Rick Merritt, one of the world’s best tech reporters, reports from Qualcomm Maui, “Data rates for the first batch of handsets will likely be limited to a few hundred Mbits/s.” The only test results were downloads of 140 megabits to 470 megabits. This is far less than the gigabit expected from millimetre wave.

A world-class engineer assures me the problems will be solved. Unless answers are found quickly, volume rollouts will slip into 2020. In addition, Qualcomm CEO Amon Cristiano confirmed they have no units for the most popular frequency bands, 600 MHz to 1.8 GHz, which require FDD. (Most spectrum from 2.3 GHz up is designated TDD, which is shipping.)

The first phones are slower than decent 4G and less than half what Verizon is delivering to homes. LTE is in the field delivering 500 megabits (T-Mobile, Manhattan and elsewhere,)  For now, 80%+ of “5G” is slower than 4G. Really. The latest 4G lab results reach 1.5-2.0 gigabits. See http://wirelessone.news/10-r/1244-4g-verizon-telstra-2-gigabits Tens of thousands of towers are equipped with "Gig LTE," although there are very few phones.

 "5G Hype Is Out of Control This Week" Sam Rutherford writes. "There was very little substance to be found.

So basically, a bunch of companies spent mountains of cash so a handful of people could see a tiny 5G icon in the top corner of a phone that isn’t for sale. On top of that, there were other tidbits of info that came out that may have people balking, such as OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau saying that 5G phones could carry a $200 to $300 premium over phones with 4G LTE, which is a lot to ask for young tech that might not work that well yet."

Verizon is delivering the gig promised but phone-sized RF and antennas aren't there.

 

dave ask

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Samsung has delivered 5G chip samples to BBK's Oppo and Vivo, the #2 or #3 phones manufacturer. Samsung is facing off against Qualcomm in the 5G market. Qualcomm is unfazed and reportedly moving the production of their next chip from TSMC to Samsung. 

Sprint's 2.5 GHz 5G is delivering 100-500 megabit downloads consistently. That bodes well for China Mobile, using the same frequencies.

Vodafone, BT, and soon 3UK are delivering modestly sized 5G mid-band networks. Vodafone is also live in Spain and Italy. 

Sunrise in Switzerland is using 5G mid-band for fixed wireless in rural areas.  

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Welcome  1,000,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first ten weeks. 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.