“5G is not a buzzword anymore, it is a reality. 5G is here!” is what Ignacio Contreras from Qualcomm told me when I said 5G is a big buzzword at the Mobile World Congress 2019. Truth be told, he was right. There were some 5-7 devices all primed and ready to go to market, all with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and the latest 855 chip inside. So, how did it all of this happen so fast? How did Qualcomm manage to bring 5G into this world way before they said they would. And what is 5G in 2019 all about? I’ll try to explain what I could gather from my conversations with Qualcomm at MWC 2019, read on.
Most of the major manufacturers have already announced their devices which will launch within this year, in countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and so on. This year, as consumers, the people in these countries will be able to enjoy 5G, the latest standard of connectivity.
At a fundamental level, 5G is going to become the fabric of connectivity for not just our personal devices, like smartphones or laptops but impersonal devices too, like for example cars, external speakers which are personality agnostic and literally any device that wants to connect to the internet. Remember the “Internet of things”? 5G is the network that is made for connectivity of these “things” which we haven’t seen en masse yet, but since standards are built for needs of the future, we are going to see them in the coming years. In 2019, it begins.
So how did Qualcomm achieve this timeline? Because as we all know, time to market is one of the hardest things to do in a cut throat competitive market like making radio chips for smartphones because Qualcomm is definitely not the only player in the game. Ignacio tells me that Qualcomm has been hard at work in developing and inventing technologies that has led to what we call 5G – which is basically digital communications over wireless technology. Over the last years, there have been many prototype testing with the ecosystem companies, like for example Samsung, trials, demonstrations, to make sure that devices are ready, infrastructure is ready and operators are ready. Ignacio tells me this is the result of working together with these companies for decades. It wasn’t a last minute push but a long term plan coming to fruition at the right time.
Qualcomm celebrated this achievement by having a toast with all the important partners ranging from manufacturers to operators to infrastructure partners. Witnessing this celebration, it was very clear that 5G is indeed here and a lot of people are invested behind this to make it a reality in 2019. So, what is this reality going to be like, initially? Beyond the Gigabit speeds, what are we going to see?
Well, you can watch that and more in the video, 5G is going to be the connectivity fabric for “everything”. What 5G is going to be like in the future is something we are going to see in another conversation with Danny Tseng from Qualcomm. To get a preview of that, do check out our YouTube channel and let us know if you have any questions, in the comments section below.