Predictions for 2019

Here are some interesting predictions for this year?


They really have the 5G nailed at the moment. This past year only a handful of phones in the US could transition to the 5G network, so many people will probably rush to jump the wagon, even though integration is going to be very time consuming in the less populated areas.

From what I’ve heard, 5g phones will be in average $300 more than now. Making some phones (pure guess work) $1200/1300 OUCH

5G has the limitation of the back end network, plus higher frequencies penetrate less well.

Personally I don’t need a faster network, I need better coverage, which 5G is not going to help. I download over Wifi and watch offline, it is substantially lower cost. My phone has 256GB storage.

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When 5g really takes off in several years it is supposed to be good enough you wont need wifi, just unlimited data plans. The issue will be infrastructure, because 5g is such a short range you need to have more “towers”. The upside to that part is a system that is small enough to sit on your average street lamp is the end plan to add “towers”, its just going to take a long time to do this. It will absolutely help your coverage, just not in the near term as the setup isnt even close to satisfactory for 5g.

Impossible. Won’t ever happen. Physics. Economics.

Electromagnetic waves propagate in all directions, using the inverse square law. Which means for you to receive a specific stream prevents everyone else using that frequency for an area occupied by hundreds to thousands of people. That means you’d need thousands of frequencies. You’d need a lot of wattage at the transmitters as tiny amount of it is consumed by the phone.

A wire is dedicated, you can deliver Gigabit speed easily to every home down dedicated wires and at low wattage.

What you can do is offer more bandwidth but by definition when all that bandwidth gets to the base station, it has to go down a wire which merge together to the content source.

Those who’s goal is to get very high bandwidth wireless away from a wire will end paying a higher $ for that privilege.

Think about a high-end media, say 2K, is about 2 million pixels, at say 30Hz = 60Mbytes = 480Mbits. Down a Gigabit cable is easy, but wireless to serve a domestic urban environment you’d need 1000 frequencies each 480Mbits so you’d need 480Gbit of spectrum. 5G is given 40Gbits of spectrum. e.g. in Europe it is given 24.25–27.5 GHz, so do that math, that is 3.25Ghz of spectrum, i.e. can give 3.25Gbits. Compare those two numbers I just simply did for you, 480Gbit vs 3.25Gbits.

So it’s less than 1/10th the capability of mature cheap wires.

I’m sure you can forego wired but it will be for the few not the many, those willing to pay for it.

Not impossible at all, its being started already in test markets. The main idea revolves around extenders. You also do not need hundreds of thousands of frequencies (although if you compress data properly thats easily achievable, the 650 to 700 MHz band literally has 50 million unique frequencies in the band) provided you do addressing and modulation. A 2.4GHz wifi connection modulates much this way.

Also recent estimates puts 65% may have access to 5g in 2 years. A straight 1 to 1 on data frequency and bit transfer is not correct.

I’m just here to learn

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I know UK networks have bought bandwidths from the telecoms regulator (aka OFCOM) and most are talking as if something goes will happen this year‽

Conspidering most still can’t get 4g right, it makes me laugh

I wouldn’t buy a 5G phone for the next 5 or 6 years. Reasons are that standards are not definitely. Sure they have general rules but the frequencies are different from country to country.
Besides that Germany will never accomplish something like that. Dataplans are so expensive and we are not willing to so much money on plans (unlike the US).

An it needed a long time until LTE was usable and the coverage is still bad

I am willing to be proved wrong, I am typing from common sense and little googling, I’ve not exhaustively researched this, is mostly gut so humbly able to be corrected.

Ahead of that correction, what you said feels like Electromagnetic nonsense. You cannot get 50 million unique frequences out of 650 to 750 Mhz, as the width then would be only 1Mhz. The “spill” out, the interference is 5Mhz wide so you’d only have 10 channels. Take for example 5Ghz Wifi. There are 20Mhz apart from each other.

I am also not including ACK or CRC which consume spectrum but offer no bandwidth.

