CES 2019: 5G Under Glass

Dan Jones
News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
1/11/2019



The motto for vendors displaying 5G devices at this week's CES show in Las Vegas appeared to be: "Look, but don't touch." (See CES Is Only a 5G Scene-Setter for MWC.)

In fact, only Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) had a live 5G reference design modem on the show floor. Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Samsung Corp. had 5G devices but they were kept firmly under glass.

Intel's unnamed 28GHz reference design was hanging out at its booth:

The company said it was connected to 28GHz 5G at around 1-Gbit/s at the show.
The company said it was connected to 28GHz 5G at around 1-Gbit/s at the show.

The device was connected to a remote radio head (RRH), streaming via servers on-site:

The 5G radio head was located just above the 5G modem.
The 5G radio head was located just above the 5G modem.

Qualcomm had a brace of devices on-site, but all were kept in glass cabinets -- notably, even the Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) Nighthawk 5G, which is the only device currently offered for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s commercial 5G service. (See AT&T's Nighthawk 5G: Potential Download Could Cover a Wide Range of Speeds.)

The Nighthawk at front and center in the cabinet. Recall that AT&T has said that the device will available to the wider public in the Spring for $500 a pop.
The Nighthawk at front and center in the cabinet. Recall that AT&T has said that the device will available to the wider public in the Spring for $500 a pop.

Qualcomm said last January that it was signing contracts to sell Chinese vendors $2 billion of 4G and 5G components over three years, contracts that seem to be bearing fruit now. (See Qualcomm Lines Up Chinese Wave for 5G Smartphones.)

Qualcomm also a number of 5G protypes from vendors like OPPO and Xiao
Qualcomm also a number of 5G protypes from vendors like OPPO and Xiao

Samsung took the same approach as Qualcomm with its 5G device enclosed in a glass box! (See 2019: Samsung Gets Busy With 5G in US.)

Samsung is supposed to unveil commercial 5G devices later in the first half of this year.
Samsung is supposed to unveil commercial 5G devices later in the first half of this year.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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