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James

The PROBLEM with 5G...

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Linus heads to NYC to try out the reliability of millimeter wave 5G mobile connections. Spoiler alert, it sucks.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, James said:

Linus heads to NYC to try out the reliability of millimeter wave 5G mobile connections. Spoiler alert, it sucks.

 

Millimeter wave APs will have to get so incredibly close together, it's almost impractical to have them in singular locations, instead of a web. The mid and lower band 5G will have to do, as it IS an improvement but will substitute until Millimeter wave can get condensed enough across the globe.

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Ah yes, literally what I predicted years ago when 5G was announced.

Useless reception that gets blocked by everything.

 

Stupid technology tbh, there is no need for hundreds of Mbps on a phone, nobody is downloading huge games or video files like on a PC.

Phones need consitent reliable connection through objects. Even 4G sometimes has dead zones in certain places like parking lots.

 

Instead of increasing frequency they should have increased power output for better reception on 4G or added multiband for higher speeds without higher frequency.

Low speed + good connection > High speed + no connection


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17 minutes ago, Enderman said:

Ah yes, literally what I predicted years ago when 5G was announced.

Useless reception that gets blocked by everything.

 

Stupid technology tbh, there is no need for hundreds of Mbps on a phone, nobody is downloading huge games or video files like on a PC.

Phones need consitent reliable connection through objects. Even 4G sometimes has dead zones in certain places like parking lots.

 

Instead of increasing frequency they should have increased power output for better reception on 4G or added multiband for higher speeds without higher frequency.

Low speed + good connection > High speed + no connection

There is mmWave 5G (high band) but there is low [and mid] band as well which is lower speed but better distance, penetration, etc.. The big problem is everyone is rushing to be first instead of taking the time to do it right and this is the easy path. mmWave is good for tons of clients in a condensed environment while low band and mid band are good for longer range areas or indoors where there are a lot of obstructions.

 

I think mid-band will be the nice mix, if those frequencies are approved for use, since it would be a good balance with low band good for more rural areas.


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The video ends way too abruptly; Linus just says that TMobile's approach of multiple bands will allow for 5G to even work indoors and.....doesn't mention that, oh, wait, the 5G-signal indoors will not be doing those sexy hundreds of megabits per second - speeds. The way the video ends may give a less knowledgeable viewer the impression that it'll be just as fast because of somethingsomething that TMmobile is doing, which would be entirely false.

 

They really should've taken the extra 60 seconds to say this clearly.


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Just now, Lurick said:

There is mmWave 5G (high band) but there is low and mid band as well which is lower speed but better distance, penetration, etc.. The big problem is everyone is rushing to be first instead of taking the time to do it right and this is the easy path. mmWave is good for tons of clients in a condensed environment while low band and mid band are good for longer range areas or indoors where there are a lot of obstructions.

Low band is 600-700MHz which is good, mid band is over 2GHz which is already going to be horrible compared to 4G penetration, and high band is just stupid.

 

Either way you have to trade off between speed and reception. The 900MHz of 4G was already decent speed with good reception, they should have just added more bands to it to increase speed without losing range.


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Just now, Enderman said:

Low band is 600-700MHz which is good, mid band is over 2GHz which is already going to be horrible compared to 4G penetration, and high band is just stupid.

 

Either way you have to trade off between speed and reception. The 900MHz of 4G was already decent speed with good reception, they should have just added more bands to it to increase speed without losing range.

Security is a big driver for 5G since there are a ton of flaws with 4G's existing implementation.

Mid-band is being pushed into the 6GHz to 12GHz range.


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Glad to see so many people invested in understanding the tech and the roll out before making absolute statements about it's viability.  Just because some US company rolls out a shit version  in typical half arsed way doesn't mean the entirety of the tech is a failure.  other countries are successfully rolling out usable 5G.


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1 hour ago, Enderman said:

Stupid technology tbh, there is no need for hundreds of Mbps on a phone, nobody is downloading huge games or video files like on a PC.

Phones need consitent reliable connection through objects. Even 4G sometimes has dead zones in certain places like parking lots.

I agree that the 5G speeds won't be fully utilised by the general public on phones, they can probably stay on 4G for a while longer and be very satisfied but I think these companies are looking for applications beyond smartphones. The buzzword, IoT has been thrown around a lot in relation to 5G as well as communication between autonomous vehicles.

