Where will the boxes go? Who will buy? Dozens of companies are jumping in, many with wild and contradictory ideas. "Levels of Edge" brings some order to the analysis.

Edge clouds reduce latency with servers close to the customer. The true believers talk 1-4 ms; the actual results for now are likely 15-25 ms. That's great for multi-player Pokemon, worthless for controlling autonomous vehicles. 

Level 1 Edge Clouds don't exist yet and may cost too much to deploy. 1 ms 5G is still in the lab and years away from deployment. the 5G deploying is ~10 ms. 

A Level 2 site is building in Chicago with equipment moving in. Vapor is supplying the main boxes. The server adds ~ 4 ms. Level 2 sites aim for 10-20 ms. Cole Crawford of Vapor tells Mike Dano their boxes are "tower-aggregated and connected, not tower-located." Vapor is not, as originally thought, going directly to the cell.  Federated Wireless is testing a new radio network, which may be the only way to performance desired.

Level 3 sites are testing in live networks at Deutsche Telekom and in China.

Level 3 is still within the carrier network but further back. Current expectations are 20-25 seconds, with better to come. 

Level 4 sites are an intriguing new possibility. Verizon and Telefonica are installing routers and switches with very low latency and cutting out layers. In 25-50 ms, networks like this can carry your data to the peering points at the other end of their networks. A relative handful of telco data centres at the interconnection points could easily reach the entire network, usually quite rapidly. Akamai and the Googles of the world are already there. Level 4 is primarily what we have today with a more efficient transport network. The speeds are similar enough they may reduce the need for today's Edge clouds.

Level 5 is what we have today. My Netflix and everything else runs fine. Maybe that's enough.

LTE Level 5 30-75+ms Today  
5G or LTE Level 4 25-50+ ms Good transport  
5G with servers in telco core Level 3 20-25 ms
Deploying in DT and China
 
5G with few hops Level 2 10-20 ms
First units getting to the field.
 
5G with 1 ms air latency Level 1 5-12 ms
Not expected out of the labs for years.
 

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

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

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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.