It's a technology not a product. I keep thinking about this new way of imagining 5G after it's been put in my head by Liam Griffin, the spry and thoughtful CEO of Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) , and the man who finally explains well that 5G isn't just an evolution of cellphones it is a revolution of technologies.
Whether it be a cellphone upgrade cycle or a 200 million customer call for 2020 - the projections of Qualcomm (QCOM) - I think that 5G is badly misunderstood. Five G is about massive digitization for pretty much everything and it's simply not believed. People, for example, don't really think much of the notion of the connected car. They rarely have and the slowness of the self-driving car hasn't helped. The idea of electronic devices benefiting from 5G seems fanciful. The notion that anything faster than 5G won't be visible has really taken hold.
Maybe that's because when Griffin says, as he did last night in an excellent call that has brought a mixed reception, all 5G does is provide: "Gigabite speeds, ultra low latency and greatly enhanced network capacity," which sounds like genuine homespun base station gibberish. But it's so much more than that. I like to think of it as the way to support all of these streaming media offerings. Or smart citied. Or artificial intelligence.
No matter, this, as anyone knows from the in Marvell (MRVL) - the Action Alerts PLUS 5G play - this is so much more than a handset change that it's almost embarrassing to think it's nothing more. Two hundred million upgrades?
How about two billion? That's what I see. And that's just the 3 and 4 G phones.
There is so much more and it is totally being overlooked. But maybe that's the opportunity that we all can share in.