Verizon names 20 more 5G cities, T-Mobile says mmWave 5G will be urban-only

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in iPhone
Verizon on Thursday announced 20 further U.S. cities set to get 5G, including the fastest version of the standard, millimeter wave (mmWave) -- a technology T-Mobile's CTO says won't make it beyond urban borders.

5G iPhone mockup


Verizon is aiming to surpass 30 cities by the end of 2019, having already begun limited deployment in Chicago and Minneapolis. The 20 revealed today include: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Washington, D.C.

The carrier is meanwhile launching preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, one of its first 5G-compatible phones. Prices, however, start at $1,299.99 if bought outright, with a $10 monthly 5G fee on top of regular data. Buyers can however get the fee waved, a $200 prepaid Mastercard, and up to $450 for a trade-in if they're switching to Verizon, buying the S10 5G on a payment plan, and opting for Verizon Unlimited.

It's likely that Verizon's mmWave will be scattered in pockets across each city, in part because of its inherently short range.

On Monday, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray argued that mmWave "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments," as it "doesn't travel far from the cell site and doesn't penetrate materials at all." In an animated GIF, Ray even demonstrated a mmWave signal being cut off by a door.

"We all need to remind ourselves this is not a coverage spectrum," Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg commented a day later.

Beyond just executives commenting on 5G spread, or the lack thereof, AppleInsider has been told by multiple sources that rollouts for all carriers will be a "years-long" affair. Sources familiar with the matter aren't expecting full deployment in Washington D.C. itself for four or more years, and the technology may never fully make it out to the larger DC metropolitan area suburbs.

iPhones aren't expected to include 5G modems until 2020. That may be a result the now-ended Apple v. Qualcomm battle, as well as slow development by Intel. Intel dropped out of the 5G race shortly after the Qualcomm settlement, leaving one supplier for 5G in the iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    From the reading I’ve done, my understanding is the high bandwidth features of 5G depend on mm wavelength signal, but that spectrum is also incredibly poor at penetrating objects and needs very closely spaced antennae. That would fit with T-Mo’s position that it will only be available or viable in dense urban areas. This makes me wonder - first, how effective will mmWave be in urban areas if it is so susceptible to obstruction by physical objects. Second, what will be the actual usable features of 5G, both in urban areas and in areas that don’t have mmWave coverage? Everyone touts speed, latency and increasing the number of devices. Latency isn’t going to matter for the vast majority of people. What kind of speeds can we realistically expect to see?
    edited April 2019
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,568administrator
    MplsP said:
    From the reading I’ve done, my understanding is the high bandwidth features of 5G depend on mm wavelength signal, but that spectrum is also incredibly poor at penetrating objects and needs very closely spaced antennae. That would fit with T-Mo’s position that it will only be available or viable in dense urban areas. This makes me wonder - first, how effective will mmWave be in urban areas if it is so susceptible to obstruction by physical objects. Second, what will be the actual usable features of 5G, both in urban areas and in areas that don’t have mmWave coverage? Everyone touts speed, latency and increasing the number of devices. Latency isn’t going to matter for the vast majority of people. What kind of speeds can we realistically expect to see?
    I think a lot of your questions will need to wait until there's actually a usable network, and devices in the field.

    And you're right, most users don't care about latency. Speeds will greatly vary by the inch. Based on how mmWave propagates and penetrates, a difference of inches in regards to device placement on your desk could make all the difference. We'll see.

    And, notably, tree leaves are an effective mmwave block. Delivered signal will vary a great deal based on plant cover alone -- and that's pretty ridiculous.
    edited April 2019 kruegdude
  • Reply 3 of 42
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,243member
    So which version of the 5G standard will be optimal for suburban locations?
  • Reply 4 of 42
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,135member
    MplsP said:
    From the reading I’ve done, my understanding is the high bandwidth features of 5G depend on mm wavelength signal, but that spectrum is also incredibly poor at penetrating objects and needs very closely spaced antennae. That would fit with T-Mo’s position that it will only be available or viable in dense urban areas. This makes me wonder - first, how effective will mmWave be in urban areas if it is so susceptible to obstruction by physical objects. Second, what will be the actual usable features of 5G, both in urban areas and in areas that don’t have mmWave coverage? Everyone touts speed, latency and increasing the number of devices. Latency isn’t going to matter for the vast majority of people. What kind of speeds can we realistically expect to see?
    I think a lot of your questions will need to wait until there's actually a usable network, and devices in the field.

    And you're right, most users don't care about latency. Speeds will greatly vary by the inch. Based on how mmWave propagates and penetrates, a difference of inches in regards to device placement on your desk could make all the difference. We'll see.

