• Here’s my recommendation for when to buy a 5G phone
  • Why this Chinese scientist went to prison…
  • 5G commercials: The real deal? Or marketing fluff?

Dear Reader,

Welcome to our weekly mailbag edition of The Bleeding Edge. All week, you submitted your questions about the biggest trends in technology. Today, I’ll do my best to answer them.

But first, let me say thank you once again to all the readers who attended my “Timed Stocks Summit” on Wednesday.

It was my first online summit of the year, and I was glad I got the chance to share the work I’ve been doing in the area of early stage biotech with readers.

Based on my research – and “boots on the ground” investigations – I believe 2020 will be the year that kicks off a historic bull market in the biotech space.

Bleeding-edge companies in this space are on the cusp of permanently curing diseases that seemed untreatable just a few years ago. And this will present some of the best investing opportunities of 2020.

If you missed the event, you can catch a replay right here.

Now let’s turn to our reader questions…

When should you buy a 5G phone?

First up is a great question about Phase Two of the 5G rollout…

Hi Jeff, I heard the lecture you gave on the 5G boom about six months ago and could not get it out of my mind. I was in a position in December to finally do something about it. I am new to investing and am a new subscriber to all your services. I have found your work and insights into this “Brave New World” very exciting. It’s empowering to know I can act on solid, dependable information from you.

I have a question about the 5G devices that are available now. I am wondering if these devices will be capable of running all the services/apps that have not been developed yet. Would it be better to wait until the 5G services are available to buy a phone? Will the future phones have all services included, as opposed to maybe having to buy the apps? Thanks so much for all your hard work.

– Robin J.

Thanks for writing in, Robin. And thanks for joining me as a subscriber. I’m happy to have you on board.

Just to get new readers up to speed, 5G is the next generation of wireless technology. And this new network will be – on average – 100 times faster than our current 4G networks.

You can see 5G speeds for yourself in our video demonstration right here.

Back during my days as a high-tech corporate executive, I worked extensively with wireless operators around the world in more than 30 countries. These network rollouts always happen in three phases.

  • Phase One: The Infrastructure Phase

  • Phase Two: The Devices Phase

  • Phase Three: The Services Phase

Right now, we’re well into Phase One. And Phase Two kicked off last year when 5G-enabled devices went up for sale. Some of the 5G handsets available are listed below.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G

  • LG V50 ThinQ

  • Huawei Mate 20 X 5G

  • Oppo Reno 5G

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

  • ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G

  • ZTE Nubia X 5G

  • Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod

But to your question, Robin… Should consumers purchase one of these early 5G devices? Or should we wait for a later version with more refined features and applications?

At the moment, I recommend holding off until this fall. We can expect that Apple will announce its 5G-enabled iPhone in September with availability to follow in October or November.

In addition to the 5G iPhone, there will be a number of new models from other phone manufacturers hitting the market as well.

And I have seen strong progress from second-tier semiconductor companies to produce lower-cost processors for 5G phones. That means that we should also start seeing midrange 5G smartphones before the end of the year.

This will give consumers more options.

There is a more nuanced answer, however.

Some of the early 5G phones use modems that could soon be obsolete. These chips are only able to access certain radio frequencies used by 5G.

The Note 10+ 5G, for instance, uses Qualcomm’s X50 modem. These modems can tap into the ultrafast millimeter waves.

However, these modems can’t make use of sub-6 Ghz networks that are favored by network providers like AT&T and T-Mobile. Sub-6 Ghz networks aren’t as fast as millimeter-wave networks but offer greater range from cell tower to phone.

To put it simply, many of the early 5G handsets can make use of early 5G networks. But as the networks are built out and expand, many of these early phones won’t be able to make full use of the networks.

The answer will also depend on whether your hometown is an area that will receive 5G wireless network coverage within 2020.

Obviously, if we live in a town that doesn’t have 5G coverage yet, there isn’t much point in having a 5G-enabled phone. In that case, it would be better to wait.

Regarding apps and services, in general, any 5G-enabled phone will be able to enjoy new services enabled by 5G wireless networks. I say “in general” because most 5G-enabled phones will have a similar set of components that provide very similar service capabilities.

This is where purchasing a higher-end 5G-enabled phone is a better route.

For example, 3D sensors are going to be used in pretty much all high-end 5G-enabled phones. Having 3D sensors enables some incredible features with augmented and mixed reality.

Again, my strong preference is for Apple’s 5G-enabled iPhone, due out later this year. It will have all the necessary components and performance to provide a seamless experience for all its users.

And from a phone security perspective, Apple’s iOS is far more secure than an Android-based device. Apple, as a company, puts a strong emphasis on data privacy (unlike Google, which surveils and collects our data and sells it for a profit).

For these reasons, the 5G iPhone would be my recommendation for readers looking to upgrade to a 5G device.

And even if subscribers don’t want to purchase a 5G phone, investors need to be paying attention…

Current industry estimates project 300 million shipments of 5G devices this year. That’s far too low. My projection is that we are going to see a tidal wave of 5G devices hit the market this year. It will catch everybody by surprise.

