When I say anything of substance to D.C. officials, I try to make my comments public in the spirit of the FCC ex parte rules. (What they tell me is off the record unless they say otherwise.) Earl Comstock, back in government after many years, said something particularly cogent; China market of 1.4 billion people provides economies of scale that often result in leadership. So I sent him this note. There's nothing profound here but I thought he'd be amused.

Anything you tell me is totally off the record unless you tell me otherwise. I make a point of making public anything I say to government people, in the spirit of the FCC ex parte rules.
I thought you'd be amused to hear that a Huawei executive not long ago told me something very similar to your comment 

Once the Chinese companies bring in the capability that’s organic to their nation, they have 1.4 billion consumers who will buy their products and then expand their revenues, increase their research and development, and then expand into international markets. 

​and I've heard​ similar from others in China. 

(The context was whether the world would ultimately choose 25G & 50G Ethernet for 5G backhaul, as China is, or ​the NG-PON2 Verizon is using. Technically they are about even, but he thought the Chinese economies of scale would prevail.) 

     ​We haven't spoken in more than a decade and I didn't know you were back in government.

I've been covering broadband since 1999, mostly from the technology side. Our politics are very different but I'm always happy to share my technical knowledge and connections with anyone in policy. As Kevin Martin once said to me, "Some issues are neither right nor left" and I care about good policy. You always had a reputation as a straight shooter.

I'm wrapping​ a 90-page analysis report on 5G Strategies, informed by two dozen of the top technical people including several European CTO's. I'm probably as close as anyone writing in English to the primary sources. I also read the Chinese tech press in Google translation and probably have as much data on Chinese telecom as anyone in public.

   ​Do pick my brain if I can be helpful. Most of what comes out of DC in telecom is from lawyers rather than the engineers building the networks.

 Dave Burstein - Once "The DSL Guy" but now mostly wireless.​

 p.s. I follow 3GPP closely, which is truly powerful. I can confirm that it's increasingly dominated by CJK. The U.S. government is one of the very few non-corporate members and I've been amazed we send almost no one there. It could be a very effective lever and by far the cheapest way to support American interests. 


The people I've met in U.S. government telecom policy are very different than most expect. Most are smart and even brilliant attorneys trying to serve the public interest as they see it. At the FCC, I haven't seen anything that even smelled like corruption in my twenty years. (Congress is different.) Conservative Republicans have demonstrated to me they are at least as honourable as my progressive friends.

To my amazement, almost all the top people are happy to talk with you if you have knowledge and original thoughts on the issues they care about. Most of them are very bored with 90% of the people who call on them to advocate for their interests, corporate or public. They almost always will read your comments if thoughtful. Most below the Commissioner level will meet with you if they sense you have something interesting to say. You do not need to pay a D.C. lawyer $10,000 to get an appointment, but do get advice on the etiquette.


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.