back to article 5G is 'ready' once you redefine 'ready'... and then redefine 'reality'

If the industry had one job at Mobile World Congress last week, it was to tell the world that 5G – the biggest thing since "electricity or the automobile", according to Qualcomm's CEO* – was almost upon us. But the reality on the ground in Barcelona only emphasised how far away it remains, practically, for most of us. From …

  1. defiler Silver badge

    Every technology and use case

    But does it Blockchain?

  2. LDS Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "We got a glimpse of that with HTC's 5G Hub"

    A router running Android? With a microphone? No, really, thank you.... I prefer to sell my soul to Satan, instead...

    And still, if 5G requires to bring fibre to every antenna, and antennas need to be a lot more, why shouldn't I have fibre to my home too, instead of relying on a battery-powered device?


      Re: "We got a glimpse of that with HTC's 5G Hub"

      This is the most sensible thing I have ever seen written about 5G.

      Wait until you see 6G, though. It's the dog's.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "We got a glimpse of that with HTC's 5G Hub"

      Because even if the utility right of way runs down down your street it costs a lot to run fiber from that to your house. Especially if it is on the OTHER side of the street. Much cheaper to have a small antenna mounted on the side of your house. Using one of those thin or flat ethernet cables you don't necessarily even need to drill a hole in your house - just run it through a window that can open (and then shut again)

      And why would it need to be a battery powered device? There are plenty of cellular routers today that aren't.

  3. Flak

    5G factories, 5G remote surgery, autonomous cars and real time gaming

    Thank you for that reality check.

    As I walked through the halls at MWC last week I could not help but think that the economic case for carrier deployment of 5G (in terms of higher speed mobile connectivity) is simply not there. One display boasted of multi-gigabit connectivity to your handset. For what please?

    Now over time I am sure this will happen and some real clever augmented reality stuff and immersive technology may tickle the bandwidth capabilities of 5G, but building a case for it with the use cases I saw will be difficult due to the significant increase in base station locations that are required.

    5G factories - use indoor wifi or wired connections

    5G remote surgery - quoting a former colleague: 'bon chance with that'

    autonomous cars - should do edge processing and have their own awareness of surroundings rather than relying on external feeds (i.e. kind of like humans) and are still some time away from mass adoption

    real time gaming - let that happen in fibre connected homes


    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: 5G factories, 5G remote surgery, autonomous cars and real time gaming

      Same biz case as any other idiot tax collector - ooh, shiny, pay me more.

      That's about it, and it's not even very shiny.

      One senses desperation. Desire for subsidies and so forth. Convince the dumb pols to pick our pockets for our own good (as if they needed more excuses).

  4. macjules Silver badge

    Hey, just be thankful ...

    In the good 'ole days of mockups and "new technology" we used to use Flash demonstrations to mask the fact that we had neither built the technology nor was it new. Flash, despite the fact that it was always a complete piece of excrement, has saved me from many an awkward situation: just show the client a lovely movie with lots and lots of transitions and animations and they forget that you are over budget and late on delivery (©2000 - 2019 Capita).

    1. I3N

      Re: Hey, just be thankful ... Yes, not so fast ...

      'Of the one that worked, he said: 'The mmWave antenna at 28Ghz is 12" from the terminal but at least one knows that it works as placing a hand in between the two stops the video.'"

      Was never management material because was cleaver enough to consider an IR sensor to fail-safe the demo ...

  5. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I'll wait for version 3 or later...

    Never buy ver1.0 if you don't want to be the quality testing guinnea pig aka MS Win10.

    Wait for ver2.0 so the bugs have been ironed out (at least the major ones) & the tech is mature enough to actually be in widespread use. As in there might actually be the promised network that uses the tech for you to connect to rather than it only being available inside the lobby of the store selling it.

