The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has been waiting for this moment. With the hyperspeed of new 5G technologies, it will finally be possible to connect driverless cars, spark immediate emergency responses and more accurate medical interventions, along with a host of other life-changing ideas that depend on real-time connectivity.
The future doesn’t come cheap. Building new infrastructures, and then accessing 5G bandwidth, will cost a massive amount of money. The financial firm Greensill estimates businesses and consumers will spend $2.7 trillion globally on 5G and IoT by the end of 2020 alone.
Some companies realize the best way to realize 5G’s large-scale potential is to make it affordable, especially to those who need it most. Qualcomm, which developed much of the foundational 5G IP makes semiconductor products, recently announced plans to accelerate the commercialization of 5G with a surprisingly affordable all-in-one mobile platform called Snapdragon. A dozen phone makers have already signed up, potentially dropping the cost of a 5G phone from more than $1,000 to under $300.
The all-in-one 5G chips will also be available to businesses, governments and entrepreneurs interested in making IoT work on a large scale.
Qualcomm, which is ranked number one on Fortune’s list of socially responsible corporations, says its goal is to increase 5G usage and improve lives. But it also makes good economic sense. The company’s research indicates the 5G value chain will support 22.3 million jobs in 2035 and the world will invest $235 billion into the global economy--per year--to improve and strengthen the 5G network. That’s a whole new superhighway of financial opportunity.