AT&T to deploy live mobile “5G” in the U.S. on Dec. 21st, but limited to single WiFi hotspot endpoint

Whew!  I don’t have to hold my breath any longer!  But is it really 5G?  And whom other than stadiums/parks will buy it with only a single end device offered- a WiFi hotspot?

AT&T announced today that they will be offering their so called “5G” mobile network service in 12 cities on December 21st.  The telco/media conglomerate says: “AT&T will be the first and only company in the U.S. to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network.”

Please see Author’s Closing Comments below, which refute that “standards based” claim.  We’ve repeatedly pounded the table that 3GPP Release 15 NR NSA is not 5G and nothing that comes out of 3GPP is a standard (as per their own website!).

As expected, AT&T’s initial 5G launch will use mmWave spectrum [1], which is claimed to offer users a faster mobile experience than standard LTE.  The 5G service starts small and will be limited.  AT&T’s mobile 5G network is live  in parts of 12 cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas.

Note 1.  Millimeter waves occupy the frequency spectrum from 30 GHz to 300 GHz. They’re found in the spectrum between microwaves (1 GHz to 30 GHz) and infrared (IR) waves, which is sometimes known as extremely high frequency (EHF). The wavelength (λ) is in the 1-mm to 10-mm range.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“This is the first taste of the mobile 5G era,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and chief technology officer. “Being first, you can expect us to evolve very quickly. It’s early on the 5G journey and we’re ready to learn fast and continually iterate in the months ahead.”

In the first half of 2019 AT&T plans to deploy mobile 5G in parts of these 7 additional cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.  The company says that as the 5G ecosystem evolves customers will see enhancements in coverage, speeds and devices.

“As the ecosystem evolves, this technology will ultimately change the way we live and conduct business,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “We expect that our initial adopters will be innovative, growing businesses. They’re the starting point for what we think will be a technology revolution like we’ve never seen before.”

“Today’s news is a seminal moment in the advancement of mobile 5G technology,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T mobility and entertainment, in a statement. “This proves we are well on our way to the promise of mobile 5G for consumers.”

Early adopters will only have one choice of end user equipment:  the NETGEAR® Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot (aka “a puck”) on the mobile 5G+ network. AT&Ts 5G service will start out in dense urban areas.  Through an initial offer, AT&T says they will deliver select businesses and consumers their first mobile 5G device plus 5G data usage at no cost for at least 90 days. Next spring, customers will be able to get the Nighthawk for $499 upfront and 15GB of data for $70 a month on a compatible plan and no annual commitment [2].   

AT&T said its hot spot and the data it uses will be free for subscribers in the first 90 days of the rollout. After that period, the device will sell for $499 with a 15-gigabyte data plan priced at $70 per month—a rate slightly cheaper per-datum than the 10-GB for $50 it offers with 4G LTE hotspots.

An AT&T spokesperson said businesses and customers in the initial rollout areas can express interest in joining the early phase of the network on the company’s website. The spokesperson also said the network should eventually reach theoretical peak speeds of 979 megabits per second, but actual average rates will be lower.

In December, AT&T announced two 5G-capable smartphones for 2019. A Samsung-branded 5G smartphone operating on AT&Ts mmWave is will be released in the spring of 2019. Toward the end of 2019, AT&T will release another Samsung 5G smartphone with multi-frequency band support.  None of those devices will meet the still uncompleted IMT 2020 standard for mobile 5G (see Closing Comments below).

 Note 2. The NETGEAR Nighthawk device will require a 5G compatible AT&T data plan. Device availability and 5G+ coverage areas are limited.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Expect to hear more about 5G soon at events like the big consumer electronics trade show CES in January in Las Vegas and MWC Barcelona (formerly the Mobile World Congress) in February in Spain. Wireless service providers including AT&T and Verizon are already talking up 5G. And device makers are previewing gadgets that will work with the technology.

Samsung recently demonstrated prototypes of 5G smartphones that are expected to operate on both Verizon and AT&T networks. Many other manufacturers are racing to follow suit, though Apple is not expected in the initial 5G wave. Analysts predict that iPhones with the new technology won’t arrive until 2020.

Qualcomm, the wireless chip maker, said it had demonstrated peak 5G download speeds of 4.5 gigabits/second, but predicts initial median speeds of about 1.4 gigabits/secon. That translates to roughly 20 times faster than the current 4G LTE experience, but is much lower than IMT 2020 objectives for peak and average bit rates.

The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in higher-quality streaming video.Downloading a typical movie at the median speeds cited by Qualcomm would take 17 seconds with 5G, compared with six minutes for 4G.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

From a previous IEEE Techblog post–AT&T’s 5G Roadmap (only mobile 5G was shown on Al Burke’s SCWS 2018 presentation – nothing on fixed 5G):

  • 2019:  5G NR access with LTE Core network and LTE Access (=signaling?).   The spectrum for AT&Ts initial mobile 5G rollout was not disclosed, but many believe it will be mmWave.
  • 2020-2022+:  5G NR access with 5G Core network (3GPP Release 16 SA or IMT 2020?); also LTE Core with LTE Access
  • 2019-2022+:  mmWave NR : Evolution to Ultra High Speed and lower latency
  • End of 2019-2022+: (unspecified time frame?), AT&T will provide sub 6 GHz 5G coverage in the U.S. speed and latency; dedicated & shared spectrum (LTE-NR-Coexistence)

When AT&T introduces its “5G” FWA residential service it will be based on LTE, according to Mr. Burke.  In answer to a question from this author during the Q&A session, he said it would start as LTE but then transition to 5G NR based FWA.  The spectrum to be used was not revealed by Mr. Burke, but it will likely be mmWave (like Verizon’s 5G Home).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Author’s Closing Comments:

A claim we’ve heard before (by Ericsson and Vodafone), but don’t believe:  LTE network and terminal equipment will upgrade to 5G NR via “only a software upgrade.”As noted many times by this author and others,

AT&T has repeatedly stated they would roll out “standards based 5G” in 12 cities by the end of 2018 (they have only 3 weeks to fulfill that promise) and 19 cities in 2019.  Some of the cities identified by AT&T for the 2018 launch include Houston TX, Dallas TX, Atlanta TX, Waco TX, Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC, Oklahoma City OK, Jacksonville FL, Louisville, KY, New Orleans LA, Indianapolis IN, and San Antonio TX.

How long can AT&T claim their “5G” network is standards based when they only support 3GPP release 15 “5G NR” NSA access with a LTE core network and LTE signaling?  The ONLY 5G RAN/RIT standard is IMT 2020 which won’t be completed till the end of 2020.  AT&T knows this well because one of their representatives is the Chairman of ITU-R WP 5D where IMT 2020 is being standardized.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

References:

https://www.att.com/5g/

att.com/5Gnews

SCWS Americas: Verizon and AT&T 5G Roadmaps Differ on FWA vs mobile “5G”

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/what-is-5g/

 

India to Develop Broadband Readiness Index of States

India’s government has revealed plans to introduce a broadband readiness index for the nation’s states as part of efforts to encourage an additional $100 billion investment in the telecoms sector.

India’s Telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told the Press Trust of India that the broadband readiness index will be vital for directing investments aimed at meeting the National Broadband Mission.

According to Ms. Sundarajan, there is a pressing need to increase the number of mobile base stations by three times and expand optical fiber rollouts by four times in order to meet the target of providing broadband for all.

India Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan,    –  File photo

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

“According to a study by ICRIER (a research firm), USD 100 billion investment will have seven-fold multiplier effect on GDP. There is a need of a national mission to make this happen. We are going to launch broadband readiness index for states which will be vital for investments,” Sundararajan told PTI.  She said the Ministry of Electronics and IT has also shown interest in states readiness index and want to expand it further.

