John Saw 230A million here (Los Angeles), a million there (New York), and soon you are talking real coverage. At Brooklyn 5G, John Saw showed two slides showing 7 million people were already covered with a 4G/5G network with massive MIMO.

AT&T and Verizon refuse to release actual 5G coverage, implicit confirmation that the deployment, unlike the pr, in very modest.* Don't believe the hype.

The 4G is live, with something like a 4X capacity increase due to the 128 antennas. The 5G is also tested and will be turned on in a few weeks when the vendors deliver final production software.

Customers in a good location should enjoy 150-450 megabits down.

That's the early tested speeds in Korea and DT Warsaw.

Sprint has 20,000 small cells deployed on the Altice cable system. When turned on, they will add millions more to the coverage. Antennas for 2500 are larger than for mmWave. Until we know how many antennas fit on a pylon, we won't know the performance. 

China Mobile and Sprint have 100 MHz+ at 2500, some of the best spectrum for 5G today. mmWave has perhaps 3X the capacity but has short reach and a problem with walls/windows. Most other 5G builds are in 3500-4200, with shorter reach than 2500.  

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray's testimony at the FCC claimed that at mid-band frequencies 5G in theory offers 40-52% more capacity than 4G with similar spectrum and antennas. That may or may not prove true on the Samsung gear used here; Samsung is hiding the actual performance of equipment like that used here. 

Saw (and Ray) are probably smart to hold back a few months. Initial reports from Nikkei show reliability problems with similar Sprint gear and Verizon is having severe dropouts in Chicago.

Verizon and the Koreans scream "First!" but their networks don't work very well yet.


"I don't think anything from AT&T or Verizon will be material until the time frames we're putting out, [second half 2019]" Neville RayT-Mobile CTO 

Sagan 120Sprint hasn't released the slides but Sascha Sagan at PC Mag has screenshots. Sagan has been doing the best reporting on the U.S. 4G & 5G builds, including a crucial test of T-Mobile live at 500 Mbps here in Manhattan with 4G LTE/LAA. 85+% of the 5G worldwide will be slower than that. The 5G Emperors may not be completely naked, but Dean Bubley suggests they are wearing very small thongs.

From the slide, it appears Sprint has covered about half of Manhattan and key areas of many other cities.

dave ask


Samsung has delivered 5G chip samples to BBK's Oppo and Vivo, the #2 or #3 phones manufacturer. Samsung is facing off against Qualcomm in the 5G market. Qualcomm is unfazed and reportedly moving the production of their next chip from TSMC to Samsung. 

Sprint's 2.5 GHz 5G is delivering 100-500 megabit downloads consistently. That bodes well for China Mobile, using the same frequencies.

Vodafone, BT, and soon 3UK are delivering modestly sized 5G mid-band networks. Vodafone is also live in Spain and Italy. 

Sunrise in Switzerland is using 5G mid-band for fixed wireless in rural areas.  

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Welcome  1,000,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first ten weeks. 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.