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5g

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Qualcomm's insane new LTE modem is twice as fast as typical fiber - meet Snapdragon X24

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is the fastest, most advanced 4G chip on the planet. Or, at least, Qualcomm hopes it will be by the time it's in your next smartphone.

Based on a 7nm fabrication process (yes, seven nanometers), the X24 LTE modem is the world's first Category 20 LTE modem and supports an absolutely bonkers 2Gbps max download speed by aggregating up to seven carrier bands. It also uses advanced massive MIMO and Licensed Assisted Access tech to help achieve these figures. Aside from being the first commercial product announced to use a 7nm fab, the small process size should also make it Qualcomm's - and thus, quite likely the world's - most efficient LTE modem ever.

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Qualcomm announces 18 OEMs will build 5G devices in 2019 with its X50 modem

At the company's "5G Day" event in San Diego yesterday, Qualcomm announced that it had secured 18 OEM partners to build 5G devices using the company's new X50 5G modem in 2019. Notable among them are handset makers Nokia (HMD), Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, ASUS, and ZTE. Notably absent at the time of this writing is Samsung, though the two companies did just announce a long-term cross-licensing agreement, so you'd have to think they were on track to build a phone with this new modem, too.

Other companies in the list can be found in the press release below, though most of the others are in the component or supply chain side of the business.

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HTC U12 allegedly shown at 5G industry event with minimal obscuring, revealing on-screen buttons and 18:9 display

The HTC U11 is a good phone, but it's getting dated thanks to its 16:9 display ratio, large bezels, hardware navigation keys, and odd-looking fingerprint sensor. Luckily, HTC seems to be sorting all that with the U12, which was apparently displayed at a 5G industry event with just a bit of covering-up.

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Sprint plans to begin 5G rollout in first half of 2019 with higher unlimited plan prices

The 4G era has not been kind to Sprint. It went from a strong number three in the US wireless market to a distant fourth place behind T-Mobile. The company hopes that the move to 5G will help it regain market share and compete on network quality. CEO Marcelo Claure now says the carrier will begin its 5G rollout in the first half of 2019, putting it ahead of the other national carriers. However, that new network will likely come with higher plan prices.

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[Update: Ajit Pai responds] White House security document proposes a nationalized 5G wireless network

Billions of devices, from phones and tablets to self-driving cars and connected dishwashers, are thirstily awaiting the rise of 5G wireless connectivity, and the big wireless carriers are scrambling to bring these powerful new networks to market. According to documents obtained by Axios, however, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile might be nudged out of the race to 5G—not by an industry competitor, but by the U.S. government.

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The first real 5G wireless standard is official

Every carrier is clamoring to roll out a 5G network, or at least something they can reasonably market as 5G. After a long, long development period, the 3GPP wireless governance organization has released the first official 5G standard, known as 5G NR. Formalizing the 5G standard gives carriers and hardware makers the pieces they need to begin moving full speed ahead toward a 5G future. Maybe we can get this transition done without anyone re-branding their 4G service as 5G.

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Qualcomm successfully achieves 5G data speeds on its upcoming X50 modem

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.

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T-Mobile plans to start 600MHz rollout this summer

We learned a few months ago that T-Mobile spent big in the FCC's recent 600MHz spectrum auction. The carrier dropped $7.99 billion on the spectrum licenses, which it has now officially been granted. It's wasting no time putting them to use. T-Mobile says it will begin rolling 600MHz coverage out to select markets over the summer.

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The Sprint Magic Box will improve your coverage and increase download speeds

This is Sprint's Magic Box, the world's first all-wireless small cell, which promises to improve LTE data coverage and download speeds indoors. The plug-and-play unit is aimed at both small businesses and regular customers and offered at no extra cost, with availability subject to qualifying locations.

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T-Mobile announces it will use its new 600MHz spectrum to build a 5G network - at some point

Everyone's favorite performance-artist-CEO has put up another amazing video about his company's plans for 5G. We announced T-Mobile's recent purchase of whole swaths of the 600MHz spectrum, and today CEO John Legere announced in one of his regular videos exactly how it plans on using it. Some of it will be going to expand current 4G LTE capacity and penetration, but a portion is to be set aside for their future 5G implementation.

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