I'm a telecom professional, and I'm tired about all those "true 4G" statements, and on what is or not 4G. I find the ITU 4G definition ridiculous: a long time ago the world of telecom manufacturers was made of cautious engineering companies. Then very aggressive new entrants came and made outrageous claims , and older companies went with the charade not to be seen as lagards. That's basically why we got this very bad joke of "official 4G is 1 Gbps". I guess anyone looking around should see the slight disconnect with reality there? As a bonus joke, new categories were added later on: Cat9 peaks at 300 Mbps, go figure...
For what it's worth, in my opinion the true difference that warrants using a new generation number is the move to OFDMA. 1G was analog, 2G was digital narrow band, 3G is wideband CDMA, 4G is wideband OFDMA. This makes sense to me, as a telecom engineer. The ITU BS I'd rather forgot all about it, it's just too embarrassing.
As for 5G there are interesting things on-going, but it's very early in the game. For now it's only people wanting attention to get funding (like TFA) or cheap PR. Don't feed the PR spinners please. The high-frequency spectrum with many very small antennas and cheap RF (to compensate for the number, 64-256...) is interesting but there is a long road to practical products.
 There is a joke on this, and let's protect the culprit: how do you tell the difference between an Ericsson engineer and a Xxx one? The E/// engineer couldn't tell a lie if you put a gun to his head. The Xxxx engineer couldn't tell the truth. I work for neither E/// nor Xxxx BTW.
Intel are a process node ahead of the competition
This needs to be qualified. It is true for the high-performance chips, but for mobile and tablets we're talking about SoCs. As far as I know Intel is still not shipping any SoC chip in 14nm and such things are quite a way out in 2015. Intel mobile chips are still in 22nm today, whereas TSMC is in volume with 20nm (Apple latest APs, QCOM latest LTE modems). Intel may leapfrog TSMC in 2015, but the gap for low-cost mobile SoC is not as big as people often think. Intel is the king of high performance, for low-cost good-enough mobile SoC : not so much.
you have no control over that hotspot
Wrong, with Free you can decide to turn the hotspot off completely, turn in on but keep in private (for your own personal use only), or turn it on and also share it.
If the hotspot is off or private, you can't use other Free APs for your own use. If you share, you have free access to any Free hotspot. Up to you to decide.
the company uses your payed line to make more money
As explained above, it goes both way. I have an extra service too for free, which is why my WiFi is shared. And other users are always handled at a lower priority, so it's really transparent to me: they just get the unused capacity on my line.
The wifi access is not directly monetized, in that no-one pay for it. But it certainly make Free more attractive as an operator: their boxes are very popular, so you can get wifi coverage mostly everywhere in a city as long as you participate in the sharing.
you have no control to your router whatsoever
You have control over some basic configuration like the DHCP configuration, basic port forwarding and IPv6 enabling for example. But it's true that the router belongs to Free and you don't have direct access like you could have on an OpenWRT box. If you want this you can put your own router behind, it's a bit wastefull but I did it at one point to have more control over DNS for example.
you have to login to the company's website and see what limited options they provide you
Yes, all the configuration is done through Free web interface and pushed to the box from their network.
in France I had terrible problems with latencies and ofc with Youtube
There was quite a big fight between Free and Google a few months back. Same kind of conflict as between ISPs and big network users like Google, Netflix all over with ISPs trying to get money from them. It seems it's been resolved recently for Youtube, it was really awful at the worst of the clash but is now ok (I'm not a big user though). Still, I'm waiting to see how it'll go with Netflix now they're present in France and if that kind of problem will happen again. I'm not super optimistic, but I've heard there are discussions happening. As I understand it the ISPs would prefer to be able to offer Netflix on their boxes with a cut of the profit in exchange of good network quality, and the big discussion is on the percent of profit for this... We'll see.
