5G is still a few years away for most of us, but networks and tech companies are laying the groundwork for it right now. One year ago, Qualcomm announced it was developing its first 5G-capable mobile modem, the X50. If you're not familiar with mobile SoCs, the modem is the component of a phone that connects to a cellular network. Qualcomm promised speeds of up to 5Gbps, with an expected ship date of 2018.

Wow, the music in that video is terrible.

Today the company announced that it had completed its first successful test of the X50 modem. According to Qualcomm's report, the modem achieved "gigabit download speeds" using several 100MHz 5G carriers in the company's San Diego laboratory. The company also announced a reference design phone with the X50, designed to help phone makers start working on future 5G-compatible phones.

Qualcomm says the X50 modem will be ready for the first wave of 5G-compatible phones, expected in the first half of 2019. You can start saving up for the Galaxy S10 now.

Press Release

Today, Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., successfully achieved a 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem chipset delivered gigabit speeds and a data connection in the 28GHz mmWave radio frequency band, driving a new generation of cellular technology forward while accelerating the delivery of 5G NR enabled mobile devices to consumers. Additionally, Qualcomm Technologies previewed its first 5G smartphone reference design for the testing and optimization of 5G technology within the power and form-factor constraints of a smartphone.

“Achieving the world’s first announced 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset on 28GHz mmWave spectrum is truly a testament to Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in 5G and extensive expertise in mobile connectivity,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT. "This major milestone and our 5G smartphone reference design showcase how Qualcomm Technologies is driving 5G NR in mobile devices to enhance mobile broadband experiences for consumers around the world.”

The 5G data connection demonstration took place in Qualcomm Technologies’ laboratories in San Diego. It achieved gigabit download speeds, using several 100 MHz 5G carriers, and demonstrated a data connection in 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. 5G NR mmWave is a new frontier for mobile, now made possible through the 5G NR standard, and is expected to usher in the next generation of user experiences and significantly increase network capacity. In addition to the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chipset, the demonstration also utilized the SDR051 mmWave RF transceiver integrated circuit (IC). The demonstration utilized Keysight Technologies’ new 5G Protocol R&D Toolset and UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform.

Qualcomm Technologies was the first company to announce a 5G modem chipset last year. The ability to progress from a product announcement to functional silicon in twelve months speaks to Qualcomm Technologies’ generational cellular technology leadership – now extending to 5G. Qualcomm Technologies has been instrumental in accelerating the anticipated commercialization of 5G NR to 2019 through many key contributions, including foundational research and inventions, standards-setting in 3GPP, designing sub-6 GHz and mmWave 5G NR prototype systems, interoperability and over-the-air trials with major global operators and infrastructure vendors, and developing integrated circuit products for mobile devices.

[Video] First 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem

[Assets] First 5G data connection with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem

The Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family is expected to support commercial launches of 5G smartphones and networks in the first half of 2019.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm's technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s websiteOnQ blogTwitter and Facebook pages.