massive mimo linkopingsHoping for 2017 although almost no one expected this before 2020 and "5G." CEO Lowell McAdams told analysts Verizon plans  "Staying ~two years ahead of competitors in network performance."  Massive MIMO and beamforming deliver "Huge gains in spectral efficiency." Delivered wireless can increase two to ten times over the next few years using arrays of thirty-five to hundreds of antennas. A 10x jump wouldn't surprise any of the researchers. Pulling that far ahead is probably an impossible dream. AT&T has almost caught up with Verizon. 

Until this week, almost everyone thought substantial Massive MIMO deployment unlikely until 2020 and 5G. The excellent Bernstein analyst Paul de Sa was the first to report "VZ will soon begin market trials of 5G capabilities including 'massive MIMO' (which is when a large number of antennas are packed into a single device) and beam forming (which is when a wireless signal is concentrated on a specific location)." I confirmed with a second analyst what was said.

Beginning trials soon would suggest deployment in 2017 if they go well.

That's not guaranteed. Researchers in this field including Tom Marzetta and Andrea Goldsmith have pointed to problems still needing solution. Both are confident the technology will work but hadn't told me they expected it that quickly.

"Huge gains in spectral efficiency." Wireless speeds to your phone can increase two to ten times over the next few years using arrays of thirty-five to hundreds of antennas. Ten times wouldn't surprise any of the researchers. Until this week, almost everyone thought production units were unlikely until 2020 and 5G. 

Antonio Forenza's pCell uses similar methods, although the details are undisclosed. Verizon's interest may explain why Nokia made the surprise announcement they would test pCell. Verizon has sometimes been Alcatel's largest customer. Nokia needs to keep them happy. They would grab anything that would help with Verizon sales.

pCell already has a 35 antenna 5'x2'x2' hub. Tower, working with UCSD, has a very small 256 antenna transmitter that looks aimed at expensive military systems. Henry Samueli of Broadcom mentioned last year they were working on a chip for 50 antennas or more although they haven't released any details. 

Lowell McAdams' dream is probably impossible because Verizon and AT&T no longer have that level of research capability. U.S. phone companies have cut R & D so much they produce few if any breakthroughs. They are dependent on suppliers for most new tech, mostly Nokia-Alcatel & Ericsson. Both sell to Verizon's competitors, especially AT&T. Verizon has modestly cut capex the last few years. They would need to dramatically increase capex to pull away from AT&T. They essentially use the same technology on very similar networks.

U.S. telcos' massive cut in R & D over the last two decades is one reason U.S. telecom equipment companies are rarely competitive. Wireless is by far the largest sector and no U.S. company has much presence any more. 

Sources: Anyone eligible for investor reports should make sure to connect with Paul de Sa and his colleague Carlos Kirjner at Bernstein. At Columbia, Google VP Milo Medin apologized because he couldn't release information about Google Fiber. He recommended people check the work at Bernstein. I can confirm that Kirchner's estimates are consistent with the economics of other fiber networks. Milo also said that cities like New York and San Francisco are unlikely to get much fiber. The cost of digging up city streets and sidewalks is often prohibitive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulling that far ahead is probably an impossible dream. AT&T has almost caught up with Verizon 

Newsletter

Often interesting

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.

more

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