    And, notably, tree leaves are an effective mmwave block. Delivered signal will vary a great deal based on plant cover alone -- and that's pretty ridiculous.
    So, it sounds like this will be pretty useless indoors. I presume the service providers will begin to offer Microcell-type devices to help justify the higher costs they want to charge for 5G service.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    chemengin
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,568administrator
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    It wouldn't change from me. The reality is, 4G will be the predominant method of wireless networking for cellphones for five years or more. 5G will be good for who it serves, and under ideal circumstances, but that day is far, far away.

    You've got T-Mobile and Verizon saying the same thing.
    edited April 2019 roundaboutnowmuthuk_vanalingamGG1
  • Reply 7 of 42
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    The complete story is that 5G is heavily hyped and oversold technology, and now providers are walking it back.

    That doesn't mean that 5G isn't useful, nor that this is anything other than the providers side of the equation that we are talking about, so fucking thanks for attempting to make this about the iPhone's current lack of 5G capability. DBAD. It just isn't relevant to this story.

    Since I live at the edge of a barely urbanized area, the Capital of Nevada, Carson City, I don't expect to see 5G anytime soon, and even then, it will be confined to the downtown area that is dominated by state government buildings. I expect LTE to be around for a long, long time.



    GG1
  • Reply 8 of 42
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 967member
    I think the physics behind radio wave transmission is well understood, but on the practicality side, it’s not so clear.

    A recent IEEE report showed reception of a 1 watt signal at 10km for 5G. https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/wireless/millimeter-waves-travel-more-than-10-kilometers-in-rural-virginia

    In the city, 5G is hampered by all objects which absorb the signal, which must be balanced by more transmitters, which costs, but is compensated by more people paying.

    In rural or less urban areas, more open spaces means better transmission distances, so less need for multiple transmitters, but less people to pay for them. 

    The more 5G is just a transmission protocol, and not simply defined as broadcasting on specific wavelengths, the more 5G can become the standard for cellular communications supporting multiple wavelengths. 
    JWSC
  • Reply 9 of 42
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    If you have spruce trees around your house, your fleet of drones will have to clip.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    Read the T-Mobile CTO's phrase very carefully. He's not just talking about "dense urban environments" in a general sense but specifically narrows it down to "small pockets of 5G hotspots" in such qualified locations.

    That means heavily trafficked locations like Times Square (NYC), The Mall (Washington D.C.), maybe Chicago's Miracle Mile, the Strip in Las Vegas, San Francisco's Union Square and other similar locations.

    It would also assume eventual deployment at major venues such as NFL football stadiums, MLB ballparks, perhaps some indoor venues (NBA basketball, NHL hockey) as well as a some college sports venues and other places (perhaps certain locations at Disneyland, some convention centers such as Las Vegas).

    I assume that overseas deployment would also include venues like soccer stadiums, public areas like the famous Shibuya "scramble crossing" in Tokyo, downtown shopping districts such as Ginza, Champs-Elysées in Paris, major city squares and landmarks.

    Don't expect mmWave 5G in your office building, the dog park or the Costco parking lot.

    My guess is that the first substantial deployment might be overseas, perhaps various venues for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games next year. And yeah, there's probably a greater likelihood of mmWave 5G being deployed at Shinagawa Station and Tokyo Station (both of which handle more daily passengers than Atlanta's airport) before you'll see it in any substantial capacity at US transit facilities.
    edited April 2019 IreneW
  • Reply 11 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    tmay said:
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    The complete story is that 5G is heavily hyped and oversold technology, and now providers are walking it back.

    That doesn't mean that 5G isn't useful, nor that this is anything other than the providers side of the equation that we are talking about, so fucking thanks for attempting to make this about the iPhone's current lack of 5G capability. DBAD. It just isn't relevant to this story.

    Since I live at the edge of a barely urbanized area, the Capital of Nevada, Carson City, I don't expect to see 5G anytime soon, and even then, it will be confined to the downtown area that is dominated by state government buildings. I expect LTE to be around for a long, long time.



    I suspect that is at the root of a lot of the negativity towards 5G:  "What will it do for me?" And that is particularly true for those living in remote an rural areas.

    As I pointed out on another thread -- that has been a problem for over 100 years -- getting electrification and copper wires to the rural communities.   The capitalistic profit model does not serve those areas well because there's no profit in it.  It took government initiatives to solve the problem.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    mpantone said:
    Read the T-Mobile CTO's phrase very carefully. He's not just talking about "dense urban environments" in a general sense but specifically narrows it down to "small pockets of 5G hotspots" in such qualified locations.

