Sunday, 11 February 2018 23:48

Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem family ready for 2019 global OEM device launches


Promising "fibre-like" connectivity to the cloud, with low latency and extreme capacity, 5G-enabled mobile devices are coming to mobile devices in 2019.

Qualcomm has proudly boasted that its "Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family has been selected by a number of global original equipment manufacturers for standard-compliant 5G NR mobile device product launches starting in 2019".

Companies reported working with Qualcomm include OEMs such as "Asus, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Connected Technologies, HMD Global – the home of Nokia phones, HTC, Inseego/Novatel Wireless, LG, NetComm Wireless, NETGEAR, OPPO, Sharp Corporation, Sierra Wireless, Sony Mobile, Telit, vivo, Wingtech, WNC, Xiaomi and ZTE".

We're told these OEMs are "working to commercialise 5G mobile devices for the sub-6 GHz and millimetre wave spectrum bands starting in 2019 based on the first commercially announced 5G modem solution, the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family".

Alex Katouzian, senior vice-president and general manager of Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies, said: "Qualcomm Technologies is deeply committed to helping our customers deliver next-generation 5G mobile experiences to consumers, which requires enhanced mobile broadband 5G NR connectivity enabled by 5G NR networks, mobile devices and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

“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 utilising our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem.”

Qualcomm said it "continues to be a mobile industry leader with its 5G mobile chipset products and 5G ecosystem collaborations in support of aiming to deliver commercial 5G NR mobile devices in 2019".

"The arrival of 5G will expand mobile into new spectrum bands and all spectrum types, allowing for enhanced mobile broadband and increasing the overall average download speeds for virtually all smartphone users. 5G NR technologies will allow for multi-gigabit per second data rates at significantly lower latency than today’s network, amongst other capabilities.

"These technologies will be critical to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences such as virtual reality, augmented reality and fibre-like cloud connectivity, as well as enabling new high-reliability, low-latency services.

"Furthermore, for the always connected PC, significantly lower latency will allow for an instant link to the cloud for applications requiring real-time interactivity, such as interactive gaming, real-time audio translation, real-time text translation and real-time collaborative editing."

The company lists 5G use cases as including:

"Enhanced mobile broadband to smartphones; Always Connected PCs; head-mounted displays (HMD) for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR); and Mobile Broadband, all of which require constant and consistent cloud connectivity."

Expanding on each of these areas:

5G-enabled smartphones: With 5G, consumers will almost never again need to log on to public Wi-Fi. They will also enjoy faster browsing, faster downloads, better quality video calls, UHD and 360-degree video streaming and instant cloud access than currently available.

Always Connected PCs: With the advent of 5G networks, “always connected” PCs will be able to utilise super high speed, low latency connectivity for the next level of cloud services, as well as high-quality video conferencing, interactive gaming and increased productivity due to the flexibility to work anywhere.

HMDs: 5G enhanced mobile broadband will further elevate virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) experiences with its increased capacity at lower cost and ultra-low latency – down to 1 millisecond.

Mobile Broadband: Fibre speeds and massive capacity to support insatiable consumer demand for unlimited data, as well as superior mobile and home broadband internet access.

Qualcomm said global OEMs shared the following thoughts on 5G applications and user experiences:


ASUS Corporate vice-president Eric Chen said, “ASUS is proud of our strong relationship with Qualcomm Technologies and creating the best mobile and Always Connected PC experiences for our users. We look forward to the new era of 5G networks and working with Qualcomm Technologies to unleash the new benefits of 5G including greater connectivity, better performance, faster download speeds and significantly lower latency for cloud services.”

HMD Global – the home of Nokia phones:

Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global, said, “Nokia phones have always been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to mobility. 5G will be the catalyst for the introduction of innovative data devices and services in the coming years. It will completely change the kind of experiences consumers would expect from their devices. As we look to this connected future, we look forward to our close relationship with Qualcomm Technologies in delivering richer smartphone experiences to our consumers. We also see a great opportunity evolving in the personal mobile device ecosystem to offer an even more immersive experience.”


"HTC and Qualcomm Technologies share a long history of innovation together, including the first 4G smartphone ever released, and we're excited to continue this close relationship with 5G and beyond," said Adrian Tung, senior vice-president, HTC. "5G will enable not just the mobile experiences of tomorrow, but also the conversion of mobility with VR, AR, and many other immersive technologies. Together, HTC and Qualcomm Technologies will be at the vanguard of this multi-sensory future."

Inseego/Novatel Wireless:

“Novatel Wireless (a subsidiary of Inseego) has been at the forefront of commercialising multiple generations of cellular technologies with leading wireless carriers around the world,” said Dan Mondor, chief executive, Inseego Corp. “We are excited to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to bring 5G NR solutions to the market. We believe 5G technology will fundamentally change the economics of broadband data and introduce many new business models for our customers.”


