Yet ANOTHER false “5G” BWA Claim: C-Spire joins Verizon & many others!

C Spire is one of the nation’s largest regional wireless network operators. It has been providing wireless services in Mississippi and elsewhere for decades, and currently operates an extensive LTE network. It owns spectrum licenses ranging from 700 MHz to 28 GHz.

The company announced it is using Wi-Fi technology and unlicensed spectrum to deploy 120 Mbps downstream / 50 Mbps upstream fixed wireless internet services to consumers and businesses in locations across Mississippi.  C Spire is selling its service such that customers can sign up at $50-per-month service at any time, without any startup or equipment fees, and can suspend or cancel their service at any time for any reason.

C Spire is branding its service as “5G” as per these quotes from its website:

“Our service runs on amazing 5G fixed wireless technology that is capable of delivering blazing fast speeds without the arbitrary data caps usually associated with LTE or satellite services.”

“C Spire runs Fiber up to the edge of your neighborhood or business district. We then use 5G tech to connect a series of base stations that in turn provide you with high speed internet through the air.”

According to Mike Dano of Fierce Wireless:

Craig Sparks, C Spire’s VP of technology, said that the carrier is using equipment and technology from upstart fixed wireless vendors Mimosa and Siklu to deploy its new service. He said the company enters each new neighborhood by deploying fiber to a “hub home.” That home gets free internet service from the company, but also broadcasts a wireless signal via Mimosa equipment operating in unlicensed 5.8 GHz spectrum to nearby homes. Mimosa’s transmission technology uses a proprietary iteration of the 802.11 standard that powers standard Wi-Fi connections. For nearby homes that sign up for its service, C Spire installs a dinner plate-sized antenna receiver on their roof.

Sparks said that C Spire can expand throughout a neighborhood via wireless backhaul connections using Siklu’s equipment running in the unlicensed 60 GHz band. So, after connecting the first hub location via fiber, Sparks said C Spire can wirelessly “chain” additional hub homes to the network via Siklu’s backhaul equipment. Again, each hub home running Siklu’s equipment gets free internet service from C Spire.

“It actually increases a sense of ownership in the neighborhood,” Sparks said of those hub homes. “And then they go out and they are evangelistic” about the service.  Sparks added that C Spire can also deploy the service in ring designs, thus improving reliability.

C Spire owns the kind of millimeter wave spectrum and has vendor relationships that would presumably position the carrier to  join Verizon and AT&T on the forefront of FAKE  5G deployments. But 5G is not economical for this type of service, Sparks explained.

“The normal players, they’re just stuck in a business model around a mobility yesteryear,” he said, noting that C Spire is paying around $1,000 for each base station and around $100 for each antenna installed on customers’ roofs. That’s far less than what bigger vendors charge for LTE and 5G equipment. “They’ve got some serious competition that’s currently taking the lead on some price performance.”

“These kinds of players like Mimosa are really innovating in terms of the equipment,” Sparks said.

“We can’t just make this a 3GPP conversation,” he said. “The industry is better served by having some more options in unlicensed under 6 GHz,” he added.


Author’s Comment:

At this point, it appears that the official FUTURE standard for 5G – IMT 2020- has become irrelevant as every Tom, Dick and Harry wireless carrier claims their new Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technology is 5G.  No matter that BWA is not even an IMT 2020 use case, that the mmWave frequencies used are not yet approved spectrum, and that the focus of all six entities that are proposing IMT 2020 Radio Interface Technologies (RITs) is mobile broadband access-not fixed BWA!

The noise and hype is do deafening, I’m ready to throw in the towel on refuting the non stop, outrageous “5G’ claims!


Addendum:  T-Mobile’s 5G Network

In a recent blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere wrote:

5G is a massive inflection point in the user experience. At full deployment the New T-Mobile will deliver fiber-like speeds. I’m talking about average speeds at a blazing 444 Mbps, covering about two-thirds of the country, with jaw-dropping peak speeds up to 4.1 Gbps!!  And you won’t have to wait long to see these amazing increases in speed and performance.  By 2021 our engineers are planning to deliver 5G speeds 5X faster than the LTE speeds being delivered on the nation’s fastest LTE network today… that is of course the T-Mobile network.  During that same time Neville (T-Mobile’s CTO) and his team will also be increasing our LTE speeds! 

That will unlock amazing applications and uses, many of which we can’t even conceive of today. It will make possible real-time interactivity from virtually anywhere, allowing for near instantaneous sharing and downloading of content from almost any location. 

This will transform the way Americans live, work, travel, and play. Nearly every business in America will use 5G to revolutionize how they create and deliver goods and services. And, every market, ranging from gaming to health care, from AI to transportation, from manufacturing to education will benefit. This merger is an important contributor to American leadership broadly across economic and social lines.

On the companies last quarterly earnings call:

“So, what do you do with a nationwide average of 450 megabits per second?” asked T-Mobile’s Mike Sievert. “Well, first you recognize that that’s way higher than most people get in their home broadband (access) today. So, of course, we can be a competitor in that space. And this is a market that’s incredibly underserved; 53% of high-speed broadband customers have only one choice for high-speed broadband in their area. So there’s a huge opportunity here for us to bring real competitiveness to that market for the first time.”

