Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit: 5G to come to phones in 2019, most high-end phones to get it by 2020


Qualcomm has talked about 5G, which is scheduled to follow 4G aka LTE and provide never-seen-before download and upload speed on mobile phones. This about 1gbps speed using SIM card on a phone. But now the company is talking out the rollout of 5G. At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Hawaii, company’s executive vice president Cristiano Amon said that the rollout of 5G should start in 2019, with smartphones that would support it appearing in the market by second half of 2019.

“The mass adoption of 5G should start by 2019,” said Amon. He added that Qualcomm was already working on finalising the standards for 5G and it already had a reference smartphone design that uses 5G.

Qualcomm is not the only company working on 5G technologies. Other firms, including Huawei and Ericsson, are also involved in the development of next-generation 5G network. However, given the fact that majority of smartphones use smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor’s and Qualcomm’s radio chips, it is arguably the most important company in the 5G ecosystem.

As far as 5G is concerned, it is supposed to bring out a new era for the connectivity, an era that Qualcomm’s Amon believes will enable unlimited high-speed data for everyone. “5G will be like electricity,” Amon said, indicating that data connectivity would no longer be something that people will have to think about. It will be ubiquitous and the bandwidth will be abundant. Amon said that “once people don’t have think about whether data connectivity is available or not” they will be able to create and build things that are currently not possible because of lack of connectivity or high cost of bandwidth.

Also Read: Qualcomm, Microsoft announce Always Connected PCs that support 4G LTE, offer battery life of 20 hours

Apart from enabling very fast download and upload speeds through wireless networks, 5G will also help telecom companies deal with congestion. It will theoretically be able to provide 10mbps or higher speed to thousands of users at the same time in, for example, a big room.

“We were able to redefine the computing in mobiles with our Snapdragon SoCs. But I don’t think it stops here. For the next 30 years the mission of the company is to connect everything around us, and that is a major promise of the 5G,” said Amon.

Given the way Qualcomm has started talking about 5G, it seems that consumers will be able to buy or use a 5G device soon. But in India that may not be the case. In India, it’s only now that 4G has become widely available. This happened only last year when Jio entered the market in September.

Amon said that the 5G networks will be built on top of 1 gigabit LTE (4G) networks. For now, the 1 gigabit networks are rare and only available in handful of countries. In India, such networks are yet to appear, although due to heightened competition between Airtel, Jio and Vodafone it is possible one of these telecom operators may start thinking about the super-fast LTE soon.

Also Read: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 announced, expected to power Xiaomi Mi 7, OnePlus 6 in 2018

Disclaimer: The reporter’s travel and stay for this event in Maui, Hawaii have been arranged by Qualcomm.