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Qualcomm launched its annual 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong on October 17 gathering media and partners from around the world to share updates on 5G progress. At the summit, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, had successfully achieved a world first 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset delivered gigabit speeds and a data connection in the 28GHz mmWave radio frequency band, driving a new generation of cellular technology forward while accelerating the delivery of 5G New Radio (NR) enabled mobile devices to consumers.

In addition, Qualcomm previewed its first 5G smartphone reference design for the testing and optimization of 5G technology within the power and form-factor constraints of a smartphone.

“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on a 27GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Chrisiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies.

The 5G data connection demonstration took place in Qualcomm Technologies’ laboratories in San Diego. It achieved gigabit download speeds, using several 100 MHz 5G carriers, and demonstrated a data connection in 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum.

“This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumer around the world,” Amon added. 

5G NR mmWave is a new frontier for mobile, now made possible through the 5G NR standard, and is expected to usher in the next generation of user experiences and significantly increase network capacity.

In addition to the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset, Qualcomm’s demonstration utilized the SDR051 mmWave RF transceiver integrated circuit (IC). The demonstration utilized Keysight Technologies’ new 5G Protocol R&D Toolset and UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform.

Qualcomm Technologies was the first company to announce a 5G modem chipset in 2016. The ability to progress from a product announcement to functional silicon in twelve months speaks to Qualcomm Technologies’ generational cellular technology leadership – now extending to 5G.

Qualcomm Technologies has been pushing forward in accelerating the anticipated commercialization of 5G NR to 2019 through key contributions, including foundational research and inventions, standards-setting in 3GPP, designing sub-6 GHz and mmWave 5G NR prototype systems, interoperability and over-the-air trials with major global operators and infrastructure vendors, and developing integrated circuit products for mobile devices.

The Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family is expected to support commercial launches of 5G smartphones and networks in the first half of 2019.