Massive MIMO produces a 2-7X capacity improvement, far more than the 15-50% of 5G NR software. Every engineer knows the 5G hype has become ridiculous, especially because Massive MIMO is a key component of 4G.

Guido Weissbrich of Vodafone Germany confirms they have moved from trials to deployment. His colleagues are in production in Australia. Bharti in India is covering much of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta. Verizon is widely deployed in the U.S. but has released few details.    

All of these, I believe, are below 2.1 GHz and are FDD. One vendor off the record guessed FDD Massive would only be a 1.5X improvement.  Karri Kuoppamaki of T-Mobile expects a 2-3X improvement.

FDD performance remains unproven and I'd welcome data. Marzetta tells me the solution is to change everything FDD to TDD, but that's not easily done.

Sprint in the U.S. is going hard in TDD 2.5 GHz, including New York. They are reporting an average 4X improvement. That's less than Softbank Japan (up to 10X) and more than China Mobile (3X.) But performance varies so much by terrain comparisons are misleading. Below millimeter wave, Massive MIMO is improving capacity far more than "New Radio," which the marketing and lobbyist use to define 5G.

Extensively rewritten Aug 8 for clarity.

 

dave ask

Newsfeed

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.