Connectivity, Communications & Cloud News - Page 9
5G smartphones will be here later this year with Qualcomm paving the way to 5G dominance with its Snapdragon family of products to roll out throughout 2019 that will power the next wave of devices. But what about the 5G roll out in the US?
AT&T has now declared that it is the first US-based telco to hit 1Gbps speeds on a 5G network, something the carrier did in "multiple cities" on the Netgear Nighthawk 5G mobile hotspot. The 5G testing is happening by invitation in 12 cities across the US, with AT&T's SVP of wireless technology Igal Ebaz, telling PCMag in an exclusive interview: "It was just the evolution of the standards and the capabilities. The software had to evolve across all of the ecosystem".
This is obviously just a test but 5G speeds on Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8cx processor will reach a dizzying 7Gbps, which will deliver over 800MB/sec of speed to your smartphone or Windows-based device. Even if you're getting 1Gbps that is a huge increase over the speeds that 4G, something that AT&T will only boost when it flicks the switch that will combine LTE and 5G into a single connection.
We know that the world of 5G begins this year with an unlimited marketing train starting with 5G leader Qualcomm, but both Qualcomm and Intel were teasing 5G modules for M.2 slots at Mobile World Congress 2019, an interesting move for 5G adoption.
Fibocom was showing off its FG100 module at MWC 2019, a new M.2 module that packs the Intel XMM8160 5G modem that will make its way into new PCs and laptops. AnandTech also saw a "similar M.2 module" that used the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem, and was on display at the Qualcomm booth at MWC 2019. The new 5G modules are on the widest M.2 standard which is 30mm wide, and as AT notes is "8mm wider than the storage based drives we normally see in this form factor". The Fibocom FG100 has support for both NSA and SA networks, and 5G in mmWave bands and sub 6GHz, too.
We're looking at up 2.4Gbps of LTE download speeds using LTE, up to 4Gbps using sub-6GHz, and up to 6Gbps on mmWave. Upload speeds aren't too far off with up to 450Mbps on LTE, around 2.5Gbps on sub-6, and up to 3Gbps on mmWave.
If you weren't already confused about USB and its last moves with the USB 3.2 standard then buckle up, because things are about to get more confusing. The USB Promoter Group, which is the standards body of the USB specification, has announced the new USB4 standard.
The new USB4 standard will be fully detailed in the coming months, but for now we know there will be a doubling in bandwidth from 20Gbps over USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 to a huge 40Gbps under USB4. USB4 will rid itself of the Type-A connector and move into the world of USB-C which will unify things on top of pumping a huge 40Gbps of bandwidth around.
The slightly confusing part is that USB4 is not just a new standard, but it is a new speed and connection standard.
It seems that the days of straightforward standard naming are behind us, with USB-IF determined to rename both the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 standards to USB 3.2. Back when USB-IF renamed USB 3.0 (5Gbps) and USB 3.1 (10Gbps) to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2, many people were confused as to why they would rename a standard that was so easy to understand.
It seemed like a marketing move to intentionally confuse consumers, and it seems like they are going to do it again. USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) will be renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) will be renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 2, and the actual new 20Gbps standard will be renamed to USB 3.2 Gen2 x2, which will be two lanes of USB 3.1, USB 3.1 Gen 2, or USB 3.2 Gen 2 depending on the time of the year.
We also learned from a USB-IF partner company rep on Reddit, that there will also be a USB 3.2 Gen 1 x2, which is two 5Gbps lanes, for a total of 10Gbps. While USB-IF has said that the marketing names for these ports will be SuperSpeed USB (5Gbps), SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, and SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps, we expect most device specifications and product markings to use the former naming scheme as most currently do.
Qualcomm has just unveiled its second-gen 5G modem with teh announcement of the Snapdragon X55, a beast of a chip that handles both 5G and 4G connectivity with support for both mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrums, like its X50 predecessor.
