Qualcomm on Friday promised to bring the 5G mobile phone to the public with a high-end modem and said that its chips will also power the mid-price devices coming to market next year. Fifth-generation chipsets from Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of mobile phone chips, now run on Samsung Electronics’ five devices, including the 1,299 Galaxy S10 5G model and the new $ 2,000 Galaxy Fold.
At IFA 2019, the company announced plans to “accelerate 5G global commercialization by expanding its portfolio of 5G mobile platforms across the Snapdragon 8 Series, 7 Series and 6 Series in 2020.”
Samsung, the world’s top smartphone vendor, has also introduced a Qualcomm chip in its low-priced A90 5G model, which used Samsung chips in an earlier version.
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon predicted that such devices would achieve volume and scale.
“The transition to 5G is going to be faster than earlier changes,” Reuters told Reuters at the IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin. “Now we have to bring it to everyone.”
More than 20 network operators and an equal number of smartphone manufacturers – China from the United States to Europe – are launching 5G services and handsets. Ammon estimates that there were 2.2 billion mobile users who could upgrade.
Such stability contrasts with the challenges that come with Huawei, the No. 2 smartphone vendor behind Samsung, which also unveiled its 5G chipset with IFA.
Huawei’s consumer business chief Richard Yu described the Kirin 990 chipset at IFA as “the most powerful” and superior to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 series.
Due to US trade restrictions, Huawei’s 5G-Ready Mate 30 smartphone range, which launched on September 19, may be linked to the hobby as it will not be able to run the official version of Google’s Android operating system and app services.
Until now, Qualcomm had generally supplied its most expensive line, the Snapdragon 8 to 5G chips, which on Friday provided speeds of up to 7 gigabits per second with the more powerful X55 5G modem. More information on the next-generation Snapdragon 8 Series 5G mobile platform will come later this year, Qualcomm said.
It now plans to add 5G capabilities to low-cost Snapdragon 6 and 7 series devices, which can currently offer 5G phones more cheaply than most premium models.
Qualcomm’s 6 and 7 Series Snapdragon chips are found in Lenovo’s Motorola, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo devices that retail in the $ 300 range. It has announced that twelve brands, namely LG, Motorola, Nokia (HMD Global), Oppo, Realme, Redmi (Xiaomi), and Vivo, announced plans to use the new integrated Snapdragon 7 series in future 5G mobile devices. is. Qualcomm says that it began sampling the series for customers in the second quarter of 2019. The first devices can be expected to launch soon after the fourth quarter.
Analysts say the fast 5G network will prompt many consumers to upgrade their phones after years of market stagnation, although 5G devices are coming to some markets before the network is completed.
“Qualcomm has done an unprecedented job to drive the 5G ecosystem,” said industry analyst Paolo Pescatore. “It’s going faster than anyone could have ever thought.”
This puts a premium for Qualcomm to partner with carriers to bring new devices to market. This is typical for operators selling subsidized handsets in the United States, but less so in Europe.
In Germany, Deutsche Telekom switched to its 5G network in five cities this week, marketing the Snapdragon-powered Samsung Galaxy S10 5G to early adopters.
Qualcomm was ready to market the 5G modem chips to connect the phone to the network, but was facing intense competition. Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc. also announced a 5G smartphone chip this year.
Qualcomm is in a position to be compatible with the full range of frequencies deployed by regulators to run 5G.
These include the so-called ‘sub-6’, or spectrum below 6 GHz, which has been auctioned primarily by European governments in the early start of the 5G shift.
The United States has auctioned more millimeter wave frequencies with a shorter range but realizes the full range of use of 5G requires higher data-carrying capacity, such as autonomous driving.
Unlike rivals, Qualcomm is designing its chipset to handle frequencies “from A to Z”, Amon said, adding that flexibility was the key to switching between 4G networks and the new 5G networks.
MediaTek’s chips can only handle sub-6 bands while reducing the cost and complexity of chips and phone design.
But this means that phones cannot take full advantage of networks using millimeter wave technology such as American carriers such as Verizon Communications and AT&T.