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After 4G LTE, the next big thing in mobile telecommunications standards is 5G or fifth generation. In fact, this revolution in the field of communications is inspiring a number of strategic alliances. Leading wireless chipset manufacturer Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Free Report) is leaving no stone unturned to make good use of this new opportunity.

Recently, Qualcomm’s subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., made an announcement regarding the launch of the world’s first 5G modem Snapdragon X50 and gigabit modem Snapdragon X16 LTE. The announcement was made at the company’s 4G/5G Summit held in Hong Kong.

These initiatives have placed Qualcomm as a pioneer in commercial 5G modem and have paved the way for the “LTE Advanced Pro” phase. One of the main purposes of 5G standardization is to allow multiple devices to connect and operate through the Internet of Things (IoT).

Snapdragon X50 5G

The Snapdragon X50 5G modem is the first and only 5G modem available at present. It initially supports the 28 GHz mmWave spectrum which offers high frequency coupled with short wave length of radio communication. This 28 GHz band of spectrum is designed to support both 5GTF (5G Technical Forum) from Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) and 5G-SIG (Special Interest Group) from the South Korean telecom company KT Corporation. This implies that Snapdragon X50 is likely to be used by both these companies when they deploy the 5G technology in 2018.

The modem is also expected to support original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and assist operators in their lab tests, field trials and early network deployments of 5G. It will use the Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, which facilitates robust and sustained mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments. It has 800 MHz bandwidth support and allows download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps).

This 5G modem is developed specifically for multi-mode 4G/5G mobile broadband and fixed wireless broadband devices. It can also be paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon integrated Gigabit LTE modem for operating with dual connections.

Updated mobile broadband services with 5G will modify the connection between mobile users and cloud services. It will further increase media consumption, improve media generation and enable easier access to correct data. The introduction of 5G is expected to reduce costs associated with multi-gigabit Internet services available to homes and businesses.

The Snapdragon X50 5G platform will include the modem, the SDR051 mmWave transceivers, and the supporting PMX50 power management chip. This 5G modem will be available to customers from the second half of 2017. However, the first commercial handsets with an inbuilt Snapdragon X50 5G modem are expected to hit the market in the first half of 2018.

Qualcomm’s Recent Developments

Recently, Qualcomm along with other mobile telecommunication companies – Ericsson (ERIC - Free Report) , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) , Nokia Corporation (NOK - Free Report) entered into an alliance with German car manufacturers – Audi, BMW and Daimler, announced their partnership to form the 5G Automotive Association. The main purpose behind this alliance is to dealwith society's connected mobility and road safety needs byupgrading the infrastructure required forconnected automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart cities, and intelligent transportation,with the help of LTE and 5G advancements.

Qualcomm currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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