One day after blazoning a successful collaboration with Nokia to test their prototype 5G devices with Nokia’s AirScale base station, Qualcomm announced a partnership with HMD Global, HTC and 17 other smartphone manufacturers to bring 5G on mobile devices starting next year.
“Qualcomm Technologies is deeply committed to helping our customers deliver next-generation 5G mobile experiences to consumers, which requires enhanced mobile broadband 5G NR connectivity enabled by 5G NR networks, mobile devices and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“As evidenced by our work with these distinguished OEMs from around the globe and as we demonstrated in 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies is utilizing our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem.”
Qualcomm intends to bring their next-generation Snapdragon™ X50 family of 5G modems to market to initiate a global implementation of 5G mobile networks. This move was also backed by 18 global telecom leaders, which alongside the 19 smartphone manufacturers also signed a partnership with Qualcomm.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem, originally announced in 2016, promises to deliver up to 5Gbps download speeds with only 1-2 millisecond latency. The modem will also support both 4G and 5G connections simultaneously to guarantee its reliability whilst 5G network infrastructures are being deployed.
“The Snapdragon X50 5G modem is designed to make this seamless mobility possible. It can be paired with a Snapdragon processor with an integrated Gigabit Class LTE modem. In addition to supporting 4G LTE and mmWave 5G, the complete 4G/5G multi-mode platform is designed to help provide dual-connectivity to both (so a mobile device can connect simultaneously over both generations of technology) to achieve seamless mobility between the two.”
The following were the list of phone makers that will start using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem next year:
- Fujitsu and Fujitsu Connected Technologies
- HMD Global (Nokia Phones)
- Inseego/Novatel Wireless
- NetComm Wireless
- Sierra Wireless
- Sony Mobile
List of Qualcomm’s carrier partners that will start implementing 5G networks as early as next year:
- British Telecom
- China Telecom
- China Mobile
- China Unicom
- Deutsche Telekom
- KT Corporation
- LG Uplus
- NTT Docomo
- SK Telecom
- Vodafone Group
Qualcomm also plans to demonstrate the Snapdragon™ X50 at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to showcase 5G’s multiple Gbps downloads, new applications, enhanced user experiences, and 5G interoperability.
“2018 will be a big year for Qualcomm Technologies and the mobile industry overall as we work to execute on the agreed upon 5G NR specification,” said Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon.
“These trials demonstrate how we are working with global operators to fuel growth and innovation in the mobile industry and make 5G a reality by supporting a large number of expected commercial launches in 2019. With our proven success in 3G, 4G LTE and RF front-end leadership, Qualcomm Technologies is ideally positioned to deliver the multi-gigabit, multimode products required for the global rollout of 5G.”
It is unknown if 5G is coming on Nokia devices next year, but Sarvikas said that HMD Global is in “close relationship” with Qualcomm Technologies to deliver a richer smartphone experiences to their consumers.
“Nokia phones have always been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to mobility. 5G will be the catalyst for the introduction of innovative data devices and services in the coming years. It will completely change the kind of experiences consumers would expect from their devices,” said Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer for HMD Global.
“As we look to this connected future, we look forward to our close relationship with Qualcomm Technologies in delivering richer smartphone experiences to our consumers. We also see a great opportunity evolving in the personal mobile device ecosystem to offer an even more immersive experience.”
HTC, on the other hand, said that 5G will not just enable great mobile experience but will also allow the “conversion of mobility with VR, AR, and many other immersive technologies”.
“HTC and Qualcomm Technologies share a long history of innovation together, including the first 4G smartphone ever released, and we’re excited to continue this close relationship with 5G and beyond,” said Adrian Tung, senior vice president for HTC.
“5G will enable not just the mobile experiences of tomorrow, but also the conversion of mobility with VR, AR, and many other immersive technologies. Together, HTC and Qualcomm Technologies will be at the vanguard of this multisensory future.”
5G use cases include enhanced mobile broadband to smartphones; Always Connected PCs; head-mounted displays (HMD) for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR); and Mobile Broadband, all of which require constant and consistent cloud connectivity. Expanding on each of these areas:
5G-enabled smartphones: With 5G, consumers will almost never again need to log on to public Wi-Fi. They will also enjoy faster browsing, faster downloads, better quality video calls, UHD and 360-degree video streaming and instant cloud access than currently available.
Always Connected PCs: With the advent of 5G networks, “Always Connected” PCs will be able to utilize super high speed, low latency connectivity for the next level of cloud services, as well as high-quality video conferencing, interactive gaming and increased productivity due to the flexibility to work anywhere.
HMDs: 5G enhanced mobile broadband will further elevate virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) experiences with its increased capacity at lower cost and ultra-low latency – down to 1 millisecond.
Mobile Broadband: Fiber speeds and massive capacity to support insatiable consumer demand for unlimited data, as well as superior mobile and home broadband internet access.