back to article ITU and IEEE fail to put technology flesh on fascinating 5G concepts

Most work on 5G radio standards is driven by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project* (3GPP) with the IEEE and the Wi-Fi community remaining a separate, and even competing, wireless path. However, most stakeholders would welcome convergence between the two, and this was once promised as a byproduct of "5G" – through common …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    'Frugal 5G' bring broadband Internet to half world's population?


    Mobile can bring Internet, it's not economic to provide Broadband, you'd need x10 to x20 higher density of base-stations. That's x10 to x20 more CAPEX and running costs for no extra customers. It's then actually little difference if 3G, 4G or 5G used. Or WiFi as unless the cell sizes are reduced to typical femto cell / wifi sizes you don't have the capacity.

    It's physics.

    Even bonded IP only version GSM can do better than average DSL broadband with that density of base-stations.

    Fibre is the only economic way for fast broadband, and now as cheap as copper. The 1Gbps Fibre to Home (FTTH / FTTP) actually is cheaper and less power consumption than Mobile that gives an minimum 1Mbps at peak time at all locations.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: 'Frugal 5G' bring broadband Internet to half world's population?

      Also the ITU's core requirements for 5G, largely preclude the use of mesh delivery networks, which I suspect will be required to deliver Internet data services to a large part of the other half of the world's population not currently served by fixed line or fixed mobile infrastructure. Which would seem to indicate there is an opportunity for a new IEEE 802 standard...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'Frugal 5G' bring broadband Internet to half world's population?

      Not everywhere has the type of population density you are thinking about. Everywhere outside 'city limits' is a better candidate for fixed wireless broadband than it is for running fiber. You have the towers already, its just another antenna. AT&T sees it as a way to fund running fiber to those rural towers, which isn't cost effective if they are used for cellular only.

      There are already deployments in the US using LTE (not even LTE-A) that do 20-30 Mbps at peak times. They use bands that aren't shared with mobile/cellular use so oversubscription rates are as easy to manage as wired. Once 5G appears it will be practical to offer hundreds of megabits this way, which is fast enough. There is no use case for gigabit to the home, and if/when there's actually a need for it faster wireless will be available (i.e. 6G, 7G etc.)

      I agree with you in the city, houses are way too dense and the only way it would work is if they put a microcell on every other block (maybe practical in areas with utility poles, but where utilities are underground that's not an option)

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: fixed wireless broadband

        Fixed wireless broadband is now more expensive than fibre, unless you are talking about 3 or 4 houses 15km from anywhere, even then having more than about 12Mbps breaks even with fibre, if it's on mains electricity. If the mains power cables can get there, then fibre can be put on same route. The 4G and 5G is designed for MOBILE and handovers, neither applies to Fixed Wireless, which has been at the Shannon Limit for over 15 years.

        Fibre is more economic to install unless you are going to only provide less than 20Mbps. The running cost on fibre is lower too.

        I agree fixed Wireless is better than Mobile, up to 16x better in the same bandwidth, due to directional roof mounted aerials. It's only needed in very isolation cases. The 4G and especially 5G is irrelevant to fixed wireless.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: fixed wireless broadband

          How are you claiming fixed wireless "has been at the Shannon limit for over 15 years". I guess I missed where they were getting 30 bits per symbol in the year 2000. Analog "1G" was still a big thing in the US back then.

  2. Mage Silver badge


    Mesh is REALLY slow and higher latency. It's suited to < 0.01Mbps and < 0.001Mbps data collection and control. Like water /gas /electric meters and street lights etc where latency is irrelevant and data payloads are small and daily.

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