TiEcon 2022: 5G will take tech to everyone’s fingertips, says Qualcomm’s Cristiano Amon

iNDICA News Bureau-

Technology is not so much a buzzword today as a staple in society. As innovations change the way processes are carried out, ever larger sections of the world are modernizing and the definition of ‘normal’ is changing.

Technology has transformed the way society functions and reshaped its structures. As the cliché goes, data is the new oil and tech billionaires are the new oil barons. New platforms and services are being launched every day and an incalculable amount of data points gathered every minute.

Terms like 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the metaverse are commonplace, and the use of these formerly rare tools is being rapidly democratized. In building new infrastructure for this field, interoperability among platforms and cross-connectivity are critical features – and Qualcomm is a company that sits at the nexus of these services.

Qualcomm manufactures, invents and designs devices, technology and everything from laptops to mobiles, communication tools, semiconductors, wearables, etc. With market capitalization exceeding U.S. $150 billion, it is like the glue that connects everything from smart phones to smart cars in an increasingly connected world.

Martin Giles, senior editor at Forbes, spoke with Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm, at TiEcon 2022, the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs, last week to understand what is in store for the company and its clients in the future.

Amon, who studied in Brazil, has worked at Qualcomm for more than 25 years and ran the 5G division before ascending to the top spot. “5G is not something of the future, it is already here,” he said, adding that it is maturing in almost all markets and there is no country in the world that wants to be slow in rolling out 5G technology.

He said people must think of 5G as doing the same for connectivity as electricity did for power, stating that “it will be critical in the digital economy infrastructure” and form the bedrock of connectivity on the cloud.

Amon said Qualcomm is heavily invested in increasing the broadband spectrum across the world, as “the technology Qualcomm develops has allowed everyone to access computing and connectivity across the world,” which is critical in an era which is being transformed by digitization.

He said that for any company in any industry, the digital transformation is powerful, and that companies or countries that cannot use the new technology will rapidly become uncompetitive. That is why the democratization of these technologies is necessary, he pointed out.

As a result, countries are working hard to develop infrastructure to adopt and mainstream these innovations, but Amon believes capacity-building must be done everywhere.

“The global intercontinental economic reality is not reliant on one nation or on self-sufficiency,” he remarked, pointing out that “different national regulatory, statutory and privacy standards are an obstacle”.

For instance, he said, to establish a robust, resilient, geographically diverse and global supply chain for semiconductor supply, new legislation in partner nations must be complementary. But the U.S. and the E.U. chips acts have different provisions that prove to be an unexpected challenge.

He argued that this is particularly relevant in the light of future developments in technology – the innovations hitting the market are increasingly diverse, and the challenge will now be to integrate multiple modes of technology into the same chip. He believes there is “a lot of tech evolution to come” despite how far the industry has progressed already.

Asked where 5G will make the biggest impact and offer the biggest opportunities, he outlined three points: “democratising high-performance and high-clarity video, allowing everyone to broadcast at near-professional quality; an upcoming automotive transformation as there is immense cooperation with automotive companies and Qualcomm; and transform(ing) the intersection of the physical and the digital worlds with augmented reality, virtual reality, hologram technology, etc.”

Amon believes the introduction of 5G is the beginning of a new era, where advanced connectivity is the norm and technology will be at every user’s fingertips.

The interview with Cristiano Amon was one of the eight grand keynotes at the three-day TiEcon 2022 which ended May 7.