Information and communication technologies (ICT) is a wide-ranging industry that includes most things electronic and their associated software systems. It includes cell phones
and their networks, telecom satellites, artificial intelligence (AI)
and machine learning software, the cloud, supercomputers and
all types of electronic workstations.
ICT has also become interspersed with the automotive
industry as it transitions from the conventional manual driving mode to the futuristic autonomous driving mode. Strong
ICT leaders such as Microsoft, Google, Apple and Intel have
all become integrally involved in this automotive transition as
suppliers, integrators and systems developers. The big five ICT
companies in the Table have become the largest R&D investors
in the world.
The technologies that are expected to have the largest and
most lasting effects include AI and supercomputing. AI and
its associated companions—machine learning and knowledge
management systems—are already in use by various industrial organizations and government agencies for applications
that include autopilot functions on planes, voice recognition
and autonomous cars.
“Whoever becomes the leader in this area will become the
ruler of the world,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian military leaders fully expect to have more than one third
of their combative power residing on autonomous, AI-driven
robotic platforms by 2030.
The U.S. government and military organizations have already created groups of
academics and private industry experts to
explore the untapped potential of AI and
France also has stated that it will invest
more than $1.5 billion on research and in
supporting AI startups over the next five
years. France regrets missing out on becoming a leader in robotic technologies and vows
not to do the same with AI systems.
South Korea has stated that they will create
six new AI schools by 2020 with plans to
educate more than 5,000 of its engineers in
In the telecom arena, most cell phone
developers are ramping up their designs for
the introduction of the next generation of operating systems—5G. Some companies such
as Apple are holding off implementing 5G
into their cellular systems until the designs
are reduced in size, become more reliable and
with service that’s widely available. Apple will
likely wait until 2020 to introduce 5G phones,
while Samsung may introduce phones in the
first half of 2019.
Industrial R&D Spenders – Information &
Communication Technologies (Billions USD)
2017 2018 2019
Amazon 22.620 26.750 30.500
Alphabet/Google 16.625 18.796 21.004
Apple 12.185 14.037 15.890
Intel 13.098 13.701 14.234
Microsoft 13.176 13.558 13.940
Total 77.704 86.842 95.568
Source: R&D Magazine Survey 2018
Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)
Potential customers are not likely to appreciate the bulk of
current 5G antennae systems in their phones, especially when
their service supplier doesn’t fully offer it yet. Once implemented, 5G systems will offer download speeds that are more
than 10 times faster than current 4G systems. Test systems
evaluated in 2018 revealed response rates that are more than 7
times faster than 4G systems. Analysts don’t expect 5G to really
take off until 2020 when all the glitches are worked out. Asian
customers are likely toget systems and hardware earlier than
the U.S., which will only see rollouts in city-by-city stages.
2017 Global 2017 U. S. 2018 Global 2018 U.S. 2019 Global 2019 U.S.
Information & Communication R&D Spending