Handset makers in race for 5G
Mobile Communications

Handset makers in race for 5G

The first 5G-ready smartphone on the market, Motorola’s Moto Z3, is at best a fudge, commentators argued after it was launched at the beginning of August. Its readiness relies on an external modem modification, which is not yet available.

However, the attention focused on the Z3 announcement shows public appetite for 5G news outstrips supply. Filling the void, later in August, came Samsung’s promise of KRW 25 trillion (£17 billion) investment in artificial intelligence, 5G technology, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals over the next three years. The Korean giant is one of the top five handset manufacturers who all have a 5G story to tell (see box). But what will the arrival of the new spectrum mean for businesses and consumers thirsty for mobile bandwidth?


The 5G promise

Early adopters of 5G can expect services and applications they already use to run better: fewer glitches in video calls, less latency in online gaming. But as the technology matures into the 2020s, new applications, including augmented reality, will become popular on these networks.

“The first effect will be to relieve congestion on other networks, as 5G frees up bandwidth,” says Ian Fogg, vice president at analyst firm OpenSignal.

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Lindsay Clark

Lindsay Clark is a freelance journalist specialising in business IT, supply chain management, procurement and business transformation. He has worked as news editor at Computer Weekly and several other leading trade magazines. He has also written for The Guardian, The Financial Times and supplements to The Times. 

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