The best results are on track. Korea Telecom is using 100 MHz of spectrum at 3.5 GHz and tested at 193-430 Mbps down. Upload was at 4G speeds. Verizon is using 400 MHz at 28 GHz and the best results were 600-900 MHz. Note that these almost all were clear line of sight, no windows or walls, and only a short distance. Two tests through windows saw a 60-80% drop-off.

Speeds will probably go up as the equipment improves; speeds will probably fall as more people connect. Below, a table with 7 independent test results. More very welcome.

430 Mbps corresponds to what Deutsche Telekom measured on a similar system in Warsaw and what Sprint & T-Mobile expect when they turn on their 5G:

In “daily-use” cases (farther away from the station, on a street, in our #5G_LAB building) we are registering speeds around 350-500 Mbps, which is really great considering the circumstances.

85% or more of "5G" will be similar to the Korean and DT systems. Verizon and AT&T mmWave should be about three times as fast.

600-900 for 400 MHz mmWave is actually more than the 450 megabits Verizon press release suggested. (Below) 400 MHz should provide 2-5 gigabits shared in the lab and often reach a gigabit to individual users. Verizon has 800 MHz to eventually use. No carrier has suggested consumer speeds above about a gigabit, although two gigabits should be practical for fixed wireless with larger antennas. 

Lots of bugs, inconsistencies, and problems have to be fixed but the best results are on track. 

Verizon estimated latency would be less than 30 ms. Actual tests were 16-26 ms, probably because of Verizon's improved backbone/transport. An Edge cloud brings latencies to 15-20 ms consistently in Verizon and AT&T labs. Verizon has said they will start deploying an Edge Cloud later in 2019.

LTE averages 40-55 ms latency on the currently deployed systems, a few years out of date. Sascha Sagan of PC MAG found LTE latency of 25 ms at Verizon Chicago. (Sagan has been doing consistently valuable testing. Michael Thelander of Signals Research found LTE and 5G latency very similar in an email to me but emphasized this is very early.

Ericsson and Huawei's new radios can bring LTE "air latency" down to 10-13 ms, close to the 8-12 ms of 5G NR today. 5-30 ms must be added to air latency for the time from the tower to the server. URLLC can reduce air latency to 1-5 ms, but that will be mostly in the labs for years. 

The "1 ms latency" and "10-20 gigabit speeds" for consumers are fantasies or worse.

Here are the first 7 independent tests in the U.S. and Korea, followed by Verizon's press release.  Measured results at Verizon were better than the press release claims.

Author Affiliation network location
top download
top upload
5G ping/latency
4G ping
spectrum unit
Jessica Dolcourt CNET Verizon Chicago 634 72 57 13 227 25   28 GHz Moto
Michael Thelander Signals Research Verizon Minneapolis 909             28 GHz Moto
Chris Welch The Verge Verizon Minneapolis 573 410 29 10   20-30   28 GHz Moto
Sascha Segan PC Mag Verizon Chicago 600       400 16-20   28 GHz Moto
Chris Moon Verizon Verizon Chicago 438   24     23      
Philip Michaels Tom's Guide Verizon Chicago 596 310 22 11 189     28 GHz Moto
Sascha Segan PC Mag AT&T Dallas 1300 92 19     26 25 39 GHz Netgear
Nikkei SK Seoul 430 193     47     3.5 GHz  

dave ask


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.