LIVE FROM QUALCOMM 5G SUMMIT 2019, BARCELONA: Cristiano Amon (pictured) issued a rallying cry for the industry to focus on expanding 5G coverage, given the device ecosystem had reached maturity.

Amon noted rapid progress in the past year: at the company’s 2018 event only four operators had launched commercial networks, with a selection of just three devices.

Today more than 30 operators have launched 5G, with more than 40 compatible devices available and in excess of 100 more in development.

Amon said development of 5G is a year ahead of schedule: “The progress of 2019 is nothing short of incredible, across operators, vendors and OEMS, we have set ourselves up for the opportunities in 5G”.

“It was an impossible task that mobilised the entire ecosystem one year ahead of schedule. Now we have many of the technology ingredients ready with a mature device ecosystem for the first wave of 5G.”

“We have enabled together a mature device ecosystem, but now there’s no excuses, we have to build coverage and scale 5G, because we have the device ready ahead of the network deployment.”

Amon earmarked dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), which enables 4G and 5G users to share the same spectrum band, as a key driver of coverage expansion.

“We never had this in any transition of wireless and this will allow rapid transition of coverage. It’s going to be the most important feature we are going to see for the scale of 5G in 2020.”

PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore told Mobile World Live: “Qualcomm has done a phenomenal job in driving the 5G ecosystem. For sure it’s moving a lot faster than 4G. Now it’s all about taking 5G to a new level. That means greater network coverage and scale across breadth of devices to promote adoption among consumers and businesses.”

Qualcomm paid for travel to this summit. This article reflects honest reporting on the event.