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Forget EE and Vodafone’s networks, Qualcomm is looking to develop true 5G

Chip manufacturer Qualcomm is opening a new lab in the UK dedicated to end-to-end over-the-air (OTA) configurations for 5G NR mmWave.

Qualcomm’s new lab will allow OEMs and European operators to test their 5G NR mmWave devices and network configurations. Qualcomm has already announced Sony will be the first company to utilise the new lab.

Related: 5G in the UK

What is 5G NR mmWave?

At the moment, networks like EE and Vodafone are using sub-6GHz bands of spectrum to achieve 5G. Qualcomm wants to develop 5G using spectrum between 30GHz and 300GHz – referred to as mmWave. 

Qualcomm says the spectrum above 30GHz is capable of delivering extreme data speeds and capacity and this is what it aims to provide with 5G NR mmWave.

Qualcomm’s technology wouldn’t replace the use of sub-6GHz bands of 5G currently being used, however. mmWave is seen as a potentially great companion to current 5G offerings – providing significantly enhanced indoor coverage and higher performance in high-density areas.

Related: Best 5G phones

Qualcomm’s facility – based in Farnborough, UK – aims to demonstrate and facilitate the commercialisation of 5G NR mmWave. Qualcomm Europe’s senior vice president Enrico Salvatori said: 

“Qualcomm Technologies, its customers and collaborators are at the heart of the 5G networks and devices now being rolled out across Europe and this is just the beginning. 

Utilizing all types of spectrum, including low, mid and high bands, is critical for the success of 5G. Deployments across these bands will work hand-in-hand to bring consumers exciting new user experiences”.

Sony has already demonstrated a 5G NR mmWave technical evaluation device – showing it off at MWC Barcelona earlier this year. The device was based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip and X50 5G modem.

O2 just announced the launch date and locations of its 5G network with EE and Vodafone having launched their own over the last couple of months.We here at Trusted Reviews have already given our thoughts on the EE 5G network and the Vodafone 5G network – see how they stack up without the use of mmWave.

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