Heath 320Unsolved problems with blockage, beam aggregation, and even how you hold the phone. Robert Heath is the man "who wrote the book on millimeter wave." He has a major testbed and lab at the University of Texas. He's an enthusiastic supporter, but also a realist. Millimeter waves sometimes are blocked by a window or wall. They definitely won't get to the other side of a building or bounce around most obstacles.

Most of these problems can be solved. Beamforming and beamtracking have great promise. Millimeter antennas can be very small, allowing large arrays that don't take up much space or power. Receivers will often be able to connect to multiple cells; research on how to combine them efficiently is a hot topic. When mobiles are part of the network, everything will become much harder. Take a look at the slides below. 

Turn around and your body may affect the signal.

Heath calls this self body blocking. There's blockage due to people who walk between you and the cell. Change your grip, and your hand may be an issue. With LTE going to a gigabit, 5G capacity will be most in dense areas, but buildings are a killer.

Lowell McAdam of Verizon will do a demonstration deployment, probably in Boston, in 2018 or earlier. It will be fixed only. Verizon will probably be first in the world because they need to convince people they are the best by far. Their business is based on high prices for a much better service. They are no longer much better; T-Mobile and AT&T are close and by some measures ahead. This won't be a phony "fiber to the press release" plan. 

Lowell makes it sound easy. "We're getting 500 meters in some tests. So we can put a cell every 1,000 meters." That will be true some places, but dense areas will be much harder. It will work, but will seriously degrade if a bus goes down the street. VZ will choose the right location, possibly a residential neighborhood with good line of sight. It will be fiber rich. Everything will be fixed; no mobile phones included. I wouldn't be surprised if they send a tech to align some antennas. For this first, small build, they will do what it takes to make it work. 

 McAdam's CFO, Fran Shammo, tells Wall Street to leave 5G out of their capex forecasts for years.

 From Professor Heath

 Heath 650

Newsletter

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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

 

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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