Apr 22, 2019
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
The commercialization of 5G devices and networks is quickly gaining momentum. At this stage, analysts expect the transition to 5G to be much faster than the move from 3G to 4G. The arrival of 5G, once considered impossible for a 2019 timeline, is now inevitable after Qualcomm Technologies worked with ecosystem leaders to accelerate 5G standardization by a year and commercialized the industry’s first 5G mobile platform – among many other milestones.
Today, China Unicom, the second largest mobile operator in China, revealed plans to deliver 5G experiences to consumers. The announcement was made at the China Unicom partner event taking place in Shanghai this week, with participation from the phone manufacturers providing 5G devices in support for this rollout. 5G smartphones from Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem with integrated RF transceiver and Qualcomm Technologies’ RF Front-End solution.
Fast rollout driven by a flexible standard and large opportunity
The arrival of 5G in China is big news as it is occurring earlier than many anticipated, bringing 5G to the world’s largest mobile user base within 2019. While 4G services were launched in China several years after the first commercial 4G network went live elsewhere, with 5G, it all begins in year one.
China Unicom is taking advantage of 5G non-standalone (NSA) mode of operation, which allows 5G New Radio (5G NR) deployments to leverage existing LTE core network and base stations, while adding new 5G base stations. 5G NSA mode was introduced into 3GPP Rel-15 specifications to accelerate the commercialization of the next-generation technology. It allows mobile operators to take advantage of increased network capacity – thanks to the wider bandwidths in new bands, along with all the advanced radio techniques built into 5G – while relying on an anchor 4G network. For users, this means earlier access to 5G services.
Qualcomm Technologies fuels global 5G proliferation
Today, over 20 operators worldwide and over 30 devices are expected to launch 5G starting this year using Qualcomm 5G solutions. We are excited as we see all the key elements in the ecosystem coming together to push a global 5G rollout, bringing 5G to scale and volume faster than anticipated.