Samsung is leading the pack in 5G adoption, partnering with both Verizon and AT&T to bring one of the first commercial 5G smartphones to market in the first half of 2019.
Unveiled at the annual Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii, the prototype showcases a 5G mobility service with massive bandwidth, greater opportunities for connectivity and improved network reliability.
— Samsung Electronics (@Samsung) December 4, 2018
“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, vice president, wireless device and product marketing at Verizon, in a press release.
— Verizon (@verizon) December 3, 2018
“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,” added Justin Denison, senior vice president, 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.”
Verizon launched the world’s first commercial 5G service in October in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
Rival AT&T will also market a 5G phone with Samsung in the first half of 2019, with access to AT&T’s 5G network to be implemented by the end of the year.
“5G is going to be about more than just a network. Customers will eventually be able to connect in near real-time to unforeseen possibilities,” said David Christopher, president of AT&T mobility and entertainment.
Kevin Petersen saw what 4G did for networks years ago. At the @Qualcomm #SnapdragonSummit, he’s looking ahead to #5G and noting what it could do for the world of innovation. pic.twitter.com/00wh7hS4ym
— AT&T (@ATT) December 4, 2018
AT&T has installed 5G mobile network equipment in 12 cities—Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio and Waco—with plans for Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose in early 2019.
— AT&T (@ATT) December 4, 2018
Samsung’s 5G prototype has an extra part of the bezel at the top-right of the screen, and the notch holds a front-facing camera.
“The notch has been one of the more controversial smartphone design elements over the last couple of years,” reports Tom’s Guide. “Many believe it’s an unsightly addition to the top bezel and creates a strange smartphone experience. Others, however, say that it’s worth the trade-off on phones like the iPhone XS because it allows for thinner bezels all around.”
Regarding concerns about the notch, Samsung’s Justin Denison, SVP, general manager, told TechRadar: “You should think of that device as a sample device. Not necessarily indicative of what the final device will look like, its size, shape, or even the UI treatment.”
— Tom's Guide (@tomsguide) December 5, 2018
5G will boost the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks by between 10 and 100 times, and will connect a device to the network with speeds as quick as a millisecond to start downloads or uploads.
And 5G will also “lay the foundation for smartphones, later cars and virtually every electronic device that will be connected,” Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said during a keynote. “That first step [smartphones] is getting to us in the first half of 2019.”
This latest cellular technology is a boon for consumers, but also for device makers and carriers to profit as 5G requires specialized hardware, giving an advantage to service providers with the largest 5G networks, and handset makers with feature-rich 5G phones.
“5G is so important that the entire industry is moving at the same pace for 2019 launches,” Amon said. “The fact that we have a mature mobile environment [means]… the development system is going to move faster than ever before.”