Qualcomm unveiled its second generation 5G modem the Snapdragon X55. Qualcomm, the provider of the modem that will allow said phones to have 5G, isn't just lounging back, waiting to cash in on the hype, however. It supports the 5G mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency bands and will work on standalone 5G networks as well as those that use 4G backends, which will be the most common as the new technology is being introduced. This new 5G to 2G multimode 7nm modem can support up to 7 Gbps download speeds and 3 Gbps upload speeds over 5G. All four U.S. carriers plan to eventually convert some of their FDD 3G and 4G spectrum to 5G. Snapdragon X55 is created to accelerate global 5G rollout and bring 5G to a broad range of device categories and applications beyond smartphones, including hotspots, Wi-Fi routers, Always Connected PCs*, laptops, tablets, XR devices and connected cars.Combined with Qualcomm RF Front End solutions, the Snapdragon X55 is created to support high-power fixed wireless access (FWA) services and equipment.
The world's first 5G networks switch on this year, promising faster data speeds and lower latency to consumers.
All in all, I really do take this to mean that buying a Snapdragon X50 phone is probably not a very good idea - unless you know you live in a mmWave market for AT&T or Verizon this year.
There are two key differences between the X50 and the X55. First-generation 5G networks and devices are all based on the earlier Non-Standalone (NSA) specification.
"Qualcomm Technologies is spearheading the first wave of 5G launches with our first generation 5G mobile platform".
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Qualcomm hasn't confirmed this, but to me, it seems nearly certain that the X55 will feature inside 2019's next-gen Snapdragon 8XX processor. Overall, it's a faster, smaller, and more-compatible version of Qualcomm's 5G chip solution. Imagine modem power drainage of the iPhone 2020 with Intel's 5G in case they don't settle with Qualcomm and don't get the envelope tracking 5G patents.
Intel, on the other hand, is struggling to release its second-generation 5G modem.
Qualcomm, the world's largest mobile chip supplier, is hoping the device will fuel the spread of 5G phones later this year and next year. Qualcomm doesn't give exact sizes for each module, but it says it has spent time "reducing the height of the module to support 5G smartphone designs sleeker than 8 millimeters thick". The new Snapdragon X55 modem is expected to be available on devices towards late 2019. Qualcomm wouldn't tell us how much more power-efficient the X55 5G modem is compared to the X50, though. China Mobile wants to start with 5G Stand Alone, which sounds like an expensive move that will enable many advantages of the 5G.