Qualcomm reveals its 5G reference smartphone design as it achieves first 5G data connection

 With 4G coverage being available pretty wherever we go these days, Qualcomm is one of the companies working hard to crack 5G, the next generation data connection. Back at MWC in February, Qualcomm was showing off a 5G modem that was around the same size as a standard motherboard for a desktop computer. Today, the chip manufacturer has announced it has managed to achieve a 5G data connection on its Snapdragon X50 5G mobile modem chipset.

Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset achieved Gigabit speeds in the 28GHz mmWave radio band, and showed off a reference design smartphone for use in testing the new standard in mobile data connectivity. Once 5G has been fully deployed, Qualcomm says the X50 5G modem should be capable of reaching 5Gbps download speeds.

As you can see from the image above, the reference design smartphone isn’t the slimmest handset around, but that’s ok, it’s a reference design and built for testing the 5G signal. 5G technology is only scheduled to roll out somewhere around 2019 or after, so you can count on the chipset being shrunk even further.

“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT.

It’s expected that 5G connectivity will eventually provide unthrottled bandwidth and ease the congestion that current 4G/LTE networks currently experience. 2019 isn’t too far away, so 5G will be here sooner than you might have thought, although, much like 4G before it, it will probably take a couple of years until it’s ubiquitous. And then the whole cycle will begin again.

Source: Qualcomm

About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).