The very respected Glenn Wellbrock is Director, Optical Transport Network - Architecture, Design & Planning at Verizon. He's speaking at Sterling Perrin's 5G Transport and Networking Strategies, November 5 in New York. It's a strong event, where I always learn. Verizon has done an extraordinary and underappreciated job upgrading its backhaul and transport network, now one of the fastest in the world. Its mmWave 5G is the fastest in the world.
  • Previously at this event, you saw a place for microwave backhaul as part of 5G. If I remember correctly, you said Verizon was ~10% and that might increase to 20%. After 2 years of 5G in the field, does that seem on target?
  • Your colleague Lee Hicks tells me the cost per bit has been falling about 40% per year. Is there anything in the technology likely to change that in the next few years? 
  • CTIA figures show bandwidth demand on mobile is now growing ~30% per year. Some Europeans are lower than that, some Asians higher. Looking ahead 3-5 years, does 30% traffic growth seem about right or should telcos plan for lower or higher? (While part of planning is to be ready for unexpected growth. I'm asking about your surprise-free assumption.)
  • Mike Dano reports Open RAN will not be (widely adopted) by the traditional networks until it can support Massive MIMO. Is he on target?
  • What will be the backhaul and fronthaul problems to solve for midband Massive MIMO?

 I'm sure you won't be ready with firm answers for all of this. I'm just looking for expert speculation on some key questions.

Here's a previous item with Glenn, confirming what I heard 

04 January 2020

Verizon Confirms: Microwave Fine for 5G Backhaul

Verizon's Glenn Wellbrock, Director of Optical Transport Network Architecture, Design, and Planning, startled us at Light Reading's 5G Transport and the Edge event. Verizon is building 1,400 miles of fiber per month. Most talking heads think fiber is required.. But Glenn said:

"Don't underestimate wireless backhaul. We use that on about 10% of our sites and will increase it, possibly to as much as 20%".

Microwave latency is lower than fiber. Daisy Dunkley Clark of Ericsson wrote to me, "It is always the shortest path between point A and point B, and air is a faster medium than glass. A latency of much below 100 microseconds is fully feasible."
5 gigabit and 10-gigabit microwave are now standard products at a reasonable price.

More than 90% of 5G is mid-band that peaks at less than 5 Gbps.

Fiber is great when you have it. When you don't, microwave is cheaper and faster to deploy

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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