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Verizon, AT&T working to catch Shenzen's 45K 5G radios

The city of Shenzen will likely have more (robust) 5G radios deployed than either Verizon or AT&T for the next year. Robert Clarke reports Shenzen will have 15,000 5G radios in the next few months and 45,000 by August. One Chinese city has more 5G than the entire United States.

Neither Verizon nor AT&T have provided any real information about coverage but their figures likely will be lower. There is no technical reason for delay. The technology now is working for over 10 million people. The limiting factor is the carriers' investment budgets. In the West, investment has been flat to down.

Verizon & AT&T each have 60-70,000 towers and have virtually stopped adding macrocells. Well under half will be upgraded to mid-band or mmWave 5G. Verizon is adding some small cells, but probably not enough to match Shenzen figure. 

15,000 radios will probably cover about 50% of Shenzen's 13 million people, including more business districts. 45,000 will probably cover over 90%. The Americans will eventually catch up and surpass Shenzen; we have 25 times as many people to serve.

China plans 130,000 bases in 2019 and will probably surpass the goal. 2020 is 600-800,000, covering more than half the population. Both figures are more than the entire world other than China and Korea.

Europe is even further behind.


Note: The majority of Verizon and AT&T's "5G" will be low-band for several years. Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne confirms that low-band runs at "4G-like" speeds and is not robust.




dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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