5G is on the way. 5G is the new superfast, super high bandwidth and super low latency technology that is being rolled out across the globe. The race is on to be able to provide the service. In the UK Birmingham and the Black Country are listed as being the 1st area to be connected with the roll out starting in 2019 with up to 40% of the region being connected by 2021.
Just before we get too carried away, though, the Government aims to have most of the UK on board by 2027.
Why Would You Want It On Your Phone?
You can never have too much speed on your phone. It will give you more :-
- Data With superfast access to data in the cloud – you can effectively have infinite storage.
- Augmented Reality – the faster the data the better the augmented reality
- AI – Artificial intelligence – you can pass all of the demanding computing out to the cloud
- Virtual Reality - Virtual Reality is about creating immersive computer-simulated worlds – faster is simply better
And even better-
5G also promises to enable 3D video calls, where the caller’s perspective can change based on their position and angle. It could make the experience much closer to feeling like you’re in the same room as the person you’re talking to.
Holographic content is also coming with phones projecting images out of the screen. There are already a few phones with built-in projectors, so this could almost be seen as the next step after that. Holographic files are likely to be enormous in size, so to do them justice a 5G connection will be required.
So it’s just uber cool and we all should want it.
Who Is Doing What?
Qualcomm chips power a large proportion of the high end Android smart phones out there. They have created a 5G modem for phones to be used in handsets from 2019. The company is already working on its Snapdragon X50 Modem for 5G, with Nokia / HMD, Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, Asus, ZTE, Sharp, and Fujitsu.
Additionally, Qualcomm recently announced its QTM052 mmWave antennas specifically for phones, which could be a key part of getting ultra-fast 5G internet on our mobile devices.
Intel has struggled of late as it comes to making headway in the mobile market — most prominently, the company’s modems appear in some iPhone models (and possibly all of this year’s models) — but they’ve tended to perform worse than their Qualcomm counterparts. But 5G may offer a fresh chance to turn things around, with Intel already announcing its first 5G modem for phones, cars, drones, and other connected devices, along with a partnership with Microsoft, Dell, HP, and Lenovo to build 5G laptops.
Samsung hasn’t announced a 5G phone yet, but it’s got the next best thing: its new Exynos 5100 modem, which Samsung says is fully compatible with the 5G standard. Included is support for both the sub-6GHz and mmWave portions of the electromagnetic spectrums, as well as legacy networks like, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE — all in a single chip. Now all we need is a phone that’ll use it and that is possibly the Note phone for 2019.
Huawei makes its own processors and modems, and it’s throwing money at 5G as well. It revealed that its first 5G phone will land in the second half of 2019, making the Huawei Mate 30 or Huawei Mate 30 Pro a likely option.
Motorola is the closest to having actually announced a 5G phone — sort of. Technically, the Moto Z3 doesn’t support 5G yet, but Motorola is promising that it’ll get support for Verizon’s forthcoming 5G network sometime in early 2019 with a Moto Mod accessory.
LG has announced that it’ll be releasing a 5G phone sometime in the first half of 2019. Given that LG was listed as one of Qualcomm’s 5G partners using the chip maker’s Snapdragon X50 5G NR modems, it seems likely it’ll show up in LG’s phone.
Xiaomi is already starting to tease its upcoming Mi Mix 3 flagship, and product management director Donovan Sung has already confirmed that the bezel-less sliding phone will include 5G support whenever it does launch, despite the fact that there aren’t actually any 5G networks up and running yet. (It’s also not clear what chipset the Mi Mix 3 is using for its 5G support yet, although like LG, Xiaomi is one of the companies that has partnered with Qualcomm).
Notably missing in all of this is Apple. As one of the world’s preeminent smartphone companies, whatever side of the 5G line Apple ends up on will almost certainly have massive ramifications for the rest of the industry. But for now, the company has remained characteristically tight-lipped as to its 5G plans. But if past history is anything to go by, its likely the Cupertino company will sit the first rounds out, waiting for things like battery life and network support to improve before it enters the 5G fray, much like it did with the iPhone 5 and LTE support the last time around.
The Future’s Bright – It’s All 5G.
As cloud computing becomes key to 5G phones then the internal components will evolve to use it in more exciting ways. The phones are just going to become more powerful and do more. Bring it on!