Monday, 11 December 2017

How different is 5G from 4G?

The difference between 4G and 5G is smaller than other generations. There are new aspects to both core and radio interface, but whether you call them “evolutionary” or “a new generational” is hard to say But SDR & CR are fundamental techniques. They are independent of the radio interface or the numeral before the G.

The kind of technology in 5G is now tangible so it will soon be iniversal Same with cognitive radio, which is a bit of a buzzword without much content: phones used CR to chose GSM or GPRS, to adaptive adapt modulation density and femtocells used it for frequency planning many years ago.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Time to fix your DNS once and for all?

https://quad9.net/#/

9.9.9.9 is a safe haven for your DNS

Thinking VERY hard about the rollout of early 5G services

The likely repeal of net neutrality got many of us thinking about the rollout of early 5G services and how that might be affected by the ending of Title II rules, as such next-generation networks are a likely place where operators can start experimenting with brand new pricing structures and more.

At a high-level, 5G -- especially high-band millimeter wave 5G -- is going to exacerbate the digital divide. Initially, that's because it will be rolled out only in dense urban pockets and will likely never be deployed in rural areas. This is no surprise; the same was true of 4G and 3G before it. If the operators don't think they can make enough money off by deploying it, they probably won't. (See Islands in the Stream: Don't Expect Full mmWave 5G Coverage in US, Says Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home.)

Now, this might affect more than a rural user's access to a fast broadband connection. The low-latency 5G network is supposed to be a technology that underpins self-driving cars. So if you can't get 5G in your rural town, will connected cars actually be viable? Meanwhile, a rural business might find itself at a significant disadvantage if it can't take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) support coming in 2019's Phase II 5G specifications.

I'm sure that the deployment of low-band (>600MHz) 5G from the likes of T-Mobile US Inc. and beyond could help to alleviate some of those issues. Much wider area coverage with the lower bands, you see. But it's a solid bet that some rural areas in the US and Europe will find themselves at a disadvantage, possibly for years, maybe even forever.

Beyond that, new features in the 5G core architecture make segregating network access and services much easier than ever before. Network slicing has mostly been marketed as a way to provide low-latency localized services with a far lower data rate, for dedicated IoT sensors and so on. But that, of course, means that slices could be set up to offer, let's say, much higher data rates for -- oh, let us say -- streaming 4K and eventually 8K video services from specific providers.

So, you can see what I'm suggesting here, right? If net neutrality gets canned, I think we can assume that operators will start experimenting with different content packages at selective data rates and pricing schemes.

Now, forthcoming 5G is the nearest thing the US has to a greenfield market for wireless right now. The expectation is that 5G users will consume at least ten times the data they do currently on 4G. If operator executives know how they will price such services yet, they ain't saying. I've asked!
So, 5G seems like an ideal testing ground for the new rules of a post-net neutrality world.

So it is high time for us all to Buckle up!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Verizon plans testing of 5G in 2018

Verizon shared a few tidbits about what it’s learned from millimeter wave trials, which it has been studying in 11 markets across the country, and it’s looking better than originally expected when it comes to propagation and range.

Verizon Chief Network Officer, Nicola Palmer, noted that the operator has been conducting trials with nonpaying customers—but real people, nonetheless—in 11 markets, including Dallas.
The tests are using 28 GHz spectrum and 120+ nodes, she said during the opening keynote today here at the FierceWireless Next-Gen Wireless Networks Summit.  Each location offers a unique set of parameters and diversity, including diversity of suppliers, topology, geography, building/construction materials and demographics. There are places with lots of trees and others with a lot of cactus, all purposely chosen so that they could test in different environments. “What we’ve learned from these trials is simply invaluable,” she said. “We believe this makes up the largest 5G test bed” in the country and possibly the world.  

First, “millimeter wave propagates a little better than we thought,” in terms of line of sight as well as in terms of elevation, she said. For example, they assumed they could get to the 6th floor of an apartment or office building, but tests are showing they are able to get up as high as the 19th floor. They’re also seeing speeds in and above the 1 gigabit-per-second range beyond 2,000 feet. The industry had been expecting maybe around 500 or 600 feet or so, and “it doesn’t happen everywhere all the time, but we’ve seen good results in the 2,000 feet range,” she said. In addition, they’re getting better penetration through various wall materials; there’s been real innovative solutions emerging to get signals into homes, she said.

Low E glass has been a known issue, and some great plug-and-play solutions are being developed to overcome that problem. In terms of latency, “we’re under 10 milliseconds,” she said, and “we expect that to get lower." By comparison, LTE networks are getting 50 milliseconds or so. “This is only going to get better as we continue to optimize,” she said. Regarding density, propagation modeling and trial results are showing that the densest cities, with very little augmentation, can already provide good street-level coverage at 28 GHz on existing infrastructure. “This is a little different than we thought,” Palmer said, and it’s not perfect and it’s not everywhere, but in the cities where it has the density it aspires to, street-level coverage appears to be pretty good.

That’s good news considering how difficult it can be to get permits for deploying new gear in cities. Verizon plans to start testing 5G mobility in 2018. It did some initial 5G mobility testing at the Indy 500 in May, when a driver used augmented reality to drive around the track while the windshield was blacked out. The driver used the augmented reality video to “see” where to drive around the track.
“We are on track to launch a 5G broadband offering in 2018” in several cities, she said, reiterating plans to launch a fixed wireless broadband offering during the course of 2018. She also ticked off the many awards that Verizon has garnered, attesting to its pride in network quality, something competitors like T-Mobile have been agitating about. Palmer did not call out any competitors by name, but she noted that Verizon has achieved a number of industry milestones over the past months, including achieving 953 Mbps in a real-world environment in Boca Raton, Florida, where “we threw the kitchen sink at it, admittedly,” using 4x4 MIMO, LAA, 4 carrier aggregation and 256 QAM. 

RELATED: Verizon, Qualcomm, Ericsson hit 953 Mbps with commercial LAA system in Florida
The 27-year Verizon veteran also reiterated that 4G doesn’t go away; it lays the groundwork for 5G, and LTE will continue to be around for the foreseeable future. And she underscored how important it is to be partnering with others in the supply chain. Verizon announced in October that it was getting together with Qualcomm Technologies and Novatel Wireless to collaborate on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter-wave technology development and over-the-air field trials based on the 5G NR Release 15 specifications being developed by 3GPP. The companies said they were going to initially focus on the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands and showcase how using advanced 5G NR technologies can achieve multigigabit-per-second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks.