CES 2021 prediction: 5G talk will dominate this year’s virtual conference

CES 2021 prediction: 5G talk will dominate this year's virtual conference

Verizon 5G logo on CES keynote

Verizon at CES 2020. It is the same again this time, only completely virtual.

Angela Lang / CNET

This is part of the story CES, Where our editors will bring you the hottest news and latest virtual CES 2021 hottest gadgets.

CES 2021 Full of uncertainties. How does the show replace hand stimulation with a gadget when everything is remote? Is there anything worth tuning in? Will the tech industry show its high attitude? But one thing is for sure: the 5G trade show will have a front and center, which will kick off in virtual format next week.

Read more: Top 6 trends to expect at CES 2021

Like last year, 5G will dominate the conversation. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg is the first keynote speaker at CES, who leaves the next evening talking about the next generation of cellular technology. Capping the show on Thursday will be for Samsung, which is hoping to unveil its Galaxy S21 family – 5G-capable, of course – in a separate event that is not officially part of CES, but It will very much capture the audience. In between, expect a lot of 5G.

“Wherever you look [virtual] The show floor, 5G, will emerge, “said Steve Koenig, vice president of research for the Consumer Technology Association, in an interview with CNET senior correspondent Shar Tikken. Ultimately, he said,” It really touches everything we’re doing Will take ”

Like last year, there won’t be many 5G phones beyond Samsung’s offerings. CES has never been a mobile-centric show, with its launch later in the year.

But the environment is fundamentally different than last year’s show. For one thing, millions of people have a 5G device due to a flood of phones launched in the last 12 months, including cheaper alternatives like Apple’s iPhone 12 family and TCL’s 10 5G UW for Verizon. Beyond the phone, 5G connected computers According to Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi, it could make an appearance.

“It’s mainstream from a product promotion standpoint,” said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research.

In a show where many tech giants, Like google, Will have minimal attendance and showgoers will not have the chance to get their hands on the products, discussing the future of 5G overweight technologies.

The network is more mature with all three major US carriers offering the country’s 5G coverage. Westberg, who was a keynote speaker at CES in 2019, was last seen on stage in November to watch his 5G network with the iPhone 5 alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook, and he was at that pace on the virtual stage at CES Is likely to be suppressed.

According to CNET editor Ellie Blumental, 5G could strike a blow between carriers and their reputation for network quality. While Verizon increases its nationwide coverage to slow down a short-range but super-fast network, T-Mobile is rolling out a network using a type of spectrum that provides a good mix of range and speed It probably offers the best 5G experience. Of the big three. Both T-Mobile and AT&T have also deployed that fast, short-range network, called millimeter wave, but on a smaller scale than Verizon.

AT&T and T-Mobile are largely seated on the 5G front this CES, giving Verizon a full stage.

But that doesn’t mean the show won’t have a lot of crap about 5G. CNET will host a panel (quick plug: I’ll host it) How 5G can be used to address some of the issues highlighted by the coronovirus epidemic, By turning off the digital divide to make telemedicine more palatable and a more engaging distance learning experience.

CES will facilitate about 20 sessions on this topic, exploring areas ranging from 5G powering automation to assistive agricultural technology. Smart cities will also be on the agenda.

“Most of the focus will still be on justifying investment, which will prove ROI from a consumer and business point of view,” Milanesi said.

Many of these discussions revolve around big ideas, which are equally in demand for network speed. So far, 5G has largely been about bringing high speed to your phone. But the thing is quickly moving to these other applications, even if we don’t see them all for a while in the real world.

Nevertheless, it is important that these discussions are in the consumer electronics industry right now, so it can plan for applications that will emerge in the coming months or years.

CNET’s Sharra Tikken and Ellie Blumentel contributed to this article.

Correction at 8:59 pm PT: An earlier version of this story misstated the timing of Samsung’s incident. It will be on Thursday.

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