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Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem selected for 5G NR trials

Qualcomm Technologies announced that its Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem has been selected for use in live, over-the-air mobile 5G NR trials with multiple global wireless network operators in both the sub-6 GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. 

Vodafone Group will be one of the providers to conduct the trials, which will be based on the 3GPP Release 15 5G NR standard. 

The mobile 5G NR trials will utilise Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G mobile test platform and smartphone reference design, which incorporate the Snapdragon X50 chipset and optimise 5G technology within the power and form factor constraints of a smartphone while maintaining interoperability and coexistence with 4G LTE. 

The planned trials underscore the readiness of Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile 5G NR solution in a smartphone form factor and aim to commercialise standard-compliant 5G NR products and services over the coming year. 

Planned demonstrations at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will showcase the Snapdragon X50 5G modem achieving download speeds of several gigabits per second and highlight new use cases and enhanced user experiences that 5G technology will enable.

In addition, Qualcomm Technologies will demonstrate 5G NR interoperability, based on the 5G NR standard.

This steady progress will culminate in live 5G NR trials with operators in 2018/early 2019, leading to commercial 5G NR network deployments and multimode smartphone launches anticipated in 2019.

Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon says, “These trials demonstrate how we are working with global operators to fuel growth and innovation in the mobile industry and make 5G a reality by supporting a large number of expected commercial launches in 2019. 

“With our proven success in 3G, 4G LTE and RF front-end leadership, Qualcomm Technologies is ideally positioned to deliver the multi-gigabit, multimode products required for the global rollout of 5G.” 

Operator trials will start in 2018 and will utilise spectrum in the sub-6 GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) bands, which is critical for achieving ubiquitous coverage and enhanced network capacity. 

In order to meet the first half of 2019 timeframe, the use of Snapdragon X50 5G modem during these mobile 5G NR trials is expected to prepare operators for the commercial network rollout of 5G, equip OEMs to deliver 5G smartphones and allow for testing and development across a wide range of use cases and deployment scenarios.