Intel set to bring 5G PCs to customers in 2019

The Verge

The Verge

Many tech companies have begun rolling out 5G pilots and concepts ahead of the expected arrival of faster, more advanced connectivity sometime in 2019.

Attendees at next week's Mobile World Congress will get a sneak peak at a 2-in-1 laptop powered by an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5 processor, connected by an early 5G modem.

Intel announced today that it is collaborating with Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft to bring 5G connectivity to Windows PCs with the Intel XMM 8000 series commercial 5G modems.

"This is not just PC clamshell [laptop] form factors", Intel's Rob Topol told reporters this week. For its part, Intel expects that PCs are ideal to cope with the firehoses of wireless data that 5G might uncork, and it offers visions of untethered VR anywhere in the world, the ability to grab hundreds of megabytes of files in seconds from parking lots, and multiplayer gaming while in a moving vehicle as just some of the situations a 5G-ready PC might need to cope with.

And the company will be showing this convertible off - and more to the point the power of 5G - by livestreaming a video to the machine over a 5G network.

In addition to 5G, Intel at MWC18 will showcase 802.11ax in the form of a thin PC that will be on display at its booth.

The modems will also support 2G, 3G, and LTE. The company plans to make this possible using the same Intel XMM 8000 series modem along with Speadtrum's application processor, according to ZDNet.

Intel's ambition to bring 5G to Windows PCs and smartphones using its own modem may have something to do with Qualcomm.

It will be interesting to see how the competition between Intel and Qualcomm will push forward the new Always Connected PC category.

Intel said it is investing deeply across its wireless portfolio and partners to bring 5G-connected mobile PCs to market, and plans to show off some of its 5G developments at the world's largest mobile telecommunications industry event, Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in Barcelona on 26 February.

Commercial 5G connections could reach as many as 1.1 billion people by 2025, according to a GSMA study released a year ago.

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