There was much anticipated interest in finding out what was real and what was hype at Mobile World Congress this week. My POV post earlier this week focused on what to look for, especially in the area of mobile IoT communications. Well, the results are in with regard to 5G, as we heard from the big four US carriers about their 5G plans. It was evident that they are all taking very different approaches according to their comments. The open question that remained unanswered was around 5G mobile. None of the carriers seemed to have a definitive timetable for delivering mobile 5G services. Some of the carriers are alluding to offering mobile hotspot solutions later this year, yet basic 5G capable phones aren’t even likely to be launched until early 2019. What is encouraging though, is all four major US carriers shared their respective strategies for the eventual deployment of their mobile services. My former colleague, Michael Miller, provides in an depth report of each carrier’s strategy.
With all the 5G hype we’re getting from Mobile World Congress this week, you would think this is a technology that’s ready to go. But it’s not quite there yet—it’s likely to be another year before you can buy a 5G phone—even though all of the major equipment makers and carriers are trying to position their products so that they can say they were “first with 5G.”