People per cell siteChengliang Zhang's keynote at OFC revealed that China Telecom will build ~2M base stations (doubling) for a national network at 3.5 GHz. Most will be built between 2020 and 2025. A bigger telecom story is hard to imagine, but only the great Ray Le Maistre caught it. Thank you Ray.

Currently, CT uses 1.16M 4G cells for China's population of 1.379B, or about 1,200 people per cell today. In 2015, CT was at about 1,700 people per cell. That was about equal to Spain and Korea and three times fewer than AT&T or Verizon.  (Chart)

("5G" at 3.5 GHz, of course, has performance like LTE, not 5G millimeter wave. It's 70-90% slower than mmWave, the original 5G. Latency isn't even close to the highly touted 1 ms. Many of us used to call 3.5 Fake 5G, but 3GPP has now accepted it.)

Much of Chengliang's talk was about the new optical backbone they are building for capacity and speed. They are using 25G Ethernet for the edge rather than the NG-PON2 at Verizon. everything will be optical, fast, and almost failsafe.

His goal is to have 90% of China within 30 ms of a CT server. China does not impose Net Neutrality and the system is designed to place almost everything on local servers controlled by the telco. This is the wet dream of most telcos around the world but so far never achieved.

The telco NGMN CTO's have a 20 year roadmap with the same goal: Everything through the telcos.

 

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum US#2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 6 days sold 300,000 5G Mate 20s. Delivery begins on 8/16. 

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

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Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 3X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80+% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.