Qualcomm announces the first commercial 5G modem

28 October 2016

X50 5G Modem

If you need a sign that 5G is well on the way you need look no further than Qualcomm, which has just announced the first commercial 5G modem chipset solution.

Dubbed the Snapdragon X50, it will support peak download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second, and it’s designed to help mobile device makers build the first wave of 5G devices, as well as aiding mobile networks with early 5G trials and deployments.

By the time 5G is commercially available we’ll probably have even newer and better modems, but the X50 could be used by manufacturers when testing devices on a live 5G network, to gain insight into integrating 5G technologies into smartphones and other compact devices.

The Snapdragon X50 will initially support millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz band, and its use of mmWave spectrum – which 5G will be reliant on – means it’s ideally positioned to help mobile networks conduct lab tests and field trials of 5G technologies.

“The Snapdragon X50 5G modem heralds the arrival of 5G as operators and OEMs reach the cellular network and device testing phase,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and president at QCT.

“Utilizing our long history of LTE and Wi-Fi leadership, we are thrilled to deliver a product that will help play a critical role in bringing 5G devices and networks to reality. This shows that we’re not just talking about 5G, we’re truly committed to it.”

The X50 achieves 5G speeds through Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology (which essentially just means combining multiple antennas).

That’s coupled with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, which help ensure reliable and speedy mobile broadband performance when there’s no line of sight to the base station.

Sampling for the Snapdragon X50 is expected to begin in the second half of 2017, while commercial products could begin integrating it during the first half of 2018.

 

Editor at 5G.co.uk

Kevin Thomas has worked in the world of Telecom reporting for over 17 years. He reviewed the first 3G phone way back in 2003, reviewed the first 4G phone in 2012 and now he's keen to welcome in the first 5G phone too. Kevin previously worked for over 15 years within the Telecom industry including: AT&T in Europe, BT in the UK and Phillips in the Netherlands. He holds a HND in Telecommunications.

Lenovo Yoga 5G laptop coming to EE as an exclusive

Lenovo and EE have announced the exclusive UK availability of the Lenovo Yoga 5G...

Oppo Find X2 is available on O2 alongside three 5G siblings

The Oppo Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Find X2 Neo and Find X2 Lite are all up for pre-order...

Huawei P40 Lite 5G launched with a tiny price tag

The new Huawei P40 Lite 5G has great specs, an affordable price and even comes with...

Motorola Edge 5G is out on O2 and comes with a free tablet

The great value Motorola Edge 5G is now available on O2, and you can get a free...

Oppo’s range of 5G phones is coming to Vodafone soon

Oppo will be bringing a range of its handsets to Vodafone from this month, including...

As seen on:
Washington Post logo
Financial Times logo
Guardian logo
BBC logo
Telegraph logo
Forbes logo