8 facts you need to know about 5G deployments

People want to buy. 500,000 Koreans bought phones in the first two months. Hans Vestberg of Verizon has “tens of thousands” of orders.

5G systems have a very low cost per bit. CEO Hans Vestberg believes Verizon costs are down 90% with the latest equipment. That allows you to give your customers more: full resolution video, “unlimited” plans that don’t hit a limit at 22 gigabytes, reliable service even in train stations and stadia …

Building 5G systems costs much less than many expected. Verizon actually has cut capital spending. Deutsche Telekom, Orange/France Telecom, AT&T, and Telefonica have all said the capital spending will be flat or even down.

Phones and the chips they need are in good supply. EE in England, Etisalat in the UAE, and Sprint in the U.S. have supplies in stock.

Samsung, LG, ZTE, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei are all shipping phones. Xiaomi announced a price of 599 euros ($680). All the rest are over US$1,000.

Phone prices will go down to US$150-300 in 2020, according to both Huawei and China Mobile.

Mid-band 2.5 or 3.5 GHz is generally delivering 100-500 megabits down, working fairly well. In a single user test situation, 1.0 to 1.2 gigabits can be achieved. 3.5 GHz had never before been used for mobile networks, but with Massive MIMO the performance looks good.

Verizon is delivering a real 600 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps over millimetre wave in May. Most customers got less than half that for the first 5 months. Unfortunately, the higher speeds only reached 200 metres and needed a clear line of sight to the cell. Verizon needs much better reach for profitability.

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