Zhu No Cell"6G" wireless is technology that is beyond "5G." Minister Wei Leping has already called for China to be the 6G leader, although no one quite knows what it is. Technologies moving from the lab to deployment should improve capacity by 5-15X over "5G." Three technologies will almost certainly be included, with more to come: 

  • "Cell-free" or "Distributed" Massive MIMO
  • Dynamic use of different frequencies, especially unlicensed
  • Frequencies up to 120 GHz.

"Cell-free" or "Distributed" Massive MIMO. Today, your phone connects to a single cell. If instead you connect to several cells, you often will get much better performance. The operator can tune the network improving things for everyone.  It's easy to see how you could get more capacity on the edge of a cell by connecting to a neighboring cell. These and dozens of other optimizations are becoming possible as the network is controlled by a centralized RAN. The calculations required are becoming practical as Moore's Law continues to drive down the cost. The receiver needs more antennas, so you'll probably see this first in fixed wireless. There are hundreds of academic articles on how to make this work. Steve Glapa believes Tarana Wireless is close to delivering some of this capability. See 5G Future Might Be "No Cell Networks" with video of Peiying Zhu of Huawei.

Dynamically use different frequencies, especially unlicensed. FCC Chief Technologist Henning Schulzrinesaid in 2017 "All new spectrum is going to be shared. Imagine if when Verizon is running out of spectrum, they could instead use anything fallow at Sprint or AT&T. Each carrier has different traffic patterns. There is usually excess but currently no way to put it to use. Share everything, you learned in kindergarten. Today's phones can handle two dozen spectrum bands, even if true software defined radio is not down to consumer prices.

Verizon & Qualcomm have shown this can work and LAA is part of the 3GPP standard. They listen to see if some of the Wi-Fi spectrum isn't being used. If it's quiet, which is most of the time, they use the spectrum. It can and should be extended. The telcos need exclusive access to some spectrum for signaling and emergency use. That would probably be 20-40 MHz, and more than half the spectrum they currently monopolize can be turned back.  See Sharing Works in Almost All Bands: Malladi of Qualcomm

Frequencies up to 120 GHz. 5G in 3GPP Release 15 goes up to 54 GHz. WiGig is working at 60 GHz. Many radios run at 70 GHz to 90 GHz, although they currently are too expensive for consumers. Many are testing past 100 GHz, claiming excellent results. The U.S. FCC is working on rules for those bands.

Some of these "6G" techniques are already reaching the market, even before 5G is deployed.  



dave ask


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


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.