“To deliver a better mobile experience to consumers requires constant innovation and a commitment to bringing a new generation of cellular and mobile technology to handheld devices,” said Dr. Kim In-Kyung, senior vice-president and head of network technology, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “As evidenced by our track records of 4G LTE technology leadership and work with global partners such as Qualcomm Technologies, LG offers deep expertise and leadership in wireless technology which will enable us to successfully launch 5G NR smartphones, taking the consumer mobile experience to another level.”

NetComm Wireless:

“eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband) is likely to be one of the early use cases for 5G and is a natural evolution of NetComm Wireless’ Fixed Wireless strategy, leveraging our expertise in high data rate broadband services,” said Steve Collins, chief technical officer, NetComm Wireless. “The Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem platform will enable NetComm Wireless to support early market adopters seeking to implement a 5G Fixed Wireless solution, an attractive solution for Telecommunications Operators looking to replace or augment traditional “fixed line” technologies such as copper or coaxial. Telecommunications Operators looking to move early on 5G are already consulting with NetComm Wireless on how to utilise their spectrum assets and infrastructure upgrades to put in place their 5G Fixed Wireless eMBB strategy.”


“OPPO has started our investment into 5G research and development three years ago, and we’re now cooperating with Qualcomm Technologies to usher in a new era of smart devices,” said Andy Wu, vice-president, OPPO. “OPPO will utilise the latest technologies, including the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem chipset in the future, to build smartphones with faster connectivity, superior photo quality, better power-saving performance and more fashionable designs for global consumers.”

Sierra Wireless:

“5G brings impressive new capabilities, 10 times more radio spectrum and, for the first time, the new wireless generation offers true co-existence with the previous one – 4G LTE, LTE-M and NB-IoT,” said Philippe Guillemette, chief technology officer, Sierra Wireless. “With this added capacity and seamless migration path, there has never been a better time for our networking, PC OEM, automotive and IoT customers alike to deploy new applications. Sierra Wireless’ contribution to defining the 5G standards, our long-standing relationship with Qualcomm Technologies and our 24-year history of wireless leadership ensures our customers can continue to innovate.”

Sony Mobile:

“Sony Mobile has been continuously evolving mobile communication and entertainment on our Xperia products,” said Izumi Kawanishi, director, executive vice-president, product business group, Sony Mobile Communications. “The state of the art 5G technology brings not only an ultra-fast, responsive communication experience, but also a vastly enriched entertainment experience with content to our Xperia product range. We aim to deliver these new experiences to our customers in the coming years.”


“As we approach the start of 5G global rollout, the importance of timeliness, quality, richness, flexibility and reliability of the base technology we select for our IoT modules grows exponentially,” said Yossi Moscovitz, president, Products and Solutions, Telit. “Telit has trusted Qualcomm Technologies for many of its market shaping products for more than a decade. Now, as Telit announces the world’s first 1Gbps LTE product – developed on Qualcomm Technologies platform, we are delighted to continue leveraging this solid relationship, leading the IoT market into the much anticipated 5G era.”


“In the 5G area, Qualcomm Technologies has always been leading the global technology development. vivo has embarked on studying 5G and potential new technologies for the next generation of smartphones since two years ago,” said Jesse Shi, senior vice-president, vivo. “vivo is honoured to be one of the first to utilise the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem chipset to optimise our mobile devices, in an attempt to commercialise amazing 5G smartphones for global consumers in 2019.”


“5G will lead to a new ecosystem, and has a significant impact on the whole industry chain,” said Xuezheng Zhang, chairman, Wingtech. “On the path towards 5G, Wingtech is now collaborating with ecosystem partners including Qualcomm Technologies, to support innovative use cases and cutting-edge devices all around the world.”


“As an early adopter of 5G technologies, WNC is excited to apply our expertise in mmWave and 4G as a foundation to develop this X50 modem into 5G NR CPE products that are always connected and perform at high speeds and low latency,” said Jeffrey Gau, chief executive, WNC. “We foresee great successes collaborating with our partners and will contribute as a platform solution provider to accelerate 5G market development.”


“Every time Qualcomm Technologies introduces a cutting-edge technology, we promptly collaborate with them to unveil related products such as smartphones and smart homes in China as well as around the globe, which have been praised by many of our consumers,” said Bin Lin, co-founder and president, Xiaomi. “In the future, 5G will bring broader opportunities for the whole Xiaomi smart industry chain, and we will collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to lead a new era of Internet of Things and in-depth human-machine interaction.”


“With the new network architecture, 5G will provide at least ten-times peak data rate of 4G networks, with milliseconds of latency and hundreds of billions of device connectivity capability,” said Lixin Cheng, chief executive, ZTE Mobile Devices. “It will certainly start a new era of smart connectivity and ZTE has a deep understanding of the end-to-end 5G system. It’s no doubt that the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem chipset shows Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and expertise in mobile connectivity technology, while ZTE is committed to being a leading supplier of 5G commercial devices and solutions, and will deliver 5G devices with global top-tier operators as early as possible.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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