OnQ Blog

5G and its impact on the consumer experience

Oct 11, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

As a technologist, I’ve seen firsthand the impact technology can have on industries, companies, and individuals. Before joining Qualcomm Technologies, I spent time at Amp’d Mobile, Panelfly, and Intel. In my many years in the mobile industry, I’ve witnessed extraordinary change, but nothing like what I’m seeing now.

Panelfly was the first digital comic book reader for mobile devices. We had much bigger dreams for transforming these fantastic franchises into immersive transmedia experiences bringing different content types together, allowing the fan to dip in and out of video, audio, and print to explore story arcs like never before. As you can imagine, to deliver on our vision, speed, bandwidth, and low latency connectivity would be required — something 4G just couldn’t  provide, at least at scale — and as a result, Panelfly wound up closing its doors in 2016.

The company imagined a 5G idea in a 4G world, and there are countless others like it out there: ideas that were ahead of their time, or innovative startups that were held back by slower, less capable connectivity. Now, 5G makes ideas like this and thousands more possible.

We’re all used to streaming music, but in a 5G world, we can stream all kinds of content, including 4K and 8K videos, from nearly anywhere. And then there’s gaming — specifically, truly immersive multi-player gaming. That wasn’t something you could experience on your smartphone in a 4G world. But thanks to 5G’s fiber-like speeds, massive capacity, and super-low latency — coupled with other performance improvements that have been made to mobile devices — the graphics and gameplay rival that of desktop PCs and consoles. The experience is transformed.

5G will also transform the way we communicate with one another. Beyond video chats, we’ll be able to add layers to our conversations using augmented reality (AR). Imagine speaking with your landscape architect who is enthusiastically explaining her vision for your new backyard. Thing is, you’re just not getting it. Then you pop on your AR-powered smart glasses and you’re able to walk around and actually “see” her vision. 5G helps enable the additional context needed for that discussion.

5G creates exciting new opportunities for business and society by giving innovative apps the bandwidth and enhanced capabilities they need. This is not just in publishing and entertainment, but across many mobile experiences.

At Panelfly, 5G would have allowed us to augment the app’s ecommerce feature, moving comics’ ultimate fan experience into the future.

App developers around the world are already building 5G APIs into their technology integration stacks. And it’s a good thing too. Right now, 180 mobile network operators (MNOs) in over 70 countries have commercially deployed 5G, with 285 additional operators making the investments required to do the same. And by the end of next year, 5G connections are projected to exceed 940M globally. 


See what Don said recently about 5G

Check out the Brand Innovators 2021 kickoff chat Don had with Group Nine Media Chief Revenue Officer Geoff Schiller on “5G and the Tech Revolution.”

Watch the chat

The impact of 5G across industries and experiences will be significant. And the best of 5G will be realized when all types of spectrum — including existing lower-bands, sub-6 GHz mid-bands, and mmWave — is part of an upgraded and modern network.

How will you use 5G to reach your target audience?

That’s one of the questions I’ll be addressing on October 14th at Inbound 2021, an international conference where marketers and storytellers discuss transformative business trends like 5G. This year’s event is fully remote, and I’d love for you to join me.


Twitter: @donnymac

LinkedIn: in/donnymac



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Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Don McGuire

Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Qualcomm Technologies