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5G Factor: Can 5G and Cloud Gaming Join Hands?

5G Factor: Can 5G and Cloud Gaming Join Hands?

In this episode of The 5G Factor, our series that focuses on all things 5G, the IoT, and the ecosystem as a whole, I’m joined by my colleague and fellow analyst, Olivier Blanchard, for a look at the top 5G developments and what’s going on that caught our eye.

Our conversation focused on:

Overview of 5G-enabled Opportunities for AAA Game Studios. Cloud gaming, where you can play games hosted in remote data centers without owning any physical game disc or cartridge, has become a major growth area for the industry. Research from Ericsson found that 35 services launched cloud-gaming platforms in 2022, with more onboarding this year as well. We assess how real are the 5G—enabled opportunities for AAA game studios, the huge firms that release household titles. This includes our perspective on the 5G ecosystem’s ability to aid and abet game development and playing, especially in the growing sector of cloud gaming, including as a key enabler of AR and VR gaming.

Qualcomm Makes Waves With Snapdragon G Series Launch. Qualcomm created a marketing splash when it unveiled its Snapdragon G Series portfolio designed for the next generation of handheld gaming devices. Key highlights included the Snapdragon G Series now spans three tiers, G1, G2, and G3, with Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 Platform debuting as the newest enthusiast-class processor. We analyze the competitive impact of the Snapdragon G series launch on the 5G ecosystem as well as break down the capabilities of the respective G1, G2, and G3 offerings.

Ericsson and Vodafone Live Network Trial: Budding Mobile Game Difference Maker. In August 2023, Ericsson and Vodafone completed a live network trial at Coventry University which successfully demonstrated the positive impact an optimized 5G Standalone (SA) network slice could have on enhancing the mobile gaming experience for consumers. Using network slicing, a major function of a 5G SA network that can enable Vodafone to customize connectivity services for specific customers and use cases, the trial participants were able to experience more consistent gaming connectivity with a 270 percent increase in throughput, a 25 percent decrease in latency and 57 percent less jitter, as well as smoother graphics rendering. We assess the ramifications of the trial in potentially advancing the ability of CSPs to support, scale, and monetize mobile gaming applications.

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Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Transcript:

Ron Westfall: Hello and welcome, everyone, to The 5G Factor. I’m Ron Westfall, your host, research director for communication networks here at The Futurum Group. And I’m joined here today by my distinguished colleague, Olivier Blanchard, who is our research director for all things related to devices and PCs.

And today, we’re going to basically look at the 5G ecosystem, the things that really stood out to us. And naturally, I think gaming is something that is a hot topic. It has been for a while, but there have been some recent developments that I think merit a great deal of attention.

And with that, Olivier, have you been bearing up between the different 5G Factor podcasts? What have you been doing?

Olivier Blanchard: Just trying to handle my newfound fame and just dodging paparazzi in the street mostly.

Ron Westfall: Well, I’m glad you’re bearing up. It sounds like you’ve been handling it with plenty of applause, so kudos on that.

Olivier Blanchard: Thank you. Yeah. I’m learning.

Ron Westfall: Right on. Right on. And with that, let’s jump right in because I think we understand that the 5G gaming world is something that is hopefully getting closer to a mainstream reality that is something that can be readily monetized by the players out there, certainly, for example, the service providers. But they’re not the only party here.

As we know that there are real opportunities also for what can be dubbed the AAA game studios, the huge firms that come out with the household name type games that quite simply capture the imagination and clearly have a dedicated following.

And with that in mind, it’s really 5G networking that’s going to ultimately enable what we’ve been calling cloud gaming. That is the ability for multiple players to jump onto a network and play a game without having to, for example, own a console in order to be able to participate.

Now, naturally, cloud gaming can also be supported on a console, but the idea is it gives people more options, more availability, just more ways to join friends or others in the gaming community and their contests. And important to 5G of course is the fact that 5G standalone is really the technology that’s going to move this forward. And that is linked to the hype cycle. We’ve heard so much about when it comes to 5G networks like they haven’t delivered as promised, it hasn’t really fired the public’s imagination, and so forth.

