The 'Race To 5G' Is A Giant Pile Of Lobbyist Nonsense

from the ill-communication dept

We've noted for a while that the "race to 5G" is largely just the byproduct of telecom lobbyists hoping to spike lagging smartphone and network hardware sales. Yes, 5G is important in that it will provide faster, more resilient networks when it's finally deployed at scale years from now. But the society-altering impacts of the technology are extremely over-hyped, international efforts to deploy the faster wireless standard aren't really a race, and even if it were, our broadband maps are so terrible (by design) it would be impossible to actually determine who won.

The idea that we're "racing China to 5G," and need to mindlessly pander to U.S. telecom giants to win said race, has also become a mainstay in tech policy circles and tech coverage for two or three years now. We're at the point where 5G (like the blockchain or AI) now exists as a sort of policy pixie dust to be sprinkled around generously by lobbyists and K Street beggars looking to wow luddite lawmakers, even if the underlying arguments often make no coherent sense. When 5G is fused with overheated national security concerns, it becomes even more incoherent.

Enter former Representative Mike Rogers, who last week announced he was heading a new 501(c)4 group dubbed 5G Action Now. 5G Action Now frames itself as an objective third party outfit that is just apparently really excited about 5G, insisting its goal is to "educate members of Congress and the American people" to better understand the "race to 5G":

"5G Action Now was founded to establish the United States as the worldwide leader in 5G. Our goal is to elevate the conversation regarding American national security and the economic benefits of winning the 5G innovation and deployment battle against China. 5G will spur economic growth in rural America, create an environment for technological expansion, and put the U.S. on strong national security footing for generations to come."

Mike's bio around the internet usually reveals how he's also a "security advisor" for AT&T, though oddly his bio over at the 5G Action Now website excludes this fact. The ambiguous venture appears to have numerous telecom backers, including a coalition of European and Canadian satellite companies looking for all the usual fare: weakened regulatory oversight, more subsidies, and a bigger slice of the publicly-owned airwaves to make a profit off of. It's more of a "race to government protection" or a "race to fatter revenues" than any kind of race to meaningful 5G domination or consumer benefit.

The group's website is filled with rhetoric about how the US is in a battle with China for 5G domination, hinting at some immense unforeseeable calamity should the Chinese government deploy 5G quickly to human beings you'll never meet, half a world away:

Press outlets that buy into this rhetoric usually "forget" to mention that while the US technically "won" the race to 4G (by being first to deploy it) that didn't wind up mattering much. U.S. consumers pay some of the highest prices for wireless service in the developed world, for 4G services that are routinely ranked as some of the slowest in the OECD. Thanks to regulatory capture, corruption, and mindless M&A mania (like the looming Sprint T-Mobile merger), it's a problem that's not going away anytime soon. 5G is not, contrary to what you'll be told by industry and stenographing journalists and evangelists, some mystical panacea.

There's a reason AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are fighting efforts to adequately map 5G, and have routinely over-inflated 5G availability claims overall. The "race" rhetoric is largely an illusion created by companies eager to do the bare minimum in exchange for as many subsidies, regulatory favors and tax breaks they can grab. This mindless regulatory capture has resulted in a US Telecom sector that routinely ranks in the middle of the pack in every metric that matters. While 5G will be a good thing when deployed at scale, it's foolish to think the new wireless technical standard will address the deeper rot that plagues the sector.

We didn't win the race to 4G, and we're unlikely to win the "race to 5G," either. Why? Because U.S. telecom policy involves effectively pandering to the every whim of mono/duopolists, then standing around with a dumb look on our faces as prices soar, coverage lags, and Kafka-esque customer service headlines become the norm. Yes, 5G will be fast. It's also going to be hugely expensive and filled with arbitrary nickel and diming restrictions courtesy of the Trump FCC's decision to effectively give up on all consumer protection.

The "race" rhetoric serves one larger purpose: it ensures that nobody pauses to think about policy considerations like prices, open networks, consumer rights, or even coverage to lower income and rural areas. It results in a country that can't apparently repair its bridges or feed the public, but can easily throw another $1.5 billion at telecom giants that are in absolutely no need of subsidization or more tax breaks. At some point, you'd think we'd learn to stop throwing billions of unaccountable dollars at companies with a thirty-year track record of failing repeatedly to live up to their end of the bargain.

Filed Under: 5g, hype, mike rogers, race to 5g
Companies: at&t, verizon


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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 6:28am

    Why is 5G coverage so sparse?

    So why is 5G network coverage so sparse? It turns out, there is a reason.

    It is little known, yet well established that AT&T representatives are carefully disguised to have the form and appearance of ordinary human beings.

