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Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018: 5G is here! [video]

Qualcomm kicks off the next decade of wireless with its latest premium tier flagship, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, and vivid 5G experiences.

Today marks the start of our third-annual Snapdragon Tech Summit. The event is an opportunity for us to gather technology press and analysts from all over the world and showcase our breakthrough technologies and new premium-tier platform — inventions that will empower the mobile ecosystem for years to come.

Day one belonged to 5G, and rightly so. This is, after all, the next generation of mobile wireless — the one that will help drive economic growth, transform a broad set of industries, and change our lives as we know them — arriving just months from now.

Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon began his keynote by talking about the importance of 5G, its benefits, how it will enhance user experiences, and make a global impact. He described how Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to make 5G a commercial reality starting in early 2019, helping phone manufacturers address the exponential increase in device complexity that comes with 5G.

Amon then welcomed Governor of Hawaii David Ige to the stage. The governor spoke about 5G’s importance to businesses as well as the millions of people who visit the Aloha State and use their smartphones to explore its picturesque islands. “5G promises to impact many industries, growing the economic benefit beyond the smartphone," Governor Ige said. 

Ushering in a new era of multi-gigabit connectivity

Amon spoke about how 5G enables new experiences and how the next decade of wireless connectivity is poised to move mobile technology beyond the smartphone and into new industries such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, agriculture, cities, and retail. 

The 5G network is designed to provide significant increases in capacity (100X), responsiveness (10X), density (100X), peak speeds (multi-gigabits per second), and reliability. With such drastic improvements in performance, we’re bound to not only see improvements in current user experiences but also see new use cases for wireless services, including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), and mobile extended reality (XR).

The people and technologies behind 5G

For over three decades, Qualcomm inventions have transformed how the world connects, computes, and communicates. 5G gains much from this legacy of innovation.

Thousands of people at Qualcomm have been deeply involved with 5G for years, from ideation to commercialization. Qualcomm employees from almost every division — Engineering, R&D, Standards, Hardware — contributed to developing the technologies that make 5G possible.

Qualcomm’s journey toward 5G dates back to the 1990s with foundational research in mmWave, MIMO, and advanced RF technologies. The 2000s saw our first 5G inventions and, over the last couple of years, we’ve got a lot done with 5G NR prototypes, trials, modem, mmWave modules, and smartphone test devices.

Now the company is uniquely positioned to help make 5G a commercial reality with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and our mmWave modules. Our work in mmWave has played a significant role in assisting the mobile industry to tap into higher spectrum bands in order to increase network speed and capacity — and therefore significantly reduce data transmission costs. Our key innovations that make mmWave suitable for mobile include advancements in features such as beamforming, beam steering, and beam tracking, as well as the ability to integrate all the necessary antennas and circuitry into minuscule modules that fit into a smartphone. All of this results in 5G smartphones that can deliver blazing multi-gigabit speeds to users around the world.

Going international – starting in early 2019

5G will be rolled out, starting in the first half of 2019. We’ll see 5G device launches and network rollouts across the U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and China, with deployments in sub-6 GHz and mmWave. By 2020-21, 5G is expected to be deployed in India and Latin America.

New experiences, thanks to 5G

5G could impact a broad set of user experiences, from the way we watch content to how we socialize, game, and shop. Even the way we communicate will be enhanced. No one knows this better than the mobile ecosystem leaders from Samsung, Verizon, AT&T, and EE, whom Amon welcomed onto the stage to share the ways 5G will encourage new opportunities for innovation around the world. 

The new premium-tier platform

Perhaps one of the most exciting moments of the day came when Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM of Mobile for Qualcomm Technologies, teased the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform. Snapdragon 855 is the world’s first commercial 5G mobile platform, designed for premium-tier flagship devices. He briefly mentioned some of its features: sub-6 GHz and mmWave support, our 4th-generation on-device AI engine, true 4K HDR video capture, cinema-grade photography capabilities, and our 3D Sonic Sensor — all in a 7-nanometer chip. He went on to say, “The Snapdragon 855 will define the premium tier in 2019.” Of course, for more details, you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to our livestream, or head back here to read more about the platform.

Thanks to our committed team and breakthrough technologies — and the innovation from our worldwide ecosystem — 5G is here. “Qualcomm has worked relentlessly to drive the development and commercialization of 5G, inventing the leading breakthrough technologies that will fuel this area,” Amon said as he wrapped up his keynote. 

He continued, “This time next year, we’ll be talking about the amazing services, devices, and experiences powered by 5G.”

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

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