5G quotes we don’t believe + 1 we do believe!

“I think this is the beginning of the fourth generation of the industrial revolution. 5G will be the platform linking billions of devices together,” Terzioğlu told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2018.  Many others, including top executives (two CEOs and others) at Verizon have said: “5G is the fundamental platform for the fourth industrial revolution and will become an integral part of societies and civil infrastructures, just like roads, energy and transportation.”

That is yet to be proven because there is NOTHING resembling IMT 2020 standards based 5G to be deployed for at least the next 18 months.


“The adoption of 5G will even faster than what we saw on 4G, which was already fairly fast.,” said Ignacio Contreras, Qualcomm’s director of marketing for 5G.  Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, introduced in December, includes the X50 5G modem and will be used in many of the 5G-ready smartphones coming this year.

Qualcomm has said that 20 operators around the world will roll out 5G in 2019, including all major US carriers. Eighteen device makers have committed to using Qualcomm’s 5G components in their devices.

We believe wireless network operators are in a race with each other to roll out pre-standard 5G (based on 3GPP Rel 15 NR NSA) or totally proprietary “5G” this year.  However, we believe the deployments will be limited in geographical coverage an very few smartphones or personal devices.  All of the 2019 “5G” base stations and endpoint devices will have to be upgraded to IMT 2020 once the RAN/RIT and mobile packet core specs have been agreed to by ITU-R WP5D.  The non radio aspects of IMT 2020 are being standardized by ITU-T (e.g. network slicing, virtualization, etc) which will also have to be adhered to for wide scale interoperability.  One example is the yet to be published  ITU-T recommendation Y.3112 (12/18) Framework for the support of network slicing in the IMT-2020 network.


“5G will be the post-smartphone era,” said Robert J. Topol, Intel’s general manager for 5G business and technology. “Phones are the first place to launch because [they’re] such an anchor in our lives from a connectivity standpoint.”  Well then what is the post-smart phone era?

Like AT&T’s John Donovan said at CES 2019, we believe the first real uses of 5G will be industrial/enterprise use cases(AT&T has partnered with companies for 5G based hospitals, stadiums, robotic manufacturing, etc.

“We’ve done dozens of trials already,” Intel’s Topol said. “Now as we get closer to the commercial silicon, that’s where the OEM announcements [from hardware makers] will start to come in.”  We doubt that as the only REAL 5G standard- IMT 2020 is likely 2 years from completion.

“There are network operators that will be very aggressive with their plans,” Intel’s Topol said. “There might not be a lot of devices ready but it’s important that the networks be ready before the devices. Intel chipsets will start to be ready for handset manufacturers and others to go and build around.”  Don’t agree.  Wireless network operators will be very cautious with their 5G rollouts because they know they are based on pre-standard network equipment and end point devices.


“5G is one of those heralds, along with artificial intelligence, of this coming data age,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research for the Consumer Technology Association. “Self-driving vehicles are emblematic of this data age, because with one single task, driving, you have massive amounts of data coming from the vehicle itself, [and] a variety of sensors are collecting a lot of information to model its environment as it moves. It’s pulling in data from other vehicles about road conditions down the lane. It could be weather information, but also connected infrastructure. There’s lots of data behind that task, which is why we need the capacity and lower latency.”

We are 100% confident that self driving/autonomous vehicles will NOT use any flavor of 5G.  There are already two competing standards that are much better alternatives.

Here’s a quote I do agree with:  “I think a lot of the hype is where things are gonna be 10 years from now with 5G, not what it will be at launch,” said Ron Marquardt, Sprint’s vice president of technology development.


After quietly showing off a prototype 5G device at CES using its own chips.   Samsung will host a product event on Feb. 20th in which it could detail its 5G plans.  Samsung is a strong contributor to IMT 2020 standards activity.

Huawei is also making a 5G phone using its own silicon.   Other smartphone vendors will likely use Qualcomm or Intel 5G chips which will evolve to be compliant with IMT 2020.

Expect to pay up for 5G connectivity. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau speculated that his company’s 5G-ready phone could cost anywhere from $200 to $300 more than its current device, the $549 OnePlus 6T. And OnePlus has a reputation for keeping costs down on its phones.


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5 thoughts on “5G quotes we don’t believe + 1 we do believe!

  1. From Ken Pyle of Viodi View and Viodi TV:

    At CES, T-Mobile was showing their version of “5G” which featured 600 MHz at the macro level and somewhere in the 30 GHz (38?) at the small cell level. Their demonstration showed how when the mm-wave signal was blocked (they would shut a window) their system would default to the 600 MHz. The guy I was talking to suggested they would have their network built out by the end of 2019. He said this several times. I am wondering if that means they will have the 600 MHz network built, as it seems hard to believe they could deploy a nationwide network of small cells in a year.

    It’s clear that they are focused on bringing the network directly to the home, as seen in their booth (seen around 24 seconds in my first summary video of CES)




  2. Qualcomm’s take on CES 2019: Unlocking the Invention Age with 5G

    At our annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui, we debuted the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, which, combined with the Snapdragon X50 Modem, is the world’s first commercial mobile platform to support multi-gigabit 5G. Thanks to our global ecosystem, it will debut in premium devices this year as 5G smartphones and infrastructure begin to roll out around the world. Now mobile gaming, camera, XR, connectivity, and virtually everything in between promises to be smarter, faster, and more intuitive with 5G. In the auto world, our suite of smart technology and automotive solutions, such as Qualcomm C-V2X, are paving the way for cars to connect to each other, the road, and virtually everything else around them. We believe driving can be safer and more efficient, and in-vehicle experiences can look and feel completely different than they do today as a result of this innovation. Watch for more news on this throughout the show week.

    5G is also designed to pair with other emerging technologies. It will thrive with enhanced AI capabilities, and it is what’s needed to finally deliver photorealistic boundless XR, so you can enjoy virtual experiences that actually feel real, not digital. 5G is your ticket to virtually attending live events, trying AR shopping on for size, and latency-free gaming designed to ensure you never miss a move.


  3. My quote “The adoption of 5G will even faster than what we saw on 4G, which was already fairly fast.,” was about the relative speed of 5G deployment compared to 4G. Do you think otherwise? That 5G rollout will be slower than 4G? I’d be happy to have a discussion around such point, but I feel your commentary is about the absolute speed of 5G rollout and not about the substance of my quote.

    1. Hello Ignacio and thanks for your clarifying comment on the relative speed of 5G deployment.

      I think pre-IMT 2020 standard “5G” will be MUCH slower than 4G LTE deployments. Global network operators are in a PR marketing hype race to announce “5G” mobile and fixed wireless deployments based on either 3GPP Rel 15 NR NSA or proprietary specs. Those operators know (but don’t tell) that those rollouts will be limited in geographical coverage and scope. Why? All of those pre-standard mobile networks will have to be upgraded to be compliant with IMT 2020 which will require new endpoint devices/handsets and new hardware/software in base stations. (I doubt it will be ONLY a software upgrade to base stations as Ericsson and others claim).

      Note that all of the announced 5G mobile networks that use 3GPP Rel 15 NR for data transmission/reception use LTE for control/signalling and for the mobile packet core (EPC). So in reality the so called 5G mobile networks are really a hybrid of 5G NR for the data plane and 4G LTE for the control plane and mobile packet core.

      Also, the ultra low latency and high reliability needed for some real time control applications will be in 3GPP Release 16.

      Knowing that MAJOR upgrades for 5G control/signaling, 5G mobile packet core, and ultra low latency/high reliability will be needed in late 2020 or 2021, network operators will not aggressively deploy their current “5G” networks. Hence, the number of pre-standard 5G subscribers will be much less than 4G LTE subscribers for the 1st two years after rollouts commence.

  4. Are consumers willing to pay (more) for 5G?

    Two recent studies highlighted consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for 5G service, but devices, and whether 5G actually provides a new kind of customer experience, could prove to be sticking points.

    Matrixx Software recently surveyed more than 4,000 mobile users in both the U.S. and the U.K. to ask about the value that users place on next-generation networks. Matrixx concluded that “respondents revealed a willingness to open their wallets if 5G delivers an enhanced connectivity experience.”

    “The feedback from consumers paints a very clear picture for operators — ‘deliver a 5G experience worth the attention, and we’ll gladly pay for the privilege of using it,’” said Dave Labuda, founder, CEO and CTO of Matrixx Software. He added that “5G presents a real opportunity to deliver a powerful value-add to the consumer,” but went on to say that “Speed to network isn’t the whole battle. The operator who wins the 5G race will be the one to deliver an entirely new experience that trumps what is available to consumers today.”

    Matrixx’s survey also found that 16% of those surveyed were not willing to pay more for 5G — either because their current service was good enough; they figured that carriers would eventually provide 5G anyway; they simply couldn’t afford to pay more; or they felt that the potential benefits didn’t justify the added cost.

    Both the Matrixx survey and a PwC survey from last fall found that consumers were, at least at some level, dissatisfied with current mobile and/or home network services and are hoping 5G can resolve their issues. The Matrixx survey found that with “nearly 70 percent of mobile users surveyed across both continents [complained]that 4G connectivity is too slow, isn’t available everywhere, and connections are not reliable in heavy traffic areas.”

    The PwC survey, conducted last fall across a statistically representative sample of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18-64 who have access to the internet, found that despite relative overall satisfaction with home and mobile services, there is “mounting frustration with overall reliability, speed and cost” of current offerings. In particular, PwC that more consumers were “completely satisfied” with their mobile internet experience than their in-home one and that faster internet access via 5G was the primary reason that users were willing to pay more for 5G.

    PwC reported that 33% of respondents said they would pay more for 5G in the home, while 31%
    would do the same for mobile. On average, end users were willing to pay an extra $5.06 per month for 5G service to the home and an extra $4.40 per month for mobile 5G.

    Matrixx’s survey showed an overall promising picture of willingness to pay — and pay more — for 5G, if carriers can deliver a better consumer experience. The company found that of the 33% of consumers who were confident that 5G would solve their connectivity issues, 87% planned to upgrade to a 5G device and 78% were willing to pay more for such devices; 88% indicated willingness to pay more for 5G network access; and 76% said that they would switch carriers to get 5G service.

    PwC, meanwhile, found that seven out of ten respondents said that if they needed a new device to utilize 5G, they would wait until they were eligible for an upgrade rather than buying a new device as soon as it was available.


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