Qualcomm Partners With 5 Chinese Smartphone Makers to Develop First Few 5G Smartphones

  • Qualcomm partners with Oppo, Lenovo, Xiaomi ZTE and Vivo to develop 5G smartphones
  • First, few of them to be ready by 2019.

It seems that 5G bandwagon is going to arrive earlier than expected, thanks to Qualcomm and Chinese smartphone manufacturers who seem all set to pioneer the upcoming technology. The American chip-maker has tied up with top Chinese smartphone makers like Lenovo, Xiaomi, ZTE, Oppo and Vivo to develop the first breed of 5G compatible smartphones, and collectively they’re planning to launch them by 2019.

Qualcomm Boss
Qualcomm CEO talking about 5G technology at CES 2018

Qualcomm had talked a lot about 5G technology at CES this year, and right there it had become clear that company wants to capitalize on this technology as soon as possible. Now under its 5G Pioneer’ initiative, it has announced ahead of MWC that it will provide a platform to smartphone makers to help them build 5G compatible smartphones easily. Since Qualcomm is in the business of modems and chips, this “platform” thing means providing 5G compatible chipsets to the smartphone manufacturers. Under the deal, these 5 smartphone makers will collectively acquire Qualcomm modems, processors and other technology worth at least $2 billion for their devices over the course of next 3 years.

Not much else is known about the tie-up right now, but we may hear a bit more about it on Mobile World Congress in the coming days. A number of other smartphone makers may also join Qualcomm in this initiative by then.

What is 5G?

The next standard of networking in mobile telephony, 5G promises speeds and coverage even better than the current 4G LTE networks. Due to its solid coverage and super awesome speeds, it’s considered a foundation for many other technologies as well, like self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and much more than that.

Bottom Line

On the other hand, LG G7 is also rumored to be the first smartphone supporting 5G. Now it will be interesting to see who wins the race – LG or any of these five guys. But one thing is clear – 5G smartphones are coming sooner than expected. So while it will take some time for this upcoming network to go mainstream, that time won’t be too much if devices supporting the network hit the market by 2019. If that happens, 5G may go mainstream within next 2 years.


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