Chinese citizens using a smartphone
Chinese citizens using a Qualcomm-powered smartphone. Courtesy Qualcomm

Qualcomm announced it is partnering with China’s Unicom and a group of smartphone makers on the first rollout of 5G wireless service in that country.

The San Diego-based wireless pioneer said Unicom, which operates China’s second largest cellular network, will support 5G on devices powered by the Snapdragon 855 mobile platform.

The companies are scheduled to demonstrate readiness for the rollout of 5G at a conference beginning Tuesday in Shanghai.

“For the past decades, our technology has been a foundation for the wireless evolution. It takes many years of R&D, specification, prototyping, testing, trials and product development to bring a new generation of mobile technology to China and the world,” said Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China.

“Like previous generations, 5G is the result of more than a decade of collaborative efforts by Qualcomm Technologies and our ecosystem partners, with the mission of preparing the mobile industry for 5G rollout starting this year,” he added. “We’re excited for Chinese consumers to experience 5G’s truly transformative wireless experience in 2019.”

The Qualcomm technology is being used by Chinese smartphone makers Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.

“Xiaomi has been working closely with Qualcomm Technologies and operators. With 5G’s imminent rollout, we are pleased to team up with ecosystem leaders to drive the rapid development of 5G in China,” said Bin Lin, co-founder and president, Xiaomi.

“This year we were among the first to announce a 5G smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform,” Lin said. “We are excited to be able to demonstrate revolutionary 5G applications on China Unicom’s live networks, moving 5G closer to Chinese consumers.”

5G stands for 5th generation wireless system and promises a tenfold increase in speed from the current 4G. For example, with 5G a full HD movie can be downloaded in a matter of seconds.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.