Although there still seems be much room for improvement with the technology.

 

I kind of left this video thinking, 'yeah let's wait a few years before seriously discussing adopting 5G'. @mr moose mentioned that there are some countries successfully rolling out 5G, I know China and South Korea are leading the way and that the US is lagging behind this generation. Would be interesting to see a similar experiment done in one of those countries.

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7 minutes ago, ZacoAttaco said:

I agree that the 5G speeds won't be fully utilised by the general public on phones, they can probably stay on 4G for a while longer and be very satisfied but I think these companies are looking for applications beyond smartphones. The buzzword, IoT has been thrown around a lot in relation to 5G as well as communication between autonomous vehicles.

Although there still seems be much room for improvement with the technology.

 

I kind of left this video thinking, 'yeah let's wait a few years before seriously discussing adopting 5G'. @mr moose mentioned that there are some countries successfully rolling out 5G, I know China and South Korea are leading the way and that the US is lagging behind this generation. Would be interesting to see a similar experiment done in one of those countries.

IOT doesn't need anywhere near that type of bandwidth. Most IOT devices are fine on kilobit connection, with many simply sending small packets at long time intervals.

And autonomous vehicles on a connection as unreliable as 5g would be a catastrophy.

 

MKBHD did a test of low band 5G and it got better speeds than 4G even though it has a lower frequency (600MHz)

So as per my previous point, medium and high 5G is completely stupid. We need lower frequency and more penetration.


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1 hour ago, mr moose said:

Glad to see so many people invested in understanding the tech and the roll out before making absolute statements about it's viability.  Just because some US company rolls out a shit version  in typical half arsed way doesn't mean the entirety of the tech is a failure.  other countries are successfully rolling out usable 5G.

Usable in what way? As a replacement for 4G with similar speeds, but better handling of congestion? Sure, I have no problem with that and yes, even a small improvement is still an improvement. I take offense with the hyping of mmWave 5G, not the lower-band stuff. Hell, I'd rather they just skip the mmWave 5G entirely and focused on the lower-band stuff, because the lower-band stuff will actually benefit way, way more people in practice.


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42 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Usable in what way? As a replacement for 4G with similar speeds, but better handling of congestion? Sure, I have no problem with that and yes, even a small improvement is still an improvement. I take offense with the hyping of mmWave 5G, not the lower-band stuff. Hell, I'd rather they just skip the mmWave 5G entirely and focused on the lower-band stuff, because the lower-band stuff will actually benefit way, way more people in practice.

 

Usable in many ways but most importantly in reducing congestion issues.  People never qualify their complaints and just broadly claim 5G is a stupid technology etc.  The reason people use terms like this is because they don't understand the difference between a US telco rolling it out in a cheap and half arsed speed variant for PR and serious companies investing millions in a properly organized roll out with serious advantages.     Every time a 5g thread pops up we hear the same uneducated rubbish being repeated about speed and how it will never work,  someone in this thread even tried to claim it was just as they predicted 5 years ago then went on to call it stupid while totally ignoring the reality of how it works and the breadth of the technology or why it is important. 

 

 

 


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2 hours ago, Enderman said:

IOT doesn't need anywhere near that type of bandwidth. Most IOT devices are fine on kilobit connection, with many simply sending small packets at long time intervals.

And autonomous vehicles on a connection as unreliable as 5g would be a catastrophy.

Yeah you make some good points, I’m not sure why they are so closely tied together. 5G and smart city concepts are associated. As with everything in technology there are sales and marketing around a technology. I’m sure there’s some great applications for it but I’m not sure of them yet.

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5 hours ago, Enderman said:

Stupid technology tbh, there is no need for hundreds of Mbps on a phone, nobody is downloading huge games or video files like on a PC.

Phones need consitent reliable connection through objects. Even 4G sometimes has dead zones in certain places like parking lots.

 

Instead of increasing frequency they should have increased power output for better reception on 4G or added multiband for higher speeds without higher frequency.

