Qualcomm is first to reach 5G speeds using the X50 mobile modem
The Snapdragon X50 5G modem was presented at the 2017 Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit. Mobile internet speeds across the world will soon be upgraded to the 5G standard, and Qualcomm intends to be the first to offer the necessary hardware for the upgrade, including new smartphone specifications. Qualcomm claims that the X50 modem is the first of its kind to successfully achieve a 5G data connection in the 28 GHz mmWave spectrum, providing downlink speeds of over 1 gbps.
Together with the new X50 modem, Qualcomm also revealed the first 5G smartphone reference design in order to help mobile OEMs implement, test and optimize the necessary 5G hardware. The 5G standard will improve many aspects over the current 4G, including data rates of 100 megabits per second for metropolitan areas and tens of megabits per second for the remaining zones, IoT integration, improved coverage and reduced latency. The approved spectra for 5G are 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz.
Even though the technology is here, the 5G coverage still needs to be extended and will not be operational until early 2019. Qualcomm confirmed this, stating that the first 5G smartphones are expected to be released in the first half of 2019.