5G Commercial is about to Start, Qualcomm is still the Leader

Recently, the news about Huawei Honor 7C mobile phone is used Qualcomm’s processor has attracted widespread attention. This means that Huawei has adopted the "self-research + Qualcomm" market strategy, so as to catch the global Qualcomm 5G Express!

Qualcomm 5G Chipset around the World
Speaking of Qualcomm’s 5G R&D, it was started as early as 10 years ago. At October 2016, Qualcomm had released a global 5G modem and named it Snapdragon X50. Since then, Qualcomm has improved the X50 5G modem constantly. By March 2017, the Snapdragon X50 has achieved full-frequency coverage, and it can achieve multi-mode coverage of 2G/3G/4G/5G through a single chip, and it also meets the 3GPP 5G new air interface standard.

After optimized for many times, the Snapdragon X50 is now transformed from a huge prototype to a nail-sized functional chip. And it will initially support operation in the 28 GHz millimeter wave band. It can connect using up to 800 MHz of bandwidth via 8×100 MHz carrier aggregation. Using advanced multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) techniques such as adaptive beam forming and beam tracking, the Snapdragon X50 5G modem can extend the range of mm Wave transmissions to non-line-of-sight scenarios, and support mobility.
In addition, Qualcomm also demonstrated its reference design for the 5G smart phone based on the X50. Its significance is to test and optimize the 5G technology based on the power consumption and size requirements of the handset. This also means that the Snapdragon X50 has already possessed the feature of condition for smart phone terminals both in terms of size and function. 

5G Module as an Overall Solution
If the chip is only the basis of the 5G era, then the introduction of radio frequency front-end is a comprehensive deepening of the 5G era. Considering the increasing popularity of full-screen mobile phones, the 5G RF front-end not only needs powerful performance but also compact size. On February 9, 2018, Qualcomm announced that it will launch a 5G mobile phone based on the Snapdragon X50 in cooperation with 18 handset manufacturers around the world in 2019. This includes Asus, Fujitsu, HTC, LG, OPPO, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Millet and other manufacturers.

On February 26, 2018, Qualcomm released a 5G module solution at the MWC, which has a profound impact on Qualcomm itself and the entire smart phone industry. The purpose of the entire solution is let mobile phone manufacturers quickly deploy 5G in 2019. By integrating several simple modules such as processors, base modems, memory, PMICs, RF front-ends, and antennas, more than 1,000 components can be integrated. Mobile phone manufacturers can design by only combining a few simple modules. With ultra-high integration, it can reduce the area occupied by up to 30%.

Industry insiders generally believe that, Qualcomm is not only developing 5G chips for worldwide use, but also provides a complete solution that cannot be provided by competitors. This may be the reason why Huawei adopts the “self-research + Qualcomm” marketing strategy. It is estimated that 5G will be available for commercial use by 2019, and 5G mobile phones will also be launched in large quantities next year!

However, we hope that that there are still other 5G products come out besides the mobile phone, like mobile hotspot, CPE, and so forth. The latest and fastest mobile hotspot is Huawei E5788 which is adopted the Qualcomm MDM9250 chipset.

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July 2020