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The first ‘real world’ 5G test was a dud (theverge.com)
36 points by jonbaer 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

Another "old guy" story. I remember working for a very large telecommunications company one time. We had a new box that was supposed to speak a particular protocol (I can't actually remember which protocol it was now -- long time ago). But we didn't finish it in time for the demo. So we had our box at the demo and underneath the table, covered by a cloth, we had our competitor's box. Our box wasn't connected to anything :-) We did the whole demo using the competitor's equipment. We fixed the problems a few months later and nobody was the wiser...

I don't really want to work for that kind of company any more, but it makes for entertaining tales later on in life.

Sounds a bit like Theranos and their use of off the shelf machines for analysing blood tests, instead of their magic one that didn't work yet.

If they'd pulled it off within a few months of the faked presentations, and without sending false results to actual patients, it would have been a visionary CEO story rather than a criminally negligent one

Potentially, although I think it could still have caused plenty of controversy.

It's one thing to use a competitor's product to demo your _equivalent_ product, but to somehow imply that your product is a step forward (smaller, lower power, faster, cheaper, etc) is quite different and even if you manage it in some form could still be grounds for calling it fraud.

So what’s the upload going to look like. Everyone keeps talking about how 5g will bring gigabit speeds, but no ones confirmed what the upload will be. I’m guessing it won’t be good if it’s not being put out there.

I worked in telecoms when 4G was at about this stage. A lot of radio engineers I knew were highly sceptical about it, but that was in relation to the vendor and network company hype. They were right for the time, but eventually the technology and expectations converged and it became a big leap forward.

5G next year simply isn't going to be relevant to most people. It will start as a gimmick, and then a few years later it will start getting interesting, and soon after that it will be everywhere and we'll all be loving it.

I’m worried about the safety of millimeter wave once things roll out... isn’t the jury still out on that one?

What is the reason for your worries? It is certainly not anywhere near the frequency/energy range of ionizing radiation, which begins beyond the far ultraviolet wavelength of around 100 nanometers. We are still talking about microwaves here, not even close to the visible light spectrum. You might observe RF heating (like with a microwave oven) if you stand near a source putting out enough energy.

There’s a lot of articles/papers out there citing potential risk. Here’s one page summarizing (note I don’t know who is funding this page, but the skepticism seems merited): https://mdsafetech.org/5g-telecommunications-science

I think the questions remain around non-stop skin absorption once we blanket the population with it.

And in terms of wireless engineering, if the phone heats your brain, it wastes a lot of energy that should go into communication instead.

Maybe that's an idea for an extra, so let's backlog it. But yes, please focus on connection quality and not melting heads.

Only in the sense that the jury is still out on wifi and 4G - which is sorta true, but most people aren't that concerned about it.

But those pass thru the body whereas MMW gets absorbed. Plus just because most people aren’t concerned (it doesn’t seem to be catastrophic given number of years deployed) doesn’t mean there aren’t potential long term consequences (note most people weren’t concerned with leaded gasoline either...)

If 5G reduces the price of data I'll be happy. Otherwise it's pointless to get more speed if they are still charging $8 per GB

It will not, but this will bring the prices down: https://fi.google.com

There is something really really big happening there, since "your communication costs" have been inflated to the max by the telco's for years. This new concept of provider independent network usage will kill a lot of providers that have grown by overcharging their customers with a jungle of plans and costs.

4G 5G what matters for consumers is the speed and reliability of the network regardless what it is called.

Maybe T-Mobile America will roll out 5G a few years earlier than my T-mobile but I bet it will still be worse than what I have today. Don't be fooled by fancy words. Less marketing more cell towers.

...or, in other words, wireless services require radio spectrum shock.

Was it bad planning to demo 5G without adequate spectrum - yes. Does it tell you anything about how well 5G will work when deployed in a real system - no.

For sure, 5G is overhyped but if you have spectrum (big if) and if you are willing to pay the costs to deploy 5G (another big if) it is technically capable of excellent performance.

There's plenty of spectrum at 39 GHz. The band is 1400 MHz wide (38.6 to 40.0 GHz). The problem is that current fixed point to point licenses are only 100 MHz wide, so the demo has to fit into that constraint.

However, the FCC will be auctioning 39 GHz in the near future. When that happens, the band will be restructured.


BTW, the 28 GHz band is currently being auctioned. 850 MHz in that band.


What's "radio spectrum shock"? Google didn't find anything referring to this =/

-Not the OP, but I believe his point was that someone(tm) had failed to take into account that blisteringly fast wireless data requires significant chunks of bandwidth - and that bandwidth is a scarce resource.

Others have given good paraphrases, but a literal (and more grammatically correct) translation: "Wireless services require radio spectrum: I'm shocked!</s>"

I parsed it as: “wireless services require radio spectrum? Who would have expected that!”

It's not bad planning, it's about being _first_ on market. Yes there's lots of BS about 5G, but it's still filling the headlines. Also, island-wide field test makes sense before commercially deploying new tech.

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