The telecom ministry will hold first workshop on implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) which envisions US $100 billion investment in telecom sector by 2022, broadband connectivity at 50 megabit per second speed to every citizen, telecom connectivity at every corner of India and creating 40 lakh jobs.

“This is first preparatory national workshop on implementation of NDCP in which 25 states have confirmed to participate. Here we will launch National Broadband Mission to achieve objective of broadband for all,” Sundararajan said.

Industry leaders and associations will discuss at the NDCP workshop issues they are facing in states especially in rolling out telecom infrastructure which in turn impact investments.

“We want to ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas. It should reach rural areas. For this, we have to work with states to ensure that there is 100 per cent penetration of optical fibre cables. Without massive OFC penetration, 5G services will not expand. States have to provide smooth right of way permissions,” Sundararajan added.

As part of the India government’s National Digital Communications Policy, the government aims to ensure all citizens have access to 50Mbps broadband by 2022. The initiative also envisions the creation of 5 million new jobs.

Sundarajan added that the government is eager to ensure that 5G is not limited to early areas, but extends to rural areas as well. To achieve this the government wants to work with states to ensure 100% penetration of fiber.

“We have to roll out Wi-Fi services in rural and urban areas. To deliver benefit of NDCP to people and create jobs, states have to come forward. We will do comparative evaluation of all states and highlight best policies for other states to adopt it,” Sundararajan said.

The DoT has awarded task to roll out wifi services in 62,0000 panchayats to Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) and is working with ITI for setting up wifi hotpsots in other panchayats.

“Broadband services have been started in all panchayats covered under Phase one. Now we are looking at utilisation of broadband where states need to come forward and identify institutions like school, police stations etc that are to be connected with wifi,” Sundararajan said.

Meanwhile, the telecom ministry has launched a tender to roll out 1 million W-Fi hotspots across all 250,000 village panchayats (local government areas) in the nation. The government is encouraging states to identify institutions that are to be connected with Wi-Fi, such as schools and police stations.

References:

https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2018/12/16/Govt-to-launch-broadband-readiness-index-of-states-Sundararajan.html

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/govt-to-launch-broadband-readiness-index-of-states-sundararajan/article25757826.ece

 

 

 

SK Telecom partners with MobiledgeX for Edge Computing; Ericsson video call over SK Telecom 5G test network

  1.  SK Telecom, the largest mobile operator in South Korea, announces an agreement to partner with MobiledgeX to enable a new generation of connected devices, content and experiences, creating new business models and revenue opportunities leading into 5G (?).

    “In the 5G era, Mobile Edge Computing will be a key technology for next-generation industries including realistic media and autonomous driving,” said Jong-kwan Park, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom. “Based on this partnership, SK Telecom will continue to drive technology innovations to provide customers with differentiated 5G services.”

    The relationship between SK Telecom and MobiledgeX reflects an aligned vision for the future of mobile operators as key players in future mobile application development, performance, security, and reliability. This vision is shared by leading cloud providers and device makers working with MobiledgeX to seamlessly pair the power and distribution of mobile operator infrastructure with the convenience and depth of developer tooling of hyperscale public cloud and the scale, mobility and distribution of billions of end user devices.

    Deutsche Telekom created MobiledgeX as an independent company to drive strategic collaboration across the world’s leading telecoms, public cloud providers, device makers and the surrounding ecosystem – enabling a new era of business models, operating efficiencies and mobile experiences. We are particularly excited to announce SK Telecom‘s participation in this collaborative ecosystem where everybody wins. SK Telecom is a global leader in 5G which follows their rich tradition of innovation within their network, strategic partnerships and developer engagement. This new era is underway,” says Eric Braun, Chief Commercial Officer of MobiledgeX.

MobiledgeX and SK Telecom executives hold up their respective copies of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies to jointly develop mobile edge computing applications. (SK Telecom)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

MobiledgeX is focused on delivering developer-facing edge cloud services and bringing mobility to those services, dynamically placing application back-end as close to mobile devices as possible and removing them when not needed. MobiledgeX, Deutsche Telekom and Intelhave partnered with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to form an Edge Application Developer project group (see here) to ensure the gained insights and supporting source code are available to all. This is a new opportunity for everyone presented as a consequence of $2 trillion of CAPEX investment in network infrastructure over the past 10 years and the virtualization of the network from the central offices to the towers.  MobiledgeX is building a marketplace of edge resources and services that will connect developers with the world’s largest mobile networks to power the next generation of applications and devices. MobiledgeX is an independent edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom and headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

References:

https://mobiledgex.com/press-releases/2018/12/12/sk-telecom-partners-with-mobiledgex

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/sk-telecom-and-mobiledgex-join-hands-mobile-edge-computing

Separately, SK Telecom said it will comply with the IoT Security Guidelines proposed by GSMA for the safe usage and expansion of IoT networks.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  1.   Ericsson video call over SK Telecom’s 5G test network:

Ericsson and SK Telecom have conducted a video call over the operator’s live 5G test network, the latest milestone in a long-running partnership.

On this occasion, the companies used 100 MHz of 3.5-GHz spectrum, marking the first time that so much spectrum in this band has been used in a field test. SK Telecom used Ericsson’s commercial radio equipment, based on the 5G New Radio (NR) standard. Ericsson also supplied a test device equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon x50 5G modem. As well as a video call, SK Telecom also demonstrated streaming via a 5G data session.

As has been well documented, South Korea is pushing hard to be a frontrunner on 5G, which might explain Ericsson’s keen involvement with SK Telecom’s research and trials. The two companies have been at the forefront of testing out network slicing, where an access network is subdivided into virtual partitions, with the parameters of each one tailored to meet the requirements of specific services, from low-bandwidth massive IoT connectivity, to low-latency, high-throughput A/VR services. Ericsson and SK Telecom have also trialled multi-vehicular 5G trials in partnership with BMW.

Another explanation for Ericsson’s close involvement with SK Telecom might have something to do with Samsung. The Korean vendor missed the boat on 4G when it backed WiMAX instead of LTE, but it is making a concerted effort to not be left out of 5G. Last year, it unveiled its end-to-end 5G portfolio, and it has struck important partnerships and supply deals, including with SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Verizon.

With South Korea expected to be among the first movers when it comes to 5G commercialisation, Ericsson will want to make sure SK Telecom’s network is adorned with as much of its equipment as possible.

Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO and Head of Corporate R&D Center, SK Telecom, said:

“5G will offer much more than just faster data speeds. It will serve as a true enabler for a whole new variety of powerful services that deliver unprecedented value to customers. Today’s demonstration of 5G-based connected car technologies marks the very first step towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming era of 5G.”

The test environment was realized by using an Ericsson 5G field trial network. It consists of multiple radio transmission points on 28GHz frequency band to cover the entire track and one user equipment installed in every car. The trials showed consistent Gbps-level throughput with a few millisecond latency. Uninterrupted connectivity, using beam tracking and beam transfer across the different transmission points at speeds exceeding 100 kilometers per hour is also achieved. The performance shown enables multiple connected car use cases such as augmented and virtual reality, obstacle control and vehicle to vehicle communication, based on a system solution including radio and core network infrastructure from Ericsson.

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson, said:

“Ericsson is working with leading operators and ecosystem players to drive the realization of 5G – both with today’s pre-standard field trials, and through standardization activities along with global standards bodies and industry groups. The trial takes a step closer to 5G technology and commercialization, especially for connected vehicle applications.”

