Qualcomm Claims 5G Data Call First

...as the chipmaker preps its X50 modem for a year of 5G smartphone development in 2018.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

October 17, 2017

2 Min Read
Qualcomm Claims 5G Data Call First

Qualcomm says that it has made its first "data call" on its X50 5G modem, as the chipmaker preps for mobile development on its silicon.

The silicon designer says that this is the first 5G connection made on its "single chip" X50 connection. Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s Sherif Hanna, staff manager of product marketing for 4G and 5G, says this is significant because the X50 is not a bulky prototype device but silicon close to its prime-time moment. (See Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem.)

Hanna says Qualcomm now expects to see initial 5G smartphones arrive in "the first half of 2019." This will happen concurrently with the arrival of the first mobile 5G networks, Qualcomm suggests. (See Qualcomm: First 5G Smartphones Coming Mid-2019.)

The call topped gigabit download speeds, using several 100MHz-wide radio channels on 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Qualcomm has said that the production chip will support download peak speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s.

See Qualcomm's take below:

With 28GHz-based millimeter wave being such a new technology to use for smartphone-orientated mobile networks -- cellular networks today use anything between 800MHz and 2.5GHz, spectrum-wise -- Qualcomm is expecting 2018 to be a year of testing and experimentation for smartphone makers. To that end, Qualcomm has also released its first 5G smartphone reference design.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on
Light Reading.

Nonetheless, Hanna said that the first 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) specifications will be ready in December this year. (See Making 5G New Radio (NR) a Reality and 5G Volume Knob Cranked to 11.)

Hanna said that while Qualcomm has plans to deliver silicon aimed at fixed and mobile 5G applications, it is focused on smartphones with "mobility" as the "challenging" application that lets 5G "scale." Hanna suggested that 5G smartphones will be the offerings that bring in "millions" of users. (See Analysts Predict $1B Revenue From Fixed 5G in 2019.)

"Many others view mmWave as not viable for mobile, and [as] only good for fixed wireless -- we disagree," Hanna said.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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