The best results are on track. Korea Telecom is using 100 MHz of spectrum at 3.5 GHz and tested at 193-430 Mbps down. Upload was at 4G speeds. Verizon is using 400 MHz at 28 GHz and the best results were 600-900 MHz. Note that these almost all were clear line of sight, no windows or walls, and only a short distance. Two tests through windows saw a 60-80% drop-off.

Speeds will probably go up as the equipment improves; speeds will probably fall as more people connect. Below, a table with 7 independent test results. More very welcome.

430 Mbps corresponds to what Deutsche Telekom measured on a similar system in Warsaw and what Sprint & T-Mobile expect when they turn on their 5G:

In “daily-use” cases (farther away from the station, on a street, in our #5G_LAB building) we are registering speeds around 350-500 Mbps, which is really great considering the circumstances.

85% or more of "5G" will be similar to the Korean and DT systems. Verizon and AT&T mmWave should be about three times as fast.

600-900 for 400 MHz mmWave is actually more than the 450 megabits Verizon press release suggested. (Below) 400 MHz should provide 2-5 gigabits shared in the lab and often reach a gigabit to individual users. Verizon has 800 MHz to eventually use. No carrier has suggested consumer speeds above about a gigabit, although two gigabits should be practical for fixed wireless with larger antennas. 

Lots of bugs, inconsistencies, and problems have to be fixed but the best results are on track. 

Verizon estimated latency would be less than 30 ms. Actual tests were 16-26 ms, probably because of Verizon's improved backbone/transport. An Edge cloud brings latencies to 15-20 ms consistently in Verizon and AT&T labs. Verizon has said they will start deploying an Edge Cloud later in 2019.

LTE averages 40-55 ms latency on the currently deployed systems, a few years out of date. Sascha Sagan of PC MAG found LTE latency of 25 ms at Verizon Chicago. (Sagan has been doing consistently valuable testing. Michael Thelander of Signals Research found LTE and 5G latency very similar in an email to me but emphasized this is very early.

Ericsson and Huawei's new radios can bring LTE "air latency" down to 10-13 ms, close to the 8-12 ms of 5G NR today. 5-30 ms must be added to air latency for the time from the tower to the server. URLLC can reduce air latency to 1-5 ms, but that will be mostly in the labs for years. 

The "1 ms latency" and "10-20 gigabit speeds" for consumers are fantasies or worse.

Here are the first 7 independent tests in the U.S. and Korea, followed by Verizon's press release.  Measured results at Verizon were better than the press release claims.

Author Affiliation network location
top download
top upload
5G ping/latency
4G ping
spectrum unit
Jessica Dolcourt CNET Verizon Chicago 634 72 57 13 227 25   28 GHz Moto
Michael Thelander Signals Research Verizon Minneapolis 909             28 GHz Moto
Chris Welch The Verge Verizon Minneapolis 573 410 29 10   20-30   28 GHz Moto
Sascha Segan PC Mag Verizon Chicago 600       400 16-20   28 GHz Moto
Chris Moon Verizon Verizon Chicago 438   24     23      
Philip Michaels Tom's Guide Verizon Chicago 596 310 22 11 189     28 GHz Moto
Sascha Segan PC Mag AT&T Dallas 1300 92 19     26 25 39 GHz Netgear
Nikkei SK Seoul 430 193     47     3.5 GHz  

dave ask


Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers, especially when you find an error.

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