back to article Telco giants show it's tough selling 5G kit right now

Telecom giants Nokia and Ericsson both saw sales drop for the final quarter of 2023, blaming tough economic conditions for weak network operator spending. While Ericsson expects another tough year ahead, Nokia is banking on things picking up later this year. Nokia, headquartered in Finland, revealed today that net sales fell …

  1. Kurgan

    Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

    I think that 4G is good enough, and since the economy is going down the drain almost everywhere there is no actual need to move to 5G.

    1. tip pc Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

      5G promises savings for operators in the long run so you may not get a choice.

    2. HISTSIZE=10000

      Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

      > "I think that 4G is good enough"

      It's good enough for Xwitter and whatsapp addicts. After all, 3G was good enough for your email, and yet you got 4G a decade later.

      Today, 4G is not good enough for URLLC use cases such as extended reality, remotely operated vehicles and drones, or mobile cloud gaming. As well as for high density use cases such as smart grids, smart agriculture and smart cities. In many areas, in the US, 5G already offers better throughput than fibre-based home broadband (so called "ultra wide band"). Industry 4.0 5G based private networks should also boost productivity through the next wave of AI based automation. Finally, 5G comes with a marked progress in energy efficiency. If only for that reason, you do need 5G.

      Above all, what 5G can do that 4G can't, is the capbility to tailor the network in many different ways, to adapt to a lot of different cases. Not everybody is happy with just buffering videos from a big dumb fat download pipe.

      So, speak for yourself: you might be satiated with 4G, but your children won't get enough of 5G. And your grand children of 6G.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

        I think you forgot to call "House!"

        I think this must be yours because it's got a well-thumbed copy of Marketeers Monthly in the pocket.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

        OK, then "'splain it to me, Lucy!" if 5G is so damn luvverly compared to 4G...

        Why have I gotten twice as many dropped calls? Chatting away and then "hey, where'd the other end go?"

        Why do I now get calls where the other end just fades out, or goes all garbled, or is interspersed with buzzing and other injected noises?

        Why do I have SMS messages with nothing other than plain text just sit there for 25-30 minutes "having trouble sending"?

        This is a Pixel 7 Pro on T-Mobile, if anyone's counting.

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

          It's because the phone will always try to use the latest G in preference even if there is a better signal on the older G, otherwise you would be complaining why you paid extra for the latest tech and it doesn't use it.

      3. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

        >So, speak for yourself: you might be satiated with 4G, but your children won't get enough of 5G. And your grand children of 6G.

        Currently the bulk of the bandwidth used by my phone is junk, the actual information content is a tiny percentage of the meaningless junk pushed at it. Its an abuse of bandwidth, a finite resource. We need to improve the information density of our traffic, not just demand more and more bandwidth. It requires more effort to do this compared to what we're doing at the moment but the demands of physics mean that we don't have a choice, there just isn't any 'more' to get, we're in diminishing returns mode.

        1. HISTSIZE=10000

          Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

          I can see you do support 5g then. 5G Spectral efficiency is better than that of 4G. Thanks for pointing this out.

          "Currently the bulk of the bandwidth used by my phone is junk, the actual information content is a tiny percentage of the meaningless junk pushed at it."

          Typical theoretical 4G spectral efficiency is single digit (2 to 4 bits /second / Hz). Typical theoretical 5G spectral efficiency is double digit (20-25 bits /second / Hz). Maybe you should write to the 3GPP and propose your improvements. Everybody can join in.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Maybe 5G is actually not so needed?

      The real change was the shift to all IP with 4G. 5G was dreamed up by marketeers (from the Sirious Cybernetics Corporation no less!) to try and drum up demand for new handsets with the rollout on networks designed to be done as and when it makes sense for operators, becaue it's really just infrastructure, a bit like improved asphalt for roads.

      The next decade is due to flash past full of lots of hopefully problem-free upgrades to networks that we'll hardly notice but which, over time, will make a difference.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Telcos already bought what they need

    Telcos had no plans to replace all LTE everywhere. If the LTE tower in a rural town burns out they're going to replace it with leftover LTE hardware from a big city that's on 5G.

    There are still some spots with 2G. Upgrading everything to 5G will take time.

  3. kend1
    Pint

    How about free up the existing bandwidth

    Is any telcom working on security and blocking of fake phone calls? My discontinued 3G Verizon phone used to allow blocking of calls with phone number prefixes. My 5G Verizon phone no longer supports blocking by prefix. So, telcos congested bandwidth now carries the unwanted spam calls. Why do overseas phone calls appear to be from the US?

    1. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: How about free up the existing bandwidth

      Virtual geographic numbers - originally to allow companies to have a "local presence" but handle calls elsewhere

      Here the give away is the area code is correct but the last digits aren't the ones issued to local customers

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