World Economic Forum 2019: 5G: The bottleneck of the tech sector
Technology has always been a big part of the Davos meetings and this year is no exception. 5G technology is now at the forefront of debates and conversations at the World Economic Forum. CGTN's Yang Chengxi spoke to a number of Davos participants on what they think about 5G.
In Davos, panel discussions run the gamut of today's technology: AI, virtual reality, the Internet of things, the list goes on. Worldwide there are 17 billion connected devices today. By 2025, that number is expected to double. Many of these devices can be empowered by the aforementioned technologies. But analysts say the bottleneck now is internet speed.
KATHERINE XIN, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT CHINA EUROPE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SCHOOL "When you think about new retailing and manufacturing capabilities and also automation, all these processes need faster data processing. It's an infrastructure. 5G will empower these sectors I think even more."
Consultants say client demand is high for 5G solutions.
THOMAS REICHERT, CHAIRMAN OF GLOBAL PRACTICES BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP "The pressure from these companies to make their businesses work is so much higher on the 5G network than what it used to be in 4G."
Experts at panels in Davos say the tipping point is near, maybe closer than most people think.
YANG CHENGXI DAVOS, SWITZERLAND "At one of the panels, Huawei Vice Chairman Ken Hu said the application of 5G has kicked into high gear as industry standards were established last June. He said that some participants at this year's forum might well be using 5G mobiles the next time they are in Davos."
Hu says 5G will be deployed in 110 countries by 2025. Huawei is already operating in more than 10 countries and will expand into 20 more countries in the next 12 months.
THOMAS REICHERT, CHAIRMAN OF GLOBAL PRACTICES BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP "In many parts, Chinese infrastructure is heavily advantaged."
But talks on geopolitical uncertainty always seem to come up.
KEN HU, VICE CHAIRMAN HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES "Huawei is hurt by the trade war."
As obstacles from several western countries against Huawei increase, some are even concerned about the lifeline of China's 5G industry, as the nation imports 90 percent of its semiconductors, a commodity dominated by the US.
KATHERINE XIN, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT CHINA EUROPE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SCHOOL "I think at the moment right now we are quite vulnerable because it is really a power struggle rather than about technological competition."
In a recent interview, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei urged America to focus on cooperation because he said no one country is expected to innovate a new technology independently. In a globalized world, this message goes both ways. YCX CGTN DAVOS SWITZERLAND.