7 questions for the mobile industry

An article written by Junko Yoshida for EETIMES – In the absence of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Barcelona is eerily quiet.

When GSMA pulled the plug on MWC earlier this month, all the face-to-face appointments at the show got scrapped. Moreover, all the pre-briefings — arranged as phone interviews before the show — were also cancelled. Presumably, all the announcements cleverly timed for an MWC splash are “postponed.” But no companies were ready to tell me when, where and how they are rescheduling their planned product introduction.

[That said, Huawei just announced today Mate Xs, the company’s updated version of the foldable phone.]

Obviously, the show’s cancellation doesn’t mean the mobile industry has stopped working. Nor does it mean that the curiosity of the media and analysts has dried up. Given that the industry is still in the early phase of 5G rollout, as features, functions, designs and smartphone apps continue to evolve, there’s no less scrutiny on the mobile industry.

There are questions that would have been easier to get answers for, had those with the answers all gathered at MWC. Since they aren’t going to be all in one place, all at the same time, these are the questions we’ll be asking moving forward:

  1. When will we have a “universal” 5G smartphone?

Today, we have a 5G phone that works in networks using mmWave, but that phone is non-functional in networks where the frequency band is sub-6 GHz.

During the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit last December, company president Cristiano Amon said, “Real 5G is really the combination of sub-six and millimeter wave, and that’s going to happen on a global scale.”  He noted then that the industry’s expectation was that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, there will be smartphones supporting both millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz.

MWC could have given a clue as to which smartphone vendor could be first to launch the universal phone.

  1. What kind of apps will really drive mmWave 5G?

Some wireless carriers — especially in the U.S. market — are using very high frequency bands, over 24 GHz. The downside of these signals (in mmWave bands) is their limited geographic range. The upside, however, is its ability to offer maximum downlink speeds… Full article

Source: https://www.eetimes.com/

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