Who will manufacture the first smartphone with a 5G modem? Motorola has already prepared the appropriate module for Moto Z3. LG, on the other hand, announced the 5G smartphone, which will appear in the stores of one of the American operators in the first half of 2019. The smartphone manufacturers from China also work on 5G. The first successful tests have already been awarded Oppo, which the Snapdragon X50 modem has placed in the revamped version of the Oppo R15 smartphone.
Mobile operators from particular countries have announced some time ago that they will start testing commercial 5G networks this year. This means that they will check how the equipment works in practice (ie base stations, core network components and client devices) compliant with the 3GPP standard describing 5G NR NSA (Non-Standalone) networks. However, they will be carried out using routers and modems in the form of USB dongles. However, the first 5G smartphones will not appear until next year. Most of them will have Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modems, which will soon go into production. However, smartphones manufacturers cooperating with Qualcomm have already received the first samples. Oppo managed to integrate them with the revised version of the Oppo R15. The results of the first tests are promising. The smartphone can connect to a 5G network and displays information on the type of network on the screen. However, this is just the beginning of the work. Oppo still needs to work on the speed of data transmission.
5G in Oppo R15 is still slower than LTE
The Chinese have made a screenshot of the screen showing one of the stages of the test. We can see some details on the configuration of the base station emulator and the baud rate measured with the iperf application. The prototype Oppo smartphone worked in dual-connectivity mode, i.e. it was connected to two base stations: LTE and 5G. The 4G network was configured for an 800 MHz band with a 10 MHz block. The 5G transmitter worked in the 3.5 GHz band with a 20 MHz block. This means that the smartphone had at its disposal 30 MHz bandwidth, which allowed for data transfer at the speed of 70 Mbps. This is a very poor result. What is the problem? It is quite possible that Oppo has not yet mastered all the possibilities of the Snapdragon X50 modem. The test could have been carried out in the mode in which the smartphone transmitted data only using a 5G base station, and LTE was used for signaling channels. In addition, Oppo engineers could, for now, connect only one antenna to the Qualcomm modem, which would account for 70 Mbps at the 20 MHz block and 64 QAM modulation.
At the end, the message of Oppo should be emphasized. The smartphones on the market can connect to 5G networks. They only need the right equipment.