SlideshowTick-Tock, or Why 5G Must Happen Soon in the US

daveburstein 1/21/2019 | 4:30:18 PM
Doublechecking some data, please Mike

Glad to see Nokia promoting Massive MIMO. It was invented at Bell Labs by Tom Marzetta and is really powerful, especially at 2.3 and above. It looks like a 5X improvement of the common 4x4 MIMO. You're also right on target about inside. At the U.S. Broadband Plan, that was important for public safety.

I want to make sure I'm reading this right on a few data points. 

"Densification unfortunately can result in unwanted interference if applied more so than has already been done in the same frequencies, and so we expect its use to be limited."

Others expect substantial densification, especially small cells. So I wanted to check you expect only "limited" use of small cells.

Re: Availability of spectrum.

In 2017, AT&T and Verizon separately told investors about half of their spectrum was fallow and could be put to work. Obviously, a great deal of Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum is not being used. I don't see either factor in your analysis. Is that included?

How do you account for the Dish Network spectrum, which is always on the market at the right price?

300 or so MHz in 3.7 is in sight for 2020 or 2021, a major increase. I assume Nokia's 4G & 5G also support that band. Thanks Dave
Clifton K Morris 1/18/2019 | 6:55:55 PM
Thank you. I believe you’ve outlined a number of good reasons why the US carrier market needs to seriously re-evaluate the needs of merging Sprint and T-Mobile US together on the basis of spectrum holdings alone. Perhaps a compromise would be to return part of the “New T-Mobile” Spectrum holdings to Public WiFi use.

The other issues surround that 3GPP 5G release hasn’t been finalized yet; and is supposed to introduce 1024 QAM symbol rates. If we’re to accept that in other applications of 1024 QAM, (such as microwave backhaul), each order of magnitude of QAM increases also decreases signal by -3db at the receiver, we’re aqctually looking at a need to re-tune networks to a -9db affecting service at the cell edge. (Increases in QAM create logarithmic degradation; LTE is also QAM-256; 5G is two orders of magnitude increase 3db to the power of 2) . This is a substantial technical hurdle all US Carriers need to overcome; considering cell site leases are generally negotiated to a 20 year (and sometimes longer) terms.

Additionally, and to-date, Nokia doesn’t sell hardware to allow anyone except carriers. As you pointed out, data capacity and consumption is in-doors. However, Nokia fails to have a product line which allows an IT department to install equipment themselves. Such a product which adds capacity in government office buildings, schools, hotels, large office buildings where capacity is expected to be consumed doesn’t exist. In fact, this requires carrier-led efforts and large budgets to retain a firm like Crown Castle or SBA, and are often proprietary and carrier-specific.

It’s also somewhat disingenuous for Europe-based Nokia to provide favorable vendor financing to European-based Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US when the other two US carriers have double the customer base and could utilize new technologies Nokia BellLabs (Formerally Lucent; and once a huge player in CDMA base station technology) is developing to increase spectral efficiency and capacity.

I share not only as a Finn, but also as a realist. Swedes and Finns are always very competitive against each other. However, if R&D for wireless networks continue to favor QAM, 6G networks will likely be based on an increase to 2048-QAM symbol rates... US Carriers need have to start investing into the future, including real estate leases today... including factoring in new propagation modeling which isn’t based on today’s asset portfolios (cell site spacing) or even that required to deliver 5G. These R&D efforts shouldn’t result in a casualty of the US Carrier industry and two (or three) US carriers inability to compete.
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