This week in 5G: mmWave paper gets poor reception, Sprint and Verizon expand, Nokia stock plunges

Sprint now offers 5G to 16 million people, a Qualcomm-backed study attacks the media for mmWave coverage, and Nokia's stock takes a tumble.

5G is everywhere at MWC19 in Los Angeles The next generation of wireless connectivity made its presence know at Mobile World Congress Americas, reports TechRepublic's Macy Bayern.

With Mobile World Congress Americas wrapping up, the entirety of the mobile industry is back in route to places they will be from. TechRepublic's Macy Bayern assembled a gallery showcasing the coolest stuff at MWC19 Los Angeles, and covered all the use cases—including those not reliant on smartphones—highlighted in the event keynote.

SEE: 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

TechRepublic is rounding up the biggest news in 5G for the week—here are the four biggest stories for the next generation "network of networks." 

Sprint expands existing deployments, Verizon adds two cities

Sprint rolled out 5G services to about 5 million more people in an expansion of coverage announced at MWC LA. The rollouts do not include new cities, Sprint expanded coverage to more neighborhoods in cities already being served, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, the New York metropolitan area, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.

Verizon added two more cities—Dallas and Omaha—to their 5G lineup, bringing the company to a total of 15 cities, with plans to roll out in "more than 30" cities by the end of 2019. 

Qualcomm tries to puff up mmWave to poor (media) reception

Signals Research Group (SRG) published a 40-page report comparing 5G network performance worldwide on Wednesday, "on behalf of Qualcomm." The paper takes shots at "media and Bloggers [who] publish results and analysis from their experiences in a 5G network that misrepresents how the networks are really performing." Joel Hruska at ExtremeTech excoriates the report in his point-by-point analysis, concluding that "I suspect this report and the blog post behind it were an attempt to change the narrative around 5G. But the truth around 5G is literally leaking out around the seams, despite every single US carriers' desperate attempts to pretend otherwise."

The SRG report makes bizarre comparisons, foremost among them being "...to the extent a battery doesn't last a full day, it is most likely due to factors other than 5G data connectivity. According to our calculations and results from our field measurements, a 30-minute gaming session of Solitaire can be the equivalent of downloading more than 30 GB of data with a good (not great) 5G connection."

Hruska noted that "Soon, you too will be cataloging previously indescribable phenomenon in your life with all the accuracy sixth-grade English adjectives can muster."

Huawei: "it's probably simpler to bribe somebody" than to build a backdoor

Huawei Technologies' global cybersecurity and privacy officer John Suffolk dismissed concerns about backdoors in equipment, telling ZDNet that "when you work out all the probability, it's probably simpler to bribe somebody in a carrier network to do it. You'll have a higher probability of success." 

The argument is moderately convincing, in context—Huawei's position as a hardware vendor, not a service operator, gives them relatively poor insight into how devices will be configured, making the potential for success with a backdoor relatively low.

Nokia and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad (market) day

Nokia's taken a beating on the market, with share prices down roughly 25% following a bad earnings call. "Some of the risks that we flagged previously related to the initial phase of 5G are now materializing," said Rajeev Suri, Nokia President and CEO. "In particular, our Q3 gross margin was impacted by product mix; a high-cost level associated with our first-generation 5G products; profitability challenges in China; pricing pressure in early 5G deals; and uncertainty related to the announced operator merger in North America." 

Nokia is planning to pause dividend installments to invest more heavily in 5G technology.

For more, check out "Qualcomm launches $200M 5G investment fund" at ZDNet, plus "1 in 3 Americans polled can't explain how the internet works" and "NVIDIA looks beyond gaming graphics with 5G, AI, edge, and IoT at MWC LA" at TechRepublic, as well as last week's "This week in 5G" report.

Also see

5G 5 generation network mobile symbol hologram

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