Right now, most 5G-ready smartphones are quite expensive and out of budget for a lot of customers. A couple of handset manufacturers have already promised more affordable 5G devices in the future. However, one important piece of the puzzle we often forget is the chipset, as currently, only Qualcomm’s flagship chipset supports 5G. Well, that’s about to change as the chipmaker has announced that it is sampling chipsets for smartphones supporting the next generation of cellular connectivity and at a price tag that won’t break the bank.
During the ongoing IFA 2019 trade show, the company announced that the upcoming Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 700 series will also support 5G. While the Snapdragon 700 range usually powers upper mid-range handsets, the Snapdragon 600 ones underpin low-cost phones. 5G compatibility will ensure that devices that retail for as low as $299 will also offer support for the next generation of wireless connectivity.
You can expect to see these affordable 5G devices by the second half of 2020. 12 handset vendors have already committed to using the Snapdragon 700 Series 5G Mobile Platform, including LG, Motorola, HMD Global, Realme, OPPO, Redmi, and Vivo. The Snapdragon 600 Series will get a 5G modem and RF solution, while the 700 series will have an integrated 5G modem.
By making more affordable 5G devices possible, Qualcomm wants the next generation of connectivity to be accessible to more than 2 billion consumers. The Series 8, Series 7, and Series 6 chips will all support millimeter wave as well as sub-6 frequencies. They will also support standalone and non-standalone 5G standards, multi-SIM technologies, and dynamic spectrum sharing.
The company has also announced 5G chip support for non-phone devices. During IFA, the company unveiled its QTM527 mmWave antenna module for fixed wireless solutions such as home and enterprise broadband services. Qualcomm also says that compared to 4G, 5G’s deployment is faster. This means that even if 5G networks have not gone live in your country, they will probably be there sooner than you expect. This is important for smartphone makers, as greater accessibility to 5G networks and devices can make boost sales.