Intel And Qualcomm Will Offer 5G Modems For Computers
Consumers believe that 5G technology will initially be limited to just smartphones, which may not be the case. A lot of companies speculate that 5G support will be available almost immediately on desktops and laptops with M.2 sockets. At MWC 2019, companies like Intel and Qualcomm were found showing off their 5G modems that will render high speed internet connectivity to traditional computing devices including laptops and desktops.
Noteworthy, the 5G modules are not intended to be Plug and Play devices, instead, they are dependant on the external 5G antennae for network reception. This means that without a 5G supported machine, the modules are of absolutely no use. The modules will be used by Laptop and desktop manufacturers, which include companies like HP, Lenovo and Dell. All these brands have implemented LTE versions of similar connectivity modules in the past, so it is likely that the aforementioned companies will be the first to unveil laptops and desktops with 5G modules.
Qualcomm and Intel Modems: Bands And Availability
During MWC 2019, Qualcomm announced the X55 modem for 5G support across devices. The module is expected to be compatible with both mmWave 5G and Sub-6GHz 5G bands. mmWave 5G technology makes use of ultra high frequency radio signals, which are used to transfer data across devices. This is done within the 24 to the 90Ghz range, so a lot of bandwidth is wasted where it could be used to boost 5G speeds. Instead, the Sub-6GHz band operates between 1 and 6 GHz, which encompasses mostly all the data. It is less operational than mmWave in the long run, but it is certainly more functional.
The Intel 5G modules will be manufactured by Fibocom and will use the XMM8160 modem. Just like Qualcomm’s module, it will support both 5G bands. Reportedly both the Qualcomm and Intel modules are 30 wide. Therefore, they cannot be used with standard M.2 ports. Consequently, companies need to incorporate compatible sockets on their machines to accommodate previously mentioned modules. The 5G modules will be first seen in laptops and desktops in the year 2020.