Qualcomm to work with over 30 companies on faster 5G variant, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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By Stephen Nellis

Qualcomm Inc said Monday that it plans to work with more than 30 carriers and telecommunications equipment suppliers who have committed to using the faster variant of 5G network technology.

Fifth generation networks use a combination of technologies. The low frequency version, called “sub-6” by industry insiders, travels well over long distances but is only slightly faster than previous networks. The faster version of 5G uses higher frequencies and is called a “millimeter wave” by Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of wireless data chips for smartphones, although different carriers mark it with their own trade names, such as Verizon’s “5G Ultra Wideband”.

Millimeter wave technology is especially useful in dense areas where many people are trying to connect to mobile networks at the same time, such as sports arenas where many fans are trying to stream videos to their social networks. Qualcomm has helped develop the standards that make millimeter wave devices compatible around the world, and phone makers such as Apple Inc have harnessed Qualcomm’s chips to gain access to the technology.

But the handsets can only take advantage of what the operators offer. Qualcomm said Monday that more than 30 carriers and gear manufacturers are now committed to using the fastest technology in one form or another.

Among them are the Chinese China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd and Fibocom Wireless Inc, as well as the German Deutsche Telekom and the Australian Telstra Corp.

Qualcomm’s chips have a lead over competitors such as MediaTek Inc in millimeter wave technology, which could increase sales if the technology is more widely adopted.

“In fact, we haven’t seen a lot of millimeter waves outside of the United States and Japan, and a few limited deployments in Europe and Korea so far, but it’s developing pretty quickly,” Durga Malladi, Qualcomm’s senior vice president and general manager of 5G technologies, said at a press briefing.


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