The G Myth explains why the vision of G, the next generation in mobile telephony, heralded as a huge advance in global connectivity, is flawed and sets out a better vision for a connected future It explains why insufficient technological advances and inadequate profitability will be problems in the widespread implementation of G The book advocates a focus on consistent connectivity everywhere rather than fast speeds in city centers William Webb looks back at the transitions through previous generations of mobile telephony and shows what simple extrapolations of trends would predict for G He discusses whether the increases in speed and capacity promised by G are needed if the required technology is available whether a sound business case can be made for the deployment and asks why, given this, the industry appears so supportive of G He then puts forth the argument in favor of consistent connectivity of around Mbits s everywhere as a compelling vision and shows how it can be delivered via a mix of G and Wi Fi

12 thoughts on “The 5G Myth: When Vision Decoupled from Reality

  1. Mr. Timothy W. Brown Mr. Timothy W. Brown says:

    On seeing this book a few days ago, I saw how compelling it was and straight away went to charge up my kindle to then download it to read on my travels this Christmas time The points made and questions rasied in this book are not ones that some in the telcommunications industry may want to deal with but they are very valid questions that have to be asked and answers need to be sought Without hesitation I would say to anyone working in telecommunications, whether they be academia, industry, consulting, government and indeed an economist they should most certainly read this book and when enough people have read it some well thought round table discussion needs to be had I certainly enjoyed reading it and have written down many things to think about further.

  2. Martin Cave Martin Cave says:

    I am one of William Webb s co authors, but not on this book which gives a bracing and clearly argued account of why the road to ubiquitous 5G may be harder to traverse than the industry and many governments appear to think The issue raised which seems to me to have particular salience concerns the relationship between the willingness to pay for connectivity and hence the extra revenue which it will generate , and the cost of the investment required to achieve the vision We will know in due course who is right, but investors in the industry should take note of what is written here.

  3. Customer Customer says:

    Clear and simple overview of the direction being taken towards 5G and the likely challenges and pitfalls before we get there.

  4. John-Paul Lane John-Paul Lane says:

    A thought provoking counter analysis to the current 5G hyperbole The author addresses a number of aspects in exploring his key idea that 5G, in its current form, is a solution looking for a problem Specifically, the author questions the 5G focus areas of increasing speed, capacity, latency, and IoT as a justification for a new technology upgrade He evaluates the economical, technological and political considerations Finally, he suggests that if the vision could be re focused on addressing key pain points e.g rural coverage, coverage on trains, consistency of coverage always on connection, no matter the technology used then 5G may be a good vehicle for advancement.

  5. Robert Kenny Robert Kenny says:

    The telecoms industry and policy makers are prone to being seduced by the next big thing a technology that will solve all our problems, but which in the end doesn t come close to living up to expectations Think ISDN and if you ve never heard of ISDN, that just goes to show what a damp squib it was.The industry is also bad at anticipating inflection points in demand when growth slackens or stops entirely.In this carefully evidenced book, William Webb argues that we are about to make these mistakes again with 5G He sets out the case that 5G will almost certainly not deliver the technical step change that its boosters claim and that its focus on ever higher bandwidth is anyway not appropriate given likely patterns of future consumption.A readable and broad ranging book, it covers not just the technical and economic issues of 5G, but also the history of mobile and the motives of the various industry stakeholders This is particularly helpful to understanding why no one is willing to say publicly that the 5G emperor has no clothes.As governments begin to throw taxpayers money at 5G, this is a timely analysis Treasury officials should read it closely before they start signing cheques

  6. richard feasey richard feasey says:

    A timely and important antidote to the avalanche of hype surrounding 5G, written by somebody who knows what they are talking about and doesn t have any particular axe to grind Should be mandatory reading for any policymaker involved in telecoms policy or proposing to commit public funds to 5G.

  7. Dr. Steve Methley Dr. Steve Methley says:

    Although this well known author does take a scythe to some of the taller stories around what 5G might be, he does it only to expose the green shoots of what 5G might realistically become in the future Well written and thought provoking, whatever your view of 5G I enjoyed it.

