Congratulations to AT&T, Qualcomm and Samsung, the early leaders of the 5G race

Competitors should congratulate AT&T Mobility, Qualcomm and Samsung on their firsts to the network, chip and smartphone segments of the rapidly growing 5G wireless market.

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5G is coming on strong. At the end of last year, AT&T Mobility was first with the 5G network services. Last week Qualcomm introduced their new 5G chip to empower the next generation of smartphones. After that, Samsung introduced their Fold and 5G smartphones at their Unpacked event.

Yes, 5G is coming on very strong. In fact, all of these announcements came in advance of the Mobile World Congress MWC19 show in Barcelona this week. This was a surprise. Usually, companies wait to make big announcements at the show. But these were so important that they apparently didn’t want to get lost in all the noise generated by the show.

AT&T, Qualcomm and Samsung got 5G jump on MWC19

So, what does all this mean? Let’s take a look at where we are today in the evolution of 5G wireless.

AT&T, Qualcomm and Samsung represent the first, real moves into the wireless world of tomorrow with 5G leading the charge. This is the beginning of a process that will take years to unfold. Over time, every other wireless player in every sector will jump into this space as well.

Ultimately, the noise created by all the competitors will be deafening. It will become increasingly difficult to separate what is real from just background noise. That’s why I think these three companies want to be first to market.

Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and others will get into 5G as well

Companies like Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and other wireless players will embrace 5G as the heat gets turned up.

Today, AT&T Mobility, Qualcomm and Samsung represent what is real and what is coming in 5G. I think they want to lead the next generation of wireless technology. The last thing they want to do is get mixed in with all the noise that’s coming where getting heard will become a challenge.

Unfortunately, I fully expect all the competitors to play down these important, first-mover advantages. That’s a shame. If the competitors were first, they would want a pat on the back and congratulations, right? That’s why they shouldn’t try and spoil things for current leaders.

Competitors should congratulate first-mover players

That’s an important lesson every competitor should learn. Otherwise they may face the same onslaught of negative competitor feedback when they are first at something down the road.

The level of noise will only increase, making it increasingly difficult to hear what is real. Over time, there will be plenty of other competitors who will offer real solutions as well. By that time, it will be much more difficult to determine what’s real and what is just noise.

Networks, smartphone makers, chip makers, apps creators and more will all be jumping in. Just like with 4G, the chaos will be deafening.

The most successful companies will be first in the marketing wars. They want to be seen as leaders of this next 5G revolution. The rest will follow.

Companies want to be seen as first to groups like the media, analysts, customers, workers, investors and more. That is the goal of every player.

The reason is simple. Leaders, lead. And every company wants to be a leader in the next, big space that is just beginning.

Companies want to impress media, analysts, customers, workers and investors

AT&T Mobility offers the first 5G service in a growing number of markets. They are a market leader in wireless network services. Even though there aren’t any 5G handsets in the market today, they offer a portable wireless modem which converts users 4G devices to use the 5G network giving them an early advantage.

The new Qualcomm 5G chip is a pioneer in this new space and will connect smartphones to the fast network speeds. They are the world’s largest chip maker for the wireless space and with this announcement, it looks like they will continue in that position.

Samsung just introduced their new Galaxy S10 5G smartphones. These devices are first to the US market. They will be available in a few months.

What we should all be doing today is congratulating these innovative companies on their achievements in 5G. After all, they were first. Every competitor who is first deserves to be congratulated. That’s what we do in a civil society.

Competitors who try to knock these leaders only show their own marketplace weakness.

We love good wireless sportsmanship, not bad sportsmanship

Think about it. When we watch the Olympics, do the second and third place competitors knock down the winner? When we watch the World Series or Super Bowl, does the losing team be-little the achievements of the winning side? Of course not.

It’s called good sportsmanship. And the wireless industry could learn something from these sports stars. Good sportsmanship is honorable. It makes you look good. Bad sportsmanship makes you look like the bad guy.

Do competitors really want to look like the bad guy? Of course not. That’s why it’s important for them to do the right thing.

So, let’s all congratulate AT&T, Qualcomm and Samsung on their firsts to the network, chip and smartphone segments of the rapidly growing 5G wireless marketplace.

We are still in the very early innings. There will be many other firsts over the next several years. And every competitor wants to enjoy their time in the sun. In my opinion, this is the way we should do things. Don’t you think?

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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