But flagship 5G Android devices are due out in 2019

HONG KONG—“We believe that we are poised to really transform the world, reinvent whole new industries and enrich lives with the impending launch of 5G.” That was the message from Penny Baldwin, Qualcomm CMO and SVP, as the company’s 4G/5G Summit got underway this week in Hong Kong.

During a pre-event workshop for media and analysts, executives from the San Diego-based chipmaker discussed the trajectory of 5G smartphones built using the X50 modem, which are due to hit the market throughout 2019, but also looked beyond how the next-generation of cellular can create new consumer experiences.

Durga Malladi, SVP and GM of 4G/5G, said focus from operators and vendors as it relates to using high-capacity millimeter wave spectrum has been on standing up dense, outdoor networks where users can get a taste of 5G delivered by tightly grouped small cells. But what about bringing that technology indoors?

Inside a manufacturing plant, for instance, he said, there are industrial robots, automated guided vehicles, sensors, cameras, head-mounted displays and handheld terminals among other connected devices. In terms of the three primary 5G use cases—enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable, low-latency communications and massive support for the internet of things—a smart manufacturing plant checks a lot of boxes.

“If you look at it from a 5G perspective,” Malladi said, “…here’s a perfect example of one network which has all three different use cases. This is really where we think 5G is heading as we go into the 2020, 2021 timeframe.”

Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon highlighted the role 5G can play in the automotive sector, which provides benefits to the automotive manufacturer, the consumer and other value chain stakeholders like an insurance company, which could tap into vehicle data to potentially adjust rates schedules or get a better understanding of what happened during a car accident.

“We see 5G being part of every single RFP for the connected cars,” Amon said, further noting that C-V2X is “starting to get standardized in all geographies. The combination of 5G and C-V2X will be “much more profound than we see in 4G with the connected car.”

On the smartphone front, Amon said all of Qualcomm’s Android partners will have 5G New Radio devices in market next year.



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