CES: Samsung, Ice Mobility on Trends in 5G Implementation

At CES 2021 this week, Elemental Content co-founder John Penney moderated a conversation with Samsung Electronics America vice president of product management Drew Blackard and Ice Mobility co-founder and chair Denise Gibson on trends in mobile communications. “The 5G new wireless ecosystem offers a lot of applications in business environments,” Penney noted, asking Blackard and Gibson to describe some of what they think will be the most compelling use cases as 5G continues its rollout of networks and devices.

Blackard opined that, “there are two buckets of 5G use cases.” “The first is the ‘better on 5G’ cases and, as more infrastructure develops the ‘only on 5G’ experiences,” he said. Samsung’s recent partnership with Google to build out full HD video chat for 5G devices and Samsung’s collaboration with Microsoft for Xbox cloud gaming are in the first bucket.

In the second bucket, he pointed to Samsung’s recent partnership with AT&T and the Dallas Cowboys to build an augmented reality in-stadium experience. “You’ll see more and more of these types of experiences going forward,” he predicted.

Gibson stated that implementing 5G is not simply about geography. “It’s also about the evolution of what we’ll be able to do with it when it becomes pervasive and we further build out its capabilities for device engagement,” she said. “The lack of latency will cause so many more real-time data applications to be deployed.” Blackard agreed, noting Samsung believes that when 5G’s speed, latency and bandwidth come together, the “incredible new use cases” will be enabled.

Penney emphasized the importance of partnerships among carriers, device manufacturers, entrepreneurs and others to bring 5G forward. Gibson pointed out that, “over time, it’s going to be far more cost effective for carriers to have individuals and businesses and devices on 5G than the prior platforms.”

“The aspects of real-time data to the mobile device is going to drive so many devices that, through various types of connectivity, there’s going to be a number of players that today and will continue to come into the space, driving all kinds of unique peripherals,” she said.

Blackard reported that Samsung already has “very tight collaboration with our carrier partners and that takes a lot of planning and co-investment and coordination.” He singled out “interesting use cases around edge computing primarily driven by 5G.” “It will all be driven by partnerships,” he said.

Penney added that, although there are roughly 9 billion connected devices out there, we don’t yet have the infrastructure to handle everything 5G can impact, such as self-driving cars and smart cities. “This is a quantum leap forward in evolving opportunities,” he said.

With regard to a question on exciting use cases, Gibson noted that Ice Mobility built “the first fully functional 5G warehouse, partnered with Verizon and Microsoft, at our primary warehouse in Chicago.”

Blackard focused on accessibility, especially due to the COVID-19 lockdown. “Applied to 5G as it builds out, parts of the country will be getting broadband speeds for the first time,” he said, noting that Samsung is “pushing for 5G at accessible price points,” including a new 5G phone for under $500.

Click here for more information on the speakers, panels and new products at CES 2021 (#CES2021).

Survey: Consumers Don’t Really Get 5G, But They Want it Anyway, RCR Wireless News, 1/11/21