Qualcomm President: The 5G Future Is Coming and It's 'Top Priority'

Photo Credit: Ross D Franklin/AP/Shutterstock
January 10, 2019
Updated 2mo ago

By Carlo Versano

Qualcomm's presence at this year's CES was notable for some new innovations beyond its mobile sweet spot ー an automotive "digital cockpit platform" that brings premium on-board tech to even entry-priced cars, for oneー but as president Cristiano Amon told Cheddar's Hope King: The future is all about 5G.

"The number one priority in the company right now is this transition to 5G," he said.

The move to 5G wireless technology has been the buzz of the mobile industry for the past year, but it's about to finally go mainstream, according to Amon. More than 30 Android devices launching in 2019 will be 5G capable, just as coverage spreads to major cities. He expects consumers to start feeling the full benefit of 5G just in time for Black Friday and holiday shopping season.

The push for 5G supremacy in the U.S. has led to some marketing sleight-of-hand from the carriers, but the smartphone market is too mature for that now, Amon said. "They expect real 5G, with the performance, on at least 10x improvement or more."

That maturity is especially evident in the Chinese market, Amon said, where premium-tier phone upgrades are offsetting the pain from tariffs. Qualcomm remains locked in a legal battle with Apple ($APPL), which it has accused of stealing tech secrets.

"One way or another," that will get resolved, he said.

In the meantime, "China is excited about 5G and we're excited about China."

For full interview click here.