"Ask the Expert" Q&A with Simon Buckingham on 5G Applications

Thursday 10/8/20 09:00am
Posted By Ana Schafer
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In our previous blogs on 5G, we focused on its core technologies such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and mmWave, and the advantages they offer when developing 5G applications.

For this blog, we interviewed Simon Buckingham, founder of Nonvoice, the world’s first 5G app agency, to gain insight from someone who is actively working with 5G developers to learn how developers can take advantage of what 5G has to offer.

QTI: Why should developers care about 5G?

SB: App experiences are going to become richer and more realistic thanks to 5G. In particular, mmWave will help drive these experiences in dense urban areas where it will be widely deployed. 5G and mmWave are about taking apps that require very large amounts of data and providing seemingly instantaneous experiences. The evolution of taking a great app experience to the next “ultra-high definition” level in 5G is akin to upgrading from a 32-inch HD TV to an 80-inch 4K TV.

QTI: You’ve been in mobile since the 2G era of ringtones and have seen the evolution of opportunities for developers into 3G and 4G. How is 5G going to be different?

SB: I think the key differentiator for 5G will be the integration of intelligence to improve the customer experience, made possible by the convergence of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud sharing, and edge computing. Experiences that couldn’t previously be achieved on a mobile device such as cloud gaming, rich media animations, advanced computational photography, and AR, will now be readily available on 5G devices. Both the devices and networks themselves will also be more intelligent, allowing for more optimized and seamless customer experiences.

QTI: What types of developers will be able to take advantage of 5G technology?

SB: Developers building apps with ultra-rich content and interactive experiences will likely be the biggest benefactors of 5G. Such apps will include multi-player environments and experiences such as console games, high definition and 3D video, ray traced video, XR (VR & AR) services, all of which will benefit from being able to seamlessly make their services available across all devices and screen sizes through 5G mmWave networks and/or cloud rendering done at the edge of 5G or even through Wi-Fi 6 networks.

QTI: Where are the biggest opportunities in 5G for developers and inventors right now, and how should developers prepare for the coming wave of 5G over the next 2 to 5 years?

SB: I’d tap into the APIs and developer kits available for today’s new 5G devices such as handsets, smart glasses, etc. Also, participate in some of the 5G incubator programs and hackathons, and investigate initiatives such as Qualcomm Developer Network. Mobile developers should also acquire skills in other areas such as AI, ML, and neuro-linguistic programming.

Developers can take their current app to the next level by envisaging how 5G and associated emerging technologies will allow richer experiences and interactivity. For example, when content could be more efficiently rendered from a remote GPU, consider implementing this on faster broadband mobile technologies; look at how your content could be enriched by ultra HD content that is rendered on a powerful GPU in the multi-access edge computing (MEC) or local area. Often the rendering of such ultra HD content with millions of polygons, can be augmented or more optimally rendered in the cloud or cloud edge.

QTI: It's been said that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will complement each other. How do you see this taking shape as these technologies are being rolled out?

SB: Nonvoice believes that a better overall experience can be achieved when devices tap into multiple access technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6. For example, the integration of network adaptive services into apps can allow developers to unlock rich content when higher bandwidth links are available.

QTI: Can you tell us what Nonvoice does and why you started it? How do you help developers capitalize on 5G opportunities?

SB: Nonvoice is the world’s first 5G app agency. We arrange funds and partnerships for the world's best enterprise and consumer 5G apps. Partnerships include mobile network operators, device and hardware vendors, and various industry-leading brands. We also have a global network of experts who are deeply entrenched in their markets and fields, and a network of investors who can help app developers with access to funds to back their great ideas.

Candidate apps are assessed through what we call the “four Ps”: product, people, promotion, and policies, to determine their likelihood of success in the market. While great products are essential, it also takes great people and the right promotions and policies to sell them successfully. In the end it’s all about helping app developers maximize their success.


2020 is the year of 5G proliferation as 5G networks have begun rolling out, and we’re excited to see organizations like Nonvoice, helping to connect developers, partners, and investors in this burgeoning space. Developers can learn more about Nonvoice at: www.nonvoice.com

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) is also playing a major role in 5G by inventing many of foundational technologies that drive the industry forward and make up 5G. We are at the heart of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the industry organization that defines the global specifications for 5G technologies.

QTI also has a growing portfolio of platforms with support for both 5G and Wi-Fi 6. For more information see: https://www.qualcomm.com/products/5g and https://www.qualcomm.com/products/wi-fi.