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(Phys Org2)   UK planning to go from 4G to 5G, leaving us all wondering what the hell exactly is a G anyway?   (phys.org) divider line 72
    More: Spiffy, Ofcom, telecommunications, logical possibility, governors  
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2873 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Nov 2012 at 10:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-17 05:13:07 AM
apparently mythical spot where phones are really sensitive but when you get your aerial just right can give sensational and fast results. If you miss the small areas it works in, it can leave both phone and user somewhat deflated, which of course is most of the time.
 
2012-11-17 08:29:01 AM
So you can reach your data limit even faster
 
2012-11-17 08:29:03 AM
A "G" is one metric gram of internet.
 
2012-11-17 08:41:16 AM
Straight up G

www.arktimes.com
 
2012-11-17 08:44:54 AM

Mugato: Straight up G

[www.arktimes.com image 344x344]


I thought that was a P.I.M.P. ?
 
2012-11-17 09:52:58 AM
9.8m/s^2?
 
2012-11-17 10:14:12 AM
What the hell is a Gigawatt?
 
2012-11-17 10:20:40 AM

TwistedIvory: 9.8m/s^2?


That's g not G
 
2012-11-17 10:33:46 AM
Generation
 
2012-11-17 10:33:57 AM
Didn't they just start major rollouts of 4G
 
2012-11-17 10:34:17 AM
And here in the US we are still running on 3.5G.
 
2012-11-17 10:41:06 AM

drjekel_mrhyde: Didn't they just start major rollouts of 4G


No, they've1 been on 4G for some time. We're2 the ones that are just starting to get it.

1: The UK
2: The US
 
2012-11-17 10:43:38 AM
I always whiz after a G.
 
2012-11-17 10:48:42 AM
As someone who is quickly becoming furious with the poor signal from his wireless hotspot, I'm getting a kick....

Seriously, north of Baltimore I was doing all of my internet usage through it. Now I've moved to DC and I'm lucky to not lose connection every 5 mins. Either the signal interference around here is worse, or they've instituted some shadowy data cap.

/My plan is supposedly unlimited...
 
2012-11-17 10:54:20 AM
My signal is fine, it's the battery life that sucks.

/has a shiatty phone I guess
//doesn't use it for anything but phone calls and GPS
 
2012-11-17 10:58:53 AM
5 Gangnams.
 
2012-11-17 11:00:16 AM

INeedAName: As someone who is quickly becoming furious with the poor signal from his wireless hotspot, I'm getting a kick....

Seriously, north of Baltimore I was doing all of my internet usage through it. Now I've moved to DC and I'm lucky to not lose connection every 5 mins. Either the signal interference around here is worse, or they've instituted some shadowy data cap.

/My plan is supposedly unlimited...


first check how many other wifi signals you can pick up with your laptop or whatever you use then try changing your wifi channel to one that is less used (trial and error) Then see if your hotspot can be put on a windowsill or somewhere without a wall between it and outside. If that doesn`t work get a friend to come round with theirs and see if different hardware gets different results using your connection and finally see if someone elses wifi hotspot connection on a different carrier gets better reception in your home. If none of those things work, move.

I`m assuming you are using a mobile WIFI hotspot not a wired connection to your ISP.
 
2012-11-17 11:07:44 AM
$1,000.00

And that's about what it will cost to make a call.
 
2012-11-17 11:08:22 AM
img560.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-17 11:17:21 AM
There actually was a very specific definition of what "4G" would entail, with connection speeds that had to be met, and specific technologies that had to be used for the connection.

But cellular providers, particularly in the US, got it gutted because they're years and years away from coming close to that standard. So now it just means "marginally better than 3G was."
 
2012-11-17 11:20:39 AM

Yotto: drjekel_mrhyde: Didn't they just start major rollouts of 4G

No, they've1 been on 4G for some time. We're2 the ones that are just starting to get it.

1: The UK
2: The US


Not... quite sure what you're talking about. HSPA+, maybe, but they're just now getting LTE. The US is far ahead of most of Europe in major carrier LTE deployments, if you can believe it.
 
