5G is here. Almost. Sort-of. That’s the message from Qualcomm, which kicked off its annual Snapdragon Summit with an unsurprising focus on how next-generation
5G is here. Almost. Sort-of. That’s the message from Qualcomm, which kicked off its annual Snapdragon Summit with an unsurprising focus on how next-generation networks will shape the wireless world as we know it – as well as its own fortunes in the decade ahead.
“A new technology phase has begun,” Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Incorporated, insisted during the opening keynote. “Virtually everything is becoming connected and intelligent.”
It’s not a new message, certainly, but it’s one which is finally ringing true given the fact that networks themselves are catching up. All of the key operators in the US have announced they’ll be operating 5G networks in some form in 2019. Key smartphone brands like Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and others have committed to launching devices with 5G support, some as soon as the first half of next year.
Even for the Snapdragon Summit itself, there’s an early taste of 5G. AT&T and Verizon have built out test 5G networks to demonstrate exactly the sort of bandwidth users will be able to expect. Qualcomm, meanwhile, has a new 5G Reference Design, a full Android smartphone that while it may look like the sort of handset you see in carrier stores currently, but which includes 5G support and is working on those test networks.

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