The year 2019 marks the big push of telecom operators and smartphone manufacturers towards 5G, a new network standard that promises incredibly high speeds. At MWC, LG, Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO all announced their first devices compatible with the next generation of connectivity, while last week Samsung opened the show with the unveiling of its Galaxy 10 5G. But why such a rush when the infrastructure is just getting started? What strategy has the South Korean firm put in place?
Samsung's 5G strategy
According to Olaf May, Vice President IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Germany, the answer is simple: "5G will transform the way we live, work, connect and communicate." This is why the launch of a 5G smartphone is essential in 2019, even if the network infrastructure is still in its infancy and the first tests are only reserved for large cities. "5G will be the mobile standard of the future. Innovation is an important factor here... With the launch of 5G smartphones, we are bringing our vision of a connected life to our customers in 2019."
The arrival of the first 5G smartphones also marks the beginning of a long process that began in early 2010, when 5G was still only a concept and even before 4G was widespread. "We believe that 5G is essential to advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud, Big Data and IT technologies - and to bringing our vision of a connected world to life" adds May.
What is it all about?
For individuals, 5G will mainly improve connection speed with speeds "up to 20 times faster than 4G, with ultra-low latency and unparalleled connectivity". In other words, an application will download in less time than it takes to tap the icon. Not surprisingly, these new speeds will develop new uses with "the ability to access high quality content on the go and with low latency". This includes applications that require real-time calculations, as may be needed in the world of augmented reality or virtual reality or advanced video games.
But as surprising as it may seem, the first to benefit from 5G will be professionals. For Olaf May, "5G is the connective tissue of the fourth industrial revolution." Indeed, in addition to the speeds offered by the new generation, 5G makes it possible to adapt to needs, ensuring a guaranteed speed when necessary. Thus, "many industries such as automotive, medical technology and consumer electronics" should benefit from 5G.
The revolution needs certain conditions
In addition to the launch of new smartphones, the arrival of the 5G brings a revolution in the way you use your smartphone. "The smartphone becomes the universal remote control for the connected home, which plays its role in conjunction with other connected devices." Our smartphone will allow us to control our services and other gadgets more and more, a trend we are already seeing strongly today.
However, for its deployment and its success, heavy investments are required. Samsung has already started to look into this subject, both for individuals and for the professional world: "At Samsung, all devices will be ready for IoT by 2020, but they will also be equipped with AI. We are investing heavily in all aspects of the 5G universe to create a more connected future - from mobile devices to network technology. We are uniquely positioned to lead in 5G across
various industries because of our understanding of all parts of the ecosystem, from networks to devices, as well as our legacy of smartphone innovation and unmatched reach, scale, and partnerships."
It remains to be seen whether users will be willing to pay for this revolution. The history of 4G illustrates the difficulty of making important investments which are profitable for the industry, but which ordinary users are slow to adopt because of initial high prices. Will Samsung find the solution? Only time will tell.
Are you looking forward to 5G? Which part of your life do you think will be affected the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.