Though delayed a 3-month delay due to the novel coronavirus, Release 16 of the 3GPP 5G specifications are frozen and complete. It has been much touted as the first fully or real 5G release as it introduces functions such as standalone 5G-NR that wean it off of 4G radio and core technologies.
At Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Tim Cook delivered the headline that we long anticipated - Macs will transition away from Intel’s x86 processors and adopt Apple’s own proprietary silicon. Why not? After all, Apple has been designing industry-leading processors for its iPhone and Apple Watch which have also powered the iPad, iPod and Apple TV. The writing was on the wall that Apple would bring the Mac into the Apple silicon fold.
Facebook's recent investment and partnership with Jio Platforms was met with a great deal of media and industry excitement. This move was widely touted as a coming of age of Digital India. The largest US tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft are looking to expand their global fortunes in the new digital economic frontier that is India with its 1.32 billion large consumer market. What is really at stake here and what does it mean in the broader context of India's economic digitization?
The US Department of Commerce recently amended its foreign-produced direct product rule (FPDP) and Entity List to include HiSilicon, Huawei’s semiconductor design subsidiary. This action has been widely deemed an escalation of the US government's "war on Huawei. In the broader context of the US sanction on Chinese tech firms, the addendum applies a consistency of "national security and foreign policy purpose” to HiSilicon.
In the last three months, Microsoft has been on a tear building out its portfolio of 5G core and virtualized network service management technologies having acquired Affirmed Networks, and most recently, Metaswitch. The acquisition of these telecom tech companies by the leading enterprise IT technology company and cloud service provider may seem curious at first, but these transactions highlight the acceleration of a transformative trend that we at neXt Curve dubbed Under-the-Bottom (UTB) in our 2019 technology horizon study for Ofcom, the United Kingdom’s communications and media sector regulator.
Necessity is the mother of invention. There has been no moment of need in modern times as urgent as what we face today as humanity grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. In three months, the virus has spread to over 180 countries around the globe, infecting millions, and has arrested the largest and smallest of economies. At the same time, it has created an unprecedented need for connectivity and communications. Now, more than ever, unconventional thinking and leadership as well as innovative applications of technologies such as 5G are dire necessities for addressing the many COVID-19-related challenges that are disrupting millions of lives and jeopardizing trillions in economic value.
We have come a long way in a short time since COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan, China late last year. The virus has stealthily yet rapidly evolved from a provincial epidemic to a pandemic that is suffocating the largest and the smallest of economies around the globe.
The evolution of 5G infrastructure will not be homogenous. Operators will be deploying islands of 5G across a sea of 4G and 3G. They will be faced with the challenges of developing, deploying and managing services across hybrid infrastructures that will be comprised of a fragmented mix of the old and the new. In order to accelerate returns on 5G investments operators will need a common, integrated toolchain that allows service providers to scale operations and services across a mixed portfolio of technologies and operating environments.
For years the Smart Home has promised to enrich the lives of consumers and has inspired waves of manufacturer innovation such as smart speakers, intelligent thermostats and much more. While these innovations have offered incremental improvement in our home lives, the consumer reality has been a deluge of devices and services, greater complexity, and less security. In truth, the Smart Home remains elusive, the problems it intends to solve unclear. Only when manufacturers reach beyond devices and services with purpose-driven “Smart Living” solutions at home will this market cross the chasm to rapid market growth.
With Release 16 of the 3GPP 5G standards slated to be frozen next month and completed in June of 2020, the mobile industry is poised to embrace Standalone (SA) 5G this year. Qualcomm, a leader in 5G technology, introduced yesterday their third-generation modem-RF system, Snapdragon X60 which comes at an opportune time in the evolutionary timeline of 5G standards and marks a thoughtful pivot in Qualcomm's RFFE (Radio Frequency Front End) strategy.