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Intel’s new 5G modem will arrive earlier than expected in 2019

by Yvonne Ng

Intel announced yesterday that its XMM 8160 5G modem will launch earlier by at least six months of its expected date, which means it will be seen in the second half of 2019. 

The modem is made to provide 5G connectivity to phones, PCs and broadband gateways in addition to supporting peak speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, which is three to six times faster than the latest LTE modems today. It will be supporting standalone and non-standalone (5G networks that are supported by 4G infrastructures) modes, and also 4G, 3G and 2G legacy radios in one chipset. 

According to Intel, manufacturers will be able to produce smaller devices that are more power-efficient with the new modem which supports simultaneous connectivity for LTE and 5G to ensure that areas without 5G network coverage will still be able to connect to 4G or LTE networks. 

It was also announced that Intel will integrate advanced technology into the modem “to support new millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum as well as sub 6 GHz 5G NR support (including FDD and TDD bands from 600 MHz to 6 GHz) and download speeds up to 6 Gbps”, which means users will be getting faster upload and download speeds than the current 4G networks that ranges from around 700MHz to 2.6 GHz. To put it in layman’s terms, the 5G modem will be able to provide faster data speeds, almost zero-delay to phone calls and instant 4K VR livestreams.

Although the modem will be available in 2019, the devices that will use the modem will be expected to arrive in 2020, so those who have been hoping for 5G iPhones will have to wait till 2020 just as announced by Apple.

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