And part of it is the fact that most of the deployments have been what are called 5G non-standalone that is combining 5G radios with 4G cores and as a result, you’re not getting the full capabilities of a 5G standalone network which is really I think where the rubber meets the road. That’s where you’re going to see some of these capabilities, some of these applications really coming to market on a broader basis and ultimately becoming more monetized.

Now, the good news is that early adopters of 5G have been within the gaming sector, and as a result, the 5G ecosystem as we’ll be talking about more, has been aiding and abetting game development and playing, especially in the growing sector of cloud gaming. And I also think 5G’s poised to be key enabler of AR and VR gaming as more headsets are scheduled to hit the market.

And with that in mind, I like to also note that when it comes to playing games that are hosted in, for example, the distributed remote data centers that you don’t again have to own any physical assets like a game disc or cartridge.

And that is what we’re seeing in terms of the service providers advancing these capabilities. In fact, one data point that leapt out at me is the fact that Ericsson found that 35 services have been launched using a cloud gaming platform in 2022 alone and more have certainly been onboarding in 2023. And we’ll certainly take an updated snapshot of that later in the year. But in the meantime, Olivier, what is standing out from your perspective in terms of how the world of 5G and the world of mobile gaming can come together to create new possibilities?

Olivier Blanchard: Well, the technology is amazing, right? From a hardware perspective, from an RF perspective, from a software perspective, we have all the pieces that we need to make this work. And so there’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem. I think that the transition from 3G to 4G went very smoothly and very well. Everybody understood it and so there wasn’t that much resistance going from 3G to 4G.

I think that it’s been a little bit harder to switch from 4G to 5G I think partly because the public doesn’t necessarily understand the difference super well. There’s been some confusion about sub 6, for instance, and millimeter wave. There’s been an asymmetry when it comes to deployments between bands and which 5G is millimeter wave, which 5G is sub 6, which one is 2x faster, which one is five to 10x faster. There’s a little bit of confusion. And I think early on there was also a sense of how do we make the business case for this, right? Do people pay more for 5G? And in which case, we’re going to have to validate the additional value of these faster channels essentially, these faster packets, the lower latency, is it worth it? Is it really significant? And it just got messy.

And so I think on the one hand, the carriers didn’t do themselves any favors by not making the value proposition clear to the general public and even to the enterprise. But also I think it created some confusion with regards to demand for hardware. So demand for devices, whether it was smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, IoT, whatever. And so it seems like the case hasn’t really been made yet. And so what we have I think is a reluctance by the carriers to invest as much as they should in 5G deployments until the hardware vendors and the general public, essentially the user, technology users adopt it as well, but they’re waiting for the carriers to accelerate their deployments.

So it’s a little bit of a… On the one hand, it’s a chicken and egg problem. Do we wait for demand or is it like a build it and they will come? And nobody seems to be completely decided on that. But I think also there’s a little bit of a game of chicken as opposed to a chicken and egg where hardware OEMs and the carriers are waiting for the other one to make the next move. And so it feels to me like we’re a little bit of an impasse right now. And so that’s why we’re starting to see these tangents, discussions from just 4G to 5G to well, what can we use 5G for. And so now we’re moving away from just mobile usage to, well, let’s focus on gaming because the value’s going to be on gaming.

And then of course with the advent of AR and VR or XR, the metaverse, whatever the nomenclature of the day is, you’re also starting to see some movement about, well, 5G is going to be really useful to be able to have AR applications out there, to have mixed reality applications outside of your apartment or outside of your office. And so I think that’s part of the impetus for the types of discussions and releases that we’re seeing right now that are like it’s the solution looking for a problem or the solution looking for a market. A little bit.

Ron Westfall: Yeah. No, I think we’re in full accord here. I think, yes, the technology when it comes to proof of concepts and other demonstrations that we’ve all been party to is very impressive. But I think you hit on the essence here. It’s really about the ecosystem. And yes, with a little hindsight, the operators could have more definitely handled the rollout of 5G and making it clear that this is the first basic iteration of 5G. And again, that was the non-standalone implementations that are still the vast majority of the 5G services that are offered on the planet today.

I know earlier we had talked about, for example, Qualcomm invoking that less than a quarter of all 5G deployments are actually standalone and it’s really the 5G standalone networks that can actually pull through some of the ecosystem innovations that are coming about and are on the horizon. So, yeah, with that table set and with that level set, I think we can now start drilling into, okay, what are some of the ecosystem players doing to take gaming to the next level, if you will?