Also, there are ways to fight multipath. The primary one used in this scheme is beam-forming with a pretty dense array --- what I've seen on pre-5G tests typically use between 64 to 256 antennas. You then get a very narrow beam, and a primary path that is well above secondary reflections. Of course for this to work the base station must be able to precisely track the device, and that's another rarely mentioned limitation of such high-speed 5G scheme: it's mostly for static / pedestrian usage. You can extend this to vehicular (some demos are using cars) by having some smarts about anticipating movements (constrained to roads, etc.) and a less narrow beam (but then you loose SNR and reduce spectral efficiency). But mostly I would expect such 5G to be for the majority of slow moving devices, with fast moving ones pushed to an overlay of bigger 4G cells (so less HO too). This is consistent with small cells. And besides BF, I guess as 4G the waveform will use OFDM/OFDMA to also help fight multipath.
Last comment: as usual the marketing communication focuses on high bandwidth but the true interest is more capacity. So in real life instead of having a few users at super high throughput such a 5G network will be able to support more users at lower (but still very high) average throughput by multiplexing them.
And although overload doesn't always happen, it's something to be dealt with. We don't yet have the technology to offer unlimited capacity at peak time in dense areas at a price people are ready to pay for. So somewhere, sometimes, cells will be overloaded and we need to think about how to deal with this.
Not discriminating traffic like voice vs. download on a congested cell doesn't make sense to me as a user (I don't work for an operator). Net neutrality for wireless would need to be more subtle than "every packet is equal". Like supporting different traffic classes, with possibly different pricing, but making access to such classes open to all service providers under the same conditions. Today QoS is only for the operator services for example, an OTT player can only get special QoS if it has a deal with the operator. While this would be nice there is significant complexity there in term of access (need a standard API to let an application request some QoS level), access control (better to reject a call than to provide useless crippled voice for example. This is done today for voice, would likely need to be more powerful) and billing (need to be open, secure, simple).
It's already complex to make VoLTE works fine, I don't see this happen anytime soon just based on the underlying complexity. Seeing a reasoned discussion on this addressing the real challenges of wireless would be a good start to prepare the ground, but I don't think we're even close to this.
It's likely that a real production 5G will come from within 3GPP, the organization that standardize 2G/3G/4G. At every big transition some people try to go for it with a completely different standard (for 4G: Qualcom UMD, WiMAX) and it may not be different with 5G, but it would be very unlikely to succeed IMHO. The technology demonstrated here is not universal: it can only work in very dense area. Which is fine, that's also where we need added capacity. But it means that whereas in time LTE can fully replace 2G and 3G, 5G will be designed to coexist with 4G and will never replace it. At best, you'll have LTE in low-density areas, and 5G in dense areas. And even in dense areas there may be a 4G coverage umbrella to provide service continuity.
There's a lot of hype and BS in wireless, so take all throughput / generation targets with a big grain of salt... LTE Advanced defines a "category 8" that goes up to 3 Gbps for example, but it's a joke to get the IMT 4G stamp. Already the initial LTE defined a category 5 that no product ever implemented. It was just there to match the WiMAX 2 peak target rate. It was bollocks and unpractical and nobody cared once WiMAX 2 died. Similarly, the people at IMT got over-excited and stuck in a hype loop, and defined real 4G has the ability to support 1 Gbps. It was nonsense at the time and still above what's practical. So what did LTE-A did? It introduced realistic new categories 6 and 7 with 300 Mbps down, and a BS category 8 at 3 Gbps. So on paper LTE-A is 4G, because of a category 8 that nobody will implement anytime soon if ever. I've seen pedants saying LTE is no real 4G but LTE-A is because only LTE-A makes the 1 Gbps IMT target: what a joke!
The high rates of 5G as demoed by Samsung use a very different approach. Much higher frequency allowing larger channels and data rates. Also the size of the antennas shrinks with a higher frequency, so it becomes possible to use many small antennas in a device. Each receive path is quite poor compared to LTE to keep the cost down, but it's compensated by a lot of them. These many antennas are not used for massive spatial multiplexing (SM) MIMO, which would be too computationally expensive, but for a few SM layers as today and beamforming as beamforming is cheap. It's a bit early to say it will work well in real life, but it looks promising and worth pursuing.
