Qualcomm goes 5G-NR crazy amid wealth of product launches

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Qualcomm is claiming it has made the first 5G New Radio call over sub-6GHz bands as part of a product announcement flurry spanning 5G small cells, antennas and chips.

The call is the latest to be held with Ericsson and follows September's collaboration on the 28GHz band. As in the past, Qualcomm provided its Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem and Ericsson its commercial 5G New Radio and baseband hardware.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, said: “Achieving interoperability on different spectrums shows the strength of the 5G ecosystem. Together with Qualcomm Technologies, we’ve successfully tested 5G NR on 39, 28 and now, 3.5 GHz band.

"These milestones add to the commercial readiness of 5G. They also assure operators of broader capacity options to cater for diverse use cases.”

Durga Malladi, SVP, Engineering and General Manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm, added: “Sub-6 GHz spectrum is instrumental to the global 5G NR rollout as it will provide wide area, high performance connectivity and has been allocated and auctioned in numerous regions around the world, including the US, Korea and Europe, with others to follow shortly.”

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is also working with Samsung to develop 5G small cells to offer connectivity in the sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

The vendors said the technology is likely to be used chiefly in the United States, Japan and Korea to scale 5G NR networks.

Qualcomm's FSM100xx 10nm 5G Solution, first announced earlier this year, will be incorporated into Samsung's 5G Small Cell solution, which will hit the market from 2020. 

Irvind Ghai, VP for Product Management at Qualcomm, said: “Small cells are the perfect vehicle for delivering on the potential of 5G user experiences. We are extremely pleased to enable an industry-leader like Samsung to develop 5G small cell solutions and deliver on the promise of increased performance, deployment flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.”

Qualcomm also announced its smallest 5G NR module for smartphones and other mobile devices. The modules, which will launch early next year, are a quarter smaller than its first mmWave products announced earlier in 2018.

The announcements made at Qualcomm's 4G/5G Summit, where it also launched new wearables solutions and its Snapdragon 675 chipset.

The 675 launches early next year and Qualcomm said it would help device manufacturers offer AI, better camera performance and gaming capabilities.

It also supports facial unlocking, speeds of up to 600MBps through three carriers, and quick charging functionality.