More than a dozen global smartphone and PC OEMs have tied up with Qualcomm to incorporate the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem on to their mobile devices. Qualcomm has said the first smartphones featuring its X50 5G NR modem will hit the market in 2019, with Chinese brand Vivo promising such a handset next year. Major mobile phone OEMs joining hands with Qualcomm to incorporate the 5G modem in their future smartphones include the likes of Xiaomi, Nokia brand licensee HMD Global, Sony, LG, HTC, Oppo, and ZTE.
Other OEMs that have partnered with Qualcomm are Fujitsu, Inseego/ Novatel Wireless, NetComm Wireless, Netgear, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Telit, Wingtech, and WNC. Devices by these OEMs will be built around the sub-6GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum bands starting next year.
Apart from smartphones, the new Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem will be available on Always Connected PCs, Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) - including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) - and Mobile Broadband. Qualcomm claims this technology will offer faster browsing, faster downloads, better streaming, and instant cloud access on phones. The modem will enable high speed and low latency for Always Connected PCs, and ultra-low latency for HMDs.
"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," said Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile, Qualcomm Technologies.
Separately, Qualcomm has also partnered with several wireless network operators in the above mentioned sub-6GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) bands. These include AT&T, British Telecom, Sprint, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Verizon, Telstra, Singtel among others. The upcoming trials will combine Qualcomm's 5G platform and smartphone reference design with an aim to commercialise compliant 5G products later this year.
To further showcase this, planned demonstrations will be held at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Qualcomm booth is expected to have Snapdragon X50 modems reaching speeds of "several gigabits per second."
A HTC handset with 5G support, said to be the U12, was recently showcased at an industry event in Taiwan. The handset was shown delivering download speeds of 809.58Mbps.