back to article Global race for 5G heats up with latest US Congress bill

A global race to roll out next-generation 5G mobile networks has intensified with the approval of new legislation by the US House of Representatives. The peculiarly titled Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act [PDF] – designed to spell out the name of a staff director of a key Congressional …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trying to ensure that the US doesn't repeat the CDMA/GSM standard-split where the US went one direction and the rest of the world went another

    Don't forget PHS...that seemed to work pretty well in the Far East as it was explicitly designed to work well in big cities with lots of receivers in a small space...unlike CDMA and GSM...

  2. JassMan Silver badge

    Two things wrong with trying to be too clever

    1) Calling this piece of legislation the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act makes people think Ray Baums is being honoured rather than Ray Baum.

    2) Its a shit name for any piece of legislation.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Two things wrong with trying to be too clever

      Yeah, bacronyms do end up pretty mangled.

  3. DougS Silver badge

    They only need smaller cells for higher frequencies

    If they use existing spectrum in the 600-2600 MHz range, they can keep the same cell size. For the higher bands like 28 GHz they'd need very small cells but they will be very low power so they can site them almost anywhere. They won't need the large unsightly antennas that make current towers so difficult to get approval for, and lower power levels will leave fewer NIMBY objections (especially since if the NIMBYs don't know a site is nearby they can't complain)

    1. Henry Hallan

      Re: They only need smaller cells for higher frequencies

      The big selling point for 5G is not bandwidth, it is latency. Low latency is how 5G is supposed to allow control of devices (e.g. cars, robots) in real time. To obtain high latency short symbols are needed.

      The problem with short symbols is that they are susceptible to multipath distortion. And, for all the promise of technologies like MIMO and beam-steering, the best way to fix multipath distortion is to shorten the path length. That is, to have smaller cells.

      Carrier frequency doesn't change that.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: They only need smaller cells for higher frequencies

        5G is using CP-OFDM modulation instead of OFDMA to resolve that issue, since it is localized in the time domain. It may be using shorter symbols too (I don't know all the details on 5G to be sure) but not NEARLY as short as if it used the same modulation as LTE.

  4. Streaker1506

    Follow the money

    Ok, let's assume it is costing Billions of Matebele Beans (insert currency here). What I'd like to know is who the hell is going to pay for it?

    This still has hallmarks of technical solution looking for a problem. Do the Phone Companies cost models take into account that their sheep will continually pay more and more for their access to Facebook and that's enough to justify spending vast sums....

    I know I won't

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Follow the money

      With all these conservatives lining up to save the phone companies money and block local government power there must be a lot of fat brown envelopes flowing.

  5. teknopaul Silver badge

    Better Internet videos on teenagers mobile phones, I wonder what will drive demand for that?

  6. Pete4000uk

    what's the frequency kenneth?

    Is 5G going to mostly use higher frequencies (2GHz and above) or will use a mix of higher and lower (600MHz) frequencies?

    1. toejam13

      Re: what's the frequency kenneth?

      Both. One report I read classified 5G Next Radio bands as such: under 1 GHz are "low", 1 to 6 GHz are "middle", and above 6 GHz are "high".

      All of the 5G NR frequency charts I've seen so far only define bands in the low and mid ranges. Most of the bands are a subset of current LTE bands.

      It appears as if some the first 5G deployments might be on bands used for 2G and 3G services today. A few carriers have stated that they're retiring those services starting next year. Meanwhile, 5G telco equipment is supposed to roll out around the same time, so the timelines make sense.

      But those deployments may also be on newly acquired bands between 2 and 5 GHz. Both the FCC and Ofcom have been busy auctioning off those bits of spectrum. The carriers will probably want to put it all to good use.

      1. Pete4000uk

        Re: what's the frequency kenneth?

        Thank you for your reply. I'm glad some of the 2G spectrum is going to be reused.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brain Fried

    They are going to fry our brains with all these microwave stations being used for 5G, thus turning everyone into mindless liberals.

  8. toejam13

    Split? Too late...

    The bill ... ensures that the US doesn't repeat the CDMA/GSM standard-split where the US went one direction and the rest of the world went another.

    Like what we're seeing with frequency allocations on the 700 MHz band? It appears that much of the world (including much of Latin America) will adopt the APT plan, allocating two contiguous 45 MHz blocks for each uplink and downlink, while the US and Canada continues with their weird mish-mosh of upper and lower blocks.

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