Press Release

Global Mobile Operators Select Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G Modem for Mobile 5G NR Trials in 2018

— World’s First Announced Standard-Compliant Trials Based on a 5G Modem Chipset for Mobile Devices, Including Smartphone Form-Factors —

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced that its Qualcomm® Snapdragon X50 5G modem has been selected for use in live, over-the-air mobile 5G NR trials with multiple global wireless network operators in both the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. AT&T, British Telecom, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, TIM, Verizon and Vodafone Group will conduct the trials, which will be based on the 3GPP Release 15 5G NR standard. The mobile 5G NR trials will utilize Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G mobile test platform and smartphone reference design, which incorporate the Snapdragon X50 chipset and optimize 5G technology within the power and form factor constraints of a smartphone while maintaining interoperability and coexistence with 4G LTE. The planned trials underscore the readiness of Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile 5G NR solution in a smartphone form factor and aim to commercialize standard-compliant 5G NR products and services over the coming year.

Qualcomm Technologies continues to be a leader in the mobile industry with its 5G mobile chipset products and 5G ecosystem collaborations. To illustrate this, planned demonstrations at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will showcase the Snapdragon X50 5G modem achieving download speeds of several gigabits per second and highlight new use cases and enhanced user experiences that 5G technology will enable. In addition, Qualcomm Technologies will demonstrate 5G NR interoperability, based on the 5G NR standard, with multiple infrastructure vendors utilizing our cutting-edge prototype systems. This steady progress will culminate in live 5G NR trials with leading operators in 2018/early 2019, leading to commercial 5G NR network deployments and multimode smartphone launches anticipated in 2019.

“2018 will be a big year for Qualcomm Technologies and the mobile industry overall as we work to execute on the agreed upon 5G NR specification,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. “These trials demonstrate how we are working with global operators to fuel growth and innovation in the mobile industry and make 5G a reality by supporting a large number of expected commercial launches in 2019. With our proven success in 3G, 4G LTE and RF front-end leadership, Qualcomm Technologies is ideally positioned to deliver the multi-gigabit, multimode products required for the global rollout of 5G.”

Operator trials will start in 2018 and will utilize spectrum in the sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands, which is critical for achieving ubiquitous coverage and enhanced network capacity. Furthermore, in order to meet the first half of 2019 timeframe, the use of Snapdragon X50 5G modem during these mobile 5G NR trials is expected to prepare operators for the commercial network rollout of 5G, equip OEMs to deliver 5G smartphones and allow for testing and development across a wide range of use cases and deployment scenarios.

Global operators shared the following thoughts on the upcoming trials:


“Learnings from these standard-compliant trials will help drive forward our plans to start launching commercial mobile 5G services later this year," said Igal Elbaz, senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “We are happy to participate in trials like these resulting from the global push to accelerate 3GPP standards.”

British Telecom

Howard Watson, chief technology and information officer, BT Group said, “We’re delighted to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to trial and validate this first generation of 5G mobile as we move into an exciting new phase of technology development for 5G. This is a key step in the commercialization of 5G and a significant R&D milestone underpinned by Qualcomm Technologies’ continued investment in innovative technologies.”

China Telecom

“China Telecom has been working closely with global leading mobile device and chipset companies to further advance the development of a mature 5G industry. We have been actively managing our 5G market rollout, launching 5G pilot programs in six cities in 2017. China Telecom will cooperate with verticals and innovative enterprises to conduct research and trials of 5G technology and industry applications. We are delighted to continue our close collaboration with partners including Qualcomm Technologies, and contributing to the commercialization of 5G.”

China Mobile

“China Mobile will launch a mobile 5G large-scale trial in the second half of 2018 to achieve the end-to-end product capability for commercial network deployments, and to demonstrate a number of 5G cross-industry services in the year of 2019 to build comprehensive vertical business solutions. China Mobile is happy to adopt a chipset supporting Standalone (SA) and Non-standalone (NSA) 5G NR from Qualcomm Technologies in the mobile 5G large-scale trial. To fulfill the vision "4G Changes the Lifestyle, 5G Reshapes the Society", China Mobile is willing to collaborate with global partners including Qualcomm Technologies to provide high-performance 5G commercial systems supporting various services that continuously promote the development of the 5G industry and market.”

China Unicom

“China Unicom and Qualcomm Technologies share a long history in CDMA, 3G and 4G. In the upcoming mobile 5G NR trials, we look forward to working closely with Qualcomm Technologies to conduct trials based on the 3GPP Release 15 5G NR standard with the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem chipset, laying a solid foundation for China Unicom’s 5G commercialization.”

Deutsche Telekom

Arash Ashouriha, senior vice president technology innovation, Deutsche Telekom said, “Deutsche Telekom is a committed partner in industry collaboration activities that advance the development of a mature and robust 5G ecosystem. We look forward now to conducting 5G New Radio standard-compliant field trials with Qualcomm Technologies from 2018 that will pave the way to early 5G commercialization, and ensure that we bring the full benefits of 5G services to our customers.”


