Qualcomm shows off mmWave 5G antennas, will be ready for phones in 2019
As most major wireless carriers are expanding their 4G LTE coverage in the areas they offer, many are looking ahead at what is coming next. In late 2017 the 3GPP officially announced the 5G specification had been completed and that means companies could start to test and prototype devices for it. With this news making tons of headlines, Qualcomm jumped out and announced the X50 modem that would appear in phones by the first half of 2019. Today, the company has shown off their first module device, which they’re calling the mmWave 5G antennas.
As mentioned, the moment 3GPP declared the new specification we started seeing these major companies begin working on the future of wireless technology. Earlier this year, there was a report saying that Samsung would have a prototype 5G modem for smartphones during the second half of 2018. The company even came out as said the Exynos 5G modem could theoretically achieve a maximum download speed of up to 5 Gbps. Prototypes are one thing but lots of stuff can go wrong during these design experiments.
In October of 2017, it was Qualcomm who successfully completed trials of this new data connection using its Snapdragon X50 modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum. The latest Qualcomm mmWave antennas shown off today will be classified in the QTM052 mmWave antenna module family and the QPM56xx sub-6 GHz RF module. Qualcomm boasts that this antennas module is the first fully-integrated 5G NR millimeter-wave and sub-6 GHz RF component built for mobile. While many are excited to see what the first commercially available 5G smartphone ends up being, I have to wonder how wireless carriers will be able to utilize it. 4G LTE is fast enough on mobile if you have good coverage and increasing the download speeds of up to 5Gbps will only make customers hit their data limit faster and then get throttled down to 2G or 3G connections.
Still, this new technology will be great for major venues who wirelessly beam their internet through a 5G connection and then let the attendees leverage the speed by connecting to their special router. Mobile hotspot devices are expected by the end of this year with Qualcomm’s new modules. Smartphones with the technology should be ready in the first half of 2019.
Source: Tom’s Guide