Qualcomm has claimed that ultra-fast 5G mobile broadband will be coming to the US by April 2019.
Originally planned for a launch in 2020, the chip giant has claimed that - through research - it's been able to bring this deadline forward by a year.
"5G was supposed to be in 2020," said Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon in an interview. "In the middle of the biggest crisis we've had, we maintained the level of research and development spending in order to accelerate 5G by more than a year."
Amon added that network operators in the country are committed to 5G, and that they will be able to achieve a mass of coverage relatively fast, by adding 5G equipment to existing cell towers in time for next year.
The world has gone to unlimited data plans. An operator deploying a 5G network has a lower cost per bit
"Because of Qualcomm's early investments, we are going to see 5G launch in the United States as early as April 2019," said Amon. "You are going to be able to buy a 5G phone."
It's likely this has been made possible as Qualcomm has managed to expand its customer base to almost 9,000 clients in recent years, including 18 of the top 25 global vehicle manufacturers, a plethora of Internet of Things (IoT) companies, consumer electronics brands and WiFi networking equipment makers.
"We wanted NXP, but we didn't sit still," said Amon.
"During those 21 months we had been waiting, we executed on that exact strategy to the point where we were able to generate $5 billion in [non-smartphone] revenue in the chip business - 70 per cent growth over those two years.
"That gives us the confidence to continue the strategy because mobile is disrupting all these industries."
Amon added that all of Qualcomm's top-tier smartphone customers plan to release 5G Android phones next year. And, while it's not as easy to predict whether users will get onboard right away, Amon is hopeful.
"I have not met a person who does not want faster internet," he said. "You get a 4K display with a better camera and take a fantastic picture, you want to upload that as fast as possible and share it.
"The second thing is the world has gone to unlimited data plans. An operator deploying a 5G network has a lower cost per bit. So there is an incentive to move the unlimited plans over to 5G."
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