21:30 12 February 2018
The prospect of 5G phones making their way to the market by 2019 is a couple steps closer to reality. Eighteen global carriers, which include Orange, BT and Vodafone, are to start 5G speed trials within this year using a new Qualcomm modem that is built to handle huge amounts of data at almost instantaneous speeds.
18 global device makers, which include HTC, Oppo, LG and Vivo have also put their weight behind Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem.
However, Qualcomm is yet to get the support of the three world’s largest phone markers, namely Apple, Huawei and Samsung. The latter has just amended its partnership with Qualcomm, making support of this particular X50 modem likely, but still unverified.
As for Huawei, "[it's] is going down the path of vertical integration. They have their own mobile processors and cellular modems”, said Sherif Hanna, Qualcomm's director of 5G product marketing.
Meanwhile, the hostility between Apple and Qualcomm is palpable. Last month, Qualcomm was fined $1.23 billion for violating competition laws. The company is also facing similar ongoing litigation with Apple in US and was slapped hefty fines in South Korea and China for forcing a chipset monopoly.
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