5G will drive growth in fiscal 2019, Qualcomm CEO says

Qualcomm has three priorities going into 2019, CEO Steve Mollenkopf said this week on an earnings call. Those priorities are 5G, resolving an ongoing dispute with Apple and continue executing on core products.

To the first priority, Mollenkopf said 5G deployments set for next year in key global markets will help the company realize growth through its 2019 fiscal year.

He said the company wants to “drive the transition to 5G. We believe we will be the technology partner in nearly all the commercial launches around the world,” he said, predicting the pace of adoption will meet or exceed what was seen with LTE. Mollenkopf also said there are 18 device OEMs that will use Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem in products to be released next year.

In reporting financials for Q4 2018, Qualcomm saw $5.8 billion in revenue. For the full year, the company reported $22.7 billion with net income of $5.4 billion.

After facing a hostile takeover by Broadcomm earlier in the year, Mollenkopf said Qualcomm is “a stronger company.” And, despite losing out on billions in royalties from Apple suppliers, which is being litigated around the world, strong demand from China, where Mollenkopf called into the conference from, helped the company beat expectations.

Mollenkopf highlighted growing demand from the automotive sector for solutions covering telematics, infotainment and connectivity resulting in an order pipeline of more than $5 billion, including the “world’s first major 5G design win with a leading automaker.” He said the goal is “to bring 5G to vehicles.”

He also called out opportunities around Wi-Fi, particularly commercialization of products based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, as well as momentum around the Wi-Fi standards 802.11ay and 802.11ad, which bring multi-gigabit-per-second speeds used the unlicensed 60 GHz bands. “We’ve laid a strong foundation for growth as we differentiate through out industry leading innovation ahead of some very big opportunities.”

Two the dispute with Apple, Mollenkopf said, “There are billions of dollars in damages,” but he’s open to litigation or settlement, whichever is most aligned with stockholder interest.

“We’re on the cusp of I think some very big industry transitions that we’re well positioned for–5G, the ramp of our RF front end business and, of course, the ramp of the design pipeline, particularly in auto,” Mollenkopf said.





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