What's most important to me to explore as I go to five events, Berlin to Hangzhou? 

What technologies to connect the next four million?

Massive MIMO may be a key tool, but of course, anything that brings down the price is crucial. Interesting choices with Wi-Fi. 

How many will switch from landlines to wireless as wireless speeds pass 100 megabits?

Capacity is critical, today only 5 gigabytes to 25 gigabytes most places. Free in France, selling 100 gigabytes for $24 points to the future, but that's less than half today's average consumption. Telstra is seeing a modest trend and 5-15% is common. Will that accelerate with better wireless?

When 5G mmWave becomes important, will the technology and high costs of the millions of cells drive competition out of the market?

Some still wonder if one mmWave network is affordable and two will probably be a stretch. The four to seven usually needed for strong competition may be out of reach. Everything might change for the business. Policymakers may have to choose between strong network sharing/wholesale separation or strong regulation. 

Will autonomous cars require 1 ms latency or are they fine with 5-10 ms?

 It looks to be brutally expensive to deliver 1 ms driving intelligence to the edge. Most carriers, including Verizon and China Mobile, are using money-saving Centralized Ran (C-RAN) systems that control many cells. The router hops mean latency is 5-10 ms, not 1 ms. Virtual and augmented reality and telehealth are fine with ten milliseconds, experts tell me. Many think connected cars will not need 1 ms, especially with DSRC car to car connections. Gerhard Fettweis is an articulate advocate of the 1 ms tactile Internet.

How much capacity do we lose by having three or four networks rather than one efficient one?

One 100 MHz LTE network delivers far more capacity than five 20 MHz nets. Guard bands becoming unnecessary. When the customers of one company demand more, the bandwidth can come from unused spectrum that in four networks would have been locked to another carrier. This is especially important in countries with few landlines, including most of Africa, is they want a video quality Internet.

Will cablecos install remote Phys for the faster full duplex upstream?

Full duplex will allow a gigabit or more of upstream bandwidth by about 2020. They require a new network component, a "remote phy." Will the operators make the investment or will they simply upgrade 3.1?

What fiber speed is necessary?

Most fiber home is GPON, shared 2.4 gigabits down and 1.2 up. 10GPON is now available at a reasonable. Will customers need upgrades? Verizon believes 40 gigabit NGPON will be needed for backhauling 5G small cells but others think much cheaper 10 gigabit fiber is enough.  

What proportion of 5G will be millimeter wave and how much Massive MIMO?

Both can deliver speeds well into the gigabits. 


Hundreds of smaller questions are open but these are the big trends. 


April 18

“My three biggest customers are marching to 7 and 5 nanometers.” Lip-Bu Tan. Moore’s Law ain’t dead yet.

Eric Xu, current Huawei Chairman, said consumers would find no “material difference between 4G & 5G.” Dozens of top engineers agree the "5G Revolution" is hokum, including  DT CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, FT/Orange SVP Arnaud Vamparys, and BT CEO Gavin Patterson.
     Politicians and marketers pushed b_______. What’s coming for 5-10 years is good for telco capacity but otherwise disappointing. Unfortunately. 
     On the other hand, mmWave & Massive MIMO are improving at a ferocious rate, advancing telco capacity enormously. Massive MIMO has made it practical to use 3.5 GHz frequencies, a second remarkable booster. The "5G Revolution" is dead; Long Live the real 5G and advanced wireless!
U.S. attacks on Huawei and ZTE look to be an historic disaster.

China’s logical response is to invest to become independent of the U.S. They already have $100B on the table for memory chips and are rumored to add another $100B. Huawei/HiSilicon already holds their own against Qualcomm and everyone else in the world. 
    Zeng Xuezhong of Spreadtrum, world #3 mobile chipmaker, confirms: China will “speed up the chip R&D investment that is self-controlled and self-researched. We must never forget to make it bigger and stronger.”
     U.S. warships patrolling China’s seas inspire security fears. So does Trump’s threat to a country on China’s border."Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, [for] fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
     China would be stupid not to have domestic capacity just in case. The Chinese leadership is not stupid.
The year's best wireless conference is next week. Ted Rappaport, Sandeep Rangan and colleagues bring the world's best engineers to the Brooklyn 5G Conference Summit. This year, Paulraj, Onoe, Fettweis, Katabi, and their peers are coming. Do not miss the webcast, http://bit.ly/2HuOKqW .

April 10

A special report: Who Are The Three Billion? The Color Of The Net Has Changed http://bit.ly/netcolor
1/3rd wireless only, 2/3rds in Global South, 75% not native English speakers.