MWC 2016: Qualcomm In 5G Trials With Operators Ahead Of 2020 Launch

Qualcomm says commercial 5G rollout won’t happen before 2020 but it’s on track for trials later this year

Chipmaker Qualcomm does not expect commercial rollouts of 5G technology until at least 2020, the company’s senior director said today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Laurent Fournier, Qualcomm’s senior director for business development said Qualcomm has already started trials with key network operators, which include Verizon, to roll out 5G technology.

“This year, we have progress. We are sustaining our efforts and when we get ideas we push them to the end,” he said. “It works, it works fine.

Read More: What are 5G networks?

Qualcomm 5G

5G - Shutterstock © glossyplasticQualcomm is chasing 5G with its own equipment like modems and chips as the technology will produce massive revenues in not only telecommunications but the Internet of Things space.

The company is working towards hitting speeds of up to 10Gbps, which would enable massive amounts of data download and communications between the millions of connected devices that will come online after 2020.

It was mid 2015 when Qualcomm started delivering advanced prototypes of its 5G network equipment, and this year at Mobile World Congress the company is showcasing its 5G mmWave technology.

Qualcomm is also using MWC to demonstrate how it is already breaking the 1Gbps barrier with the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem – a modem that the company sees as a prime example of what the future of LTE and 5G connectivity.

From enabling the first Gigabit Class LTE with our Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to providing a glimpse into how Qualcomm is approaching 5G connectivity, these demonstrations show several of our latest technologies we’re bringing to the industry,” said a Qualcomm spokesperson.

Later this year Qualcomm hopes to be participating in “impactful” 5G trials with major operators before trial launches in 2017.

The remarks come in contrast to those of Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri who said this morning at MWC 5G-ready equipment could be sold as early as 2017.

“5G will happen faster than expected,” Suri said. “2020 is probably where we see global volume deployments,” he said, but continued: “We will see a lot of action ahead of 2020 – in 2017, 2018, 2019.”

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