And I think one thing that impressed us, that stood out, at least in terms of a marketing splash, was the fact that Qualcomm last month came out with their Snapdragon G series portfolio designed for, you guessed it, the Next-Gen handheld gaming devices. So this is one segment of the overall cloud gaming universe, but obviously it’s a very important one.

Now for me, the key highlights included the fact that the Snapdragon G series handheld gaming portfolio now spans three tiers, G1, G2, and G3, and specifically with Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 platform as the newest enthusiast class processor.

And I do like the marketing reference there, to enthusiast class. It really brings home the point that there’s a dedicated audience out there when it comes to a gaming cultist almost. But with that also in mind, what else was important was that the expansion of the Snapdragon G series product line is addressing that growing diversity and gaming content, the capabilities and the cost, again, to enable a wider range of handheld gaming devices and form factors. And I think we agree that’s always going to be important.

Now, in terms of, okay, who’s onboarded already, at least with this specific Qualcomm initiative, I think there’s some important names including AyaNeo, Huaqin, Inventec, Thundercomm, and others. So hopefully, I did some justice of pronouncing a couple of those players, but they’re understood in the gaming, certainly segment, as very important contributors. And as a result, they’re actually collaborating with Qualcomm to get more of these devices out in the market, basically being powered by these new Snapdragon G series capabilities.

And so, Olivier, what are your impressions? What I guess impressed you the most about this new Qualcomm Snapdragon G series announcement?

Olivier Blanchard: Actually a lot. So one thing that I don’t know if our listeners and viewers know this, but Qualcomm with the Snapdragon SoC in mobile has been a leader in developing mobile gaming as well already.

So the departure with this steam deck style handheld dedicated game controller when they first came out with it was a little bit of a head scratcher with the analyst community. I know that some of my colleagues were a little bit skeptical about this, but the form factor was solid and I think they went to market with a really good value prop and really good hardware as well.

So jump to now and we have this expansion of the line. So as you said, it’s a little bit of a mouthful, but there are three levels. You have the G3x Gen 2 which is the enthusiast class version. So it’s basically the premium. So it’s best in class. We’re going to circle back to this in a second. But it’s meant to also be compatible with XR glasses. So you don’t necessarily just look at the screen, you’re going to be able to hook up or connect your favorite set of XR glasses to be able to play that way. It has a bunch of Kryo 8 cores, GPUs… It’s super solid.

But what’s interesting is the expansion downward. So you have the G2 Gen 1 which is the mid-range. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one other than it is mid-range. If you don’t want to spraying for all bells and whistles but you want something a little bit better than the Gen 1, I mean the G1 Gen 1, excuse me, you have this. But the most interesting one in there is actually the G1 Gen 1. So they’re all kind of tongue twisters. I have no say in the nomenclature here.

But essentially, it’s a version of this that is designed to be for streaming. So this is all cloud gaming. And so the discussion that we started with the push for cloud gaming and the need for really fast low latency, low jitter connections for gaming manifests itself into that class of device that G1 Gen 1 in the case of Snapdragon, where… You can connect to WiFi and you’re going to be fine, but the point is to be able to take that device with you anywhere on your commuter train, in the streets, in a park, wherever you go so that you can play anywhere and you have this ubiquitous connectivity.

And so I think what we’re seeing is the hardware vendors essentially answering the call and saying, “Okay, these are the devices that are going to pair with these new 5G capabilities and these services and the two together are going to work for you.” And so we’re closing the loop a little bit on that value proposition finally. It’s been a few years coming, but it’s starting to happen.

Ron Westfall: No, it’s definitely most welcome. In fact, when we were on that conference call, the question I asked was, how will Qualcomm define success with this initiative over the next year and really the response was they want to make sure that they capture what the OEMs are discovering as the most important features, the most important capabilities that the users out there, the customers out there are demanding and driving.

So in other words, it’s really a collaborative objective here. Let’s find out how to continuously improve the processor capabilities so that the overall gaming experience will be all the more rewarding and for that matter, more potential revenue streams for all the parties out there. And I think that’s certainly good news, for example, the Android community.