The new Snapdragon X55 ramps up theoretical peak speeds to 7Gbps (up from 5Gbps) download and up to 3Gbps upload. You won't hit those speeds walking around down, as you'll need to use the right phone, be in the right spot, and have perfect network conditions to be pulling down 7Gbps and uploading at a huge 3Gbps. Qualcomm has introduced 5G FDD support in the new Snapdragon X55, which is an important building block for Europe and other countries where it will free up low-frequency spectrum (600MHz to 900MHz) for that all-important 5G.
Qualcomm hosted its annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui, Hawaii last year where it talked about using the Snapdragon X50 inside of the 5G-powered smartphones of 2019, but the new Snapdragon X55 will be what powers the 5G phones of tomorrow... as in 2020, and beyond. Qualcomm says it won't have Snapdragon X55 available until "late 2019", the company just announced it ahead of time to blow our minds open even more.
It looks like I'll need to move to South Korea for some blistering fast internet access, with SK Broadband announcing its new 2.5Gbps high-speed internet service recently, teasing future 5Gbps and 10Gbps connectivity.
SK Broadband is owned by South Korea's largest wireless carrier, SK Telecom, which use their Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) to hit 2.5/5/10Gbps. GPON technology uses something called a "point-to-multipoint architecture" that sees a single optical fiber line with multiple unpowered fiber splitters.
The carrier says that it developed GPON technology as an alternative to ethernet cables, with a single SK GPON reaching 52.5Gbps, which is absolute insanity. SK Broadband is expecting to be able to provide 5Gbps and 10Gbps internet services in 2H 2018, all powered with their GPON technology.
Qualcomm threw down the 5G gauntlet last year, but with their massive 3Gbps speeds teased in 5G simulation tests during MWC 2018 the company is taking it to the next level. Intel is now teasing its own huge 5G push where the company will be powering a "broad-scale" 5G network at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Intel has announced it will be working with NTT Docomo to build a 5G network for the 2020 Olympic games in Japan, which is something Intel is expecting to be the biggest 5G deployment in the world, at the time of the Olympics.
Better yet, Intel is promising insane 8K 360-degree video streams over their 5G network for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. We should see 4K and 8K cameras and even drones capturing 4K video by then, with these cameras 5G-enabled. Intel says that it will also be powering 5G integration in vehicles, with teh company already seeing 1Gbps while watching 4K video and on-the-move at 30kmph (18.6mph).
Qualcomm will enter an entire new level of dominance once they get 5G into the world, but just how fast will those speeds be? We know to expect over 1Gbps, but up to 5Gbps? We're talking over 500MB/sec downloads over a cellular connection and not Wi-Fi, but that is the future.
Qualcomm decided to run 5G simulated tests during Mobile World Congress, where they modeled two real-world conditions in Frankfurt, and San Francisco. The locations are based on existing cell sites and spectrum allocations in two popular, and very dense cities.
The simulation took into consideration things like geography, varying user demands on the network, a bunch of different devices with varying levels of LTE and 5G connectivity for different speeds across devices in order to simulate what to expect from a 5G device.
Last year Intel had announced their new XMM 8000 series of 5G modems, and now they have partnered up with vendors to make mobile PCs with 5G a reality in 2019.
Intel is working with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft to make this reality sooner rather than later. In fact, if you attend Mobile World Congress (MWC), you will be able to see a new detachable 2-in-1 PC with an early 5G modem and an i5 8th Generation processor.
Intel will demo 5G by showing live streaming of a video over the 5G network. With the increase in throughput that 5G offers, the technology will change the way we experience data. Intel wants us to imagine untethered VR, downloading a 250MB file in seconds in a parking lot, and even multi-player gaming in your autonomous car.
Qualcomm has been leading the 5G game for what feels like years now, and now we have news that Sprint has promised to launch mobile 5G services nationwide in the first half of 2019.
Sprint boss Marcelo Claure explained during their recent quarterly earnings conference call with investors: "We're working with Qualcomm and network and device manufacturers in order to launch the first truly mobile [5G] network in the United States by the first half of 2019. This development will put Sprint at the forefront of technology innovation on par with other leading carriers around the world... We believe our next-gen network will truly differentiate Sprint over the next couple of years".
US telco competitor T-Mobile has promised nationwide 5G support in 2019, finishing it in 2020, with Sprint now in the lead for the next generation of mobile connectivity.