Low speed + good connection > High speed + no connection

It's not stupid at all, you're just seeing the first generation of something and judging as if it was already an established thing. Give it a few years. Fast downlink/uplink is not meant to be used for a single user to download games or 8k video streams, but for sporadic bursts of traffic (a.k.a. web/mpeg-dash/etc) of a ton of users. I guarantee you that the scheduling of radio resources gets much easier if the amount of available resources is far greater than the amount of requested resources.

Phones need consistently reliable connection, that's why better coverage is essencial. Best way to do that? A ton of additional low power cells.

Increasing power is the stupid option, as you reduce the opportunity of frequency reutilization, which is completely insane if you already payed a shit ton of money into spectrum licenses and the infrastructure to deliver your service.

4G/4.9G (LTE-A Pro) and 5G increased the number of component carriers that you can aggregate, but most phones can't deliver that yet, especially if the bands are not contiguous. Where can you get large amounts of cheap and contiguous spectrum? Higher frequencies.

TL;DR: air spectrum is limited and the best way to make good use of it is by utilizing it as much as possible, transmitting with less power and better antennas. You want to blame someone? Blame cabled ISPs that have the luxury of doubling their bandwidth by installing double the cables and refuse to do that.

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3 hours ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

It's not stupid at all, you're just seeing the first generation of something and judging as if it was already an established thing. Give it a few years. Fast downlink/uplink is not meant to be used for a single user to download games or 8k video streams, but for sporadic bursts of traffic (a.k.a. web/mpeg-dash/etc) of a ton of users. I guarantee you that the scheduling of radio resources gets much easier if the amount of available resources is far greater than the amount of requested resources.

Phones need consistently reliable connection, that's why better coverage is essencial. Best way to do that? A ton of additional low power cells.

Increasing power is the stupid option, as you reduce the opportunity of frequency reutilization, which is completely insane if you already payed a shit ton of money into spectrum licenses and the infrastructure to deliver your service.

4G/4.9G (LTE-A Pro) and 5G increased the number of component carriers that you can aggregate, but most phones can't deliver that yet, especially if the bands are not contiguous. Where can you get large amounts of cheap and contiguous spectrum? Higher frequencies.

TL;DR: air spectrum is limited and the best way to make good use of it is by utilizing it as much as possible, transmitting with less power and better antennas. You want to blame someone? Blame cabled ISPs that have the luxury of doubling their bandwidth by installing double the cables and refuse to do that.

1) first generation? You think that somehow future generations can break the laws of physics? Higher frequency = lower penetration, period.

 

2) The only solution to this is to have every place covered in towers at line of sight, which would require millions of them just for a small city, and wouldn't solve the problem if you went inside a building or were in a crowd of people. Lower power would even make that worse, as you could see the signal couldn't even go through an umbrella in the video.

 

3) power has nothing to do with what frequency is being used, or reutilization. You might want to reread what you wrote or try explain yourself better.

4G isn't going to magically be removed in favour of 5G, if that's what you meant by reutilization.

 

4) Cheap and contiguous spectrum which you won't be able to use if you're standing under a tree? Excellent.


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2 hours ago, Enderman said:

1) first generation? You think that somehow future generations can break the laws of physics? Higher frequency = lower penetration, period.

 

2) The only solution to this is to have every place covered in towers at line of sight, which would require millions of them just for a small city, and wouldn't solve the problem if you went inside a building or were in a crowd of people. Lower power would even make that worse, as you could see the signal couldn't even go through an umbrella in the video.

 

3) power has nothing to do with what frequency is being used, or reutilization. You might want to reread what you wrote or try explain yourself better.

4G isn't going to magically be removed in favour of 5G, if that's what you meant by reutilization.

 

4) Cheap and contiguous spectrum which you won't be able to use if you're standing under a tree? Excellent.

1) Yes, first generation. Higher frequency = more bandwidth. Requires better coverage to guarantee line-of-sight (LOS) or quasi-LOS.

 

2) That's the point. There should be a small cell in every lamp, indoor and outdoor. Low power is key to efficient use of the spectrum. Don't like it? Convince your carrier to let you pay for the wasted spectrum.

 

3) Yes, it does. Transmission power and carrier (not the telco, but the wave) frequency are the major components that determine how far a signal can propagate. If you transmit with lower power, your signal doesn't travel as far, reducing noise to other signals being transmitted on the same carrier, allowing that frequency to be reused in a nearby cell.