Author’s Comment:

Despite the extremely optimistic remarks about 5G from the above T-Mobile executives, no one from the company attended last week’s ITU-R WP 5D meeting where IMT 2020 was progressed.  Sprint, which hopes to merge with T-Mobile, did send one delegate to the meeting.

11 thoughts on “Yet ANOTHER false “5G” BWA Claim: C-Spire joins Verizon & many others!

  1. Verizon, the other top 5G BWA boaster, didn’t attend last week’s ITU-R WP 5D meeting either!

  2. Are we in a brave new world where telecom/datacom standards are no longer needed? Note there are no standards for SD-WANs yet they seem to be very popular!

    What if no one paid attention to the IEEE 802.11xyz standards for WiFi? Do you think it would be “plug and play” with ubiquitous inter-operablity?

  3. What frequency bands are under study for the implementation of IMT2020 (5G)?
    The following frequency bands, which are already allocated for mobile communications, will be studied with a view to an IMT-2020 (5G) identification:
    • 24.25 – 27.5 GHz • 37 – 40.5 GHz
    • 42.5 – 43.5 GHz • 45.5 – 47 GHz
    • 47.2 – 50.2 GHz • 50.4 – 52.6 GHz
    • 66 – 76 GHz • 81 – 86 GHz
    The following bands will also be studied, although they do not currently have global mobile allocations:
    • 31.8 – 33.4 GHz
    • 40.5 – 42.5 GHz
    • 47 – 47.2 GHz
    The results of the studies will be submitted for decision to the next ITU World Radio Conference (WRC-19),
    to be held from 28 October to 22 November 2019 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

  4. Time to throw in the towel on reporting the status of IMT 2020 and non radio aspects of standardized 5G. Apparently no one cares! As you say the hype and spin is deafening and overwhelming!

  5. “It’s clear that 5G has become a marketing term for high-speed broadband over wireless. Even that is how Wikipedia defines 5G:

    In a sense does it matter what it is called, as these companies that are deploying broadband wireless technologies are responding to market need with available product? I am sure companies, such as C-Spire, are judging the risk of deploying a proprietary product versus waiting for a standards-based product in a couple of years. At $100 and end-point and, say a $100 for the common equipment, they can probably depreciate the equipment they are installing by the time standards-based equipment is ready.

    From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to attach a name that confers “better wireless”. When the standards-based equipment is ready, assuming that’s what they deploy, they will probably call it something else, like 5G+ or something.

  6. Regional carrier C Spire has acquired TekLinks, a reseller and provider of cloud, managed and professional services in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Details of the C Spire TekLinks deal were not disclosed, but the companies said that during the next 60 to 90 days the deal will close and the acquisition and merger integration process will occur.
    In February, C Spire tested 5G fixed wireless technology at its Ridgeland, MS, headquarters. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr was in attendance.

  7. Mixed Messages on Fixed 5G
    AT&T also highlighted fixed 5G service in South Bend, which is one of their four trial markets for fixed 5G service. In a company blog post, the carrier says residents in the fixed 5G trial are getting home broadband speeds of near 1 Gbps with latency rates of less than 20 milliseconds. Additional fixed 5G trial markets include Waco, Tex; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Austin, Tex.

    AT&T is continuing these fixed 5G trials, but the company is not exactly openly embracing the concept of fixed 5G. At an investor conference last month, AT&T Senior EVP and CFO John Stephens didn’t exactly endorse fixed 5G as a viable option. Rather, he suggested AT&T may not be that interested in the technology.

    Speaking specifically about fixed 5G, Stephens said “In a general residential broadband solution, the economics for us don’t seem to work.” He pointed to the fiber investment needed for fixed 5G backhaul as a real hurdle to an acceptable fixed 5G business case.

    Perhaps AT&T is looking for some middle ground on this. Markets where they are already investing in fiber broadband may alleviate these cost concerns allowing them to layer fixed 5G access on those fiber networks. Such an approach could extend the reach of a ‘fiber broadband like’ experience in these markets to additional homes and businesses, without having to bring fiber all the way to every premises.

    Verizon on the other hand, appears to be taking a somewhat opposite and more aggressive fixed 5G approach. Verizon says they intend to offer fixed 5G to a market of about 30 million homes, most of which are outside of their incumbent Fios FTTP markets.

  8. Thanks for all your comments, especially Ken Pyle. Due to the non-sponsored, no advertising status of this website I was the only author able to tell the true story of IMT 2020 / 5G standards.

    As one of you suggest I’m throwing in the towel on that since there is apparently no interest on the true status of 5G standards from ITU-R and -T.

  9. Hey guys, Let me start by saying I don’t know squat about any of this 5G stuff.

    I was approached last week by a fellow from C-Spire trying to sell me a hub home for their so called “5G service.” They’ve called twice since his visit and seem very determined. I read the agreement and it’s pretty straight forward. If you accept you get the service free, but you also give your consent to the company to enter your home if there is a problem with their equipment and service is cut off to the neighborhood. The agreement states that they will attempt to contact the homeowner. However, if you don’t answer their call, then I guess they get in with any means necessary (LOL).

    I would very much appreciate some advice here. Thanks.

  10. It doesn’t matter how much wireless carrier marketing is over hyping 5G, consumers like me won’t give a hoot as long as we know the carriers will still nickel-dime us on stingy data caps.

    Editor’s NOTE: No carrier has announced pricing on 5G or said anything about 5G data caps

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