Qualcomm and Verizon have teamed up to bring forward the 5G future, promising support for 5G networks “before the end of the decade”.
Key players in the technology industry have been talking about 5G for years, but it’s finally within reach. A successor to 4G, the 5G networks that eventually roll out will offer blisteringly fast download speeds, and super low-latency data transmissions – perfect for gaming, or even supporting driverless car communications.
To make sure that consumers can take advantage of these speeds sooner rather than later, US tech giant Qualcomm – which supplies phone tech to the likes of Apple and Samsung – has teamed up with American network Verizon to collaborate on the development and over-the-air trials of 5G New Radio millimeter wave technology. This technology will be based on specifications being developed by 3GPP, the global 5G standard.
“Verizon has been working closely with Qualcomm Technologies and other technology leaders to accelerate a global 5G specification to help usher in the next generation of wireless innovation for customers,” said Ed Chan, Senior VP at Verizon’s technology strategy and planning department.
He went on: “With the collaboration we’re announcing today, we are taking the next logical step towards extending our leadership position in the advancement of 5G.”
The announcement came during Qualcomm’s annual 5G Summit in Hong Kong, which is being attended by Trusted Reviews. At the event, it was revealed that the two companies will initially focus on securing 5G NR operation in 28GHz and 39GHz mmWave spectrum bands, and hope to showcase their successes with multi-gigabit-per-second data transfer rates.
To put that in perspective, a 1.2Gbps download speed would allow you to download a 60-minute BBC iPlayer program in high-quality resolution in just over four seconds. With 4K content becoming increasingly common, such speeds are a major step forward.
Speaking about the announcement, Joe Glynn, VP of Business Development at Qualcomm, said: “Qualcomm Technologies is committed to delivering 5G NR mmWave technologies to meet the ever-increasing connectivity requirements for enhanced mobile broadband experiences.”
Glynn continued: “We are excited to collaborate with Verizon in making 5G NR mmWave a commercial reality for mobile devices, including fixed wireless home routers, mobile hotspots, tablets and smartphones.”
Trials of the technology are set to begin in 2018, and will make use of Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem – a chipset we expect to see in 5G smartphones of the future. To that end, Qualcomm expects that the modem will be supporting the first round of commercial 5G service launches in the first half of 2019.
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