Covid Tech Shifts

5G On the Move

Despite plenty of uncertainty, the rollout of 5G will continue at a fast clip. Three-quarters of mobile subscriptions in North America will be 5G by 2025, versus less than 1% in 2019, a pace that shows the pandemic won’t thwart momentum. There are over 6,000 commercial 5G deployments in the U.S. so far. Most are in cities, with T-Mobile outpacing AT&T and Verizon. But all three are expanding service swiftly. Watch for a big push for at-home 5G internet. T-Mobile’s 5G home services will be heavily marketed nationwide to compete with wired web providers, for example. A puck-sized hot spot device connects to a nearby cell tower for fast home internet.


Smartphone sales are taking a hit but momentum will pick up next year. Global shipments of smartphones are set to fall more than 10% this year, but the damage was felt mostly in the first half, when sales were down 20% or so. Lower-cost 5G smartphones available next year will help boost demand. Expect a proliferation of devices under $600…a good deal for a high-quality new phone. Note a long-lasting consumer shift: More folks willing to buy phones online. Bad news for brick-and-mortar outlets, but good for Amazon and Apple’s online store.


Sales of all sorts of smart-home devices figure to rebound next year, after the pandemic dented demand this year. Global sales are set to pass $60 billion in 2021, up from $44 billion this year. 2020 will be off about 15% versus 2019. Many smart devices selling well are bought online and are easy to install, such as video doorbells, voice-activated speakers, cameras and lights. Premium systems figure to be in a slump until 2022 or so, as worries about home installation continue. Look for rising interest in high-end products in the kitchen and bathroom… a mirror with a voice assistant, a showerhead with a built-in speaker, a refrigerator with a touch screen. And even a toilet with lights, a heated seat and an automatic flush.


On a lighter note, check out the tourism ideas. Tired of teleworking from the same house or apartment every day? Several small, tourist-reliant countries are welcoming foreign workers who are interested in taking an extended sojourn in otherwise unfamiliar territory. Examples include Barbados, Bermuda, Estonia and Georgia. Barbados is charging $2,000 for its visa; Bermuda, $263. Both countries say long-term visitors must have their own health insurance and meet minimum income requirements. Estonia, a member state of the European Union, plans to allow Americans to participate in its “Digital Nomad Visa” program for foreign workers once the EU lifts its current ban on U.S. travelers. But Georgia is already welcoming Americans.


Contact us here at PTC Computer Solutions to help understand the retail market and business technology of today.  For more on the ever evolving Retail market and how to stay involved and relevant, contact us today.  We work hard to stay ahead of the cutting edge and can assist your projects in understanding where you should be putting your efforts.

David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with Barclay’s Real Estate Group based in Jacksonville, FL.  He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email

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