Intel will launch 5G modem next year

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has revealed it is bringing forward the launch of its 5G modem.

The hardware giant has announced the XMM 8160 5G multimode modem, which will be ready six months earlier than initially thought, as it faces increased competition to be the power behind the next-generation networks.

The modem will allow manufacturers of PCs, smartphones and tablets to get their devices ready for 5G ahead of the expected 2020 worldwide launch. Intel says it will support download speeds of up to 6GBps - enough to download a full HD movie in the blink of an eye.

The modem will also be backwards compatible with LTE and earlier generations of mobile connectivity such as 4G, 3G and 2G, meaning new devices won't need multiple chipsets taking up battery power and space.

Intel 5G modem

Intel says that the new release will also support millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum and frequencies between 600MHz and 6GHz to support carriers worldwide, with Intel already signed up to work with Nokia and Ericsson for their 5G deployment.

“Intel’s new XMM 8160 5G modem provides the ideal solution to support large volumes for scaling across multiple device categories to coincide with broad 5G deployments," said Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. "We are seeing great demand for the advanced feature set of the XMM 8160, such that we made a strategic decision to pull in the launch of this modem by half a year to deliver a leading 5G solution.”

Intel is now hoping the initial wave of devices with the XMM 8160 modem will appear in the first half of 2020, around the generally anticipated expectation, but sooner than some predictions. 

The news comes shortly after Qualcomm revealed it had started sending out 5G-ready modems to its smartphone manufacturer partners. The company's X50 modem will be included within its next Snapdragon chip, despite Qualcomm not expecting 5G-ready smartpones to be launched until next year.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.