Qualcomm CEO says 5G is ramping up faster than 4G 

In a video interview at this year’s Brainstorm Tech, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. CEO Steve Mollenkopf spoke about 5G’s ability to dramatically disrupt the consumer and enterprise spaces. Qualcomm, which is currently working with consumer 5G device OEMs and industrial companies like Zeiss, Siemens and Bosch to develop more niche use cases for 5G, is at the forefront of serving both segments. 

As consumer demand for wireless video and streaming content continues to rise, the cellular industry is seeking solutions to keep up. “5G allows the operator to access [wireless]data at about [a]30th of the cost,” Mollenkopf said. “It also allows access to new bands, which gives [the operator]tremendous ability to provide services to the consumer.”  

Mollenkopf explained that while consumers absolutely love the data speeds—field tests from U.S. networks have shown downlink speeds in excess of 2 Gbps—5G will have significant impact on enterprise enablement, evident in 5G’s deviation from typical technology deployment patterns. 

Unlike the majority of technology launches, which begin in one geographic region before spreading to another, 5G networks are popping up all around the globe. “It’s launching worldwide,” Mollenkopf stated, adding that Qualcomm played a significant role in this.  

“The reason it’s launching more dramatically,” he explained, “is because if you asked any industrial infrastructure, any healthcare company what they need to figure out, they need to figure out how they deal with the digitization of their stuff, their people…and how to do that securely.” 

And according to Mollenkopf, responding to this need is 5G’s specialty. “5G was designed purposefully to allow [this digitization] to occur,” he said.   

It does so by providing unprecedented connectivity possibilities. Manufacturing facilities are implementing more and more IoT sensors to improve operations, and 5G can quickly collect that sensor data and send it to centralized and local clouds. It can control operations and robotic devices remotely, and can be used in quality control.  

When happening at lightning speed, wireless connectivity makes it possible for a manufacturer, for example, to analyze data and evaluate the efficiency of their operations, then quickly react and adjust those operations to avoid costly downtime and improve product output and quality.  

The manufacturing arena is just one example. 5G networks are expected to create a fabric of connectivity across a diverse group of services and devices.  

Mollenkopf confirmed that, in terms of number of devices and operators, 5G is ramping up faster than 4G, suggesting that 5G truly is the future. “If you don’t have a good 5G deployment strategy,” he warned, “you’re going to be left behind.”  



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