gigabit/s hotspot device, 5G modem

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Qualcomm, the makers of the popular Snapdragon chipset used in most high end smartphones, just announced a first in the world of technology: a product, known as NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100 (a mobile hotpot in simple terms) that can deliver up 1Gb/s of Internet connectivity speed.

gigabit/s hotspot device, 5G modem
Wireless router

While we in Nigeria were just celebrating the the introduction of 4G LTE technology by some networks like Globacom and more recently Etisalat Nigeria, more serious countries are not waiting for us to catch up.

The product in question is a mobile hotshot that employs all sorts of technology to hit those high speeds of transmission. To put it in context, the United States of America has an average Internet download speed of about 20Mb/s.

The figure which was calculated about two months ago is the latest available speed.

I think Qualcomm are just being modest or perhaps being too careful not to call this a 5G device or the first 5G network.

gigabit/s hotspot device, 5G modem
Qualcomm Building

Qualcomm did not do this alone though. It was a with three other companies: the first is an American company, Netgear, that is largely known for its networking expertise. The second is the Swedish company Ericsson, who once upon a time, along with Nokia, were the world leaders in mobile phones production. Ericsson these days are focused on their core business of providing equipment and services to telecommunications companies.

The third partner in this venture is Telstra, Australia’s biggest telecoms company who also have interest in media and other entertainment products and services.

So it is this quartet that came together to form what is likely to be the world’s first 5G LTE device/network.

Announcing the development on their website, Qualcomm  said that:

The NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100 takes advantage of several LTE Advanced technologies, including 3x carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, and 256-QAM, which together are engineered to boost download speeds up to a peak of 979 Mbps. It also uses the Qualcomm 802.11ac solution with 2×2 MIMO and dual-band support for overall Wi-Fi throughput of up to 1Gbps. The dual-band support is designed to allow the router to serve devices on both 2.4- and 5-GHz bands simultaneously, so that more Wi-Fi devices can take advantage of the fastest speeds available.

Telstra is expected to make the NETGEAR MR1100 available to its leading customers in the next few months. The mobile router will operate on Telstra’s Gigabit-ready network, which is enabled by Ericsson.

The four companies have been working very closely over the past several months to make this possible. It’s a significant achievement and a milestone for the entire mobile industry. Gigabit Class speed was one of the foundational promises of 4G technology. Today, that promise is realized.”

Qualcomm is already looking beyond the launch of a revolutionary hotshot device for networks, they are already planning for the next generation of smartphones that would be able to take advantage of Gb/s speeds.

That is why they also announced that the next generation of the Snapdragon 800 series of chipsets would come with modems that support the 5G technology.

So expect high-end smartphones to be 5G compatible by the end of next year. It is very likely that some budget smartphones would also be able to use this modem on their chipset to give more consumers the 5G experience on their mobile devices in two years time.

According to them:

The Snapdragon X50 5G modem is a remarkable milestone in and of itself. But its capabilities are even more impressive. It’s engineered to support unprecedented download speeds of up to 5Gbps. It is designed to achieve these breathtaking speeds by utilizing very wide bandwidths available in the 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) band combined with advanced signal processing technologies.”

This is one of those times I wished this country was in step with the technological advances of the world. We are always adopting technologies the world had already moved on from.


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