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May 21, 2021

Qualcomm Unveils 5G Modem for IoT

(Iaremenko Sergii/Shutterstock)

Companies that need high-speed data connections to their far-flung Internet of Things (IoT) devices may be interested in the latest 5G modem unveiled today by Qualcomm.

The San Diego, California mobile chip giant today unveiled the 315 5G IoT Modem-RF System, which it bills as a comprehensive “modem-to-antenna” solution for 5G networks and IoT use cases in retail, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, mining, and public venues.

The new modem is “pin to pin” compatible with Qualcomm’s existing line of legacy LTE modules, and also can run in LTE mode, thereby making it easier for customers to upgrade their connectivity as mobile carriers bring 5G networks online, the company says.

“We are pleased to unveil our new 5G IoT solution which will help stimulate and scale the 5G IoT industry and enable the transitions needed for Industry 4.0,” Qualcomm Senior VP of Product Management Jeffery Torrance said in a press release. “This solution will help create long-lasting devices and promote growth and expansion in the 5G IoT industry, allowing seamless integration for customers utilizing previous generations of connectivity.”

Mobile carriers started rolling out 5G networks in 2019, and much of the United States today is covered by 5G networks, which can deliver network speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, which is significantly faster than the 4 to 12 megabits per second that current LTE and 4G networks can deliver. Latency, or the time lag between sending and receiving data, is also significantly reduced with 5G, which opens up the possibility for new entertainment and collaboration solutions, not to mention industrial use cases.

The German manufacturer Bosch is among the companies looking to take advantage of the new Qualcomm 315 modem for its “factory of the future.” Dr. Steffen Haack, an executive board member with the company, said the new modem “enables interesting new functions specifically for industrial IoT applications and helps us to open up new applications with 5G.”

Schneider Electric looks to be another early adopter of the modem. Benoit Jacquemin, an innovation director with the company, cited the modem’s capability to deliver “massive bandwidth, reliability, and performance across industries. This technology has the potential to become a catalyst of digitization,” he said.

Qualcomm expects to ship the new 5G modem in the second half of 2021.

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