    Or wait for ver3+ so not only have the major bugs been squashed, most of the minor ones have been as well, there should be widespread adoption of the tech, and the price for it all will have dropped from Apple-levels of insanity to Tesco-cheap-as-chips level instead. That 5G phone might cost all of £50/€50 instead of the 10x/100x "new adopter/sucker" premium it started at.

    Besides, while the networks CLAIM that 5G will improve coverage until it's ubiquitous the reality is that it's been HOW many years now & they've still not got 4G to cover us all: see the story about the gentleman that drove all over his State taking real world, on the ground, no bullshit readings of actual coverage & found that the carrier coverage map was not only a lie but a big fat bald faced utter bullshit clawed from Satan's arsehole lie. I'll believe 5G will have better coverage once they finish the 4G rollout they promised us back when it started. =-/

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: I'll wait for version 3 or later...

      "I'll believe 5G will have better coverage once"

      it is compared with 6G. As the numbers increase, coverage decreases.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I'll wait for version 3 or later...

        Exactly, soon they will have to bring fibre and install an antenna on each building to connect the same building wirelessly... maybe even for each floor....

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I'll wait for version 3 or later...

      "while the networks CLAIM that 5G will improve coverage"

      Which is very strange claim, as each 5G antenna has a much shorter range than previous cell technologies. That means that more antennas are required to cover the same area. How this will make coverage an easier thing to achieve is a bit mysterious to me.

    3. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: I'll wait for version 3 or later...

      +1 for a new colorful description of a maltruth....

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Never mind defining "ready" and "reality", has 5G been defined yet?

  7. Bongwater

    Stolen from another register dude from a couple years ago

    Thanks to Marketing-Speak, high end 3G (LTE) is called '4G' to the public's face. Meanwhile, referring to the REAL 4G standard, I'm unaware of anywhere in the WORLD offering actual 4G. Once we have what's formally called LTE Advanced, we'll have real 4G. Meanwhile, I've been seeing ridiculous references to '4.5G', which of course also doesn't exist IRL. And now we have a proposed 5G standard. Excellent! But first we have to get the Cheap, Lazy, Stupid mobile phone service providers to upgrade to REAL 4G. So what's the hold up?!

    Was this guy correct and is this going to be an endless cycle? Next at 11!!!!

    Sorry to the El Reg member who had posted this, wish I could cite his/her/apache helicopter's name but I couldn't find the original article.

  8. JohnFen Silver badge

    Red flags everywhere

    Everything that I've been hearing about 5G seem to include large numbers of red flags. I smell a disaster in the making here.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Red flags everywhere

      It won't be a disaster, it just won't live up to the hype some people are pushing. They really believe 5G is going to drive a huge upgrade cycle in phones because it is some sort of "must have" feature (and as a corollary since Apple won't have it until fall 2020 they're doomed) and carriers that haven't already announced dozens of 5G rollout cities will shed millions of subscribers as people flee them for a network they can use their new 5G phone on.

      No reason is given by these 5G hypesters as to why all these people will buy phones and change carriers just to get 5G - the desire for 5G is always taken as some sort of a given that doesn't need explaining lol

      It is good to see the press is starting to give 5G a much needed reality check.

  9. Tom 35 Silver badge

    It would be nice if they do away with Carrier Customizations like they have with 4G for things like VoLTE or VoWiFi

    Non of this "oh you have to buy a special bastardized phone from us if you want the advanced features to work" stuff.

  10. I3N

    mm-Wave [5G] Boffin ...

    paid hobbyist ..

    28 GHz, so 40 years ago and so easy to build your own kit ...

    Seems like over 15 years ago running a modded WRT54G at 49 GHz ...

  11. Ole Juul Silver badge

    fair weather tech

    I have a feeling this won't work well on days when it's snowing heavily. Perhaps not even very well in heavy rain. If that's true (correct me if I'm wrong) then this is not going to work in many parts of Canada.

  12. JohnLH


    "But for the next 18 months, it's largely going to be a debugging exercise. Two coruscating expert summaries underlined this."

    Sigh - the word you need is "excoriating" - look it up.

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