Qualcomm has tested the 5G connection on a smartphone using the X50 5G modem launched a year ago. This takes the company a step closer to transforming 5G into reality. According to the chip maker, the modem did achieve gigabit speeds during the test, but it can clock a speed of up to 5Gbps once the network is fully deployed.
The size of the current 5G devices aren’t small by any measure. However, Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem uses a tiny millimeter wave antenna module. Sherif Hanna, Staff Manager of Product Marketing for 4G and 5G at Qualcomm, said, “Counter to prevailing opinion that millimeter-wave is just too finicky to use in mobile, we can use advanced massive MIMO techniques and beam-forming techniques to make millimeter-wave mobile.”
Speaking to VentureBeat, Peter Carson, director of marketing at Qualcomm said that the X50 5G modem chipset deployed for the first time during the test, worked, and this is an important step as it is in sync with the evolving 5G standard. Carson believes that once the technology is ready to be deployed on the mass-level, it would be able to transfer data at 5 Gbps. Further, the executive said that their goal is to start operator services in 2019.
Qualcomm also announced its first 5G reference phone. It will use this 5g reference phone to test radios, networks and 5G modems. The company also displayed the 5g reference phone at the 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong,
Christiano Amon, the executive vice president of Qualcomm technology, said that the modem and the 5G smartphone reference design suggests how well the company is moving forward to integrate the 5G NR in mobile devices to make sure that consumers all over the world are able to experience the 5G services. Qualcomm believes that 5G smartphone production on a massive level can start somewhere in the first half of 2019.
Qualcomm is not the only player in the market working on its 5G aspirations. Leading United States network carrier Verizon also announced that it would speed up its 5G New Radio field trials to launch its next-generation networks in 2019, with help from partners like Qualcomm and Novatel Wireless.
Speaking at the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, Verizon SVP Atish Gude said the company is quite excited about the 5G and “today we made a great announcement to our commitment of driving the 5G ecosystem.”
Meanwhile, Singtel has also collaborated with Ericsson to establish a center of excellence to assist in the 5G development and deployment in Singapore. The strategic goal of the partnership is to make industries and enterprises understand the role that 5G can play in transforming their businesses.
Separately, Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 636 processor, which succeeds the 630 that is now starting to show up in some of the smartphones. The Snapdragon 636 processor, aimed at mid-range smartphones, is claimed to be 40% faster in terms of performance.
At 10.15 a.m. Eastern, Qualcomm shares were down 0.73% at $52.01. Year to date, the stock is down over 20% while in the last three-months, it is down almost 8%.