back to article Look at me! Phone industry contracts nasty case of 5g-itis

It may not exist yet but the mobile phone industry is determined to let everyone knows that when it does, their 5G is going to be the best. On Monday AT&T held a special one-day conference focused on promoting its efforts over the next-generation standard that will offer super-fast cellular internet. Today, Ericsson, T-Mobile …

  1. rfrovarp

    And what is 5G?

    I seem to remember there actually being a 4G spec, and they don't deliver those speeds yet. Plus, just how impressive is a 5G phone call supposed to be?

    1. LoPath

      Re: And what is 5G?

      Could they actually hear each other on the call?

      1. 2Nick3

        Re: And what is 5G?

        "Could they actually hear each other on the call?"

        Can you hear me now?* Drat - how do I fail back to 4G with this thing??? Hello? Hello??

        * - Ironic as Sprint didn't make a 5G announcement with the others.

        1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

          Re: And what is 5G?

          Sprint is probably hoping T-Mobile rescues them. They did a spectacular job messing up their own definition of "4G" and the odds of successfully rolling out a new tech is slim.

    2. Christian Berger

      Re: And what is 5G?

      Well the objective can't be speed, as that can already be achieved with LTE. LTE also allows for low processing power nodes for applications like IoT, or for new modulation schemes to be added, or beam forming, or macro-diversity and the like. That's why it's called Long Term Evolution.

      5G is so far, mostly about redefining every protocol to be tunneled though HTTP without actually having any new desirable features.

    3. Fatman

      Re: And what is 5G?

      Whatever the Marketing turds make it out to be.

  2. Jay Lenovo

    More speed, ooo..ahhh!

    Great, now my "unlimited plan" can reach throttle mode even faster.

  3. JohnFen

    New, maybe

    "But 5G? It's new! It's exciting!"

    Yeah, not to me. I'm sure it (whatever it ends up being) is fine, but I haven't heard anything about it that sounds terribly exciting.

  4. Flakk

    There’s 5G, then there’s Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband

    Meh. I'm holding out for 5G with Blast Processing.

  5. Andy Mac

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the increased speed of 5G. I’ll be able to burn trough my paltry data allowance in under a minute.

  6. I3N

    'Unprecedented levels of performance improvement' ...

    Spoke to a recruiter ...I said I wouldn't apply directly to the company because of my concerns regarding 'Revolutionary' antenna technology ...

    Looking for old hand to provide lacking experience ...

    When he said $150K-$175K ... me: meh ... background, equipment, laboratory, processes and knowledge base is worth much more than that ...

    Asked to write something about background and 5G because recruiter was asked by VC to find someone for the position ...

    wrote: "... you asked about 5G experience. 5G, a marketing term, is shorthand for 3rd Generation Partnership Project Release 15 (forward) or 3GPP for 5G New Radio, or something like that."

  7. DerekCurrie


    I have a phone that can do REAL 4G, aka LTE Advanced. Many phones have been compatible with REAL 4G for years.

    So where can I get REAL 4G service? Nowhere I know of! Nowhere. All I can get is hyped up fast 3G with a label stuck on it that says it's 4G.

    This is the stuff of what I call 'Marketing Morons', people who ignore the customer's needs in pursuit of selling them crap for the sake of making moneyMoneyMONEY!

    Testing of 5G has gone poorly. Neighborhoods where testing has been done have been in an uproar because of the frequent repeaters stuck on telephone poles, leading them to wonder if this technology is worth the potential risk of over-exposure to EM radiation. Is this paranoia? Or is this the usual bad attitude of corporatocrats who care nothing for the rights and welfare of We The People? Just make more bucks; Parasitism, not capitalism.

    Even if 5G testing results improve and we aren't all going to fry our brains with 5G EM frequency exposure, there won't be any chance of 5G service where I live until 2020, maybe.


  8. J4

    Customer feedback

    Things I hear mobile phone users say: "I've got no signal" "I can see two bars" "It's a bit crackly" "Call me on the landline" "Can't get any signal at home" "The village didn't have data coverage" "I'll have to go to the back of the house to use it" "I'll be on the train so I'll have to read it later" "Just going in a tunnel" "bzzzzrcckrkrkkx"

    Things I don't hear mobile phone users say: "If only I could get enough bandwidth to play fortnite while watching netflix and listening to youtube at the same time"

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I would be happier if instead of spending millions on 5G which is not really needed by the majority of phone users, they instead used that money to improve 4G reception, especially in remote areas. They could also use some of that money to offer better data packages that allow unlimited data and tethering at the similar prices that ADSL providers do. That way I could save myself 20 quid a month by getting rid of the ADSL line and use my phones 4G instead.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I'm not interested yet

    I'm going to wait until it goes to 11 - 11G, the phone companies just need "that extra push over the cliff" - at what point is "fast" too fast to notice? Maybe your phone has a super fast connection but who benefits? I guess the phone company knows your location faster and can sell it on so that you get an alert as you walk through the door, not as you walk out of the door, but do you benefit?

  11. picturethis

    What does 5G and 8K TV have in common?

    They're both solutions in search of a problem to solve.

    I have a difficult time believing that carriers are going to sell this to John Q. Public when faster data will just more clearly demonstrate the "unlimited" data plan and data caps cost to the end-user.

    The carriers need this because they dread the prospect of having to compete with each other on BW cost pricing, but hopefully that's exactly what will occur - until industry consolidation occurs at which point there will be one carrier left which will result in a monopoly and no competition to control prices.

    I have a difficult time believing that mobile users require this high speed - for what? For updating facecrook pages, twitt messages, sending pics/video?

    I just don't see a killer app that needs this?

    Perhaps someone can clue me in?

    1. Pete4000uk

      Re: What does 5G and 8K TV have in common?

      Ultimately to replace broadcast TV and radio.

  12. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

    the mobile phone industry is determined to let everyone knows that when it does, their 5G is going to be the best.

    Do you know what would be even better than that? If they invested in providing some coverage - any coverage at all - in areas where I can't even get GPRS because they don't want to invest in infrastructure there.

  13. ukgnome

    Steve Wright says no G

    If you really think this will be Fast, reliable and available - Hahahaha

    it's funny because the USA has such shoddy terms of service, and appalling network coverage.

  14. Jeffrey Nonken

    "the technology holds the promise to change the way we live, work and play."

    Well... yes and no. It's an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary change. I mean, not likely. Who knows? Revolutionary changes are usually obvious in hindsight but difficult to predict. But this just seems like Yet Another Incremental Speed Upgrade.

    Besides, as soon as you reach your cap, they'll just throttle to 3G speeds anyway. So who cares?

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