Qualcomm pushing to support rapid commercialization of 5G NR in 2019

HONG KONG–Qualcomm Technologies announced it has successfully achieved a 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices. The 3GPP is working to standardize 5G New Radio in mid-2018. 

The San Diego, Calif.-based company said the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset supports gigabit speeds using a data connection in the 28 GHz millimeter wave band, which will accelerate the delivery of 5G NR-enabled mobile devices to consumers.

Additionally, at the company’s 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, Qualcomm Technologies previewed its first 5G smartphone reference design for the testing and optimization of 5G technology within the power and form-factor constraints of a smartphone.

“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President of Qualcomm and President of CDMA Technologies. “This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world.”

In addition to the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset, the demo also utilized the SDR051 millimeter wave RF transceiver integrated circuit. The chipmaker used Keysight Technologies’ new 5G protocol R&D toolset and UXM 5G wireless test platform.

“5G is going to be one of the most significant transitions in our industry. 5G will be like electricity. We would no longer have the discussion about the use cases in a few years as 5G will be there and everything would be connected to the cloud,” Amon said.

During his keynote presentation at the event, Amon said that this multi-gigabit 5G connection in the X50 chipset paves the way for the commercial launch of 5G NR in 2019.

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI Research, said the 5G chip announcement is designed to “accelerate the commercial deployment of 5G, so that [Qualcomm] can monetize its patent portfolio and sell more chips.” Noting that the 5G NR specification is still being developed by 3GPP, “It is possible that Qualcomm’s announcement will skew the market and the standards discussion in its favor. It certainly has the potential to kick start the next round of discussion that will lead to commercial 5G devices.”


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