The rollout of 5G networks is still in the very early stages, but Qualcomm is moving forward building the technology required by devices to connect to those networks and has announced the first successful trial of their X50 5G modem on a 5G network.
The trial took place in the companies San Diego labs where they used several 100 MHz 5G carriers to achieve ‘Gigabit’ speeds. The X50 can in theory connect using up to 800 MHz of bandwidth via 8×100 MHz carrier aggregation making for a lot of bandwidth. The trial was conducted using the 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum using their 28GHz mmWave antenna designed for the X50.
At this stage, Qualcomm says they are expecting to start shipping the X50 in processors in ‘the first half of 2019’.
In Australia, 5G is still very much a developing technology with Optus and Telstra advising they have plans to begin rolling out 5G networks around 2020. Telstra will be running trials of 5G technology on the Gold Coast next year, co-incidentally around the same time as the 2018 Commonwealth Games of which Optus is the official sponsor. Optus and Vodafone are also conducting limited trials on their networks.
With the X50 successfully connecting all we need are the networks and smartphones.