Economy, Sci & Tech

Qualcomm: 5G Phones by 2019

Qualcomm is already working on 5G trial networks across the globe.Qualcomm is already working on 5G trial networks across the globe.

The first mass-market 5G smartphones will become commercially available by 2019, according to Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf, due to increasing demand from the consumer and business segments driving an acceleration of the previous 2020 timeline.

“You will see [5G] in real devices, on the shelf, in 2019,” Mollenkopf said during the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, ZDnet reported. “And if I were to answer that same question a year ago, I would have said 2020.”

Mollenkopf added that there are already several network operators in the United States, Japan, and South Korea that are preparing for a 5G launch in 2019, and that they would likely be joined by Chinese carriers.

“I think you will see the typical first movers — Korea, Japan, and the United States — you will see robust demand in all of those locations, meaning that there are multiple operators wanting to be first and not be left behind,” Mollenkopf said.

“What we are seeing in China is a real desire not to be a follower and to launch with everyone else.” Qualcomm is already working on 5G trial networks across the globe, in February announcing a partnership with Ericsson and Telstra to conduct 5G new radio interoperability testing.

At the same time, Qualcomm and Ericsson said they would partner on additional 5G trials with Japanese telecommunications provider NTT DoCoMo and European giant Vodafone.

Prototype devices from Qualcomm and prototype base station solutions from Ericsson will be used over NTT DoCoMo’s trial network environment.

The trials in the United Kingdom with Vodafone, meanwhile, will take place in the second half of 2017 across the sub-6GHz bands, also using Massive MIMO, beam forming, adaptive self-contained TDD, scalable OFDM-based waveforms, waveforms for wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation, and a new framework design.

Qualcomm is currently also aiding Verizon in its bid to roll out 11 pre-commercial 5G trial networks with Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, Intel, LG, and Nokia.


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