T-Mobile Announces Las Vegas SD Taxi Service
by Daniel Newman | July 22, 2021

The Six Five team explores T-Mobile teaming up with Halo to launch a 5G Semi-AV taxi service in Las Vegas.

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Patrick Moorhead: But hey, let’s dive into something dramatically different here, and that is T-Mobile and a company called Halo announced a autonomous taxi service. Now, it’s different than what you might think from an autonomous vehicle. You call it on your app like an Uber, and it would automatically take you there. With this system, first of all, all of the connectivity goes through 5G, whether that’s mapping, real-time mapping, whether that’s any type of communication that the riders have to have with the service itself. But it’s a half-step.

So we’re at Vegas CES, and we call Halo. We put our app, and a Halo car comes, but we actually drive the car. But it comes with no driver in it. And I know that that’s a half-step, but Halo’s premises is that sure, the technology is there, but the social issues and the government mandates aren’t there to get us there.

And actually, they have a decent point. Other than China, there are no robo-taxis that even exist out there, even though autonomous vehicles statistically are better drivers than humans, because they can drive better at night. And they don’t drink and drive, they don’t look at texts, they aren’t distracted, they didn’t drop their lipstick or their phone on the floor and then they reach for it and then they have an accident. So it’s a half-step. It’s an interesting one. I thought the 5G connectivity was interesting. And I’ll leave that there.

What I did want to talk about, I wanted to add, is the Ookla US statistics came out yesterday and clearly showed what I knew what happened is that T-Mobile and Qualcomm related that US 5G would be on top. So every statistic except for one on 5G, and T-Mobile was maybe 1% away from Verizon, which was 5G consistency. T-Mobile won. It won on speed. It won on latency. And Qualcomm, by the way, it was a sweep. Qualcomm won on the chip set for all the top 10 phones out there. I’m not surprised. Nobody’d be surprised, but it should be affirmation.

And I want to do a victory lap and a pat on the back to Will Townsend, who is our 5G carrier analyst, where I guess it was two-and-a-half years ago. We had picked the carrier who was going to win the 5G race. We picked T-Mobile, and everybody’s heads exploded. Verizon wasn’t happy. AT&T wasn’t happy. But we stuck to our guns because we saw the combination between Sprint and T-Mobile with the three levels of bands. Sprint brought mid-band. T-Mobile brought high-band and low-band, and it ended up being true. So every once in a while, you’ve got to do the victory lap. But congratulations to T-Mobile on Halo and also pretty much sweeping the US 5G.

Daniel Newman: 30 seconds. One is I haven’t followed the Halo thing all that closely, so it sounds like a human-out-of-the- loop, human-in-the-loop situation where when the car’s coming to you, it’s empty. So if something happens, no risk. It can come to you fully autonomously, but when it gets to you, now the risk is that there’s a human inside. They don’t want to take that risk. Now you as the human take the machine back. Kind of a cool hybrid situation there, Pat. Regarding the T-Mobile thing, that’s solid of T-Mobile. You know I’m a Qualcomm bull, absolutely no surprise whatsoever. I don’t even think there’s a competitor. I know there are competitors, but not really, not at the high end, not at the high end.

Patrick Moorhead: Well, the interesting thing about it is that the sweep was about the actual chip set as opposed to the modem. What I would have expected that at least of one of those phones would have been an iPhone with a Qualcomm modem. But the whole sweep. So there is some magic that Qualcomm is doing in there. And oh, by the way, Apple doesn’t use Qualcomm’s RF solution. They’re piece-parting together a Skyworks and a Broadcom and I think-

Daniel Newman: Qorvo.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, Qorvo solution. So, interesting what you can see through the data.

Daniel Newman: Well, congratulations to all of them.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio