Aprile 2019

Questo mese sono stato attratto dal marketing, che pero’ mi ha inevitabilmente riportato sul tema del 5G e di come ci sia, al momento, troppo marketing e poca sostanza.

These Ads Think They Know You

Il New York Times ha avviato questa iniziativa interessante (The privacy project): hanno comprato ads in base a dei profili utenti e mostra come funziona l’industria dell’advertisment.

AT&T decides 4G is now “5G,” starts issuing icon-changing software updates

Riguardo Marketing e 5G. Sebbene il 5G possa essere molto interessante dal punto di vista della ricerca, le aziende stanno facendo, come al solito, una gran corsa verso la sua implementazione commerciale. Resesi conto delle difficolta’ tecniche, pensano sia meglio puntare, per il momento, piu’ sul marketing che sui contenuti hardware:

The whole 5G rollout is turning into a huge mess, […] you're probably better off just skipping the flood of 5G phones that will be out this year. The 5G upgrade will require new modem technologies, lots of new chips to pack into devices, and the need for new and more plentiful cell towers. That all sounds like a lot of hard work, so wouldn't it be easier to just update everyone's 4G icon to "5G" and call it a day?

Welcome to AT&T's 5G plan, where perception and marketing is all that matters. AT&T is just going to start calling 4G LTE "5G E."

Taking a fresh look at 5G

Un altro aspetto, forse un po’ troppo tecnico per seguire il discorso, riguarda l’efficienza spettrale del 5G. Col 4G si sono in realta’ gia’ ottenuti ottimi risultati: usando piu’ antenne (sistemi MIMO). Il 5G si limita a portare il numero di antenne multiple da 2 a centinaia.

When people talk about increased spectral efficiency in 5G they,well, … cheat! True, we have demonstrators that show an incredible spectral efficiency, current record, I believe, is 145.6 b/s/Hz (with 256 QAM), a miracle result given that the usual spectral efficiency is around 2.5 b/s/Hz.

How is this miracle possible, since it is well beyond the Shannon limit? Cheating, that’s it. The communications takes place using several antennas in parallel, 128 in this case. In this way rather than using a single communication “channel” we use many of them (MIMO: Multiple Input Multiple Output) and the array of antennas coupled with a software that detects and decodes the signal allows the resolution of the interference resulting from multiple channels.
This increased efficiency, hence, is not a 5G property, it is already being used today in WiFi communications (two antennas are normally used) and in the 4G.

A Risk Analysis of Huawei 5G

Concludo con l’aspetto strategico. Conviene davvero passare al 5G considerando che il grosso della tecnologia e’ in mano alla Cina e pottebbe essere usata a nostro svantaggio (vale a dire, per spiarci?). Piu’ in generale, i sistemi di telecomunicazioni sono abbastanza strategici per una nazione e forse ogni Paese dovrebbe sviluppare i suoi prodotti per evitare (o limitare) lo spionaggio. Ma e’ davvero possibile ragionare in questi termini al giorno d’oggi?

This leaves three options for countries considering what to do about 5G. First, a country can decide to buy Huawei equipment and save a considerable amount of money in doing so. The risk is simply that every high-level political figure and executive may have their calls monitored by Chinese intelligence. This may actually be a worthwhile trade-off—after all, the damage done by Chinese spies would have to be weighed against the potentially billions of dollars saved from purchasing Huawei equipment. […] The second option is to purchase equipment from Huawei’s European competitors, Ericsson or Nokia. These manufacturers are more expensive than Huawei but provide the greatest political assurance: None of the major spying nations can exert the same pressure on Nokia (Finnish) or Ericsson (Swedish) that they can on domestic companies. The final option is simply to avoid the hype. The claims about 5G being “20x faster” than preexisting 4G are effectively disingenuous marketing.