Analysis If the industry had one job at Mobile World Congress last week, it was to tell the world that 5G – the biggest thing since “electricity or the automobile”, according to Qualcomm’s CEO* – was almost upon us.
But the reality on the ground in Barcelona only emphasised how far away it remains, practically, for most of us. From network deployments to handset readiness, the word that doesn’t spring to mind is “imminent”. Unless your hobby is testing networking kit, it’s not going to be worthy of your attention until the second half of 2020.
This isn’t to say 5G isn’t going to be very interesting. That’s because 5G is really an umbrella term that covers so many new technologies and opens up so many new business use cases. Under the umbrella is almost every theoretical use case, business model and bleeding edge labs innovation any one has dreamt up in the past decade.