    Due to lack of sufficient testing early on, it escaped AT&T's notice that 5G network signals interfered with the disguise making it possible for some people to perceive the true form and nature of their representatives. Because of this, AT&T representatives need to avoid being in areas where 5G signals are present. Thus it makes sense to ensure that 5G coverage is in as few areas as possible, and to manipulate other major carriers to do likewise.

    In the meantime marketing will work on hype for a new 6G network so that the entire 5G debacle can be swept under the rug as quickly and quietly as possible.

    You read it on the intarweb tubes. So it MUST be true!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 6:44am

    5G is going to burn holes in everyone's head.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      I think it burnt holes in a lot of people's heads already, even before the fake 5G existed. That's how powerful it is!

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:45am

      Re:

      "5G is going to burn holes in everyone's head."

      The hype maybe. 5G in itself is no more dangerous than ordinary wifi - because that's what it essentially is.

      Which also explains why the "rollout" is likely to be bullshit, with "5G" speeds barely reachable if you're physically leaning against a signal tower.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 6:47am

    2014?!

    Comparing prices from 2018 and speeds from 2014 doesn't make much sense.
    Here's the 2019 speed data:

    https://www.opensignal.com/reports/2019/11/state-of-mobile-video-2019

    Granted, 68th out of 100 countries isn't a good score, but it's better than the second-last rating they got in 2014.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 2:00pm

      Re: 2014?!

      We've gone from being abject failures to merely failing - give us more money!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 10:54am

      Re: 2014?!

      So we "won" the 'race to the bottom' of the internet quality mapping with 4G, now it's time to "win" the race to the bottom with 5G... right?

      I mean what's the point of racing, either you win or you lose, unless you re-frame things to make 'racing to the bottom' be the only thing that matters... see we only 68th, we have 41 more places to go before we "win" the 5G race... amirite

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:47am

      Re: 2014?!

      "Granted, 68th out of 100 countries isn't a good score, but it's better than the second-last rating they got in 2014."

      I wouldn't say there's much difference. Congratulations, since 2014 you've managed to beat the last 3rd of the 3rd-world countries who even had a phone network to begin with?

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  • icon
    madasahatter (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 6:58am

    New Sales

    5G will not cause the spike in sales OEMs and carriers are hoping for. The basic reason is 5G will not offer noticeable performance improvement for the common uses of the a phone. Once the performance is good enough for most they are not going to buy the latest model phone unless their old one is near death.

    Phones and computers are mature products and like other mature products the majority of sales is to replace older devices. The sales will flatten out. Any growth will be from population and economic growth and not penetration into completely virgin markets.

    The race for 5G is a marketing hype to make the carriers look like they are doing something.

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    • identicon
      Rocky, 27 Jan 2020 @ 7:09am

      Re: New Sales

      Without 5G, it won't be possible to watch 4K-streams on your mobile device... /s

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re: New Sales

        Does that mean that 3G devices will no longer work or be supported?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:54am

          Re: Re: Re: New Sales

          "Does that mean that 3G devices will no longer work or be supported?"

          Not likely....see, this is the way it works; As bandwidth rises, effective signal strength drops.

          So if you're far away enough from the nearest signal tower to get signal at all you're probably on 2G with a download speed of around 0,1 Mbit/sec. If you're within sight of the tower you're probably on 4G. If you're sitting at the foot of the tower you're on 5G.

          5G, you see, is basically wifi. So when the 5G rollout is completed, you'll still be on 3G 90% of the time and 4G 9% of the time. If you're lucky you'll actually occasionally see the "5G".

          Assuming you live in a major city. In the hicks you'll be on 2G whether the nearby signal masts over at the horizon are 5G-capable or not.

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    • icon
      Improbus (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 8:11am

      Re: New Sales

      Truth. I see no reason to upgrade from my perfectly fine Note8.

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  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 7:19am

    All Subsidies and Tax Credits are needed.

    To fund more campaign contributions. The more tax money they give to the corporations, the more they return to the politicians.

    Revolving doors and vicious circles - the very core of our government.

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  • icon
    tom (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 7:45am

    Got some laughs during the Verizon 5G ads in the NFL Pro Bowl. If you just watched the ads, they made it sound like 5G was now and doing all of the wonderful stuff the screen was displaying. If you read the small and I mean small print that kept saying "Not available now, simulated image, etc.", you figured out that 5G is still a fantasy product.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      This 5G.. What is it good for?

      This reminds me of how MS just kept making new operating systems and dropping support for older computers so they could just increase their profits. The day they scrapped XP was a cold day in hell. With 5G, everyone will soon after have to buy new hardware/devices because it will surely render backward compatibility obsolete at some point, right?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        This 5G.. What is it good for?

