Qualcomm has announced a multifaceted partnership with several major Chinese companies to work together on 5G technologies for the China market.
Dubbed ‘the 5G Pioneer Initiative’, the collaboration was announced at yesterday’s 2018 Qualcomm China Tech Day in Beijing. The partners involved include some of the biggest names in the mobile tech sector: Lenovo, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, and ZTE, as well as Wingtech Technology Co.
In a statement announcing the collaboration, Qualcomm explained that “Chinese mobile users are showing unprecedented interest in 5G,” citing recent survey data in which 60 percent of respondents expressed interest in purchasing 5G smartphones. The company asserted that it will work with its partners to launch 5G New Radio (‘NR’, the 5G equivalent of ‘LTE’) devices as early as next year.
The partnership comes after last autumn’s announcement of MoU agreements between Qualcomm, OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, with the latter trio agreeing to buy 12 billion dollars’ worth of Qualcomm tech over a three-year period. And it arrives amid escalating activities in laying the groundwork for 5G connectivity, with the 3GPP having established the first major 5G NR standard at the end of last year, and Samsung and Verizon having recently announced plans to begin launching commercial 5G services in Silicon Valley later this year.