In 2035, when 5G’s full economic impact should have touched the entire globe, a broad range of industries, from retail to education and entertainment, are expected to produce around US $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services enabled by 5G mobile technology, according to 5G economy reports.

Reports also stated that by 2035, 5G will create 22 million jobs and generate $3 trillion in global GDP growth. It will also increase productivity by 89 percent, help small business grow and compete globally and stimulate the invention of new products.

At the forefront of 5G innovation is multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm.

The company’s president Cristiano Amon, spoke about 5G, mobile innovation, the internet of things (IoT) and emerging markets during LebNet’s event in San Diego, which was held on October 18, 2018 at Knobbe Martens law firm.

The event drew 70 people from San Diego, Silicon Valley, Orange County, Los Angeles and Florida. It was introduced by Layal Rouhana, PhD, Staff IC packaging engineer at Qualcomm and LebNet San Diego Region Leader. The LebNet San Diego team aims at building a community of high-tech professionals and college students to come gather at events, learn from each other and give back.

During the panel, which was moderated by Ford Tamer, the CEO of high-speed analog and semiconductor solutions company Inphi Corporation, Amon discussed how 5G will be a major economic driver, his key success factors and how his Lebanese origin and grandfather influence helped him shape his journey.

“My grandfather left Lebanon when he was 16 years old. He went to Brazil. Did not speak the language. He worked in a farm, saved money, started doing some coffee transportation, bought merchandise and sold them in towns. He was a great inspiration for us. He was focused, had a goal and kept going forward.”

Perhaps his grandfather’s ‘can do’ attitude led Amon to pursuing his own passion and becoming one of the leaders of tomorrow’s technologies.

An ever-connected era

Amon tackled technological progress by distinguishing between 3G and 4G and how advanced underlying technologies in broadband mobile are making us underestimate the value of what we have nowadays.   

“There’s no industry today that doesn’t have a smartphone connected to what they do. Smartphone itself is an incredible device. When we were creating 4G, we didn’t know how apps will look like but we knew the underlying technology. We are now in a society where everything can be connected ,” said Amon.

Yet with 5G, connectivity will take a whole different meaning. Due to faster speed and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices, this technology will provide the right infrastructure to carry and handle huge amount of data, hence making our world smarter and more connected.

With 5G, people can connect to the cloud and all the data extracted from their devices will feed into machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), according to Qualcomm’s president. “Things will become smarter as they will have processors and be connected to the internet. Those will change societies again [and lead] economic development.”

This ability to connect at a very high speed will also bring benefit to mankind. In healthcare, 5G can facilitate the transfer of medical databases and help in analyzing them, hence improving machine learning. Machine-assisted tools can then give doctors a proper patient diagnosis based on previous diagnosis correlated with a certain condition. All of this can be made possible by just processing a bigger amount of data, indicated Amon.  

He gave another example related to translation and cultural difference. During an event he attend in China, government officials were relying on a machine learning software to receive a real-time interpretation. Phrases being formed did not make sense initially because they needed more context,  but Amon believed that “those things will become better. If you’re connected to the internet with a very high speed you can enable all those things.”

5G will be a turning point for machine learning and IoT devices and PCs as well. Amon hinted that personal computers will be connected with 5G and start running on mobile technology.

New tech for emerging markets

The panel went from talking about 5G and its big economic potential to how emerging markets are creating new tech behaviors to fill a gap, i.e India, which is using WhatsApp to transfer payments. The global chatting app is now offering a billing system for specific countries to allow users to transfer money. “It’s amazing how much they revolutionized in emerging markets. They have a bigger reach over population.”

This event won’t be the last for LebNet San Diego this year. Over the course of 2018 and 2019, the San Diego community will be hosting several activities related to career development in STEM fields, female leadership in high-tech and work/life integration as well as programs for graduates and undergraduates in STEM field with experts in high-tech and biotech. Stay tuned.