T is officially ending 2G later this year, and many will follow. LTE now carries almost all data at Verizon, so they can reuse much of the 3G spectrum soon. "The spectrum crisis" was invented by lobbyists who wanted governments to give them more spectrum cheaply, but was wildly exaggerated: except in India, most large carriers will be able to dedicate 60-100 megabits to LTE and achieve peaks of a gig and more.
AT&T's Andre Fuersch promised the gigabit in an important speech,
Mike Dano reports at Fierce. "LTE is still here. And LTE will be around for a long time. And LTE has also enormous potential in that, you’ll be capable of supporting 1 gigabit speeds as well.” It's amazing how many "experts" have no idea what's coming in LTE. I can't count how many have touted that 5G is wonderful because it will bring a gigabit in 5 to 10 years. LTE will reach a gig in many places in the next two years. .Fuersch points out that 5G will be needed only when we want more than a gig.
As I wrote in the SK article, every informed LTE engineer knew that gigabit 4G (shared) was on the way since 3GPP put it on the roadmap around 2009. LTE standards go up to a nominal 3 gig down, 1.5 gig up, although I don't see 8 MIMO antennas likely in mobile phones. Of course, you don't get those speeds at the cell edge or when the network is congested. But I believe that "gig" LTE will deliver hundreds of megabits 90+% of the time if you have a good connection to the cell site. Getting close to a gig is likely often possible.
“This is a really exciting time to be in the wireless world” Fuersch adds,