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Announcements => News Articles => Topic started by: Bowdon on November 20, 2018, 10:37:11 AM

Title: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: Bowdon on November 20, 2018, 10:37:11 AM
https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/11/three-uk-study-5g-to-do-100mbps-broadband-replace-fixed-lines.html (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/11/three-uk-study-5g-to-do-100mbps-broadband-replace-fixed-lines.html)

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Ovum has today published a new report, commissioned by mobile operator Three UK, which claims future 5G technology will deliver home broadband speeds of 80-100Mbps. Furthermore they predict that it could “replace traditional connections” for 85% of the UK’s 26 million fixed line ISP customers, with “equal or better speeds.”

The report is interesting for a number of reasons, not least because it examines the viability of 5G based Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services (used to connect individual homes and businesses) and makes a number of big claims that are worth examining in more details.

Most FWA services offer a targeted and faster type of wireless broadband delivery, which is designed to compete with fixed line connections. Such services typically use frequency bands that are similar to WiFi and often require end-users to install special antennas on the outside of their properties (not always necessary in urban areas, but often essential in rural areas where signals must travel further and can be weaker).

By comparison Mobile operators usually adopt a different setup and model for reaching users in the highly variable mobile environment (Smartphones etc.). Overall Ovum’s study makes five key claims about the potential benefits of a 5G based FWA service vs fixed lines.

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    5G FWA vs Fixed Lines (Ovum)

    • 5G-FWA’s mmWave performance is comparable to or better than existing fiber-based products.

    This makes it a plausible substitute to wired broadband. 5G-FWA is as fast or faster than existing fiber-based products. Ovum has witnessed speeds of 1–3Gbps in live commercial trials with limited customer numbers. We expect large-scale deployment to be able to consistently support speeds of 80-100Mbps, which is better than many existing fiber-based connections.

    • 5G-FWA can serve 85% of the existing UK fixed-line market.

    Currently, the average actual speed delivered to UK households stands at 46.2Mbps, but there is a substantial proportion of households receiving much lower speeds, both in urban and sparsely populated areas of the country. The percentage of urban customers receiving speeds below 80Mbps is approximately 85%. Fiber (FTTC) customers across the UK receive an average download speed of 46.2Mbps, which is half the speed 5G wireless broadband can expect to deliver.

    • 5G-FWA can address customer pain points.

    It can save families an estimated £240 per year, as fixed-line rental is not required. Moreover, customers do not have to go on a fiber “waiting list” dependent on their postcode. Having to wait for engineer appointments, be present during installation, and drill holes through walls to pass cables are pain points that a plug-and-play wireless solution can eliminate.

    • The ecosystem for 5G-FWA is developed from the outset.

    There have been plenty of attempts in the past to use wireless as a substitute for wired broadband connectivity (e.g. WiMAX). These attempts have failed because of the lack of support from both the telecom operator community and the technology vendor community. But 5G wireless broadband is already benefitting from deployments by large-scale telecom operators and equipment manufacturers. Moreover, it uses the same technology as 5G mobile, which is fully standardized and endorsed by all telecom operators in the world.

    • Deploying 5G-FWA can be almost 50% cheaper than laying fiber.

    Economic modeling indicates that implementing 5G-FWA is much cheaper than using fiber. Such a calculation is important for mobile-only operators with no existing fiber footprint. The cost of deployment can be much lower mainly because of the civil engineering cost (e.g. digging roads) associated with fiber deployment.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: Weaver on November 22, 2018, 03:58:17 AM
Of course everything depends on takeup and access to a shared resource, although if they use L2 or L3 rate-limiting or allocate a fixed number of time-slots in the wireless lower layers then that changes the story.

But it might be that if you have no neighbours or there has been poor takeup in your cell, then you are very happy, for the moment. When everyone finds out about the service then the honeymoon is over with hundreds of users and the nightmare case would be dialup speeds.

Virgin cable has always sounded scary to me because of shared access. There is a local wireless system in the village which sounds scary to me for the same reason.

