While regulators and operators in some areas – many in Europe, for instance – see the centimeter and millimeter wave bands as a second phase, adding targeted dense capacity after a more conventional sub-6 GHz network has been built out, the US carriers are impatient to start using the underpopulated high frequency bands.

The San Diego chip giant will need to establish its customary IPR position, and design leadership, in order to bolster its pressurized mobile broadband business case into the 5G age.

The experimental Snapdragon X50 delivers peak performance of 5Gbps on the downlink, and multiple gigabit uplinks for mobile and fixed wireless networks , said the vendor.

It is designed to work alongside an LTE network, which not only places the technology firmly in the hands of existing mobile operators, but also means carriers do not have to attempt the impossible – achieving significant coverage with a high frequency spectrum.

Operators pile on pressure for faster progress

More details will follow, and the chip will sample next year and be in production before June 2018.

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