LIVE FROM MWC23 SHANGHAI: Qualcomm CCO Jim Cathey (pictured, right) predicted 5G will come to be regarded as the best technology investment the industry has ever made, citing its transformative potential.

During a Q&A with GSMA CMO Lara Dewar, Cathey argued 5G proved essential during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic along with being a key catalyst in the development of generative AI models and laying the foundation for 6G.

Cathey noted many nations deployed 5G just before the pandemic struck, arguing that without the technology “it would have put us all back a little bit”.

“The technology allowed us to operate during the pandemic and forced us to digitise early.”

“There’s literally no industry that is not impacted by 5G and AI in a positive way. The technologies will unlock doors we didn’t see before. It’s going to improve efficiencies. It’s going to improve top-line revenue and it’s going to improve the customer experience.”

Cathey was bullish on the potential of mmWave for use in public safety applications, citing its ability to cut congestion and provide high-speed uplink.

Deployments of fixed wireless access in the last mile are increasing in developed countries not just developing nations, where homes that weren’t connected in the past now have broadband, the executive said.