Tests of 5G smartphone downlink speed in the U.S. and U.K. by Ookla show that smartphones using the 5G millimeter wave bands, on average, achieve blazingly fast downlink speeds 20 times that of 4G LTE. 

To date, only Qualcomm supplies millimeter wave chips used in smartphones, but the tests show that the fastest 5G smartphones operating in the sub-6 GHz bands use Qualcomm cellular radios as well. The report by Strategy Analytics, Best Performing 5G Smartphones Use Qualcomm Modem-to-antenna Solutions for Sub-6 and Millimeter Wave, summarizes the results and provides analysis and implications for operators, OEMs and consumers.

“Millimeter wave 5G not only offers blazingly fast speed, it offers operators massive capacity when deployed in high-traffic areas, and allows operators to roll out new services such as fixed wireless broadband access and indoor private networks within their coverage footprints, making more efficient use of the 5G core network,” report co-author Guang Yang of the Strategy Analytics Network Provider Strategies service, said. “Qualcomm’s millimeter wave chips for smartphones and other user equipment make this possible.”

Christopher Taylor, director of the RF & Wireless Component service at Strategy Analytics, added: “In 4G LTE, Qualcomm stayed ahead of the competition by aggressively developing cellular radio chipsets (digital processors and RF transceivers) with the highest connection speeds and lowest dropped call rates using carrier aggregation, MIMO, interference cancellation and other radio capabilities. In 5G, Qualcomm has extended its efforts with millimeter wave and their Snapdragon Modem-RF solutions, complete radios from the digital processor all the way to the antenna. Here they have done surprisingly well in competition with the established, and well-regarded RF front-end component suppliers Skyworks, Qorvo, Broadcom and Murata.”