Is 5G underperforming?

…Samsung, which makes both handsets as well as 5G network equipment, told investors on its own call that it expects its 5G business in South Korea to “shrink somewhat compared to last year.”

That last revelation is sobering. South Korea was the first market to deploy 5G services on a wide basis. Service launched in April 2019, but by year’s end consumers already were complaining that it didn’t live up to the hype. Part of the problem is that services marketed under the 5G label can vary widely in terms of speed and availability. Some aren’t much faster than existing 4G networks. And the fastest—including those using millimeter wave technology—currently are available only in certain dense urban areas due to their signal limitations.

Meanwhile, 5G devices remain expensive. Samsung’s new 5G phones range in price from $999 to $1,399.

Here is more from Dan Gallagher at the WSJ.  All the more reason to make sure your 5G rollout has the right provider.

Comments

Because it is your provider that is responsible for creating dense urban areas to get the full benefits of 5G.

It's hard to get more densely urban than South Korea. If it's underperforming there, that's not a good sign

The advantages of 5G are not speed, but latency. Think self-driving cars, not downloading Netflix. Thus the benefits of 5G will accrue to the provider of services (upload) not the consumer of services (download). Just to state the obvious.

Bonus trivia: Daily Mail (UK) confirms Covid-19 is an accidentally released bio-weapon, citing a Beijing-sponsored university paper from two Wuhan scientists who worked in the Wuhan bioweapons lab near the ill-fated live animal meat market. And another paper finds a marker in Covid-19 not found in nature but found in recombinant DNA organisms. Just to state the obvious.

When are self driving cars actually coming and how long have they been promised?
This year 5G will just be faster ( cellular) internet access , expensive, spotty and unreliable i.e hype we don't need.

5G is for the industry not for the consumer. It will allow them to market more services and charge more. Think of it like the 50 or so channels that you never watch on cable TV. You pay for them, they don't interest you so you don't watch them but the cable industry makes good money by putting them out there and charging you for them. 5G will make zero difference to me as a consumer EXCEPT that once it is mandatory I will pay more to support it.

If 5G is not going to deliver something truly compelling relative to existing technology, then that makes the case for risking national security over it that much weaker. What does Huawei offer over other competitors that is so compelling that it's worth risking national security over?

Comcast (Xfinity) internet service is deplorable. We are talking about what is ancient technology that one of America's largest ISPs sells at a price that should cause a revolt. That Xfinity could offer anything better, 1G or 100G, is a ridiculous idea.

Yikes! Careful with that word, we don't need comcast to be the next president.

+1 A critical (close) reader.

Upgrading infrastructure requires paying workers.
The high costs of paying workers costs too much and destroys wealth.
Wealth creates jobs.
Paying workers destroys wealth and kills jobs.

Conservatives want to create wealth by creating capital scarcity to create high extractive rents, a virtue of Comcast, with work mandates by government to get food stamps, health care, housing, creating jobs.

No socialism/communism like in China, Korea, APAC in general when government policies drive paying workers to install fiber every where with 60-80% of homes/buildings passed being connected for fiber internet service at 100mb or higher.

China has more fiber Internet connections at 100mbs than the population of the US. 80% of China internet connections are fiber, compared to less than 10% in the US.

The US is the Greatest!

Corporations get to pick which customers deserve high speed fiber, where fiber gets installed enabling building cell sites to entitled customers.

Of course, cell service providers are waiting for the FCC to pay to build fiber to entitled customer service areas to allow providing 5G. But installing fiber is restricted to serving cell sites because building FTTH would destroy wealth created by Comcast monopoly rent seeking, and FCC Pai knows customers must not get to pick who serves them - in the US, corporations get to pick their customers, with government assistance in preventing customers from choosing providers.

"that Xfinity could offer anything better, 1G or 100G, is a ridiculous idea."

Well Comcast customer service and pricing truly sucks, but I have Xfinity 1G service. So your clearly wrong.

