5G is coming, and OEMs are already preparing next-generation smartphone designs that will take advantage of the follow-up to 4G LTE technology. The latest is Oppo, which has completed its initial 5G testing with a modified version of the R15 smartphone.
The smartphone was fitted with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X50 5G modem, and testing was complaint with the 3GPP Release 15 NSA standard. Using this standard, the Oppo R15 with the Snapdragon X50 can access 10MHz bandwidth of LTE (Band 5) and 20Hz bandwidth 5G NR (n78 Band). With the data and knowledge that is has learned from these initial trials, Oppo says that it is on track to deliver its first 5G smartphones in 2019.
Oppo isn’t alone, however. LG says that it is partnering with Sprint to deliver one of the first 5G smartphones in the world during the first half of 2019. “Sprint is moving fast on the road to 5G and we are thrilled to announce the first 5G smartphone with the innovative team at LG,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO, earlier this month. “LG has done tremendous work developing technical designs that enable us to be among the first movers in mobile 5G.”
Not to be left out, Motorola’s recently announced Moto Z3 will be available with an optional 5G Moto Mod that will operate exclusively on Verizon’s 5G wireless network. It too will be available in early 2019 for an undisclosed price.
Both LG and Motorola’s 5G products will make use of the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. According to Motorola and Qualcomm engineers that we spoke with in Chicago in early August, the target downlink speeds (on Verizon’s 5G network) for the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod will be around 5Gbps. Uplink speeds will be much lower at 500Mbps, but that’s still far greater than what we’re enjoying now with peak 4G LTE speeds.
We’d imagine that future Oppo smartphones will be able to achieve similar speeds as wireless operators around the world bring their 5G networks online in the coming years.