The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for uninterrupted internet access, especially in densely populated areas and environments with high mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as advanced signaling protocols, intelligent handoff algorithms, and the integration of multiple network interfaces within devices. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on 5G in technology: network handoff management. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Network handoff management is a key innovation area in 5G

Network handoff management is the smooth transition of a user’s connection from one network to another while they are on the move within the coverage area. This entails choosing the most suitable network considering aspects like signal strength, data speed, and available services. The objective is to guarantee uninterrupted connectivity, avoiding dropped calls or disruptions in data transmission during the handoff process.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 270 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of network handoff management.

Key players in network handoff management – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to network handoff management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ZTE 299 Unlock Company Profile
HTC 132 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 116 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 184 Unlock Company Profile
Motorola Solutions 70 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 1490 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 82 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 413 Unlock Company Profile
MediaTek 245 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 909 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 101 Unlock Company Profile
Vodafone Group 64 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 350 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 104 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 184 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 287 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 794 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 156 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 188 Unlock Company Profile
Cisco Systems 101 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 302 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 133 Unlock Company Profile
SK Telecom 60 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 383 Unlock Company Profile
BT Group 58 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 303 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 1340 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 480 Unlock Company Profile
Vivo Communication Technology 70 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 131 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in network handoff management, Qualcomm is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent focuses on some technologies that let a mobile device keep talking to one network while quietly listening to others. This way, it can keep track of different networks without causing common problems like slowing down or losing track. This is handy for tasks like catching messages from other networks while still communicating with the main one. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Intel and Apple.                     

In terms of application diversity, Meta Platforms leads the pack, while Intel and Apple stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Meta Platforms held the top position, followed by Intel and InterDigital.                    

Network handoff management is crucial in 5G technology as it ensures uninterrupted connectivity when users move between different coverage areas. It allows for seamless transitions between networks, providing a smooth and continuous user experience for tasks like streaming, online gaming, and video conferencing.   

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 5G.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.