Yoshiaki Uchida, senior managing executive officer, technology sector, member of the board, KDDI Corporation said, "We are happy to work on mobile 5G NR trials in cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies using their Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family. We will continue our joint efforts with Qualcomm Technologies to explore the potential of 5G NR technologies through field trials."

KT Corporation

Mr. Seo, Chang-Seok, executive vice president and head of network strategy unit said, “Qualcomm Technologies and KT continue to work together in driving innovation and success stories in the mobile communications business. KT believes that cutting-edge 5G technologies achieved by Qualcomm Technologies will be an essential part of the 5G era. KT expects the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem chipset to be instrumental to the commercial launch of 5G NR networks and mobile devices.”

LG Uplus

Mr. Choi, Joosik, executive vice president and head of 5G strategy planning said, “We are delighted to partner with Qualcomm Technologies on 5G technology, as we have been in close collaboration on all cellular technologies including CDMA, EV-DO and most recently 4G LTE in Korea. Our goal with Qualcomm Technologies for the over-the-air mobile 5G NR trials is to prepare for the successful deployment and commercialization of 5G in 2019.”


Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura, executive vice president and chief technology officer, NTT DOCOMO said: “With the completion of the first release of the 5G NR specification, NTT DOCOMO is excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies on Mobile 5G NR trials in 2018 as these are crucial to making 5G NR a commercial reality and to creating 5G services with our vertical industry partners. As a world-leading operator, NTT DOCOMO remains at the forefront of delivering enhanced mobile broadband for consumers in Japan and we are committed to launching 5G services by 2020.”


“Orange is happy to cooperate with Qualcomm Technologies on our journey towards 5G and as it is essential that the operational roll-out is supported by a large and open ecosystem. As a sponsor of the NGMN Trial and Testing Initiative, Orange supports key industry collaboration towards 3GPP standard-compliant trials, and we are committed to deploying 5G as we believe that the multi-service connectivity it will provide in the future has vast potential to cover a large variety of use cases and applications,” says Arnaud Vamparys, senior vice president, radio networks, Orange.


Mr. Mark Chong, group chief technology officer, Singtel, said, “Singtel Group will trial 5G NR in 2018, which marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G. We will work with chipset manufacturers like Qualcomm Technologies to test 5G enhanced mobile broadband capability to deliver superior video streaming and other high bandwidth applications.”

SK Telecom, Co. Ltd.

"We are pleased to work closely with Qualcomm Technologies, which is leading the path to 5G with their Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family," said Park Jin-hyo, executive vice president and head of ICT R&D Center. "With our years of collaboration, we look forward to continuing our close relationship to realize successful 5G NR trials in 2018, 5G commercialization and expansion of 5G ecosystem in 2019."


“Sprint is excited to help usher in the next generation of wireless networks that will drive new levels of innovation and progress around the world,” said Dr. John Saw, chief technology officer, Sprint. “We're making great progress working with Qualcomm Technologies, device manufacturers, and our RAN suppliers to launch the first truly mobile 5G network in the United States by the first half of 2019.”


“We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm Technologies as part of building a global ecosystem that will accelerate the development of the next generation of mobile technologies,” said Channa Seneviratne, executive director network and infrastructure engineering, Telstra. “At Telstra, we believe 5G has the potential to not just deliver more capacity and faster mobile speeds, but unleash a host of new opportunities – everything from smart cities, to driverless cars, to augmented reality. We are investing in our network and a series of 5G trials in 2018 to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of 5G mobile technology.”


“2018 will be a turning point for 5G where we are moving from lab trials to field trials and we are excited to be working with Qualcomm Technologies as a trusted and independent partner and to leverage their 5G R&D investment to make 5G a commercial reality” said Giovanni Ferigo, chief technology officer, TIM. “These activities will give us the opportunity to test the real capabilities of 5G beyond the initial promises and this would not be possible without the support of key players such as Qualcomm Technologies and the availability of products like the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family. We are actively engaging vertical players in order to test a diversified scenario of use cases which will give us the opportunity to test in the field the technical features of 5G as well as starting to develop the 5G market."

Vodafone Group

“We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm Technologies using mobile devices powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family that align with global 5G NR standards, enabling validation of the performance of 5G Networks as we prepare for commercial readiness” said Luke Ibbetson, head of Vodafone Group R&D.


"From our position at the forefront of 5G deployment in the U.S., Verizon is driving the development of new technologies and customer experiences in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies," said Ed Chan, senior vice president and chief technology architect, corporate network and technology, Verizon. "Together, we're building the foundation of tomorrow's fixed and mobile 5G NR wireless networks for our loyal customers."

The first commercial launches of 5G smartphones and networks featuring Snapdragon X50 5G NR modems are expected to be available in 2019. For more information, visit


About Qualcomm

Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects and communicates. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our inventions are the foundation for life-changing products, experiences, and industries. As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, the QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

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