I have already blogged about 5G and the likelihood of it starting to roll out in 2019, but 5G data speeds are not much use without phones capable of using it.
Thankfully Qualcomm made two announcements recently indicating how close we are to getting 5G. First of all they have announced a long list of companies that have committed to making 5G-ready mobile devices starting in 2019, using Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem. This list includes LG, Sony Mobile, HTC, ASUS, Xiaomi, ZTE, Nokia and Netgear.
Samsung already announced a partnership deal with Qualcomm last month.
You may have noticed that both Huawei and Apple are missing. Huawei is because they develop their own chipset under the brand HiSilicon. It is likely that Apple will use them but the relationship between the pair is on rocky ground at the moment due to various lawsuits.
Qualcomm also announced today, is that 18 mobile operators around the world will be testing 5G networks on the same X50 modem. US participants include AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, while significant players elsewhere like Vodafone, Telstra, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Docomo and China Mobile are also on board.
In reality, it is probably going to take longer than a year before the average person sees the benefit of 5G. Carriers are only testing the technology at the moment, and the rollout will likely focus on the major cities to start with