    That means heavily trafficked locations like Times Square (NYC), The Mall (Washington D.C.), maybe Chicago's Miracle Mile, the Strip in Las Vegas, San Francisco's Union Square and other similar locations.

    It would also assume eventual deployment at major venues such as NFL football stadiums, MLB ballparks, perhaps some indoor venues (NBA basketball, NHL hockey) as well as a some college sports venues and other places (perhaps certain locations at Disneyland, some convention centers such as Las Vegas).

    I assume that overseas deployment would also include venues like soccer stadiums, public areas like the famous Shibuya "scramble crossing" in Tokyo, downtown shopping districts such as Ginza, Champs-Elysées in Paris, major city squares and landmarks.

    Don't expect mmWave 5G in your office building, the dog park or the Costco parking lot.

    My guess is that the first substantial deployment might be overseas, perhaps various venues for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games next year. And yeah, there's probably a greater likelihood of mmWave 5G being deployed at Shinagawa Station and Tokyo Station (both of which handle more daily passengers than Atlanta's airport) before you'll see it in any substantial capacity at US transit facilities.
    Yes, it will start there.   But it is highly unlikely that it will end there.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Sounds like the Clearwire disaster all over again. 
  • Reply 14 of 42
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    It wouldn't change from me. The reality is, 4G will be the predominant method of wireless networking for cellphones for five years or more. 5G will be good for who it serves, and under ideal circumstances, but that day is far, far away.

    You've got T-Mobile and Verizon saying the same thing.
    Predominant?   That will mostly depend on when and where you measure it:   In the Cleveland urban areas, Cleveland Clinic & at Case Western -- or in the corn fields surrounding Lordstown.  But if you mean that 4G/LTE will exist as a backbone (just as 3G has) for many years, I agree.

    As for T-Mobile and Verizon saying it won't be ready for use (which is what you seem to be implying) for "5 years or more", I have not heard them say that.

    My prediction is:  Apple knows just how important 5G is -- which is why they settled with Qualcomm.  And, they will announce a 5G phone in September.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    mpantone said:
    Read the T-Mobile CTO's phrase very carefully. He's not just talking about "dense urban environments" in a general sense but specifically narrows it down to "small pockets of 5G hotspots" in such qualified locations.

    That means heavily trafficked locations like Times Square (NYC), The Mall (Washington D.C.), maybe Chicago's Miracle Mile, the Strip in Las Vegas, San Francisco's Union Square and other similar locations.

    It would also assume eventual deployment at major venues such as NFL football stadiums, MLB ballparks, perhaps some indoor venues (NBA basketball, NHL hockey) as well as a some college sports venues and other places (perhaps certain locations at Disneyland, some convention centers such as Las Vegas).

    I assume that overseas deployment would also include venues like soccer stadiums, public areas like the famous Shibuya "scramble crossing" in Tokyo, downtown shopping districts such as Ginza, Champs-Elysées in Paris, major city squares and landmarks.

    Don't expect mmWave 5G in your office building, the dog park or the Costco parking lot.

    My guess is that the first substantial deployment might be overseas, perhaps various venues for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games next year. And yeah, there's probably a greater likelihood of mmWave 5G being deployed at Shinagawa Station and Tokyo Station (both of which handle more daily passengers than Atlanta's airport) before you'll see it in any substantial capacity at US transit facilities.
    Yes, it will start there.   But it is highly unlikely that it will end there.
    I made no statement indicating that those would be the sole deployments.

    The point is that the mmWave 5G technology has a number of limitations defined by the laws of physics. The cost of deployment and operation does not encourage mobile operators to make the capital expenditure to expand their mmWave 5G coverage beyond the most densely and heavily trafficked areas, at least according to the T-Mobile CTO. He likely has better insight into the technical difficulties and costs associated with deploying cellular networks than anyone here in this bboard, including both you and me. He's not working with an unlimited budget funded by a tree growing dollar bills.

    Hell, I'm not sure if mmWave 5G will be deployed in the Tokyo Metropolitan subway system due to its technical limitations and need for extra transmitters. 4G LTE works great in Tokyo Metro. 

    And WiFi is still a reasonable alternative. On a recent trip to Japan, I took one of their bullet train lines and got 40Mbps download speeds on the train's free WiFi. WiFi can also be found in many public transit facilities in Japan, at least the metropolitan cities. As far as I could tell, free WiFi access to visitors in major Japanese cities blows doors on every single large US city that I've been to, including (but not limited to) all of the ones I've mentioned before.

    mmWave 5G cellular networks are just one of several possible solutions that a network operator can choose from, not the sole option. In many cases, there will probably be most cost efficient options to provide adequate network connectivity to the users of that area. You don't need Gigabit speed on every square millimeter of the inhabited planet.