 

Didn't get the 4G/5G point. Not what I meant at all. 5G will probably coexist with 4G in frequencies supported by 4G, just like 2G/3G are still alive and kicking depending on how your country spectrum agency licensed the bands to the mobile carriers. Some agencies require a specific technology for each licensed band blocks; others licenses are technologically neutral, meaning the mobile carrier can repurpose the band if it deems appropriate (e.g. TIM kicked everyone who had 4G capable phones from the 3G infrastructure to repurpose some of the bands to 4G).

 

4) Until your wait for the mobile carriers to fully deploy their new infrastructure, that should happen in the next 5 years.

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17 minutes ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

1) Yes, first generation. Higher frequency = more bandwidth. Requires better coverage to guarantee line-of-sight (LOS) or quasi-LOS.

 

2) That's the point. There should be a small cell in every lamp, indoor and outdoor. Low power is key to efficient use of the spectrum. Don't like it? Convince your carrier to let you pay for the wasted spectrum.

 

3) Yes, it does. Transmission power and carrier (not the telco, but the wave) frequency are the major components that determine how far a signal can propagate. If you transmit with lower power, your signal doesn't travel as far, reducing noise to other signals being transmitted on the same carrier, allowing that frequency to be reused in a nearby cell.

 

Didn't get the 4G/5G point. Not what I meant at all. 5G will probably coexist with 4G in frequencies supported by 4G, just like 2G/3G are still alive and kicking depending on how your country spectrum agency licensed the bands to the mobile carriers. Some agencies require a specific technology for each licensed band blocks; others licenses are technologically neutral, meaning the mobile carrier can repurpose the band if it deems appropriate (e.g. TIM kicked everyone who had 4G capable phones from the 3G infrastructure to repurpose some of the bands to 4G).

 

4) Until your wait for the mobile carriers to fully deploy their new infrastructure, that should happen in the next 5 years.

1) If you go look at MKBHD's test, lower frequency will actually give you better bandwidth in the real world because it penetrates objects better.

 

2) It is stupid to expect a city to put a cell tower in every lamp, that's absurd, they can barely manage to replace old lamps with LED lamps and you think they will want to run optical cables to every streetlamp? Do you know how difficult it is to even get fiber to people's HOMES in most parts of the world?

 

3) The problem with low power is again you would need something line of sight AND super close to you. Even with high power you can see high band 5G was blocked by an umbrella. Again, you can't magically ignore how physics works in the world. Increasing frequency is not the solution to getting good speeds and reliable coverage.

 

4) btw at the rate that technology progresses it is impossible for something like having a 5G access point at every block in a city. The successor to 5G would be out long before full 5G coverage was in place. Then whatever comes after 6G will be out before 6G is in place. Now imagine if the company had to swap out a few million low power access points instead of a few hundred high power cell towers.


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29 minutes ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

There should be a small cell in every lamp, indoor and outdoor.

Hm. For some reason, I don't see running thousands of fiber-optic cables quite literally everywhere as any sort of a reasonable plan.


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4 minutes ago, Enderman said:

1) If you go look at MKBHD's test, lower frequency will actually give you better bandwidth in the real world because it penetrates objects better.

 

2) It is stupid to expect a city to put a cell tower in every lamp, that's absurd, they can barely manage to replace old lamps with LED lamps and you think they will want to run optical cables to every streetlamp? Do you know how difficult it is to even get fiber to people's HOMES in most parts of the world?

 

3) The problem with low power is again you would need something line of sight AND super close to you. Even with high power you can see high band 5G was blocked by an umbrella. Again, you can't magically ignore how physics works in the world. Increasing frequency is not the solution to getting good speeds and reliable coverage.

 

4) btw at the rate that technology progresses it is impossible for something like having a 5G access point at every block in a city. The successor to 5G would be out long before full 5G coverage was in place. Then whatever comes after 6G will be out before 6G is in place. Now imagine if the company had to swap out a few million low power access points instead of a few hundred high power cell towers.

1) Not properly/rigorously tested. Real-world results depends on a ton of additional variables (background noise from equipments, temperature, LOS/NLOS, etc). The ability to better penetrate buildings is what justifies the standard to use those lower frequencies as mobility anchors (your mobile carrier track you, your calls, manage connections, etc with lower frequencies and provide quick data bursts with mmWaves).