And I think in addition, we know that Apple announced that they’ll be releasing their Apple Vision Pro early next year aimed basically at AR/VR headset applications, particularly for example, immersive games. And Olivier, from your perspective, is this a healthy dose of competition here? Is this combination going to really push forward the ecosystem to really come up with some breakthrough capabilities?

Olivier Blanchard: In an ideal world, yes, it would be. However, we live-

Ron Westfall: Right on.

Olivier Blanchard: … in a more complicated world than that.

So first of all, I think Apple did a great job with their product, with their design. I think that they found some clever engineering solutions to some problems that still are going to be with us for at least the next seven to eight years when it comes to XR. But no, the design, the idea, everything’s great. The price point is very Apple. But I think, yes, it reinvigorated the space when people were starting to feel a little bit skeptical about XR.

In my conversations with the operators, I don’t think we’re in a place anytime soon where 5G will be able to really support a ubiquitous AR ecosystem where you’re wearing AR glasses everywhere and you have this constant stream of data refreshing and telling you where the next sale is and where everything needs to be. So we’re not quite there yet. We don’t have the infrastructure, but this is a good first step. My issue with all this isn’t so much that people don’t want it. I want the handheld video game console. I want the VR goggles, I want the AR goggles, I want all the gadgets, I want all the things.

But what I’m seeing is that there’s want and there’s need. And when I look at the breadth of the market when it comes to devices, the devices that we want are the gaming consoles and the goggles. The devices that we need are phones and laptops or tablets. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen how the market has been going with regards to handsets and with regards to tablets and laptops. It hasn’t been good the last few years. And if earnings have taught us anything in the last few weeks with the Dells and Lenovos of the world, we see that we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’re starting to see sequential growth, we’re coming back to that.

But I do believe I have questions with regards to actual demands for gaming devices that connect to 5G and XR headsets and goggles that connect to 5G. I think everybody wants to have them. It’s just they don’t seem like priorities to me. They still seem like working concepts that are maturing at different levels at different speeds but are going to find mass market appeal anytime soon.

And so to circle back to original discussion about 5G is my worry is that if the operators are trying to build more value for 5G by going deep into these niche emerging technology pockets like handheld gaming consoles and XR, Apple or not, I think they’re going to fall short. There’s not a huge opportunity for scale there yet, at least not in the next eight quarters. So you might see some growth and you might see some like, “Our demand has grown 800% quarter over quarter,” but it’s going to be such small numbers that they’re not really going to make a dent in terms of the kind of spend that we need to see in 5G deployments over the next few years to really build the infrastructure that’s going to work for these technologies when they finally do scale.

Ron Westfall: Yeah. And I think that’s very insightful. As we know, at least in the U.S., the 5G operators are dialing back their CapEx for the rest of this year and for that matter, into 2024. So that it means, okay, we’re having to take a breath, if you will, at least for example, in the U.S. market. But also, yes, that is very accurate, the fact that there has been a post pandemic hangover when it’s come to PC sales and handheld sales and so forth.

And we know, yeah, the pandemic was hopefully a unique event, created an unusual set of circumstances where demand for those products surged in a non-cyclical type manner. So yes, now we’re going down cycle, but yes, there will be a reset as you said so cogently, there is some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to some of these figures and data points that are being reported.

Olivier Blanchard: I’ll just add one more thing real quick. It’s that-

Ron Westfall: Sure.

Olivier Blanchard: Before we get… And I’m all about the gaming and I’ve seen the numbers, they’re strong. So mobile gaming is a thing even if people who aren’t in it don’t necessarily understand or have visibility to it. But I think what’s more important is connectivity with laptops. And still to this day, and this is what makes me a little nervous about this, is we have the capability to put 5G modems in laptops and some OEMs do already. It’s there, it’s out there if you want. But the operators haven’t been really that great about allowing users to bundle their existing mobile plan with the 5G usage that they would put through their laptops. We haven’t seen that. You have to have two accounts or two plans.

And so what worries me about this is if we can’t fix this or find a solution, an elegant solution to this for consumers and for the enterprise where all of your 5G connection is under one plan, regardless of what devices you use, if we can’t do that with already a mature category like laptops that everybody has to use, where everybody wants to be connected at all times, I find it difficult to believe that we’re going to find a solution for these more niche and emerging use cases.

