Samsung announces first 3GPP-compliant 5G modem, the Exynos Modem 5100

Donna Miller
August 16, 2018

The modem is to be built using the company's power-efficient 10-nanometer (nm) process technology and it will also support legacy radio access technologies as well. On the latter side, Samsung today announced the Exynos Modem 5100, the industry's first 5G modem that is fully compatible with 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 15, which is the most up-to-date standard specification for 5G New Radio (5G-NR). It is an evolving standard, but without taking a deep dive into the underlying technology, the take away is that it will lead to faster wireless connectivity, and should speed up the deployment of 5G. The South Korean tech giant said that therefore commercial implementation requires a single chip that can connect reliably between networks. The Galaxy Note 9 has already launched with no provisions for 5G, so it's unclear what product this chip will find a home in.

That, if you've not been keeping up to date with your 5G standards, means the latest version of 5G-NR, or 5G New Release. The company claims that the modem delivers a maximum downlink speed of up to 2Gbps in 5G's sub-6GHz settings and 6Gbps in mmWave settings. On 4G networks, that speed comes down but is still at a very respectable 1.6Gbps.

Samsung says it's now working with a number of carriers and other partners to commercialize the modem.

Meanwhile, Verizon is embarking upon 5G with a 5G Moto Mod for the upcoming Moto Z3, though so far the company has only shed light on its residential 5G gear. The firm stressed that it has trust with global telcos and will assist in timely rollouts.

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"Sprint customers will be among the first in the world to experience the incredible speed, reliability and mobility of 5G on this innovative handset built for the country's first mobile 5G network when it launches in first half of next year", the United States mobile carrier said.

Samsung says it is focusing on developing innovations for a foldable smartphone that will be genuinely accepted and liked by consumers.

As LTE networks become increasingly saturated, mobile network operators are planning for the 5G future.

Furthermore, even if the Exynos Modem 5100 does see the light of day before January, we're still in very early days for mobile 5G.

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