Verizon and Samsung will unveil a prototype this week of a 5G phone they intend to commercially launch in first half of 2019.
Qualcomm is having yet another 5G fest this week, moving the road-show from Hong Kong to Hawaii. It will take this opportunity to once more labour the point about its 5G modem leadership and this time has recruited Verizon and Samsung for further emphasis. The three of them are conspiring to bring a 5G phone to market in the US next year but the only date commitment they will make is the first half of the year.
“5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences and other people in ways never thought possible,” said Brian Higgins, VP of Wireless Device and Product Marketing at Verizon. “Together, Samsung and Verizon have made huge gains in bringing 5G commercial services to consumers in several cities. Now, we’re partnering to create a smartphone to put the power of 5G in the palm of your hand.”
“Samsung offers end-to-end solutions that are accelerating the wide scale adoption of 5G and help us realize our vision of truly connected living,” said Justin Denison, SVP of Mobile Product Strategy and Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. “We’re proud to work alongside innovative partners like Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies to deliver a smartphone that will fundamentally transform how people work and play.”
Meanwhile Qualcomm and Nokia have been doing some 5G testing in Finland, once more with this 1H 2019 5G switch on deadline in mind. This was all about demonstrating interoperability, something that has been called into question by a recent investigation into that sort of thing.
“These successful data calls are a significant step in making 5G a commercial reality in early 2019, and this milestone with Nokia will help enable 5G network deployments across various operators and regions around the world,” said Durga Malladi, GM of 4G/5G at Qualcomm. “We will continue to work together to ensure end users have access to the technologies needed to experience transformative 5G experiences.”
“These key milestone tests with Qualcomm Technologies show the flexibility and capabilities of our AirScale radio access technology to deliver on the promise of commercial 5G,” said Tommi Uitto, new President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “We continue to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to ensure our customers can unleash the power of their commercial 5G networks, to support the many new and diverse applications that will meet the demands of people and connected things, as they begin to launch commercial services in early 2019.”
Lastly it should be noted that Apple is likely to be at least a year or so behind Samsung when it comes to 5G phones. A recent Bloomberg report alleges Apple will wait until at least 2020 before launching a 5G iPhone, which should mean September. The piece speculates that one reason for this could be Apple’s decision to go all in with Intel on 5G thanks to its legal war with Qualcomm, which will have a significant head start in this race.