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Realizing a Connected Future with 5G


Tim Baxter is the President and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, responsible for the growth and success of the company’s $30 billion+ business across the U.S. and Canada. Since joining the company in 2006, he’s been instrumental in maintaining Samsung’s leadership position as an innovator in cutting-edge technology for consumers and businesses alike and believes Samsung’s greatest asset is its people. Follow Tim Baxter on Twitter: @Timbaxter1.

At Samsung, we envision a future where devices work together seamlessly as part of a connected ecosystem. With blazing speed, minimal latency, and massive connectivity, 5G is the catalyst that will drive this technological revolution and transform the way we live, work, get around, and more.

Last week, I was given the opportunity to discuss our vision alongside industry peers at Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) in Los Angeles. While the excitement around 5G is palpable, beneath this aspirational future lies the constant question: when will 5G get here and what will it look like?

The good news is that many parts of the ecosystem already exist. At Samsung, we have a role in creating nearly every part of this integrated future. We make the chips, network equipment, smartphones, automotive electronics, IoT-ready appliances and other connected devices – many of which are or soon will be 5G enabled. And we’ve developed platforms like SmartThings, which enables people to build flexible connected home solutions that enable those devices and systems to talk to each other seamlessly and securely. We are at the center of this 5G revolution.

Our 5G millimeter wave products were the first in the world to secure government regulatory approval and they have been bringing broadband internet connections to households in pilot markets for over a year. This means no longer needing a wired broadband connection to enable the Internet of Things and Multi-Device Experiences.

This hard work and deep experience have paid off in the form of partnerships across the carrier landscape. During MWCA Verizon announced that their 5G Home service–the first 5G deployment in the United States—will launch on October 1 with Samsung equipment. Meanwhile, AT&T announced that Samsung will be a key 5G equipment vendor and that it has selected Samsung’s 5G-ready Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) equipment. To round out this flurry of news, we announced that our 5G-ready LTE massive MIMO equipment is now in commercial service on Sprint’s network.

It’s clear that even in its earliest days, Samsung is a critical player in the 5G rollout. But while the near-term path is clear, we are only just beginning to appreciate the long-term transformation.

Finding the Right 5G Formula

The key to realizing 5G is finding the right match between network capabilities and use cases. Such a formula creates flexibility that will allow different applications, each with their different demands, to thrive. While some 5G applications will require a national ecosystem – a ubiquitous network and devices that can access and utilize that network – others will thrive when powered by small scale networks that operate at a local or even venue level.

In our neighborhoods, 5G will bring broadband-level data speeds via easily-installed Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) points that enable connected home solutions such as 4K streaming, wireless gaming and security, and IoT solutions. For businesses, the high speed and low latency of 5G via FWA will enable venue-based service and hospitality platforms that enhance guest experiences using video, photo, augmented reality, and crowd management services.

On the other hand, regional corridors of 5G connectivity between urban centers will enable a different set of use cases for applications where constant connectivity is critical, but the services are only required in a somewhat restricted geographic area.

This type of network will turn trains and buses and roadways into 5G-powered environments, enabling passengers to access enhanced services while they ride, powering connected driving experiences, smart traffic lights and roadways and eventually autonomous vehicles. 5G corridors will provide backhaul to other wired and wireless networks – enabling further broadband access and completion — and they will enable enhanced fleet management and emergency services as trucks and ambulances better navigate cities and traffic.

The corridor concept is an entirely new way to think about wireless deployment, but Samsung is well-positioned to forge ahead in this area based on research and trials conducted across the globe. For instance, in September of last year, Samsung partnered with leading Japanese telecommunications company KDDI at the Everland Speedway in Korea to complete one of the fastest connected-vehicle transmissions ever recorded at speeds over 120mph.

In the decade preceding the rollout of 4G, nobody could have imagined what solutions those networks would enable, and 5G is not different. When it comes to ubiquitous national 5G networks, the truth is that we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of what that will mean.

Thanks to the flexibility of 5G, wide area 5G solutions designed for rural areas will be significantly quicker and more secure than those offered over 4G, enabling access to data-intensive applications and services like telemedicine where 4G hasn’t always been enough. Across the country, 5G will provide the connectivity needed for solutions that truly require low-latency networks, like cloud-based gaming on mobile devices and drone delivery.

Ultimately, we believe 5G will make it possible for us to do the things we can only dream of today. By combining our world-class experience with our ability to make the most of American know-how, Samsung is excited to lead America into the future by building on the decades of research and innovation that have made us a wireless leader, and we can’t wait to bring our vision of a connected world to life through innovation that impacts all consumers across the nation.

Click here to listen to Tim Baxter’s full Keynote at Mobile World Congress Americas.

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