        5G does bring improved data transfer speeds, which is always a good thing, along with other technical improvements on latency and capacity.

        This reminds me of how MS just kept making new operating systems and dropping support for older computers so they could just increase their profits.

        I understand your feelings on that but that's not what they did. Computer technology has been rapidly evolving. Sometimes a complete re-write was needed to keep up with it. Did it help their profits? Absolutely, but that wasn't the driving force for it. Apple and Linux also did similar re-writes of their OS's at various points.

        It's also not feasible to support all hardware until the end of time. You have to cut it off at some point. I mean, do you really think it would be a good idea to continue support computers running 8086 chips?

        The day they scrapped XP was a cold day in hell.

        Yes, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Myself included. However, I eventually was forced to admit that XP had reached the end of it's usefulness and needed to be put down. While MS had missteps with several of their subsequent operating systems, they were iteratively better in most respects. The initial version of Vista was a disaster, but 7 was great. 8's UI sucked, but everything else was a definite improvement. 10 is by far their best operating system to date but it too is not without its flaws.

        At a minimum, XP deserved to be put down because 32-bit was dying and giving way to 64-bit architectures. A 4 GB RAM limit was not sustainable and would be impossible to run most software today. Granted XP had a 64-bit version but it was buggy and had poor driver support. XP needed to die.

        With 5G, everyone will soon after have to buy new hardware/devices because it will surely render backward compatibility obsolete at some point, right?

        At some point, yes. But likely not for at least 5-10 years. At which point most people's phones will have already been replaced (either by need or want) for other reasons any way.

        So, 5G will be a good thing (as noted in the article) but saying it's a race that needs to be won or claiming it will do all these wonderful things and solve all these problems is just BS hype. 5G is good in that any forward progress in technology is good. Just like Core 2 Duo processors were vast improvements over 8086 chips and the current iCore processors are vast improvements over Core 2 Duo chips.

        Alas for my E8500 though, you served me well and I shall remember you fondly.

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 27 Jan 2020 @ 11:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          At a minimum, XP deserved to be put down because 32-bit was dying and giving way to 64-bit architectures. A 4 GB RAM limit was not sustainable and would be impossible to run most software today.

          XP had no problems addressing up to 32GB of memory, Microsoft decided that if they allowed XP to address more than 4GB it would cut into their sales of server-editions since some people would use XP as a "home-brew" server.

          You could get XP to address more than 4GB by fudging with a kernel-dll that handled the license (ie product code), because it was the product code that actually determined the maximum allowable usable memory.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 1:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            XP had no problems addressing up to 32GB of memory,

            Yes and no. By default, 32 bit architecture does NOT support anything more than 4 GB of RAM as that's all it has room to address. PAE got around this limitation and did allow some systems to run more than 4 GB of RAM. However, there were still limitations on how much RAM each piece of software could use and you had to have hardware that supported PAE in order to use it.

            Microsoft decided that if they allowed XP to address more than 4GB it would cut into their sales of server-editions since some people would use XP as a "home-brew" server.

            That is an argument people have posited but I don't buy it and I don't see any support for it. Especially since there were other features not included in XP that would severely limit it's ability to be used as a true "server".

            But even so, that does not negate all the OTHER limitations of 32 bit architecture and operating systems that just made sense to kill off XP and go full in on 64 bit.

            You could get XP to address more than 4GB by fudging with a kernel-dll that handled the license (ie product code), because it was the product code that actually determined the maximum allowable usable memory.

            From what I recall, people did this with mixed results and it did not always lead to a reliable system. Plus, this did nothing to address the fact that per process RAM was still limited to 2-3 GB. There are lots of general use software that will exceed this, especially video games and editing software.

            There is no way 32 bit XP would ever have been able to handle the hardware or software of modern computing.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          However, I eventually was forced to admit that XP had reached the end of it's usefulness and needed to be put down.

          Except, that code compiled under NT4, using Win32 libraries, will run unmodified on Windows 10. Microsoft has kept binary compatibility for a long time, because to break it would impact code from other vendors.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 1:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That has nothing to do with the fact that Windows XP itself was not going to survive the transition to 64 bit architecture and the modern computing requirements of today. It was easier to write a whole new operating system and include some backward compatibility than it would have been to update XP for the modern era.

            And not all software of the type you mention will run unmodified on Windows 10. The place I worked for back when Windows 7 came out had several headaches because a lot of the software they used just wouldn't run on 7. We either had to buy upgraded versions of their software or run the software in the XP virtual mode until the software was upgraded or replaced. And we were very glad when we could get rid of XP virtual mode. Worst virtual environment ever.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 4:56am

              XP

              The successor to XP was Vista, not 7. Vista was the first Windows to attempt to insert a "run as administrator" status on a wide scale to an existing OS (unlike *NIX, which had it from inception) and Vista therefore created endless compatibility problems. Most infamously, VB6 would not install or run in anything except administrator mode - causing no end of compatibility issues. Vista is despised for a reason.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 6:43am

                Re: XP

                The successor to XP was Vista, not 7.

