SMARTPHONES coming in 2019 are getting a huge 5G upgrade that will let them download 4K movies in about eight seconds.
The brand new Snapdragon X55 chip offers “ultra fast” download speeds – and promises to revolutionise online gaming, virtual reality, and even live sports streaming.
Qualcomm A new 5G modem will give 2019 phones a huge speed boost
It’s a new version of last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem, and is built with an “efficient 7nm design”.
It’s meant to live inside smartphones, connecting to the new 5G phone networks coming to the UK in 2019.
And the headline feature is that it can download at 7Gbps (gigabits per second), and upload at 3Gbps.
For context, Netflix says that an hour of 4K video takes up about 56gigabits of space.
Getty – Contributor 5G is expected to change the way we play games, work, and consume media
How fast is this 5G chip?
So at 7Gbps per second, you could download that hour of footage in just eight seconds.
For comparison, a recent Ofcom report revealed that the average download speed on 4G networks in the UK is 15.1Mbit/s (megabits per second).
There are 1,000 megabits in a gigabit, and 7,000 megabits in 7 gigabits.
So the 5G connection is roughly 463 times faster than average UK 4G speeds.
It should mean that downloading huge files will take no time at all.
And it should also put a stop to buffering – where your video keeps pausing because the internet is too slow.
Of course, 5G speeds won’t be that fast immediately. It’ll depend on the speeds your phone network can actually deliver to you, which may be less impressive initially.
What will 5G do?
But that’s not all. Qualcomm’s Ben Timmons said 5G will enable brand new technologies to emerge.
This includes “high-quality VR video in 8K at 60 grams per second with six degrees of freedom”.
“We’re talking about a VR experience, the ability to see in your VR a room-scale experience of a sports event.
“But also using six degrees of freedom in the VR viewer to be able to walk around at that event, and look at the event taking place from different angles.
“You would really struggle to deliver this over a 4G network.”
AP:Associated Press The modem is designed by US chip titan Qualcomm, which supplies to Apple, Samsung, Sony and more
Ben also told us that online gaming will see significant improvements too.
That’s because 5G offers better “latency”, which is the physical delay in transmitting data – a key factor in multiplayer games performance.
“Latency is starting to be reported on by providers in multiplayer games,” Ben explained.
“I looked at the message boards for Fifa 18, and there were lots of people complaining about latency.
“It’s of real interest and concern to multiplayer gamers.
“Because of the low latency in 5G, we can support a much better experience on a multiplayer game than with 4G.”
He added that 5G would also enable “real-time translation, super-demanding AI applications, face-mapping and manipulation technology”.
Vodafone is ‘ready’ for 5G phone speeds – and proves it with HOLOGRAM phone call to England footie captain Steph Houghton
When can you get 5G?
EE has already confirmed that 5G will start rolling out to 16 cities across the UK in 2019.
And rival mobile networks have also begun trials around the country.
But to get 5G, you need a smartphone with a 5G-ready chip like the Snapdragon X50 or Snapdragon X55.
We’re expecting the first round of X50 smartphones later this month at the MWC 2019 tech show in Barcelona.
And Qualcomm says that the X55 will begin appearing “by the end of this calendar year, late 2019”.
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Are you excited for the 5G future? Let us know in the comments!
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