dave ask leftTrue Gig 230Thoughts and data for network builders.

For nearly two decades, I've been listening to the best in the business, including hundreds of CTOs. I've learned a great deal and will try to pass that on.  My goal is to get as close to the truth as possible. I also hope my analysis provides useful perspective on important decisions. I'll add Reality Checks and other useful data.  

Do I have anything wrong? Email me, daveb at dslprime.com and let's discuss it.

The Shadow Knows.

Designing Wireless Networks

The Troika - Primary Wireless Capacity Tools

More antennas, more spectrum, more cells are the three major tools for adding capacity.  Adding antennas is usually the cheapest choice in 2018. Nearly every telco is going to four (4x4 MIMO.) Adding spectrum is very attractive when you have some unused but expensive if you have to buy it. Adding cells was the approach before LTE-A in 2014 permitted aggregation. Tower building has almost stopped in the developed world. Any upgrade should include 256 QAM, more bits per Hz.  More  http://bit.ly/STroila

Eightfold Way - More Capacity Tools

4x4 and Massive MIMO for antennas, CA & mmWave for spectrum, and small cells are primary, But also consider: HetNets and SON for interference reduction between cells;  sharing 3.5 and Wi-Fj spectrum; full-duplex for more upstream (soon); move objects with narrowband IoT;  better antennas in phones and base stations; power tweaks such as HPUE; and more. Cloud control to reduce interference looks powerful. more http://bit.ly/8foldway

NGMN - Big Telcos Future Roadmap

20 top telcos banded together to set a common path for the next thirty years. China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, AT&T and many others have now produced the NGMN 5G End-to-End Architecture . The 36 pages are a blueprint of how the telcos want the future. This is the antithesis of the Internet model, a network of networks connected but operating independently. Implicitly, everything would be under the control of the telcos. It's based on everyone having common QoS control. more http://bit.ly/Bellheads

Reality Checks

5G Millimeter Wave

Verizon & Korea are building. NTT DOCOMO & China Mobile close. Many others mostly holding back, doing little until 2021-2023. 2019 for mobile phones, Qualcomm promises, as TSMC ramps 7 nm process to produce the chips. Latency will be 5-10 milliseconds to the cloud controller intelligence. more


It works and is deployed in dozens of places, including British Telecom and AT&T. T reports typical speeds of 750 megabits, up and down combined. The highest speeds go less than 150 meters, which is fine for fiber to the basement. In 2018, 212 MHz chips will double that speed. Plans include 10M homes passed by BT and a million at nbn Australia. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are first doing G.fast from the basement for highest speeds. more 

Massive MIMO

China Mobile and Softbank Japan are deploying thousands. All three Indians, Sprint in the U.S., True in Thailand are deploying. Africans & Vodafone next. TDD in higher spectrum getting 3X+; FDD in lower spectrum probably less. more 

Worth Knowing

Datapoints that could change your decisions, that haven't been widely reported.


5G mmWave twice as far

Lowell McAdam of Verizon claims 400 meters. If proven, 5G costs go down  dramatically. More


Spectrum sharing works

Just like LAA, network sharing is ready for mmWave, Wi-Fi, and what's now monopoly spectrum more


Cable Guys are coming 

Liberty in Europe, Comcast and Charter as darn serious about 5G - unless they get an MVNO offer too good to refuse. more


"No-cells" for future networks?

An intriguing way to think of the future. more

Don't Believe The Hype

Our trillion dollar industry attracts great charlatans  

3.5 GHz is 4G, not 5G

Telefonica CTO Enrique Blanco points out 3.5 GHz  "Simply ends up extending 4G capabilities [with] little differentiation from advanced LTE technology." It's LTE with a software tweak and pr.  more 

Spectrum Crunch Exaggerated

Marty Cooper built the first cellphone. He says, "There's never been a spectrum shortage and there never will be." More spectrum brings down costs but there always have been affordable choices. (1%-3% cost.) more

5G needn't be expensive

NTT CTO Seizo Onoe expects to reduce capex despite building 5G, Verizon and China Mobile have told investors not to expect a capex increase.

Phone companies are not safe investments.

BT dropped 25% in one day in January 2017. AT&T fell 15% in October 2017.

Broadband has a major impact on jobs and economic growth

I wish it were true, but it just isn't in the data. A World Bank report, "No, the Internet has not resulted in successful development. ... The broader benefits of higher growth, more jobs, and better services have fallen short."