Qualcomm: ‘Aggressive’ OEMs want to launch 5G phones this year

Qualcomm’s SVP of Engineering has revealed some of its more ‘aggressive’ OEM partners want to launch 5G smartphones by late this year.

The widely-accepted timeframe for 5G smartphone launches is 2019, but it seems at least some manufacturers are looking to get the jump on their competitors.

Some operators have gone on record and stated that they would like to commercialise in late 2018 itself

We already know ZTE is one such manufacturer based on comments made during this year’s Mobile World Congress. However, the company’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse recently after its U.S market ban caused it to suspend operations.

Other manufacturers are more secretive with their plans, but it’s likely the smaller OEMs that are looking to use 5G to leapfrog the incumbents like Samsung and Apple.

As for Qualcomm, the company is already building 5G NR equipment built using the official spec. In fact, back in February, the company unveiled its first 5G modem — the Snapdragon X50.

“Some operators, in fact, have gone on the record and stated that they would like to commercialise in late 2018 itself,” said Qualcomm SVP Durga Prasad Malladi. “We are doing everything that we can to help them.”

Qualcomm said back in January that it expects to show the first 5G smartphone on-stage during next year’s CES. That timeline appears to have shifted forward a few months as a result of pressure from its eager OEM and carrier partners.

Do you expect to see 5G smartphones in 2018? Let us know in the comments.

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