The 5G wireless revolution is just getting started here in the United States. Verizon recently launched fixed 5G wireless service in select markets, and mobile 5G wireless networks will be operational later this month. Now, Verizon and hardware partner Samsung have announced that they will roll out "one of the first" production 5G wireless smartphones during the first half of 2019.
Prior to that commercial launch, Verizon says that it will be showing off a proof of concept reference smartphone platform that will use Qualcomm's latest mobile SoC in conjunction with the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem. This demo will be on display at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit, which is being held this week in Maui, Hawaii.
Verizon and Qualcomm are promising much greater capacity and download speeds that will be "many times faster" than existing 4G LTE networks coupled with lower latency. While speaking with Qualcomm representatives over the summer, we were told that first-generation 5G wireless devices will be capable of peak download and upload speeds of 5Gbps and 500Mbps respectively.
“5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences and other people in ways never thought possible,” said Brian Higgins, Verizon VP for wireless device and product marketing. “Together, Samsung and Verizon have made huge gains in bringing 5G commercial services to consumers in several cities. Now, we’re partnering to create a smartphone to put the power of 5G in the palm of your hand.”
It's quite possible that the commercial 5G smartphone that Verizon and Qualcomm are cooperating on will be a variant of the upcoming Galaxy S10 flagship. According to previous reports, a special 10th anniversary Galaxy S10 with a 6.7-inch display, next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon (or Samsung Exynos 9820) SoC, up to 10GB of RAM, and six cameras (two selfie, four on the back) will launch with 5G connectivity.
For international versions of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 family, the company is expected to use its own Exynos 5100 5G modem instead of the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem.