back to article Leaked pics: Motorola to add 'unpatriotic' 5G to 4G phones with magnets

Lenovo's Motorola may soon offer 5G through its Mod phone expansion system, which allows peripherals to clip to the back of Mod-compatible phones using a magnet, according to leaked imagery. The images, published at XDA developers, include a bulky 5G Mod. The Moto Mod bus supports USB 3.1 speeds: sufficient for the gigabit …

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Well in the GSM world radio progress isn't the most important thing

It's usually how the patents are distributed among the large implementers. That's why, instead of sane codecs like Speex or Opus, they use weird codecs like AMR.

So it makes sense to develop your own "patent-reduced" standards, as it'll likely even be complexity reduced because of that.

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Re: Well in the GSM world radio progress isn't the most important thing

That's also like open-source file formats (think OpenOffice's ODF) in response to Microsoft's patented black box.

And another thing: while development *might* be easy, widespread adoption isn't.

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Anonymous Coward

I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

4g is perfect on the occasions where the carrier has the bandwidth to make it work near its design speeds.

its like having gigabit home broadband, its nice, but what's it for?

are there more than niche use cases that require all the extra effort?

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

On 4G in the UK, I get about 30Mbps down.

I don't see that my phone needs for than that for the immediate future. It's enough to stream HD Netflix, etc. without feeling choking to anything else you might want to do (browsing, downloads, working on an online office suite, etc.).

4G in other countries, properly deployed, is capable of much more - 150Mbps isn't at all unusual, even in rural areas. Hence, I can't see any need to move on.

I honestly think I'd rather stick with a cellular network who come out and say "We're not going to waste billions of your money on 5G licencing and compatibility... we'll invest it in our 4G network instead to get greater capacity and speeds for you".

It cost £2.3bn to buy the 4G licences. 5G has only take £1.3bn so far.

https://5g.co.uk/guides/5g-uk-auction/

I think I'd much rather they spent those billions on more towers and even rural connectivity that I would probably never use, than jumping on the bandwagon.

Bear in mind... I live my entire online life via 4G... a smartphone and a 4G Wifi router. I literally don't have any other Internet connection at all. Yet I use it for all my entertainment, gaming, streaming, downloading, browsing, telephony, etc.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

I believe there are considerations in high density areas - 5G is shorter ranged using more, smaller base-stations, and these will have less users on each one.

Other than that, I agree that 4G is fast enough for the foreseeable future (how far can you see?)

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all (Lee D)

30Mbps down 4G might be enough for your household needs but it most definitely isn't enough for mine and what of a house with several teenage children?

That said I don't need even that on my phone, most of my bandwidth is used by other devices.

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FAIL

Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

I would like to say I agree with you, but EE have no sensible any G reception at home beyond the occasional text message for which 2G was OK and the odd voice call where quality is the pits and was better in 2G days. Still I guess we are outside of the M25 so do not count, though we are not outside by an intergalactic distance, so having usable 4G would be interesting. I can only say thank heavens for wired broadband and wired phone service. Otherwise it might be smoke signals to communicate, though as it is now belting with rain starting the smoke signal fire could be an issue.

It would be nice up Motorola phones could actually get promised and otherwise available updates, which my one and only Motorola 4G Play which will be replaced when it goes, by anything except a Motorola briquette.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

If 5G is shorter range needing more base stations, surely that's going to be even more expensive to deploy, then?

I believe ground rent / leased line connectivity to cellular sites is one of their biggest costs (besides radio spectrum, apparently).

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

5G isn't just short range, the signals suffer a lot when objects are in the way.

https://5g.co.uk/news/5g-britain-modelled-on-bournemouth/4120/ says "it will be very important for compatible devices to have line-of-sight access to 5G aerials". This makes it next to useless for a consumer product. Indoor use needs to work.

And then it rambles on about how 5G is needed for driverless cars. A driverless car that only works in a fully 5G compatible? What a joke. Infrastructure like traffic lights might be able to use it, but they're not bandwidth hungry enough to need 5G.

5G might have uses to someone, but it's not a better flavour of 4G.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

"in a fully 5G compatible *area*" I meant. D'oh. Too late to edit now

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

In LTE like 3G speed is based on the distance from transmitter and how many users are between you and the transmitter.

That is also the reason why communication companies want to keep LTE on the higher bands (1800/2600/3500/3700Mhz). It allows for faster speed and more users at the cost of coverage. While 700/800/900Mhz allows for better coverage it doesn't do so well in the speed department due to lack of bandwidth (limited number of 10/15/20Mhz channels can be used).

Based on what I've seen it seems to be that 5G is going to be mostly (at least first time around) at high frequency (2,6/3,5/3,7/6,0/24,5 - 27,5Ghz) in order to allow for higher bandwidth. Since at higher frequency having 100Mhz channel is not a big issue (at least above 6Ghz).

The frequency planning ideas have been published here.

https://gsacom.com/5g-spectrum-bands/

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5G is more about vast swathes of new spectrum

As you say, no one needs a gigabit to their phone and there's no foreseeable future use for case for such a thing, but short range high bandwidth channels are useful in dense urban areas to insure everyone gets bits as fast as they can use them. It will also add new options for fixed internet to homes/businesses, especially in places like the US where internet competition is too often limited.

While I'm sure there will be a lot of hype around 5G when it starts appearing in phones, unless you live in an area where LTE is overburdened and you know for sure that 5G is available it won't make a whit of difference for your phone other than make it run hotter and need charging more often.

The nice thing about the really high frequency 5G bands (29-40 GHz area) is that the antennas for them can be extremely tiny. You could put a nearly invisible "base station" on top of a street light or telephone pole, and (local laws permitting) bypass all the NIMBYs who don't like the look of a cell tower. That will solve the issue with those frequencies being short range because you'll be able to have many more towers - and assuage some of the NIMBYs still against them based on "radiation" fears, since density means they can run at lower power.

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Re: 5G is more about vast swathes of new spectrum

You still need to provide the back end connection and power no matter how small the antenna is.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

5G is more spectrum efficient permitting more users to attain faster speeds in smaller areas or connecting to the same masts. 5G on the same mast infrastructure means ever cheaper calls and data as operators can do more with the same, yes they will roll out loads more masts in built up areas, likely on street furniture but it may mean you can ditch that wired connection in towns and cities where 5G bandwidth maybe well in excess of 100mbs per user helped by the huge number of high frequency masts and further out of town better spectrum utilisation will provide those long suffering rural types with good internet speeds. You may not need 5G but the operators and rural types do.

Its like being at the beach watching volley ball on a really hot day and having a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage or a pint of milk.

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Re: 5G is more about vast swathes of new spectrum

Power isn't a problem since poles already have power run to / along them - all except recently installed streetlights that were designed from day one for LEDs running off a solar charged battery. Those will only be found in newly developed areas that will also have underground utility conduits so bringing power/connectivity to the street light poles that need it should be relatively easy.

Connectivity shouldn't pose a huge obstacle either since you'd only add antennas to a small fraction of the poles, which can be carefully chosen to minimize cost based on having fiber available nearby or where it can be more easily run. Mesh networking between antenna sites could be used as a short range backhaul for problem sites that are harder to reach.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

> I believe there are considerations in high density areas - 5G is shorter ranged using more, smaller base-stations, and these will have less users on each one.

That depends on the frequency being used. The new 5G NR protocol includes a number of new channels above 2 GHz that will be used for micro-cells and pico-cells. But it also supports all of the channels in use today. It isn't unlike how UMTS/HSPA and LTE each gained access to channels that were either unused or experimental during the previous generation.

Expect to see carriers reallocate most, if not all, of their older 2G and 3G channels for 5G in the next few years. So anything from 450 MHz to 60 GHz could be used.

> Other than that, I agree that 4G is fast enough for the foreseeable future

While you may not need the extra bandwidth, one major advantage to shorter transmission times is that radios can go back to sleep sooner, which helps with power management.

Also, the new 5G NR protocol is designed to help cellular carriers better compete with traditional WISPs. It offers lower latency than LTE, better channel/tower aggregation support, and the possibility of switching from FDD to TDD, which allows the network to better handle changing asynchronous loads.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

Typical LTE struggles with dense crowds. Adding high-frequency 5G would allow for offloading some data transfers to very small and fast cells that don't saturate or interfere with each other. That said, there are only a few spots on Earth where LTE fails - pretty much just stadiums and big outdoor events. The transmitter upgrades will be cheap and effective because so few areas will need them. Selling premium phones with 5G is going the be the hard part.

I don't think the telcos are looking at eliminating LTE yet. It's hard to find good tech articles but it looks like 5G requires a 4x4 MIMO antenna - perhaps one that actually works in a hand. If so, that would be a manufacturing complexity that never goes away as the technology matures.

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@toejam13

You really won't see much in the way of 'shorter transmission times'. You are being fooled by the talk of higher speed transmissions and thinking 5G is making major boosts in efficiency. It is not. There isn't much more in the way of bits that can be squeezed from a given Hz of spectrum, 5G's fast speeds rely on it being able to use a lot more spectrum at once (like all the recent LTE 'upgrades' beyond 150 Mbps didn't increase efficiency only the amount of MHz a single device could consume at once)

So radios won't really be going back to sleep any sooner. The only real efficiency gain with 5G will be a reduction in latency. But sending data at 5 Gbps versus 500 Mbps, for instance, won't save power because it'll use 10x the spectrum and thus 10x the power to accomplish that feat.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

I believe there are considerations in high density areas - 5G is shorter ranged using more, smaller base-stations, and these will have less users on each one.

So if every street needs its own base station - in urban areas not an unreasonable concept - then the costs of connecting these local base stations via fibre optic to the backhaul termination site is going to be huge. There's no vast, spare, free-of-charge capacity on existing urban VDSL or cable networks, so the lowest cost option is to use the ducts of other telcos where possible, but that's still going to involve paying for access PLUS the costs of blowing, terminations and local ducting to connect to the fixed line ducts either end.

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Re: I dont really understand why i need 5g at all

Won't somebody please think of the ISPs? How are they supposed to fill up their boatloads of cash if they have to provide service to people?

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Re: 5G is more about vast swathes of new spectrum

> As you say, no one needs a gigabit to their phone and there's no foreseeable future use for case for such a thing

Of course there is. How do you think THHGTTG works? 802.11b?

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Why would they upgrade an old product rather than sell you a new one?

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Because the 5G Mod "upgrade" is going to suffer insurmountable difficulties making it a bit like snake oil, therefore, giving you the reason to upgrade, plus the positive media of being the charitable company that helps us pathetic people who don't upgrade to the latest shiny-shiny "aka computer geeks" and calling it legacy device support or whatever.

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Happy

buy new vs upgrade

[Sureo] "Why would they upgrade an old product rather than sell you a new one?"

Same reason people buy new memory or hard drive or cards for a PC.

Otherwise, they buy an Apple.

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Boffin

Boffinry

It doesn't seem all that long ago that an experimental 5G setup was being pushed around on a trolly.

Quite impressive really even if 5G isn't really all that useful to most of us at this time.

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Re: Boffinry

Internet of Trolleys (IoT) could be the great new British Invention

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Re: Boffinry

And its inventor the next Tim-Berners Lee?

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Silly idea

I have a Moto Z2 Play and am very happy with my existing 4G. Let's assume the new shiny thing turns out to be really good and I encounter a good reason to adopt it, because that's what usually happens. I won't buy this bolt-on to my current phone to use it because..

- Mods are expensive - it won't be far off the cost of a brand new Moto G8 or G9 with built-in 5G.

- It won't work _quite_ as well as I hoped.

- The hardware will murder the battery life and pocketability of the phone.

- By the time 5G is reasonably mainstream my current phone will be dead, due to its knackered non-removable battery / finite-life flash memory / sat-upon screen.

Thanks Moto, I'll pass.

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Re: Silly idea

Nobody is going to buy these add-ons, because Moto are never going to sell them.

Anybody who has ever done any consumer design knows that they are a non-starter on something like a flagship mobile.

Its purpose is to get Moto a cover story on Wired and some free advertising in the Gaurdian with a claim that it will reduce landfill

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Re: Silly idea

Not Wired but XDA-Developers (also known as what became the Chinese OEMs' whore), and not "reduce landfill", but "we support geek types' legacy devices for more than Apple/whomever does!" ...

There, corrected for ya ..

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Joke

"Moto is expected to show the Mod at a launch of the Z3 Play in Brazil next week, a large and dynamic economy where Moto sells buckets."

Will I be able to upgrade my bucket to 5G?

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Anonymous Coward

"Will I be able to upgrade my bucket to 5G?"

Well, I have several 25 litre buckets already - they're about 5 gallons.

I'm glad I'm ready for the future.

And last week's thunderstorm probably reached 30Mbps (mega buckets per second) down so with all this climate change we're going to need really big buckets sooner than expected.

This is the Gardener's World website, isn't it?

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Devil

No It Won't!

"Lenovo's Motorola may soon offer 5G..."

Nonsense.

The 5G standard is not finished.

5G field testing is not going well at this point.

Marketing Morons are using the 5G hypehypehype machinery as lures for new customers.

So when will real 5G be offered to the public? See you in 2020. Maybe. Until then, hypehypehype...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G

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Unpatriotic?

In this case, I'm not sure the Chinese have it wrong. If the patents don't really cover the essential innovations needed for higher-speed broadband, so that it is possible to come up with alternative standards that are just as good, then the world should choose to go with open-source technology.

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jid

Re: Unpatriotic?

Qualcomm have been milking this for too long. I can't blame companies for "going with the flow" but can't one of the giants offer to develop an alternative open source standard or simply buy Qualcomm and open-source their standards. I am sure their corporate strategists and marketers could find a way to leverage this!

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