Current 5G Wireless Winners and Losers: Jeff Kagan

Jeff Kagan  |

Image source: iStockphoto, sarayut

There seem to be two different sides regarding how the wireless industry is being impacted by Covid-19. There are three major sectors of the wireless industry and companies are seeing both strength and weakness right now. Let’s explore how coronavirus is impacting each of the companies in the wireless industry.

First, the good news is the 5G rollout seems to be continuing as rapidly as ever. At the same time smartphone and tablet makers are seeing a drop off in new sales. And networks are moving ahead to 5G as quickly as possible even though they expect user adoption may lag a bit.

Whether you are a worker, executive, investor, business customer or consumer, you are interested in how well the wireless industry is doing right now.

There are three major sectors in the wireless industry. In one sector are networks like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. Another sector includes network builders like Qualcomm, Ericsson, Intel and Huawei. And yet another sector comprises smartphone and tablet makers like Apple iPhone, Google Android and Samsung Galaxy.

Each of these is seeing different pressures today. While every sector and company are impacted, they are all impacted differently. Plus, wireless is an important growth industry, and that will only continue.

Wireless is an essential business

The good news is, wireless is an essential business. That means it is with us today and will always be with us going forward.

So, even if there are any short-term slowdowns due to the current health situation in the wireless industry, they will only be temporary.

As states reopen and we get more back to normal, we will get our economic footing back.

That means wireless networks, network builders and smartphone and tablet makers will all rapidly recover along with the economy.

Remember, even today, parts of the wireless industry are still moving forward at a rapid pace. Any slowdown should just be temporary.

5G network builders like Qualcomm, Ericsson, Intel

5G network and handset technology companies like Qualcomm, Ericsson and Intel see a continual demand for their products and services. Wireless networks, smartphone and tablet makers and more are still building their next generation as quickly as possible. If for no other reason, this will continue for competitive reasons. I don’t expect that to slow one bit.

Wireless networks like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and others will continue their rapid transformation to 5G. In fact, that also goes for every wireless network, world-wide. Once again, there will be no slowdown in this area because of competition.

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Wireless networks like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

It should be noted that networks are warning that the customer demand for 5G may have slowed down a bit. As we recover broadly, however, any slowdown will rapidly turn around as soon as the economy gets back up and running.

Smartphone and handset makers like Apple iPhone, Google Android, Samsung Galaxy and others are seeing what may be the most severe temporary slowdown, worldwide. Some of that comes from people wanting to go back to work before they make a purchase. Some of it comes from the fact that most retail stores are still closed.

Other industries are also moving toward 5G. Consider TeleHealth, TeleMedicine, Self-Driving cars or connected vehicles as a few great examples. This is not slowing down.

Apple iPhone, Google Android, Samsung Galaxy

Since the wireless industry is essential both today and tomorrow, and since slower sales today create a pent-up demand, these smartphone makers should see a rapid recovery as things get back to normal.

The good news is the recovery will start soon. Full recovery may take a little longer, but the economy and the wireless industry will eventually fully recover.

Even though we may never have experienced anything like this before in our lifetimes, many essential industries are busier than ever and growing more rapidly than ever.

Wireless is essential. That being said, today there is stress we are all dealing with. As we recover, you can be sure that wireless will remain one of the key industries moving forward.

The corporate leaders of the industry today will continue to be the leaders moving forward. The good news is, the demand for products and services is not going away. In fact, I believe it will only increase.

Jeff Kagan is an columnist. Kagan is an Industry Analyst, Thought Leader and Influencer focused on Wireless, Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive and Self-Driving cars. Email him at His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn at


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