Eighteen carriers and 18 device makers have already backed it.
The promise that we’ll see the first 5G phones by 2019 has now become even more of a sure thing.
Eighteen global carriers will start 5G speed trials in 2018, using a new Qualcomm modem that’s built to handle huge amounts of data at almost instantaneous speeds — at least theoretically. The list includes Verizon, AT&T and Sprint in the US; Orange, BT and Vodafone in the UK and Telstra in Australia. (Full list below.)
What’s more, 19 global device makers have also thrown their weight behind Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem, including LG, HTC, Oppo (which owns OnePlus), Vivo, Xiaomi and the startup behind Nokia-branded phones. This partnership expands on a previous pact with Chinese phone makers in January. Scroll to the end for the full roster.
The commitment by so many carriers and handset makers underscores the reality that 5G — after years of hype — is finally upon us. The technology, which promises faster and more responsive wireless networks, is expected to radically transform our world and power other burgeoning tech like self-driving cars and the vast universe of connected devices that make up the Internet of Things.
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Members of the 3GPP (the group who overseas cellular standards and specifications) has just approved their first 5G spec! The specifications will be posted next week, but this is the official standard that future 5G networks will be built off of.
Up until this time, operators running 5G trials have only had a loose outline of what the network would look like. Now, manufacturers can start pumping out hardware that will officially run as 5G devices.
Read more at FierceWireless
Verizon CFO Matthew Ellis said that Verizon 5G is working better than expected in test markets, which has led Verizon to deploy 5G fixed wireless in up to 5 US markets. “The distance that we see that you can get over gigabit speeds, north of 2,000 feet, is part of the economics of the business case.” With the technology working without the need for direct line of sight, the technology is working on up to 20 floor buildings, not just small offices with sight to the tower. 5G from Verizon is coming, and is shaping up to be a promising internet alternative for businesses.
T-Mobile has just doubled its LTE-Advanced capacity, reaching more than 900 markets across the US. In half of those new markets, 4 x 4 carrier aggregation has been activated as well. This means end users with Gigabit LTE phones are seeing around double the speed as before. One user submitted a photo of a phone running at over 670Mbps of download speeds.
Its important to realize that LTE-Advanced is NOT 5G though. LTE-Advanced still uses the same frequencies as LTE, but supports carrier aggregation of multiple bands. This LTE-A rollout is the next step to 5G for T-Mobile with 2019 to 2020 as a scheduled rollout date for 5G. Read more.
A post on Twitter a few days ago stirred up talk of the world’s first 5G phone. This unnamed phone looks to have a dual camera, amongst other sensors, and a Qualcomm logo. Given the involvement in 5G from Qualcomm this wouldn’t be surprising, but what is surprising is this leaking out early without any fanfare from the manufacturer. Here is the link to the original Tweet.
Verizon has been testing its 5G technologies for some time now, and they are now officially ramping up their 5G field trials. In a Verizon press release, they stated they are working to bring 5G to customers by the end of 2019. Its important to realize though that this does not mean 5G phones for consumers. This is for commercial deployments, likely fixed site to tower. This would deliver fiber alternatives to the enterprise as the initial 5G offering from Verizon. Read the official press release here.
According to Qualcomm, they are the first to achieve 1Gbps speeds on a 5G mobile device. Although 5G networks are not yet complete, and the standard is not finalized, chip makers around the world are developing hardware they think will fit the spec. At 1Gbps, a full 1 hour HD show can be downloaded in just seconds. Read the full article on BBC News.
With the launch of 5G networks coming ever closer, 2019-2020 expected launch window, more and more questions are being asked. One question on everyones mind is about data usage and the current capped data plans offered by carriers.
Dan Bieler, a Forrester analyst said, “Once 5G arrives on a nationwide basis, there is so much bandwidth available that we will have pretty much unlimited access to data.” Since 5G will offer at least 10 times the speed of current 4G, there shouldn’t be any issues with over crowding or lack of bandwidth available from a tower. Since there will be so much bandwidth available, it may be time do drop data caps and go to a truly unlimited network. Only time will tell, and we’re all aware of greedy carriers and the need to line their pockets, but technically nothing should prevent this from being an option.
Read more on cnet.
In an article by RF Globalnet, researches from Ohio State University have designed a new way for upcoming 5G antennas to function. Instead of a traditional antenna surrounded and connected to a lossy outer housing, these new antennas will ‘float’ within their housing.
“Think of it like a diaphragm supported by small posts, but it’s mostly floating. The idea is to physically isolate the antenna from the lossy substrate. Suspend it in air,” said an assistant professor at the university.
By keeping the antenna as isolated as possible from high loss enclosures, the antennas can be more effective, and with 5G technologies aiming for significantly higher bandwidth than 4G, this is a major advancement towards that goal.