The 5G C Band Debacle

The Six Five team talks about the 5G C band debacle.

Watch the clip here:

If you are interested in watching the full episode you can check it out here.

Disclaimer: The Six Five Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.


Daniel Newman: We’ve got to keep moving. Speaking of big, crazy connectivity news, 5G C-band debacle. What a freaking disaster. Okay. I’m sorry. I’m going to just review what I’ve tweeted about this thing.

A, did we not know the C-band was coming for how long? Okay, was this a first we heard of it? Second of all, did we not do any research during the process of deploying these antennas in this infrastructure for this C-band deployment? Did we not consider the possible interference because of near band overlap or crossover interference that could mess with instruments in various different things like, I don’t know, jumbo jets at massive air fields all over the United States?

Pat, honestly, I am freaking puzzle as to how we could be so uncoordinated here between, say, the FAA, between the FCC, between the airlines, the service providers and carriers that are deploying this thing, that it’s like, “Oh my God. We’re going to turn them on this week. We might want to think about whether there’s an interference issue.” I mean, couldn’t they set some of this stuff up around some of this equipment and say, “Hey, what happened? Let’s test out what potential risks are. We’ll have someone standing by. If there’s any interference, we could shut it down instantly to make sure that everybody’s safe. We will not expose passengers and the public to this thing.”

And then, it brings me back to… You remember all these days of having to turn off our phones and then having to put a… And then eventually got to the point where it’s like… I don’t even know why they make the announcement anymore. Nobody puts their phones in airplane mode. They don’t check it. And if it was really a risk of causing some sort of instrumentation issue, it wouldn’t just be like, “Please turn them off.” It would be a like, “Put your phones in this steel bucket until we’ve taken off and then you can come reclaim them.” It’s insane. It’s actually insane.

And so, here’s a couple other things that are on my mind. One is, it’s amazing how nobody’s willing to say anything. You pointed out that Neville Ray, one of the leaders at T-Mobile, talked about their specific tech, and I’ll leave that for you to talk about here. But I watched Hans go on CNBC. Wouldn’t talk about it. FCC wouldn’t talk about it. The FAA… Nobody has clarity. I said, “Where is the data on this thing? How in the world did we get this far and not have published data on the quality, the risks, the interference of this band?”

And then, of course you sold this band. SCC sold this band for billions of dollars. And now they’re going to tell these companies that maybe they can’t use it in 50 major markets pending an investigation that you’re waiting till now to do. All right. My head’s going to freaking explode. The word I want to use with the F, Pat, by the way, I can’t use because we’d get one of those censorships on our show. I don’t want to have a censorship. But I’m F-ing mind blown by the fact that we seem so disorganized here. By the way, we’re like a weekend and it seems like everyone’s flying again.

Patrick Moorhead: Gosh, Daniel, why are you so upset? The FAA budget’s only $17.5 billion. I mean, you’d expect them to squeak by with that amount of money and figure this out. I mean, I don’t know what you would expect. No, no, I am completely disgusted with the FAA for letting this… I’m less disgusted with the FCC, but hey, we’re one big happy family. We get taxed more than we should and we should demand that things like this get addressed.

I’ve got to tell you, I don’t know what Buttigieg is doing, or where he was spending his time, or what he was thinking. This is in his camp. The one thing I will point out is… And I think that T-Mobile deserves a victory lap. They deserve a victory lap because their mid band doesn’t conflict with any of this. I give them credit for having the foresight for acquiring Sprint that had that spectrum. Neville Ray came out, and I was glad he did.

Essentially, he said, “Hey, we use 600 megahertz, 2.5 gigahertz, not the 3.7 to 4.2 that the FAA is concerned about. He also threw AT&T and Verizon under the bus, saying that that this is their issue. So I’ll give them a little bit of a victory lap on the foresight here. Maybe it was luck. Maybe it was sheer brilliance. It doesn’t matter. But mid band, T-Mobile, put it all around the airports. Not an issue.

Daniel Newman: Seems like a good idea, although I sometimes do wish my T-Mobile was a little faster. I am a T-Mobile user, full disclosure, and T-Mobile’s a customer, full disclosure. So I just want to say all that. But I am a pretty big time user. I do want to see everything get faster because, well, I like it fast. Pat, last topic. Exciting, by the way. Sorry, if I sounded pouty about all that 5G stuff. I just can’t believe we can’t find anyone to give us any good insights on this. You had to come to the Six Five to get the good insights. The good-

Patrick Moorhead: Listen, I think, if I can pat them on the back, I think they’ve done the best coverage data of anybody maybe. Sascha Segan from PCMag has done a pretty good job. But I’m outraged, especially with the tax. I think I spent most of my Christmas holiday working on tax stuff. This is our tax dollars at work. I want a rational explanation, other than dereliction of duty. I mean, Buttigieg needs to explain himself.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


Latest Insights:

On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Intel’s Greg Lavender and Sandra Rivera for a conversation on Intel’s AI Portfolio during Intel Innovation in San Jose, California.
A Ride-Hailing Service Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
Clint Wheelock, Chief Research Officer at The Futurum Group, examines Waymo’s announcement that it has decided to focus its efforts and investment on Waymo One, its ride-hailing service.
From Digital Transformations To Periodic Software Reviews, Increased Visibility Can Help Reduce Costs and Improve Application Utilization
Keith Kirkpatrick, Research Director at The Futurum Group, covers WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform and discusses why the tool is useful for organizations that are expanding or consolidating their software tech stacks.
Are Consulting Firms Best Positioned To Lead Enterprise AI Transformation?
Mark Beccue, Research Director at The Futurum Group, examines the EY and BCG announcements about major AI initiatives and how these offerings will affect the market.