But for investors who see this early, there is a way to profit.

Every single one of these 5G devices – hundreds of millions of them – will need an essential component. And I’ve found the company that produces that component.

That’s why this is my No. 1 5G stock of 2020. If any readers aren’t prepared for the 5G devices boom, I encourage you to get the details here.

Why the Chinese government sentenced this scientist to prison time…

This question is for Jeff Brown. It regards the viability of [your genetic editing recommendations] in the wake of CRISPR’s president being incarcerated and errors being found in the gene sequencing process. I am new to investing – first time ever, and I want to be able to rely on Jeff’s judgment about the long-term viability of this stock and the coming announcement. If there are behind-the-scenes factors of which I’m not aware, please inform us so it’s not so scary to keep my money in this stock, OK? Thank you.

– Mary G.

Hey, Mary – thanks so much for putting your trust in me as a first-time investor. I can tell you that my team and I work countless hours to make sure that we are putting out high-quality investment research.

As for the incarceration you mentioned, I believe you are referring to Chinese scientist Dr. He Jiankui. Dr. He was not the president of any major CRISPR company. He was a rogue scientist who independently used CRISPR to edit the embryos of twin girls in China last year.

The industry considered this reckless and unethical, and I agree with that sentiment.

We are just now getting into Phase 1 clinical trials for the world’s top CRISPR therapies, so it is way too soon to begin experimenting on embryos. That’s why a court in China sentenced Dr. He to three years in jail.

This situation is not linked in any way to the companies that I research and recommend.

And his actions are also not in any way an indication of something wrong with the CRISPR genetic editing technology. Quite the opposite, as Dr. He demonstrated the extraordinary power of the technology – power that he should not have used for germline editing.

We are going to see more exciting companies that are developing therapies using CRISPR technology go public this year. This will bring even more exciting investment opportunities for us in 2020.

Should we believe 5G ads?

Jeff, I see ads on TV for different companies touting the new 5G they are offering. One is T-Mobile, which “shows” its version as a bunch of lasers covering great distances and the company having the greatest coverage for 5G. This is contrary to what I have read in your emails about [the need for] hundreds/thousands of small, closely spaced transmitters.

Is T-Mobile using some sort of different technology, or is its ad just marketing fluff?

– Scott H.

Thanks for the question, Scott. I’ve received this question in the past, but I’m happy to tackle it again. It will help us better understand the nuances of 5G technology and empower us to make more informed decisions as consumers.

So is T-Mobile’s “5G for miles” claim “true” 5G?

The short answer is yes and no.

T-Mobile’s rollout strategy takes advantage of its lower radio frequency (RF) spectrum in the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) band. This does provide miles of coverage for each base station compared to the higher RF frequencies that will also be used for 5G services.

Those higher RF frequencies are what will require the small cell network architecture in order to deliver the 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds that 5G will enable.

Using the lower RF frequency bands, T-Mobile will be able to cover a larger percentage of the U.S. population in a shorter period.

The architecture used in this approach is similar to 4G wireless technology. It will enable T-Mobile to roll out the network quicker. Less new infrastructure is required.

The downside to this approach is that T-Mobile will not be able to deliver the 1 Gbps speeds at first. Speeds around 100 megabits per second (Mbps) are far more likely (1/10th the speed).

But all things are relative. I’m lucky when I can get 10 Mbps speeds over my 4G network due to typical network congestion. If I could get 100 Mbps, I’d be thrilled. Most customers probably would be as well.

But over time, T-Mobile will still have to build out the rest of its 5G network, which will require the small cell architecture that needs so many small base stations. This will dramatically increase the capacity and speed of its 5G wireless network.

Why would T-Mobile go this route?

The reason is part marketing and part financial. From a marketing perspective, T-Mobile will be able to claim nationwide 5G coverage by the end of 2020.

From a financial perspective, it is much less expensive to build out the lower-speed 5G network in the UHF band than it is to take Verizon’s approach, which is building out the dense small cell architecture from the beginning.

I can understand why T-Mobile is doing this. It is dealing with its merger with Sprint and large debt loads.

It makes perfect sense for T-Mobile to take a “capital-light” approach to 5G in 2019 and 2020.

And it is hoping that the 100 Mbps speeds with nationwide coverage will help it dramatically increase its customer base, thus improving its own financial position.

Assuming the T-Mobile/Sprint merger goes ahead, the three U.S. wireless operators will eventually build out full 5G wireless networks with the advanced speeds and nearly zero latency that 5G was designed to deliver.

In short, 5G networks will eventually be built out exactly as I have described in my research. That’s the endgame. The small cell architecture will drive the incredible speeds and low latency of 5G.

But as wireless operators race to offer “5G” services and compete, they will deploy earlier versions of 5G technology as a stopgap until their entire networks have been built out.

That’s all the questions we have time for this week. If you have a question you’d like me to tackle next week, submit it right here, and I’ll do my best to tackle it next week.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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