5G and Beyond

Qualcomm claims another 5G data call first over 700MHz

Qualcomm Technologies and China Broadcasting Network (CBN) said they managed to carry out what they described as the "world's first large-bandwidth 2x30MHz 5G data call" in the 700MHz spectrum band.

The demonstration, said to have achieved download speeds of over 300 Mbit/s, used a 2x30MHz block of CBN's spectrum in the 700MHz band, as well as a 5G device based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF system.

Qualcomm also said Vivo, ZTE, Quectel, Fibocom and Gosuncn have now launched the "first batch of commercial 5G devices" based on Snapdragon that operate in the 700MHz frequency band.

Qualcomm calling
The demo is the latest in a long line of 5G data calls performed by Qualcomm as it has prepared for 5G.

For example, it made its first "data call" on its X50 5G modem back in 2017. The silicon designer said a "wideband data call" in the 700MHz band is a significant step in the commercialization of 5G networks.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) approved the repurposing of the former analog broadcast spectrum for mobile communications on April 1, 2020.

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CBN has exclusive rights to the much-coveted 700MHz band, having been awarded 80MHz with its 5G license in June 2019.

CBN was a surprise new entrant to mobile. The company, owned by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), was set up just five years ago, but lacks the financial scale to build a national network and compete against three big telco incumbents.

It subsequently formed a network-sharing deal with China Mobile. The two parties said they would jointly build and share a 5G network, and also collaborate over content and platform sharing.

The MIIT previously said the release of the 700MHz band was essential to ensure China's 5G was supported in low, medium and high spectrum bands.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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