The trial simultaneously implements new key 5G capabilities with multi-site, multi-transmission point, MU-MIMO, and with multiple devices operating in the millimeter wave frequency band. It demonstrates beam tracking and beam mobility between different 5G access points, at high mobility.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2018/12/sk-telecom-qualcomm-and-ericsson-collaborate-on-5g

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/asia/asia-news/skt-makes-5g-video-call-on-3-5ghz-band/

AT&T Fiber Expansion Adds 12 More Markets, Now Reaches 10M Locations

AT&T has expanded its AT&T Fiber service (Fiber to the Premises or FTTP) to 12 additional markets, including three in Texas and three in Florida. The telco’s FTTP offering now reaches more than 10 million locations in 84 metro areas, with 3 million of those having come this year. The company hopes to reach at least 14 million locations by mid-2019. That’s impressive!

AT&T now has fiber to more than 2 million business customer locations – with another 6 million locations within 1000 feet of fiber.

In a press release, the company said that mobile 5G success will rely on a quality fiber connection to the wireless towers or small cells, which then translate the fiber connection into an ultra-fast wireless signal for customers.  Under the AT&T plans, eligible broadband customers can choose from a range of internet speed plans.

New research conducted for the Fiber Broadband Association by research firm RVA, LLC found 18.4 million U.S. fiber broadband homes as of September 2018, up from approximately 15 million a year earlier. Service providers made broadband available to a record-breaking 5.9 million new homes in the year ending September 2018, RVA said.

Network operators now market fiber broadband to 39.2 million U.S. homes, including 1.6 million homes that can get fiber broadband from two or more providers, according to the research.

 

Note:

AT&T says it offers Fiber to the premises in Santa Clara, CA (my home town for almost 49 years), but it’s not available anywhere in ny neighborhood.  When I enter my zip code and address in the box on their website, I get no mention of fiber availability, but instead this box:

We found existing AT&T wireless service at your address.

This is my account and I’d like to see my offers and deals.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In other words, it’s a frustrating cop-out on FTTP for Santa Clara, CA.  Suggest readers check AT&T Fiber availability for your address/zip code.

References:

https://about.att.com/story/2018/internet-powered-by-att-fiber-available-12-metros.html
https://www.telecompetitor.com/att-fiber-expansion-12-more-cities/

AT&T Fiber Expansion Adds 12 More Markets, Now Reaches 10M Locations

AT&T has expanded its AT&T Fiber service (Fiber to the Premises or FTTP) to 12 additional markets, including three in Texas and three in Florida. The telco’s FTTP offering now reaches more than 10 million locations in 84 metro areas, with 3 million of those having come this year. The company hopes to reach at least 14 million locations by mid-2019. That’s impressive!

AT&T now has fiber to more than 2 million business customer locations – with another 6 million locations within 1000 feet of fiber.

In a press release, the company said that mobile 5G success will rely on a quality fiber connection to the wireless towers or small cells, which then translate the fiber connection into an ultra-fast wireless signal for customers.  Under the AT&T plans, eligible broadband customers can choose from a range of internet speed plans.

New research conducted for the Fiber Broadband Association by research firm RVA, LLC found 18.4 million U.S. fiber broadband homes as of September 2018, up from approximately 15 million a year earlier. Service providers made broadband available to a record-breaking 5.9 million new homes in the year ending September 2018, RVA said.

Network operators now market fiber broadband to 39.2 million U.S. homes, including 1.6 million homes that can get fiber broadband from two or more providers, according to the research.

 

Note:

AT&T says it offers Fiber to the premises in Santa Clara, CA (my home town for almost 49 years), but it’s not available anywhere in ny neighborhood.  When I enter my zip code and address in the box on their website, I get no mention of fiber availability, but instead this box:

We found existing AT&T wireless service at your address.

This is my account and I’d like to see my offers and deals.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In other words, it’s a frustrating cop-out on FTTP for Santa Clara, CA.  Suggest readers check AT&T Fiber availability for your address/zip code.

References:

https://about.att.com/story/2018/internet-powered-by-att-fiber-available-12-metros.html
https://www.telecompetitor.com/att-fiber-expansion-12-more-cities/

Nikeii: Softbank to drop Huawei LTE equipment in favor of Nokia and Ericsson

SoftBank Group Corp, Japan’s third largest telco, plans to replace 4G LTE network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd with hardware from Nokia and Ericsson, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday, without citing sources.  SoftBank is also expected to place orders with the two European companies for its 5G networks, Nikkei reported. SoftBank is the only telecom carrier in Japan that uses Huawei equipment, according to the news outlet.  Nokia and Ericsson are already big suppliers to SoftBank.

The move comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms by the United States and some prominent allies over ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns they could be used by Beijing for spying.  The U.S., Australia and New Zealand have already banned Huawei from their countries 5G networks while Canada and the U.K. are considering that.

Last week, British multinational telecoms company BT confirmed it has been removing Huawei equipment from the core of its 3G and 4G networks since 2016, and will be excluding the Chinese company when selecting vendors for its 5G core.

A SoftBank spokesman said the report was “based on speculation and no decision has been made.”  It also has the longest running relationship with Huawei among Japan’s top three telcos, but the firm has previously said that the amount of equipment it uses from Chinese makers “is relatively small.”

Replacing the 4G equipment, which Nikkei reported will be done over several years, is likely to be time-consuming and expensive, industry sources have said.

The Nikkei report on the supplier switch comes as SoftBank is preparing to list its telecoms unit in Tokyo on Dec. 19.  The report also comes on the heels of Japan issuing a policy document on maintaining cybersecurity during procurement.

While Huawei was not explicitly named, sources have said that the policy document was aimed at preventing Japan government procurement from the company as well as China’s ZTE Corp.

Huawei has already been locked out of the U.S. market, and Australia and New Zealand have blocked it from building 5G networks amid concerns of its possible links with China’s government. Huawei has said Beijing has no influence over it.

Japan’s decision to keep Huawei out would add to the woes of the firm, whose chief financial officer was recently arrested by Canadian officials for extradition to the United States.

“It’s extremely important to avoid buying equipment that includes malicious functions like stealing or destroying information or halting information systems,” Nikkei reported Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying.

Addendum:  The Financial Times reports: Huawei spat comes as China races ahead in 5G  (on line subscription required)

A leaked memo, apparently written by a senior National Security Council official, revealed as far back as the start of this year exactly how worried the US is about Huawei. The rise of the Chinese company to become the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms equipment has given China a huge boost over the US in the race to introduce and develop 5G, the next generation of mobile communications, the memo complained.

“We are losing,” it said. “Whoever leads in technology and market share for 5G deployment will have a tremendous advantage towards [ . . .] commanding the heights of the information domain.”

Eleven months on, those fears have mushroomed into open conflict between Washington and Beijing, with American officials pushing allied countries to ban Huawei from building their 5G networks, citing concerns over security and the company’s unclear links to the Chinese state. The arrest and planned extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter to the company’s founder, has further exacerbated the spat.

Several countries have begun to trial 5G networks, though the full international standards have not yet been agreed. The shift to the new technology carries profound implications, and countries are wary of being left behind. 5G is “by no means simply a ‘faster 4G’”, the US memo said, describing it instead as “a change more like the invention of the Gutenberg Press”. It will bring higher speeds, lower lag times between network and device, and a much larger capacity to transfer data. Together, these features are expected to underpin self-driving cars, AI and machine-to-machine communications that will transform the way everything from homes to hospitals to factories operate.

References:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/SoftBank-to-remove-existing-Huawei-equipment-amid-security-concerns

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-huawei-japan-idUSKBN1OC0E5

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/13/japans-softbank-to-replace-huawei-equipment-nikkei-reports.html

 

Nokia Deploys 1st Liquid Cooled Base Station in Helsinki, Finland

Nokia, Elisa and Efore have commercially deployed has announced a proof of concept (PoC) deployment of a liquid cooled base station system in an apartment building in Helsinki, Finland.  The Nokia designed PoC liquid cooled base station was done in collaboration with network operator Elisa and power systems supplier Efore.

Nokia Bell Labs developed the base station, while Efore developed the liquid-cooled power system and Elisa handled deployment.

Analysis from Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre indicates that the deployment reduced CO2 emissions by up to 80% and energy operating expenses by up to 30%.

Minna Kröger, Director, Corporate responsibility from Elisa, said: “We have set science-based targets to reduce our emissions in our effort to become an environmental leader, and we are committed to providing customers the services that enable them to act in a sustainable way. We are excited to leverage the extensive expertise of Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs for this important deployment.”

“Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs have conducted extensive research and testing to explore the possibilities of using a liquid-cooled base station in an operator’s network,” said Pekka Sunström, head of the Elisa customer team at Nokia.

“This first commercial deployment will enable us to understand the real-world benefits for customers such as Elisa as they transition toward 5G, and how the system can be implemented on a wider scale to help reduce the environmental impact of information and communications technology,” he added.

Vlad Grigore, Chief Technology Officer of Efore, said: “We are dedicated to providing efficient and reliable power supply solutions tailored to our customer’s needs. The power system pilot with MHE (Modular High Efficiency) rectifiers adapted for liquid cooling helps reduce energy consumption and emissions, with a positive impact on environment. We are enthusiastic about this development that continues our long tradition of close cooperation with Nokia.”

Additional Information:

Reference:

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/12/10/1664108/0/en/A-world-first-Nokia-Elisa-and-Efore-commercially-deploy-a-liquid-cooled-base-station-that-can-reduce-CO2-emissions-by-up-to-80-percent.html

Gartner Group Innovation & Insight: Cutting Through the 5G Hype

Executive Summary:

Most 5G deployments will initially focus on islands of deployment, without continuous national coverage through 2022. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must adapt digital business initiatives to the available network services.

Key Findings:

  • Despite service provider hype, most 5G rollouts will initially focus on islands of deployment. Broad availability of full-function public 5G from CSPs is unlikely before 2023, putting some digital business plans at risk — unless private networks are rolled out.
  • Early public 5G deployments will be spotty in coverage, but will satisfy some enterprise use cases such as high-speed fixed wireless access.
  • Enterprises may choose to deploy private 5G networks to address specific needs such as upgrading factory, stadium or warehouse networks. This may leverage Wi-Fi for access and 5G for the backbone.
  • Application use-case requirements (such as latency) must be clearly defined, so alternatives to 5G can be considered where applicable. In many cases, Proto-5G (an enhanced 4G) will be good enough to satisfy application use cases.

Recommendations:

Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders responsible for accelerating enterprise infrastructure innovation and agility should:
  • Incorporate realistic networking assumptions for business plans by working with business leaders and network service providers to identify the availability of required advanced wireless services such as Proto-5G and 5G.
  • Address current use-case requirements by identifying where 5G alternatives such as Proto-5 G can be leveraged when and where 5G is unavailable or too expensive.

Strategic Planning Assumption:

Less than 45% of CSPs (Communications Service Providers) globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025.

Analysis:

To optimize their planning and deployment decisions, enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders need to understand when advanced cellular network technologies will be available, and how they can be beneficial to their organizations (see Figure 1). Deployments of 5G will not be consistently available worldwide, but enhanced 4G (referred to collectively as “Proto-5G” in this research) may suffice for some use cases, and 4G radio may be combined with edge computing and core network slicing.
Adding to the confusion about 5G availability is the fact that many CSPs are claiming that everything they deploy is 5G. However, what they deploy may be little more than rebranded or advanced LTE, or a subset of 5G that is deployed in a very limited footprint.
Ubiquitous availability of 5G will be hampered by the following:
  • 5G deployments will take more than twice as long as 4G/LTE because higher-frequency radio spectrum is required. This will force deployment of large numbers of new cellular radios.
  • Spectrum allocation is progressing slowly.
  • 4G/LTE is successful and profitable.
  • There are no killer applications to pay for the required investment.
Network-based CSPs in North America, Greater China and Japan will launch projects to complete 90% of nationwide 5G population coverage by 2023. CSPs in Western Europe will achieve similar coverage by 2026, while other regions will not achieve the same coverage until after 2026.
Technological variation in frequency bands worldwide means that the deployment timelines and benefits will vary by geography (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Estimated Timing of 5G Network Launches

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Estimated Timing of 5G Network Launches

Definition:

5G is the next-generation cellular standard after 4G. It has been defined across several global standards bodies, including the International Telecommunication Union, 3GPP and ETSI.
The official ITU specification, International Mobile Telecommunications-2020, targets maximum downlink and uplink throughputs of 20 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively; latency below 5 ms endpoint to RAN; and massive scalability, although initial deployments may be less ambitious. New system architecture includes core network slicing and edge computing.

Description:

For the first time in cellular technology development, 5G represents a shift in focus to go beyond consumer handsets to address the networking needs of a much broader group of wireless devices with very divergent requirements (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Three Technology Pillars of 5G

Three Technology Pillars of 5G

AR/VR = augmented reality/virtual reality; eMMB = enhanced mobile broadband; IoT; Internet of Things; mMTC = massive machine-type communications; URLLC = ultrareliable and low-latency communication

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Blending the following three capabilities will allow 5G to address multiple use cases, although the implementations for each use case may be very different.
  • eMBB: High-throughput data transfer, with maximum speeds of 20 Gbps for downlink (although initial deployments will fall between 4 Gbps and 8 Gbps) and 10 Gbps for uplink.
  • mMTC: Targets support of up to 1 million low-power nodes per square kilometer.
  • URLLC: End-to-end cellular network latency of 5 ms or less.
From an enterprise perspective, 5G may serve as an alternative to landline connections for branch-office networks, as a replacement for some in-building networks or as a way to reach dispersed fixed (sensors) and mobile (vehicles) endpoints. Mobile voice and text messaging are not target use cases for 5G.

The Evolution of 4G Versus the Promise of 5G:

While much has been made of the advanced capabilities that will be provided by 5G networks, the reality is that Proto-5G, which is still 4G, is good and getting better. As Table 1 shows, Proto-5G is a kind of 4G-extended technology mainly for data communication and IoT connectivity support. In some, or even many, cases, Proto-5G capabilities may be good enough to support your emerging applications. As CSPs deploy 5G, migration to this new service may require equipment refresh.

Table 1: Proto-5G (Enhanced 4G) Compared to Existing 4G and 5G Wireless Access in the Future

Feature
4G
Proto-5G
5G Wireless Access
Requirement and Target
Up to several hundred Mbps downlink throughput
About several tens of ms latency
More than 500 Mbps downlink throughput
About 10 ms latency IoT connectivity support
More than 10 Gbps downlink throughput
About 1 ms latency URLLC support
Frequency
Licensed (less than 6GHz)
Licensed and unlicensed (less than 6GHz)
Millimeter waves, in addition to Proto-5G’s frequency bands
Device IoT Support
LTE user equipment Cat. 1
LTE user equipment Cat. 0, M1 and NB-IoT
To be discussed in the technology standards
LTE = Long Term Evolution; URLLC = ultrareliable and low-latency communication
Source: Gartner (December 2018)
Deployments of 5G will occur over several years, and with multiple versions with very different capabilities because equipment vendors (Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, NEC, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE) have their own evolutionary roadmap from 4G: LTE, to Proto-5G, to 5G. This will lead to inconsistent service across markets and carriers.

