Newsletter: ZTE Increases Spending On 5g & iCar Speculations On The Block

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…”~ Isaac Asimov

ZTE CORP HOPES TO BRING 5G BY 2020

THE STORY

Chinese telecom giant invests nearly $300 million towards 5G Research and Development.

WHAT IS 5G?

This might sure sound like a silly question to many, but we’ll still humor you! 5G refers to the 5th generation of mobile communications technology that will surpass the current 4G standards. If all standards are met a typical 5G internet connection would provide speeds upto 1 GB/second.

We’ve certainly come a far way from 1G that was first rolled out in 1982 and 5G would not only improve mobile coverage but would also improve any latency in voice as compared to LTE. Reportedly, tech investors from the US and China are in a rat race to release this technology first to consumers.

WHY THIS SUDDEN INFLUX OF FUNDS?

Although 5G standards in mobile communication have been in talks since 2008, it was only in 2016 that firms started paying more attention towards this. But the big change certainly came when giants such as Samsung and ZTE Corp jumped in on the 5G bandwagon.

In their recent announcements ZTE Corp have doubled their spending on the next-gen communications standard with an annual spending up to 2 billion Yuan. Experts suggest this increase in funds certainly seem like an attempt to outpace US developers. They also added around 3000 new employees, who will all work for 5G research and development team.

WHEN DO THEY PLAN TO LAUNCH IT?

Dates when ZTE will officially introduce this technology for consumers haven’t been decided yet. However, company officials did say that they have set 2020 as their deadline and therefore budgets can be expected to rise further as the deadline approaches. As a matter of fact, China Mobile has already started testing 5G data in certain areas of Guangzhou province. This means we might be close to seeing it in action sooner than we think.


APPLE’S RENEWED INTEREST IN AUTOMOTIVE TECH RAISES iCAR SPECULATIONS

THE STORY

Apple’s newfound ties with Hertz Global Holdings reveal testing of at least 6 self-driving car prototypes.

WHY SUCH SPECULATIONS SUDDENLY?

Automotive industry is no more just playground for biggies like Mercedes and BMW etc. Ever since Google kickstarted their self-driving car project, the industry has seen a tremendous influx of investors and tech brands.

Although Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that they’re not working on a car, their interactions with Hertz clearly prove otherwise. Apple might not be working on their own brand of iCars anytime soon. But they certainly are looking into autonomous technology, which could culminate into an automotive project in the future.

WHAT EXACTLY IS APPLE WORKING ON?

According to sources, Apple has leased a fleet of Lexus RX450h SUVs to Hertz for testing their developing autonomous driving technology. However, it must also be noted that Apple has denied of any partnership with Hertz Global Holdings and have simply leased the vehicles for testing and R&D. Therefore this might be an indication that the company’s focus is to create a driving system before building a brand new car from scratch.

WHY CAN’T WE HAVE iCARS?

Before his death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had already announced the company’s interest towards building their branded car. However, this project was shelved following Job’s death in 2011. Nevertheless, Mr. Cook emphasised more on driverless technology going as far as saying “”by far the most important project in artificial intelligence.”

And this does make sense as they certainly cannot hope of producing any cars without working on the software that enables autonomous driving. So if you were hoping for iCars it might not be as mythical a project as experts claim it to be.

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Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

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