What happens with a wave is difraction, so around the corner the wave length gets stretched so you have to keep frequencies sufficiently distant.

You can get 50Mbits through if you owned that entire band and used it for 1 thing (so time slicing it) but that’s then still fixed bandwidth being shared.

Compression, the video stream is itself compressed (MP4) so you cannot compress any more (HTML, yes, to a degree).

Down a fiber optic cable you have in comparison infinite bandwidth as they go in mostly a straight line for long distances and every cable can be using the same frequencies as the shielding prevents cross-talk.

Now I’m not saying impossible for a few users, I’m saying its either going to be expensive or slow so when you look at the cost you’d find most people will go for a broadband cable and limit their 5G to keep costs down. For example it costs me roughly the same now to get 10GB of download data at around 20Mbit 4G as it does to get 1TB down at 150Mbit cable.

I accept things will get faster, but cable is always going to be faster and cheaper so the minority who use 5G fully will either be economically forced into it (due to no cable nearby) or just be rich.

Daft Q for the nerds (please laymen’s response only)

Doesn’t south Korea and Japan have 5g?

If 5g is in reality, too complicated and nigh impossible to deliver in practise (if I understand rightly), what is it ofcom has sold and what are the network’s gonna give us?

Ok, so in lehmans terms, 5g is technically just the 5th generation of phone networking. Each generation is improved upon the previous one, while carrying the new monicker to indicate what tech is in place. Think of phone brands, samsung galaxy S, S2, S3, etc are all indicators of its generation release. If say Korea and Japan are on a 5th generation infrastructure then they have 5g. Here in the states and many other areas, we are starting to roll out the 5th generation, which should (at least in theory) be a huge advancement.

And with your band spectrums Nigel I think you are thinking too narrowly. Tech isnt limited to spectrum widths like older gens anymore. My company is building a tracking system that tracks 8 “objects” simulatneously on the same band in realtime. The system just unique ids the object and streams them together. It works out to 22 km, this kind of system is where newer cell services are trying to work towards and 5g is the next step.

Perhaps I didn’t explain it well enough. 5G is coming, it will improve total overall bandwidth (e.g. someone moving to 5G will use 4G less so free up bandwidth) but the issue the added frequencies are all rather high, for example in Europe they were given 3.6Ghz and 26Ghz. Your 4G frequencies are 2Ghz-8Ghz. So that 26Ghz will not pass through buildings as well as sat 8Ghz would, so you’d get more gain outdoors than indoors.

The challenge is this just moves the problem, the basestation will only have so much bandwidth to the hub and all the components between you and your content will become more often the bottleneck. You see this now, for example 4G bandwidth is 20Mbit but you’d often experience 3 to 6Mbit due to contention locally (time slicing) and from basestation to the destination.

The 5G spectrums were auctioned and sold, for example in Italy was sold for $6.8B. Say 10% of Italian population (6 million people) went 5G, they’d each have to pay over the term of the license $1100 per person more than someone who stuck on 4G, plus pay for 5G device and fund the 5G basestation installations, which have to be closer together to penetrate more into buildings. So you’re talking hundreds of $ per person per year to get 5G.

Compare to cable, where using existing cable, not replacing it (so little infrastructure cost) you can move up the bandwidth just by different electronics at the ends because each cable does not cross-talk with its neighbour.

It will just end up either for geeks or rich for years. If you were mature you’d want that as those users who go to 5G release up 4G bandwidth so 4G users see a better service (from local contention at least, not necessarily shared infrastructure to the hub), so let the rich / geek pay for your better service in a roundabout way.

Contrast with say a 128GB SD card in a phone/tablet costing $20-$40 and you can download and watch offline your media (such as off NetFlix, Iplayer, Prime, etc). Currently my phone has 256GB, my spare phone has 64GB, my 6 year old tablet has 32GB, my latest tablet has 256GB, my Chromebook has 128GB, etc.

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