Benefits and Uses:

The benefits of 5G will evolve as the technology matures. In the short term, 5G will deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency connections, in many cases, in the form of fixed wireless access networks and early IoT networks.
In a shift from traditional cellular deployments, organizations will benefit from private network deployments that replace or augment campus Wi-Fi networks and wired in-building networks for applications such as factory automation and surveillance.
This deployment will be driven by 5G’s increased bandwidth, lower latency and support for IoT devices, as well as by the flexibility afforded by operating on unlicensed frequencies.
A recent Gartner survey indicates that, enterprise leaders have a broad awareness of 5G and have identified primary use cases (see Figure 3).
The figure shows that 5G-capable networks are expected to be most broadly used for IoT communications and video, including 4K and 8K video streaming to mobile devices, or ultrahigh definition wireless, closed-circuit TV applications.

Figure 3. Expected Use for 5G-Capable Networks

AR = augmented reality; VR = virtual reality

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Expected Use for 5G-Capable Networks
The 5G support of a massive number of endpoints will enable IoT applications such as dense sensor networks for agriculture optimization. Improved operational efficiency is cited as the reason to deploy 5G for noncritical sensors, fixed wireless access, IoT communications and video. The 5G-capable networks are expected to be most broadly used for IoT communications and video. Controls/automation, fixed wireless access, high-performance edge analytics, and location tracking are a second tier of uses for 5G-capable networks.
Figure 4 shows use cases that benefit from improved operational efficiency enabled by 5G.

Figure 4. Use Cases for Deploying 5G-Capable Networks for Operational Efficiency

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Use Cases for Deploying 5G-Capable Networks for Operational Efficiency
In many cases, 5G is linked to organizations’ edge computing deployments, which are driven by digital business initiatives. Bandwidth- and latency-sensitive applications benefit from placing compute as close as possible to the wireless client device, especially when bandwidth is constrained from the edge back into the core. As a result, many enterprises may find it advantageous to leverage emerging CSP edge computing services (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Migration to 5G Will Enable Emerging Edge Computing Applications

P2P = peer-to-peer; VNFs = virtualized network functions

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Migration to 5G Will Enable Emerging Edge Computing Applications
Over the longer term, 5G deployments will deliver multigigabit bandwidth and extremely low latency. When combined with dense coverage, which will require a dramatic increase in the number of antenna deployed, 5G promises enablement of new services, including mobility-enhanced AR/VR and autonomous vehicles. AR, VR, immersive video or holograms, and smart city are key use cases being deployed primarily to drive new service provider revenue.
Figure 6. 5G Use Cases That CSPs Expect to Drive New Revenue

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

5G Use Cases That CSPs Expect to Drive New Revenue

Adoption Rate:

From 2018 through 2022, organizations will mainly utilize 5G to support IoT communications, high-definition video and fixed wireless access. Use of higher frequencies and massive capacity will require very dense deployments with higher frequency reuse.
As a result, Gartner expects most 5G deployments to initially focus on islands of deployment, without continuous national coverage, typically reaching less than full parity with existing 4G geographical coverage by 2022 in developed nations.
In addition, slower adoption of 5G by CSPs (compared to 4G) means less than 45% of CSPs globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025 (see Table 2).

Table 2: Representative Sample of 5G Deployments and Expected Use Cases to Be Supported

Country
CSP
Launch Target
Use Cases and Demos
U.S.
Verizon
October 2018 and broader rollout in 2019
  • Fixed wireless access
  • 4K VR in 5G trial at Indianapolis 500
  • Verizon and KT test of the world’s first 5G live hologram call
AT&T
AT&T plans to be the first U.S. company to introduce mobile 5G service in 12 cities in 2018.
  • Fixed wireless access
T-Mobile
Build out 5G in 30 cities in 2018 and 2020 l for full nationwide coverage
  • LTE enhancement
Sprint
5G commercial services and devices by 1H19
  • LTE enhancement
South Korea
SK Telecom
Commercial launch March 2019
  • 5G connected car trial with Ericsson and BMW
KT
Official 5G provider of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Commercial launch March 2019
  • Olympic network showcases 5G eMBB
  • Immersive 5G broadcasting
  • 5G safety (drones and facial recognition)
LG U+
Commercial launch March 2019
  • N/A
Japan
NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMO will start 5G preservice in September 2019 and launch commercial service in spring 2020.
  • 8K live broadcast with NHK at the 5G trial site in Tokyo Skytree Town
KDDI
Commercial launch in 2019 and massive deployment from 2020
  • VR, 8K
SoftBank
Commercial launch in 2019
  • Immersive video, remote control of robots
China
China Mobile
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
China Telecom
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
China Unicom
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
Europe
EE in the U.K.
In late 2019
  • N/A
Deutsche Telekom in Germany
Strong preparation course for 5G rollout in 2020
  • N/A
Telia in Finland
Target 2019 for commercial rollout of 3.5GHz
  • Initial demo in Helsinki in 2018
Vodafone in the U.K.
Vodafone is gearing up for a full commercial launch of 5G services in mid-2019 and expects to have about 1,000 5G mobile sites in service by 2020.
  • N/A
Telefónica in Spain
2020
  • Working with SEAT and FICOSA on connected car applications
  • Working on tourism use cases with Fitur
TIM in Italy
First 5G use cases made available in June 2018, and full rollout in Bari and Matera to be completed during 2019.
  • 3D virtual reconstructions of archaeological sites and museums in Matera, Italy. In Bari, Italy, the technology would allow for “better management of logistics and transport.”
Swisscom in Switzerland
Swisscom plans to introduce 5G at select sites in 2018. Extensive coverage can be expected in 2020.
  • N/A
Middle East
Etisalat in UAE
Per a 14 May 2018 announcement, fixed devices and services will be available from September 2018 with the service gradually extended across the UAE.
  • 5G has applications for autonomous driving, networking vehicles, industrial automation and IoT.
Ooredoo in Qatar
Per a 14 May 2018 announcement, the first Ooredoo 5G site was launched, just days after Ooredoo’s new 5G Commercial Core Network was activated.
  • The 5G Supernet will support new applications, including driverless cars and smart roads, virtual and augmented reality, and a national fleet of service drones.
STC in Saudi Arabia
Per a 16 May 2018 announcement, the company will continue building the network gradually in Saudi Arabian cities until the 5G-capable devices are available during 2019.
  • 5G will enable uses such as IoT, artificial intelligence and robots.
eMBB = enhanced mobile broadband; IoT; Internet of Things; N/A = not available; UAE = United Arab Emirates; VR = virtual reality
Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Risks:

Business plans that depend upon 5G availability face multiple risk factors related to 5G availability and inconsistency of services, including:
  • Service provider hype will convince business leaders that 5G is broadly available well ahead of actual deployments.
  • Differences in Proto-5G technologies will lead to inconsistent solutions across providers and regions.
  • CSP capital expense budgets are constrained, which will slow deployments in all but the highest-demand locations and for the applications that generate immediate service provider revenue.
  • Full-featured 5G requires a 4x increase in antenna density and an upgrade of the entire antenna to radio access node network, which will be challenging in cities due to existing buildings and lack of rights of way.