                I am perfectly aware of that. The organization I worked for skipped deploying Vista and waited for 7 before ditching XP. In part because the release version of Vista was so poor.

                Vista was the first Windows to attempt to insert a "run as administrator" status on a wide scale to an existing OS (unlike NIX, which had it from inception) and Vista therefore created endless compatibility problems.*

                It's not that implementing the "run as administrator" feature created compatibility issues, but that up until that point, software developers were coding their software to run with permissions that basically required local admin permissions because Windows didn't restrict them. That's really bad software design (on both software developers and Microsoft's part) and as you say, *nix operating systems had that security feature from the start. Microsoft was just playing catch up in implementing it. I'm sorry you didn't like it, but Windows is more secure and better off for that change. It's a lot harder now for an application to go rogue (intentionally or unintentionally) and destroy your computer because it doesn't have admin rights by default.

                Most infamously, VB6 would not install or run in anything except administrator mode - causing no end of compatibility issues.

                Mainstream support for VB6 ended in 2005, a year before Vista was released. Extended support ended in 2008. Windows 7 was released the next year. I really have no sympathy if you were trying to run software on an operating system that technically it was not supported on. If you are a software developer, you have no choice but to keep up with the times. Back then developers weren't, and it was really bad. Microsoft making security improvements like this just forced the issue. Software has gotten much better as a result.

                Vista is despised for a reason.

                Yes, it is, but it's despised because it was a buggy mess when it was released. Service Pack 2 and the final Platform Update corrected most of those. With those installed, it's largely similar to Windows 7.

                Like I said, I understand why people were upset about XP and Vista. I was myself. That doesn't mean XP was a superior operating system to the ones that came after it. It wasn't and isn't.

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            • icon
              urza9814 (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 6:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I have software that worked perfectly fine on Windows 7 that won't run on 10, but you people think stuff from the XP era is the problem??

              These days most of my Windows apps run better on Linux with Wine than any recent version of Windows...and since the days of XP I still have not seen a single piece of software that can actually be fixed with a Microsoft compatibility tool. Those things are a joke.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 7:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'll be honest, my experience has been the opposite. Wine works for some stuff for me but a lot of stuff it doesn't. Agree to disagree?

                That said, the problem that I generally see with software running on older versions of operating systems but not newer ones generally has to do with that software requiring something in the old OS that isn't present in the new OS. For a lot of software in XP, there were hardcoded version checks that looked for the OS build number associated with XP. Without that it would have worked fine in Vista, 7, etc..., but the developer basically hardcoded to only work in XP because of that version check. Some software developers fixed that, others didn't. That's not Microsoft's fault though, that's bad software design and not future-proofing your product.

                Then there's the situation where code gets removed in newer versions of operating systems because it just doesn't make sense to keep it around. If your software depends on that code, yeah, it's not going to work in the new OS. But that's progress. You can't keep everything around forever.

                Same goes for other things, like cars. I love a lot of the older sports cars from the 70s and 80s, but cars produced today are safer, get better gas mileage, handle better, ride better, and are generally vastly better cars in almost every respect, except maybe aesthetically. (Though aesthetics are subjective.)

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 3:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          10 is by far their best operating system to date but it too is not without its flaws.

          This statement caused me to disbelieve every other true thing you just said.

          (Side note: The craziest thing about XP was that it was supported far longer than any other Windows OS. Unreasonably long. Of course, part of the reason for that is that they sucked at trying to develop an improved one without simply updating the code. They have continued that tradition and now are incapable of doing not-suck in any form. )

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 6:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This statement caused me to disbelieve every other true thing you just said.

            Then prove me wrong. Show me how Windows XP was faster, more secure, more stable, came with a larger feature set than Windows 10, and can run 32 and 64 bit applications.

            (Side note: The craziest thing about XP was that it was supported far longer than any other Windows OS. Unreasonably long.

            Yes. And part of the reason why was because they couldn't get people to switch off of it. Partially because people didn't want to change and partially because they had allowed software developers to do stuff like write applications that had to have default admin permissions to run. Neither was a good situation.

            Of course, part of the reason for that is that they sucked at trying to develop an improved one without simply updating the code.

            There comes a point when simply updating code is not enough. You have to do a little bit more than that. Microsoft is not the only OS developer to do that.

            They have continued that tradition and now are incapable of doing not-suck in any form. )

            I will not dispute that Microsoft is the king of missteps and making some really dumb decisions. However, that doesn't mean that their older operating systems were better than their new ones. XP was a buggy mess when it first released too. It wasn't until SP2 and SP3 when it finally settled down into a semi-decent operating system for the time. It still can't hold a candle though to what 10 is capable of, despite the issues.

            And you also can't deny that Microsoft does fix most of the issues it causes. They still shouldn't have caused them in the first place but they do fix them. Otherwise their operating systems, including XP, would be unusable piles of garbage and the industry would have picked macOS or Linux as the standard that 80+% of computers run.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re:

        "With 5G, everyone will soon after have to buy new hardware/devices because it will surely render backward compatibility obsolete at some point, right?"

        I'd like to be able to say "no" because that's the logical conclusion.

        2G, 3G, 4G and 5G is nothing more than an incremental increase in signal frequency. As governed by the laws of electromagnetism as frequency rises, signal range drops as bandwidth rises.

        Yesterday in the 3G network you'd be at 2G if you were FAR from the closest signal mast and 3G if you were anywhere closer than Really far Away.

        Today in the 4G network you are still at 2G if you're FAR from the signal mast, 3G if you're closer than that...but now if you get really close to the mast you switch to 4G.

        Tomorrow you'll still be on 2G if you're FAR from the signal mast, 3G if you're closer than that, 4G at the same range it's at today...but tomorrow when you climb halfway up the signal mast you will then switch to 5G.

        It's unlikely "2G-support" will ever drop because that'd basically mean no telco can predict a situation where a signal mast will be longer than a click or two from the customer...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 8:11am

    I have not been impressed with 5G. Overhyped to the extreme. You basically need an antenna every 1000ish feet. At that range, you might as well make city wide wireless networks. At least with 4G you could reach 10 miles. ISPs will not support it either. Can't even get them to upgrade their infrastructure. What makes people think it will suddenly be fixed. The only benefit I can see besides the speed is that you make it significantly harder to take down communications.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      But now they need new infrastructure, which they can ask the government to subsidize to the tune of a couple billion dollars, a fraction of which might actually get spent on the intended purpose, and not just passed on to politicians and executives as "bribes" and 'bonuses'...

      If you build it they will come, but if you ask the government for the funds to build it, then you get paid while waiting for them to come... much more profitable

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 8:43am

    American telecom companys can hardly provide basic broadband in rural area,s ,5g requires more cell towers and fibre cables to provide a signal,its very likely 5g will only be provide in city,s , towns and urban area,s .
    The companys recieved billions in tax breaks, did not result in a better service or faster broadband for most people in america.
    Large parts of america will rely on 4g which at least is easy to provide
    ,5g will require 1000,s of new cell towers .
    the race to 5g,is code for give us more money/tax break,s and acess to spectrum ,if i want to download gigs of data i use my pc or a laptop,
    i don,t care about getting faster dl speeds on my phone .

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  • icon
    Shel10 (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 9:48am

    The 5G roll out will take at least 5 years (likely 10). East Coast cities will require thousands of new sites to overcome dead spots created by tall buildings. That and that fact that 5G is also dependent upon Wi-Fi infrastructure.

    Many small community residents are fighting the development of transmission sites because they fear that this will de-value property and cause brain damage.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      Many small community residents are fighting the development of transmission sites because they fear that this will de-value property and cause brain damage.

      Oh, for the love of—!

      Look, I’m not exactly excited about 5G, and I do understand the devaluation of property argument, but the brain damage argument is just stupid. After many decades of many studies, we still have no evidence that any kind of radio wave is capable of causing an deleterious effects on any aspect of one’s health. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, and visible light will cause skin damage before they cause any damage to anyone’s brains. 5G will not cause brain damage no matter how close you get to the transmission towers unless you try to climb them and fall on your head. There are many reasonable issues one might have with 5G, but that is not one of them.

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      • identicon
        ryuugami, 27 Jan 2020 @ 11:21pm

        Re: Re:

        After many decades of many studies, we still have no evidence that any kind of radio wave is capable of causing an deleterious effects on any aspect of one’s health.

        What about the radio wave that transmits, say, the Alex Jones Show?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2020 @ 4:58am

          Re: harmful radio waves

          If you must respond to the question of "harmful radio waves" with cheap shots at content (instead of technical issues, like how a microwave oven operates) the worst example would be Radio Mille Collines. Their content caused mass fatalities... as it was the incitement for the Rwandan genocide. Match that.

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          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 5:26am

            Re: Re: harmful radio waves

            For what it’s worth,

            1. Both of those are pretty good examples, but I think that Ryuugami’s is slightly funnier only because it’s not quite as sobering as yours.

