It’s Overyhped? Say it Ain’t So!

There is an increasingl realization that the promised transformative nature of 5G mobile technology is a mirage.

The blistering speeds promised only occur with the higher frequencies, which only extend about a mile from a cell tower, and do not effectively penetrate building walls and the like:

Buried underneath the blistering hype surrounding fifth-generation (5G) wireless is a quiet but growing consensus: the technology is being over-hyped, and early incarnations were rushed to market in a way that prioritized marketing over substance. That’s not to say that 5G won’t be a good thing when it arrives at scale several years from now, but early offerings have been almost comical in their shortcomings. AT&T has repeatedly lied about 5G availability by pretending its 4G network is 5G. Verizon has repeatedly hyped early non-standard launches that, when reviewers actually got to take a look, were found to be barely available.

If you looked past press releases you’d notice that Verizon’s early launches required the use of $200 battery add on mod because we still haven’t really figured out the battery drain issues presented by 5G’s power demands. You’d also notice the growing awareness that the long-hyped millimeter wave spectrum being used for many deployments have notable distance and line of sight issues, meaning that rural and much of suburban America will not likely see the speeds you’ll frequently see bandied about in marketing issues, and many of the same coverage gap issues you see with current-gen broadband are likely to persist.

If you looked past the headlines you’d probably noticed that even Wall Street was concerned that 5G was being over-hyped and wasn’t yet ready for prime time. Those concerns continue to be expressed largely in industry trade magazines, where you’ll often find stock jocks noting that most of the purported promises of 5G remain well over the horizon:

“What of the other fancy features of 5G, like massive IoT and ultra low latency? Specifications for those technologies are scheduled for availability in — wait for it — 2020, when the 3GPP’s Release 16 is scheduled to be finished.

“We believe the current investment opportunity associated with 5G is limited and unlikely to drive meaningful incremental upside for companies involved considering the mature state of the smartphone market,” wrote the analysts at Wall Street research firm Cowen in a recent note to investors.”

What, you mean that out wireless companies are lying to us?

I’m shocked.

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