Qualcomm has announced a major milestone for 5G, demonstrating how fast mmWave 5G is compared with slower varieties.
There are several flavors of 5G being rolled out. All three major carriers in the US have rolled out nationwide 5G networks, using low-band spectrum. Low-band provides the best range, coverage and building penetration, but is only marginally faster than 4G LTE. Mid-band spectrum provides a good mix of speed, range and coverage, and can deliver speed in excess of 1 Gbps.
The fastest flavor of 5G is mmWave. Unlike low and mid-band, mmWave uses spectrum in the 6 GHz and above range. It is also the fastest flavor of 5G, clocking in at several gigabits per second. Unfortunately, because mmWave uses high-band spectrum, its range and penetration are extremely limited. Nonetheless, its speed makes it ideal for a wide range of applications, such as secure private networks, and carriers are racing to roll out it.
Qualcomm has announced real-world tests showing mmWave 5G is up to 16 times faster than 5G in the sub-6 GHz frequencies, such as low and mid-band. The data was based on user-initiated Ookla Speedtests on commercial devices.
“Our end-to-end modem to antenna solution brings together all the key 5G breakthroughs to optimize 5G connectivity using the massive bandwidth of mmWave,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With almost every major OEM offering 5G commercial devices globally, we’re playing a critical role in enabling 5G to live up to its promise of speed and power. This not only redefines the smartphone experience, but also paves the road for endless possibilities, including the further expansion of 5G into fixed wireless access, 5G private networks, compute, XR, and Industrial IoT.”