            2. For the record, microwave ovens cook from the outside in, so like I said, you’d experience skin damage before your insides get damaged.

            I’m not suggesting you didn’t realize either of those things. Just making myself clear.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: harmful radio waves

            "If you must respond to the question of "harmful radio waves" with cheap shots at content (instead of technical issues, like how a microwave oven operates) the worst example would be Radio Mille Collines. Their content caused mass fatalities... as it was the incitement for the Rwandan genocide. Match that."

            Challenge accepted.

            First use of radio as a propaganda tool, the Volksemfänger program, by a certain Joseph Goebbels.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 10:13am

    because of the lack of competition, as with everything in the USA, thanks to lobbyists and Congress, just wait and see how long it takes to get 5G working correctly, if only for the emergency services and how much it costs (according to the various telecoms companies), how much they demand from government in subsidies to then NOT enable the 5G network and how the customer service goes even further down the shit shoot than it does already! their needs to be a change in government, a change in attitude in Congress, a change in FCC leadership (where business is not the priority and the people are), just as they are supposed to be and telecoms companies being help criminally liable after taking public money, for failing to fulfill the promises undertaken when receiving the public money! yeah, i know! i'm on cloud cuckoo!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mo, 27 Jan 2020 @ 10:28am

    5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

    No independent health studies. 100 times more intense than 4G. A patented military crowd-control weapon. And you don't talk about this??? More distraction. Please pay attention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 10:37am

      Re: 5G is an radio wave like we’ve been using for ages

      Damn bro. You are giving our resident conspiracy nutters a run for their money. Do one about fluoride in the water next.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re: 5G is an radio wave like we’ve been using for ages

        A bit higher frequency and it could be used as a radar like device, showing movement inside a building.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:07pm

      Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

      Dear Mo.
      You should look up the info on the bandwidth, its mostly used by Sat. to look at clouds and soforth to determine the weather.
      This alone, is suggested that 5G will cause problems.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:20pm

      Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

      Uh, look, 5G is just radio waves. Radio waves have been studied heavily for years. By the time you receive enough exposure to sufficiently intense enough radio waves to experience any effects to your health, you will experience skin damage before anything else.

      There is no reason to do independent health studies into 5G, specifically, because everything involved in it has been studied thoroughly. We have done studies into how the human body reacts to extremely high dose of radio waves. In fact, the human body doesn’t really interact with radio waves much at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

        Lets see..
        Microwaves will go internally, because it affect WATER..
        You might get a sun burn, but your internals are being COOKED..

        AND..how much is to much?? 100 million people all have cellphones, and then every tower around you, Satellites? TV signals, Police radios...HOw much is to much??
        Ask persons about 7th level Audio...and how Subsonic waves can make you bleed internally.. Then there is the microwave and above, focused waves CAN kill you.. Lets goto Light waves and Wonder about Infrared, and how it can Blind you, and burn you in seconds..

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 8:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

          Are you being serious?

          Look, sound waves and light waves operate extremely differently, so using subsonic sounds or 7th level audio as a comparison is woefully inapt.

          Regarding microwaves, yes they affect water, but the fact is that they cook from the outside in. As such, skin damage will occur before internal damage. I believe they actually discuss this on Mythbusters and xkcd’s What If? I’ll have to see if I can find a link.

          As for how much is too much? I’m not sure off-hand, but it’s a lot more than our current output.

          With infrared, yeah, it could blind you, but so can visible light and ultraviolet light. Actually, I’m pretty sure the wavelengths closer to visible light have the stronger effect on eyesight than either microwaves or x-rays (though x-rays present their own problem and would certainly be more dangerous).

          At any rate, radio waves have the least effect on human health than any other kind of electromagnetic radiation, at least so far as I can tell.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 3:54pm

      Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

      Uh, you know those frequencies have been in use for other stuff for ages, yeah?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

        So,
        you know about the Idiot that replaced UV lights with the WRONG ones?? at a public show, because UV made neat affects??
        He used the UV that sterilizes??
        https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/10/26/partygoers-left-burns-light-sensitivity-hypebeast -event-landmark/

        how about??
        https://miro.medium.com/max/665/1*kMtatU2exvfOXTawWR70aA.png

        more??
        https://www.insidesource s.com/silent-sound-kills/

        NOW, consider how your microwave works. then consider, that even spread, not concentrated, how much is enough?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 28 Jan 2020 @ 8:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

          UV rays are dangerous because they’re a form of ionizing radiation. The higher the frequency, the higher the danger. Microwaves are not only nonionizing, they have a lower frequency than UV rays.

          The only danger from microwaves is the heat (also present in infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet, but not so much x-rays, gamma rays, or radio waves), and microwaves cook from the outside in (even if the inside contains water), so you’ll get skin damage before you get internal damage.

