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Oppo to launch its first dual-mode 5G smartphone by end 2019

During Qualcomm 5G Summit at Barcelona, Oppo has revealed their plans to unveil the world’s first dual-mode 5G smartphone powered by Qualcomm before the year is out. It will utilise Qualcomm’s dual-mode 5G mobile platform that will support both standard alone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) networks.

Oppo’s Chief 5G Scientist, Henry Tang has shared that 5G smartphones are on the verge of mass adoption thanks to unrelenting efforts from Oppo and other industry peers. He said that users in selected countries are becoming early adopters of Oppo 5G smartphones and they hope their next-generation dual-mode 5G offering will deliver a superior experience to more consumers in more markets globally.

There’s no mention of the modem but it is likely that Oppo’s next 5G smartphone is using the Snapdragon X55 5G. Unlike the Snapdragon X50 that’s currently used on the Reno 5G, the X55 is Qualcomm’s 2nd generation 5G solution that not only supports 5G non-standalone but also 5G standalone mode as well.

The Snapdragon X55 is rated to push peak 5G download speeds up to 7Gbps and up to 3Gbps for upload. The modem also offers 24 spatial streams with 4×4 MIMO and 1024-QAM, which is rated to provide peak speeds of 2.5Gbps on LTE.

NSA and SA, what’s the difference?

Most early 5G networks are pushing non-standalone (NSA) deployments. These are essentially 5G networks that rely on existing 4G infrastructure as an anchor and it would allow operators to speed up 5G rollout. 5G standalone (SA), like the name suggests, are standalone 5G networks that are deployed on a 5G core without LTE.

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While most networks will start with NSA implementation, eventually, operators will migrate to SA over time. Having a device that supports both 5G SA and NSA modes would be an advantage when it comes to future-proofing.

When Huawei launched its Huawei Mate 20 X and Mate X early this year, both are already capable of supporting 5G SA and NSA with its Balong 5000 modem. The latest Kirin 990 5G that was unveiled at IFA 2019 is Huawei’s first flagship chipset to feature an integrated 5G modem that also supports both SA and NSA architectures.

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Alexander Wong