ITU FG 2030 logo 230ITU IMT 2020 defined 5G. FG 2030 is an open group, free to all. At the first meeting last week, I moved forward a draft proposal that EMBB - Enhanced Mobile Broadband - be designed to make broadband available to all. The EMBB problem was addressed but wasn't adequately solved in 5G. (Some  of) the performance is being achieved by 5G but not at a cost affordable to half the world. My thoughts were treated respectfully and several encouraged me to attend the next meeting in Hong Kong in December. There's an active mailing list and ITU believes in remote participation.

All you have to do is go to and find the mailing list information in the lower right. You may need to register for an ITU TIES guest account, but it's free. 

If you are respectful and have relevant points to make, you will be welcome. Like any group, you're most effective if you understand the way people are accustomed to working. I will be happy to point people to the right information and help understand the systems. The Chair, Dr. Richard Li, and the staff treated me graciously.

Much of the discussion is about advanced topics like the latency needed to deliver holograms, but I was welcomed by the group on "use cases." Delegates from India and Brazil supported, and the leaders of the group helped me understand how to shape my ideas into the right form. 

Like most standards groups, including IETF, Corporations in Europe, the U.S., China, Japan, and Korea were represented. Very few came from other countries, although more than half of Internet users are in the developing world. That should change. Only about 15% were women, who appeared to be treated with respect. 

Why I said (some of) the performance: IMT 2020 specified 5G would have gigabit speeds and latency of 1 ms. With the exception of Verizon mmWave, the announced deployments of 5G will be a third the speed and ~10 ms latency. They will run of 4G hardware with a minor software tweak, 5G NR, that adds only a modest amount to capacity. Under pressure from the marketing people, 3GPP redefined 5G to include just about everything shipping, as long as they ran the Qualcomm software. Pure hype, but its too late to fight. The battle is over.

I didn't go to the meeting looking to have an impact. Standards groups have first rate engineers at the forefront of the field. I knew I would learn a great deal when I discovered the meeting was here in New York. Thinking about what I could bring to the meeting, I wrote 

Sustainable DevelopmentPrepared for the ITU Focus Group on Technologies for Network 2030. Technology plans should be designed to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Will the design produce robust infrastructure, everywhere?  Will the proposed networks be affordable for all? What will be the requirements for investment and are they realistic for developing nations? What is the impact on competition and the resulting effect on consumer costs?

People more qualified than I will be discussing possibilities like terahertz spectrum and microscopic antennae. What I want to do is put some questions on the table crucial to the cost of access and deploying everywhere. These are questions, not conclusive opinions. The groups making standards very rarely have considered the requirements of the developing world, which include low costs and simple deployment. More


FG NET-2030

"Network 2030: A pointer to the new horizon for the future digital society and networks in the year 2030 and thereafter." – Dr Richard Li, FG NET-2030 chairman

The ITU-T Focus Group Technologies for Network 2030 (FG NET-2030) was established by ITU-T Study Group 13 at its meeting in Geneva, 16-27 July 2018.

The Focus Group, intends to study the capabilities of networks for the year 2030 and beyond, when it is expected to support novel forward-looking scenarios, such as holographic type communications, extremely fast response in critical situations and high-precision communication demands of emerging market verticals. The study aims to answer specific questions on what kinds of network architecture and the enabling mechanisms are suitable for such novel scenarios.

The study is collectively called ‘Network 2030’. It will be further realized by the exploration of new communication mechanisms from a broad perspective and is not restricted by existing notions of network paradigms or to any particular existing technologies. Network 2030 may be built upon a new or refined network architecture to carry information in a manner that may evolve from, or is quite different from today’s networks. Regardless, Network 2030 based systems shall ensure they remain fully backward compatible, supporting both existing and new applications.

The FG NET-2030, as a platform to study and advance international networking technologies, will investigate the future network architecture, requirements, use cases, and capabilities of the networks for the year 2030 and beyond. 
The objectives include: 
• To study, review and survey existing technologies, platforms, and standards for identifying the gaps and challenges towards Network 2030, which are not supported by the existing and near future networks like 5G/IMT-2020.
• To formulate all aspects of Network 2030, including vision, requirements, architecture, novel use cases, evaluation methodology, and so forth.
• To provide guidelines for standardization roadmap.
• To establish liaisons and relationships with other SDOs.

Participation in FG NET-2030 is free of charge and open to all. To receive updates and announcements related to this group, please subscribe to the FG NET-2030 mailing list (see the "FG NET-2030 Mailing lists" tab on the right of this page).

dave ask


Vivo is selling new the iQOO 5G premium quality phone for US$536.

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.