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Qualcomm Predicts Rapid Spread Of mmWave 5G

Durga Malladi, SVP and GM of Qualcomm (pictured), predicted the use of mmWave spectrum for 5G would quickly spread beyond initial deployments in North America to include launches in Asia and Europe.

US operators have led the charge on mmWave, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US all incorporating high-frequency bands into their 5G plans. Malladi said these early rollouts will be “closely watched” as operators elsewhere prepare for their own launches.

“In 2019 we anticipate that mmWave technology will start coming up in other parts of world,” he said pointing to South Korea and Japan as likely early adopters in Asia. “Even in Europe we see some regions where initial allocation of 5G spectrum is mmWave-centric, so we’ll start seeing launches over there as well.”

Heading into 2020, Malladi said mmWave will “become even more mainstream in other regions”.

The executive acknowledged there have hitherto been “lots of doubts” about whether mmWave and 5G technologies are “ready for prime time”, but added the industry conversation is shifting focus.

“We believe that we’ve kind of gone past those sorts of questions and the questions are now in terms of how fast can we get into the market, what’s traction going to look like and how’s the user experience going to change as they migrate from 4G to 5G devices.”

As operators look to encourage users to upgrade to 5G devices, Malladi said the main selling points will be significantly faster average (as opposed to peak) and edge data rates, and much lower latency.—Mobile World Live

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