Now I find they take updates of "old" phones seriously at least for their flagships (can't tell for the others). I have the first One (M7), it's about 18 months old now and I have Android 4.4.3 with Sense 6 on it, just as the latest One M8. I had a handful of updates since I bought the phone, tracking Google new versions closely. HTC announced Lollipop will be supported on the M7 too. Typically all the big updates are made available within 3 months or so of Google release. If they keep it like this (nice phones with updates), I'll probably stick with them when replacement time come.
One important point: I have an unlocked phone, bought without contract and independently from my operator. Updates may not be as fast when the phone is bought with a contract through an operator, but then the issue would be the operator not HTC.
There are other use cases for D2D, but I must say I find most of the "end user" ones gimmicky. Besides public safety, which can potentially be really useful IMHO, there are other interesting use cases for M2M / infrastructure, like supporting car-to-car communications (assisted driving in the future) and coverage extension (mesh like, although the issue there is always the impact on the relay devices: would you like a meter in the basement draining your smartphone battery? You would need user acceptance, and then it gets complicated).
- - Adding channels. This is what MIMO spatial multiplexing (SM) is about;
- - Increasing the used spectrum bandwidth. There is a lot of spectrum at high frequencies, with new challenges, and one option for 5G is to use this;
- - Increase the signal to noise ratio. This is what beam-forming is about.
Having more MIMO SM layers (i.e. concurrent channels) is not practical. The complexity of a MMSE decoder isO(L^3) with L the number of layers, so it gets ugly quickly. Today MIMO SM is typically limited to 2 layers in practice, with 4 likely coming and 8 the practical limit (and that may not be so practical really...).
Using very high frequencies (above 10 GHz) gives access to a lot of free spectrum, but the higher one go the lower the reach for a given power budget. To compensate for the high attenuation this is coupled with massive multi-antennas, the talk for 5G is 64 to 256. This is split between a few very costly MIMO SM layers and the rest for cheap beam-forming. So for example 256 antennas would behave like four 64 patches BF antennas for 4 layers MIMO. Of course with that many antennas and RF transceiver you have to compromise in cost and quality. So it's a lot of poor receive chains, vs. a few very high quality ones today. But there's still the potential to gain overall.
It has challenges though: it will still be for small cells (low reach) and rather low mobility (the beam steering cannot track high speed mobiles, plus small cells don't work wall for highly mobile devices: too many handovers). But because most people are low speed and the places where capacity is most needed are urban centers where small cells are ok, it still can be a win.
But as one can see, high speed 5G won't be universal like 4G is. By this I mean that 4G can (and will) completely replace 2G and 3G in time, while this high frequencies / massive BF 5G could only complement 4G is high density urban places, but will never be suitable for lower density parts (rural) where 4G would stay.
And then there's the elephant in the room: a lot of the improvements in telecoms have been riding on Moore's law. With the scaling problems that start now to be more openly discussed, how much more processing power we can use for 5G and what the users are prepared to pay (cost and power) for all these improvements are interesting questions.
So IMHO the "let's do the minimum and ship" to save a buck approach of PC vendors hurts Windows and linux both. On the Windows side you'll usually get something considered good enough for its product class (here power was not considered as relevant for an HTPC it seems) but likely not optimal. On Linux you will get a mess by default because as you say vendors can't be bothered with it. But with some work you can actually get something quite good.
Still, it's too bad that on a geek site one has to pass a capacity improvement as a peak improvement to make it more sexy. Let's learn to love capacity for its own sake
For more details I can recommend "Next Generation Wireless LANs" by E. Perahia and R. Stacey. I have no relation to the authors, but I've used their book and found it good. Warning: it's only if you really want to go into the details (but it beats the IEEE spec handily on readability