The biggest topic in the mobile industry over the last few years has been 5G. In an industry that has been starved for innovation in this interregnum between the launch of the iPhone and the full-scale integration of next-generation technologies like augmented reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain, the introduction of the 5G network has become a sort of catch-all for carriers and handset manufacturers to lean on as the promise of the future of innovation being just around the corner — a feature worth paying a premium for and upgrading that smartphone you bought just a year or two ago.
Related: The Implications of Fusing 5G and Blockchain
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon has recently declared that 2020 would be the year 5G goes mainstream, predicting approximately 200 million 5G smartphones will ship next year. Amon also suggested that:“5G [would] become broadly available across major metropolitan areas in 2020, then spread thoroughly throughout developing countries in 2021.”
While this year might be an important one for carriers and smartphone manufacturers to sell the latest model of the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, the more crucial year for 5G might be 2021 when those networks aim to roll out their products to the developing world.
Amon has additionally said he expects mid-band 5G to spread into Peru, Nigeria, smaller European markets and developing countries in Asia, ranging from Cambodia to Sri Lanka. In terms of real-world practicality for 5G, this might be when the rubber really hits the road for the technology.The mobile payments alpha test: M-Pesa
Despite all the promises of a sci-fi reality from self-driving cars to better AI-powered insights, the most immediate promise of 5G is how it might support the technology we already have in place: our mobile phones. Aside from moonshots in automation or artificial intelligence, or more practical use cases like better on-the-fly computer graphics and video pro...