This morning, Qualcomm announced a new 5G NR mmWave antenna module, as well as a sub-6GHz RF module, with both being designed for smartphones. While the details are technical, the importance of this development can’t be understated. By putting these modules in a form that can be used by smartphones, Qualcomm has cracked the code for mainstream mobile 5G.
The modules allow smartphones, when paired with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, to utilize the mmWave and sub-6 bands that make up mobile 5G networks. For quite a while, it was thought that mobile mmWave modules would be impossible, as they require a vast number of engineering hurdles to be crossed. But with such modules in place, carriers and manufacturers can work together to create 5G MIMO networks with mobile devices that are able to utilize them.
Though mobile 5G isn’t available for everyday customers yet, we should begin seeing limited network rollouts in late 2018, with the first 5G-ready smartphones arriving in 2019. AT&T is even going so far as to start adding new cities to its initial lineup for deploying 5G.
What are your thoughts on the new tech? Are you excited about the possibilities or are you worried about 5G being cost-prohibitive?