2012-11-17 11:21:41 AM
There really won't be a 5g. An application to utilize it hasn't even been dreamed up. 4g standards go well over 100mbs with extremely low latency. Because wireless devices are generally personal (vs a home connection that might be supplying a dozen connected devices at a time) there just isn't the need for fiberlike speeds over radio waves. We are currently in a phase in which speed is not the limiting factor - you can stream two-way 1080p video with HD audio over current LTE. Capacity is the limiting factor. LTE can wring almost 400mbs out of a 10mhz chunk of spectrum. I know it is boring, but getting that number up is the next challenge.
 
2012-11-17 11:23:22 AM

madgonad: There really won't be a 5g. An application to utilize it hasn't even been dreamed up. 4g standards go well over 100mbs with extremely low latency. Because wireless devices are generally personal (vs a home connection that might be supplying a dozen connected devices at a time) there just isn't the need for fiberlike speeds over radio waves. We are currently in a phase in which speed is not the limiting factor - you can stream two-way 1080p video with HD audio over current LTE. Capacity is the limiting factor. LTE can wring almost 400mbs out of a 10mhz chunk of spectrum. I know it is boring, but getting that number up is the next challenge.


A.) Those LTE speeds are on paper, but real world? Not yet.
B.) "Never"? We'll "never" progress past 4G/LTE? wut
 
2012-11-17 11:25:45 AM

LasersHurt: madgonad: There really won't be a 5g. An application to utilize it hasn't even been dreamed up. 4g standards go well over 100mbs with extremely low latency. Because wireless devices are generally personal (vs a home connection that might be supplying a dozen connected devices at a time) there just isn't the need for fiberlike speeds over radio waves. We are currently in a phase in which speed is not the limiting factor - you can stream two-way 1080p video with HD audio over current LTE. Capacity is the limiting factor. LTE can wring almost 400mbs out of a 10mhz chunk of spectrum. I know it is boring, but getting that number up is the next challenge.

A.) Those LTE speeds are on paper, but real world? Not yet.
B.) "Never"? We'll "never" progress past 4G/LTE? wut


We will "never" progress past 4G/LTE, same way we "never" progressed past 640KB of memory in computers.
 
2012-11-17 11:40:51 AM
I'm holding off on 4G for now. When it first came out and I saw the speeds I was like "wow, I can throw away my broadband can use my phone and get my Steam games quicker".

But no, you get like 1GB of data per month. So, the one place I can really see a benefit, saving a long time on big downloads, isn't possible.

So all it means is that your browsing will be snappier (assuming that the site doesn't cap your limit). Big farking whoop!
 
2012-11-17 11:49:00 AM

madgonad: There really won't be a 5g. An application to utilize it hasn't even been dreamed up. 4g standards go well over 100mbs with extremely low latency. Because wireless devices are generally personal (vs a home connection that might be supplying a dozen connected devices at a time) there just isn't the need for fiberlike speeds over radio waves. We are currently in a phase in which speed is not the limiting factor - you can stream two-way 1080p video with HD audio over current LTE. Capacity is the limiting factor. LTE can wring almost 400mbs out of a 10mhz chunk of spectrum. I know it is boring, but getting that number up is the next challenge.


Have you ever actually run a speed test on your 4G LTE devices? I was using a AT&T 4G LTE USB modem yesterday, and depending on location, my speedtest results varied from 3 to 5mbps download and 0.3 to 3mbps upload. In the middle of silicon valley, I was getting 3up/3down.

I find it hard to believe phones actually can receive data at 100mbps.

I think the whole "G" thing is a marketing gimmick, pure and simple.
 
2012-11-17 11:49:45 AM

Ed Finnerty: A "G" is one metric gram of internet.


www.comedy.co.uk

The internet doesn't weigh anything!

/hhhhotlinked
 
2012-11-17 12:01:07 PM
No, it's only most of you guys who don't know what a G is. My girl will tell you I know exactly what and where her G is.

/Read a book.
//Touch a real girl.
 
