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The Future of 5G: Growing beyond the smartphone
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The Future of 5G: Growing beyond the smartphone

Smartphones and 5G are forever linked in our current vernacular. The introduction of 5G-enabled smartphones over the last two years shined a spotlight on a new generation of connectivity — one that dramatically cuts download times and increases speed and reliability for users looking to connect, compute and communicate anywhere they go. It's an incredible time for personal handheld computing and continued global 5G adoption is driving this revolution in unwavering, lightning-fast networks.

But 5G is growing way beyond the smartphone. Widespread 5G deployment is accelerating into numerous industries, sectors and governments, serving to quickly and efficiently connect organizations to every aspect of their business. And ultra-fast 5G mmWave is creating completely new use cases for technologies like connected intelligent edge for immersive XR and powerful AI through distributed computing. 5G is so much more than a personal connectivity technology — it's fueling digital transformations around the world, connecting people to their homes and cars; businesses to their supply chains, robotics and security; and cities to their transportation and infrastructure systems.

This connected intelligent edge is a core feature of 5G reimagining how we connect with many different aspects of our lives. By bringing the cloud closer to the power residing in many more devices — in much smaller form factors — we can take advantage of distributed computing power for high-performance tasks anywhere. Fast, low latency 5G networks are making this a reality. For instance, boundless XR makes use of 5G mmWave and edge computing for truly immersive experiences without bulky headsets and stationary PCs. And the booming IoT industry is already making good use of lower latencies and more bandwidth for billions of connected devices with 5G and edge computing.

Qualcomm Technologies' recent Smart Cities Accelerate 2021 event is another example that highlights how 5G is fostering connected spaces and systems throughout U.S. cities. While this has direct benefits for citizens like smarter traffic systems and faster event connectivity, technologies like 5G private networks are also laying the foundation for fast, reliable and low-latency connectivity among businesses and industries.

Advancements in 5G beyond the smartphone are already having an impact on our lives. But the future of 5G is even brighter, and that's what we discuss in the latest installment of our ongoing "The Future of" video series moderated by Bevin Fletcher of FierceWireless. This time, I sat down with Qualcomm Technologies' Senior Vice President and General Manager for 5G, Mobile Broadband and Infrastructure Durga Malladi and Vice President of Device Technology at Verizon Brian Mecum to dig into where we stand on 5G and where we're going.

IoT and XR are two big applications we all agree will be defined by continued 5G deployments and advancements in the coming years, fueled by connected intelligent edge computing and ultrareliability. Of course, smartphones will continue to become faster, smarter and more efficient with the help of 5G networks growing throughout the world. The true evolution of 5G, however, will enable users and transform industries in ways we're just beginning to discover.