And so I will be a lot more positive about the prospects of scalable 5G connected XR and handheld gaming consoles when I start to see movement in terms of combining or eliminating the walls between connectivity with handset versus connectivity with laptop versus connectivity with a third or fourth device. And that’s something that needs to be addressed I think ahead of all these other things. Otherwise, we’re going to keep running into these impasses.

Ron Westfall: Yeah. No, I agree. And I think on the consumer side, it might be a longer cycle here because people know they can use WiFi or yes, they are doing mobile gaming and don’t understand some of the tradeoffs, if you will, with potential security or they don’t care.

However, maybe I think it’s on the enterprise side that we’ll see more progress in that area, at least in the near term for the simple reason, as we know in the post pandemic era, distributed workforces are part of the whole fabric. And if you’re a business or an enterprise and you know have a workforce that is either working full-time from home or part-time, but also having to work from, for example, a coffee shop on an ad hoc basis, you get the idea, then you would like to have that built in 5G connectivity I believe for extra peace of mind, for the extra assurance that I know any employee who’s using a company laptop is not going to risk a security breach because they’re using WiFi like at a coffee shop or any environment.

So I think that could be where there might be more progress in terms of getting 5G connected laptops into more people’s hands. And from that, I think that will fall like, “Oh, okay, hey, if I am using it for my office because security, then my goodness, why don’t I also use it for my own personal laptop?” is the idea. So I envision that being the sequencing, if you will, but stay tuned. You never know. There can always be a wild card or the whole thing will fizzle.

Olivier Blanchard: Anytime. We’re ready. Let’s do it. Please, whoever’s listening, make it happen.

Ron Westfall: Well, you know what? I think folks are. And I think to your point earlier about can the operators really make something of this, i.e. monetize it. And one thing just August again that I think was a keen interest from my perspective is that you had Ericsson and Vodafone completing a live network trial at Coventry University to show that again 5G standalone with network slicing capabilities can definitely raise the mobile gaming experience for anybody who’s engaged.

And as a little background, we all understand that 5G standalone as we emphasize is critical for something like network slicing. And that is being able to combine network resources in a dynamic fashion with quality of experience, assurances, and again built in security and so forth. And the key takeaway from this trial is the fact that the trial participants indicated they were able to experience more consistent gaming connectivity with a 270% increase in throughput and a 25% decrease in latency as well as 57% less jitter as well as just smoother graphics, rendering, and so forth.

And so again, this is a seed change from 4G LTE capabilities or the first iteration of 5G using non-standalone that combines 5G radios with 4G core capabilities. It’s bringing on the 5G core capabilities, it’s going to achieve these breakthroughs that we already touched on. So this is somewhat encouraging the fact that Ericsson and Vodafone are conducting a live network trial that’s demonstrating that. And in fact, Ericsson’s network slicing report estimates that 25 to 30% of potential 5G use cases will require network slicing as an enabler.

And we saw T-Mobile CTO just the other week saying, “Hey, we’re ready. We want to bring this to market for…” the reasons we just touched on, lower latency, better performance, a better experience, and so forth.

So with that, what were your impressions of this particular trial? Is this really moving the ball forward or is it like we’ve been here before yet another trial but is it really ready for prime time?

Olivier Blanchard: It sounds like a rhetorical question. Yes, we’ve been here before-

But also, yes…None of this stuff except for the actual numbers and the actual study is all that surprising. We know about the lower latency, we know about the increased number of packets, we know all this, right? It’s been the sales pitch for 5G for quite some time. Again, going back to my original points, it just feels like the same story just being repackaged for different use cases because they’re not really taking off at the scale and pace that we’d like them to with everything else.

I think… No. On the one hand, it’s encouraging though. I’m glad that they’re still trying to tell these stories and finding new use cases and trying to drive up more business. What worries me is that we should be at a point now where nobody has to do this, right? Vodafone shouldn’t have to do this. T-Mobile shouldn’t have to do this. We shouldn’t have to have these case studies. It should be normal in our fluency of understanding how 5G works. We as consumers should be like, “Aha. Yes, of course it works for this device and this device in this use of case.” So normally, of course, it’ll work for gaming, it’ll work for all these other things.