2012-11-17 12:03:38 PM

count chocula: madgonad: There really won't be a 5g. An application to utilize it hasn't even been dreamed up. 4g standards go well over 100mbs with extremely low latency. Because wireless devices are generally personal (vs a home connection that might be supplying a dozen connected devices at a time) there just isn't the need for fiberlike speeds over radio waves. We are currently in a phase in which speed is not the limiting factor - you can stream two-way 1080p video with HD audio over current LTE. Capacity is the limiting factor. LTE can wring almost 400mbs out of a 10mhz chunk of spectrum. I know it is boring, but getting that number up is the next challenge.

Have you ever actually run a speed test on your 4G LTE devices? I was using a AT&T 4G LTE USB modem yesterday, and depending on location, my speedtest results varied from 3 to 5mbps download and 0.3 to 3mbps upload. In the middle of silicon valley, I was getting 3up/3down.

I find it hard to believe phones actually can receive data at 100mbps.

I think the whole "G" thing is a marketing gimmick, pure and simple.


I actually work in the industry. Your problem is AT&T - which relates directly to what I was talking about regarding capacity. If you don't have enough spectrum, it doesn't matter how fast your technology can go if too many people have to share. AT&T and Verizon use generally the same technology with the same speed limits - around 50mbs. The problem is that eight people downloading at that limit would complete consume 10mhz of spectrum - which is all AT&T has. So the towers divide the spectrum as fairly (or potentially unfairly if they choose) to meet the needs requested by the customers. If a tower is getting 350 requests for data at the same time, and if it divides it evenly, nobody is going to get more than 1mbs. Verizon has a lot more spectrum for LTE than AT&T, so they are running into capacity issues now (but they will, hence the metering). So when you are getting 3-5mbs, just imagine that as you getting about 1% of the tower's capacity with their other customers using the other 99%. Try that connection again at 4am on a Wednesday and it will be much faster. See, being in the middle of silicon valley means there are far more smartphones per square mile than most other places on earth. I pretty much always get 20-30mbs in the midwest with Verizon - and the 40-50 second latency is just icing on the cake.
 
2012-11-17 12:05:46 PM

madgonad: 40-50 second latency


Ugh, milliseconds
 
2012-11-17 12:08:22 PM

count chocula: I find it hard to believe phones actually can receive data at 100mbps.


And yes, they can receive it. They just don't have any applications to use it. I think streaming a blu-ray only require 20-25mbs. Now use it as a mobile hotspot and several computers can saturate the allowed connection without much trouble.
 
2012-11-17 12:09:24 PM

madgonad: I actually work in the industry. Your problem is AT&T - which relates directly to what I was talking about regarding capacity. If you don't have enough spectrum, it doesn't matter how fast your technology can go if too many people have to share. AT&T and Verizon use generally the same technology with the same speed limits - around 50mbs. The problem is that eight people downloading at that limit would complete consume 10mhz of spectrum - which is all AT&T has. So the towers divide the spectrum as fairly (or potentially unfairly if they choose) to meet the needs requested by the customers. If a tower is getting 350 requests for data at the same time, and if it divides it evenly, nobody is going to get more than 1mbs. Verizon has a lot more spectrum for LTE than AT&T, so they are running into capacity issues now (but they will, hence the metering). So when you are getting 3-5mbs, just imagine that as you getting about 1% of the tower's capacity with their other customers using the other 99%. Try that connection again at 4am on a Wednesday and it will be much faster. See, being in the middle of silicon valley means there are far more smartphones per square mile than most other places on earth. I pretty much always get 20-30mbs in the midwest with Verizon - and the 40-50 second latency is just icing on the cake.


Thanks, very informative post.

I still am not a fan of the whole 3G/4G LTE marketing platform. It's disingenuous and meant to confuse less technically savvy customers. It would make more sense to sell data plans by range of mbps, like with home internet connections. Selling plans as "4G" and pointing to the standard that states 100mbps while neglecting to mention the fact that it is a shared medium and the customer can only expect a fraction of that speed seems misleading.
 
2012-11-17 12:11:13 PM

madgonad: count chocula: I find it hard to believe phones actually can receive data at 100mbps.

