Fifth-generation mobile services have taken a big step forward. On Thursday, semiconductor giant Qualcomm announced it has completed the first 5G data connection on a chipset designed for mobile phones.
The company has also unveiled what it claims is the first 5G smartphone reference design for manufacturers wanting to build consumer 5G handsets.
Qualcomm said its subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies used the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset to conduct gigabit-class speeds in the 28GHz millimetre-wave radio frequency band.
The 5G data connection demonstration took place at Qualcomm Technologies’ laboratories in San Diego in the US. It achieved gigabit download speeds, using several 100MHz 5G carriers.
The company said it expects the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family to support commercial launches of 5G smartphones and networks in the first half of 2019.
Earlier this month, TechCentral reported that Comsol, a South African telecommunications company, looks set to be the first in South Africa to launch a 5G network, albeit on a trial basis for now.
The company, based in Midrand in Johannesburg, will launch the 5G network, with live customers, in partnership with Internet service providers with a view to launching a commercial 5G network thereafter. Several high sites will be used for the trial, which will take place in Gauteng.
Even though the standards for 5G are still being bedded down internationally, Comsol CEO Iain Stevenson said the time was right to launch a network in South Africa using the technology.
Comsol has a big chunk of radio frequency spectrum in the 28GHz band, which is being set aside for 5G in the US by the Federal Communications Commission.
The company has 280MHz of licensed spectrum around the band, which it plans to use to build the 5G network.
The trial will consist of a fixed-wireless access network using a number of existing high sites. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media