Qualcomm CEO Stephen Mollenkopf boasted during his CES 2017 keynote speech that the rollout of 5G will be an event similar to the introduction of electricity or the automobile. While it seems a bit hard to believe 5G will disrupt the world in such a grand way, Mollenkopf claims 5G will impact entire economies and society with unprecedented scale. He foresees 5G will enable massive advances in various fields, including AR/VR streaming applications, ambient intelligence in the IoT and connectivity for mission-critical tasks like self-driving cars and remote healthcare.
Consider this: if 2G enabled mobile communications, 3G ushered in the smartphone era, and 4G normalized mobile video streaming and introduced the IoT, then 5G’s millisecond latency unites the world through instantaneous communication of robust information. Mollenkopf made it clear that the scope of 5G goes well beyond the ability to wirelessly download full-length 4K films in 20 seconds or less, affecting entire industries.
5G isn’t an incremental improvement over previous iterations, as was the majority of the tech shown off at CES 2017, but a “tipping point that builds on an LTE foundation and unleashes the IoT to its full potential,” said Mollenkopf, proclaiming 5G’s as the driver of the “invention revolution.” Referencing an economic study commissioned by Qualcomm on the benefits of 5G, he explained that 5G would generate 22 million jobs worldwide and $12 trillion in goods and services by 2035.