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Qualcomm claims world first for 5G mmWave data connection

Showcasing what it believes will be features required in anticipated 5G mmWave roll-outs in China, mobile comms tech provider unveils mmWave capabilities for global expansion with support for 200MHz carrier bandwidth

Qualcomm Technologies says it has completed the world’s first 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) data connection with support for 200MHz carrier bandwidth, claiming the milestone was made possible by the software-upgradable architecture of its Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF system.

Launched in May 2021, the Snapdragon X65 5G line includes new mmWave capabilities for global expansion with support for wider 200MHz carrier bandwidth in the mmWave spectrum and enabling standalone mode services over mmWave.

5G mmWave uses spectrum resources in frequencies above 24GHz to complement sub-6GHz roll-outs and offer the full potential of 5G, allowing operators to add massive capacity to cellular networks with multi-gigabit wireless speeds and low-latency connectivity. These capabilities are likely to see use in applications, giving subscribers fast and responsive connectivity in areas such as fixed wireless, enterprise (such as offices and campuses), ultra HD video, security, precise remote guidance, telemedicine, smart factories and smart ports.

One of the key issues for 5G in 2021 was when and where mmWave systems can be cost-effective and in June 2021, a consortium of mobile communications companies, one of which was Qualcomm, announced collective support for 5G mmWave technology globally.

Qualcomm’s new benchmark was achieved using a smartphone form-factor test device powered by the flagship Snapdragon X65, and by using Keysight Technologies’ 5G Network Emulation Solution, which employs the company’s UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform to flexibly support a wide range of spectrum band requirements.

According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, there are more than 100 commercial and pre-commercial 5G mmWave devices, ranging from phones and PCs to mobile hotspots, modules and consumer premises equipment, and virtually all of these devices are powered by the Snapdragon 5G modem-RF systems.

The software-upgradable architecture of Snapdragon X65 allows for enhancements and expandability across 5G segments to enable new forthcoming features, capabilities, and rapid roll-out of the new 3GPP Release 16. The enhancements are especially key as 5G expands globally, including the anticipated roll-out of ultra-fast 5G mmWave in China and other regions, and extends into other verticals such as compute, industrial internet of things (IIoT) and fixed wireless access.

Snapdragon X65 is Qualcomm’s fourth-generation 5G mmWave Modem-RF system for phones, mobile broadband, compute, XR, IIoT, 5G private networks and fixed wireless access. Commercial mobile devices based on these Modem-RF systems are expected to launch by late 2021.

“This milestone supports and enables acceleration of 5G mmWave adoption, in anticipation of 5G mmWave roll-outs in China, while enhancing coverage, power efficiency and performance for users, through the advanced features and capabilities of the Snapdragon X65,” said Alberto Cicalini, senior director, product management at Qualcomm Europe. “These developments underscore Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in driving 5G mmWave commercialisation and advancing 5G as we move through the next decade.”

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