Acronym Key and Glossary Terms:

AR
augmented reality
CSP
communications service provider
ITU
International Telecommunication Union
LTE
Long Term Evolution
ms
millisecond
RAN
radio access network
URLLC
ultrareliable and low-latency communication
VR
virtual reality

Gartner Group Innovation & Insight: Cutting Through the 5G Hype

Executive Summary:

Most 5G deployments will initially focus on islands of deployment, without continuous national coverage through 2022. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must adapt digital business initiatives to the available network services.

Key Findings:

  • Despite service provider hype, most 5G rollouts will initially focus on islands of deployment. Broad availability of full-function public 5G from CSPs is unlikely before 2023, putting some digital business plans at risk — unless private networks are rolled out.
  • Early public 5G deployments will be spotty in coverage, but will satisfy some enterprise use cases such as high-speed fixed wireless access.
  • Enterprises may choose to deploy private 5G networks to address specific needs such as upgrading factory, stadium or warehouse networks. This may leverage Wi-Fi for access and 5G for the backbone.
  • Application use-case requirements (such as latency) must be clearly defined, so alternatives to 5G can be considered where applicable. In many cases, Proto-5G (an enhanced 4G) will be good enough to satisfy application use cases.

Recommendations:

Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders responsible for accelerating enterprise infrastructure innovation and agility should:
  • Incorporate realistic networking assumptions for business plans by working with business leaders and network service providers to identify the availability of required advanced wireless services such as Proto-5G and 5G.
  • Address current use-case requirements by identifying where 5G alternatives such as Proto-5 G can be leveraged when and where 5G is unavailable or too expensive.

Strategic Planning Assumption:

Less than 45% of CSPs (Communications Service Providers) globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025.

Analysis:

To optimize their planning and deployment decisions, enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders need to understand when advanced cellular network technologies will be available, and how they can be beneficial to their organizations (see Figure 1). Deployments of 5G will not be consistently available worldwide, but enhanced 4G (referred to collectively as “Proto-5G” in this research) may suffice for some use cases, and 4G radio may be combined with edge computing and core network slicing.
Adding to the confusion about 5G availability is the fact that many CSPs are claiming that everything they deploy is 5G. However, what they deploy may be little more than rebranded or advanced LTE, or a subset of 5G that is deployed in a very limited footprint.
Ubiquitous availability of 5G will be hampered by the following:
  • 5G deployments will take more than twice as long as 4G/LTE because higher-frequency radio spectrum is required. This will force deployment of large numbers of new cellular radios.
  • Spectrum allocation is progressing slowly.
  • 4G/LTE is successful and profitable.
  • There are no killer applications to pay for the required investment.
Network-based CSPs in North America, Greater China and Japan will launch projects to complete 90% of nationwide 5G population coverage by 2023. CSPs in Western Europe will achieve similar coverage by 2026, while other regions will not achieve the same coverage until after 2026.
Technological variation in frequency bands worldwide means that the deployment timelines and benefits will vary by geography (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Estimated Timing of 5G Network Launches

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Estimated Timing of 5G Network Launches

Definition:

5G is the next-generation cellular standard after 4G. It has been defined across several global standards bodies, including the International Telecommunication Union, 3GPP and ETSI.
The official ITU specification, International Mobile Telecommunications-2020, targets maximum downlink and uplink throughputs of 20 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively; latency below 5 ms endpoint to RAN; and massive scalability, although initial deployments may be less ambitious. New system architecture includes core network slicing and edge computing.

Description:

For the first time in cellular technology development, 5G represents a shift in focus to go beyond consumer handsets to address the networking needs of a much broader group of wireless devices with very divergent requirements (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Three Technology Pillars of 5G

Three Technology Pillars of 5G

AR/VR = augmented reality/virtual reality; eMMB = enhanced mobile broadband; IoT; Internet of Things; mMTC = massive machine-type communications; URLLC = ultrareliable and low-latency communication

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Blending the following three capabilities will allow 5G to address multiple use cases, although the implementations for each use case may be very different.
  • eMBB: High-throughput data transfer, with maximum speeds of 20 Gbps for downlink (although initial deployments will fall between 4 Gbps and 8 Gbps) and 10 Gbps for uplink.
  • mMTC: Targets support of up to 1 million low-power nodes per square kilometer.
  • URLLC: End-to-end cellular network latency of 5 ms or less.
From an enterprise perspective, 5G may serve as an alternative to landline connections for branch-office networks, as a replacement for some in-building networks or as a way to reach dispersed fixed (sensors) and mobile (vehicles) endpoints. Mobile voice and text messaging are not target use cases for 5G.

The Evolution of 4G Versus the Promise of 5G:

While much has been made of the advanced capabilities that will be provided by 5G networks, the reality is that Proto-5G, which is still 4G, is good and getting better. As Table 1 shows, Proto-5G is a kind of 4G-extended technology mainly for data communication and IoT connectivity support. In some, or even many, cases, Proto-5G capabilities may be good enough to support your emerging applications. As CSPs deploy 5G, migration to this new service may require equipment refresh.

Table 1: Proto-5G (Enhanced 4G) Compared to Existing 4G and 5G Wireless Access in the Future

Feature
4G
Proto-5G
5G Wireless Access
Requirement and Target
Up to several hundred Mbps downlink throughput
About several tens of ms latency
More than 500 Mbps downlink throughput
About 10 ms latency IoT connectivity support
More than 10 Gbps downlink throughput
About 1 ms latency URLLC support
Frequency
Licensed (less than 6GHz)
Licensed and unlicensed (less than 6GHz)
Millimeter waves, in addition to Proto-5G’s frequency bands
Device IoT Support
LTE user equipment Cat. 1
LTE user equipment Cat. 0, M1 and NB-IoT
To be discussed in the technology standards
LTE = Long Term Evolution; URLLC = ultrareliable and low-latency communication
Source: Gartner (December 2018)
Deployments of 5G will occur over several years, and with multiple versions with very different capabilities because equipment vendors (Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, NEC, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE) have their own evolutionary roadmap from 4G: LTE, to Proto-5G, to 5G. This will lead to inconsistent service across markets and carriers.

Benefits and Uses:

The benefits of 5G will evolve as the technology matures. In the short term, 5G will deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency connections, in many cases, in the form of fixed wireless access networks and early IoT networks.
In a shift from traditional cellular deployments, organizations will benefit from private network deployments that replace or augment campus Wi-Fi networks and wired in-building networks for applications such as factory automation and surveillance.
This deployment will be driven by 5G’s increased bandwidth, lower latency and support for IoT devices, as well as by the flexibility afforded by operating on unlicensed frequencies.
A recent Gartner survey indicates that, enterprise leaders have a broad awareness of 5G and have identified primary use cases (see Figure 3).
The figure shows that 5G-capable networks are expected to be most broadly used for IoT communications and video, including 4K and 8K video streaming to mobile devices, or ultrahigh definition wireless, closed-circuit TV applications.

Figure 3. Expected Use for 5G-Capable Networks

AR = augmented reality; VR = virtual reality

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Expected Use for 5G-Capable Networks
The 5G support of a massive number of endpoints will enable IoT applications such as dense sensor networks for agriculture optimization. Improved operational efficiency is cited as the reason to deploy 5G for noncritical sensors, fixed wireless access, IoT communications and video. The 5G-capable networks are expected to be most broadly used for IoT communications and video. Controls/automation, fixed wireless access, high-performance edge analytics, and location tracking are a second tier of uses for 5G-capable networks.
Figure 4 shows use cases that benefit from improved operational efficiency enabled by 5G.

