Qualcomm announced their X50 modem about a year ago, and it was the first of its kind since it was the first 5G modem ever. 5G is said to be ten times faster than our existing 4G LTE networks. It is supposed to be cheaper too. The X50 was as big as a briefcase, but Qualcomm has now managed to shrink down the same chip so it can fit in a smartphone.
Qualcomm showed its capabilities by putting it in a reference phone. The phone reached gigabit speeds on the 28GHz wave frequency band using several “100MHz carriers”. This is what Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s executive vice president, said about it:
“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies”
These frequencies are very high and have better capacity than the current ones we use for LTE today, but big antennas need to push the signal and our current phones will have a lot of trouble receiving such high frequencies. Obviously, this technology will improve in the future when it has been developed further.
Qualcomm expects 5G to launch sometime in 2019. They also think that 4G LTE will still stay around for some years so we can use it in places where 5G won’t be available. According to Sherif Hanna, a representative at Qualcomm, “5G will only be adding capacity to 4G networks in the beginning”. When do you think 5G will become the new standard?