Still, this is very interesting indeed, as 3Gbps or even 1Gbps could go a long way in some circumstances. The mobile operators might be incredibly greedy though, yet again. Mobile networking charges have always been ridiculously high in the past and there is no reason for that to change, unless they wake up and realise that they have been strangling a potential market, preventing it from ever getting going, for years and years. The companies will have to get back the money they will have spent, not only on spectrum licences and new hardware, but (presumably) on higher bandwidth links to base stations, and definitely on internal core network link upgrades and associated posh core hardware.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: Chrysalis on November 22, 2018, 01:37:31 PM
What service is provided on that village wireless provider?

Also bear in mind the mobile providers face two issues that contribute to their pricing.

1 - They have to bid for wavelength capacity from ofcom, this costs billions of pounds, think how much 4G sold for and how long its lasted before they having to do the same again for 5G.  Thats the period of time they need to claw that money back from consumers plus some profit.
2 - We are told that capacity to masts is restrictive, so because of the limited nature the price for consumption has to be high else it will be overwhelmed and run like a typical NTL docsis1 node in the day.  I expect thats not quite the truth but its a mixture of both of these reasons why the pricing is what it is.

5G for whatever reason according to three, the maths are different so as such the usage per customer it supports is high enough that it can be useable as primary broadband for a household.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: CarlT on November 22, 2018, 04:53:23 PM
But it might be that if you have no neighbours or there has been poor takeup in your cell, then you are very happy, for the moment. When everyone finds out about the service then the honeymoon is over with hundreds of users and the nightmare case would be dialup speeds.

Virgin cable has always sounded scary to me because of shared access. There is a local wireless system in the village which sounds scary to me for the same reason.

Not sure I get this one. You're sharing resources at some point, whether a passive network or the other end of a DSLAM, switch or router? As long as the access network has no visible contention or visible contention during exceptional periods you're all good.

Chances are FTTP will be delivered to you via a passive network so hopefully you'll be less concerned by it by then.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: Chrysalis on November 22, 2018, 05:04:42 PM
True, and another way of looking at it as well, if the service is say 100mbit contended, and you unlucky with it been visible contention, visible contention dropping to say 30mbit is still a whole lot better than a multi adsl line bonded solution at 10mbit on the best of its days.

I am pretty sure e.g. my EE 4g does slow down in the evenings, but its slowdown is not critical, its still fast enough for anything its used for (several 10s of mbits/sec).   The issue will be tho if these are going to be used as primary connections, is if there is pauses in connectivity, and if visible contention can be kept to a level where it doesnt affect mainstream streaming services.  If it passes these two things I can forsee people dropping fixed line solutions for mobile solutions.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: CarlT on November 23, 2018, 12:34:25 AM
Debatable, Chrys. Many people could go from 2Mb ADSL to 1G FTTP and they'd be upset if it weren't hitting full speed all the time. Not getting what they're paying for and all that. :wall:
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: Weaver on November 23, 2018, 01:31:03 AM
As I said, very interesting though. They can still just carry in as normal, making it so expensive that no one will be able to exploit it properly. And this would mean a hugely greater amount of usage if someone is switching over to 5G as their main choice of Internet access pipe.

If I were paying a hell of a lot, I would indeed want to know what I am getting, not a pig in a poke. And systems where there are absolutely no honest numbers to be had are not good in my opinion. I’m used to rock solid guarantees of performance in practice at the moment, as AA really does try to do the right thing and not oversell their network while giving carriers some grief about congestion whenever it is necessary.

Carl makes a good point. What I want is honesty and also being told nothing at all is not cool. If they are honestly selling a service that is going to wilt because if overselling it the straight maths of a shared service that is not rate limited, and it does what they say it will do, including coming clean about all that, then fair enough. You can decide whether you want to buy into it or not.

Enough negativity, it’s all pretty good stuff. Amazing numbers being talked about nowadays.
Title: Re: Three UK Study – 5G to do 100Mbps Broadband, Replace Fixed Lines
Post by: CarlT on November 24, 2018, 04:23:00 PM
Imagine the complaints in the UK if providers advertised speed ranges as Comhem in Sweden do. Lots of :baby: being thrown out of the pram despite the advertising being honest.