5G wireless is going to deliver the promises

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 11/08/2017 - 14:18

This article is long but readable, and it is a real eye opener. Many have been hoping that fiber could be ditched in favor of 5G wireless. The cable companies have been testing a variety of "5G" frequencies, and found that they all have significant shortcomings. The much-touted "...5G will deliver near Gigabit speeds..." turns out to be "mostly true" in a Billy Crystal "mostly dead" kind of way. If you are more than 150 feet from the tower and have any foliage in the way, the speed drops by about 90%.

The higher frequency millimeter wave systems are drastically attenuated by rain, snow, windows, and leaves. And yes, pine needles are still very bad.

In the next couple of years, expect to see some companies using the 5G radio systems to eliminate fiber drops from the street to the home--both Google and AT&T have been talking about doing this. But the short distances involved means lots of radios on the street, and to get the throughput up, you need those radios connected to fiber. And what everyone forgets is that everyone of those radios has to be connected to electric power.

We see that as a major issue. You need to get the radios as high as possible on existing utility poles, but that means putting them in the electric space, which raises the cost of installation and the cost of maintenance. If the electric service is underground, you have to install poles, which is also expensive.

A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2013
A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2012
A Broadband Properties top 100 company for 2011

Design Nine has been selected as a Broadband Properties / Broadband Communities top 100 company from 2008 to 2015.


Smart 21

Designed by Design Nine, the nDanville fiber network has won the Intelligent Community Forum's Smart 21 award for 2010.

Design Nine provides visionary broadband architecture and engineering services to our clients. We have over seventy years of staff experience with telecom and community broadband-more than any other company in the United States.

We have a full range of broadband and telecom planning, design, and project management services.