5G mobile tech finally moves from marketing hype to a hard standard

23 December 2017 by Steve Blum
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A formal, implementable set of specifications for 5G mobile broadband technology and service is now final. The international organisation responsible for the standard – 3GPP – reached agreement on an initial set of specs at a meeting in Portugal on Thursday.

That means that equipment manufacturers can start making gear – first fixed, because that’s easiest, and then mobile – that meets an agreed upon 5G standard. Carriers can implement pilot projects that won’t be orphaned as the technology develops.… More

Mobile industry group calls for less 5G hype while standards are established

2 December 2017 by Steve Blum
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A European trade group wants more 5G coordination and less marketing misdirection, while at the same time AT&T is running as fast as it can in the opposite direction. On the one hand, it’s an interesting contrast between the technocratic central planning that European telecoms companies often take comfort in (and often ignore, when it suits them), and the Wild West, grab-it-while-you-can ethic of the U.S. mobile industry.

On the other, it’s a useful reminder that the overheated press releases and aggressive lobbying by U.S.… More

AT&T turns good 4G tech into bad 5G hype and worse public policy

29 November 2017 by Steve Blum
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Minneapolis is AT&T’s latest case study in deceptive, but well-lawyered, public statements. According to a company press release, AT&T is rolling out something that a casual reader might think is 5G…

Minneapolis is one of 20 markets where we plan to bring AT&T 5G Evolution by the end of the year, with this technology already available in parts of Austin and Indianapolis today. 5G Evolution offers customers a taste of the future of entertainment and connectivity on their devices.


5G for fixed service is so ordinary says T-Mobile

28 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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It’s like I said, their view never changes.

There’s a war of words between T-Mobile and its larger competitors, AT&T and Verizon, over using advanced mobile technologies – 5G is the undefined buzz word – as a DSL replacement to provide fixed Internet service to homes and businesses. Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s chief technology officer, says 2017 isn’t the year to get excited about 5G, particularly AT&T’s and Verizon’s version of it

No one’s more excited about this brilliant technology than I am.


Limits of self driving cars will be drawn by mobile carriers

8 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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Continental’s 5G roadmap.

When fully autonomous vehicles arrive depends on where you want to be driven. If there’s a low latency, high speed mobile network available – likely, a 5G network – then you’ll be able to take a nap in the back seat. If connectivity isn’t there or isn’t up to the necessary standard, then you’ll have to sit behind the wheel and be ready to take control on short notice.
That’s my takeaway from a briefing at CES yesterday by Continental, an automotive technology company.… More

Sprint says let a thousand poles bloom

26 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Smaller cells on poles in public right of ways and microwave backhaul are Sprint’s formula for future success, according to media reports (h/t to Omar Masry with the City and County of San Francisco for the pointer).

It’s all about operating costs. Right now, Sprint is paying for capacity on Crown Castle and American Tower-owned, full size macro cell sites. Instead, rumor has it, Sprint will opt for a multitude of cheaper small cells stuck on top of steel and/or wooden poles, planted along public roads and such, and leased from Mobilitie, a Newport Beach-based company.… More

Los Angeles starts softening up the ground for 5G

15 November 2015 by Steve Blum

Give it a couple of days and you’ll forget that it’s even there.

If you want to see what a 5G mobile broadband world will look like, check out the Gizmodo article about the new combo street light/cell site equipment that’s being planted in Los Angeles. For now, the poles support 4G service – because nobody will know exactly what 5G is for a few years – and will be installed at the rate of about 100 a year for the next five years.… More