Qualcomm is committed to building a sustainable fifth-generation cellular network (5G), which CEO Steve Mollenkopf says will have a big impact on the American consumer.
“I think you’re going to have more speed. Obviously, people like more speed,” Mollenkopf recently told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief, Andy Serwer. “But really, what you’re going to see is, the ability to get access to this will grow dramatically, meaning coverage, availability of just unlimited data plans.”
Qualcomm makes processing chips for phones and is on the frontier of making 5G chips.
Reports exist that Qualcomm will build a 5G chip into Apple’s iPhones to be released in 2020. Qualcomm and Apple recently settled a long-running patent suit — that day, Qualcomm’s shares were trading up 23%. (However, Apple recently acquired most of Intel’s modem business, meaning it could be less dependent on Qualcomm’s chips in the future.)
MacDailyNews Note: As per the costs to consumers for data plans, Mollenkopf thinks costs have the potential to go way down with the advent of 5G (which will really start to pick up steam later in 2020):
Obviously, the carriers have different economics on this, [but] you have tremendous improvement in the cost per bit. One estimate is, [cost] goes down by a factor of 30 — just tremendous business models that are up for grabs as you get that much capacity that comes online. Part of that is due to the technology. Part of it is due to the spectrum allocation. So it’s a real big change in terms of the economics of providing this technology to the consumer.
Competition between carriers for customers coupled with the rise of eSIMs that will make it easy to switch carriers for the best deals should drive prices down for owners of 5G-capable smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.