To be fair, my intro 3 year rate for 1G was decent at $70 per month. Unfortunately the contract expires at the end of the month and the new rate is twice that. I'll have to call them and haggle the rate down. Comcast always feels like a Used Car company and not a good one like CarMax.

All the more reason to pick one's 5G provider based on quality and price rather than political considerations.

Cellphones are not cars, it needs to be said, or it goes without saying, or it needs to be said. Most if not all cars today are not receiving information from the car in front of them so they don't need 5G. Surgical robot appendages are contiguous so they don't need low latency 5G because copper wire is also low latency.

What is the promise of 5g? Streaming 8k content to your phone? Nobody is asking for that. 4g is very good for 95+% of normal activity. Paying extra (a lot extra) for a service that doesn't seem very different most of the time isn't going to be a crowd pleaser.

That's what they said when 4G, and 3G came along. It was true then.

Good question. eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) is actually the lowest priority function of a 5G network, but also the most prominently oversold to the general public because it is all they understand.

I know they are buzzwords, but autonomous driving and truly functional Internet of Things (IoT) technology can not survive on 4G cellular service. 5G promises higher bandwidth combined with lower latency (read: response time). Imagine a current driverless car that relies solely on onboard sensors (LIDAR, cameras, radar, etc) to make driving decisions. It is limited to what it can personally sense. With a 5G rollout, your driverless car can now process data from EVERY CAR WITHIN A TWO BLOCK RADIUS AND EVERY STREETLIGHT CAMERA AND....etc. Much easier to get to level 5 autonomy if a parking meter can sense a pedestrian about to jay walk across the street and tell your car to slow down or stop.

Yeah, once 5G cell sites are built, every car driving nearby automatically gets upgraded to transmitting the US 2050 standard vehicle data developed in Asia and Europe by 2030, even if the vehicle was manufactured in 1980.

The US has zero policy to deploy anything, much less mandate anything, and merely expressing support for any technology is Jack boot big government total takeover of the free market, because Trump and the GOP totally oppose anything advocated by coastal billionaire elites, Democrats, Europeans, Asians, China.

Elon Musk is correct: the only data a car can get to navigate in traffic is visual data from cameras, with limited assistance from ultrasonic and similar proximity sensors with limited range.

It is totally impossible in the US to get an official standard for anything, much less mandate it in the future, and no way will retrofits be required.

I'm actually shocked Trump and the GOP didn't reverse the jack boot Obama dictate for all aircraft to install ADS-B out to fly to half of US airports and in half the US airspace. That mandate was put in place after about two decades of planning, a Cllinton era executive order to further commercial use of GPS, backed by Congressional mandates then, and in the Bush and Obama years.

Remarkably, the US is leading in air traffic control globally, because either the rest of the world has "privatized" or they can't agree to a strong central government, eg, the EU. An air traffic control system by 28 "sovereign" agencies in the EU is extremely inefficient and unwieldy, more so than reform of US ATC/FAA flight rules over the past 50 years.

It is alright if a new technology helps people outside of the US.

The US is not leading air traffic control globally. Remote towers, ATC fees, satellite ADS-B surveillance, CPDLC - the FAA is lagging on all of them. Privatization is probably part of the reason other ANSPs are ahead. Just compare to Canada - lower fees despite worse economies of scale: https://aireon.com/2016/06/30/u-s-canadian-air-traffic-control-compared/

Hey, great answer SteveS.

When I was designing a multiprocessor 486 system in 1990, I (in)famously asked why anyone would need so much processing in a general purpose commercial computer. So clearly I do not have any grasp on what the public wants.

I have some (honest) questions about these 5G applications though:

* Assuming phones and tablets stay at their current sizes, can a user really get benefit from 4k vs 1k video?

* Why would IoT devices sit directly on the internet? Wouldn't it make more sense for the IoT device to connect through some hub first? Do you still have a gazillion devices that require 5G once there's an IoT hub layer?

* Driverless cars? Does 5G deployment really sync up with a realistic deployment schedule for driverless cars? I have seen AI enthusiasts over-promise before, hence I emphasize realistic.