And yes, they can receive it. They just don't have any applications to use it. I think streaming a blu-ray only require 20-25mbs. Now use it as a mobile hotspot and several computers can saturate the allowed connection without much trouble.


"can" was the wrong word here. I meant "do."
 
2012-11-17 12:25:00 PM

ZeroCorpse: No, it's only most of you guys who don't know what a G is. My girl will tell you I know exactly what and where her G is.

/Read a book.
//Touch a real girl.


farm3.static.flickr.com
 
2012-11-17 12:29:29 PM
A G is about half a henway.
 
2012-11-17 12:38:41 PM

count chocula: I still am not a fan of the whole 3G/4G LTE marketing platform. It's disingenuous and meant to confuse less technically savvy customers. It would make more sense to sell data plans by range of mbps, like with home internet connections. Selling plans as "4G" and pointing to the standard that states 100mbps while neglecting to mention the fact that it is a shared medium and the customer can only expect a fraction of that speed seems misleading.


I don't think that would work out. Home broadband companies already have a tiered service structure - I pay for 20/5 and generally only get 12/1. I would complain, but there is only one broadband provider for my suburb that can deliver more than 1mbs - so I am stuck with them. When I had 10/1mbs I would only get 7/0.5mbs - so I do get more by paying more, but not the number they are advertising. I don't think that kind of tiered model would work for wireless. With LTE, the only practical constraint is capacity, not potential speed. Metering encourages efficiency in customer usage - no more streaming torrents or watching dozens of movies over wireless. I do think per GB prices should come down a little though. Providing high speeds, with a meter just mimics every other utility which involves a scarce resource. Home connectivity isn't scarce, but wireless is. Taking the unmetered path like Sprint ends up with 'crowded buffet line' syndrome in which users often get dial-up speeds because so many other users have no reason not to use all that there is. The tragedy of the commons on a private network. Silly Sprint. And they wonder why they lose customers every quarter and have lost billions every year since the merger...
 
2012-11-17 12:48:15 PM

Mugato: My signal is fine, it's the battery life that sucks.

/has a shiatty phone I guess
//doesn't use it for anything but phone calls and GPS


That seems to be a complaint a lot of people have. The faster phones get (both processor and 'the Gs') the less time it lasts.

I'd actually like something about the size of a Galaxy Nexus... and two to three times thicker with nothing in there but a honking great battery pack.
 
2012-11-17 12:48:41 PM

madgonad: I don't think that would work out. Home broadband companies already have a tiered service structure - I pay for 20/5 and generally only get 12/1. I would complain, but there is only one broadband provider for my suburb that can deliver more than 1mbs - so I am stuck with them. When I had 10/1mbs I would only get 7/0.5mbs - so I do get more by paying more, but not the number they are advertising. I don't think that kind of tiered model would work for wireless. With LTE, the only practical constraint is capacity, not potential speed. Metering encourages efficiency in customer usage - no more streaming torrents or watching dozens of movies over wireless. I do think per GB prices should come down a little though. Providing high speeds, with a meter just mimics every other utility which involves a scarce resource. Home connectivity isn't scarce, but wireless is. Taking the unmetered path like Sprint ends up with 'crowded buffet line' syndrome in which users often get dial-up speeds because so many other users have no reason not to use all that there is. The tragedy of the commons on a private network. Silly Sprint. And they wonder why they lose customers every quarter and have lost billions every year since the merger...


If you actually press the broadband companies, they will admit that their tiered service is for a range of speeds. They just name the plans by the highest limit of that range. This is disingenuous as well, they should be more clear that it is in fact a range of speeds, not a set speed, you are paying for. I don't see why Mobile service couldn't operate the same way. Increase capacity (more towers) to match increased demand.
 
2012-11-17 12:52:53 PM

madgonad: I don't think that would work out. Home broadband companies already have a tiered service structure - I pay for 20/5 and generally only get 12/1.


