Samsung, as of January 23rd, gains the former head of the GSM Association and the creator of the voice over LTE standard, Dan Warren, as their head of 5G research. Warren took to Twitter to confirm the news, stating that Monday, January 16, was his last day with UK business tech giant Capita, and that he would be taking the reins of Samsung’s 5G endeavors the next Monday, on January 23rd. Warren and his team will be working toward creating mobile networking equipment compatible with current de-facto 5G standards, as well as helping Samsung Mobile to create 5G-ready smartphones, among other efforts within the wheelhouse of 5G networking. Samsung’s Howard Benn, head of standards and industrial affairs, will serve as Warren’s direct superior.
Samsung’s operations in the UK have close ties to 3GPP, the group responsible for setting wireless standards, including, of course, the upcoming standard for 5G. While the pressure is on for 3GPP to put out an official 5G standard in a hurry, they have thus far refused to be rushed in defining one of the most important wireless standards yet created. According to Warren, this is a good thing; the work of creating a standard takes time to do properly since many elements have to not only agree on a technical standard, but must agree on a technical standard that drives growth, competition, and advancement in the industry.
Warren managed to properly predict when his own creation, VoLTE, would go mainstream. When asked about 5G, he estimated that a commercial 5G service would be launched in some capacity in 2018, but it would likely be immature compared to services that will launch a little later on, after giving the technology a year or two to grow around the new standard. Warren asserts that marketing and use cases will be a big point of contention in the early days of 5G, and could lead to a very confusing situation for consumers and industry players alike. Warren’s work on VoLTE allegedly came just in time to save the voice services market from having over the top providers take over the scene, so only time will tell just how his work at Samsung will affect what the mobile history books say about 5G.