If you can't come to New York, watch the IEEE live stream. April 25-27
Ted Rappaport's Brooklyn 5G may be the best event in the industry. Top people come to NYU Wireless, the leading academic 5G center. Speaking to an audience of peers, they bring the latest and most important research.
Paulraj, Fettweis, Dina Katabi, are among the world's top researchers.In 2014, AT&T's #2 John Stankey and the CTO of NTT DOCOMO Seizo Onoe convinced me 5G was going to be real. Both are coming back. Folks at that level wouldn't have flown from around the world unless 5G was closer than I thought.
Listening at the shows, I realized that the massive number of cells for 5G mmWave was likely a competition killer. The general opinion was that only one or two companies could afford to build such large networks. (Encouraging note: The reach of mmWave is proving better than most people expected.)
In 2016, Onoe and others thought volume deployments were unlikely before 2022-2023. By 2017, Onoe had changed his mind and said 2020. At the 2017 event, I gathered datapoints that led me to write Verizon Full Speed Ahead on $20B mmWave Buildout. 8 months later, Verizon hasn't officially announced but I'm confident about the story.
At the first Brooklyn Summit I asked about competition problems for 5G networks based on high frequencies. They generally require fiber backhaul to an enormous number of small cells because of the limited range. The incumbent has an enormous advantage because of all the fiber they own. Stanford's Andrea Goldsmith, one of the best, answered by pointing to the alternative of Bottoms-up networks, supplied through existing DSL and cable backhaul. She was so on target I apologized to her for asking a simplistic question.
The 5G Summit is primarily a technical event but it's time for the policy people to begin listening.