          Regarding the sound stuff, sound waves work completely differently from electromagnetic radiation, so you’re comparing apples and oranges.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            ECA (profile), 29 Jan 2020 @ 12:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

            And they are all wave forms..
            Focused or not, low range or high.
            it dont matter if its below or above Visible light..
            The Beat of a drum is a wave form..
            There is a condition that Harpists get, from playing the harp..

            You made a generalized statement about wave forms...deal with it. you were wrong.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 29 Jan 2020 @ 4:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weap

              I didn’t make a generalized statement about waveforms. An AC made a statement about electromagnetic radiation at specific frequencies. Light and sound operate extremely differently. For example, light operates like both waves and particles. Since sound is purely a wave, it interacts very differently with the human body than light does. Sound can cause damage because it is actually vibrating the molecules of your body, which is how it travels: vibrating atoms and molecules and such. Light doesn’t travel like that; it travels through photons. As such, depending on a variety of factors, light can potentially pass through the body without doing anything at all, hit your skin and bounce off without imparting much if any energy, or be absorbed by the skin and turned into heat. Basically, sound is a vibration of the medium itself, while light is a wave that passes through, gets absorbed by, or bounces off a medium, but doesn’t technically require a medium to travel. (This is a simplification, but it’s close enough for our purposes.)

              Additionally, EM radiation at frequencies above a certain threshold (which is within the ultraviolet range) are called “ionizing radiation” because they have enough energy to essentially kick electrons away from atoms and molecules, forming ions, as well as break molecular bonds, particularly within organic materials and such. This can be quite dangerous to human health.

              Frequencies below that threshold are called “non-ionizing” because they don’t have enough energy to actually remove electrons from an atom or molecule or to break molecular bonds. Any danger such radiation may present is completely separate from the danger of ionizing radiation.

              And before you say something like, “Well, if you just increase the intensity, it’ll have enough energy to do that,” that’s been disproven. (Note: the following is a summary with some simplifications.) See, there’s this phenomenon where light hitting a sheet of metal actually creates a current. Some experiments were done, and it was found that the brightness (i.e. intensity) of the light had no effect whatsoever on the current, but the color (i.e. frequency) did. It turned out that no matter how intense the light was, the strength of the current stayed the same, but the higher the frequency, the stronger the current. And the mechanics behind this phenomenon are fundamentally the same as the ones behind the radiation damage from ionizing radiation. Thus, increasing the intensity of non-ionizing radiation cannot cause radiation damage like ionizing radiation does.

              Now, visible light, infrared light, and microwaves can inflict damage to the human body, specifically through creating heat, and that does scale with intensity. However, for complicated physics reasons, they will damage skin before any internals, and some frequencies can’t penetrate any deeper than the skin in the first place. They cook from the outside in, so you will see damage to your skin before your internal organs get damaged at all.

              The same would go for radio waves… but the human body doesn’t react much with radio waves at all. They aren’t really the right frequency to do so. In fact, there’re a lot of things that don’t interact with them (which is why you can use cell phones indoors most of the time). They can be blocked by metal, though, but there isn’t much pure metal in the human body anyways. I suppose if you were exposed to the radio waves emitted by a supernova or something, that’d kill you, but as far as what can be done on Earth, there is simply no way to create intense enough radio waves to cause much if any harm to a human.

              But yeah, there’s not much reason to fear that the increased intensity from or any additional frequencies used in 5G or closer proximity to the towers will have any impact on human health.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

          "You know about the Idiot that replaced UV lights with the WRONG ones??"

          And in other, similarly unrelated news an idiot tried to poke a fork into a wall socket and died of electrocution.

          Which in your analogy would mean we should ban electricity.

          5G has been extensively studied for many years. It's a wifi router, you see, identical to the one everyone has in their apartment already.

          The rest of your argument is just more lamentation about how dangerous Russel's Teapot really is and requires some truly extraordinary evidence before we can casually dismiss it as the confused ramblings of an idiot.

          To whit; We know, quite well, how electromagnetism works and more specifically that you can not turn a thousand mobile phone masts into a microwave.

          And we know ths because quite unlike what you keep claiming there have been thousands of studies made on the effects on electromagnetic radiation on the human body, the basis of which is what has given rise to the safe use of technologies such as the MRI.

          TL;DR?

          Just because the village idiot doesn't understand how the wheel works doesn't mean anyone else is going to buy his ramblings about how "the devil makes it move".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:20am

      Re: 5G is an unresearched patented military weapon

      "No independent health studies. 100 times more intense than 4G. A patented military crowd-control weapon. And you don't talk about this??? More distraction. Please pay attention."

