If you’re sick of hearing about 5G there’s no chance it’s going to be stopping over the next few years as the technology rolls out. Samsung is the latest to make the news, announcing a new 5G capable modem which will be used in upcoming smartphones.
The Exynos Modem 5100 as it’s called, is fully compliant with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards, the standards body who governs the mobile networks ensuring interoperability throughout the world – a first in the industry says Samsung. The modem fully supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums specified by the 3GPP, making it useful for all networks.
As well as 5G, the modem also fully supports legacy radio access on the chip, including 2G GSM/CDMA, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE networks. This is a step above other 5G modems already announced like the Qualcomm X50 modem which utilises the in-built modem on the processor to access legacy 3G/4G networks.
The modem has already been used in test calls including an over-the-air 5G-BR data call test in a wireless environment which used a a 5G base station and a what Samsung calls a ‘prototype 5G smartphone’ (any guesses which one?) that included the Exynos Modem 5100.
The support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrums and legacy networks makes for some fast speeds, with Samsung advising:
The modem delivers a maximum downlink speed of up to 2-gigabits per second (Gbps) in 5G’s sub-6-gigahertz (GHz) settings and 6Gbps in mmWave settings, which are about 1.7 and five times the data transfer speeds of its predecessor respectively. Fast and stable data communication can also be secured in 4G networks with the downlink speed of 1.6Gbps.
Samsung has built the Exynos Modem 5100 using their power-efficient 10-nanometer (nm) process technology meaning it will sip rather than hammer your battery when using – a major factor which affected the rollout of 4G a few years back.
Samsung president DJ Koh has already advised that the Galaxy S10 won’t include 5G support, opening the door for the modem to be included in other devices including the Galaxy Note 10 due later next year which would put it in line with the expected wider launch of 5G networks in Australia, and the rest of the world.