The next generation of mobile technology, or 5G, has the potential to supercharge the evolution of everything from smart cities and autonomous cars to augmented reality and AI. Larry Dignan and Bill Detwiler talk about 5G and its potential.
The enthusiasm about 5G is flowing out of earnings conference calls. The big question is whether it is justified.
Aside from carriers touting their 5G build out, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said 5G will be deployed and with devices faster than expected. He said:
We now have over one hundred fifty 5G designs launched or in-development using our 5G chipsets. In addition to core chipsets, virtually all our 5G design wins are powered by our complete RF Front-End solutions for 5G Sub6 and / or millimeter wave.
By the first calendar quarter of 2020, we anticipate reaching the inflection point as our financial results begin to reflect the benefits of our substantial efforts over the years in to bring 5G to the market worldwide.
Qualcomm’s take revolves around China ramping 5G commercial service and US carriers all on track with nationwide 5G coverage by mid-2020. There will be more operators and devices launching with 5G relative to 4G in the same time frame, according Qualcomm.
Samsung’s conference call was also bullish on 5G. Samsung has multiple ways to play 5G with smartphones, networking gear, memory and chips that’ll benefit. Jong Min Lee, vice president of Samsung’s mobile communications unit, said Korea started commercial 5G service last April and has more than 1.8 million 5G service subscribers.
Lee added that Samsung has been seeing “very good strong performance with our S10 5G model” with plans to roll it out to Europe and Australia in expansion beyond Korea and the US. The Note 10 will also have a 5G model.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that his company will continue to build out its nationwide 5G network. Verizon had similar comments about its 5G expansion.
In the end, the 5G euphoria is just starting even though there are real questions among tech buyers. For instance, does 5G really enable much more than 4G does? Is 5G a legit broadband replacement? And when we will get smartphones that have 5G capabilities without paying a hefty premium?
- What is 5G? The definitive guide to next-generation wireless technology
- 5G: A transformation in progress
- Survey: Professionals eager and ready to deploy 5G
- Special Report: How 5G will transform business (Free PDF)
The only relative sour puss about 5G was Apple CEO Tim Cook. He was asked about the iPhone, 5G and competitive worries given a bevy of 5G smartphones are on deck. Cook said:
We don’t comment on future products. With respect to 5G, it’s — I think most people would tell you it’s — we’re in sort of the extremely early, early innings of it and even more so on a global basis. So we couldn’t be more proud of what our lineup is and we’re excited about the great pipeline of both hardware and software, and we won’t trade our position for anyone’s.
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5G enthusiasm abounds from tech CEOs: Is it warranted?
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