Qualcomm announces the first solution for 5G internet access with a speed of 10GB, in the form of an extension card with M.2 interface, compatible with ordinary laptops.
Also available in a low-cost version based on the X62 modem, the new Qualcomm solution is a plug-and-play one, theoretically working with any laptop or desktop PC equipped with M.2 interface. In practice, however, the 5G communications infrastructure capable of supporting 5G speeds of 10Gbps does not yet exist.
The expansion card presented by Qualcomm supports both 5G networks in the sub-6GHz frequency range and those in the mm Wave spectrum. Apparently, the announced transfer speed is obtained through software, combining the available communication channels. Obviously, such a result would only be possible under ideal conditions, with perfect signal coverage in a 5G communications network that supports all communication bands used by the Qualcomm modem.
Theoretically, with the new 5G solution you could have a wireless internet connection for your PC, which would eclipse even the fastest broadband internet packages. In practice, the lack of 5G coverage at a satisfactory level and the limited volume of traffic included in the current 5G packages make it unlikely that 5G solutions for broadband internet access will be adopted in the near future. Another impediment could be the energy consumption, considerably higher than in the case of 4G LTE solutions.
The reference design is already available to companies, but it will take some time for this to translate into laptops and other products that offer 5G connectivity natively. Qualcomm hopes that the first solutions will be ready by the end of 2021.
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.