MWC 2019 is set to start in Barcelona next week and Qualcomm has already started to steal the headlines. The chip-maker has unveiled their second gen cellular 5G modem, the Snapdragon X55 along with vital announcements related to the global 5G spectrum which will apparently allow network operators and smartphone manufacturers accelerate the pace of 5G roll-outs across the world.
The Snapdragon X55 5G cellular modem comes as a successor to the Snapdragon X50 launched back in 2016, is built on the 7nm manufacturing process and boasts theoretical download speeds of up to 7Gbps and upload speeds of up to 3Gbps, which are a ~40% improvement over the first gen. The modem includes support for 2G – 5G connections, 5G New Radio (NR) mmWave technology and sub-6GHz spectrum bands according to the press release.
Technical jargon aside, the new 5G modem will deliver faster speeds (obviously) and other real world benefits include improvement in efficiency thanks to the 7nm process and better indoor coverage. Reports suggest that support for all major frequency bands around the world is already included in this chip which will in turn help major smartphone manufacturers comfortably launch 5G smartphones globally, quickly.
The applications are not limited to smartphones, however, several devices including always-connected laptops, tablets, portable hotspots and even automobiles will also take advantage of the 5G modem.
The very first devices featuring 5G capabilities are expected to be shown off at MWC next week by major brands like Samsung and Oneplus. These devices will, to our knowledge, run on the Snapdragon X50 platform rather than the X55 as commercial availability for Snapdragon X55 modem is likely to be seen in late 2019.