Texas Border Business
By Scott Hall
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped societies and economies both in the United States and around the globe. As our lives and livelihoods go digital – compressing a years-long process into months – we’ve seen renewed interest and urgency around the rollout of 5G networks, which can reach speeds nearly 100 times greater than current 4G networks and process data more quickly.
Businesses in every sector, from agriculture and food services to manufacturing and consumer product development, are driving a major surge in demand for bandwidth to support remote connectivity and collaboration. This cutting-edge technology is already playing a major role in the operations and strategic thinking of businesses, governments, and consumers.
Chamber members are driving the 5G revolution: A new U.S. Chamber report, Creating Foundational 5G Technology: A Case Study of Qualcomm traces the evolution of 5G and provides a window into Qualcomm’s work to create the foundational technologies on which the 5G ecosystem is built.
One key takeaway: Qualcomm has a staggering portfolio of more than 140,000 patents and patent applications for 5G technologies. Protecting these investments, which relies in part on policies that protect intellectual property, was critical to Qualcomm’s success from the earliest stages of R&D to the commercialization of 5G.
What’s at stake: From 2020 to 2035, the total contribution of 5G to global GDP is projected to be equivalent to an economy the size of India’s $11.3 trillion economy. India itself could play a major role in the development of 5G networks globally. While ambitious plans to roll out 5G networks across India by the end of 2020 were thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, India is expected to generate a quarter of the world’s new mobile subscribers through 2025 – with nearly 90 million on 5G networks. Last week, the Chamber’s U.S.-India Business Council hosted a conversation, Building the U.S.-India 5G Ecosystem, as part of its West Coast Digital Week.
The advent of 5G brings the promise of renewed resilience, clarity, and transformation to the post-COVID world. It offers us an opportunity to bridge the digital divide, and it could not have come at a more crucial time.
—Scott Hall, Senior Director, Global Innovation Policy Center & Carolyn Posner, Senior Manager, International Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce