“Hi, Speed”. There couldn’t have been a more glaring hint than the splash page for the special iPhone event held on October 13, 2020. As we all suspected, Apple unveiled the 5G iPhone. But it wasn’t just one phone. It was the entire iPhone 12 line up configured with what can only be the latest 5G modem and RF module. If anything, this line up is a shot in the arm for 5G that has suffered a lackluster start and growing doubt about its value to the average consumer. This is what operators around the globe have been waiting for, the 5G iPhone.
Satellite communications have become cool again thanks to a new breed of LEO or low Earth orbit satellites that are the staple of Tesla’s Starlink constellation and Amazon’s Project Kuiper which received FCC approval in July of 2020. These satellites are deployed in the thousands with the purpose of providing global broadband coverage.
5G is here,.. but what does that mean. Apparently, it means a lot of things due to the myths and the hype that have characterized the next-generation mobile wireless technology and its early rollout by operators beginning in early 2019. Given the deafening media and marketing noise that has drowned out the 5G signal, it is difficult to figure out what is real and what is, quite simply, fake. What are the facts that debunk the myths and hype so that we can get to the value of 5G?
With Release 16 of the 3GPP 5G standards slated to be frozen next month and completed in June of 2020, the mobile industry is poised to embrace Standalone (SA) 5G this year. Qualcomm, a leader in 5G technology, introduced yesterday their third-generation modem-RF system, Snapdragon X60 which comes at an opportune time in the evolutionary timeline of 5G standards and marks a thoughtful pivot in Qualcomm’s RFFE (Radio Frequency Front End) strategy.
The global race for 5G is on with operators in advanced markets such as the US, South Korea leading the way with the first deployments of 5G networks in their respective markets. Given all the excitement and hype that has shrouded 5G over the last couple of years, telecom operators around the world are under pressure to jump on the 5G bandwagon as governments push to position their economies for the digital era. Especially for the U.S. and China, 5G has become a strategic economic imperative that both countries believe will determine the economy and doctrine that will lead in our digital future. But what does the 5G race mean for the emerging and developing markets? Do operators in these markets have the opportunity to rethink the network to enable new economic possibilities in the era of 5G?
With the advent of 5G there has been growing interest in what the next-generation mobile network technology means for industry. Operators and industrial OT (Operational Technology) players have been investigating the use cases and potential value that the 5G promises and technology can bring to manufacturing, supply chain and the factory of the future. It is commonly known and expected that 5G will bring about massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) and enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), but what do these use cases mean for manufacturers? Are these really the 5G promises that matter for the smart factory and the ongoing evolution of Industry 4.0?