That because you aren't paying for 20/5. You're paying for (and if you check the literature you'll see I'm right) "upto 20/5". I have zero idea who your ISP is but I'm going to bet that buried in the small print the TOS say that so long as THEY say the connection is active they can bill you... beyond that not their problem.

And frankly that shiat has got to stop, if I were on your ISP and actually getting 20/5 then I'm good... why should you have to pay for 20/5 and not even get a sniff of it... ever? Your bill should be reduced to reflect the reduced capacity provided as it's their limitation not yours.
 
2012-11-17 12:55:30 PM
it's a tenetinba
 
2012-11-17 01:13:47 PM

Dead for Tax Reasons: TwistedIvory: 9.8m/s^2?

That's g not G


Right, G is ~6.674*10^-11 N(m/kg)^2
 
2012-11-17 01:22:35 PM

count chocula: Have you ever actually run a speed test on your 4G LTE devices? I was using a AT&T 4G LTE USB modem yesterday, and depending on location, my speedtest results varied from 3 to 5mbps download and 0.3 to 3mbps upload. In the middle of silicon valley, I was getting 3up/3down.

I find it hard to believe phones actually can receive data at 100mbps.


From what I understand 4G LTE is about grabbing multiple frequencies. So when it's quiet, you get can pretty good data speeds. It's not adding more network capacity, though, so when busy it doesn't make much difference.

(if I'm wrong, someone please explain the difference).
 
2012-11-17 01:23:30 PM

count chocula: Increase capacity (more towers) to match increased demand.


Capacity is far more closely related to spectrum, not towers. More towers allows either more coverage area or more tightly packed towers using higher frequencies. While adding towers has its uses, acquiring more and more useful spectrum is the only tried and true way of increasing a network's capacity.
 
2012-11-17 01:29:08 PM

Vaneshi: madgonad: I don't think that would work out. Home broadband companies already have a tiered service structure - I pay for 20/5 and generally only get 12/1.

That because you aren't paying for 20/5. You're paying for (and if you check the literature you'll see I'm right) "upto 20/5". I have zero idea who your ISP is but I'm going to bet that buried in the small print the TOS say that so long as THEY say the connection is active they can bill you... beyond that not their problem.

And frankly that shiat has got to stop, if I were on your ISP and actually getting 20/5 then I'm good... why should you have to pay for 20/5 and not even get a sniff of it... ever? Your bill should be reduced to reflect the reduced capacity provided as it's their limitation not yours.


I know that is what ISPs do, and to stretch the model - why don't they offer 'up to 100Gbs' service of DSL? (Engineers: Because that would be impossible!), but the marketing people could probably rationalize it. Trying to extract larger fees by promising higher speeds is fairly tenuous. They should probably change it to "we will only cap your speed at XXmps', but that doesn't sound as good. Ah, I remember the good old day in the late 90s when I was a Roadrunner beta tester. Modifying the firmware on the cable modem to remove the throttling... ahh, the good old days. I could cheat and get faster speeds 13 years ago than I can get now.

/Google fiber is coming....Google fiber is coming....
 
2012-11-17 01:38:23 PM
That's great now if Sprint will just make the iPhone 5 work on their damn 3G networks properly and then maybe thinking about converting their fake-4G networks into actual 4G networks before the new iPhone comes out.
 
2012-11-17 01:39:18 PM
It stands for Generation, and they can loosely use that acronym based on whatever upgrade they want...even if it's 10 kilobytes.
 
2012-11-17 01:47:45 PM
I say this to myself every time I see a cell phone commercial.

Then I hit the mute button and don't care again.
 
2012-11-17 01:53:49 PM

Vaneshi: And frankly that shiat has got to stop, if I were on your ISP and actually getting 20/5 then I'm good... why should you have to pay for 20/5 and not even get a sniff of it... ever? Your bill should be reduced to reflect the reduced capacity provided as it's their limitation not yours.


Just pay them "up to" 100% of the bill.
 
2012-11-17 01:57:12 PM

erewhon: A G is about half a henway.


That's what, about three pounds then?
 
2012-11-17 02:01:25 PM
Back in my day we only had two G's, and we were damn glad to have them.
 
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