Skip to main content
Chap1 Icon

Chapter 1:

Why We Really Need Another G

Video Image

Your smartphone and other devices send and receive data using specific frequencies on the radio frequency spectrum. Once upon a time (on 4G) some engineers thought they reached the max limit of what was mathematically possible for transmitting cellular data. But not our Qualcomm engineers. Why? Because they’re skilled at solving the impossible.

Qualcomm engineers thought that society’s unique challenges - like the need to provide health care in remote regions - could be solved by providing the world faster and more reliable mobile connections. We did it by using never-before used frequencies known as mmWave (more about that later). It took a whole decade of hard work and more than $65 Billion* in research and development. Is that a lot of money and time? Yes. Was it worth it? You bet your Massive MIMO it was. Okay, enough of the tech talk. Let’s talk economics.

*Total R&D spend through Q4 2020
Chap2 Icon

Chapter 2:

Let’s Hear it for Economic Impact

Over the next 5 years, 5G will have a major impact on the U.S. economy:

  • Driving up to $2.7 trillion in additional gross output (sales) growth.
  • Adding up to $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP -- more than the economy of Australia!
  • Creating or transforming up to 16 million jobs in the U.S.

That basically puts 5G on the same level of importance as the printing press and electricity. Not bad company.

$2.7 T Sales Growth
$1.5 T US GDP
16 M New Jobs
Chap3 Icon

Chapter 3:

Leading the Way

From the beginning, we knew the importance of the U.S. being a 5G leader.

The country that wins the race to 5G could secure more than a decade of competitive advantage. The U.S. has traditionally been a global leader in wireless technology, but we’re not the only ones with ambitions.

Only one U.S. company has been leading 5G R&D and contributing to global standards. That’s Qualcomm.

Because that’s what leaders do. They carve a path where there is none. Plus, we love a good competition!

chap4 icon

Chapter 4:

The Power of 5G

chap4 img

Bye-Bye “Lag Time”

“Lag Time” is often referred to as “Latency”, which is something you won’t have to worry about with 5G. Data can now travel almost instantaneously. Autonomous vehicles, cloud-based work collaboration, and virtual reality all benefit from ultra low-latency.

Lightning-Fast Speeds

5G is up to 10 times faster than 4G. Sounds fast, right? That’s because it is. Now you can stream 8K video, experience immersive learning, add countless applications that don’t even exist yet, and even save lives. This type of speed is beyond comprehension. Literally mind-blowing.

100x More Capacity

5G gives you more network capacity and a lot more bandwidth. Thanks to our Massive MIMO and mmWave technologies, 5G can handle 100 times more traffic than 4G -- enabling billions of devices to connect, even some that haven’t been invented yet.

chap5 icon

Chapter 5:

Anywhere and Everywhere

Chap5 Img

5G isn’t only for city dwellers. That’s because 5G can deliver streaming speeds of more than 200Mbps for more than 3 miles - and this is 5G just getting started! Unfortunately, some communities have been unable to experience all of the “G’s”. The connectivity divide is real. However, Qualcomm is helping to bridge the gap with 5G. We believe everyone should have access regardless of their location or economic status. For example, with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) customers and business owners can have permanently installed 5G hotspots on their roofs and outside their businesses—delivering fiber-like internet to all the devices inside, even outside the city limits.

Chap6 icon

Chapter 6:

From 1G to 5G

A Wireless Timeline in Real Time

  • icon

    1G

    1982:

    ‘Thriller’ was the #1 record and 1G was introduced. With this first generation of wireless, you could make analog voice calls. Back when phones weren’t “smart.” At this stage, data exchange was nonexistent. Hey, at least we didn’t have to use scary phone booths.

  • icon

    2G

    1992:

    A gallon of gas was less than $2 and 2G gave us digital audio calls. It also introduced the ability to send text messages and pictures. This was pretty groundbreaking stuff, people.

  • icon

    3G

    2001:

    The Motorola Razr, a flip phone, was one of the most popular phones and was powered by 3G. This new 3G tech enabled mobile internet, apps, GPS, and gave rise to smartphones.

  • icon

    4G

    2012:

    Welcome to the gig economy! 4G LTE bolstered data capacity for richer content and better mobile experiences. It enabled HD video streaming and entirely new industries like ridesharing. Which is way more useful than a Grumpy Cat.

  • icon

    5G

    2019:

    The year that brought us Avengers: Endgame brought us something else important—5G. Wireless connectivity is now next level. Billions of devices can now connect in ways never before imagined. It's faster and more reliable than 4G with instantaneous responses and 100x capacity.

chap7 icon

Chapter 7:

The Future of Education

chap7 img
Chap8 Icon

 

Chapter 8:

5G Meets Healthcare

Chap8 Img
chap9 icon

Chapter 9:

So, What’s a mmWave?

Chap9 Img

You might have heard of mmWave by now. The mm stands for “millimeter”. The Qualcomm engineers behind 5G cracked the code on how to utilize this section of radio frequency spectrum in a way that allows the network to handle 100x more data than 4G, faster and more reliably.

Everyone thought it was impossible. Turns out, it wasn’t. Let’s hear it for Qualcomm’s engineers and mmWave!

chap10 icon

Chapter 10:

Massive MIMO. Talk About a Big Deal.

chap10 img

MIMO (pronounced MY-MO) stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). The “Massive” part has to do with the fact that MIMO allows each 5G base station to handle literally dozens more antennas than previous stations.

Each of these antennas send out hyper-precise signals that bounce from base station to base station without interruption or interference, increasing network connectivity and reliability. Make sense?

chap11 icon

 

Chapter 11:

Tech Standards

chap11 img
chap12 icon

Chapter 12:

Privacy, Security, Safety

5G was designed with improved security and privacy protections. These enhancements include better data encryption, privacy mechanisms and "network slicing," which enables protections for specific portions of the network.

This means industries like automotive, healthcare, and energy can use 5G to better safeguard sensitive data.

Ensuring the security of wireless ecosystems isn’t easy. Though 5G is paving the way for better protected data by providing wireless networks with heightened security and privacy features. This will enable the expansion of critical services while better protecting your data.

Perhaps most importantly, the FCC requires that all wireless devices sold in the United States meet certain safety guidelines. We design our products to meet regulations and work with other companies and international organizations to keep products safe.

chap13 icon

Chapter 13:

Inventing for a Better Tomorrow

Chap13 img

This may be the end of our 5G Field Guide, but it’s just the beginning of the 5G story.

5G has arrived in cities across the world and is beginning to transform the way we live, work, and communicate.

Many of us have heard about the impact 5G is making on industries such as agriculture, healthcare, education and more. Developments brought about as a result of 5G will improve the lives of people around the world.

Imagine connected farming devices that can immediately detect when crops need water and fertilization, students immersively learning through virtual reality, medical devices that track chronic illness without the need for an office visit, the potential is unlimited. 4G gave us the ability to stream in HD and gave rise to new industries like ridesharing.

What will 5G bring us? Only time will tell.

Test Your Knowledge