The next-generation wireless technology, 5G, holds a lot of promise for the future with a $1.3 trillion new media and entertainment revenue forecast to be generated by 2028. It is also poised to become the quickest adoption of any cellular technology to date.
Not surprising, this is causing telecoms, semiconductor vendors, connect device makers and broadband suppliers to jump on board to quickly grab a share of the pie. In October, Verizon started offering what it claimed was the first commercial 5G broadband internet service to select customers in a handful of cities.
Now, Samsung Electronics America and Verizon are working together toward enabling 5G with an announcement that the companies will bring one of the first commercial 5G smartphones to market in the first half of 2019. The smartphone will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G New Radio (NR) modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.
The three companies — Samsung, Qualcomm and Verizon — have also successfully tested a 5G NR data connection using 400 MHz of bandwidth in the 28 GHz spectrum resulting in a throughput of more than 1.7 Gbps.
Mark Hung, vice president of market research firm Gartner Inc., told Electronics360 while 5G technology will theoretically allow for a 10 times increase in speed to smartphones, it won’t happen right away and the initial rollout will give a boost to users but nowhere near the maximum speed companies are talking about.
“LTE technology also promised a 10 times increase in speed but when it was first deployed it was not even close to this,” Hung said. “In fact, even today not many people get that kind of speed. You can get it in some areas but most people don’t. I expect to see a similar deployment with 5G as speeds ramp up over time.”
The test used Samsung’s commercial 5G NR and 4G LTE equipment to deliver 5G NR data transmission using Verizon’s 28 GHz spectrum. The companies said the demonstration highlights a rapid, stable and effective path toward commercial 5G service using a non-standalone mode of operation with dual-connectivity that uses both 5G and LTE technology.
The test follows another recent Verizon test that resulted in a successful data transmission on a 5G-upgradable smartphone, a commercial 5G network using Samsung’s 5G NR solutions and the Snapdragon x50 5G modem, and Qualcomm’s QTM052 mmWave antenna modules.
“Successful interoperation of multiple network technologies takes us another step closer to the commercialization of 5G mobility services,” said Woojune Kim, senior vice president and head of North American business at Samsung Electronics’ Networks Business.
Verizon 5G mobility service is expected to go live in early 2019 and consumers will be able to use Verizon’s ultra-wideband network for faster data speeds as well as open the door for new applications, games and features.