Have 5G networks underwhelmed you so far?
Have 5G networks underwhelmed you so far?
12:49

Have 5G networks underwhelmed you so far?

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: Now, most of us are still getting our heads wrapped around 5g, let alone actually getting a device and service so that we have it. And yet six G is in the offering. Now what Roger Chang is executive editor of CNA. He's in charge of news. And he recently did a, that made me do at least a double take, if not a triple, uh, the headline was a hint of what six G might look like. And we have a really good copy desk here seeing that. [00:00:30] So I knew it wasn't a typo. So digging into that really starts to open our minds toward what is next after what's next, because for most people, 5g is still next. Roger, what do you think? Big picture, you talked to Qualcomm, which is a leader in this area. Uh, what do you think six G might look like in broad strokes? I do wanna Speaker 2: Preface this all by saying this is all still kind of theoretical. People are still working on what six G looks like. Uh, we are still in the early days of 5g. So anyone telling you that this is [00:01:00] what CG will actually look, look like is selling, selling you something you shouldn't be buying. And it was a fascinating conversation, cause it really looked at how six G is sort of an evolution of 5g and respect that all the different sensors that we are we're expecting to see in 5g. Well, there's gonna be a lot more of those in six G and they're gonna talk with each other and they, and there's gonna be just more interaction. Uh, and, and basically the idea is everything around is gonna be connected. Everything's gonna be talking to each other in, in an effort to make your life a little bit easier. So that's sort of the broad strokes, big picture [00:01:30] of what six G might look like that Speaker 1: Idea of powering. So many sensors that have so much of a kind of a aggregate mesh awareness was such a key part of, of the discussion you had and, and the points you took out of it, because we've heard a to, that will be coming with 5g. And to be fair, as you mentioned, 5g still early days, it's connecting everything ability has not yet really rolled out much. We're still basically powering what we used to power with 4g now with 5g, but as it starts to connect more devices, it starts this March toward everything, [00:02:00] connected, everything sensing, some people hear and say, okay, that sounds either creepy and very invasive, or they don't know what to make of it at all. If you tell someone, you know, over the dinner table and they say, why would I want everything to be connected and sensing what's a, what's a big picture reason for that. Speaker 2: Yeah. I think the, the best example folks give is the idea of self traffic cars, right? Autonomous cars that all have sensors connected to each other. They work a lot faster than, than humans, frankly, in terms of response time, if you've [00:02:30] got cars with there's different radios and sensors, all talking with each other, you actually have a network effect, a system where cars can all drive on their own. And ultimately I think that's what it'll take for like a full fledged autonom this vehicle system to actually work is for every car to be connected every car to be talking to each other in this kind of split split second manner. And so that's sort of one example, but I really, the general idea is that, you know, whether it's the car, whether it's city infrastructure, whether it's the [00:03:00] appliances in your home, everything that's connected and talking to each other, yes, there is a creepy factor to that. Speaker 2: The idea that they're all they're talking about, you they're whispering about you behind your back, but really it's, it's really about these products and these devices working together sort anticipate the needs of your life. And that's been the big pitch of 5g. And I do think 5g sort of sort is a foundation for that. But I think we'll really start to see more of that. Once six sheet comes, this is far away, this is like nine years away. You know, it's a decade between these generations and we really just are in [00:03:30] the early stretches of Speaker 1: 5g. And I also think it's important to look out nine or 10 years because there is such a broad, pervasive mission that wireless can activity is taking that we no longer see it as a niche. It's not the phone industry. It used to be. That's what wireless was. Basically. Now it's going to be touching every aspect of technology and key to what you're saying. There is bonding it all together. My thermostat in my house and my car and every app I order lunch on, should all talk to each other is [00:04:00] goodness in there, even though we can't necessarily draw a line to it yet. And yet those seem like disparate camps. So if we look down the road, it sounds like six G is about pulling more of our lives into kind of this vertical stack, not just powering silos better. Speaker 2: That's exactly it. I think the idea is that, you know, platforms, device to systems that may not have been on board with each other, there's kind gonna be sort of a universal platform and a common ground in which they could all talk with each other, interact [00:04:30] and work together to make your lives a little bit Speaker 1: Better. A and that's also, what's interesting here is you talking about platforms. A lot of people hear about 5g or six G or 4g, and they say, okay, that's wireless radio day to signal stuff. And they don't realize that at 5g in particular. And I assume six G in a big way are more about platforms, not just about radios and antennas. Uh, it's really more about the services that are gonna be plumed in there as well, which I think is interesting in terms of what companies are gonna be driving six G again, too [00:05:00] early to imagine obviously companies like Qualcomm and others and all the wireless carriers are gonna say, oh, we're gonna be in the lead, but they aren't always the platforms we want. They'd like to be, but that's not necessarily their role when it comes to actual services. Speaker 2: The idea here is that a lot of these companies are working towards that platform. Companies like apple, like Google, like Amazon, these companies have no Quincy that they all have basically the same set of products, right? Phones, smart speakers, cameras, they're getting into cars. The idea here is they wanna be [00:05:30] ahead of that game when there is that universal platform that controls everything. They wanna be able to access and control everything or control, but enable everything with their software. They wanna be the, the universal platform of choice. You know, there's gonna be a lot of fragmentation. There's gonna be a lot of companies sort of duking it out for, for a long, long time, because we are a couple years off from this if not longer. And, but I think that's sort of where all these companies are going. That's why you see them all basically mimic each other's product portfolios. Speaker 1: Uh, I assume you've got a 5g phone or [00:06:00] do you, Speaker 2: I do have a 5g phone, got one fairly early, uh, actually a couple of 5g phones, but, uh, yes. And, uh, you know, like I said, I, I, I, I don't think we're still in the early days of 5g. Like the stuff hasn't really impressed me, frankly. Like the speeds in my hometown were, are not great. I mean, there are certain pockets where it's really great and then you walk away particularly to my house and all of a sudden it's just like 4g. So, uh, still again, still kind of early days, very much excited about the prospects of where 5g is going [00:06:30] still. But I also recognize the reality is still kind of met. Speaker 1: Yeah. And, uh, and you're in New York, right? I'm in San Francisco. So we're both in areas where 5g is, you know, well deployed as well as it's deployed anywhere in terms of availability, but also the capabilities, once you do connect to it. And I tell people, you know, my, my gut, when they ask me people that are not in tech what's 5g, like I say, you know, about 50% of the time, it feels about 50% faster. Um, which is both those numbers are telling. [00:07:00] And also the fact that all I ever mention is faster. I don't have anything else to mention to them. I can't tell 'em, oh, there are services now that I never had before. We're not even there yet on 5g. So I wanna impress upon our, our viewers and listeners that, yeah, we're, we've still yet to climb the 5g mountain, which will set the table for the six G ascent. And Speaker 2: We're gonna get a little geeky here, but a lot of the 5g right now across the nation is powered by what's known as low band spectrum. This is slower frequency, radio, airway waves [00:07:30] that are pervasive. They can go wide range, but that also means they're not super fast. Uh, whenever like Verizon, for instance, talks about their millimeter wave for wide band, super fast 5g, you can get in various select locations like sporting arenas. You can go times square and get it, but you walk away from times square. And all of a sudden that you go back down to kind of sub or normal 5g, which isn't, which isn't super impressive. A lot of that's changing in the next couple of years, we're the industry is working to get more spectrum. Um, in fact, Verizon [00:08:00] at and T are working to use some of the spectrum they've acquired recently to boost the speeds of their networks. T-Mobile actually has some of this stuff, uh, a lot more of this stuff around the country right now, but you're gonna see in the next couple years, speeds really boost. And with that, I think you'll see some of those applications that we talked about forming or developing as a result of those speed boosts. It took a little while with 4g too 4g, we got the initial speed burst. Uh, you know, it was, it was great that our phones could download things super fast, but those apps didn't really show up until a little bit later. Speaker 1: Yeah, [00:08:30] that's a good point. 4g is also an instructive lesson of the fact that we've gotta give these GS, uh, a, a little time, a little patience a few years, to be honest, before they really reach fruition. And I, that, uh, that spectrum thing you bring up is important. Uh, there is currently kind of a pick one type of thing in the 5g radio spectrum, where as you mentioned, the lower frequency stuff has great reach and can cover a larger area, but it's slower. Or there's this high frequency stuff. That's newer, incredible data rates, but it Peters out when it hits things. [00:09:00] And it's only good for in general, a block or two in built up areas is six G intended to be the peanut butter cup that puts those both together. Is that what you're hearing? Speaker 2: A couple things there are right now. So the, the peak frequency that we're, we're looking at with 5g, something called gigahertz speeds, right? Using ultra fast frequencies to get that, that huge pipe short range, but very fast, uh, what six G is looking at is trying to solve that problem, trying to get, uh, something like a [00:09:30] giga spectrum and have it be available across a much larger geography. So it's not just a city block, but it might be several blocks. Right? And again, I think what, what researchers are trying to solve for is that limitation is if you've got a fatter pipe, how do you get the range to be wider once you get that? That's what that's, when things really get interesting when you've got that super fat pipe, but you can disperse it across a wide wide range people then all of a sudden, I mean, you've that you're talking about sci-fi in terms of, or sci-fi like era type internet connections, [00:10:00] like super fast pervasive and everywhere. That's still pipe dream right now. We're still many, many years away from that, from that being a reality, if it is a reality Speaker 1: When that's commodity and super fast, anywhere connectivity is just in the air, always we know what happens access to it. And the call cost of it just gets radically driven down and it just becomes a given. And that's a good thing for a lot of people, not just the few who are sitting in the sexy metros like you and I, and can afford a high end phone and phone plan. Speaker 2: I mean, that's exactly it. We've been [00:10:30] writing about this for, for the last year, just the, the digital divide issues we have right now with connecting people with, with ground infrastructure that's costly, right? Digging up sidewalks, putting in fiber connections. That's a lot of hassles to a lot of time and energy and resources we frankly don't have. Uh, and so a lot of folks are looking to 5g and beyond wireless solutions that can connect folks in a lot easier. Uh, and, and basically even the playing field, when it comes to access, Speaker 1: What's working with Cena at readers, uh, when they read news about 5g [00:11:00] right now, um, what are the hot buttons that you find our readers respond to and really wanna learn more about versus some angles that maybe are kind of DUS, and they're not that Speaker 2: Interested in. So connection speech are still a big deal. I think, um, there's so many folks out there who are still deciding upon whether or not they necessarily need 5g phone that I think there's still in whether or not that upgrade is worth it. And we've said so far that it's kind of really depends on where you live. Mileage may vary when it comes to that upgrade to 5g. I think if you're upgrading for just, if you're upgrading your phone, [00:11:30] be great. I don't think you necessarily need to upgrade for the sake of 5g. So the speeds are obviously still an area of intense interest for our readers would say the, so the big applications beyond speed are an area that I think we're folks are still interested in, right? Like how does this help with augmented reality? How does this help with, um, virtual reality or autonomous driving? Speaker 2: So those different applications that we've been exploring and talking about for a number of years now, uh, that I think those are areas of interest that folks still have. Cause it's, it's ultimately, I think that's, what's sets [00:12:00] here about 5g. It's not just, it makes your phone go faster, your connection speed fast, but what it really enables online. And I haven't really gotten a great answer. Like I always ask folks like, what is their ideal killer app 5g? And, and of it's just, you know, folks are excited about what can come, um, but are, are, are less eager to actually predict what that might be. Um, but keep in mind when 4g came around again, we didn't know things like Uber and live streaming and, and these other apps, uh, would come, would take advantage of speed. We just talked about the speed [00:12:30] for a while until these apps came out, really our definition of what a successful app could be or what an app could even do. Speaker 1: Roger Chang is executive editor at CNET. He's in charge of news.

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