Millimeter wave map U 230Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, D.C., & Philadelphia/New Jersey - or a city nearby - appear to be close to ready to go commercial. Only Sacramento and Los Angeles are announced. This is not a firm deployment plan.

Verizon has been doing trials in eleven cities. They are running fiber and beginning to deploy in literally hundreds of other places. They will make final decisions based on the results in each city, marketing, and politics. They've publically committed to 1,000 base stations by the end of 2018, the largest mmWave deployment in the world. That would likely be enough for 3 to 10 square miles per city, but it will not be evenly distributed.

Millimeter wave performance differs enormously based on terrain, height, foliage, and even traffic. Verizon trials and early deployments are locations with different physical features.

In particular, they are choosing to include several different kinds of suburbs. I do not have information on whether the early deployments will be in the city listed, a suburb, or a smaller city nearby.

Readiness, including staff training, is absolutely required before turning on a city. Beyond that, marketing and politics become important. They will want D.C. as soon as they are confident it will go well, for lobbying clout. Boston area is also likely to be early. Much of their 5G research is there. 

Even in the industry, very few believe that Verizon is building the best network in the world. THey've committed $20B to cover about a quarter of the U.S. as rapidly as practical. Redefining  5G to include low and mid-band is confusing many, not just the politicians. 

This is the real stuff, millimeter wave designed to deliver a gigabit to most. 

 

 

 

dave askAugust 2018 Verizon's $20B 5G build is starting to add customers in 2018. Gigabit LTE & Massive MIMO became real in 2017 and enow expanding worldwide. Almost all the other "5G" is mid-band, 70%-90% slower + hype. Europe is mostly pr. The term 5G has been bastardized, unfortunately.

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor. I always want to hear from you, especially if you catch a mistake.

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 5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.