It's an historic week for AI. Ann Johnson, unable to talk for 18 years after a stroke, answered her husband's question about the possibilities for the Toronto Blue Jays, "Anything's possible," her avatar said, based on an AI program reading her brain waves, synthesizing her voice, and talking. Ann Belluck has the amazing story in the NY Times, well worth the click. Or click on the picture for the video
Stanford Professor Paulraj told me in 2014 that MIMO would likely increase wireless capacity 50X. Other world-class engineers discussed 100X improvements.
ZTE's 128-antenna Massive MIMO array deployed in Guangzhou delivered 10.3 Gbps down. The spectral efficiency is 100.3 bit/s/Hz, ~20X what LTE could do in 2014. It's about twice the throughput of today's typical Massive MIMO at 3.5 GHz.
Higher frequencies can use smaller antennas. The 128 4.9 GHz antennas are about the size of 4-8 antennas for 700 MHz. Broadcom's Henry Samueli was working on mmWave antennas small enough to fit on a chip. (I don't believe Henry or anyone else developed that as a commercial product.)
In 2018 & 2019, top execs at both Verizon and AT&T told me they were cutting costs by ~40%/year. Four years later, I can firm that the cost improvements are continuing. Massive MIMO is incredibly productive. Meanwhile, traffic growth is down to 15-30%. Result: cost per customer/month is falling in the 5G era. Margaret Vestiger at the EU and DT CEO say the opposite in order to justify demanding money from the Internet giants. This is not true. Dave, December 2022
Lee Hicks, Verizon Vice President - Network Planning, reiterated that Verizon has been reducing cost per bit by about 40% per year and expected to continue to do so. That corresponds to then-CEO Lowell McAdam's comment that mmWave would bring down the cost per bit by 9/10ths. Verizon's profit and loss confirms this general trend: costs and profits haven't changed much while traffic growth remains high. That would be impossible without a large increase in efficiency.
Fixed wireless added 920,000 subscribers in Q3. Verizon and T-Mobile are marketing hard. As they fill in the rest of the country with mid-band, adds will probably grow. Their combined goal of 14 million by 2025 is realistic.
The US as a whole only added 825,000 broadband customers (Including FWA,)These dismal figures do not imp,y despite $billions in ACP subsidies. DSL was down a shocking 685,000. Fiber had 550,000 adds, not enough to make up for the DSL losses.
These dismal figures do not imply you should sell the stocks. Charter already is down 45%. Craig Moffett is considering whether the stocks have gone so far down that it looks like up.
The price Comcast pays is highly confidential. The $3,000/cell price is a guess based on the market and the continued drop in component pricing. Comcast has facilities to mount the ultra-small cells across more than a third of the US. Much is above-ground and ready to add wireless cells. No new fiber is needed; low-latency DOCSIS 3.1 has plenty of capacity.
It will probably coordinate the deployment with Charter, which is almost the same size. Together, they have over 9 million mobile subscribers. Most traffic is going over home and office Wi-Fi, but the cablecos are paying hundreds of millions to Verizon for the rest.
Video here. Ahmed Alkhateeb and his students has advanced mmWave beam prediction which they are using to track and communicate with drones. That isn't easy; 3GPP 5G requires a robust back channel to conform the cell signal to the receiver. That's hard with a small, fast-moving drone.
3 years ago, Vodafone, Saudi Telecom, and I believe Verizon all promised drone tracking in the near future. None of them seem to be close to delivering it. But look at the video of the work a team of grad students has done.
They use visual and GPS tracking to optimize the coding. This reduces the computation required and the heat generated.
It won't be right for most people, but the French $5 1 gigabyte plan would meet my needs. I don't do much video on the go. I spend most of the time at my house or Jennie's and have robust Wi-Fi.
Away from home, I mostly use my mobile for looking up bus schedules, checking my email, or similar. None of that requires much bandwidth. I can keep my use below the gig and would be able to save money.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will allow Android phones to do more than the best iPhone. Apple has hundreds of engineers trying to match the features, while Qualcomm has hundreds of engineers planning to stay ahead. (Apple lovers will never believe this.)
Today's phone cameras can do things Jennie's $3,000 video camera can't, but this processor goes far beyond. It can run three cameras simultaneously. One can capture 8K video while a second optimizes high-quality stills.