Reply to post: We don't 'need' 5G

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

We don't 'need' 5G

We haven't even deployed the highest speed LTE variations yet, let alone deployed them widely. If some operators don't believe they can make money from and don't want to invest in 5G (or they hope refusing to give it to us like a little kid holding his breath will make us give in on net neutrality) that's fine.

Some operators will invest, or new ones will appear who do so, and to the extent that people really need that kind of speed for mobile data (something I'm skeptical of) 5G will be available, and those who decided against investing will lose out in the marketplace.

I suspect 5G will be mostly about provided fixed wireless broadband, and less so about mobile devices. Given that we can already exceed 100 Mbps on LTE and we haven't even exhausted what it can do yet, I fail to see the point of 5G for mobile devices. Where does a need for 100 Mbps data ever come in, aside from short bursts to sync with a cloud or download that giant powerpoint attachment a second or two more quickly? HD video only requires 3-5 Mbps, and while 4K may come to the big screen there is ZERO point to having it on a 5" display even if that 5" display is 4K. Even if you did that's far short of 100 Mbps, and unlike with a home broadband connection where multiple people might be watching different things at once you only watch one thing at a time on your phone. We certainly don't need the multi gigabit data rates 5G proponents are talking about on a phone. Any phone.

We'd be better off improving the usage of the spectrum we have today by phasing out 2G and repurposing those frequencies, and using beamforming and MIMO to improve the directionality and enable more overlapping use per tower. The idea that 15, 30 or even 60 GHz spectrum will be useful for mobile devices is silly - heck 60 GHz has trouble getting very far in fog, let alone rain, let alone through any outside wall of a building. 15 GHz should be OK in the rain at typical distances from the tower but still is blocked by buildings and trees. It'll be great in Kansas, not so much in NYC unless there's a transmitter on top of every traffic light (and even then would only work outside) That's why it really only has a future for fixed wireless, despite the hype.

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