Figure 4. Use Cases for Deploying 5G-Capable Networks for Operational Efficiency

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Use Cases for Deploying 5G-Capable Networks for Operational Efficiency
In many cases, 5G is linked to organizations’ edge computing deployments, which are driven by digital business initiatives. Bandwidth- and latency-sensitive applications benefit from placing compute as close as possible to the wireless client device, especially when bandwidth is constrained from the edge back into the core. As a result, many enterprises may find it advantageous to leverage emerging CSP edge computing services (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Migration to 5G Will Enable Emerging Edge Computing Applications

P2P = peer-to-peer; VNFs = virtualized network functions

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Migration to 5G Will Enable Emerging Edge Computing Applications
Over the longer term, 5G deployments will deliver multigigabit bandwidth and extremely low latency. When combined with dense coverage, which will require a dramatic increase in the number of antenna deployed, 5G promises enablement of new services, including mobility-enhanced AR/VR and autonomous vehicles. AR, VR, immersive video or holograms, and smart city are key use cases being deployed primarily to drive new service provider revenue.
Figure 6. 5G Use Cases That CSPs Expect to Drive New Revenue

Source: Gartner (December 2018)

5G Use Cases That CSPs Expect to Drive New Revenue

Adoption Rate:

From 2018 through 2022, organizations will mainly utilize 5G to support IoT communications, high-definition video and fixed wireless access. Use of higher frequencies and massive capacity will require very dense deployments with higher frequency reuse.
As a result, Gartner expects most 5G deployments to initially focus on islands of deployment, without continuous national coverage, typically reaching less than full parity with existing 4G geographical coverage by 2022 in developed nations.
In addition, slower adoption of 5G by CSPs (compared to 4G) means less than 45% of CSPs globally will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025 (see Table 2).

Table 2: Representative Sample of 5G Deployments and Expected Use Cases to Be Supported

Country
CSP
Launch Target
Use Cases and Demos
U.S.
Verizon
October 2018 and broader rollout in 2019
  • Fixed wireless access
  • 4K VR in 5G trial at Indianapolis 500
  • Verizon and KT test of the world’s first 5G live hologram call
AT&T
AT&T plans to be the first U.S. company to introduce mobile 5G service in 12 cities in 2018.
  • Fixed wireless access
T-Mobile
Build out 5G in 30 cities in 2018 and 2020 l for full nationwide coverage
  • LTE enhancement
Sprint
5G commercial services and devices by 1H19
  • LTE enhancement
South Korea
SK Telecom
Commercial launch March 2019
  • 5G connected car trial with Ericsson and BMW
KT
Official 5G provider of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Commercial launch March 2019
  • Olympic network showcases 5G eMBB
  • Immersive 5G broadcasting
  • 5G safety (drones and facial recognition)
LG U+
Commercial launch March 2019
  • N/A
Japan
NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMO will start 5G preservice in September 2019 and launch commercial service in spring 2020.
  • 8K live broadcast with NHK at the 5G trial site in Tokyo Skytree Town
KDDI
Commercial launch in 2019 and massive deployment from 2020
  • VR, 8K
SoftBank
Commercial launch in 2019
  • Immersive video, remote control of robots
China
China Mobile
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
China Telecom
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
China Unicom
Commercial 5G services in 2020
  • N/A
Europe
EE in the U.K.
In late 2019
  • N/A
Deutsche Telekom in Germany
Strong preparation course for 5G rollout in 2020
  • N/A
Telia in Finland
Target 2019 for commercial rollout of 3.5GHz
  • Initial demo in Helsinki in 2018
Vodafone in the U.K.
Vodafone is gearing up for a full commercial launch of 5G services in mid-2019 and expects to have about 1,000 5G mobile sites in service by 2020.
  • N/A
Telefónica in Spain
2020
  • Working with SEAT and FICOSA on connected car applications
  • Working on tourism use cases with Fitur
TIM in Italy
First 5G use cases made available in June 2018, and full rollout in Bari and Matera to be completed during 2019.
  • 3D virtual reconstructions of archaeological sites and museums in Matera, Italy. In Bari, Italy, the technology would allow for “better management of logistics and transport.”
Swisscom in Switzerland
Swisscom plans to introduce 5G at select sites in 2018. Extensive coverage can be expected in 2020.
  • N/A
Middle East
Etisalat in UAE
Per a 14 May 2018 announcement, fixed devices and services will be available from September 2018 with the service gradually extended across the UAE.
  • 5G has applications for autonomous driving, networking vehicles, industrial automation and IoT.
Ooredoo in Qatar
Per a 14 May 2018 announcement, the first Ooredoo 5G site was launched, just days after Ooredoo’s new 5G Commercial Core Network was activated.
  • The 5G Supernet will support new applications, including driverless cars and smart roads, virtual and augmented reality, and a national fleet of service drones.
STC in Saudi Arabia
Per a 16 May 2018 announcement, the company will continue building the network gradually in Saudi Arabian cities until the 5G-capable devices are available during 2019.
  • 5G will enable uses such as IoT, artificial intelligence and robots.
eMBB = enhanced mobile broadband; IoT; Internet of Things; N/A = not available; UAE = United Arab Emirates; VR = virtual reality
Source: Gartner (December 2018)

Risks:

Business plans that depend upon 5G availability face multiple risk factors related to 5G availability and inconsistency of services, including:
  • Service provider hype will convince business leaders that 5G is broadly available well ahead of actual deployments.
  • Differences in Proto-5G technologies will lead to inconsistent solutions across providers and regions.
  • CSP capital expense budgets are constrained, which will slow deployments in all but the highest-demand locations and for the applications that generate immediate service provider revenue.
  • Full-featured 5G requires a 4x increase in antenna density and an upgrade of the entire antenna to radio access node network, which will be challenging in cities due to existing buildings and lack of rights of way.

Acronym Key and Glossary Terms:

AR
augmented reality
CSP
communications service provider
ITU
International Telecommunication Union
LTE
Long Term Evolution
ms
millisecond
RAN
radio access network
URLLC
ultrareliable and low-latency communication
VR
virtual reality

SCWS Americas: Verizon and AT&T 5G Roadmaps Differ on FWA vs mobile “5G”

Verizon has no plans for linear or on-demand (or any other form) of pay TV for its “5G” FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) based residential/Verizon Home broadband service, according to  Bill Stone, the company”s VP of technology development and planning.  Stone stated that in a question from this author (during the Q&A session after his second presentation) at the excellent SCWS Americas conference in Santa Clara, CA on December 5, 2018.  Instead, Verizon has a partnership with YouTube TV (first three months free) to provide OTT video to its FWA customers.   Verizon Home customers get a free Apple TV 4K or Google Chromecast Ultra (Internet TV adapters with HDMI connection to the customer’s TV) when they sign up for 5G Home service.

Stone also said that Verizon’s FiOS will continue to offer higher speeds than its 5G Home service, which will transition from its proprietary “5G TF” spec to 3GPP release 15 5G NR NSA (non stand alone) in the near future.   He told me privately that any wireless base station vendor that supports 5G NR would be able to interoperate on the carrier’s 5G FWA network (we don’t think so for many reasons).  Verizon’s 5G Home service is currently available in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Stone noted with pride that the mega carrier continues to bolster its 4G LTE network with new technologies.  “LTE has a lot of runway left,” Bill said to the audience.

Verizon currently says that customers of its 5G Home service will receive download speeds of at least 300 Mbps.  A video was shown of satisfied customers who all got download speeds of 800 Mbps or higher.  The mega carrier said that speeds can range up to 1 Gbps depending on customers’ location in relation to the towers for the service.

Verizon currently charges new customers $70 per month for 5G Home service, but only $50 per month for existing customers (with 1st three months free) who also subscribe to the carrier’s $30/month mobile data plan.  Voice is offered along with high speed Internet access, but no pay TV is available as with FiOS.

“The peak data rates here in millimeter-wave will definitely increase,” Stone told the audience.  Verizon currently runs its 5G Home service in its 28 GHz licensed spectrum in 400 MHz channels. But he said the carrier has the ability to increase that spectrum allotment to 600 MHz and 800 MHz channels (Verizon owns huge amounts of millimeter-wave spectrum via its purchases of XO and Straight Path). Stone explained that expanding the service’s spectrum channels would both increase user speeds and increase Verizon’s network capacity.  Verizon will move from 400 MHz to 800 MHz, and that will result in the speeds and capacity available  would double as a result.

Currently, the antennas and receivers for Verizon’s Home broadband service are installed by “white glove” professional technicians.   In the future, the carrier is planning to offer a self-installation option for its 5G Home service.  “Over time the goal is to introduce the ability to drop ship equipment that the customer can install on their own,”

Stone said, without providing a timeline for such a move. tone touched on several other data points for its FWA home broadband service:

  • 50% of Verizon’s 5G Home customers do not subscribe to the operator’s mobile service.
  • The service can transmit 1 Gbps downstream up to 3,000 feet.
  • The millimeter-wave service works in conditions including rain, snow and non-line-of-sight scenarios. Indeed, Stone said some transmissions work better in non-line-of-sight scenarios than when customers are within sight of the tower, due to the fact that millimeter-wave transmissions can reflect off various objects in order to reach their intended destination.
  • Verizon’s 5G Home customers are switching to the carrier from a variety of other service providers, though no details were provided.
  • Verizon ultimately expects to expand 5G Home to 30 million households at some unspecified time in the future, though Dunne said the carrier may revisit that figure as the company’s rollout progresses.
  • Verizon won’t build any more locations with its 5GTF equipment, and will instead wait for 3GPP release 15 5G NR equipment to become available before expanding to additional neighborhoods and cities.  However, the implementation of 5G NR by vendors will initially be non stand alone (NSA), which means its dependent on a LTE core network and LTE signaling.  That may differ amongst wireless base station vendors as will the frequencies used for different 5G NR carrier networks.
  • Verizon is making significant progress toward implementing vRAN technology on its 5G network, working with its vendors—including Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia—to virtualize the lower layers of its network in addition to the upper layers. The process of virtualizing the baseband functions in the RAN is part of a broader trend in the wireless and wider telecom industry in which operators are increasingly looking to move away from expensive, dedicated hardware from traditional suppliers and toward general-purpose compute servers running (mostly) open source software.
  • Verizon remains interested in providing edge computing services, services he said the operator could sell to companies looking to provide offerings ranging from drones to autonomous vehicles.  Verizon’s efforts in edge computing stem from the carrier’s moves to densify its network and to virtualize parts of its network functions. Those efforts, Stone said, would create a foundation for Verizon to eventually run edge computing sevices for third parties.

5G Home is one of many services Verizon plans to offer via 5G network technology with mobile 5G (again, based on 3GPP release 15 “5G NR”o NSA) being the next “5G” offering.  When mobile “5G” is deployed in the 11st half of 2019, the Motorola moto z3 smartphone, paired with the 5G moto mod and a Samsung 5G smartphone will be available.  So will an Inseego 5G hotspot that can access Verizon’s mobile network.

Addendum:  5G is one network, multiple use cases, Verizon CEO says

Last week at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg touted the carrier’s 5G home residential broadband service as complementing its wired Fios offering while extending the ability to provide a wireless alternative to home connectivity. While the fixed wireless access service is only available in four markets, the carrier said half of the customers are new to the company.

In a discussion with John Hodulik of UBS Investment Bank and HSBC analyst Sunil Rajgopal, Vestberg said 5G Home comes with a guaranteed 300 Mbps but its millimeter wave spectrum can support up to 800 Mbps or 900 Mbps.

“It’s a totally different way to doing broadband, meaning, instead of having a cord into the house, you have a wireless wave into the house, but the experience is the same in the house. And I think that’s a big opportunity for us. We have one footprint of Home, and that’s the Northeast where we have our Fios footprint. For the rest of the country, we don’t have it. So of course, we see that as an opportunity.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In a SCWS Americas keynote speech, title “Building our 5G network,”  Al Burke, AT&T Assistant Vice President – RAN Hardware and Software Development, described the progress the carrier has made in upgrading its network for 5G.  The key points he made were:

  • 5G will facilitate and support new applications such as VR/AR, remote surgery (Bill said he doesn’t want to be one of the first patients), connected cars, etc.
  • Small cells will be an integral part of 5G networks and “bring them to fruition”
  • By the ned of 2017, 55% of AT&Ts network functions were virtualized (I take that to mean they were implemented as software running on commodity compute servers)
  • There have been huge shifts in AT&Ts network in the last few years:

1.  From hardware to software implementations (e.g SDN, NFV);

2.  From centralized to decentralized control (e.g. EDGE computing)

3.  From observation (of network events, alerts, alarms) to insight via AI/ML (e.g.AT&T’s INDIGO)

  • Open RAN (ORAN) is the way to move forward.  Via disaggregation of RAN functions with well defined interfaces, ORAN is “open, modular, enables automation, and is lower cost.  ORAN results in interchangeable network modules (from different vendors) vs vendor proprietary equipment.

AT&T’s 5G Roadmap (only mobile 5G was shown on Al Burke’s slide – nothing on fixed 5G):

  • 2019:  5G NR access with LTE Core network and LTE Access (=signaling?).   The spectrum for AT&Ts initial mobile 5G rollout was not disclosed, but many believe it will be mmWave.
  • 2020-2022+:  5G NR access with 5G Core network (3GPP Release 16 SA or IMT 2020?); also LTE Core with LTE Access
  • 2019-2022+:  mmWave NR : Evolution to Ultra High Speed and lower latency
  • End of 2019-2022+: (unspecified time frame?), AT&T will provide sub 6 GHz 5G coverage in the U.S. speed and latency; dedicated & shared spectrum (LTE-NR-Coexistence)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

When AT&T introduces its “5G” FWA residential service it will be based on LTE, according to Mr. Burke.  In answer to a question from this author during the Q&A session, he said it would start as LTE but then transition to 5G NR based FWA.  The spectrum to be used was not revealed, but you can assume it will be mmWave (like Verizon’s 5G Home).

Author’s Closing Comments:

A claim we’ve heard before (by Ericsson and Vodafone), but don’t believe:  LTE network and terminal equipment will upgrade to 5G NR via “only a software upgrade.”As noted many times by this author and others,

AT&T has repeatedly stated they would roll out “standards based 5G” in 12 cities by the end of 2018 (they have only 3 weeks to fulfill that promise) and 19 cities in 2019.  Some of the cities identified by AT&T for the 2018 launch include Houston TX, Dallas TX, Atlanta TX, Waco TX, Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC, Oklahoma City OK, Jacksonville FL, Louisville, KY, New Orleans LA, Indianapolis IN, and San Antonio TX.

How long can AT&T claim their “5G” network is standards based when they only support 3GPP release 15 “5G NR” NSA access with a LTE core network and LTE signaling?  The ONLY 5G RAN/RIT standard is IMT 2020 which won’t be completed till the end of 2020.

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Fierce Wireless writes about what to expect from AT&T’s 5G mobile service.  We’d like to know How much will it cost? And who will subscribe when only a WiFi hotspot with 5G backhaul is offered?