The popular chipset makers Qualcomm today announced their first 5G antennas for mobile devices – the QTM052 mmWave antenna modules as the “first fully-integrated 5G NR mmWave and sub-6 GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile devices”. The new antenna will make it possible for smartphones to transfer data at 5G speeds working with the X50 modem.
To achieve this, Qualcomm developed a technique called beam forming. 5G uses shorter wavelengths of millimeter wave, which is the radio spectrum between 24 and 300GHz. This will not travel as far as traditional cellular waves. Beam forming uses multiple different mmWave signals to concentrate the signal in a focused beam, getting a much better signal to your device.
Qualcomm can theoretically pass a huge amount of data through the beam as it is very concentrated. The theoretical maximum data rate is about 5Gbps, with typical network degradation and signal sharing, the average user should see an average of about 1.4Gbps during this first generation. Up to four modules can be used in a smartphone, and each of them is as small as a coin. An integrated 5G NR radio transceiver and other components, together with the X50 modem, help the antennas seek out mmWaves in supported bands.
Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and Xiaomi already said they’ll be working with Qualcomm, and most of them committed to launching devices that support 5G as early as the first half of 2019. But the tech would be functional only if carriers can broadcast 5G in time of the launch. The new speeds would help the spread of 4K and Virtual Reality on the go as well as helping new improvements in AI, Cryptocurrency, and the likes.