Samsung unveiled a 5G phone but the road ahead is still long

This is the first device capable of running on ultra-fast 5G wireless networks. The phone will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for Verizon customers at an unknown price, and will be offered to other mobile operators later this summer.

While the phone is a major step in the deployment of 5G, the network itself is not yet widespread enough to revolutionize mobile connections.

"A 5G phone is of strategic importance to Samsung, especially in markets where 5G is deployed first, such as the United States, South Korea and China," Ben Wood, director of CNG, told CNN Business. from CCS Insights.

Samsung (SSNLF) gets the jump on Apple, which should not have an iPhone 5G before the last quarter of 2020, he added.
The 5G technology customer race has seen several developments, including the fixed wireless 5G, which operates in homes similar to high-speed Internet, and the 5G wireless access points that convert waves into Wi-Fi .

However, there is still no phone available for US customers that can operate autonomously in 5G. The transition from 4G networks to 5G networks will only be generalized in 2020 and will require infrastructure upgrades costing billions of dollars.

"The cellular waves needed for 5G do not go as far as with 4G and 3G, and it will take time for operators to set up a sufficiently dense infrastructure network," said Ben Stanton. , senior analyst at Canalys, market research firm.

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Experts argue that Samsung's device is an important part of the move to 5G because it will help operators test their service. It will also lay the foundation for future generations of 5G handsets.

5G is currently available in a handful of US cities from different carriers. Verizon (VZ) offers technology in Sacramento, California, Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis. AT & T (T), CNN's parent company, offers it in more than a dozen cities. Sprint (S) and T Mobile (TMUS), which plans to merge later this year, are also considering rolling out 5G coverage in 2019.

Operators and manufacturers have shown the potential of 5G as a major advance in mobile technology.

"With promising 5G connectivity and enhanced broadband services, users will also be introduced to new, unique and innovative ways to interact with their devices," said Daniel McQueen of ABI Research. "Immersive user experiences should continue to evolve and, according to this new paradigm, smart phones will become an integral part of a larger ecosystem that will provide access to many applications and services."

The low latency of the technology can allow autonomous cars to process information faster and make decisions at breakneck speed. This could promote the evolution of smart cities by enabling capabilities such as communication between connected cars and traffic lights. 5G also has major implications for industries, including health, as it could help optimize the progress of telemedicine and robotic surgery.

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But 5G is still new and relatively untested, and its availability is so limited.

"Higher data rates and rates are a promise, but with limited network availability [they] Gerrit Schneemann, Senior Research Analyst at IHS Markit, will have a limited immediate impact on the user experience. It is not yet clear what an app or appalling use case could be for 5G smartphones. "

He said that mobile phone service providers in Asia are leading in terms of access to 5G. Western Europe is also outperforming North America in access to 5G.

The 5G may still be nascent, but it is clear that Samsung wants to establish itself as a leader in the field.

"A base early deployment of the 5G will be important for the Samsung brand and will be part of the journey of 5G with carriers," said Wood of Canalys. "He can learn as much as he can about this new technology and make continuous improvements with iterative devices."

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