Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem, the world’s first 5G connection. In consequence, Qualcomm became the first company to unveil a commercial 5G modem. Qualcomm had previously led 3G and 4G technologies.
Development of 5G technology has accelerated since the beginning of this year. In January, Ericsson revealed intentions to provide 5G services by 2018. Meanwhile, Google confirmed they were developing a 5G network called SkyBender distributed by sun-powered drones.
In February, NTT DoCoMo and Ericsson were successful in the first ever outdoor 5G trial to achieve a cumulative 20Gbit/s with two connected mobile devices at the same time. That same month, Samsung and Verizon joined to start sampling 5G.
Qualcomm’s mobile chipset is the latest 5G advancement. It will help operators with early 5G tests and deployments. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are reaching the device testing phase as well. The 5G modem will also support OEMs currently building next-generation mobile devices.
5G users will get 400 times 4G speed on their smartphones
Pioneer in 3G and 4G technologies as well, Qualcomm introduced the 5G at the company’s 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong. Qualcomm Executive VP Cristiano Amon said the Snapdragon X50 5G modem would make 5G devices and networks a reality.
The fifth-generation system will provide 400 times the current speed. Hyper-fast 5G services will be more common between 2018 and 2019. However, estimations point out that 5G networks will fully unfold between 2030 and 2035.
Currently, 4G connections have a global average download speed of 13.5 Mbps, according to wireless coverage mapping specialists OpenSignal. Upcoming 5G connections with 800 MHz bandwidth support will feature download speeds of 5 Gbps.
Qualcomm is set to be one of the pioneers in 5G technology
Qualcomm plans to roll out 5G services by 2018, and its new product is just the first step. The 5G modem will support multi-mode 4G/5G mobile broadband usage and fixed wireless broadband devices.
Additionally, the Snapdragon X50 5G can be paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor featuring an integrated Gigabit LTE modem and work together through dual-connectivity. Gigabit LTE can provide broad coverage for 5G networks.
Included in the Snapdragon X50 5G platform comes the modem, the SDR051 mmWave transceivers, and the PMX50 power management chip. Trials for the Snapdragon X50 5G will kick off in the second half of 2017. Meanwhile, Snapdragon X50 5G integration with commercial products will be made available during the first semester of 2018.