    Even the Verizon executive followed up a day later to clarify that mmWave 5G is not coverage spectrum.

    I live in one of those Silicon Valley cities and I don't expect mmWave 5G coverage in my town even though this is one of the most tech friendly places in the entire USA. In a couple of years, there might be mmWave 5G at Levi's Stadium, Oracle Park, maybe the new Chase Arena plus a few more places in the 415, 650, and 408 area codes, but not more.

    I'll be the last to get it anyhow even if I have a handset that is capable of mmWave 5G reception and the equipment is deployed on the local cellular tower. I'm using an MVNO that operates on T-Mobile's network; MVNO and prepaid customers are basically the last to get access to new high-speed networks.
    edited April 2019
  • Reply 16 of 42
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member

    My prediction is:  Apple knows just how important 5G is -- which is why they settled with Qualcomm.  And, they will announce a 5G phone in September.
    Based on Apple's long history of not being early adopters of new cellular network standards, I'd say the 5G phone is not coming until Fall 2020. For what it's worth, some news outlets mentioned that the recent Apple-Qualcomm settlement came too late for Apple to work the current Qualcomm 5G chips into the design of its Fall 2019 handsets.

    Apple has never released a handset that adopts up-and-coming sparsely deployed cellular network technologies. Apple waits until there's significant deployment to make it a worthwhile and relevant selling point.

    Remember that 5G isn't coming to the USA first. The first truly significant deployments will be in Southeast Asia and some of the richer Western European countries' major cities. The USA is not the pioneer when it comes to cellular network deployments.

    The first wave of cellular chips are often power hungry so it is likely that future silicon will be more energy efficient and thus more interesting for manufacturers of battery powered mobile devices. We saw the same thing with the first wave of 4G LTE chips which were primarily used in cellular modems plugged into the wall using AC electricity.

    Even today's smartphones often have a setting to turn off LTE. No reason to enable the circuitry and have it waste battery if there's no such network in your area.
    edited April 2019 MplsP
  • Reply 17 of 42
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,219member
    Last year, for one month, I experimentally configured my iPhone as a Wifi hotspot and then accidentally left my iMac in the configuration to use that hotspot for its sole internet connection. For that month I was disappointed in the speed and latency of my iMac and almost called my ISP to complain, then I figured out what I was doing wrong. But if this actually worked for 4G LTE, maybe doing it with 5G will allow me to cancel my home internet connection. I would probably have to cut back on my bandwidth, like getting rid of my streaming cameras, but this may work. We could start a movement to abandon our landlines and call it "DI5GRUNTLED."
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,568administrator
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    It wouldn't change from me. The reality is, 4G will be the predominant method of wireless networking for cellphones for five years or more. 5G will be good for who it serves, and under ideal circumstances, but that day is far, far away.

    You've got T-Mobile and Verizon saying the same thing.
    Predominant?   That will mostly depend on when and where you measure it:   In the Cleveland urban areas, Cleveland Clinic & at Case Western -- or in the corn fields surrounding Lordstown.  But if you mean that 4G/LTE will exist as a backbone (just as 3G has) for many years, I agree.

    As for T-Mobile and Verizon saying it won't be ready for use (which is what you seem to be implying) for "5 years or more", I have not heard them say that.

    My prediction is:  Apple knows just how important 5G is -- which is why they settled with Qualcomm.  And, they will announce a 5G phone in September.
    I'm not implying anything. Your use of "ready for use" is loaded, though. If you can't see an installed network, you can't use it, so it isn't ready to use. For that small subset of users that can see the network, then it's ready to use. The former category will far, far outnumber the latter for those five years that I spoke of.

    Very similarly, the FCC considers a single home or business in a census block to equate to "this zone is covered by broadband." Verizon does the same thing with FiOS deployments. Tell the unserved in that block that they're covered, and see how it goes.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    I wonder how the tone and content of the comments marginalizing and disparaging 5G would change if Apple were rolling out a 5G phone instead of Samsung. 
    ...  Well, actually, I don't.
    That’s the magic of Apple. They wouldn’t roll out something that’s not ready for prime time so we Apple faithful don’t have to worry about things like that. 
  • Reply 20 of 42
    The link below is an excellent article on 5G.  Once you read it, and get over the headache from reading and maybe understanding 5G, you will realize that you can pretty much ignore it and all the hype for the next three to five years. 

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-5g-everything-you-need-to-know/
    MplsP
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