Qualcomm announce 5G-capable smartphone chips for 2019

Looks like 5G is going to become a reality, even if the infrastructure isn’t quite ready yet

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5G connectivity is coming, even if the UK’s infrastructure still isn’t good enough to support 4G mobile broadband.

The news of its advancement comes from Qualcomm as they announced that its next-generation of mobile chips will come equipped with 5G-capable modems for flagship phones. This means that next year’s slew of flagships from OnePlus, Sony, Google, HTC and more will likely all support 5G mobile connections.

“We are very pleased to be working with OEMs, operators, infrastructure vendors, and standards bodies across the world, and are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019,” said Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon.

Qualcomm isn’t the only one working on 5G capabilities, but it’s the most notable player as their chips are found in practically every device under the sun. In fact, only non-US Samsung devices and Huawei phone tend to run non-Qualcomm chips. With Qualcomm pushing the technology through premium devices, it’s more likely to take hold and become a reality.

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However, the issue around the adoption of 5G isn’t something that’ll be driven by users. The UK has shocking 4G coverage as it currently stands and, despite plans for funding 5G trials across the UK, it’s likely we’re still going to be quite a way away from being able to say we’re a 5G nation.

It also doesn’t help that Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, is being pushed out of key 5G testbeds due to a Cold War-style fear of China. America already bans all Huawei products due to fears they’re working as spies for the Chinese government, and now it appears Australia has followed suit.

There are other 5G operators out there, but a company as big as Huawei could have accelerated the adoption of 5G exponentially. Combine that with Qualcomm’s drive to push 5G modems into its chips, the reality of 5G connectivity in your pocket could have come far sooner.

Still, it’s nice to know that by 2019 the possibility of ultra-fast mobile broadband will be a reality.

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