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HONG KONG – Qualcomm on Tuesday unveiled a new 5G modem for smartphones and other devices that it said will support both multi-mode 4G/5G mobile broadband and fixed wireless applications.

Dubbed the Snapdragon X50, Qualcomm said the new modem will employ MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques and will support operation in 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. The modem will support peak download speeds of five gbps with 800 MHz bandwidth support.

In a panel session at Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit on Tuesday, Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies and President of QCT Cristiano Amon said the X50 has been designed to support mobility operation as well as fixed wireless use cases such as those discussed in Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum and other consumer and Internet of Things devices. In particular, Amon said Qualcomm designed the X50 with an eye for it to be used in flagship smartphones.

“It’s kind of early to make predictions, but I’ll say this – we want it to go in as many smartphones as possible,” Amon said. “The big volume opportunity is the smartphone.”

According to Qualcomm, the X50 will play a key role in supporting early 5G deployments and field trials as well as helping OEMs develop devices for those early 5G networks. The company said the X50 is just the first in a family of 5G products that will expand to support more capabilities as the 5G standards are completed.

Qualcomm said sampling of the X50 is expected to begin in the second half of 2017 with the first commercial products featuring the modem expected in the first half of 2018.

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