David Imel / Android Authority
5G mmWave Antenna
Morning Good morning! It’s a peaceful Easter Monday, which many parts of the world have as a holiday. But, there’s plenty of good reads out there
Poor old mmWave technology isn’t getting any better. A year ago I wrote a Daily Authority looking at a report on mmWave 5G usage.
- The problem is that mmWave 5G is one genuinely impressive piece of 5G technology: you get blisteringly fast downloads, the fastest available we’ve ever seen on our smartphones.
- The problem a year ago was the average takeup time was less than 1%.
- The most recent report from the same organization, OpenSignal, showed no improvement six months later: far less than 1%.
- Now, the idea of mmWave is to add “significant extra capacity in very busy locations,” at stadiums and events.
- I said a year ago that it’s not as bad as it looks but that the hype around it was “way overblown.”
- I don’t think I was tough enough: it’s looking like mmWave is a technology almost no one needs.
- Ron Amadeo over at Ars Technica reviewed the OnePlus 10 Pro and found, like many reviews (including our first and second opinion reviews of the phone) that it’s lukewarm at best.
- OnePlus didn’t include mmWave in the US version of the phone. At first glance, that seems like something that’s important for a new flagship-level smartphone because even if it’s not in use, you want your $ 900- $ 1,000 + to be future-proofed.
- But Ron let rip at mmWave generally, believing it to be “an expensive, dead-end technology that can’t scale, and it’s time we got rid of it.”
- So ignore the OnePlus piece of this: the argument is building that not including mmWave at all is the way to go.
- “Dumping mmWave is smart. mmWave is expensive and near useless, and it should probably go the way of WiMax as a radio technology that didn’t work out. mmWave adds around $ 100 to the cost of a phone, so it’s not something you want to pay for unless it provides a big upside. Mobile surveys regularly show that customers use mmWave less than 1% of the time, so most people will almost never use it.
- “MmWave is an attempt to make use of the spectrum that nobody wants, but that spectrum is free because it has terrible range and signal characteristics. It’s no surprise that mmWave has proven difficult to scale, and given that we’re four years into the mmWave rollout, the situation seems unlikely to change. The 2022 iPhone SE also skipped out on mmWave, and I think more vendors should follow suit. Let mmWave die. ”
- Ron is well known for his strong opinions, and this is scorching hot.
- No doubt there’s a subsection of US enthusiasts who know exactly where their mmWave towers are and want to be able to download gigabytes of content within seconds.
- But there’s also a whole lot of people paying $ 100 more for the cost of their phone who aren’t getting it 99% + of the time.
- It’s worth wondering if it’ll be in the next flagships offered in the USA – and it may depend on how much carriers can twist the arm of suppliers.
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Thanks for reading! Hope it was a chocolatey Easter weekend,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor