5G is going to be a really big deal, eventually.
It’s a lot of fun to get excited about what comes next, sometimes. When we think about a phone launching, the wait is usually days or weeks. When we think about an entirely new technology for wireless communication, the wait is considerably longer.
Qualcomm demonstrated that with its new X50 5G modem family, built to handle anything and everything on 5G networks as soon as they exist in 2019.
It’s looking more and more like the mistakes from the early days of 4G LTE are being left in the past
There’s a lot about 5G to get excited about when we can finally use it. This is a network promising Gigabit LTE speeds and more convenient mechanisms for the Internet of Things. It’s faster, will use less power, and is expected to have significantly reduced latency. Naturally, Qualcomm wants manufacturers to know it has the modems needed to make this new network function smoothly. The X50 5G modems are expected to be a big part of the first 5G wave, just like the company has done with most other mobile networks in the past.
Qualcomm’s biggest bragging point with the X50 is going to be great for early adopters, because it’s all about backwards compatibility. These chips will support simultaneous connectivity across 4G and 5G networks, and allows for 2G/3G access as well. The first devices to use these modems will work flawlessly on existing networks, but are expected to shine when you’re in places that have 5G once that network is publicly available.
There’s no doubt 2019 is far away in smartphone years, and it’s likely most people won’t have 5G in their area until well into 2020, but it’s nice knowing Qualcomm is prioritizing existing network access. It’s looking more and more like the mistakes from the early days of 4G LTE are being left in the past, which will be great news in a couple of years.