The 5G hype: analyst dubs its indoor penetration 'terminally poor'

The 5G hype: analyst dubs its indoor penetration 'terminally poor'
Moving from the current established 4G LTE standard networks to the lauded 5G that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all rushed to demo this year, won't be like moving to the previous "G" steps, it seems. According to senior analyst Andrew Entwistle, the 5G technology has a laundry list of disadvantages, compared to just perfecting the current 4G LTE rollout.

First in line is the "perhaps terminally poor outdoor-to-indoor service" that 5G commands. Not only does the higher-frequency 5G spectrum have much shorter outdoor span compared to 4G, which would force carriers to build a denser tower network, but it is also weaker at penetrating buildings, which means numerous femtocells have to be rolled out on user premises.

At that point, carriers might just decide that it is not economically viable to move to the untested and uninhabited desert of 5G frequencies, but rather strive to improve their current 4G networks. Still, 5G promises faster speeds (duh), and, more importantly, those will be available to each compatible phone in the line of sight, subject to the limits of tower capacity, instead of being distributed in a way so everyone has an equally poor connection at crowded events, like it is now. 

That is why the analyst envisages that Verizon, AT&T and the rest, will continue developing their 5G efforts, but only as supplemental services to their existing 4G networks - for those willing to pay the price on much faster, dedicated data lines that are worth installing extra equipment for. According to estimates, eventual widepsread adoption of 5G is still up to 5 years away, which is somewhat of a relief - just imagine how fast would you blow through your data caps streaming a 4K TV series binge on Netflix in 2020.

source: SMH

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8 Comments

1. KingSam

Posts: 1448; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Meanwhile Jamaica is just getting LTE. Probably have grandkids before 5G and I'm just 17!

2. Cipher007

Posts: 26; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

We don't have 4G LTE in Nigeria here. I think before it gets here, it'll take like 4 years which is effed up.

8. andynaija

Posts: 1259; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

I heard that LTE is already active, but in just a few locations like Lagos or Abuja.

3. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

People or rushing with number games rather than improving the current 4G. First improve the LTE availablity to each and every corner of the city then think of 5G...

4. hemedans

Posts: 755; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

1. Those carriers dont develop 3g/4g/5g, Telecom companies like Alcatel, Ericsonn, Nokia, Huawei etc did and then they sell their technologies to carrier. 2. 5G standards will be agreed on 2020, now its just marketing PR no one know what 5g will be like its just speculation. http://www.rcrwireless.com/20160307/policy/what-is-imt-2020-tag17-tag99

6. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

True 5g would employ dynamic spectrum access and mimo with cheaper towers that could act as extenders. This should increase coverage, penetration, reliability. If they just implement the frequency without any of the tech then yah it won't really be true 5g and there will be issues.

5. tokuzumi

Posts: 1900; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

It's the same thing as when "4G" first came out. Remember WiMax? Theoretically, it offered amazing download speeds. But the high frequency led to poor building penetration, and when it was scaled out, large numbers of users really put a drain on the system. The first go at 5G will definitely be a WiMax type beta, and will take a few years to mature. We will see the existing LTE networks on the 700 mhz range be converted to 5G signal in the future.

7. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

4G is already fast enough to use all your monthly data in an instant and is fast enough for anything that you can do on a phone.

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