"* Why would IoT devices sit directly on the internet? Wouldn't it make more sense for the IoT device to connect through some hub first? Do you still have a gazillion devices that require 5G once there's an IoT hub layer?"

IoT devices are more flexible if they can directly talk to the internet. They are designed to be used without requiring a lot of extra infrastructure. So, for example, I can throw an IoT sensor with Cellular access on a remote water pumping station without having to spec the sensor, hub, cellular modem, power supply for the 3, panel, etc.

I'm old enough to remember when everyone was asking why you needed internet on your cell phone.

Phone companies sold fake 4G eight years ago as a marketing ploy. History repeats.

https://slate.com/technology/2012/03/4g-vs-3g-beware-of-the-murkiest-most-confusing-labels-in-tech.amp

Almost nobody has 5G devices so underperformance is moot. The only advances people appreciate will need to be much more novel. What can you even do with faster internet at this point.

Two thoughts:

South Korea rushed a functional 5G network to market in time for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. For Samsung to see falling volumes at this point may just be the early adopters having already...adopted.

Second, if your cellphone says “5GE” or “5GE+”...you are not using a true 5G network. Your provider has repurposed lower frequency spectrum (sub 6GHz, mmWave is 28GHz or higher), run it through a massive MIMO antenna, and given you a little bit better download speed than before.

Can someone please explain to me why improving our already prodigious access to pornography is so vitaly important that we must sacrifice what's left of our remaining online privacy to the Communist Party of China? Did I miss a memo or something?

Thank you

Ah! Self driving cars. I see. That's a perfectly good reason to let the CCP know exactly where I am at all times.

Sorry. I realize I am being particularly grumpy today. Maybe I didn't sleep well last night. But I do think that we've all been driving our cars around for a long time now and I think we can spend a bit more time and money to get the implementation right.

Don’t worry so much! The CCP probably already knows where you are at all times, or could find out if they really wanted to. Same with the US government.

Networking technologies have advanced way beyond application requirements. That (also huawei) is why all the gear suppliers keep merging. That's also the reason that SV is has moved from wireless and fiberoptics and on to lame concepts like WeWork.

No, network technology has failed to deliver the desired free lunch denied by the laws of nature.

Where is high speed Internet in at least half the US that customers can be charged $100+ per month without paying more than billing clerks?

Where is the technology to put 5G phones in the pockets of the 50% of Americans who can't afford the cost of living and then pay $100 a month to Verizon which won't pay workers to build out service to where those people live, the 80% of the US that's rural and more than 20 miles off an Interstate.

Where is the technology to match what China, Korea, Taiwan is doing by paying workers without US businesses of government paying a dime more to US workers, and ideally paying half as much to US workers?

Where is the free lunch technology?

“ Where is the technology to put 5G phones in the pockets of the 50% of Americans who can't afford the cost of living and then pay $100 a month to Verizon which won't pay workers to build out service to where those people live, the 80% of the US that's rural and more than 20 miles off an Interstate.”

I’m confused, because all of these questions you are snarkily asking about 5G were being asked about 4G, 3G, cellphones...since the beginning of time. 98%+ of Americans live in a 4G LTE coverage zone. People “can’t afford” cell phones? Sure we wish they were cheaper but we certainly find a way to make them a priority. I’m new here I can’t tell if you’re serious or if there’s some weird trolling going on here.

It's just mulp.

5G is a marketing term. It means newer and presumably means better but no one in the MSM ever talks about the actual technology and how it differs from current technology.

5G seems like fiber to the home - just doesn’t provide anything people really are willing to pay for. Most useful IOT thinks get value with very limited bandwidth - monitoring electricity usage or leak monitoring is valuable but doesn’t need 5G. Simple car location, direction and speed could be valuable for every car in 1000’ but again very little date.

4K video from hundreds of local cameras isn’t valuable to most businesses or consumers. Maybe used during the Super Bowl but as a through away side item not a reason for someone to upgrade the phone package. Kinda like 3D printing in every home - really not useful but something for content providers to talk about.

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