The fact that we keep having to sell 5G in smaller and smaller and smaller verticals and market segments, it’s a little bit concerning. It just means that the marketing’s not sticking and maybe the operators need to… It’s not a question of not continuing to repeat the same things over and over again but maybe also adding a different tune. It’s a little bit like the GEICO insurance commercials where you have different sets, you have different themes, you have the cavemen and then you have the other thing. Maybe they just need to find different themes to sell consumers on.

And also just streamlined adoption. Right now, again, the complexity of it is you need different plans or you don’t know if you need different plans or how you can get your 5G connection to your devices and they just need to eliminate those barriers of adoption and make it as simple as possible for technology users regardless of what their devices are.

Ron Westfall: Yes. Yeah, I can see TikTok videos on the horizon for the suggestion here. And yeah, that’s actually not a non-serious suggestion. It’s really about how do the operators become more imaginative about marketing the 5G wares. And I know we’ve been hammering on, okay, 5G standalone is really the critical difference maker, but most people out there when you say 5G standalone are going to be like, “Well, how’s that different from 5G itself?”

And I think that’s where the operators shanked it, if you will. They came out with the initial version of 5G, but really didn’t say, “Oh, by the way, there is a sequel here and actually, there’s another sequel 5G advanced,” and this is something that obviously has to be delivered, has to be built in to make more of this magic happen in terms of the services and the application capabilities.

And so I wouldn’t be surprised if something that was a new different take instead of like, “I want my 5G, I want my network slicing.” I don’t know, I want my slicing, to resonate.

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah. You have to approach your market segments, your customers differently and speak their language. So if you’re targeting gamers, you’re going to have to do something for gamers. If you’re targeting the average mobile user, it’s going to be different. But ultimately, there’s-

Ron Westfall: Let alone an enterprise or a business.

Olivier Blanchard: Yes. And I think-

Ron Westfall: It’s very much different.

Olivier Blanchard: …there’s also an opportunity there for operators to differentiate themselves in newer ways. And I think it’s fine if one operator that’s invested in certain 5G technologies to be the operator for gamers, right? Because they just have a better network for low latency, low jitter. You’re going to have the fastest connection for your games and it’s going to be really reliable. And for another operator to be known as the operator of choice for other types of use cases and other types of markets as opposed to every operator trying to be the same thing to everyone. And I think they might have to start becoming a little bit more tactical as the device ecosystem gets broader and more specific in the types of use cases that it targets.

And gaming might be ahead of XR because XR, we’re still a few years away from that really scaling, but gaming, we’re at a point where, yeah, it’s starting to pick up significantly and reach beyond serious gamers. I think this might be the defining opportunity for the operators to start redefining what that specific 5G value proposition could be for them and where maybe they have to abandon a market and focus on something else where somebody else just capitalized on it. Like when AT&T was the original carrier for iPhones. It’s the same kind of thing.

Ron Westfall: Yeah, yeah. Great analogy. And yes, I think that’s right on. There’s… You have to do the mass market advertising or outreach, but you can also augment that with targeted advertising. It’s not an either or proposition, I think. But there’s definitely room for improvement here, certainly when it comes to the mobile operators and now that’s ongoing, but now it needs to be refined to correlate with the very technical advances that we touched on in our conversation here today.

So yeah, with that high note or potential high note, there was plenty of tonic here. Thank you again, Olivier, for jumping onto The 5G Factor, as always.

Olivier Blanchard: Thanks for having me as always.

Ron Westfall: Not a problem, not a problem. And again, thank you everybody for tuning in and listening to The 5G Factor. Always be sure to subscribe to our webcast. And to our viewing audience and listening audience, thank you again for spending time with us and have a great 5G day, everyone.

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Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.

Olivier Blanchard has extensive experience managing product innovation, technology adoption, digital integration, and change management for industry leaders in the B2B, B2C, B2G sectors, and the IT channel. His passion is helping decision-makers and their organizations understand the many risks and opportunities of technology-driven disruption, and leverage innovation to build stronger, better, more competitive companies.  Read Full Bio.

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