      How about you learn a little high school physics?

      You've probably got a 5G transmitter in your living room already.
      It's called a "wifi router".

      The entire hype around how 5G will require more signal strength is because 5G doesn't have more range than any other radio transmitter operating in the wifi range.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:05pm

    HOW?

    5G will spur economic growth in rural America?? The only thing/think I have is that insted of Fiber they setup Wireless as the internet goto. And there are services already Out here, with Wireless making money doing this job. And they will take that away from small business, who are abit restricted by the Bandwidths they are restricted to, because the Corps have Bought the Bandwidth. The only thing they Can do is run down the freeway's installing the upgrade and seeing if it works for the truckers and transport corps.. As then they can track the trucks better. There is very little they will do, to RE-install 2-4 times the Giant antenna's out here in the wild to cover people 1-5 miles apart. The power needed for the Antenna, the ranges needed are prohibitive, let alone that they will need to connect it all to FIBER Anyway.. Cause there are only 3-4 Major Fiber lines crossing the Whole USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 27 Jan 2020 @ 12:19pm

    Someday, I hope.

    "Thanks to regulatory capture, corruption, and mindless M&A mania" Just for fun. Basic laws of humans is fairly easy to deal with. Controlling the companies and corps is a much bigger complicated BS pile. Long ago there was a study done, If I could find it, I would list it, that had shown the complicated over lapping convolution of how Corruption gets Stupid. Once they erased and evaluated the handing of money back and forth and in between This and that group. Most of them would have made more money, just by being fair and balanced. All the infighting, all the Backdoors, all the hidden agendas do nothing in the long run. All the money spent to get the State and gov. to do what they want, only leads to the Customer paying more. Its like advertising, the more you see, the more you are paying. Verizon, Sent out an advert about better fiber speeds, Nationally. And you goto their web site and its not near you, and you look at the Coverage area, and its ONLY in the North East section of the USA.. How much do you pay for an advert to the WHOLE nation, over 4-5 states?? See those race cars with adverts all over them?? They arnt cheap. Ask STP's corp, because they Own about 1/2 of those companies adverting on those cars. YOU pay for those. Watch the olympics, and see all the adverts around the sides...YOU PAID FOR THEM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2020 @ 5:16pm

    See, 5G would be worth getting excited about if ISPs and telecoms in the US knew how to invest in anything beyond their CEOs' pockets. History tells us they aren't. You know, just in case Ajit Pai needed another flimsy reason to demand money that never ends up where he says it'll end up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 7:34am

      Re:

      "See, 5G would be worth getting excited about if ISPs and telecoms in the US knew how to invest in anything beyond their CEOs' pockets."

      Not even then.

      Invest about a tenth of the money they plan to spend implementing 5G and you might end up with an actually functional 4G network.

      At which point you'd have about 60 Mbit/sec anywhere in the city which is enough to simultaneously run one 4K stream and half a dozen decent-speeded torrents.

      Essentially "5G" is the most massive pork barrel project in recent years and it mainly consists of the plan to put up wifi routers ever 300 feet in every city in the US, heavily subsidized by the taxpayer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nah, 28 Jan 2020 @ 2:11am

    Lol

    As a literal telecom lobbyist, this is straight facts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Derek Currie, 13 Feb 2020 @ 1:26pm

    There's Marketing 4G & 5G, Then There's Real 4G & 5G

    The single most pitiful aspect of this US FCC ad nauseam chaos is that allowance of RE-definition of these supposed 'standards' for the sake of conning the suckers by way of marketing. Here in the USA we are infamous for labeling what qualifies as fast 3G as "4G". Unless one's mobile phone service uses LTE Advanced, the official name of real 4G, then all one has is mere 3G. This remains the case to this date across the vast majority of the USA. It's corporatocracy, the now familiar nonsense portrayed as fact, a lazy, money grubbing con job. Most of the rest of the first world has actual, factual 4G. Shameful. AT&T was the first to egregiously abuse the term "5G" with their blatantly nonsensical "5G Evolution" marketing term. Meanwhile, "5G" as a technology is wandering off into various directions with varying "pre-standard" implementations, standards release dates, subsequently varying hardware, varying use of EM frequencies and varying traffic types, aka near chaos. Good luck being able to use your "5G" devices outside of the marketing zone for which they're designed. Sound familiar? It's an old tried and true method of stopping technology universality and grey marketing. Then toss in the profoundly disappointing signal distance and penetration across all the various "5G" standards and we've got another lipstick on a pig situation. The likely best outcome of this mess is that real LTE Advanced 4G is supposed to be the fall back in those corners of your city, or your room for that matter, where "5G" fails. Here in the USA, that will be an improvement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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