back to article 5G strategy 'mostly sensible', says engineering brainbox

Government plans to dip its toe in 5G tech with a £16m test hub as part of its "5G strategy" have been welcomed by one of the most vocal critics of the technology as a pragmatic move. Along with the budget yesterday, the government released its 5G strategy (PDF) further detailing how it would splash the £740m previously …

  1. m0rt

    Just hope it isn't setup in the SillyCon roundabout area.

    Meh. Humbug.

  2. Adam Jarvis

    In terms of SillyCon, yep- there is far too much hot air / blue sky thinking.

    Whether you like Facebook or not, what it has shown is how, it can quietly just get on with the job of scaling its software/hardware businesses, as more users come on board (inc WhatsApp, Instagram), pretty seamlessly, using (pretty much) a best in class open approach to problem solving those issues.

    BT/EE could learn a thing or two, regards less headline grabbing hyping of selective, untested "cutting edge" technology products and the realities of just quietly getting on, admitting when existing copper tech has been sweated enough, and instead switching, using the tried and tested tech, pure Fibre optic on lines longer than 500m (by copper cable), which is what needs to happen.

    BT/EE just come across as reluctant tech couch potatoes at times, unwilling to change their blinkered approach, when every pointer around them is saying they need to move on, from their copper bias.

    1. Mage Silver badge


      Not an example of innovation. Irrelevant parasite.

  3. Mage Silver badge


    In summary he's saying the same as I always have. It's not the shiny tech but simply more base stations that are needed.

    Look up WHY it's called a cellular system.

    So called 5G services? Even 3G services (video calling) are dead. Mobile apart from non-VOIP voice (which isn't even part of 4G) is no longer about "services" or "added value" (remember WAP?). It's simply about a connection. Basic physics and economics dictates you need more base stations for more speed / capacity, not a new protocol.

    It's because of lax licence conditions and economics (ROI. Companies have almost no extra revenue from more coverage and especially from better performance, which costs a lot more) is why coverage isn't 100% geographic and speeds can be down to dual basic ISDN, but with more packet loss, jitter and latency.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Basically

      > Basic physics and economics dictates you need more base stations for more speed / capacity, not a new protocol.

      That's true up to a point, but 5G also reduces the latency further, and does up the bandwidth to the user too. Saying that, a half decent 4G system is enough for me.

      However 5G is also about new network architectures making it much cheaper to deploy masses of cells. Baseband processing will get at least partially centralised where you can benefit from better efficiencies to cope with when a single cell gets loaded for half an hour a day. Instead you deploy cheap radio units (think hundreds of dollars rather than the thousands needed for an LTE macro cell) with a decent fronthaul connection to a pooled baseband resource.

      Yes, it would be nice to wander the country and get decent 4G, and in theory EE should be enabling that for all with the conditions attached to the new ESN, but 5G has the potential to be more efficient and cheaper. In theory, at least :)

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