5G rarely will need new cells, especially in mid-band 2.6 GHz bands. Very respected Huang Yuhang of China Mobile Research told the Huawei Chengdu event that CM will not need "to build lots of new sites for 5G or interfering with its existing LTE network. Its spectrum in the 2.6GHz band is sufficient to support both networks in a shared architecture."

Sprint in the US, which also has 160 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum, is getting excellent coverage of 5G despite dedicating half the band to 4G enhancement. Massive MIMO in mid-band is performing so well that 5G needs few more cells than 4G requires.   

When 5G was defined as millimetre wave, the short reach meant many areas would need new cells. Then 3GPP redefined 5G to include almost any new system. Most notoriously, 4G TDD-LTE now is called 5G if a very modest software tweak is added, "5G NR." The software has a very limited effect on performance.

21 of the first 23 "5G" deployments are mid and low-band, with reach comparable to the 4G already in the network. Few new cells are required in the 2.6 GHz band. That's mostly true in the more common 3.5 GHz band, although the data is more limited. 

Ronan Dunne of Verizon confirms the speed of the new "5G" is very close to 4G. 

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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