Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Yves Smith: it was common knowledge that there was no business case for it, which would be news to anyone reading the press.

This is nothing new for anyone familiar with the telco industry. The telco operators around the world are barely breaking even with their 4G network investments started over ten years ago. Deploying 5G NR (New Radio) will cost more, but the real challenge is that people are not ready to pay more for 5G than they are paying for 4G today, hence the lousy business case.

To convince investors and politicians, telco execs have cranked up the hype machine to 11: 5G, which is basically "another G", coming after 3G and 4G, is supposed to revolutionize our world, usher in a new industrial revolution thanks to always on multi gigabit, low latency connectivity. The favorite "use cases" often cited are immersive VR/AR, remote surgery (not likely anytime soon: reliability) and of course, the autonomous car which, we're being told, couldn't possibly exist without 5G.

Oh, and look who's at the top of the 2019 Gartner hype cycle.

There are several versions of 5G: the one that will bring the highest throughput (gigabits per second) is running over millimeter waves, 28 GHz band in the US, the only country to date where millimeter waves is deployed in some test cities. Trouble is: millimeter waves have a very short range (less than 50m), are stopped by walls (no indoor coverage), foliage etc...
This is why it is using many "small cells" every city block or so, connected by fiber optic backhaul. All this of course requires a lot of capex, which pretty much limits these networks to dense city centers.

by Bernard on Fri Dec 6th, 2019 at 09:38:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding:

Other versions of 5G ("middle band") use the same frequency bands as existing 3G and 4G networks (that's what's deployed in Europe today), but the throughput will be, maybe a 30-50% improvement over the existing 4G. Definitely not an order of magnitude.

The high cost of 5G equipment (plenty of small cells) and the spectrum auctions make 5G networks a non-trivial decision for telco operators, to be polite. All the hype, that race with the Chinese etc... is to get more money (subsidies, subsidies) to shoulder the cost.

And lastly, about that famous "race to 5G", a shameless self-plug in the beloved series "get your news 6 months early on ET".

by Bernard on Fri Dec 6th, 2019 at 09:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Easy solution:

by asdf on Sat Dec 7th, 2019 at 12:12:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent comments. Diary? I'm in the "Trough of disillusionment" phase, myself...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 7th, 2019 at 10:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The hype cycle? Gartner, a consulting outfit, has been doing that for years. What is not mentioned, is the trap door at the bottom of the "through of disillusionment" where many wannabies techs directly fall into the "pit of forgetfulness" without ever making it to the "slope of enlightenment". C'est la vie...
by Bernard on Sun Dec 8th, 2019 at 07:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That must be the wannabe techs who omitted to hire Gartner to show them the path to enlightenment...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 8th, 2019 at 07:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the situation varies largely from one EU country to another...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Dec 9th, 2019 at 07:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"the top of the 2019 Gartner hype cycle"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Dec 6th, 2019 at 11:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series