Qualcomm CEO: 5G to have similar impact to electricity

Qualcomm CEO: 5G to have similar impact to electricity [Image: cofotoisme via iStock]

The chief executive of Qualcomm used the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 to emphasise how important 5G would be in the near future.

According to Steve Mollenkopf, “the world around us – our homes, cars, cities, manufacturing and healthcare – will become more intelligent, automated and interconnected”. During his keynote speech at CES 2017, he added that “entire industries will change and emerge as data speeds go up and data costs come down”.

He highlighted healthcare and autonomous vehicles as industries likely to be most impacted by the development of 5G.

It comes after Qualcomm announced its plans to release a 5G modem, which will connect devices to the next generation of mobile internet. The company hopes that the X0 modem will deliver download speeds of up to 5GB per second.

According to Mr Mollenkopf, developers will be working on delivering more efficient bandwidth usage, to help users avoid using all of their mobile data on streaming and downloading videos. He explained that in 2015, 55 per cent of all mobile data traffic was video and that in 2020, it is forecast to be 75 per cent.

This requires a huge amount of work into how to ensure that the mobile devices of the future are efficient.

Mr Mollenkopf said: "5G isn't incremental improvement in connectivity or even just a new generation of mobile – 5G will be a new kind of network, supporting a vast diversity of devices with unprecedented scale, speed and complexity.

“That new network will change the way we live, work and even the way we relate to each other.”

Highlighting how important 5G will be, Mr Mollenkopf compared it to the development of electricity. He said: “5G will have an impact similar to the introduction of electricity or the automobile, affecting entire economies and benefiting entire societies.”