OnQ Blog

5G is rolling out globally — and faster than any G before it

And with over 75 5G design wins, Qualcomm Technologies is leading the way

5G excitement is reaching new heights. Over the last few months, operators and OEMs officially launched commercial 5G networks and devices, which means the global rollout of this new generation of wireless is fully underway — one year ahead of schedule.

From the U.S. and Europe to China, Australia and South Korea, many consumers are now beginning to experience the initial promises of 5G for themselves. Download speeds beyond gigabit-per-second and unprecedented responsiveness are now a reality, powering new and improved user experiences in the palms of our hands. 4K video streaming is poised to become virtually ubiquitous and seamless — just like we stream music today. Console-quality games will stream on mobile via the cloud, and our phones will have near-instant access to cloud processing, storage, and AI for heavy-duty apps such as video processing.

We applied over 30 years of mobile expertise to unlock 5G, and we couldn’t be more excited for this once-in-a-decade opportunity that will enable us all to innovate in new ways.

In the U.S., live network rollouts kicked off with Verizon, AT&T, and, Sprint, with T-Mobile soon to follow. The first 5G devices are here as well. The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is now available. The Motorola moto z3 smartphone and the Motorola 5G moto mod, one of the first commercial 5G-enabled devices, are now in the hands of consumers, as is the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. And at Computex 2019, we marked another major milestone with the unveiling of the world’s first announced 5G PC, Project Limitless, which is a result of our collaboration with Lenovo and uses our Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform.

Europe is seeing its fair share of groundbreaking 5G milestones too. Swisscom launched the first commercial 5G network in Europe, followed by Sunrise and EE. In terms of devices, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, OPPO Reno 5G, LG V50 ThinQ 5G, and Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G smartphones have all rolled out. Plus, the HTC 5G Hub is available with Telstra in Australia and Sprint in the U.S.

Over in Asia, China is beginning to experience the realization of 5G. We are proud to be working closely with our Chinese partners to accelerate the rollout and adoption of 5G in 2019. Most recently, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued the 5G business operation licenses to four companies — China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network Corp., giving the green light for 5G commercialization. In anticipation of this milestone, China Unicom announced a 5G rollout plan in collaboration with Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Additionally, Lenovo just launched the Z6 Pro 5G smartphone to much anticipation. And at MWC19 Shanghai this week, China Mobile strongly promoted collaboration across the 5G ecosystem, announcing 13 5G smartphones on its network, along with the planned launch of other 5G devices such as XR headsets and Always On, Always Connected PCs.

Based on this week’s news from China, the country plans to have 5G commercial services up and running in 50 cities this year. Much like what’s happening in the rest of the world, Chinese operators are taking advantage of 5G non-standalone (NSA) mode to accelerate commercialization across the country. All of this 5G progress in China is particularly exciting because it brings 5G to the largest mobile user base much sooner than anticipated. 

The entire wireless community and consumers worldwide have so much to be enthused about, but our team is especially thrilled to see all this come to life. We’re proud of the fact that virtually every 5G mobile device launched is powered by our Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, the world’s first commercial mobile platform to support multi-gigabit 5G. And inside this platform is our groundbreaking Snapdragon X50 5G Modem, along with our integrated RF transceiver and RF front-end solution.

These breakthrough technologies are leading to exciting growth in the Qualcomm Technologies pipeline. We now have over 75 5G design wins — more than double the number we announced in January. We attribute much of this success to our decades of mobile experience and early investment in 5G. We overcame technical hurdles to invent once-thought-impossible technologies needed for 5G, like the world's first modem-to-antenna system for commercial 5G. This is what allowed us to unlock mmWave and sub-6 GHz and help make 5G a reality.

We’re now onto our second generation of 5G technologies and working toward mainstream adoption: In February, we announced our Snapdragon X55 5G modem and 5G Qualcomm RF front end solutions, followed by the introduction of the industry’s first Snapdragon Mobile Platform with integrated 5G. These products position us to power the second wave of 5G devices, launching in late 2019 and early 2020. This includes areas beyond mobile devices, as 5G is quickly moving into fields such as fixed wireless access industrial IoT. We’re also innovating in areas like automotive, with our Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform.

As this new generation of wireless removes barriers to invention and ushers in a new age of rapid innovation, we’re excited to see all the ways 5G and our related technologies will enable customers, transform industries, and enrich lives. Thanks to our team and the collaboration within the entire mobile industry, 5G debuted ahead of schedule and with much anticipation. We’re on an amazing journey, and we look forward to the upcoming network rollouts, device releases, and other milestones that will deliver 5G around the globe. 5G is already delivering new and improved user experiences, and we’re looking forward to all the ones it will make possible in the future, like AR navigation, multi-player cloud gaming, and real-time video translation.

If you weren’t already excited for 5G, it’s time to get on board. 5G is here, and the possibilities are endless.

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

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