Small Cell Network 320
Small cells: fiber: Exchange: Cloud RAN: Core: Internet or PSTN. I believe Verizon has made the decision to spend ~$20B and add enough small cells to cover 1/3rd to 1/2 of the U.S. The major construction will be from 2019 to 2022. 

At the edge, 100,000-300,000 new small cells will provide both LTE and 5G service to perhaps 40M homes. They expect to do well enough to extend the build across the United States. All will have 5G millimeter wave fixed access. It will use the 28 GHz band and TDD coding. Likely speed will be ~ 5 gigabits, peak, shared. Most homes will be able to access a gigabit almost all the time because generally the cell will be lightly loaded. 

Latency will be under 10 milliseconds but not the 1 ms highly touted. Putting the intelligence back in the cloud makes 1 ms impractical. To get 1 ms, a massive network of "edge computing" would be needed. Neither Verizon nor any other telco has publicly committed to building that edge computing net. The cost would be massive and the market for 1 ms isn't apparent. Virtual reality is designing for 10 ms. Even the connected car doesn't need to go that low. João Barros of Veniam tells me, "3ms latency is enough for even the most stringent connected vehicle applications." 

When I saw both Verizon and AT&T planning cloud RAN, I knew 1 ms wasn't happening for a decade or more.



Verizon Small Cell
Verizon Small Cell




dave askJuly 2017 Gigabit LTE is real in 2017. So is 5G Massive MIMO. 5G mmWave to fixed antennas is likely 2018, with mobile to follow. China, Japan, Korea, and Verizon U.S. have planned $500B for "5G," with heavy investment expected 2019-2021. 

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.

Wireless One - W1 replaces in July 2017. Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor.