T-Mobile has just doubled its LTE-Advanced capacity, reaching more than 900 markets across the US. In half of those new markets, 4 x 4 carrier aggregation has been activated as well. This means end users with Gigabit LTE phones are seeing around double the speed as before. One user submitted a photo of a phone running at over 670Mbps of download speeds.
Its important to realize that LTE-Advanced is NOT 5G though. LTE-Advanced still uses the same frequencies as LTE, but supports carrier aggregation of multiple bands. This LTE-A rollout is the next step to 5G for T-Mobile with 2019 to 2020 as a scheduled rollout date for 5G. Read more.
A post on Twitter a few days ago stirred up talk of the world’s first 5G phone. This unnamed phone looks to have a dual camera, amongst other sensors, and a Qualcomm logo. Given the involvement in 5G from Qualcomm this wouldn’t be surprising, but what is surprising is this leaking out early without any fanfare from the manufacturer. Here is the link to the original Tweet.
Verizon has been testing its 5G technologies for some time now, and they are now officially ramping up their 5G field trials. In a Verizon press release, they stated they are working to bring 5G to customers by the end of 2019. Its important to realize though that this does not mean 5G phones for consumers. This is for commercial deployments, likely fixed site to tower. This would deliver fiber alternatives to the enterprise as the initial 5G offering from Verizon. Read the official press release here.
According to Qualcomm, they are the first to achieve 1Gbps speeds on a 5G mobile device. Although 5G networks are not yet complete, and the standard is not finalized, chip makers around the world are developing hardware they think will fit the spec. At 1Gbps, a full 1 hour HD show can be downloaded in just seconds. Read the full article on BBC News.
With the launch of 5G networks coming ever closer, 2019-2020 expected launch window, more and more questions are being asked. One question on everyones mind is about data usage and the current capped data plans offered by carriers.
Dan Bieler, a Forrester analyst said, “Once 5G arrives on a nationwide basis, there is so much bandwidth available that we will have pretty much unlimited access to data.” Since 5G will offer at least 10 times the speed of current 4G, there shouldn’t be any issues with over crowding or lack of bandwidth available from a tower. Since there will be so much bandwidth available, it may be time do drop data caps and go to a truly unlimited network. Only time will tell, and we’re all aware of greedy carriers and the need to line their pockets, but technically nothing should prevent this from being an option.
Read more on cnet.
In an article by RF Globalnet, researches from Ohio State University have designed a new way for upcoming 5G antennas to function. Instead of a traditional antenna surrounded and connected to a lossy outer housing, these new antennas will ‘float’ within their housing.
“Think of it like a diaphragm supported by small posts, but it’s mostly floating. The idea is to physically isolate the antenna from the lossy substrate. Suspend it in air,” said an assistant professor at the university.
By keeping the antenna as isolated as possible from high loss enclosures, the antennas can be more effective, and with 5G technologies aiming for significantly higher bandwidth than 4G, this is a major advancement towards that goal.
Deutsche Telekom has tested the first 5G antennas in Europe. Manufactured by Huawei, the 4 antennas were shown off live streaming video to AR (augmented reality) glasses. This is the first test of 5G in a real world setting providing speeds of 2Gbps and latencies of just 3ms.
“This is a very decisive developmental step on the way to the global launch of 5G, which is planned for 2020,” said Telekom board member Claudia Nemat.
Read the full article on US News.
Singtel and Ericsson are going to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence’ to spearhead 5G development in Singapore. A multi-million dollar investment over the next few years will help create the infrastructure required for a 5G network. With 5G expected to rollout globally in 2020, this is a needed push for the technology.
According to Ericsson, 5G will “boost annual revenue of mobile operators by US$582 billion from the year 2026.”
Read the full article at The Business Times.
Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) is a test to boost transmission rates between base stations and devices by 5 to 7 times, also reducing network interference between cellular devices. This means more transmitting and receiving antennas on the cell towers and phones, but a potentially massive increase in speeds and reliability. This new Massive MIMO deployment is another step closer to the first consumer 5G deployments. Read more on New 18.