  8. David Appleton David Appleton says:

    Folks let s be honest here there is only one reason for 5G and that is to subject the public to high frequency microwave radiation millimetre wave and assist in depopulating us Suggest people listen to Max Igan and The Fullerton Informer for info.

  9. M Clark M Clark says:

    This book successfully debunks much of the hype around 5G, the newest mobile network technology The author questions the business case for building 5G networks explaining that the increase in speed it promises will not entice users to spend for mobility

  10. Speed Daemon Speed Daemon says:

    The book makes some good points, though the quality of the arguments were undergraduate level, and the citations were lower than that Consumer magazines and websites with sketchy reputations, rather than professional journals Citing such sources would get a term paper returned at the high school I went to, if the Internet had existed then I can t speak to the UK market, but in the US the mobile market is hamstrung by a number of factors aging Internet backbone, telcos who were ATM or bust now just catching up with TCP IP technology as it relates to packet switching, an aging radio infrastructure that still has wide swaths of the country without any kind of cellular data coverage Currently 4G service is limited to major metropolitan areas and along major interstate highways Stray very far off the beaten path and one is back in the world of circuit switched telephony Most cellphone users still use their cellphones as mobile data devices only in limited circumstances, with data provided by wireline carriers with a Wi Fi LAN inside the home, office or commercial space bringing Internet and sometimes phone calls to the device Only in the highway do they fully disconnect from the LAN.5G is a simple moniker for what is a mishmash of technological, political, industrial, business, marketing, social and other influences all pulling in different directions but moving toward an inescapable fact that 5G will happen Number itis is a uniquely human obsession, and we humans are obsessed with getting bigger numbers for no particular reason Although the book makes some fair but crude points about smartphones, it misses the fact that cellular networks are not restricted to use by smartphones alone The author fails to understand that 5G service is already being used to provide fixed service to the home by at least half of the four major US carriers in 2018, using frequencies greater than 30 GHz that are not practical for mobile use Also missing is catching the trend towards 2 way traffic, with gaming and vlogging that uses increasing amounts of upstream data While a smartphone handset may not resolve a DCI 4K movie, gamers and vloggers are not going to be satisfied with being limited to sending 720p30 bare HD video of themselves over a 5G network when they pay premium prices for it They paid for bigger numbers, and will expect their viewers to see them in 2160p60 UHD video With a HEVC encoder, upstream rates of 5 Mbit second for video alone would be required Complicating the problem is that many TV broadcasters are already saturating 4G networks with video uplinks, and because they have the money to pay for priority, they will continue to get that on 5G.At 10 I guess I can t complain, but I would have asked for my money back at the original price It s a nice first draft, but needs to get fleshed out to become a book worthy writing I found this cited in an online article, and although both the article and book make good points, I expect a book to explore an issue in depth.

  11. Customer Customer says:

    This is a fascinating book to read from a consultant to Ofcom, the U.K telecommunications regulator His main point is that 5G and its promised speed improvements are not worth the considerable extra cost from the existing 4G infrastructure.The speeds already achieved by 4G are enough, and mobile traffic has plateaued, while what people really value right now constant connectivity will not be delivered by 5G In fact that higher frequencies of 5G are difficult to achieve coverage.Meanwhile WiFi provides 10 100x the traffic and maintains a growth of 30 40% year So what governments should do is to support rural broadband with a single network that others share and WiFi first mobile networks.At any rate he predicts BT s WiFi and mobile infrastructure combination in the U.K will mean an offering of WiFi first mobile network in 2021 with offering that are cheaper and better than 5G or 4G competitors.I now understand why 5G roll out has been so slow and why the U.K s and Apple s slower roll out is not cause for alarm Meanwhile I m intrigued by focusing on train track WiFi and rural broadband as the true contributions to national productivity and competitiveness.

  12. Martin Cooper Martin Cooper says:

    In agonizing detail persuasively tears down the 5G myth claim by claim But the author goes a bit overboard in predicting the demise of cellular carriers, and underestimates the importance of wireless collaboration in the future.