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SK TELECOM CONFIDENT KILLER APPS WILL EMERGE FOR 5G

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LIVE FROM 5G ASIA, SINGAPORE: The use cases and key drivers for 5G are far from clear, but South Korea’s SK Telecom is confident the wider ecosystem will develop killer apps of the future, which is a major reason for its aggressive 5G push.

Jin-Hyo Park, SVP and head of SK Telecom’s network technology R&D centre, said it’s far from certain what will be possible with 5G. “What will 5G bring? We don’t know, as the commercial launch isn’t coming until at least 2020. Right now we’re not sure what will be the main drivers – speed, latency, the experience…”

Delivering the keynote this morning, Park said that even if it can’t find the killer application, it will still introduce 5G as fast as possible, because it believes the ecosystem will come up with the killer applications. “The OTT or IoT players will introduce enhanced services that improve the experience for our customers.”

He recognised that telcos have a lot of homework to do to differentiate 5G from 4G. Each new mobile generation has had a key differentiator, with 3G offering video calling, 4G bringing the mobile internet and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) ushering in media streaming, he said.

In addition, with each round of new technology, he said new players emerge and with 5G we’ll see more IT firms move into the ecosystem.

He is bullish on the opportunities in mission critical services, such as autonomous vehicles, which will require latency of less than 10ms. He said this low rate will be easy with 5G, but with LTE-Advanced, less than 50ms is not possible.

SK Telecom has a two-track 5G network strategy: an evolutionary path moving from LTE-A and the revolutionary one pushing the New Radio (NR) technology.

He talked up its 5G trials this year with Samsung focusing on mmWave, SDN-based distributed core networks with Nokia and small cell collaboration with Ericsson.

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Samsung to invest $115 billion in its foundry business by 2030

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Samsung is earmarking $9.5 billion a year for Samsung LSI and Samsung Foundry.

Samsung Electronics is one of the largest semiconductor players around, and the manufacturer is investing $115 billion (133 trillion won) over the next 12 years to take on Qualcomm and Intel. Samsung says its goal is to become the world leader in semiconductors and logic chips, and the company will invest $9.5 billion a year from now through 2030.

Samsung will invest $63.4 billion (73 trillion won) toward domestic R&D — where it is looking to add 15,000 jobs to “bolster its technological prowess” — and spend $52 billion (60 trillion won) toward production facilities that will make the logic chips. Samsung has long been the dominant player in the memory business, but with that market shrinking the South Korean manufacturer will be looking to diversify.

While the $115 billion seems like a staggering amount at first, it’s in line with what Samsung has been spending in recent years. Just last year alone Samsung invested over $15 billion in R&D, and Intel also spent over $10 billion toward developing new products.

Source: https://www.androidcentral.com/samsung-investing-115-billion-take-qualcomm-and-intel

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LG V50 ThinQ 5G launch in South Korea delayed

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LG announced earlier today that it delayed the South Korea launch of its 5G-capable V50 ThinQ. The phone was originally slated to launch in South Korea this Friday, April 19.

The delay is due to LG wanting to further optimize the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and Qualcomm X50 5G modem inside of the V50. LG also said it’s working with Qualcomm and South Korean carriers to improve 5G service and phone interoperability.

LG V50 ThinQ 5G price & release date: What we know so far (it’s not much)

LG didn’t say when the V50 will be available in South Korea. Android Authority reached out to LG for comment on a new release date and whether the delayed launch in South Korea will affect the U.S. launch, but did not receive a response by press time.

The delay comes at a bad time for LG, which saw rival Samsung launch its first 5G smartphone April 5 in South Korea. LG likely had hoped to use the Galaxy S10 5G’s launch momentum for its own 5G smartphone, but now we don’t know when the V50 will debut.

That said, LG might have dodged a very big bullet by delaying the V50’s launch. Business Koreareported last week that Galaxy S10 5G owners have struggled with poor 5G connectivity and an inability to switch to 4G LTE. Samsung pushed out an update that supposedly addressed the issues, but the update didn’t help much.

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Samsung snubs Apple on 5G modem supply, leaving few good options for the 2020 iPhones

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Thanks to the patent war with Qualcomm reaching a crescendo mode, last year Apple’s iPhones shipped exclusively with “Intel inside” as far as cellular connectivity is concerned. That, however, is not an ideal solution for Apple, as Intel’s modems are behind the curve when it comes to features, so it has been shopping around for other options. 
Apple could go with Samsung, Huawei or MediaTek’s 5G modems, but each of those choices comes with severe drawbacks. Samsung will likely charge an arm and a leg for its 5G brainchild, America’s homeland security institutions would balk at Huawei’s involvement due to geopolitical considerations, while MediaTek simply isn’t up to par yet.

SAMSUNG’S 5G MODEM OPTION IS OUT FOR APPLE, BUT WHOSE IS IN?

Surprise, surprise, even those unpalatable options have now become harder to pick from, as Korean media is reporting today that Samsung has declined Apple’s advances for its Exynos 5100 5G modem. Not only does the company need its production for the Galaxy S10 5G that will be shipping tomorrow in Korea but it could very well need it for the Note 10, too. 
Samsung, it turns out, is simply unable to churn out 5G modems in the quality and quantity that Apple would demand, or so it claims. According to one “electronics industry official” there:

Apple inquired about the supply of 5G modem chip from Samsung Electronics System LSI division. However, we know that Samsung Electronics System LSI answered that the supply volume of its smartphone 5G modem chip is insufficient.

There you have it – unless Apple resolves the bad blood between the companies, Qualcomm is likely to sit its 5G push out, so the last remaining option is for Apple to go it alone, either by acquiring Intel’s wireless modem assets or starting from scratch (highly unlikely). All of these options mean either a lot of extra expenses for Apple in order to deliver a 5G iPhone in 2020, or falling behind the competition by launching one that is a cycle or two behind.
Last summer, insiders claimed that they have seen internal Intel communication regarding a memo that Apple sent Chipzilla. In it, Apple warns that it might no longer need Intel’s wireless modem designs, including the 5G ones, starting with the 2020 iPhone crop. Intel reportedly halted research in this area and might disband the whole 5G modem undertaking, as Apple was its largest and perhaps sole customer.

5G gets going and Apple’s 2020 iPhones can’t go FOMO

South Korea just launched its nationwide 5G network, with the Galaxy S10 5G being its poster child. Upon the phone’s release there tomorrow, Korea will have all of its largest networks offering 5G plans. In fact, Korea Telecom announced three 5G price tiers. Among those, there is a “Super Plan” that offers truly unlimited 5G data without speed caps, and this one will go for the equivalent of $70, a pretty good price no matter how you slice it. In fact, the Super 5G Plan is somewhat cheaper than the current unlimited 4G LTE plans in Korea, so the 5G future seems bright, and we are expecting more and more 5G handsets to enter the fray this year, especially towards the tail end of 2019.
A true nationwide shift to 5G networks is not happening this year in the US anyway, so iPhone users won’t be missing all that much until then. Next year, however, most of the flagship phones of the spring season will probably have some sort of 5G connectivity support, be it with a Qualcomm, Samsung or Huawei modem, and Apple could feel the pinch in that regard.  If in the fall of 2020 Apple hasn’t solved its 5G modem supply options, however, there might be image and perception consequences. As virtually all of Apple’s 5G avenues have dried up and will incur extra expenses, patching thing up with Qualcomm would be a smart solution so we’ll keep our eyes on the patent lawsuit as it moves through the court system.

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