5G is the next big thing and the chipmaker Qualcomm and the search giant Google are betting heavily on it. The two have now released a video straight from the Mobile World Congress which is taking place in Barcelona, Spain right now to shed more light on their respective roles in expediting 5G deployment.
Google has outright said that it’s the only platform with 5G today and that’s true. The first wave of 5G mobiles are all going to be running Android. Since Android is an open source software, developers can innovate on top of it, and this, Google believes will reduce the time to market for new products. Moreover, since developers get value for their offerings, it will incentivize them to think out of the box and come out with products that can be truly transformational. Thanks to low latency, high bandwidth, and edge computing, 5G will open up a whole new range of possibilities which developers will be able to leverage.
Qualcomm says that previously it was working on creating wireless technology to connect people and now it will be focusing on connecting different things with each other. The company has made chips from the grounds up for IoT devices and it also announced a partnership with Bosch at the MWC to work on 5G NR. This means that on top of making chips for mobile phones, it's also branching out to smart devices. Echoing Google’s views, the chipmaker also said that scaling 5G wouldn’t be possible with the Android ecosystem.
Qualcomm is a step ahead of its rivals Intel and MediaTek as far as 5G is concerned. The company has already released two standalone 5G modems and it recently announced that its next flagship smartphone processor would come with a built-in 5G modem. This could make 5G a default function on all the Android flagships that would be fueled by the Snapdragon 855’s successor. This bodes well with the company’s intention of accelerating 5G to 2019.
Google is also doing its part to formally support 5G devices. Android is the first major operating system that’s compatible with 5G networking and Google is also working with OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, HTC, Sony, Vivo, OnePlus, and of course Qualcomm to facilitate the release of the first generation 5G-ready smartphones.
Needless to say, Google and Qualcomm are spearheading the 5G revolution. While the whole industry would benefit from the accelerated deployment and adoption of 5G, Google and Qualcomm would themselves be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Moreover, both have an axe to grind with Apple and accelerating the adoption of the next generation of wireless network would give them an edge over the Cupertino giant.
Apple isn’t expected to release a 5G-ready iPhone until 2020. On the other hand, the first crop of 5G Android handsets is coming in the first half of this year. This could cause disgruntled users to migrate from iOS to Android. Device replacement cycles have already elongated and 5G could be a compelling function to get people to upgrade their phones as it would offer 10x the speed of LTE and significantly improve the browsing experience.