Nicki Palmer seated 230Verizon's millimetre wave 5G delivers a true gigabit to many. Around the world, most networks touting 5G will have 60-80% less capacity. There are two very different flavours of 5G: 4G plus NR software in frequencies below 6 GHz and millimetre wave at frequencies above 20 GHz. 

Verizon is also discarding 200,000 boxes with fewer and faster gear. Lee Hicks' "One Verizon" plan will rebuild with 20,000 all IP, state of the art pieces of equipment. Hicks calculates they will save, "50% the first year." 

Millimetre is the good stuff: typically 5-7 gigabits shared, 1 gigabit to nearby homes. Below 6 GHz, a little over 1 gigabit shared, 100-400 megabits down. That's about the same as 4G. We called it "fake 5G, "faux 5G," and "5G light." But the marketers took over at 3GPP.

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint will mostly use the slower stuff. Verizon has completely failed to inform people of the difference. Palmer's ad says "There’s 5G, then there’s Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband." They need to provide details of consumer benefits and compare with others. From bankers to regulators and from Congressmen to ordinary consumers, everything called "5G" is the same.

4G gear today routinely delivers shared speeds of a gigabit or more, real-world speeds typically 100-400 megabits. Verizon has demonstrated 4G LTE/LAA with a lab speed of 1.45 gigabit. Here in Manhattan, T-Mobile is connecting customers at 500 megabits with LTE/LAA. 

"Engineer Nicki Palmer," featured in Verizon's new video ad, has every reason to be proud of Verizon's 5G network, the most advanced network in the world. When not making a commercial, she's better known as Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Engineering Officer and Head of Wireless Networks. At first look, I thought that was her high in the sky climbing a tower, which led to this article. Looking again, I think not. You'll find she's done many other courageous things if you google her career.  

Verizon's millimetre wave 5G delivers a true gigabit to many. That's roughly three times as fast as the mid-band systems being advertised as "5G" by almost all other carriers. Almost no customers realize how much better Verizon's network is.

The improved network from the 5G cell back will often do more for the customer experience than the 10 ms local loop. Unless and until intelligent cloud servers are moved close to the consumer, the delay from the 5G cell to the server often will more than double the latency. Reliance Jio proved to the world how efficiently a new all-IP network can run; they are profitable with an ARPU in the single digits.

Palmer and colleagues labour on, working to a higher standard. 

Some thoughts from Palmer on Linkedin. 

When people ask me about my job, I tell them my team and I are in the business of building a better future through mobility, technology and innovation for our customers. 
    I’m extraordinarily proud of the work our Network team does every day to keep our customers connected on the largest, best-performing wireless Network. This is particularly true in times of crisis. Customers count on our service, and we take that responsibility very seriously. That same commitment to service excellence continues as we work to build tomorrow’s best network, 5G, the next generation of wireless technology. Verizon is taking a strong leadership role in 5G for our customers, building on the foundation of being the first to deploy 3G and 4G LTE Networks nationally. 
    Bringing technology to life through customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering, and collaboration with the brightest people in the industry - that’s what I love about my job! Building brighter futures through the next wave of technology innovation – how can you not be excited?

 

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network. It will soon offer a gigabit or close to 30M homes. Thousands of sites are live in Korea; AT&T is going live with mobile, even lacking phones. 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 4X 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.

-------------------

5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.