Black Swan poster 230Cable wireless will be "humongous," in the U.S. a cable VP tells me. The cable buildout appears inevitable. I see evidence of that at every wireless event. One possible roadblock: wireless incumbents offering cable an almost unbelievably cheap deal is a rational business move.

The marginal cost of bits on wireless is falling 40%/year and is already very low. If cable is coming in anyway, a telco like Sprint or AT&T could offer a resale deal not far above the cost of cable building their own networks. No one at the telcos has suggested this would happen, but the possibility belongs in the analysis. 

The cablecos are moving already. I see Charter ads in the New York subway. C & C are offering attractive deals to their existing customers, the majority of the population. Both are reselling Verizon service for now and moderating their growth while they build systems.

#4, Altice is working very closely with Sprint. The two jointly plan future network investments.

Charter is leading the testing of the shared 3.5 GHz band. John Chapman at Cisco and Jennifer Andreoli-Fang at CableLabs have developed DOCSIS pipelining, which can bring latency to 10 ms and potentially much lower. The cost of a network of small cells will be relatively modest because cablecos have power and backhaul at nodes close to most U.S. homes.  

Jumping into wireless makes business sense as well. Broadband is still growing but it's close to saturation. Everyone is losing conventional video customers and the alternatives bring in much less money.  While their near-monopoly of a service most people must have allows them to increase prices, Roberts of Comcast and Rutledge of Charter fear regulators will jump in if they take full advantage. Adding wireless is the obvious way to meet Wall Street's demand for growth. 

U.S. wireless pricing is almost cartel-like, twice as high as peers like France. T-Mobile is aggressively attacking and winning customers, but actually keeping prices close to AT&T. Sprint this month raised prices. Since John Legere took over T-Mobile, he has been challenging the cartel with many features and occasional obscenities. Looking at price trends, the change is only modest. U.S. prices are far higher than if we had strong competition. 

The cable guys believe nothing will stop their network deployment of 4G/5G. But they stop and think when I suggest this alternate scenario. It's certainly a possibility.

Black swans happen, although the odds are long against. 

dave ask

Newsfeed

The 3.3-4.2 spectrum should be shared, not exclusively used by one company, concludes an important U.S. Defense Innovation Board report. If more wireless broadband is important, sharing is of course right because shared networks can yield far more

It does work! Verizon's mmWave tests over a gigabit in the real world. 
The $669 OnePlus 7 Pro outclasses the best Apples and probably the new Galaxy 10 or Huawei P30 Pro. Optical zoom, three cameras, liquid cooling, Qualcomm 855 and more.
Korea at 400,000 5G May 15. Chinese "pre-commercial" signing customers, 60,000-120,000 base stations in 2019, million+ remarkable soon. 
5G phones Huawei Mate 20, Samsung Galaxy 10, ZTE Nubia, LG V50, and OPPO are all on sale at China Unicom. All cost US$1,000 to 1,500 before subsidy. Xiaomi promises US$600.
Natural monopoly? Vodafone & Telecom Italia to share 5G, invite all other companies to join.
Huawei predicts 5G phones for US$200 in 2021, $300 even earlier
NY Times says "5G is dangerous" is a Russian plot. Really.
Althiostar raised US$114 million for a virtual RAN system in the cloud. Rakuten, Japan's new #4, is using it and invested.
Ireland is proposing a US$3 billion subsidy for rural fibre that will be much too expensive. Politics.
Telefonica Brazil has 9M FTTH homes passed and will add 6M more within two years. Adjusted for population, that's more than the U.S. The CEO publicly urged other carriers to raise prices together.
CableLabs and Cisco have developed Low Latency XHaul (LLX) with 5-15 ms latency for 5G backhaul,  U.S. cable is soon to come in very strong in wireless. Details 
Korea Telecom won 100,000 5G customers in the first month. SK & LG added 150,000 more. KT has 37,500 cells. planning 90% of the country by yearend. 
The Chinese giants expect 60,000 to 90,000 5G cells by the end of 2019.
China Telecom's Yang Xin warns, "Real large-scale deployment of operators' edge computing may be after 2021." Customers are hard to find.
Reliance Jio registered 97.5% 4G availability across India in Open Signal testing. Best in world.

More newsfeed

----------

Welcome On Oct 1, 2019 Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network with extraordinary hopes. The actual early results have been dismal. Good engineers tell me that will change. 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.