Are You Ready For 5G Networks?
Most of us have heard the hype about new 5G networks. The downside is that with new networks, new devices are needed to utilize the networks. More specifically, better hardware in phones, laptops and tablets. Qualcomm is an industry leader in mobile technology and as expected, they are at the front of the race in 5G hardware for your devices. The Qualcomm X55 5G hardware is already being implemented in Samsung's Galaxy S20 series, but they have no intentions of stopping there. The Qualcomm X60 modems are already in the works and is expected later in the year.
Qualcomm and 5G
Qualcomm is not new to the 5G tech industry, having been one of the first companies to manufacture a 5G modem, the Qualcomm X50. This modem was built specifically around 5G LTE networks for faster data connections. This was the worlds first 5G enabled modem for devices. When paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, this allowed you to simultaneously use 4G and 5G networks. This was important as 5G was growing and had limited accessibility. If you were to leave an area of 5G coverage, your device would continue operating on 4G without losing data connection. This modem would also allow data transmission at up to 5 gigabits per second.
The next advancement they made, with the Qualcomm X55, allowed a broader usage on independent 5G networks without the reliance on LTE. This is the version that has been implemented in Galaxy S20 lineup of devices that was recently announced. These devices will not be available until Friday, March 6th, assuming there are no setbacks, but the pre-orders for these devices begins tomorrow, February 21st. The X55 modem is also designed for a broader range of devices. Instead of focusing explicitly on cell phones and tablets, this device is designed to be integrated with cars, routers, PCs, and a multitude of other computer integrated devices. This version is tested for speeds of up to 7 gigabits per second.
The New Qualcomm X60 Device
This new modem, the X60, is expected to far exceed the reaches of any other 5G modems that are already on the market. The goal with this new hardware is not just to expand compatibility, but also to expand usability. This new modem allows a broader mix of frequency bands to be used in 5G, allowing for more consistent access. Qualcomm says that this will allow user to "achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage. Another of the primary points, specifically for manufacturers looking to use this technology, is the decrease in size. The nodule for the modem is smaller, shifting from 7nm with the X55 to 5nm for the X60, allowing for more working space and smaller designs in manufacturing. The antenna is also smaller than the previous models, yet reaches further with the upgrades to the antenna itself.
Another point in the new Qualcomm X60 modem is the power efficiency that it boasts. With innovative integrations into computer systems, this device powers up faster, while drawing less power than previous models. This is huge in terms of smart phones, where constant improvements tend to draw more juice, meaning even with newer and expanded batteries, the extra power is typically used by premium components within the device. The X60 modem and antenna are also being tested on a global scale to ensure maximum coverage for all users, as well as those that travel quite frequently.
What This Means For Consumers
This may have a huge impact on the consumers mobile experience, but don't get your hopes too high just yet. Qualcomm, being a global leader in the technology industry, supplies these hardware pieces to most of the large phone manufacturers including Android and iOS devices. These companies are likely to utilize the top-of-the-line components in their devices, but this will take some time to apply. For starters, this new technology from Qualcomm was just announced. This means that the manufacturers will still have to create a design that fits their phones. In addition, the other hardware and software pieces have to be integrated with the new modems and antennas to function properly. Not to mention that it may be months before the manufacturers even get the physical product, so many of the new designs could be simply speculation until then.
Regardless, technology is improving. Network speeds are getting faster and this has a direct impact on the consumers. Even if you don't want to shell out the money for a 5G enabled device right now, as they are quite expensive, you can wait a little while. When the X60 devices are released, they will likely be at a similar price point as the X55 devices are now. This means that the X55 device prices will go down, giving you access to a 5G enabled device for much cheaper. The great thing with technology is that it is always evolving. Even if you don't have the top-of-the-line gadgets, you can usually find one comparable to it for much cheaper.