Just last month at our annual 4G/5G Summit event in Hong Kong, I talked about a couple of our key achievements on the path to making 5G a commercial reality. First, it was our demonstration of the world’s first live 5G data connection on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset, and the second was our first 5G smartphone reference design that will allow us to test and optimize 5G mmWave performance within the constraints of a mobile form factor. In parallel, we are working closely with our infrastructure partners to ensure full compliance with the global 3GPP 5G NR specification that will have its first phase — the non-standalone version — completed next month. This is a key step toward commercialization, and I am extremely excited and proud with the progress we have made so far. I am confident that by the first half of 2019, 5G will make its debut in commercial high-end smartphones, marking a radical transformation of our mobile experiences.
Growing excitement for 5G
The closer we get to 5G, the more the anticipation builds. To get a sense of why we need 5G in 2019 and what consumers are looking forward to in their future 5G-powered devices, I initiated a collaboration with Nokia Networks that resulted in a joint whitepaper. As part of that effort, we recently conducted a “5G Consumer Survey,” a litmus test that asked close to 6,000 participants from the U.S., China, U.K., France, Germany, and Finland to weigh in on their mobile pain points and their take on 5G. The overall result wasn’t surprising: Consumers want better wireless connectivity and are poised to adopt 5G and are willing to pay more for a 5G device.
Of those surveyed, more than 86 percent said faster connectivity is a priority for their next smartphone, something 5G will easily address. When asked if that “next smartphone” will indeed support 5G, about half said they see themselves as early adopters of the technology. And once 5G rolls out, about 50 percent would subscribe to an unlimited data plan, which isn’t surprising considering the kinds of experiences 5G is equipped to handle. Utilizing 5G NR mmWave and sub-6GHz bands, 5G will more efficiently deliver faster speeds and lower latencies.
What are people most looking forward to with 5G? Topping the list of “wants” is the promise of never again needing to log onto public Wi-Fi. Others include: faster browsing, faster downloads, better quality video calls, UHD and 360-degree video steaming, and the ability to have instant cloud access. With 5G, devices will be able to take on all of these as everyday tasks and more, and all of these will become a reality in the not-so-distant future — in 2019.
As we continue to make strides toward 5G commercialization, it’s clear that the world is ready for 5G. Are you?