Intel last week announced that its first commercial 5G modem, the XMM 8060, is now under development and will ship in a couple of years. As part of the announcement, the company reiterated its plans to offer a top-to-bottom XMM 8000 family of 5G modems for various applications, including smartphones, PCs, buildings and vehicles. In addition, the company announced its XMM 7660 Cat-19 LTE modem that supports download speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps, which will be available in 2019.

At present, Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform is used to test 5G technologies in different locations around the world. For example, one of such devices installed aboard the Tallink Silja Europa cruise ship is used to enable Internet connectivity to passengers while in port in Tallinn, Estonia, (where another 5G MTP is installed) and the nearby area. Meanwhile, Intel’s 5G Modem for client applications is evolving as well. Intel said that devices powered by the silicon can now make calls over the 28 GHz band. The 5G MTP will be used for its purposes for a while and will even gain new capabilities over time, but the company is working on a family of commercial modems that will be used for mass applications sometimes in 2019 and onwards. The Intel XMM 8000-series multi-mode modems will operate in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave global spectrum bands, combining support for existing and next-gen radios. Intel does detail the whole lineup two years before the launch but indicates that it will be able to address smartphones, PCs, vehicles, and fixed wireless consumer premise equipment (CPE).

One of the first members of the Intel XMM 8000 family will be the XMM 8060 modem. This unit will support full 5G non-standalone and standalone NR, as well as 2G, 3G/CDMA, and 4G modes, thus enabling devices to work in different locations, including large cities with 5G standalone NR (this may be a distant future) as well as rural areas that have 2G or 3G networks. Intel expects commercial devices based on the XMM 8060 to ship in mid-2019, a little bit ahead of 5G networks deployment in 2020.

Since 5G is not going to become widespread for a number of years to come, there will be demand for Gigabit speeds over LTE from various parties in 2018 - 2020. Intel announced its first-gen Cat 16 Gigabit LTE modem — the XMM 7560 — earlier this year and at present the chip is being tested by smartphone makers. A good news is that it now can officially achieve Gigabit-class speeds (presumably in an actual device), so expect commercial products on its base sometimes next year. In the meantime, Intel is prepping the XMM 7660, its second-generation Gigabit LTE modem capable of up to Cat 19 (1.6 Gbps) downlink connections. Intel hasn't disclosed much in the way of details on this one, but expect a natural set of features here — advanced MIMO, carrier aggregation, 256QAM, loads of bands support, etc. Intel expects commercial devices to adopt the XMM 7660 in 2019. By that time, leading carriers will implement many of the features necessary for both 5G and Gigabit LTE, so the modem will be able to achieve its speeds in many locations.

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Source: Intel

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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - link

    I'm on a no contract phone so I typically get 180MB per months, though I sometimes buy an extra 1GB of pure data for another $10 USD.
  • jospoortvliet - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - link

    3gb/month for 40 euro in Germany. Yes per month. Yes that is about INR 3000.
  • jospoortvliet - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - link

    You need competition, plain as that. There isn't much of that in eu and us right now... hence India is a decade ahead in gb per dollar.
  • FullmetalTitan - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - link

    5G infrastructure definitely won't incentivize telecoms to increase caps immediately, but think back to pre-smart phone days for internet access on mobile devices versus the typical data plan size now (and effective cost in $/MB or $/GB). I agree that short term they will use 5G as a means to widen their margins, but long term the pricing window should shift towards larger caps.
    The secondary implications of effective mesh networks for diagnostic use and applications like vehicle-to-vehicle communication are probably a more important effect of 5G development.
  • ddrіver - Monday, November 20, 2017 - link

    Data caps exist because companies are greedy. Period. When companies aren't greedy they upgrade their network.
  • Reflex - Monday, November 20, 2017 - link

    I tend to agree with this sentiment when it comes to wired networks. Upgrading them is a straight up investment that pays off over time. Wireless is a different case, you are restricted by available spectrum and the spec in use. LTE does not permit you to put as many towers as you want into an area, they must e a minimum distance from each other, and the performance of those towers is restricted by the specification and the frequencies a given carrier owns.

    Usage caps make far more sense in the wireless space than they do in the wired arena.
  • jtcarver - Monday, November 20, 2017 - link

    Wired networks suffer from congestion just like wireless networks, even fiber optic cable has limits on the amount of data that can flow through the pipe at any given time, hence the data caps on wired networks that is cropping up these days, Cox Cable implements a 1tb data cap on most plans these days, DSL hasn't yet that I have seen, but their speed on regular DSL is so slow that you would be hard pressed to reach 1tb in a month.
  • WizardMerlin - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - link

    They do, but nothing like the same. You can put Terabits/s down a pair of fibres - you can also add more fibres as close as you like without causing a problem, you can't do that with wireless, the spectrum is the spectrum, you can't add more 5Ghz, the 5Ghz is the 5Ghz you've got and that's it - no matter how much you money you might have for upgrades; if it's congested it's congested.
  • ads295 - Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - link

    While I believe from the bottom of my heart that capitalism as a system begets greed and I do agree with you, there might be more to the picture:
    What if cellular networks here can be monetized to a greater degree on account of a bigger user base, thus allowing higher revenue from (say) the same area? So in the US say you'd have a 100 people using a network and here you'd have say 400. Thus data limits are the only way to get the sort of revenue you want (profit margins could be anything) in a low user base density.
    Currently I pay INR 400 for 70 days of LTE, allowing 1GB per day of full speed data (and unlimited 128Kbps until midnight).
  • iwod - Monday, November 20, 2017 - link

    Are you sure enough people are using LTE and doing heavy load on it? No Carrier has yet solved the user density problem in Major Cities areas, especially in high density region like South East Asia.

    Massive MIMO are now being deployed, and for TD-LTE Network that part of the equation is pretty much solved, as it brings 10x capacity improvement with No user equipment upgrade.

    Massive MIMO on FD-LTE, where 70% of the world uses, is pretty much useless at this stage.

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