 

2) Let the carriers pay to use the lamps with their maintainance service. Installing fiber is expensive, but licensing spectrum is far more. Pretty sure they would prefer to lay down fiber under sidewalks and connect a few lamps than pay for more spectrum just to cover a few densily populated areas that require that infrastructure.

 

3) For mmWave, yup, LOS or quasi-LOS. Good for speed, not that good for reliability, but realistically speaking, those are different markets that pay different prices (eMBB vs URLLC). Just wait for the infrastructure to be deployed before complaining it doesn't works. Even LTE-A Pro haven't been fully deployed in most markets.

 

4) I wouldn't be so sure of that. 6G is already in the works, but the focus is on the backbone and transmission power (seems like OFDMA will be switched to GFDMA or something like that). Now imagine if those million lower power cells are actually built on top of a reconfigurable FPGA, requiring a firmware update to work with the latest standards? AFAIK, that already is, at least partially, the case for Ericsson and Nokia deployments.

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16 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Hm. For some reason, I don't see running thousands of fiber-optic cables quite literally everywhere as any sort of a reasonable plan.

You don't need all of them directly connected, you can use mmWave to relay the connection from cell to cell until you reach one that is connected to the fiber. 

 

There is a company working on laying fiber and cells together under sidewalks. Their demo looked promising, but I don't recall their name.

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6 minutes ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

1) Not properly/rigorously tested. Real-world results depends on a ton of additional variables (background noise from equipments, temperature, LOS/NLOS, etc). The ability to better penetrate buildings is what justifies the standard to use those lower frequencies as mobility anchors (your mobile carrier track you, your calls, manage connections, etc with lower frequencies and provide quick data bursts with mmWaves).

 

2) Let the carriers pay to use the lamps with their maintainance service. Installing fiber is expensive, but licensing spectrum is far more. Pretty sure they would prefer to lay down fiber under sidewalks and connect a few lamps than pay for more spectrum just to cover a few densily populated areas that require that infrastructure.

 

3) For mmWave, yup, LOS or quasi-LOS. Good for speed, not that good for reliability, but realistically speaking, those are different markets that pay different prices (eMBB vs URLLC). Just wait for the infrastructure to be deployed before complaining it doesn't works. Even LTE-A Pro haven't been fully deployed in most markets.

 

4) I wouldn't be so sure of that. 6G is already in the works, but the focus is on the backbone and transmission power (seems like OFDMA will be switched to GFDMA or something like that). Now imagine if those million lower power cells are actually built on top of a reconfigurable FPGA, requiring a firmware update to work with the latest standards? AFAIK, that already is, at least partially, the case for Ericsson and Nokia deployments.

1) It was a long distance test, the way 99% of people use cell phones, not standing beside a tower.

 

2) carriers don't even want to upgrade from copper to fiber half the time. You are severely underestimating how greedy they are and how little they care about actually improving technology for their users.

 

3) Linus and many other people are already showing how badly it works.

 

4) Amplifiers and antennas are physical, they need to be replaced, even if you can reprogram your FPGA or change the firmware.

There is nothing that will 'fix' high frequencies that suck at penetration.


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4 minutes ago, Enderman said:

1) It was a long distance test, the way 99% of people use cell phones, not standing beside a tower.

 

2) carriers don't even want to upgrade from copper to fiber half the time. You are severely underestimating how greedy they are and how little they care about actually improving technology for their users.

 

3) Linus and many other people are already showing how badly it works.

 

4) Amplifiers and antennas are physical, they need to be replaced, even if you can reprogram your FPGA or change the firmware.

There is nothing that will 'fix' high frequencies that suck at penetration.

1) Because all previous mobile standards focused on range.

 

2) Lower margin markets. Mobile market is far more lucrative.

 

3) By not properly testing the technology and focusing on spotty coverage of the initial deployment. People forget that there are laws and regulations that prevent the installation of new cells, that people freak out and say they will surely get cancer and make politicians ban stuff, etc.

 

4) Easier and cheaper to replace than the entire radio. They suck at penetration, that is a fact. You can work around it or keep using whatever old standard the mobile carrier still supports.

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