5G rarely will need new cells, especially in mid-band 2.6 GHz bands. Very respected Huang Yuhang of China Mobile Research told the Huawei Chengdu event that CM will not need "to build lots of new sites for 5G or interfering with its existing LTE network. Its spectrum in the 2.6GHz band is sufficient to support both networks in a shared architecture."

Sprint in the US, which also has 160 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum, is getting excellent coverage of 5G despite dedicating half the band to 4G enhancement. Massive MIMO in mid-band is performing so well that 5G needs few more cells than 4G requires.   

When 5G was defined as millimetre wave, the short reach meant many areas would need new cells. Then 3GPP redefined 5G to include almost any new system. Most notoriously, 4G TDD-LTE now is called 5G if a very modest software tweak is added, "5G NR." The software has a very limited effect on performance.

21 of the first 23 "5G" deployments are mid and low-band, with reach comparable to the 4G already in the network. Few new cells are required in the 2.6 GHz band. That's mostly true in the more common 3.5 GHz band, although the data is more limited. 

Ronan Dunne of Verizon confirms the speed of the new "5G" is very close to 4G. 

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.