Rob Joyce 720 indoor Qatar 230

"We intend to have the fastest 4G/5G network on the planet by next year," emails Sara Ibrahim Al Sayed, Senior Analyst, Investor Relations, Ooredoo. She added, "We currently have 100 MHz live at 3.5 GHz. The plan is to add another 100 MHz @ 3.5 GHz and 10 MHz @ 700 MHz next year but the exact timing is yet to be announced. In 2021 we will add a further 400-800MHz at 26 GHz. We already are one of the fastest 4G networks on the planet."

Using 200 MHz of mid-band spectrum would allow Ooredoo Qatar to offer higher speeds than almost all Europeans. No one in Europe is firmly committed to millimetre wave*, so Ooredoo will likely pull far ahead. The mmWave spectrum will bring Oreedoo speeds into the very top tier alongside Verizon.

The initial results are promising. Her colleague Rob Joyce tested 720 Mbps on a Mate 20 at Costa Coffee, one of the highest indoor results for 5G. (Pictured left.) I don't have much data on indoor mid-band speeds, but mmWave is clobbered by many walls and windows.

The competition around the Gulf is becoming fierce, with Zain, Etisalat, and Saudi Telecom also building 5G.

Qatar by StellarD via Wikipedia 230

All the companies have very strong technical staff that can design networks of quality. At Ooredoo, there is a mix of native and expat engineers. Guenther Ottendorfer, who managed much of the network at Sprint in the U.S., is one of the executives recently added.

Qatar has fewer than three million inhabitants, 80% of whom are expatriates. Oil and gas income yields one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, able to afford a world-class network. 

Ooredoo is a major multinational, with 164 million customers across 12 markets including Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, and Iraq.

*Fastweb announced they would use mmWave but may have backed off. It isn't answering my questions. Telefonica and others remain in test mode.

dave ask


Vivo is selling new the iQOO 5G premium quality phone for US$536.

Lei Jun Xiaomi "5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020"5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020" I say sooner

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps

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 USS2/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 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  

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


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.