President Trump on 5G

What percentage of the population is without broadband Internet options?

The Eighth Broadband Progress Report finds that approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service.
Eighth Broadband Progress Report | Federal Communications …

I watched to the President and FCC Pai and I am encouraged that Trump is showing leadership on the rural broadband issues.   However, the 20 billion rural initiative over a decade will only cover 6 million of the 14 million without broadband access, this is less than half. It is going to take a lot of costly fiber as every one of the 5G small cell towers requires a big pipe backhaul connection. In today’s world that is a lot of fiber.

There will soon be alternative backhaul options, the  LEO Sat business plans include 5G backhaul.  I am not sure the land-based infrastructure people in the WH meeting are aware of the change that is about to happen.  Is the government aware of the space-based networks and their potential to change the backhaul game?

 

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President Trump to hold WH Meeting on 5G and Rural Broadband (Updated 04-12-19)

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Looking forward to seeing the results of this meeting.  Rural broadband needs all the public attention it can get.  In the scheme of things, rural communities will be the last to get 5G unless some government action is taken to change the ROI for the telecom providers.

Update 04-12-19:  From POLITICO Morning Tech

5G IN THE WHITE HOUSE — Pai is slated to head to the White House this afternoon for a 5G-themed meeting with Trump, as Margaret reported for Pros. The afternoon event will focus on U.S. efforts to build the next-generation networks and comes amid feuding by Trump advisers on how best to advance the technology. The meeting is also expected to include a rural broadband funding announcement, according to an administration official. Remember: Pai briefed Trump on American leadership in 5G last week, and Trump also heard from AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson about his company’s progress.

Digital Trends Reviews Chicago’s 5G

Verizon activated its first 5G network in the U.S. on April 3, a week ahead of schedule, and Digital Trends flew to Chicago to see how it performs. In the video, you can see what a Verizon mini-cell looks like hung on lamp poles. The tests demonstrate why mmWave technology will not work well in rural areas. The high-speed range of the mini-cell tested was less than a city block.  Note the 5G timeline suggested by the reviewer, 2021 +?

Video link is HERE.

Verizon On Nationwide 5G

— The wireless giant recently launched its 5G network in two cities — Minneapolis and Chicago — but will the rest of the country get coverage? Verizon’s Ronan Dunne, president of the company’s consumer group, told Margaret, “Our absolute plans are nationwide 5G coverage. How we achieve that may be technologically different in different places.”

— The company’s vision for reaching that goal? Dunne said a dense network that relies on high-frequency airwaves makes sense for 5G in urban areas, but for rural and semi-rural areas, a mix of spectrum that offers both coverage and capacity is key. “We will continue to re-farm the existing spectrum we have in the mid and low bands, and we will continue to encourage the FCC and the government to bring more and more spectrum — both high-frequency and midband — and make it available as quickly as possible.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

The use if lower frequency UHF and Mid-Band spectrum are critical for rural communities.  Lower frequencies have the longer reach needed in rural applications. However, lower frequencies have narrower bandwidths with lower throughput speeds.  Some G5 is better than no G5.

5G On Tap

— Wireless trade group CTIA will host National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, Pai and executives from T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular to talk all things 5G at a summit at the International Spy Museum today. The industry group came out this week with recommendations for a national spectrum strategy, urging the Trump administration to set a five-year schedule for airwaves auctions and commit to a “free market” approach to 5G. Some Trump allies including the president’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale have been promoting a more government-oriented “wholesale” model for the next-generation networks, in which a public-private partnership would resell spectrum capacity to wireless providers.

— Kudlow, who will give a keynote, is expected to discuss the administration’s support for a private sector, free-enterprise approach.

Source POLITICO Morning Tech

CTIA National Spectrum Strategy Message is HERE.

 

Rural California Should Not Fret Over 5G and Start Looking for LEO Satellites

By Russ Steele

Ever wonder what the LTE in 4G LTE stood for? I always thought that LTE was the abbreviation for 4G light. In one sense it is as 4G LTE does not meet the minimum ITE standard for 4G, so it was designated 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE). Almost 4G but not quite. It does not matter what LTE stands for in those communities that do not have any 4G LTE networks by any of the four telco providers.

As you can see on the map below, there are large swaths of California census blocks which do not have a single provider of 4G LTE. FCC has designated these rural blue areas eligible for subsidies, under the Mobility Fund Phase II Program.

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Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) will make up to $4.53 billion in support available over 10 years to primarily rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. MF-II is critically important to supporting mobile voice and broadband coverage, incentivizing the deployment of mobile wireless service through a reverse auction, and ensuring that 4G LTE service is preserved and advanced in those areas of the country that lack unsubsidized service.

Under this schedule, it could be another 10 years before some communities final get 4G LTE service, if at all. While the Federal Government is subsidizing the build-out, one of the four telcos has to decide to bid for the subsidy and then take the risk they can build a sustainable system, without additional subsidies.

The 5G rollout is expected to follow a similar path as 4G in the evolution from 3G. The 4G rollout started in the dense urban cities and then moved to the transportation corridors and then to the suburbs and final into some rural areas with populations density was high enough to support the telco ROI calculations. AT&T started offering 4G LTE in 2011, Verizon in 2010, Sprint in 2012 and T-Mobile in 2013. Eight years later many communities still do not have reliable 4G LTE coverage.

After eight years there are still rural communities with 3G service or no broadband service at all. It is highly likely that these rural communities will ever see 5G.

Digital Trends:

The ITU IMT-2020 specification requires 5G to feature peak speeds of 20Gbps, but as we saw from 4G LTE, we can realistically expect those sorts of speeds 10 years from now. Even then, those speeds are only expected when using short-range mmWave spectrum, not longer range sub-6GHz spectrum. That means as per usual, rural areas won’t feel the benefit for a while, if at all. For now, consumers living in urban areas should expect speeds in line with LTE Advanced (or, one might say, true 4G) that will incrementally improve each year.

For rural communities that do not have 4G LTE, it will be hard to benefit from an upgrade to full 4G which will take place over the next ten years. What are rural communities to do in the interim? Let’s look at some other timelines, the LEO satellite timelines.

Just last week (02-27-2019) OneWeb launched the first six of a 600 Satellite constellation, and under the FCC agreement must have all satellites launched in six years.

SpaceX will start launching phase one satellites in late 2019 with a full constellation of 4,425 by 2024. The SpaceX LEO constellations are expected to provide G5 level speeds at fiber network latency of 25-35ms.

Telesat, which operates a large fleet of geo sync statutes announced a smaller 117 satellite LEO constellation and plans to deliver the first service in 2021.

Given these timelines, if they hold up, rural communities could have access to space-based broadband long before some will see 4G LTE or 5G. It is time they stop fretting over when will they get terrestrial 5G and start thinking about how they can benefit from space-based broadband access.  Go LEO Satellites

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