Remember: We are currently a country whose government and selected vendors can only ‘prove' superfast broadband has successfully rolled out by, basically, lying about it. And unless I'm very much mistaken, running 5G for all over the entire country would largely involve replacing or scrapping the whole lot - surely making BT and OpenReach's already flawed rollout a spectacular waste of a lot of money.
The 2020 publicised date for even a semi-changeover to 5G is poignant, as that's the ongoing target for ‘superfast' broadband to reach 100 per cent UK coverage anyway. The whole thing coughs repeatedly into the face of logic, on a crowded morning commuter train with all the windows nailed shut.
It's not just William Webb who's in agreement with me here. Professor Peter Cochrane - ex-CTO of BT, futurist and Computing columnist - described 5G as vendors "promising the earth in a frenzy of promotion and misconceptions".
Like Webb, Cochrane worries about splits on standards and delivery, prophesying, this time, "at least three" standards. Writing in mid-2016, he said those standards would come from different approaches in the EU, US and South East Asia.But,now we're jumping out of the EU, who knows where that will leave the UK?
"At a modest estimate, mobile providers need 10 times more cell sites to even approach 30 per cent internet traffic transported. Why should 5G be any different? It actually needs even more infrastructure than 3G or 4G to deliver," he pointed out.
Some vendors, admittedly, are close to coming clean on all this. Joe Marsella, CTO for EMEA at Ciena, described the benefits 5G will offer, but couched it in a little good sense:
"One of the biggest user benefits of the advent of 5G will be increased bandwidth," he told me.
"This will obviously have a ripple effect from the wireless domain onto the wireline network and require higher capacity backhaul networks to be delivered to connect the user to the world. If one thing is clear, though, it will be that 5G will demand much more of the network than simply increased bandwidth. We will also need to enable a much lower latency to the user to enable a new world of applications which are being envisioned and this will further push storage and compute resources closer to the edge."
Like most of his peers, Marsella wasn't so quick to explain where the "higher capacity backhaul networks" are going to come from. But then, it's not his problem really, is it?
Texas Instruments chief technologist Ahmad Bahai, interestingly, insists we can get to 5G by "optimising and enhancing the existing wireless use case to support a 100x increase in network capacity".
Read this carefully: optimising and enhancing a use case? That just doesn't even make sense. Redefine our expectations, or what? Anyway, he also insists:
Outages started at 9.12 Wednesday
Government target to achieve full fibre broadband coverage by 2025 could be missed by eight years, BT warns
But key policy changes could enable the industry to provide full-fibre broadband up to 96 per cent of all UK homes and businesses by 2025
Bernard Brode, nanotech product researcher, discusses the latest technology which could help lift the retail industry out of its Covid-related slump
Total available mobile spectrum in the UK will increase by about a fifth after the auction
From 34th to 47th in the world