From Basic to Advanced: The Original Cord-Cutting and 5G Hype

Mobile Industry News for the Week of May 1, 2017

Carriers today aren’t afraid to hype their 5G capabilities, but there’s still a lot to consider for their plans to work. As an eWeek article explains, managing the millimeter waves that many carriers plan on using will require careful engineering. Taking it back to basic mobile technology, a new survey revealed that the majority of Americans have cut the cord on their landline phones and rely solely on their wireless devices. The stories on our minds are below.

What’s a Landline? — According to Fortune, the majority of American households have abandoned their landlines for wireless phones. In researching the best way to conduct surveys, the Centers for Disease Control found that 50.8 percent of Americans had cut the cord on their landlines by the end of 2016. Carrier earnings also support this trend — both Verizon and AT&T have seen a decrease in landline revenue and an increase in wireless phone revenue. Dropping landline phone service is considered the first form of consumer cord cutting, but this trend is applicable to many more cases today. Not only are we abandoning cable TV for internet streaming, but users have also started cutting off landline internet for unlimited data.

The 5G Hype — As we learned with AT&T’s “5G Evolution” last week, not all services being marketed as 5G are as straightforward as they sound. In an eWeek article this week, Wayne Rash highlights how carriers like Verizon and AT&T plan to use very different millimeter frequency to support their 5G operations. This can potentially pose engineering obstacles since millimeter waves don’t travel well and public resistance towards cellular infrastructure won’t help the matter. However, as much as these carriers hype their 5G services, there are still a lot of engineering challenges to overcome.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.