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5G-powered phones seen to make first appearance in 2018

/ 03:21 PM October 18, 2016
Qualcomm 5G modem

Qualcomm has announced the world’s first 5G modem and its estimates on the availability of 5G-equipped devices.  Image Qualcomm

While the Philippines still struggles to get widespread 4G LTE connectivity, US telecommunications equipment firm Qualcomm is already looking forward to 5G when it announced its first 5G modem.

The announcement was made at the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit, which is being held in Hong Kong from Oct. 17 to 19. Called Snapdragon X50, it is the very first 5G modem that can support download speeds of up to 5Gbps, reports Engadget.

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4G LTE has barely broken the Gigabit space, so having the next generation five times faster is quite overwhelming, to say the least. X50-powered devices “are expected to be available during the first half of 2018.” A finalized 5G standard is expected to arrive by 2017, so Qualcomm’s projections for the availability of X50-powered device are not too far off the mark. The company does stress that its X50 modem is for early 5G deployments, meaning it is more likely to appear in experimental devices with soft roll-outs. Needless to say, news flagship devices equipped for 5G mobile connectivity will take a while to surface.

In the meantime, carriers and mobile phone manufacturers can continue moving to make 4G more ubiquitous and eventually become the base connectivity option for customers.  Alfred Bayle

TOPICS: 5G modem, 5Gbps, next generation mobile internet, Qualcomm, Snapdragon X50
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