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Forget OnePlus, cheap 5G phones may arrive in the very near future

Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek has confirmed plans to launch a 5G chipset later this month.

The news broke on Wednesday via Chinese social media sight Weibo. The chip is big news as MediaTek is known for providing chips for budget to mid-range phones – meaning 5G may not be a pipe dream for budget buyers.

The news comes just after MediaTek revealed its Helio M70 modem with 5G connectivity – which will likely feature on this new processing unit. MediaTek is a hugely popular chip brand – having created the chips for Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo.

Related: Best mid-range phones

GSMArena reports that the 5G chip will be coming in May – meaning that we should see the next-generation processor in the next couple of weeks. MediaTek claims its Helio M70 5G modem can provide up to 4.7 Gbps download speed and 2.5 Gbps upload speeds, which is seriously fast and should let you download entire movie series in minutes when connected to a 5G network.

The Helio M70 also includes multi-mode support – allowing users to dynamically access 2G to 5G networks to get the best speeds for their current location.

5G is beginning to pick up speed in the mobile phone world. Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy S10 5G – launching June 7. The UK price for Samsung’s 5G phone is not yet known. However, the Galaxy S10 5G is priced high in the US starting at $1299 – $300 more than the Galaxy S10 Plus.

It is in this area where MediaTek’s 5G contribution is likely to be most valued – bringing 5G to cheaper devices.

Related: Best cheap phones

In the UK, phone manufacturers will be looking to EE and Vodafone for initial 5G support. EE will be first off the mark with its UK 5G network launching on May 30. The rollout will begin with London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham before expanding to more cities later in the year.

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