Qualcomm is looking to quicken the transition to speedier wireless data connections which would enable smartphone owners to download movies in seconds and participate in virtual reality games. This Monday the company introduced a number of new products that Qualcomm hopes to bring in faster mobile connections.
While many wireless providers have offered foggy or incomplete plans for their move to faster 5G speeds, Qualcomm intends to have a phone-ready 5G modem chip ready for testing next year and to begin selling in the first part of 2018. This is great news for 5G technology, since many had speculated that 5G technology wouldn’t be deployed until at least 2020.
While it’s true that video conferencing and virtual reality applications require high bandwidth, it’s not quite clear whether many mobile consumers will really have a need for 5G speeds. It’s been noted that many consumers have slowed their upgrades to new phones, since most users typically use their phones for low-bandwidth applications such as Facebook and Snapchat. Because of this, it may be unlikely that customers will be willing to upgrade to more expensive phones and data plans.
Qualcomm’s new X50 modem chip will allow for downloads on a 5G network at speeds up to 5 gigabits per second. This is around 10 to 20 times faster than the quickest 4G LTE networks. This modem is to be designed to work in the 28 GHz spectrum band. This spectrum is already being reserved for 5G by many countries. The X50 chip will be able to be used in mobile devices as well as non-mobile home internet routers. Current 4G technology typically operate in bands at 2500 MHz and below, while 28 GHz band will allow the 5G network enough capacity to send and receive data. The modem will use multiple small antennas and calculate how to steer its transmissions, also known as beamforming, to create the strongest possible signal.
While Qualcomm officials believe there will be some small issues along the way to 5G networks, Sherif Hama, a staff manager for the X50 chip, believes the best way to learn is through experience.
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