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OPPO to launch dual-band 5G phone in partnership with Qualcomm by 2019 end

As the Qualcomm 5G Summit in Barcelona comes to an end, interesting news has already started coming by. Qualcomm has announced its partnership with OPPO, confirming that a dual-mode 5G smartphone will be developed shortly. Henry Tang, OPPO’s Chief of 5G Operations explained that the company is thrilled to venture into the next phase of the 5G spectrum. Tang went on to confirm that the Qualcomm dual-mode 5G smartphone will be showcased before the end of 2019.

OPPO to launch dual-band 5G phone in partnership with Qualcomm by 2019 end
Dual-mode 5G refers to Standalone (SA) and Non-standalone (NSA) modes. While the SA configuration relies on the 5G spectrum for data transfer and signaling without a pre-existing LTE network. An NSA configuration relies extensively on the LTE band for all communications held between servers and consecutive cellphone towers. This enhances the 5G bandwidth while utilizing existing LTE networks, reducing the overall cost of operation.

According to Henry Tang’s statement, OPPO plans to offer superior network coverage on a global platform, making 5G readily available to a larger audience worldwide with the dual-band 5G configuration. There is no official confirmation from OPPO regarding the specifications of the upcoming smartphone apart from the dual-band 5G compliance. 

Rumors suggest that the device will be powered by the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 7250 SoC, which is slated to be the first mid-range dual-band 5G processor in its portfolio. Additional details are expected soon as the tentative deadline is December.

In related news, OPPO plans to introduce 5G variants of every flagship and mid-range smartphones in their lineup by 2020. According to Shen Jia, OPPO’s 5G expert, the Chinese tech giants will offer 5G capability to all devices priced above CNY 3,000 (~$421). The company has reportedly set aside a budget of CNY 10 billion (~$1.4 billion) for Research and Development purposes.

OPPO has accelerated their effort to launch their first 5G device by the end of 2019. The company was originally expected to showcase 5G-compliant smartphones within the first half of 2020. However, with competition heating up, seems like OPPO had to rethink their 5G strategy. Vivo currently has the lead, offering the iQOO Pro 5G and the Nex 3, while Xiaomi is selling the Mi 9 Pro 5G, which is the cheapest 5G device in China. OPPO is yet to launch its first 5G device in China.

With Qualcomm finally introducing their first chipset with an integrated 5G modem, OPPO was quick to announce their intentions of launching the first smartphone with the upcoming SoC. While MediaTek currently has a 5G chipset in their portfolio, OPPO is unlikely to ditch their tried-and-tested partnership with Qualcomm anytime soon. The Snapdragon 6, 7 and 8-series is expected to get a fresh lease of life with the addition of the 5G modem. This covers the requirements for both flagship and mid-range smartphones.

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