Neville Ray 19 to 52 FCC 230

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told the FCC his 600 MHz band 5G would be 19% more efficient than LTE. That's the primary 5G band T-Mobile is using across the country. In the 2500 MHz Sprint band, the increase is 52%. (Chart at left and larger below.) It is possible these numbers will prove lower in actual test. Over 80% of the 5G being deployed around the world is low and mid-band. Generally, this is 4G hardware with NR software, with speeds closer to 4G than to 5G millimetre wave. Sprint & T-Mobile will be 90%+ low and midband, little faster than LTE. 

Millimeter wave, which Verizon is deploying widely, is about three times faster than LTE in the real world. See Verizon 5G: "I'm getting speeds of 900+ Mbps downstream 200+ upstream." AT&T is deploying mmWave to hotspots in dense urban areas, but intends low and mid-band for most of the country.

Why are so many claiming 5G is five and ten times faster? Many don't realize that most "5G" since the 3GPP Great Renaming in Spring 2018 is now 4G hardware with 5G NR software, not particularly fast. Actually, the majority of 5G is mid-band, 60% to 80% slower than mmWave and not very much better than LTE. Others use out of date LTE capabilities; since 2017, "Gig LTE" is delivering speeds usually between 100 and 400 megabits. (It's more than a gig in the lab, hence the name.)

Some are comparing actual average speeds of LTE with "peak" or "lab" speeds of mmWave. Actual speeds are often only a third of "peak" speeds. Others are using the 20 gigabit speed in the ITU IMT standard without realizing it is based on using three or four times the largest actual spectrum allocation, 800 MHz for Verizon. 

Some are presenting "politician's truths." The telco lobbyists with million dollar influence campaigns include former politicians who have dropped their standards. Many are just ignorant, and have missed the fact that nearly no network engineers agree with the lobbyist's claims. 

Sylvana Apicella of Ericsson provides an estimate that NR will only add 10% to 20% in FDD bands, the frequencies below 2100 MHz that are primarily used today.

5G, as Telefonica CTO Enrique Blanco noted, is an evolutionary step.  

From Neville Ray, an explanation of why 5G likely is 19% to 52%  better than LTE. That's much less than the impact of MIMO and Carrier Aggregation, 4 G technologies raising capacity 6-12 times. Ray is one of the best CTOs in the business and the facts in his FCC work stand up.

5G Spectral Efficiency

5G has higher spectral efficiency than LTE, resulting in higher capacity per unit of spectrum (Hz) s

Key 5G spectral efficiency enhancements include:

Lean carrier: optimized control signaling overhead

Increased Occupied bandwidth: uses more of the allocated spectrum block for traffic handling

MIMO code book improvement: better use of discrete layers for parallel communication

Interference Coordination Features: to mitigate degrading radio interference

Neville Ray 19 to 52 FCC 650


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Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

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. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


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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